– Ukrainian forces counterattack –
Ukrainian forces counterattack in the south, claiming to have pushed back Russian troops in Kherson, the only region fully controlled by Russian forces.
“Kherson, hold on. We’re close!” Ukraine’s general staff tweet.
Kherson, which borders Crimea, was taken by Russian forces in March and Moscow-backed officials in the region have recently pushed for annexation.
– Severodonetsk ‘destroyed’ –
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says constant Russian bombardment has devastated the eastern city of Severodonetsk, which is now a major focus of Moscow’s forces.
“All critical infrastructure has already been destroyed… More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock has been completely destroyed,” he says in his daily address.
– Zelensky sacks Kharkiv security chief –
Visiting the war-torn east for the first time since the Russian invasion, Zelensky says he has sacked the Kharkiv’s security chief “for not working to defend the city from the first days of the full-scale war, but thinking only of himself”.
Zelensky’s office posts a video on Telegram of him wearing a bulletproof vest and being shown heavily destroyed buildings in Kharkiv and its surroundings.
– ‘NATO has right to deploy in east’ –
NATO is no longer bound by past commitments to hold back from deploying its forces in eastern Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Deputy General Secretary Mircea Geoana says.
Moscow has “voided of any content” the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, under which both sides agreed to work to prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe.
“Now we have no restrictions to have robust posture in the eastern flank and to ensure that every square inch of NATO’s territory is protected by Article 5 and our allies,” he says.
– Lavrov denies Putin is ill –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denies speculation that President Vladimir Putin is ill, saying there are no signs pointing to any ailment.
Putin’s health and private life are taboo subjects in Russia, and are almost never discussed in public.
Answering a question from France’s broadcaster TF1, Russia’s top diplomat says: “I don’t think that sane people can see in this person signs of some kind of illness or ailment,” adding that Putin appears in public “every day”.
– Germany OKs $107 bn fund to modernise military –
Germany’s government and conservative opposition agree on an amendment to the constitution to allow the creation of a special 100 billion euro ($107 billion) fund to modernise the army in the face of the Russian threat.
The deal will allow Berlin to achieve NATO’s target of spending two percent of GDP on defence “on average over several years”, according to the text of the agreement obtained by AFP.
– Russian onslaught in eastern Ukraine –
Russia says it has captured the strategic town of Lyman and claims to have surrounded the urban centre of Severodonetsk, as it wages an all-out war for the eastern Donbas — Ukraine’s industrial heartland.
But a Ukrainian official denies the claim that Severodonetsk has been encircled, saying government troops had repelled Russian forces from the outskirts of the key city.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter