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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 1

Story by Zeleb.es
©Provided by The Daily Digest

Dysfunction is dominating Putin's army
For months Ukrainian authorities have been tapping into the private phone conversations of Russian soldiers and revealing their true thoughts about the war, as well as the dysfunction that seems to be dominating Vladimir Putin’s army.

Released calls reveal the situation
A recently released phone call between a Russian serviceman known only as Andrey and his mother was reported on by The Guardian's Daniel Boffey and Pjotr Sauer and illustrated just how bad the situation has gotten for those fighting on the front.

No food and drinking from puddles
“No one feeds us anything, mum,” Andrey complained, adding that the supply situation was very bad “to be honest” and that he was “drawing water from puddles” to use as his drinking water.

By George Wright & Adam Durbin BBC News

Ukraine has come under attack by Russian air strikes again, officials say, after two days of major aerial assaults by both sides. Most attacks were concentrated on Kharkiv in the east, but explosions were also reported elsewhere.

Moscow said it was retaliating against Ukrainian strikes on the Russian border city of Belgorod on Saturday, which killed at least 24 people. That came after Russia carried out air strikes across Ukraine on Friday. Kyiv said those Russian attacks, which killed at least 45 people, were the biggest missile bombardment of the war so far.

By Jessica Parker in Kyiv

Ukraine's security service has blown up a rail connection deep inside Russia, a senior official has told the BBC. Successive explosions are said to have happened on trains running first through a tunnel and then on a bridge in Russia's far east.

Russia has reportedly begun an inquiry into a "criminal case of terrorism" after the attacks on the Baikal Amur line running to the border with China. The extent of the damage has not been verified by the BBC. Ukrainian sources said that the intention was to "disable" an important piece of infrastructure that the Russians sometimes use for military purposes.

By Ellie Cook Security & Defense Reporter

Russian forces in Ukraine have lost 1,140 troops and 32 artillery systems in the past 24 hours, as the poor weather conditions fail to halt high casualty rates and equipment losses along the front line.

Moscow's troops have now lost a total of 327,580 fighters in the 21 months of war, according to updated figures from the Ukrainian military on Wednesday. Russia losing 32 artillery systems in the past day brings Kyiv's total losses to 7,908, per Ukraine's figures.

Newsweek could not independently verify the battlefield losses and has reached out to Russia's Defense Ministry for comment via email.

Story by Matthew Dooley

Ukrainian special forces commandos launched an overnight raid in Crimea damaging several Russian landing ships docked in the occupied peninsula. Ukraine's attack marks the latest in a series of raids and strikes targeting Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which has been decimated by Kyiv's forces.

The Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR) posted footage from the raid in Crimea to its Telegram channel at 8am following the attacks. It appears to show waterborne drones controlled by special forces attacking ships at a dock. The GUR said: "As a result of a night operation on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea, small landing ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation were damaged by soldiers." It added: "The ships were carrying a crew and loaded armoured vehicles, including BTR-82."

Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tried to rally his troops and support for Ukraine Tuesday, saying there will be no easy victories in the counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory. “The modern world is designed in such a way that it gets used to success too quickly,” he said in his nightly address, adding that “when the full-scale aggression began, many in the world expected that Ukraine would not survive.”

“Now the colossal things that our people, all our warriors are doing, are taken for granted,” he added. Zelenskyy’s comments came as Russia appeared to intensify its assaults on Ukraine, with one minister saying the country had experienced the most attacks in one day, on Tuesday, since the start of the year.

By Isabel van Brugen

A factory that manufactures Kh-59 cruise missiles in western Russia was struck by multiple drones over the weekend, Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence agency (GUR) said on Monday.

Three out of four drones struck the Smolensk Aviation Plant on Sunday, causing significant damage and disrupting production of the rockets, the GUR said in a statement on its Telegram channel. The city of Smolensk is roughly 250 miles west of Moscow, near Russia's border with its ally Belarus.

The GUR added that the Kh-59 missile is one of the most frequently used missiles that the Russian Aerospace Forces deploy to fire at military and civilian targets in Ukraine.

Ukrainska Pravda

On Sunday 1 October, Ukraine’s Air Force inflicted 13 strikes on areas where Russian personnel, weapons and military equipment were concentrated. Thirty combat clashes took place in the past 24 hours.

Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook, information as of 18:00 on 1 October

Details: A total of 30 combat clashes were recorded during the day. Russian forces attacked Ukraine once again launching about 30 Iranian strike UAVs of the Shahed-136/131 type from the southern, southeastern and northern directions. Ukraine’s air defence managed to down 16 of those drones.

In total, the Russians inflicted 8 missile- and 72 airstrikes, carried out 20 attacks from multiple-launch missile systems on the positions of Ukrainian troops and settlements. Russian terrorist attacks have killed and wounded civilians. Private residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed and damaged.


Story by The Net Worth Of

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has taken a pivotal turn as Ukraine’s counteroffensive gains momentum on both the ground and in the air.

Significant Advancements in Ukraine’s Strategy
Despite initial doubts from the West, recent developments indicate that Ukraine’s forces are progressing against entrenched Russian fighters. There have been significant advancements in Ukraine’s strategy, its challenges, and the evolving drone warfare that plays a crucial role in the conflict.

Story by sankel@businessinsider.com (Sophia Ankel)

Russian soldiers accidentally revealed their positions after they tried to shoot down a Ukrainian flag suspended from balloons flying over occupied territory, a Ukrainian official said.

The large flag, attached to dozens of helium balloons, was released from the Ukrainian-controlled town of Avdiyivka on Sunday by the military.

The launch was to commemorate the 245th anniversary of the city's founding, according to Vitalii Barabash, the head of the Avdiivka city military administration.

It eventually flew over Russian-occupied Donetsk City in eastern Ukraine, where Russian soldiers attempted to shoot it down, Barabash told national television, The Kyiv Independent reported.

The tech billionaire said Thursday that he had told his engineers not to turn on the Starlink satellite network over Crimea to prevent a planned attack on the Black Sea fleet last year.
By Yuliya Talmazan

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has come under fire from Ukraine after it emerged he thwarted a major attack on the Russian navy. According to excerpts published by CNN, a soon-to-be-released biography of the SpaceX CEO claims that Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his Starlink satellite network over Russian-occupied Crimea last year in order to prevent a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s naval fleet.

Musk was worried that the planned attack on the Kremlin’s Black Sea fleet, which occurred early in the war, could escalate tensions and potentially lead to nuclear conflict, according to the extract from historian Walter Isaacson’s upcoming book.

The claim was immediately met with criticism from Kyiv. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, blasted the tech billionaire on X, formerly Twitter, which Musk owns. “Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake,” Podolyak wrote.

By The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia's Investigative Committee said Sunday that it confirmed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder and head of the mercenary force Wagner who led a short-lived armed rebellion against Russia's military, was killed in a plane crash.

Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement that forensic and genetic testing identified all 10 bodies recovered at the site of Wednesday's crash and the findings "conform to the manifest" of the plane. The statement didn't offer any details about what might have caused the crash.

Russia's civil aviation authority earlier this week said Prigozhin, 62, and some of his top lieutenants were on the list of the passengers and crew members on board the plane. All seven passengers and three crew died when the plane plummeted from the sky halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Prigozhin's hometown.

Story by Joe Barnes

A Russian naval base in occupied Crimea was rocked by an explosion on Friday as Ukraine appeared to launch its largest ever drone attack. Plumes of smoke were spotted rising above a military training base in Perevalne, near the city of Simferopol, where Russia’s 126th Coastal Defence Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet was stationed.

Both Ukrainian and Russian sources suggested drones had slipped through Moscow’s defences to damage the facility. The Russian defence ministry earlier said its forces had “thwarted” an attack after its forces downed 42 drones near the occupied peninsula.

The attack would be Kyiv’s largest aerial assault on Crimea to date and comparable to many of Russia’s biggest barrages on Ukrainian cities. It was described as the “most massive drone raid on Crimea in recent months” by one popular Russian blogger.

Story by Tom Watling

A Russian commander who worked for Ukraine's security services warned only the "Lord can protect" his soldiers after a major counter offensive push left them receiving a "beating from all sides".

Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the "Vostok" Battalion, a part of the Kremlin-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), said Ukrainian forces had crossed the Mokri Yali River and attacked his men on the northern outskirts of the village of Urozhaine.

