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    By ADAM SCHRECK KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A series of explosions rocked the eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv early Saturday, sending towering plumes of illuminated smoke in the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions. The blasts came as Russia concentrated attacks Friday in its increasingly troubled invasion of Ukraine on areas it illegally annexed, while the death toll from earlier missile strikes on apartment buildings in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 14. It was not immediately clear what caused the Kharkiv blasts or what was hit. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia concentrated attacks Friday in its increasingly troubled invasion of Ukraine on areas it illegally annexed as the death toll from earlier missile strikes on apartment buildings in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 14. In a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his conduct of Europe’s worst armed conflict since World War II, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to human rights organizations in his country and Ukraine, and...
    The Russian military has established 10 torture sites in the eastern city of Izium, Ukraine, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Torture is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Eight men died killed under torture in Russian custody, the AP wrote. All but one were civilians. Russian forces captured Andriy Kotsar, tied him up, and threw him for several days in a trench covered with wooden boards. They beat his legs and arms and smashed his knees with a hammer. They then took his ID and passport so that he would find it hard to prove his identity, get help, or escape. Russian forces captured him two more times after that. The torture was worse both times, Kotsar said. “Russian torture in Izium was arbitrary, widespread, and absolutely routine for both civilians and soldiers throughout the city,” the Associated Press investigation found. The torture included waterboarding and electrocution, among other pain-inducing methods. Mykola Mosyaky, a 38-year-old Ukrainian soldier, was handcuffed, thrown in a pit of dirty water, and hung by the wrists until his skin went numb. “They beat me...
    SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian military personnel are fortifying their positions around the eastern city of Sloviansk in expectation of a fresh Russian attempt to seize the strategic point in the fiercely fought-over Donetsk region. As heavy ground fighting continues on the front line only miles to the east, southeast and north of Sloviansk, members of the Dnipro-1 Regiment are digging in after a week of relative calm. The last Russian strike on the city occurred on July 30. While the lull provided Sloviansk’s remaining residents a reprieve after regular shellings between April and July, some unit members say it could be a prelude to renewed attacks. “I think it won’t be calm for long. Eventually, there will be an assault,” Col. Yurii Bereza, the head of the volunteer national guard regiment, told The Associated Press on Friday, adding that he expected the area to get “hot” in the coming days. Sloviansk is considered a strategic target in Moscow’s ambitions to seize all of Donetsk province, a largely Russian-speaking area in eastern Ukraine where Russian forces and pro-Moscow...
    (CNN)When Vladimir Putin refocused his war in Ukraine on the country's east three months ago, he did so bruised by the failures of his initial lunge towards Kyiv and desperate for a face-saving success.After a slow and bloody march through Luhansk was finalized with the capture of the city of Lysychansk, the Russian President might consider himself halfway there. But the war has arrived at another crossroads and fighters on both sides are steeling themselves for a third act of fighting that could tip the balance of the conflict. "It's a very attritional struggle," said Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow for Airpower and Technology at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), describing the tone of the war after three months of fighting in Donbas."It's a struggle between two armies, both of whom have taken huge losses and are very close to exhaustion."Read MorePutin's next move is anticipated to be a drive into Donetsk, which if captured would fulfill the Kremlin's primary objective: overrunning the entire Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which has housed Russian-backed separatist factions since 2014. But...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian ammunition depot was apparently targeted by Ukrainian forces overnight, resulting in a massive blast captured on social media. The Ukrainian military’s southern command said the rocket strike targeted the depot in Russian-held Nova Kakhovka, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of the important Black Sea port city of Kherson, which is also occupied by Russian forces. Video on social media showed a massive explosion. The nature of the strike suggested that Ukrainian forces used U.S-supplied multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, to strike the area. Russia’s Tass news agency offered a different account, saying that the target was a mineral fertilizer storage facility that exploded, and that a market, hospital and houses were damaged. Some of the ingredients in fertilizer can be used for ammunition. Ukrainian authorities also said that Russian fire struck the southern city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday morning, hitting two medical facilities and residential buildings. Four people were wounded in the shelling attack, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram. Air raid sirens sounded early Tuesday...
