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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 2

Story by Connor Surmonte

Vladimir Putin’s troops were recently ravaged by a suspected cholera outbreak following the destruction of a vital Ukrainian dam, RadarOnline.com has learned. In a startling development to come days after the Kakhovka dam in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Nova Kakhovka was ruptured on June 6, dozens of Putin’s soldiers were reportedly rushed to the hospital.

According to the Daily Star, “several” Russian soldiers reportedly died after contracting cholera while nearly one hundred more were forced to be removed from the frontlines. "Entire units from the Kherson direction located along the North Crimean Canal [lost] their combat capability and are taken to the rear for treatment,” a Ukrainian military movement reported on Monday. “Several Russian soldiers died.”

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Russia continues to suffer losses in its war of aggression against Ukraine; in the past day alone, the defenders killed 1,010 Russian invaders and destroyed 23 artillery systems, 15 armoured combat vehicles and eight tanks.

Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook
Details: The total combat losses of the Russian forces from 24 February 2022 to 20 June 2023 are estimated to be as follows [figures in parentheses represent the latest losses – ed.]:

Story by Stavros Atlamazoglou

The Ukrainian forces continue to attack in several different directions in the third week of the counter-offensive. Kyiv has still to achieve an operational breakthrough and is still struggling to break the first layers of the extensive Russian defensive lines. But the Russian military is starting to feel the impact of the counteroffensive and is relocating units from other sectors of the battlefield to plug gaps.

Moving in the Reserves
The Russian military has started moving its forces from the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson to reinforce its defensive lines in Zaporizhzhia and the Donbas. Over the past few days, the Russian military has relocated several thousand troops, including elite formations of VDV paratroopers and naval infantry. “ redeployment likely reflects Russia’s perception that a major Ukrainian attack across the Dnipro is now less likely following the collapse of Kakhovka Dam and the resulting flooding,” the British Military Intelligence assesses in its latest estimate of the war.

Story by Connor Surmonte

Drunk Russian troops were recently accused of using pocket knives to castrate Ukrainian prisoners of war, RadarOnline.com has learned. The harrowing allegations were first made this week by two survivors of torture camps believed to have been sanctioned directly by Vladimir Putin.

The 25 and 28-year-old men were allegedly part of a recent prisoner exchange and revealed that Russian troops would use their army knives to remove the testicles of Ukrainian prisoners, according to Daily Star. The men also revealed that they were kept in captivity for one month and three months, respectively, before they spoke to an experienced psychologist to help them cope with what they had been through.

Story by Jack Buckby

As Ukraine continues its recently-launched counteroffensive – a new military push that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself has admitted is already underway – Moscow on Thursday announced plans to hold elections in occupied regions of Ukraine. While Russian forces may still control many contested parts of Ukraine, that control is by no means secure and Ukrainian forces are continuing to advance in southern and eastern parts of the country.

In a statement, the Russian Central Election Commission said that “new subjects of the Russian Federation will be held on a single voting day on September 10, 2023.” Specifically, the commission said that elections would be held in the territories that Russia claimed to have annexed in September 2022, which include Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Donetsk, and Kherson oblasts. Russia’s annexation of the regions – which they did not fully control at the time of the supposed annexation – came after a series of referendums that were widely dismissed by the global community as illegitimate.

Story by Reuters

(Reuters) -Russia's Defence Ministry released video footage on Tuesday of what it said were German-made Leopard tanks and U.S.-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles captured by Russian forces in a fierce battle with Ukrainian troops.

Reuters was able to confirm that the vehicles seen in the video were Leopard tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, but was not able to independently verify the location or date of the footage.

The Defence Ministry said the armoured vehicles and tanks were captured on the Zaporizhzhia front in southern Ukraine, one of the areas where Ukrainian forces have been trying to counter-attack.

Two Leopard tanks were shown in the footage, which was released on the ministry's official channel on the Telegram messaging application, along with two damaged Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

Story by sbaker@insider.com (Sinéad Baker)

The flooding from a Ukrainian dam destroyed last week has pushed back Russia's lines in the area by as much as six miles, according to experts. Washington DC-based Institute for the Study of War said in an update on Monday that "flooding has deprived Russian forces of previously held positions in at least 12 settlements on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River and has pushed Russian lines back as far as 10 kilometers in some areas."

The east side of the Dnipro river is controlled by Russia, which has been accused of blowing up the dam. The Kakhovka dam, which is upstream from the southeastern city of Kherson, was damaged on June 6, releasing a devastating flood of water downstream. Ukraine said more than 40,000 people were affected by the flooding, and that as of Tuesday at least 10 people had been killed, with 41 more missing.

Story by Allison Quinn

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has reportedly claimed the life of a Russian general described as one of the army’s “most effective military leaders.” Major General Sergei Goryachev, Chief of Staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army, was killed Monday in a missile strike in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, according to pro-Kremlin war reporter Yury Kotyonok. His death fell on Russia Day, the country’s national holiday.

“War takes away the best,” Kotyonok wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. “The army today lost one of the brightest and most effective military leaders, who combined the highest professionalism with personal courage,” he said.

Story by Stavros Atlamazoglou

The Ukrainian military is making important progress on the ground. In the second week of the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian forces are advancing steadily over several axes of advance in the Donbas and Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The Russian forces have been putting up a skillful fight, but the first cracks in Moscow’s defensive lines appear.

The Ukrainians Advance
Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military has advanced in several places in the Donbas and Zaporizhzhia, liberating settlements along the way. The Ukrainian military is pushing and making steady progress in several directions at the same time. Kyiv is waiting to see which offensive produces the most promise before it commits additional forces to create an operational breakthrough.
Artillery and tactical drones (especially loitering munitions) have been very active in the first days of the counteroffensive, causing casualties on both sides.

Story by ashoaib@insider.com (Alia Shoaib)

Ukraine appears to have destroyed at least two prized Russian thermobaric rocket launchers, which are one of Russia's most effective weapons in repelling the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Images of destroyed TOS-1A heavy thermobaric rocket launchers have circulated on social media from respected war-monitor platforms.

The footage was geolocated and confirms that Ukraine used Western precision munitions, reportedly the US-supplied Paladin 155mm artillery system, to destroy at least two of the Russian systems, according to Washington DC-based think tank the Institute of the Study of War (ISW).

The thermobaric rocket launchers are mounted on top of tanks and can launch rockets up to two miles, per Forbes. The weapons are scarce artillery assets controlled at the Russian military district level, according to ISW.

Story by Віра Олійник

On June 7, a correspondent reporting from Nova Kakhovka on the Russian propaganda TV show “60 Minutes,” hosted by Olga Skabeeva, stated, “10 minutes after the explosion, I received a call saying that the military had already been evacuated,” and they offered the correspondent the opportunity to evacuate as well.

“If the Russian invasion forces had evacuated, then someone must have known something about it,” Tsymbaliuk said. Previously, Andriy Yusov, the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense or HUR, reported that some occupiers had departed ahead of the destruction ofthe Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, while others evacuated after the dam had been breached.

Story by ashoaib@insider.com (Alia Shoaib)

A Ukrainian official has claimed that Russia blew up the Khakhovka dam so that it could prevent a counteroffensive in the south. Ukrainian deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram on Sunday that Russia is now moving its most combat-ready units, including marines, airborne troops, and the 49th army, away from Kherson.

She claimed that this backs up the theory that Russian forces sabotaged the dam in order to narrow the possible areas that Ukraine's army could take action. This would allow them to make better use of their own limited reserves and redeploy their forces to the Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut areas, where fighting has been escalating, she said.

Story by Stavros Atlamazoglou

The Ukrainian counteroffensive proceeds. Kyiv is attacking in several different axes of advance in the Donbas and southern Ukraine. Moscow is fighting back, and the situation on the ground is fluid and tense.

The Ukrainian Counteroffensive
Thus far, the Ukrainian counteroffensive has produced mixed results. In some areas, the Ukrainian forces have managed to penetrate the first line of Russian defenses and are making good progress. But in others, the Russian resistance is much stiffer, and Ukrainian progress is slower.

For almost a year, the Russian military has been working on its fortifications. So, it’s expected that the Ukrainian military would face challenges and fierce resistance. Indeed, in a lot of places, there are up to four lines of mutually supporting lines of defense.

The Russian forces are fighting back, but their quality isn’t uniform. At some point, some point in the Russian defenses will crack. That moment will be key, and the Ukrainian military will try to take advantage of it and pour in forces.

Story by Віра Олійник

The mysterious user seems to have been able to put blockchain and Bitcoin technologies to work against the Russian terrorist state.

The hacker gained access to hundreds of crypto wallets that likely belong to Russian security agencies, cryptocurrency industry news site CoinDesk clarified, citing Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency monitoring company that works closely with the U.S. government.

Chainalysis analysts believe that the hacker used the transaction documentation feature of the Bitcoin blockchain to identify 986 wallets controlled by Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency (GRU), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Story by ivanhagen@insider.com (Isobel van Hagen)

Russian military performance has been "mixed" in the last 48 hours of fighting, as there are an increasing number of reports of Russian casualties as they "withdraw through their own minefields," according to UK intel.

In an intelligence update on Saturday, the UK's Ministry of Defence outlined the progress that had been made on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine.

"In some areas, Ukrainian forces have likely made good progress and penetrated the first line of Russian defenses. In others, Ukrainian progress has been slower," Britain's MoD said in a statement.

