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Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv troops say defensive lines ‘barely exist’ – live updates



Drone footage shows devastation in Ukrainian city after Russian artillery pounding

Russia has pushed Ukraine onto the back foot on the battlefield as Kyiv grapples with shortages of troops and ammunition.

Outnumbered Ukrainian soldiers are being forced to pull back, one village after another, as intense fighting roils the countryside surrounding Avdiivka nearly three months after the strategic city fell to Russia.

Ukrainian forces are now racing to build more defensive fortifications at places along the around 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line.

The sting for Ukraine is sharpened after Russia launched an exhibition on Wednesday which proudly displays over 30 captured military vehicles from Ukraine, including US and UK-made, since the invasion began.

The exhibition was unveiled on Russia’s International Workers’ Day and will be open for a month for visitors.

It comes as a Russian ballistic missile struck a postal depot in the Ukrainian port of Odesa late on Wednesday, injuring 14 people and triggering a large fire, regional governor Oleh Kiper said.

Pictures and a video posted online showed flames and billowing clouds of smoke engulfing buildings and firefighters training their hoses on areas still ablaze. Most of the loading area appeared to have been reduced to a shell.


Investigation: The Independent reveals hundreds of Ukrainians with disabilities vanished into Russia

Hailed by the UN’s former special rapporteur on rights of persons with disabilities as “an important step in a wider debate” on the topic, the 18-month special investigation reveals that hundreds of disabled Ukrainians, including children, are feared to have been forcibly removed to Russian-held territory and into Russia itself.

In many instances, people have been held incommunicado, in squalid conditions and even forced into adopting Russian passports in order to secure treatment or care.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 16:15


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Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 15:41


Ukraine war not likely to end anytime soon, says top US spy

Russia is likely to press its aggressive tactics in its war in Ukraine but the conflict is unlikely to end anytime soon, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Thursday.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia has stepped up attacks on Ukraine‘s infrastructure to hamper Kyiv’s ability to move weapons and troops to the front and slow its defense production.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 15:10


Russian guided bombs injure six children in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Russian guided bombs struck civilian infrastructure and private houses in Ukraine‘s northeastern Kharkiv region, injuring at least six children and one adult, local officials said.

The town of Derhachi, a frequent site of Russian aerial strikes, came under another attack on Thursday.

“Two of the children received minor injuries to their limbs, and four – moderate injuries,” regional governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.

Kharkiv, which lies about 30 km (18 miles) from the border with Russia, and the surrounding region have long been targeted by Russian attacks but the strikes have become more intense in recent months, hitting civilian and energy infrastructure.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 14:47


Russia says it sees no point in Ukraine peace talks in Switzerland

Russia said on Thursday it saw no point in a conference being planned by Switzerland in mid-June to discuss how to end the Ukraine conflict and to which Moscow is not currently invited.

The Swiss government said on Thursday that “at this stage” Russia is not among the dozens of countries invited, adding that while it was open to including Russia, Moscow had repeatedly underlined it had no interest.

Switzerland in January said it would host the summit at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not see it as a credible initiative.

“We don’t understand what kind of milestone it is, this peace conference,” he told reporters. “What kind of conference can we talk about, what kind of serious conference with serious expectations of some kind of results, without the participation of Russia?

“This is completely impossible, and it is clear that this is some kind of initiative that is not focused on results,” he said.

The Swiss government said in a statement, “A peace process without Russia is not possible.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 14:15


A 98-year-old Ukraine woman says she walked 10km under fire to escape Russians

A 98-year-old Ukrainian woman said she walked 10 kilometres under shelling, supporting herself with sticks and sleeping on the ground, leaving an area of the country now occupied by Russia to try and reach areas controlled by Kyiv.

In a video posted by Ukraine’s police on social media on Monday, seen below, the woman, identified as Lidia Stepanivna, said she had walked without food or water and fell several times, but her “character” kept her going.

“I survived that war (Second World War), and I am surviving this war,” Stepanivna said in the video, which shows her sitting on a bed in a shelter, dressed in an oversized coat and a scarf tied on her head, a wooden stick still in her hand. “I’m left with nothing. But I left my Ukraine on feet.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 12:57


No safety in retreat: Ukrainian soldiers say rear defensive lines barely exist amid Russian advance

During pitched battles with far better-armed Russian forces, Ukrainian soldier Batyar’s unit has few options.

Devastating Russian aerial glide bombs that can drop up to 1.5 tons of explosives out of range of most of Ukraine’s air defenses are gnawing away at his men’s positions in a new tactic.

Yet, to retreat carries no promise of safety — the rear defensive lines meant to give them cover barely exist, he said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 12:27


Russia used 300 missiles, 300 drones, 3,200 guided bombs in April against Ukraine, Zelensky says

Russia used more than 300 missiles, around 300 Shahed-type drones and over 3,200 guided bombs in April attacks on Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

“Only force can stop this terror — the force of our people, the force of the unity of the world, the force of pressure on Russia, the force of air defence systems provided to Ukraine, the force of our soldiers who hold the front line,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram messaging app.

This spring, Russia has intensified its strikes on Ukraine‘s civilian and energy infrastructure as Kyiv awaited additional help from its allies and its air defences were stretched thin. Moscow says it strikes only legitimate military targets.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 11:59


Dmitry Peskov says US accusation about chemical weapons is ‘absolutely unfounded’

Commenting on the US accusation that Russia breached a global ban by using chemical weapons against Ukrainian troops, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “As always, such announcements are absolutely unfounded and are not supported by anything.

“Russia has been and remains committed to its obligations under international law in this area.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 11:25


Russia proposes UN resolution on banning weapons in space, after vetoing similar UN-Japan draft

Russia has circulated a U.N. resolution calling on all countries to take urgent action to prevent putting weapons in outer space “for all time” a week after it vetoed a U.S.-Japan resolution to stop an arms race in space.

The Russian draft resolution, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, goes further than the U.S.-Japan proposal, not only calling for efforts to stop weapons from being deployed in outer space but for preventing “the threat or use of force in outer space,” also “for all time.”

It says this should include deploying weapons “from space against Earth, and from Earth against objects in outer space.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 May 2024 10:59

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