    Russian forces are managing to 'raise true hell' in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland despite reports claiming they were taking an operational pause, a regional governor said Saturday. Another Ukrainian official urged people in Russian-occupied southern areas to evacuate quickly 'by all possible means' ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Deadly Russian shelling was reported in Ukraine's east and south. The governor of the eastern region of Luhansk, Serhyi Haidai, said Russia launched over 20 artillery, mortar and rocket strikes in the province overnight and its forces were pressing toward the border with the Donetsk region. 'We are trying to contain the Russians' armed formations along the entire front line,' Haidai wrote on Telegram. Last week, Russia captured the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk. Analysts predicted Moscow's troops likely would take some time to rearm and regroup. But 'so far, there has been no operational pause announced by the enemy. He is still attacking and shelling our lands with the same intensity as before,' Haidai said.  Lena, 58, reacts near her critically wounded during a...
    BAKHMUT, Ukraine (AP) — Torched forests and cities burned to the ground. Colleagues with severed limbs. Bombardments so relentless the only option is to lie in a trench, wait and pray. Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front lines in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region — where Russia is waging a fierce offensive — describe life during what has turned into a grueling war of attrition as apocalyptic. In interviews with The Associated Press, some complained of chaotic organization, desertions and mental health problems caused by relentless shelling. Others spoke of high morale, their colleagues’ heroism, and a commitment to keep fighting, even as the better-equipped Russians control more of the combat zone. Lt. Volodymyr Nazarenko, 30, second-in-command of the Ukrainian National Guard’s Svoboda Battalion, was with troops who retreated from Sievierodonetsk under orders from military leaders. During a month-long battle, Russian tanks obliterated any potential defensive positions and turned a city with a prewar population of 101,000 into “a burnt-down desert,” he said. “They shelled us every day. I do not want to lie about it. But these were...
    By OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI and FRANCESCA EBEL KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia claimed control Sunday over the last Ukrainian stronghold in an eastern province that is key to achieving a major goal of Moscow’s grinding war. The General Staff of Ukraine’s military reported that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk in Luhansk province, but the president said the fight for the city was still raging on its outskirts. If confirmed, Russia’s complete seizure of Luhansk would provide its troops with a stronger base from which to press their advance in the Donbas, a region of mines and factories that President Vladimir Putin is bent on capturing in a campaign that could determine the course of the entire war. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that Russia’s troops, with a local separatist militia, “have established full control over the city of Lysychansk” and now hold all of Luhansk, according to a ministry statement published Sunday. As is typical with such descriptions, the Russian statement characterized the victories as “the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic.” Separatists in Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk,...
    By OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI and FRANCESCA EBEL KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia claimed control Sunday over the last Ukrainian stronghold in an eastern province that is key to achieving a major goal of its grinding war. Ukraine’s General Staff of the military reported that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk in Luhansk province, but the president said the fight for the city was ongoing. If confirmed, Russia’s complete seizure of Luhansk would provide its forces a stronger base from which to press their advance in neighboring Donetsk province and bring them one step closer to achieving one of President Vladimir Putin’s major goals: capturing the entire Donbas. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that Russia’s troops, with members of a local separatist militia, “have established full control over the city of Lysychansk” and now hold all of Luhansk, according to a ministry statement published Sunday. As is typical with such descriptions, the Russian statement characterized the victories as “the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic.” Separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk, which make up the Donbas and have significant Russian-speaking populations,...
    By MARIA GRAZIA MURRU and FRANCESCA EBEL KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia claimed control Sunday of the last major Ukrainian-held city in one of two eastern provinces that have been the focus of Moscow’s grinding war. A Ukrainian official, however, denied Moscow’s control was complete. If confirmed, Russia’s claim that it seized the last stronghold of resistance in Luhansk province would bring its forces one step closer to achieving one of President Vladimir Putin’s major goals, capturing the entire Donbas, where a pivotal battle of the war is unfolding. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that Russia’s troops, together with members of a local separatist militia, “have established full control over the city of Lysychansk,” according to a ministry statement published Sunday. As is typical with such descriptions, the Russian statement said the seizure of the city marked “the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic,” one of two Ukrainian provinces that have declared their independence and are recognized by Moscow. The BBC quoted a Ukrainian military spokesman as denying Lysychansk was under full Russian control. Yuriy Sak told the BBC...
    KYIV, Ukarine (AP) — Russian forces are pounding the city of Lysychansk and its surroundings in an all-out attempt to seize the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, the governor said Saturday. Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces took control of an oil refinery on Lysychansk’s edge in recent days, but Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai reported Friday that fighting for the facility continued. “Over the last day, the occupiers opened fire from all available kinds of weapons,” Haidai said Saturday on the Telegram messaging app. Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk are the two provinces that make up the Donbas region, where Russia has focused its offensive since pulling back from the northern Ukraine and the capital, Kyiv, in the spring. Pro-Russia separatists have held portions of both provinces since 2014, and Moscow recognizes all of Luhansk and Donetsk as sovereign republics. Syria’s government said Wednesday that it would also recognize...
    RUSSIA launched 48 cruise missiles overnight on civilian targets across Ukraine in its latest terrifying attack.  Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak  said the attacks were “exclusively on civilian targets” and accused Russia of “trying to intimidate Ukraine”.  3Russia launched 48 missiles in one night towards civilians in UkraineCredit: Getty The neighbouring  eastern cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk faced the brunt of the attacks on Friday night. Mr Podolyak said: “Exclusively on civilian targets… Russia is still trying to intimidate Ukraine, cause panic and make people be afraid of Z-monsters… Ukraine knows everything and ready for anything. And it will punish for all the evil.” More attacks continued to reign down the city of Kharkiv as warmonger Vladimir Putin’s forces carried out a fresh round of heavy bombardment in numerous parts of Ukraine. The strikes hit military bases, civilian infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods including the north eastern village of Andriivka on Friday night. READ MORE UKRAINEANGELS OF DEATH Brit-led fighters blast Russian tank with missile in daring raid in UkrainePLANE INFERNO Four killed after Russian military plane crashes 'en route to Ukraine' The polytechnic...
    RUSSIAN military chiefs have removed several generals from key roles as their advance stalls. The move comes after Ukrainian forces were told to withdraw from the south-eastern city of Severodonetsk to regroup and limit casualties. 2Putin has purged Alexander Dvornikov following heavy losses in southern Ukraine Defence Intelligence, part of the MoD, said Gen-Col Andrei Serdyukov is likely out as Airborne Forces commander. Also gone is Alexandr Dvornikov, commander Southern Group of Forces General of the Army. He could be replaced by Sergei Surovikin — dogged by corruption and brutality claims in his 30-year career. Defence Intelligence said: “Since the start of June, the Russian high command has highly likely removed several Generals from key operational command roles.” READ MORE WORLD NEWSPLANE INFERNO Four killed after Russian military plane crashes 'en route to Ukraine'FINAL BLOW Putin to be overthrown by three key rivals in 'hammer' coup claims ex-CIA chief This comes amid fears Vladimir Putin may be purging his inner circle after four recent "suicides" of gas industry executives linked to the tyrant. In April,...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces are trying to block a city in eastern Ukraine, the region’s governor said Saturday, after their relentless assault on a nearby city forced Ukrainian troops to begin withdrawal after weeks of intense fighting. Russia also launched missile attacks on areas far from the heart of the eastern battles. Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said on Facebook that Russian forces are attempting to blockade the city of Lysychansk from the south. That city lies next to Sievierodonetsk, which has endured relentless assault and house-to-house fighting for weeks. After Haidai said Friday that Ukrainian forces had begun retreating from Sievierodonetsk, military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said some of the troops were heading for Lysychansk. But Russian moves to cut off Lysychansk will give those retreating troops little respite. Russian bombardment has reduced most of Sievierodonetsk to rubble and cut its population from 100,0000 to 10,000. Some Ukrainian troops are holed up in the huge Azot chemical factory on the city’s edge, along with about 500 civilians. Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk have been the focal point of...
    Western-made weapons are starting to tell on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine as US-donated howitzers obliterate Russian tanks in the raging battle for Severodonetsk. A video released by Ukraine's military shows artillery fire destroying a tank and two BMP infantry fighting vehicles as deadly precise shells rain in on them from up to 25 miles away. Artillerymen of the 81st Airmobile Brigade were operating the US-donated, British-built M777 howitzer on the front lines around the eastern city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region. The United States has already donated more than 100 howitzers to Ukraine, with a further 18 - and tactical vehicles to tow them along with ammunition - included in the latest tranche of military aid valued at $1 billion. With the recent Ukrainian admission that they are losing 100 men a day, mostly due to concentrated fire by the superior Russian creeping artillery barrages, potent NATO weapons are absolutely essential for the smaller nation to stay in the fight and defend their territory. In a separate video released by Ukrainian forces last month celebrating the much-loved US howitzers, the words 'From...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore prosecutors have defended their office against criticism from the Wicomico County Sheriff and Baltimore City police union following the murder of a deputy. More on the 2019 Baltimore City armed robbery case involving Austin Davidson, the man accused of killing Wicomoco County Sheriff’s Deputy Glenn Hilliard https://t.co/EIQM24Vs4s @wjz pic.twitter.com/3WetK2qeE8 — Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 14, 2022 Austin Davidson, the man accused of shooting and killing Wicomico County deputy Glenn Hilliard, pleaded guilty two years ago to robbing a McDonald’s in Northeast Baltimore where he previously worked. READ MORE: Baltimore County Police Seek Woman Last Seen In RosedaleAccording to a statement released Tuesday, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office said it requested jail time for Davidson who was 17 years old at the time of the incident after he pleaded guilty to an armed robbery charge. “After securing a conviction, prosecutors make a sentence recommendation to a judge, who is responsible for imposing a sentence. In this case, the prosecutor secured a conviction and made a sentence recommendation of jail time. The court imposed a...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore prosecutors have defended their office against criticism from the Wicomico County Sheriff and Baltimore City police union following the murder of a deputy. More on the 2019 Baltimore City armed robbery case involving Austin Davidson, the man accused of killing Wicomoco County Sheriff’s Deputy Glenn Hilliard https://t.co/EIQM24Vs4s @wjz pic.twitter.com/3WetK2qeE8 — Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 14, 2022 Austin Davidson, the man accused of shooting and killing Wicomico County deputy Glenn Hilliard, pleaded guilty two years ago to robbing a McDonald’s in Northeast Baltimore where he previously worked. READ MORE: Baltimore County Police Seek Woman Last Seen In RosedaleAccording to a statement released Tuesday, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office said it requested jail time for Davidson who was 17 years old at the time of the incident after he pleaded guilty to an armed robbery charge. “After securing a conviction, prosecutors make a sentence recommendation to a judge, who is responsible for imposing a sentence. In this case, the prosecutor secured a conviction and made a sentence recommendation of jail time. The court imposed a...
    LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Sievierodonetsk, the main focus of the fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, isn’t yet blocked off by Russian troops even though they control about 80% of the city and have destroyed all three bridges leading out of it, an official said Tuesday. “There is still an opportunity for the evacuation of the wounded, communication with the Ukrainian military and local residents,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press by phone. He acknowledged that Ukrainian forces have been pushed out to the industrial outskirts of the city because of “the scorched earth method and heavy artillery the Russians are using.” About 12,000 people remain in Sievierodonetsk, a city with a pre-war population of 100,000. More than 500 civilians are sheltering in the Azot chemical plant, which is also being relentlessly pounded by the Russians, according to Haidai. In all, a total of 70 civilians have been evacuated from the Luhansk region over the past 24 fours, the governor said. Two people were killed and another wounded in the Luhansk region, according to...
    More than 100 million Americans are being warned to stay indoors if possible as high temperatures and humidity settle in over states stretching through parts of the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas. The National Weather Service Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said Monday 107.5 million people will be affected by combination of heat advisories, excessive heat warnings and excessive heat watches through Wednesday. READ MORE: 5 Buildings Catch Fire In Baltimore's Brooklyn Neighborhood, Authorities SayThe heat wave, which set several high temperature records in the West, the Southwest and into Denver during the weekend, moved east into parts of the Gulf Coast and the Midwest Monday and will expand to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas, the National Weather Service said. St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis and Tulsa are among several cities under excessive heat warnings, with temperatures forecast to reach about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), accompanied by high humidity that could make conditions feel close to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). In Jackson, Mississippi, residents braved temperatures reaching 95 degrees...
    Ukrainian troop members repair an army's Main Battle Tank (MBT) in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 7, 2022.Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images As Russia gradually seizes more territory in Ukraine and continues to pound various targets in the Donbas, analysts fear that Ukrainian fighters are losing the upper hand, leaving the eastern region vulnerable to being wholly seized amid a prolonged conflict. "I am worried about it," William Alberque, director of strategy, technology and arms control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told CNBC. "There are huge risks that Ukraine will continue to lose land incrementally." A lot has changed since Russia first launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Having initially appeared to attack the country from the south, east and north, Russia soon appeared to realize it had bitten off more than it could chew and instead changed its focus to eastern Ukraine. That move away from Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv, as well as other strategic failures by Russia's forces during the initial phase of the conflict, gave Ukraine's leadership...
    More than 100 million Americans are being warned to stay indoors if possible as high temperatures and humidity settle in over states stretching through parts of the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas. The National Weather Service Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said Monday 107.5 million people will be affected by combination of heat advisories, excessive heat warnings and excessive heat watches through Wednesday. The heat wave, which set several high temperature records in the West, the Southwest and into Denver during the weekend, moved east into parts of the Gulf Coast and the Midwest Monday and will expand to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas, the National Weather Service said. St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis and Tulsa are among several cities under excessive heat warnings, with temperatures forecast to reach about 100 degrees, accompanied by high humidity that could make conditions feel close to 110. Many municipalities announced plans to open cooling centers, including in Chicago, where officials started alerting residents Monday about where they could find relief from the heat. The...
    Maryland is investing millions in a “Gateway to Ocean City,” in hopes of alleviating traffic issues for tourists and emergency services alike. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced the $15 million commitment to Maryland Route 90 on Monday. It will allow the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration to hasten the planning and design of improvements along the 12-mile corridor. More Maryland News More Transportation News This comes after Hogan launched a $28 million study addressing Chesapeake Bay Bridge congestion that will assess how to both improve traffic safety and bolster local economies. “By moving forward on a new Chesapeake Bay crossing and with the modernization of MD 90 — the Gateway to Ocean City — we will be providing a safe, efficient, 21st century transportation system for the Eastern Shore, which will allow us to continue to grow our economy, and which will ensure that Marylanders and visitors alike can enjoy all that Ocean City and the Eastern Shore have to offer,” Hogan said in a statement. Route 90 connects drivers to Ocean City near 62nd Street...
    This heart-stopping video shows a Ukrainian fighter pilot almost skimming tree tops in a death-defying game of cat-and-mouse to evade rockets fired by Russian forces from the ground. In the 'Top Gun'-style cockpit footage, shared on social media, the pilot of the Ukrainian Su-25 attack jet can be seen performing sharp evasive manoeuvres as the forests, roads and fields of the country's eastern Donbas region zoom past below. The Soviet-era Su-25 is first seen flying over a road, as what appear to be military vehicles pass underneath. But the pilot is forced to react quickly when his radar warning system starts blaring - suggesting he is being targeting by Russian missiles - and begins to take drastic evasive manoeuvres to escape a potential strike. His hands are shown on the joystick, quickly moving left and right, as the plane - at high speed - tilts wildly one way and then the other. The smoke trail of decoy flares are seen being fired from the Su-25 as a countermeasure against the missiles. This heart-stopping video shows a Ukrainian fighter pilot almost skimming tree...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A barrage of Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s capital early Sunday, hitting unspecified “infrastructure” targets, Kyiv’s mayor said. No one was reported killed, with one person hospitalized with injuries. But the attack shattered a sense of calm in Kyiv, which hadn’t seen similar strikes since the April 28 visit of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. The missile strikes hit the Darnytski and Dniprovski districts in the city and that emergency services had arrived to the scene, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app. Air raid sirens had gone off around the time of the blasts. An acrid smell of smoke filled the air in the Darnystki district of eastern Kviv, with a billowing pillar of smoke rising in the sky. Soldiers and police blocked off a main road to the site. Smoke billowed from the charred and blackened wreckage of a warehouse-type structure. Elsewhere, Russian forces continued their push in eastern Ukraine, with missile and airstrikes carried out on cities and villages of the Luhansk region. Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said on Telegram...
    BAKHMUT, Ukraine (AP) — As the fighting in eastern Ukraine inches forward, Russian attacks are knocking out power, water and gas to entire towns and cities — and the utility crews sent to repair the smashed transmission lines and pipes are finding themselves in the middle of the shelling. Crews sometimes arrive at a location only to be forced to retreat because of the fighting, officials say. Some villages are impossible to reach. “It is dangerous, because we can hear the shells whistling above us,” said Sergii Marokhin, a water systems engineer in the town of Bakhmut, which has come under increased shelling recently as Russian forces press their offensive in the Donetsk region of the Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland. Shelling the day before had damaged water pipes in a nearby village and in Bakhmut itself that he and his crew had been repairing that morning. There was a sewage pipe to fix, and damage to water lines in other nearby villages. Even on quiet days, there is still regular maintenance work to be done. “People still...
    By Yuras Karmanau and Elena Becatoros Associated Press KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — Russian troops pushed farther into a key eastern Ukrainian city and fought street by street with Kyiv’s forces Monday in a battle the mayor said has left the city in ruins and driven tens of thousands of people from their homes. Military analysts painted the fight for Sievierodonetsk as part of a race against time for the Kremlin. The city is key to Russian efforts to complete the capture of the eastern industrial region of the Donbas quickly — before more Western arms arrive to bolster Ukraine’s defense. Weapons from the West have already helped Kyiv’s forces thwart a Russian advance on the capital in the early weeks of the war. That failure forced Moscow to withdraw, regroup, and pursue the more limited objective of seizing the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists already held swaths of territory and have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years. “The Kremlin has reckoned that it can’t afford to waste time and should use the last chance to extend the separatist-controlled territory because the arrival of Western...
    KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian-battered eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk appeared to be on the brink of becoming another Mariupol on Monday as services and aid have been cut and Moscow seeks to capture all of Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region. Luhansk regional Gov. Serhiy Haidai said the Russians have entered the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk and are pushing toward nearby Lysychansk. He said two civilians were killed and another five were wounded in the latest Russian shelling in the war. The Ukrainian military said the Russian forces were reinforcing their positions on the northeastern and southeastern outskirts of Sievierodonetsk and bringing additional equipment and ammunition into the area to press their offensive. Russian forces stormed Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle it, Ukrainian officials said, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the situation there as “indescribably difficult.” An intense Russian artillery barrage has destroyed critical infrastructure and damaged 90% of the buildings. Sievierodonetsk, located 143 kilometers (89 miles) south of the Russian border, has emerged in recent days as the epicenter of the Donbas fighting. Mariupol is the...
    Russia's offensive in eastern Ukraine has seen some "localised successes" of late, and only one city is standing in the way of total Russian control of a key province in the Donbas region, the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday. Russian forces are attempting to encircle several cities in the Donbas region, increasing the intensity of combat operations and concentrating artillery units in the region, leading to some successes, the British Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update. According to reports, the city of Severodonetsk is the last area under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk province, the northern province of the Donbas region. "Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in the Donbas as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lyschansk, and Rubizhne," the British ministry said on Twitter. "Russia’s capture of the Severodonetsk pocket would see the whole of Luhansk Oblast placed under Russian occupation," the ministry added. The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 24 May 2022Find...
    Unverified reports by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Reuters this week suggested a China Eastern Airlines jet that crashed in southern China in March killing all 132 people on board may have “intentionally” nosedived into its fatal descent. “The Boeing 737-800 was cruising at high altitude when it suddenly pitched into a near-vertical descent, plummeting into a mountain at extreme speed. Data from a black box recovered in the crash suggests inputs to the controls pushed the plane into the fatal dive,” the WSJ reported on May 17, citing unnamed individuals “familiar with U.S. officials’ preliminary assessment of what led to the accident.” This initial probe “includes an analysis of information extracted from the plane’s damaged flight-data recorder,” according to the newspaper. “The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit,” one of the WSJ’s sources alleged. “The information gathered so far in the China Eastern probe has led U.S. officials involved with the investigation to turn their attention to the actions of a pilot,” people familiar with the matter told WSJ. This March 27, 2022,...
    Russian forces are giving up on Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv and retreating after weeks of bombardment and a failed effort to encircle it.  Ukraine's general staff said the Russians were pulling back from the northeastern city and focusing on guarding supply routes, as Kyiv and Moscow's forces engaged in a grinding battle for the country's eastern industrial heartland. Russian forces will instead focus on launching mortar, artillery and airstrikes in the eastern Donetsk province in order to 'deplete Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications.' The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said Ukraine 'appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv.' It said, 'Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from encircling, let alone seizing Kharkiv, and then expelled them from around the city.' It means Ukrainian artillery can now threaten the town of Vovchansk, which contains a key highway and rail line supplying Russian forces in Donbas.  Pictured: A Ukrainian Army soldier walks past a burning natural gas terminal on May 13, 2022 on the northern outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine. Russian forces are giving up on Ukraine's second city of...
    ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine -- Russian forces unleashed artillery fire on towns in eastern Ukraine, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, and began storming the bombed-out steel mill in Mariupol from where scores were evacuated after enduring weeks of shelling against the city's last pocket of resistance.The governor of the eastern Donetsk region said Russian attacks left 21 dead on Tuesday, the highest number of known fatalities since April 8, when a missile attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk killed at least 59 people.Adding pressure on Moscow, the European Union's leader on Wednesday called on the 27-nation bloc to ban Russian oil imports in a new wave of sanctions."We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. She also proposed that Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, and two other major banks be disconnected from the SWIFT international banking payment system.Thanks to the...
    ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — A senior U.S. official warned that Russia plans to annex large portions of eastern Ukraine later this month, and the Mariupol steel mill that has become the city’s last stronghold of resistance came under renewed assault a day after the first evacuation of civilians from the plant. Michael Carpenter, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Monday that the U.S. believes the Kremlin also plans to recognize the southern city of Kherson as an independent republic. Neither move would be recognized by the United States or its allies, he said. Carpenter cited information that Russia is planning to hold sham referendums in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics that would “try to add a veneer of democratic or electoral legitimacy” and attach the entities to Russia. He also said there were signs that Russia would engineer an independence vote in Kherson. He noted that mayors and local legislators there have been abducted, that internet and cellphone service has been severed and that a Russian school curriculum is soon to be...
    Eight civilians were killed in Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Moscow's forces push deeper into the eastern Donetsk region, the regional governor said. Russia's military leaders are pouring troops and equipment into the east of Ukraine in an attempt to force a bloody victory there after they abandoned plans to blitz through Ukraine's north and seize Kyiv earlier in the war. The town of Lyman, located a mere 15 miles from the Donetsk region's northernmost city of Slovyansk and 30 miles from the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region, was the site of five of the civilian deaths. 'On May 1, four civilians were killed in Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, all in Lyman. Eleven other people were injured,' governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram, later adding another person died of his injuries. Ukrainian media organisation Ukraine Now reported the attacks came as part of a consolidated Russian shelling offensive targeting Ukrainian military positions along the eastern front in Lyman, Severodonetsk, Slovyansk, Popasna and Kurakhiv over the weekend. Another three people were killed in shelling on...
    KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s General Staff says Russia is increasing the pace of its offensive in the east of the country, the goal of which is to take full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and have a land corridor to Crimea. The Russian forces “are exerting intense fire” in almost all directions, the General Staff said in their Thursday morning update, with the “greatest activity observed in Slobozhanske and Donetsk directions.” Strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, continue, the update said, and more forces have been moved to the city of Izyum. In the Donetsk direction, the Russian troops are focusing on encircling the Ukrainian forces. Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian forces have repelled six attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the General Staff said. ___ KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: — European leaders blast cutoff of Russian gas as ‘blackmail’ — Key players urge accountability for atrocities in Ukraine — A chilling Russian cyber aim in Ukraine: Digital dossiers — Russia releases US Marine vet in surprise prisoner exchange Follow all...
    Russian and Ukrainian forces duked it out on Wednesday along Ukraine's eastern front, trading fire as Russian President Vladimir Putin's soldiers tried to penetrate defensive lines in multiple places along the 300-mile stretch. Moscow announced it had used missiles, artillery, and warplanes to conduct more than 1,000 strikes against military targets, including ammunition warehouses and command centers. The Kremlin has intensified its assault on the eastern part of the country in hopes of turning the tide following nearly eight weeks of pushback by Ukrainian forces. Russia was unable to topple the capital city of Kyiv and instead has turned its attention to the Donbas region in the east. If successful, it would give Moscow a vital piece of Ukraine and a much-needed victory. Military strategists believe local support, logistics, and terrain in Donbas give Russian forces an edge in the area. "Virtually the entire combat-ready part of the invaders' army is concentrated on the territory of our state and in the border areas of Russia," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during an overnight speech. In Mariupol, the last remaining Ukrainian...
    Russia intensified its assaults on eastern Ukraine on Tuesday with a massive offensive in hopes of turning the tide following seven weeks of pushback by Ukrainian forces and civilian fighters. After Russia failed to topple the capital city of Kyiv, the Kremlin declared its main objective would be to capture the Donbas region. If successful, it would give Russian President Vladimir Putin a vital piece of Ukraine and a badly needed victory that he could present to his people amid growing casualties and economic hardship caused by several rounds of punishing sanctions by the West. The Donbas region has been torn by fighting between Russian-allied separatists and Ukrainian forces since 2014. Military strategists have said Russia is banking on local support, logistics, and terrain in the Donbas to favor Russia's larger and better-armed military. "Another phase of this operation is starting now," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday, adding that the Kremlin's goal is to achieve "full liberation of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics," which make up the Donbas region. With its new, narrower goal focused on the east,...
    By ADAM SCHRECK KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia ratcheted up its battle for control of Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, intensifying assaults on cities and towns along a front hundreds of miles long in what officials on both sides described as a new phase of the war. After a Russian push to the capital failed to overrun the city, the Kremlin declared that its main goal was the capture of the eastern Donbas region. If successful, that offensive would give President Vladimir Putin a vital piece of Ukraine and a badly needed victory that he could present to the Russian people amid the war’s mounting casualties and the economic hardship caused by the West’s sanctions. In recent weeks, Russian forces that withdrew from Kyiv have regrouped in preparation for an all-out offensive in the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces for the past eight years and have declared two independent republics that have been recognized by Russia. While Ukraine’s president and other officials said the offensive had started, observers noted that it was just the beginning of a...
    KYIV, Ukraine -- Russia launched its long-feared, full-scale offensive to take control of Ukraine's east, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Monday."Now we can already state that the Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time," he said in a video address. Zelenskyy said a "significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive."The Donbas is Ukraine's mostly Russian-speaking industrial heartland in the east, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces for the past eight years and have declared two independent republics that have been recognized by Russia.In recent weeks, Kremlin declared the capture of the Donbas its main goal of the war after its attempt to storm Kyiv failed."No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight," Zelenskyy vowed. "We will defend ourselves. We will do it every day."The announcement from Zelenskyy came as Russia bombarded the western city of Lviv and numerous other targets across Ukraine in what appeared to be an intensified bid to grind down the country's defenses....
    By YURAS KARMANAU LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched its long-feared, full-scale ground offensive to take control of Ukraine’s east on Monday, attacking along a broad front over 300 miles (480 kilometers) long, Ukrainian officials said in what marked the opening of a new and potentially climactic phase of the war. “The Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in a video address. He said a “significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive.” The Donbas is Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking industrial heartland in the east, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces for the past eight years and have declared two independent republics that have been recognized by Russia. In recent weeks, the Kremlin declared the capture of the Donbas its main goal of the war after its attempt to storm Kyiv failed. After withdrawing from the capital, Russia began regrouping and reinforcing its ground troops in the east for an all-out offensive. “No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight,” Zelenskyy vowed....
    By The Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine — A regional official in eastern Ukraine says at least two people have been killed by Russian shelling. The Luhansk region’s governor, Serhiy Gaidai, said that at least four others were wounded Sunday when Russia forces fired at residential buildings in the town of Zolote. Zolote is located near the front line in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas, where the Russian forces are preparing for a massive offensive. ___ KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: — Russia strikes Ukraine’s big cities, bears down on Mariupol — Mother, grandmother weep over a 15-year-old killed in shelling of Kharkiv — Elderly mother feels “lost,” seeks son’s body in Ukrainian town of Bucha — Prince Harry pays tribute to Ukrainian competitors as he opens the Invictus Games — ‘We pray for you’: Ukrainian Jews mark Passover, if they can Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine. ___ OTHER DEVELOPMENTS: WASHINGTON — Ukraine’s prime minister says the besieged city of Mariupol hasn’t yet fallen to Russia and the Ukrainian forces there will fight...
    All Times EDT x-if necessary Single Elimination Tuesday, April 5 Conference Qaurterfinals Eastern Conference Capital City 131, College Park 122 Delaware 133, Long Island 116 Western Conference Texas 115, Birmingham 100 South Bay 134, Santa Cruz 123 Thursday, April 7 Conference Semifinals Eastern Conference Raptors 131, Capital City 126, OT Western Conference Rio Grande Valley 120, Texas 103 Agua Caliente 112, South Bay 110 Friday, April 8 Eastern Conference Delaware 122, Motor City 116 Conference Finals Saturday, April 9 Western Conference Rio Grande Valley 125, Agua Caliente 114 Sunday, April 10 Eastern Conference Delaware 143, Raptors 139 NBA G League Finals Best of three Tuesday, April 12 Game One: Rio Grande Valley 145, Delaware 128 Thursday, April 14 Game Two: Rio Grande Valley 131,...
    These chilling satellite images show hundreds of Russian armoured vehicles heading for a major confrontation with Ukrainian troops which could decide the outcome of the war. The grainy pictures show a column of trucks, some towing artillery, stretching for more than eight miles through Russian-held territory. The convoy is heading towards eastern Ukraine where decisive battles are expected.  Tens of thousands of Russian troops are heading to the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – known collectively as the Donbas. The Kremlin is seeking a victory there to justify its 'special military operation', which has failed to capture any major cities. According to Western officials, Russian commanders believe the Donbas represents their best chance of success. The convoy was photographed moving through the town of Velykyi Burluk, near the city of Kharkiv, on Friday They have retreated from other areas, including around Ukraine's capital city Kyiv, to focus their efforts there. But Ukrainian forces are determined to push them back. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said last night: 'Ukraine is ready for big battles. Ukraine must win them, including the Donbas. And...
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