"Russian performance has been mixed: some units are likely conducting credible maneuver defense operations while others have pulled back in some disorder, amid increased reports of Russian casualties as they withdraw through their own minefields," the ministry added.

Story by psquire@insider.com (Paul Squire)

Ukrainian spies said on Friday that they intercepted a phone call from a Russian soldier who admits it was Russia's forces that blew up the Kakhovka dam, sending floodwaters careening into Ukrainian villages and towns downstream.

The Security Service of Ukraine said the phone call was between two Russian service members. "It's not them [Ukrainians] who hit it. It was our sabotage group," one soldier says, according to Ukraine. "They wanted to scare with this dam. It went not as planned, but more than they planned.'

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Ministry of Defence of Russia has recognised the detonation of an ammonia pipeline in Kharkiv Oblast, which the authorities claimed was damaged by Russian shelling on 5 June. However, it blames "Ukrainian saboteurs".

Security council meeting discusses disaster as US, UK and French representatives call for an investigation
Patrick Wintour

Russia’s UN envoy was accused of floundering in a “mud of lies” after he claimed at an emergency session of the security council that Ukraine destroyed Kakhovka dam in a “war crime”.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, the Ukraine envoy to the UN, said it was typical of Russia to blame the victim for its own crimes, pointing out Russia has been in control of the dam for more than a year and it was physically impossible to blow it up by shelling. He said the dam was mined by the Russian occupiers and they blew it up. He accused Russia of “floundering again in the mud of lies”.

“By resorting to scorched earth tactics, or in this case to flooded earth tactics, the Russian occupiers have effectively recognised that the captured territory does not belong to them, and they are not able to hold these lands,” Kyslytsya said.

Neither the French, US or British representatives at the UN directly said there was evidence of Russian responsibility, but called for an investigation and insisted their support for Ukraine was unwavering.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Ukrainian Armed Forces killed about 880 occupiers over the past day, bringing the total number of invaders killed to 212,030 soldiers.

Story by Jack Buckby

Russia's thermobaric weapons - sometimes called vacuum bomb weapons - are some of Putin's most powerful in Ukraine. Some experts even think they should be illegal.

So, of course, it makes sense that Ukraine tries to target and destroy as many of these weapons as possible. And recent footage shows Kyiv does not need to do much to accomplish that objective.

Watch Improvised Suicide Drone Take Out Russian Missile System
A branch of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) was responsible back in March for a drone strike on a Russian thermobaric missile launcher - what some consider Russia's most powerful weapon short of a nuclear bomb.

Story by Alexander Motyl

Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam is, above all, a sign of desperation from President Putin. The Russians know they’re losing the war. They know they won’t be able to withstand the forthcoming Ukrainian counter-offensive.

And they are now engaging in a watery version of a scorched earth policy that, they hope, will stall the offensive by diverting Kyiv’s attention and resources from killing Russian soldiers to saving Ukrainian civilians.
That may work for a few days, but its major effect will be to harden Ukrainian resolve to drive the genocidaires from their land. Make no mistake about it. The destruction is unquestionably Russia’s doing.

Story by Kyiv Independent

The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant's dam in Kherson Oblast was blown up by Russia's 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade, National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksii Danilov said on June 6, as cited by Ukrainian news outlet Liga.

The brigade members have been stationed at the power plant near Russian-occupied Nova Kakhovka and controlled the facility, Danilov said on national television.

The information on who had blown up the dam was first reported by Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the head of Ukraine's Presidential Office, cited by Ukrainska Pravda publication.

Podoliak added that Russia's destruction of the power plant was an undoubted use of indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, according to the Geneva Conventions.

Story by Альона Сонько

The rapid rise in the water level of the Dnipro River following the explosion has caused large-scale flooding, trapping the enemy troops who were positioned on islands east of Kherson city. This is evident in a video posted on social media showing Russian soldiers stuck there, and forced to sit on trees while awaiting evacuation.

Drone footage shows a boat, already crowded with evacuees, approaching soldiers who had climbed trees to escape the flooding. However, it is unclear if all the enemy troops ultimately reached land safely, as there are reports that Russian soldiers abandoned their comrades who fell into the water during the evacuation.

According to available information, part of Kherson and nine surrounding villages were flooded as a result of the Russian attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. In addition, about 80 other settlements on both banks of the Dnipro River are at risk. An evacuation of the population has been announced.

The demolition of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam by Russians may have negative consequences for the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP, but as of 8.30 a.m. on June 6, the situation is under control, state nuclear power plant operator Energoatom reported.

As a result of the explosion, the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir is rapidly decreasing, which is an additional threat to the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP, Energoatom explained. Water from the reservoir is necessary for the plant to receive power for turbine condensers and safety systems.

