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Kyiv’s troops forced back by intense fighting in eastern Ukraine

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Kyiv’s troops have been forced back amid intense fighting in eastern Ukraine as Putin’s soldiers advanced along the frontline.

Oleksandr Syrsky, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said troops had fallen back to new positions west of Berdychi and Semenivka, both north of Avdiivka.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday its forces taken over the village of Novobakhmutivka, near Berdychi, but Ukraine’s military has not commented on the claim.

“In general, the enemy achieved certain tactical successes in these areas, but could not gain operational advantages,” Syrsky said.

It comes as Russia targeted a hotel housing “English-speaking mercenaries” fighting in Ukraine, Russian state media claimed.

Russian troops used an Iranian-made Shahed drone to attack the hotel in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, which was left heavily damaged and set ablaze.

The region’s governor Vitaly Kim said: “The enemy attacked the city with an unmanned aerial vehicle of the ‘Shahed-131/136’ type.

“As a result, a hotel building was heavily damaged, a fire broke out, which was quickly extinguished. There are no casualties.”

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Russian journalists jailed on ‘extremism’ charges for alleged Navalny group work

Two journalists have been arrested in Russia on charges of “extremism” amid claims from the Kremlin they were connected to groups founded by late Russian politician and freedom fighter Alexei Navalny.

Journalists Konstantin Gabov and Sergey Karelin both denied the charges of alleged “participation in an extremist organisation” with a penalty of six years in jail.

They are just the latest media personnel targeted amid a government crackdown on dissent and independent media that has intensified after the invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

The Russian government passed laws criminalising what it deems as false information about the military, or statements seen as discrediting the military, effectively outlawing any criticism of the war in Ukraine or speech that deviates from the official narrative.

Forbes magazine Russian journalist Sergei Mingazov was also arrested on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mr Gabov and Mr Karelin are accused of preparing materials for a YouTube channel run by Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which Russian authorities have outlawed.

Russian journalist Konstantin Gabov (AP)
Russian journalist Sergey Karelin (AP)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 April 2024 07:23

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Ukraine pulls US-provided Abrams tanks from the front lines over Russian drone threats

Alexander Butler29 April 2024 07:00

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Ukraine spy agency says Telegram platform blocks its key bots

Ukraine’s military spy agency GUR said that the management of the Telegram messaging platform has blocked a number of official bots that opposed Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

“Today, the management of the Telegram platform unreasonably blocked a number of official bots that opposed Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, including the main Intelligence bot,” GUR said in a statement posted on the Telegram.

“Despite the blocking of our bot – your personal data is safe.”

Ukrainian servicemen of the 22nd Brigade ride a buggy on a road near Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, on 27 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine (AFP via Getty Images)

Telegram’s press service did not immediately reply to Reuters’ request to comment.

A bot is a software application that can run on its own following instructions and is programmed to perform certain tasks. It can mimic conversation with people, among others, or collect content.

The Dubai-based Telegram messaging app, one of the most popular social media platforms, was founded by Russian-born Pavel Durov, who left Russia in 2014 after he refused to comply with government demands to shut down opposition communities on another social media platform, which he had sold.

After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has become a tool for both governments and a go-to place for posting and accessing unfiltered information about the war.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 06:45

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Ukraine-born Congresswoman votes against aid for homeland

US representative Victoria Spartz, the first and only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, emerged early on as a natural advocate for supporting her native country in its war with Russia.

But when $61bn in additional support for the war effort came up for a vote in the House recently, she voted against it.

Instead she has called for better oversight of US funds and opposed giving “blank checks” to the Ukrainian cause. She says US border security should be a bigger priority.

That puts her more in line with conservative House Republicans and more notably with voters in her deeply conservative central Indiana congressional district. She’s locked in a tough reelection fight in the 7 May GOP primary, made all the more complicated by her public announcement more than a year ago that she wouldn’t seek another term, a decision she later reversed.