A former US intelligence director based in Europe, Steven Horrell, told Express.co.uk last week there were signs that Ukraine's march towards the Melitopol-Berdyansk line to sever the Russian land bridge was emerging as the counter offensive's primary axis of attack.

At the time of speaking, Mr Horrell admitted that progress had been "slow and steady" but in the last 24 hours, Russian military bloggers claimed Ukraine is making rapid progress in Urozhaine, which is in the direction of the coastal city of Berdyansk, by the Sea of Azov.

By James Waterhouse in Kyiv & Kathryn Armstrong in London
BBC News

A Russian naval ship has been damaged in a Ukrainian naval drone attack in the Black Sea, Ukrainian sources say. The assault reportedly occurred near the Russian port of Novorossiysk, which is a major hub for Russian exports.

Russia's defence ministry said it had repelled a Ukrainian attack on its naval base there which involved two sea drones, but did not admit any damage. But Ukrainian security service sources say the Olenegorsky Gornyak was hit and suffered a serious breach.

They told the BBC a sea drone was carrying 450kg (992lb) of dynamite when it hit the ship. Russia made no mention of any damage in its report of the incident. Sea drones are small, unmanned vessels which operate on or below the water's surface.

Story by Allison Quinn

Agroup of Russian billionaires have reportedly been using their companies—some of which have dodged Western sanctions—to funnel mercenaries to the regular Russian army for the war against Ukraine. That’s according to a new investigation by the independent outlet iStories, which reports that companies under the control of several Vladimir Putin cronies are taking part in the alleged covert recruitment scheme.

Oleg Deripaska, the sanctioned tycoon and Putin confidante who made headlines at the start of the full-scale invasion for appearing to speak out against it, is allegedly at the center of one such scheme. According to iStories, a company owned by Deripaska’s Rusal–Russia’s largest aluminum producer–is bankrolling a volunteer battalion called Sokol. The battalion is officially considered a part of the Russian military, but financial compensation for the “volunteers” comes from both the Defense Ministry and a mysterious “sponsor.”

Story by Peter Suciu

Russia may be forced to employ nuclear weapons if Ukraine's counteroffensive is successful, warned a top Russian official on Sunday. In a message posted to his official social media account, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, suggested that the Kremlin could fall back on its own nuclear doctrine, which calls for nuclear weapons to be employed in response to aggression carried out against Russia that includes conventional weapons.

That response has typically been reserved should the existence of the Russian state be threatened, but Medvedev has suggested that could also include the loss of territory that Russia sees as its own – including Crimea. "Imagine if the ... offensive, which is backed by NATO, was a success and they tore off a part of our land then we would be forced to use a nuclear weapon according to the rules of a decree from the president of Russia," Medvedev wrote on the Telegram social messaging app.

Russian defence ministry blames Ukraine for attack in which Moscow high-rise tower struck
Luke Harding, Andrew Roth and Helen Livingstone

A high-rise Moscow building housing Russian government ministries has been hit by a drone for the second time in three days, the city’s mayor has said, as air defences also shot down “several” drones targeting the capital region. The Russian defence ministry said two drones were destroyed by air defence systems in the Odintsovo and Naro-Fominsk districts near Moscow, while it claimed a third was jammed and went “out of control” before it crashed in the Moscow City business district, a cluster of glass skyscrapers that was built to show Russia’s growing integration into world financial markets. . The ministry blamed Ukraine for what it called an “attempted terrorist attack”.

Photos and video showed that a drone had ripped off part of the facade of a modern skyscraper, IQ-Quarter, 3.4 miles (5.5km) from the Kremlin, which houses staff from several ministries, including Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media. “The facade of the 21st floor was damaged. The glazing of 150 sq metres was broken,” the Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said in a Telegram post, adding that no injuries had been reported.

Officials say one person is injured in the latest in a series of strikes on the Russian capital that Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for
Agence France-Presse

Three Ukrainian drones were downed over Moscow early on Sunday, Russia’s defence ministry said, in an attack that briefly shut an international airport. While one of the drones was shot down on the city’s outskirts, two others were “suppressed by electronic warfare” and smashed into an office complex. A security guard was injured, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing emergency officials.

“Ukrainian drones attacked tonight. Facades of two city office towers were slightly damaged,” Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin posted on Telegram. Moscow and its surrounding area are more than 500km from the Ukrainian border and the ongoing conflict there, but have been targeted in several drone attacks this year.

EURACTIV.com with Reuters

Troops at the spearhead of Ukraine’s counteroffensive say a battle last week along the front in the southeast proved to be tougher and bloodier than expected, with plans going awry and an enemy that was well-prepared.

They rode into a kill zone. The timing was off. Many men were lost. In the end, they recaptured the ruined village of Staromaiorske, claiming Ukraine’s biggest advance for weeks.

“The Russians were waiting for us,” said a 29-year-old soldier using the call-sign Bulat, from a unit sent into battle in armoured vehicles during last week’s assault.

“They fired anti-tank weapons and grenade launchers at us. My vehicle drove over an anti-tank mine, but everything was ok, the vehicle took the hit, and everyone was alive. We dismounted and ran towards the cover. Because the most important is to find cover and then move on.”

Tales of the battle of Staromaiorske, recounted to Reuters near the frontline in southeastern Ukraine, give an indication of why Kyiv’s boldest counteroffensive of the war, soon entering its third month, has proven a slower and bloodier slog than anticipated.

Story by Ellie Cook

Russia is deploying "brand new" variants of one of its prized attack helicopters in southern Ukraine as Kyiv cranks up its counteroffensive efforts in the region, according to a new assessment. Moscow has "augmented" its forces in southern Ukraine "with at least a small number of brand new, Ka-52M variants," the British Defense Ministry said its in daily intelligence briefing on Thursday.

The Ka-52 "Alligator" is one of Russia's most prized scout-attack helicopters, and Ukraine often amplifies news of Ka-52s being taken out over Ukrainian territory. The Ka-52 is "one of the single most influential Russian weapon systems" in the contested southern Zaporizhzhia region, the U.K. Defense Ministry said.

Story by By Jonathan Beale - Defence correspondent, southern Ukraine

The general in charge of Ukraine's stuttering offensive in the south says Russia has created multi-layered minefields and fortified defensive lines which were making it difficult for military equipment, including tanks and armoured vehicles supplied by the West, to move forward.

"That is why most of the tasks have to be performed by troops," Gen Oleksandr Tarnavskyi tells the BBC. He says Russia's military has displayed "professional qualities" by preventing Ukrainian forces from "advancing quickly". "I don't underestimate the enemy," he adds.

So far there's little evidence that Western supplied tanks and armoured vehicles have been able to tip the balance in Ukraine's favour. Several Leopard tanks and US Bradley fighting vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the first days of the offensive, near the city of Orikhiv.

Story by Альона Сонько

The Ukrainian Armed Forces of Ukraine had said " good morning" to the occupiers no less than 30 times, Andryushchenko said. Kakhovka is situated in Kherson Oblast, close to the now-destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam, which was blown up by the Russians on June 6, causing catastrophic ecological damage.

By Max Hunder and Olena Harmash

KYIV, July 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of damaging grain export infrastructure in "hellish" overnight strikes focused on two of its Black Sea ports, vowing not to be intimidated from working to keep grain exports moving out of them.

Russia attacked the Odesa region for the second consecutive night after quitting a year-old deal allowing the safe passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea on Monday. Ukraine said it was setting up a temporary shipping route to Romania.

"Russian terrorists absolutely deliberately targeted the infrastructure of the grain deal," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app. "Every Russian missile - is a strike not only on Ukraine but on everyone in the world who wants normal and safe life."

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office said 10 civilians, including a 9-year-old boy, were wounded. Grains terminals were damaged as well as an industrial facility, warehouses, shopping malls, residential and administrative buildings and cars.

A major highway on the occupied peninsula is closed and thousands have been evacuated.

KYIV — A fire broke out at an ammunitions depot at a Russian military training ground in occupied Crimea overnight, closing a major highway, while Moscow’s forces hammered Ukraine with drones and missiles.

The Kremlin-installed head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov said the Tavrida Highway, the road that connects the major cities on the Russian-occupied peninsula, was closed and 2,200 people were evacuated from the area as a result of the fire, though he didn’t specify a cause.

“There was a fire on a military field. Investigators will find out the reasons,” Aksyonov said, adding that Russian air defenses had shot down 18 drones over Crimea. Pro-Kremlin military bloggers reported that either Ukrainian-made Grim-2 or Britain’s Storm Shadow long-range missiles could have been responsible for the fire.

CNN

The Kerch Bridge linking the occupied Crimean peninsula to Russia was hit by two strikes, according to multiple reports. Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) and naval forces were responsible for the attack, according to a source.

By Josh Pennington, Alex Stambaugh, Brad Lendon and Christian Edwards, CNN

CNN — A Ukrainian security official has claimed Kyiv’s responsibility for an attack on the bridge linking the annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland – a vital supply line for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and a personal project for President Vladimir Putin.

The nearly 12-mile crossing, also known as the Kerch Bridge, is the longest in Europe and holds huge strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow. Monday’s attack on the bridge was the second since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, after a fuel tanker exploded while crossing it in October.

A source in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) told CNN this attack was a joint operation of the SBU and Ukraine’s naval forces. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not received authorization to speak on the record. Two people were killed and their daughter wounded in the attack, according to Russian-appointed officials.

Two strikes were reportedly carried out around 3 a.m. local time Monday (8 p.m. ET Sunday), damaging part of the bridge, according to Telegram channel Grey Zone, which supports the Wagner mercenary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Some of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) employees who collaborate with Russian, as well as some of the Rosatom personnel, have left the temporarily occupied city of Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Source: Dmytro Orlov, Mayor of Enerhodar, in a comment to Ukrainske Radio

Details: According to the mayor, some of the collaborators, ZNPP employees who had signed contracts with Rosatom, have left Enerhodar. In addition, some of the Rosatom personnel brought from Russian nuclear power plants – up to 100 specialists – left the city at the end of the previous week.

Ukrainska Pravda

The Russian forces have used aviation over the course of the past 24 hours to advance on the Avdiivka front, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, information as of 06:00 on 30 June

Quote: "Tonight, the Russian Federation launched another air attack, using Iranian-made Shahed UAVs and anti-aircraft guided missiles from an S-300 system. Information regarding the consequences of this terrorist attack is currently being updated".

Details: During the past day, Russians fired six anti-aircraft guided missiles from an S-300 system at civilian infrastructure targets in the cities of Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv. In addition, Russians carried out 29 airstrikes and launched 60 attacks using multiple-launch rocket systems on Ukrainian troops’ positions and populated areas.

Russian forces continue to focus their main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut and Marinka fronts, and heavy fighting is ongoing, with a total of over 31 combat engagements occurring there during the day.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Valerii Shershen, spokesperson for the Joint Press Centre for the Tavriia front Defence Forces, has said that the Russian invaders dropped chemical ammunition on one of the positions of the Ukraine’s Armed Forces, but the wind was blowing toward the Russians.

By Charles Maynes

MOSCOW — The head of the Wagner mercenary group said his forces were ending a march on the Russian capital after demanding the resignation of the country's top defense officials over alleged failures in the war in Ukraine.

In a statement to his Telegram social media account, Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters had led a "march for justice" over the past 24 hours that saw them travel from the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to the outskirts of Moscow "The whole time, not one drop of blood of our fighters was spilled," Prigozhin said. "But now the moment has arrived when blood could be spilt."

To avoid such a scenario, Prigozhin said he had ordered his forces to "turn our columns around and go in the opposite direction back to a field camp as planned." The sudden about-face appeared to hit pause on a political crisis that grew out of months of infighting between Russia's top brass and Prigozhin over the state of the military campaign in Ukraine.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group private military company, has confirmed that Russian security forces had found boxes full of money near his office in St Petersburg. Russian media reported that the boxes contain a total of 4 billion roubles (approximately US$ 47 million).

Source: Fontanka, a St Petersburg-based news outlet; Yevgeny Prigozhin’s press service

Details: Fontanka reported that a Gazel minivan stuffed full of boxes containing money was found near Prigozhin’s office, in the courtyard of the Trezzini Hotel in St Petersburg.

According to Fontanka, Prigozhin is believed to have his office in the Trezzini Hotel. During a search conducted in the hotel the white Gazel minivan aroused suspicion as it did not belong to anyone living at the Akademichesky Lane [the street where the van was parked - ed.]. The van was checked for explosives; when it was unlocked, boxes stuffed with money were found inside.

Story by Daniel Hannan

This is the beginning of the end for Vladimir Putin. That may seem an odd thing to say when he is in command of nearly five million armed men in various police, military and paramilitary units. A mutiny by 25,000 mercenaries a thousand miles away might appear, at first glance, to be a minor irritant.

But that is not how autocracies work. Putin’s power rests on projection, on propaganda, on the image of invincibility. Now, all of a sudden, the curtain is being snatched back, revealing the Wizard of Oz as a small, mediocre, frightened man.

From the outside, dictatorships can look monolithic. One of the reasons that Western Kremlinologists failed to predict the end of the Soviet Union was that they knew little of the necessarily secret rivalries within it. None of them foresaw that the chief instrument in the dissolution of the USSR would be Boris Yeltsin’s Russian Federation.

By The Associated Press

The head of the private Russian military force Wagner said Saturday he has ordered his mercenaries to halt their march on Moscow and retreat to their field camps in Ukraine to avoid shedding Russian blood. The announcement from Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to defuse a dramatically escalating crisis that represented the most significant challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s leadership in his more than two decades in power.

Moscow had braced for the arrival of a private army led by the rebellious mercenary commander by erecting checkpoints with armored vehicles and troops on its southern edge. Red Square was shut down, and the mayor urged motorists to stay off some roads. Prigozhin said that while his men were just 200 kilometers (120 miles) from Moscow, he decided to turn them back to avoid “shedding Russian blood.” He didn’t say whether Moscow has responded to his demand to oust Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin.

Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to squash a rebellion led by Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin.

Story by ktangalakislippert@insider.com (Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert,Erin Snodgrass)

Regardless of whether the Wagner Group leader ousts Russian military leadership in an apparent coup attempt that began Friday, the outcome of Yevgeny Prigozhin's bid for more control will have chaotic consequences for the war in Ukraine, according to a military strategist.

Mick Ryan, a retired major general in the Australian military and fellow for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Insider that while exactly what is happening on the ground in Russia remains unclear, "this is the kind of thing where no one wins — everyone loses something."

On Friday, the Wagner mercenary group leader issued a statement that said Russia's "evil" defense ministry "must be stopped." Early local reports from Russian media indicated Wagner troops had taken control of the city of Rostov-on-Don. Russian state security is pursuing a criminal case against Prigozhin in response to his calls for "armed rebellion."

Associated Press

The owner of the Wagner private military contractor made his most direct challenge to the Kremlin yet, calling for an armed rebellion aimed at ousting Russia’s defense minister. The security services reacted immediately by calling for the arrest of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

In a sign of how seriously the Kremlin was taking the threat, security was heightened in Moscow and in Rostov-on-Don, which is home to the Russian military headquarters for the southern region and also oversees the fighting in Ukraine.

While the outcome of the confrontation was still unclear, it appeared likely to further hinder Moscow’s war effort as Kyiv’s forces were probing Russian defenses in the initial stages of a counteroffensive. The dispute, especially if Prigozhin were to succeed, also could have repercussions for President Vladimir Putin and his ability to maintain a united front.

Prigozhin claimed early Saturday that his forces had crossed into Russia from Ukraine and had reached Rostov, saying they faced no resistance from young conscripts at checkpoints and that his forces “aren’t fighting against children.”

Story by Віра Олійник
The attack reminds them of last year’s strike at the Antonivskyi bridge in Kherson, Chystikov claims.

“Today’s explosions on the Chonhar bridge, as we can see from the photo and video, remind the invaders of a similar situation with the Kherson bridge, which paved the way for the liberation of the right bank,” he said. “This is a certain associative series that causes panic among the Russian military.”

Explosions overnight on June 22 were reported not only near the village of Chonhar in Kherson Oblast, where the bridge is located, but also near the town of Dzhankoy in occupied Crimea. However, the occupying authorities are trying to cover up the results of the strike, Chystikov added. “Dzhankoy has been panicking since morning,” the official said.

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