Story by David Brennan

The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine effectively ends any hope that Kyiv's troops will be able to launch a successful assault across the waterway, according to an adviser to the country's Defense Ministry.

The collapse of the dam—which occurred on Monday night after a reported series of explosions—has caused severe flooding in the lower Dnieper River basin, with hundreds of thousands of people in the area now being evacuated.

The river forms part of the front line between Ukrainian and occupying Russian forces, with Kyiv's troops on the west bank in the city of Kherson and Moscow's on the east.

The Kherson portion of the front line had been one possible location for Ukraine's long-awaited spring-summer counteroffensive. But Andriy Zagorodnyuk, who served as Ukraine's defense minister from 2019 to 2020 and is now an adviser to the Defense Ministry, told Newsweek an amphibious assault across the Dnieper—or Dnipro in Ukrainian—is now off the cards.

Story by Isabel van Brugen

Asecretive Ukrainian operation dubbed "Black Box" caused Russia $700 million in damage from April to May this year, Kyiv's military intelligence agency, GUR, said on Monday.

Little is known about the mysterious project, but the GUR said in November 2022 that it is funded through donations, and is one of several joint operations launched by the military intelligence agency alongside the Come Back Alive foundation, which supports Ukraine's armed forces.

"More than $700 million is our next contribution to reducing the offensive potential of the enemy's army, demoralizing the fighting spirit and making him accept his defeat in this war," Major General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence, said in a statement.

Budanov said in November that the operation had caused millions of dollars in damage to Russia a month prior, and that its results "will definitely be reflected on the battlefield."

Story by Віра Олійник

"It's the southern direction. It is to be considered a possible target of the Ukrainian counteroffensive (as we still don't know what is going to happen)," he told Radio NV.

The other reason to strike military targets in occupied Zaporizhzya and Kherson oblasts.

"Berdyansk is a port city. As Melitopol and other settlements to the south, it is a part of the so-called Russian mainland route to Crimea which is used alongside the Crimean Bridge for munition supply. They need to hit key points (of the route) in order to destroy it. That is happening now.

Story by Dan Ladden-Hall

Spiraling tensions between Wagner Group and Moscow’s regular forces verged on outright conflict on Sunday night as the mercenaries released a video claiming to have captured a Russian officer.

Dark footage purports to show Lieutenant Colonel Roman Venevitin, reportedly the commander of Russia’s 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade, being interrogated. With what appears to be an injured nose, the captured commander confesses to having attacked a Wagner vehicle during the bloody battle of Bakhmut in May.

After identifying himself, Venevitin says in the video that he “opened fire” on the vehicle while “intoxicated from alcohol.” When asked why he’d done so, he answers: “Due to my personal animosity.” Pressed by his interrogator as to why he has animosity toward Wagner, Venevitin appears dejected and says: “I don’t know.”

Moscow’s Defense Ministry said Thursday it had repelled an incursion attempt by “Ukrainian terrorist formations” into Russia’s Ukraine-bordering Belgorod region. “Russia’s Armed Forces together with units of the border service…foiled a fresh attempt by the Kyiv regime to conduct a terrorist attack against the civilian population of the city of Shebekino,” the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a daily briefing.

Konashenkov claimed that two Ukraine-linked military units attempted to cross the border into Russia near the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka early Thursday morning. To prevent the incursion, the Russian army allegedly conducted mass strikes, killing more than 30 members of the Ukraine-linked units.

Several drones struck Moscow early on Tuesday, damaging residential buildings in the Russian capital, the mayor said. The pre-dawn attack "caused minor damage to several buildings" in a residential area, according to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. Some residents were evacuated from their apartments due to "safety reasons" as first responders surveyed the damage, Sobyanin said.

"All municipal emergency services are currently at the scene of the incident," the mayor wrote on his official Telegram channel. "They will find out the circumstances of what happened." It's believed to be the first major drone strike on a residential area of Moscow.

Story by Kateryna Choursina and Olesia Safronova

(Bloomberg) -- Russia hit an airbase in western Ukraine, damaging five aircraft and the runway, and targeted the nation’s capital with ballistic missiles in the second massive rocket and drone attack in as many days.

Rescue teams worked to extinguish a fire at the air base in the Khmelnytskyi region, where a fuel dump and military storage were hit along with the aircraft and runway, the regional governor’s office said on Telegram.

Air defense forces in Kyiv shot down 11 Iskander ballistic missiles on Monday morning, spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on television, an exhibit of Ukraine’s improved capabilities to fend off airstrikes. It was the 16th attack on the capital since May 1.

Russia has ramped up air strikes on military facilities and infrastructure across the country this month, as Ukraine prepares a counteroffensive to try to take back territory occupied by the invading forces.

Story by Dave Malyon

Moscow was rocked by a wave of kamikaze drones this morning leaving two people injured and causing damage to numerous buildings and property in a suburb favored by Vladimir Putin's associates.

The attacks suspected to be the work of Kyiv's forces, triggered explosions in several buildings, including a block of flats in the wealthy suburbs of Moscow where Vladimir Putin's oligarch cronies are said to own luxury retreats.

Footage taken from the scene showed drones flying over Moscow before being shot down in plumes of black smoke, with locals saying they heard loud bangs followed by the smell of petrol. Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, weighed in with his account: "This morning, at dawn, a drone attack caused minor damage to several buildings."

Story by Yuliya Talmazan and Artem Grudinin and Sara Mhaidli

Moscow was hit by drones Tuesday morning, in what appeared to be the first attack on residential areas of the Russian capital since the invasion of Ukraine and a dramatic display that the Kremlin's war was increasingly coming home. The incident caused damage to some buildings and forced residents to evacuate homes, local officials said.

It comes weeks after an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin itself and following days of deadly Russian bombardment against civilians in Kyiv, as events far from the front lines take the spotlight ahead of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that eight unmanned aerial vehicles were involved in the strikes on Moscow. All drones were destroyed, it added, with three losing control after being jammed and the other five shot down by anti-aircraft systems.

Story by Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Russia said it downed eight drones aimed at Moscow early Tuesday, the biggest attack on the capital since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry in Moscow blamed the assault on Ukraine, adding that air defenses shot down five of the drones while electronic jamming was used to divert three others from their intended targets. Ukraine hasn’t commented so far.

It’s the most serious incident in Moscow since two drones exploded over the Kremlin on May 3 in an attack that officials also blamed on Ukraine, which denied involvement. Russian territories close to Ukraine have come under repeated attack in recent months and the Defense Ministry in Moscow said last week that troops defeated an incursion by attackers who crossed the border into the Belgorod region.

Several residential buildings were damaged in the drone attack on Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. No one was seriously injured although two people sought medical attention and residents of two buildings were evacuated, he said.

Story by By SUSIE BLANN, Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched a pre-dawn air raid on Ukraine’s capital Tuesday, killing at least one person and sending Kyiv’s residents again scrambling into shelters to escape a relentless wave of daylight and nighttime bombardments, while Moscow authorities said the Russian capital was attacked by drones.

At least 20 Shahed explosive drones were destroyed by air defense forces in Kyiv’s airspace in Russia’s third attack on the capital in the past 24 hours, according to early information from the Kyiv Military Administration. Overall, Ukraine shot down 29 of 31 drones fired into the country, most in the Kyiv area, the air force later added.

Before daylight, the buzzing of drones could be heard over the city, followed by loud explosions as they were taken down by air defense systems. In Moscow, residents reported hearing explosions and Mayor Sergei Sobyanin later confirmed there had been a drone attack.

A lightning raid that stuns Moscow.
Michael Weiss and James Rushton

KYIV — Russia may have taken the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut Sunday, but forces aligned with Ukraine apparently took a tiny part of Russia on Monday — or so video and photograph footage suggested as of just after noon local time. Ukrainian armored vehicles, including at least one tank, were seen attacking a border post, in the town of Kozinka, in the Belgorod region of southern Russia.

Drone footage, taken from the Ukrainian side of the border, showed a lone tank advancing toward the Russian border checkpoint in Kozinka, the main building of which had several large holes blasted in its exterior walls. A group of three light armored vehicles was also spotted in the same location, with Ukrainian marks — white crosses — clearly painted on their hulls. Footage circulating on social media and purportedly shot inside the checkpoint building showed Russian passports scattered on the floor, a portrait of Vladimir Putin hanging on the wall and a dead border guard.

Story by Jon Jackson

Rail traffic was suspended between two major Crimean cities following a Thursday train derailment that railway officials blamed on "interference by outsiders."

On Friday, an intelligence update from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense said a major consequence of the rail suspension was that it disrupted "deliveries of supplies and potentially also weaponry, such as Kalibr cruise missiles," to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said regaining the peninsula is one of his country's objectives in the war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022. Crimea has also been the site of numerous attacks in recent weeks, including multiple drone strikes on the region's largest city, Sevastopol.

The British Defense Ministry's intelligence update about the derailment noted that the incident highlights security concerns for Putin as he tries to maintain his hold on the peninsula.


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia fired 30 cruise missiles against different parts of Ukraine early Thursday in the latest nighttime test of Ukrainian air defenses, which shot down 29 of them, officials said. One person died and two were wounded by a Russian missile that got through and struck an industrial building in the southern region of Odesa, according to Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the region's military administration.

Amid the recently intensified Russian air assaults, China said its special envoy met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during talks in Kyiv earlier this week with Ukraine's chief diplomat. Beijing's peace proposal has so far yielded no apparent breakthrough in the war, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday that the warring parties needed to “accumulate mutual trust” for progress to be made.

Six infamous Dagger missiles were shot down by U.S. Patriot defenses in one incredible night that changes the calculus of Putin’s threat to Ukraine.
Marcel Plichta

Russian officials must be reeling in utter disbelief after Ukraine claimed six of their most sophisticated missiles were blasted out of the sky in an incredible night of drama over Kyiv. When Ukraine’s Defense Express outlet reported that just one Kh-47 “Dagger” missile had been shot down with a U.S.-made Patriot air defense system earlier this month, it prompted fury in Russia.

On Saturday, U.S. officials told CNN that the Russian missile attack on May 5 was targeting the Patriot itself. Russian officials called the interception “wishful thinking”—even as Ukrainian and U.S. officials made statements to the contrary. The Kremlin had believed these weapons were all but “unstoppable.”

Those Russian claims were left in disarray early Tuesday when a further six Kh-47s were reportedly shot down in a single night. In one of the most intense aerial assaults on the capital since the war began, Ukrainian air defenses took down 18 missiles that were targeting the city.

Story by Paul D. Shinkman

The Kremlin on Monday attempted to downplay an explosive new report suggesting Wagner Group mercenary leader Yevegeny Prigozhin told a Ukrainian intelligence service that he would give them the positions of Russian troops in exchange for withdrawing from the besieged city of Bakhmut.

“It looks like another duck,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, employing a Russian idiom for a hoax or a media stunt, lamenting that a “respected news organization” would buy into it. But, ultimately, he declined to comment on the substance of the report.

Peskov faced questions about the damning story in The Washington Post, based on recent U.S. intelligence assessments leaked through the online gaming platform Discord, that detailed Prigozhin’s machinations, apparently in an attempt to bolster his forces’ position around the strategic city in eastern Ukraine.

Story by insider@insider.com (Mia Jankowicz)

Ukraine says it has shot down an unprecedented six Russian Kinzhal missiles over Kyiv early Tuesday, amid a fierce bombardment from land, sea and air. Officials said on Tuesday that air defenses had repelled an intense array of missiles and drones overnight in a startling defense against the Kinzhal, a weapon that Putin has touted as unstoppable.

The Kinzhal is capable of carrying a nuclear payload, but in the conflict so far has delivered powerful conventional strikes on Ukrainian targets instead. The claimed feat comes days after Ukraine said it took down a single Kinzhal for the first time, using the Patriot missile-defense system it was recently given by the US.

According to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's army, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, six Russian MiG-31K jets launched the  Kinzhal missiles overnight. He said a further nine Kalibr cruise missiles were shot down after being launched from the Black Sea, as well as three land-based S-400, Iskander-M missiles, in a post that was echoed by Ukraine's Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk.

Story by Альона Сонько

The head of the logistical support unit of the 501st Separate Marine Infantry Battalion reportedly changed allegiance and defected to the enemy.

The department recalled that at the time, Russian propagandists spread falsehoods claiming that Ukrainian military personnel voluntarily surrendered in the besieged Mariupol.

In reality, the marine infantry leader conspired with the Russians and effectively convinced the commander to surrender. The traitor urged the commander to cease defensive actions, surrender weapons, and personnel. The 277 battalion servicemen were given orders for relocation, but in fact, they were transferred to the so-called “DPR” (Donetsk People’s Republic).

“The military personnel were deceived, and thus, they were not aware and could not comprehend the unlawful nature of the order or directive to surrender in captivity,” the bureau said.

Story by sbaker@insider.com (Sinéad Baker)

Russian soldiers who have taken over military positions in Bakhmut from Wagner troops have quickly abandoned them out of fear, a Ukrainian officer told The Times of London.

The head of intelligence for Ukraine's 228th Battalion, who goes by the call sign "Zulu," said Ukraine's efforts have been aided by soldiers from the traditional Russian military taking over from the mercenary force.

"As soon as Wagner left and the regular Russian troops stepped in, they abandoned their positions," he said, adding: "The Wagner fighters would hold positions until the very end. Many of them were prisoners, right? So they knew it was either fight or go back to prison."

The Wagner Group, which has thousands of mercenary fighters and prisoners serving in Ukraine, has spearheaded Russia's efforts to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The battle is considered the longest and bloodiest of the war to date.

Story by By REUTERS

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia's Wagner private militia, on Monday dismissed a report in the Washington Post, sourced to a US intelligence leak, that he had offered to reveal the position of Russian troops to the Ukrainian government, and the Kremlin called it a "hoax."

Wagner's soldiers have been at the forefront of a bloody Russian offensive to take the city of Bakhmut.

The Post reported that Prigozhin in January offered to tell Ukrainian intelligence the positions of Russian forces, with which his militia has frequently been at loggerheads, in exchange for Ukraine pulling back from the area. The paper said Ukraine had rejected the offer.

Story by Milla

Ron DeSantis, a likely candidate for the president in 2024, appears to be pandering to Trump’s MAGA crowds as Florida’s governor joined the Pro-Russian propaganda.

DeSantis declared that US support for Ukraine is not a “vital” national interest, which enraged many Republican senators.

Republican Senators Vs. DeSantis
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke to CNN, explaining that if Putin isn’t stopped, this will go further, and adding, “To say this doesn’t matter is to say that war crimes don’t matter,”

Sen. John Cornyn from Texas also wanted answers. He stated, “Gov. DeSantis is a veteran. He’s a smart guy. I think he’s a been a very good governor, and I don’t understand him saying that Ukraine isn’t important to the United States.”

Sen. Marco Rubio said in a radio interview, “It’s not a territorial dispute in the sense that any more than it would be a territorial dispute if the United States decided that it wanted to invade Canada or take over the Bahamas.”

By Dan Peleschuk

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's military on Monday hailed recent advances around Bakhmut as its first successful counterattack in the battle against Russian forces fighting for control of the eastern city.

But Kyiv also said the situation in Bakhmut was difficult. It cautioned that Moscow had not changed its goal of capturing the city and was sending assault troops to Bakhmut's outskirts.

The Ukrainian military said last week it had started to push Russian forces back in and around Bakhmut after months of heavy fighting, and Moscow acknowledged that its forces had fallen back north of the city.

Story by Zeleb.es

Here's what we actually know about the situation
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are on the march again and recapturing territory around Bakhmut in a new offensive that has seen Russian positions crumbling and Wagner mercenaries running for their lives.  

The surprise offensive
Operational security around the surprise offensive has been tight but both sides have slowly released more and more information on the situation around the embattled Bakhmut, and isn’t looking good for Russia.

Story by Shane Harris, Isabelle Khurshudyan

In late January, with his mercenary forces dying by the thousands in a fight for the ruined city of Bakhmut, Wagner Group owner Yevgeniy Prigozhin made Ukraine an extraordinary offer.

Prigozhin said that if Ukraine’s commanders withdrew their soldiers from the area around Bakhmut, he would give Kyiv information on Russian troop positions, which Ukraine could use to attack them. Prigozhin conveyed the proposal to his contacts in Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, with whom he has maintained secret communications during the course of the war, according to previously unreported U.S. intelligence documents leaked on the group-chat platform Discord.

Prigozhin has publicly feuded with Russian military commanders, who he furiously claims have failed to equip and resupply his forces, which have provided vital support to Moscow’s war effort. But he is also an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who might well regard Prigozhin’s offer to trade the lives of Wagner fighters for Russian soldiers as a treasonous betrayal.

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

When Ukrainians shot down a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile last week, they used a Patriot defense system donated by the United States to destroy the munition that had been "wreaking havoc" on their military. But officials on Friday told CNN the defense system itself was the target of the attack — and the Patriot expertly defended itself.

In their first known successful intercept of a Kinzhal missile, Ukrainian forces fired at the Russian warhead from multiple directions using the Patriot system, one official told CNN, "demonstrating how quickly they have become adept at using the powerful system," which was delivered to the country last month.

A representative for the Pentagon, in an email to Insider, referred to Department of Defense spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder's press briefing on Tuesday, which confirmed Ukrainians "did down a Russian missile by employing the Patriot missile defense system" — but did not specify whether it was a Kinzhal — or "Killjoy" — missile.

Story by mloh@insider.com (Matthew Loh)

An unknown saboteur broke into a Russian airfield and set fire to a supersonic jet, and the local authorities didn't know it happened until they found out on social media, per reports from independent Russian media.

Footage of the burning aircraft emerged on Monday on the Telegram channel for the Freedom of Russia Legion, a Ukrainian organization that consists of military defectors from Russia and Belarus.

The damaged jet, a Su-24 model, was stationed near the town of Novosibirsk, Siberia, according to the Telegram post. Novosibirsk is some 2,000 miles east of the frontline in Ukraine. The post said the bomber jet was slated for repairs, and blamed "unknown partisans" for the attack.

Story by Sébastien Roblin

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been tough on Russia’s inventory ground attack aircraft, with photos confirming at least 60 of its Sukhoi bombers and attack jets destroyed or heavily damaged by early May 2020. And a recent incident suggests even those deployed thousands of miles away from Ukraine may still be in the line of fire.

On May 8, just prior to Russia’s Victory Day holiday, saboteurs filmed themselves setting fire to one Su-24 supersonic bomber parked near some woods by the Sukhoi aircraft factory at Novosibirsk—located 1,800 miles east of Ukraine in Siberia. The Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association Plant there is engaged in producing the Su-24’s successor, the Su-34 Fullback bomber.

Story by nmusumeci@insider.com (Natalie Musumeci)

The boss of the notorious Russian paramilitary Wagner Group said that some of the Kremlin's forces "abandoned their positions" and ran away from the frontlines of Moscow's war with Ukraine.

In a video published to Telegram on Tuesday, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin mocked the Russian troops as he detailed how they ran from their positions near the war-torn Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

"So today, one of the units of the Ministry of Defense fled from one of our flanks, abandoned their positions," Prigozhin said. "They all fled and opened up a front almost two kilometers [1.24 miles] wide and 500 meters [1,640 feet] deep."

Russia launched its biggest swarm of drones for months against Ukraine today after Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Russia will be defeated 'as Nazism was' on the eve of Moscow's dialed-down Victory Day parades. Officials said attacks hit cities including Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Odesa ahead of the May 9 victory day commemoration tomorrow, a symbolically important holiday for President Vladimir Putin. In Kyiv, the city's mayor said Russia had fired 60 Iranian-made kamikaze drones at Ukrainian targets, including 36 at the capital, all of which had been shot down. Debris hit apartments and other buildings, injuring at least five people.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Russian invaders continued to focus their primary efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka fronts, and Russia carried out about 30 attacks during the day.

Source: General staff on Facebook

Details: During the day, Russia has launched 11 missile strikes and 59 air strikes on Ukraine, carrying out 76 attacks from multiple-launch rocket systems. Civilians were injured, private residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed and damaged.

The probability of missile and air strikes throughout Ukraine remains high. Russia continues to focus its primary efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka fronts – Russia made about 30 attacks. Heavy battles are continuing for the cities of Bakhmut and Marinka.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

On the Tavriia front, the Russian invaders focused their primary efforts on carrying out positional defence, preventing Ukrainian troops from securing the islands at the mouth of the Dnipro River and the loss of control over the held frontiers and logistics routes in the occupied territories.

Russia keeps two operational groups of troops in the border areas of its Bryansk and Kursk oblasts. They are reportedly doing this to prevent the deployment of Ukrainian forces to areas of active hostilities.

Story by Marc Santora, Eric Schmitt and John Ismay

An American-made Patriot air-defense missile successfully intercepted one of the most sophisticated conventional weapons in Russia’s arsenal for the first time over Kyiv on Thursday night, the Ukrainian air force claimed on Saturday.

The downing of a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile by a Patriot missile, confirmed by three senior U.S. officials, appeared to offer the first proof that Russia’s hypersonic missiles — presented as invulnerable by President Vladimir V. Putin — could be defeated by current Western missile defense systems.

“I congratulate the Ukrainian people on a historic event,” Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app. “Yes, we have shot down the ‘unparalleled’ ‘Kinzhal.’”

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Andrii Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, has reported that 45 Ukrainian defenders were brought back from Russian captivity.

Source: Yermak on Telegram

Quote: "42 men and three women who defended Azovstal [steel plant in Mariupol - ed.].

All of them are fighters of the National Guard’s regiment, created nine years ago on the Azov Sea coast.

Story by Stephanie Whiteside

(NewsNation) — The Drug Enforcement Agency on Friday announced the results of an operation targeting fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking driven by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. Operation Last Mile was a yearlong operation targeting cartel-driven drug trafficking within the U.S.

“The results of this operation – over 3,000 arrests and the seizure of almost 44 million fentanyl pills – demonstrate the Justice Department’s unrelenting commitment to working with our state and local partners to keep fentanyl out of our communities and save American lives,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Story by Gideon Rubin

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ performative ongoing feud with Disney reflects the breach of an “uneasy truce” between politicians and corporations that served a purpose, Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle contends.

“Sure, if politicians threatened a firm’s bottom line, the business would fight back. But there were limits: Companies tended to conduct these battles politely, for fear of offending regulators who held a great deal of power over them, or customers who might disagree with them,” McArdle writes.

“And they did not pick fights on matters that didn’t directly affect their profits.”

The truce started crumbling around a decade ago, McCardle writes, noting Florida's dispute with Disney over culture issues follows a corporate boycott of Indiana over a religious freedom law that LGBTQ+ advocates argued was discriminatory, and Delta’s withdrawal of group discounts to the NRA and CEO’s signing open letters in protest of new laws imperiling reproductive rights, among other disagreements between business and political leaders.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Republic of Belarus has introduced a temporary border control on the border with Russia.

Source: Belarusian newspaper Zerkalo with reference to sources and hotline of the State Border Committee of Belarus

Details: According to the publication’s sources, a border checkpoint is being established between Russia and Belarus on the M1 highway near the border.

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