The aid package, part of a larger bill that also included assistance for Israel, Taiwan and other global hot spots, was approved by the House on 20 April, the Senate on Tuesday and signed into law by president Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Ms Spartz said she is “kind of appalled” at the notion that her heritage should dictate support for the Ukrainian cause if she feels the money would be wasted.“My responsibility is the protection of American people,” she said during a recent interview.

Ms Spartz beat a crowded 2020 primary field with Donald Trump’s endorsement, winning nearly 40 per cent of the vote. She ran unopposed in the 2022 primary.

She made things harder for herself when she announced in early 2023 that she would not run again, citing fatigue with Washington politics and her desire to spend more time with her family. She also threatened to resign if the national debt was not addressed.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 06:30

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Two Ukrainians killed in Germany

Two Ukrainian men died after they were fatally stabbed at a shopping centre in Germany, said the local police.The deceased, aged 36 and 23, were military personnel undergoing medical rehabilitation, said Ukraine’s foreign ministry.

The identity of the victims was withheld as per local laws.

The local authorities have arrested a Russian national as they investigate the murder, police said.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 06:15

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No way back for UK and Putin after Ukraine invasion, David Cameron says

No way back for UK and Putin after Ukraine invasion, David Cameron says

There is “no way back” for the UK and Vladimir Putin’s relationship, David Cameron has said. When pressed on a time when he took the Russian president to watch judo competitions at the Olympics in London during his time as prime minister, Lord Cameron said he thought it was right to “try and see if we could build more of a relationship”, but ties ultimately broke down because of Russia’s actions in Syria and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It comes as the UK was accused of helping Moscow “pay for its war” in Ukraine by importing record amounts of refined oil from countries processing Russian fossil fuels.

Alexander Butler29 April 2024 06:00

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Russia launches fresh missile barrage across Ukraine

“The enemy again massively shelled Ukrainian energy facilities,” said DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private electricity company, adding that four of its six thermal power plants had suffered damage on Saturday night.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 05:45

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Zelensky issues fresh plea for timely weapons deliveries as Ukraine loses ground

President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a fresh plea to international partners to speed arms deliveries as Ukraine pulled back forces to new positions west of three villages on the eastern front.

He said he spoke with US House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries yesterday and “underscored that Patriot systems are needed, and as soon as possible.

”Ukraine is currently expecting a long-awaited shipment of US military aid which officials say is critical to holding off Russia’s two-year-old invasion. Mr Zelensky said Ukrainian and US teams were working on a “specific text” of a 10-year security agreement that would include weapons and other support.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky arrives for talks with Lithuania’s President at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 11 April 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters this week that Russia was conducting airstrikes on Ukrainian rail lines to disrupt the delivery of US weapons to the front and to complicate military logistics.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 05:30

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Ukraine pulls back from three villages in east

Ukraine’s outnumbered troops have fallen back to new positions west of three villages on the eastern front, said Kyiv’s top commander yesterday.

The statement by Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi reflected Ukraine’s deteriorating position in the east that Kyiv hopes it can stabilise once it takes delivery of US weapons under a $61bn aid package approved this week.

“The situation at the front has worsened,” he wrote on the Telegram app, describing the “most difficult” areas as west of occupied Maryinka and northwest of Avdiivka, the town captured by Russian forces in February.

Mr Syrskyi said Kyiv’s troops had taken up new positions west of the villages of Berdychi and Semenivka, both north of Avdiivka, and Novomykhailivka, further south near the town of Maryinka.

“In general, the enemy achieved certain tactical successes in these areas, but could not gain operational advantages,” he said, adding that Russia had committed four brigades to the assault.

Freshly rested Ukrainian brigades were being rotated in those areas to replace units that had suffered losses, he said.

His statement did not mention the status of Novobakhmutivka, another village near Berdychi, that Russia’s defence ministry yesterday said its forces had captured.

Namita Singh29 April 2024 05:15

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Alexander Butler29 April 2024 05:00

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