Ukraine Defenses Are Outnumbered And Outgunned In Country’s East

Ukraine Defenses Are Outnumbered And Outgunned In Country’s East

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1 hr 8 min agoUkraine claims it shot down Russian fighter over southern region of Kherson From Tim Lister and Victoria Butenko

The Ukrainian air force says one of its planes shot down a Russian Su-35 fighter over the southern region of Kherson on Friday.

It posted on Facebook that “at about 2 pm, a MiG-29 fighter of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian Su-35 fighter in the sky over Kherson region.”

While the Ukrainian air force contingent of Mig-29 fighters is aging, the arrival of spare parts from other countries allowed it to field more of the combat jets than it had before the Russian invasion, according to US officials. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense regularly claims that Ukrainian combat planes have been shot down, and the Ukrainian air force’s current combat capability is difficult to gauge.

The Su-35 is a more capable and modern aircraft but the Russian air force has suffered some attrition of its fleet since the invasion began. 

1 hr 10 min ago22 million tons of grain on hold as Russia blocks Ukrainian ports, Zelensky saysFrom CNN’s Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

A grain silo in the town of Sivers’k in the eastern Donbas region was destroyed by Russian shelling on May 25. The region has been under heavy attack. (Alex Chan/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/AP)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said nearly half of Ukraine’s grain export supply is currently held up as Russia continues to block the country’s main export routes through the Black Sea and Azov Sea, calling the situation a potential “catastrophe” for global food security.

Addressing an Indonesian foreign policy think tank in an online forum Friday, Zelensky said, “22 million tons of grain are kept in silos today. We cannot supply them to international markets where they are needed at this very point in time.”

The Ukrainian president also said the UN estimates that famine might affect additional 50 million people this year were a “conservative” estimate, implying that the number of those affected will be greater. 

“Famine doesn’t come alone, it is always accompanied by political chaos that exacerbates the situation, ruins people’s lives, creating unsafe conditions for ordinary people,” he said. “In July, when many countries will exhaust their stock of last year’s harvest, it will become obvious the catastrophe is truly coming.”The Ukrainian president also accepted an invitation to attend G20 Summit in Indonesia in November. He urged the hosts to include “only friendly nations,” implying Russia should be excluded from the summit in Bali.

1 hr 49 min ago”Fierce defense” of Severodonetsk underway with 90% of housing damaged, local military official saysFrom CNN’s Nathan Hodge

Smoke and dirt rise from the city of Severodonetsk, during shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on May 26. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)About 90% of the city’s housing stock had been damaged amid a “fierce defense” of the town, a local military official in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk said Friday.

The city “held out through the night” under heavy Russian attack, Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the Severodonetsk military administration, said in a radio interview. But he acknowledged that Russian forces were continuing to press the offensive.

“Yesterday the fighting took place at the entrance to the city,” he said. “Our military managed to stop the vanguard of the Orcs [a pejorative Ukrainian term for Russian troops] who were trying to break into the city. Severodonetsk is in fierce defense. The enemy is located on two-thirds of the city’s perimeter, but the city is not surrounded.”The city had seen widespread destruction, Striuk said. 

“The Azot (Nitrogen) chemical plant is being shelled,” he said. “There are dead among the civilian population and among employees of the enterprise. Ninety percent of the housing stock is damaged, 60% will have to be rebuilt.”

Striuk said a Russian force that entered a hotel on the north of the city was expelled by Ukrainian forces, a claim that could not be immediately verified. Ukrainian officials previously said the hotel was not under their control. 

4 hr 7 min agoIt’s 3 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to knowRussian forces are intensifying attacks in eastern Ukraine as they try to break down stubborn Ukrainian defenses — which Ukrainian officials admit are outnumbered and outgunned. Meanwhile, in a new report, legal experts accuse Russia of inciting genocide and intending to “destroy” Ukrainian people.

Here’s the latest on Russia’s war in Ukraine:

Frozen negotiations: Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are currently frozen, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, as he accused Kyiv of making “contradictory” statements that Moscow does not understand.Report accuses Russia of genocide: Russia’s actions in Ukraine provide enough evidence to conclude that Moscow is inciting genocide and committing atrocities intended to destroy the Ukrainian people, according to an independent legal report, signed by more than 30 leading legal scholars and genocide experts.UK calls for more military support: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was making “slow” but “palpable” progress in the Donbas and urged more military support for Ukraine, such as the provision of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.No agreement on maritime corridors: A Ukrainian official said that “maritime humanitarian corridors” announced earlier this week by the Russian military had not been agreed by Ukraine and accused Russia of trying to shift blame on Ukraine for a global food crisis in “another lie.”Heavy fighting in Luhansk: Ukrainian officials reported continued heavy fighting in the Luhansk region, with a local military chief describing “fierce battles” for the city of Severodonetsk. Officials also described heavy shelling around Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk, saying Russian forces had set the police station in Lysychansk on fire and damaged about 50 buildings in the area.Russian bombardment: Ukraine’s armed forces on Thursday acknowledged that Russian troops have made further advances in the eastern Donetsk region — capturing one district within 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) of the important town of Bakhmut. Ukrainian officials say that in recent days, the Russians have combined short-range ballistic missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, heavy artillery and tanks in a remorseless bombardment of towns and cities in Luhansk and Donetsk regions still under Ukrainian control. Several officials describe the situation as “very difficult” and admit Ukrainian units may have to fall back in some places.Deadly attacks: Nine people were killed and 19 others injured in the northeastern city of Kharkiv on Thursday amid “dense shelling” of residential areas, according to a Ukrainian military official. Ukrainian forces were “holding their positions firmly and there is no question about possible seizure of Kharkiv city,” the official said.Removed to Russia: Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been processed through a series of Russian “filtration camps” in eastern Ukraine and sent into Russia as part of a systemized program of forced removal, according to four sources familiar with the latest Western

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