Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

At least 6 dead after ‘massive missile attack’ on Zelenskyy’s hometown

At least six people have died after a massive missile attack on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih.

Oleksandr Vilkul, the mayor of Kryvyi Rih, said high-precision missiles had hit several parts of the city, including a five-story building, trapping many residents under its rubble. Six people have been confirmed dead, he said, while rescue operations continued.

Serhii Lysak, the head of the Dnipro regional military administration, described the incident as a “massive missile attack on Kryvyi Rih.”

“Another terrorist act by the Russians in the housing sector. At night. Treacherously. Cruelly. There are dead and wounded,” he said on Telegram.

– Holly Ellyatt

Fighting ‘fierce’ but progress is being made, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian servicemen take part in a military training exercise not far from front line in the Donetsk region on June 8, 2023.

Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s counteroffensive is proving tough for its forces but progress is being made, with Ukraine retaking a number of settlements in Donetsk.

“The battles are fierce, but we are moving forward, and this is very important,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address, adding that “the enemy’s losses are exactly what we need.”

Bad weather had made Ukraine’s “task more difficult,” he said, but “the strength of our warriors still yields results, and I thank everyone who is in combat now, everyone who supports our combat brigades in the relevant areas.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Monday that “seven settlements were liberated” in the last week of fighting in Donetsk.

Troops in the region had advanced 6.5 kilometers (or 4 miles), according to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, who commented on Telegram that “the area of the territory taken under control amounted to 90 square km.

“Seven settlements were liberated: Lobkovo, Levadne, Novodarivka, Neskuchne, Storozheve , Makarivka, Blagodatne,” she said.

Defense analysts at the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces had reportedly launched a counterattack on June 12 in western Donetsk and that some Russian sources reported that Russian forces had recaptured Makarivka. CNBC was unable to verify the sources.

— Holly Ellyatt

At least 42 people, including 7 children, still missing as a result of Kakhovka dam attack

A man carries a child as members of Russia’s emergencies ministry evacuate residents of a flooded area following the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict, in the town of Hola Prystan in the Kherson region, Russian-controlled Ukraine, June 8, 2023. 

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said on Telegram that 42 people, including seven children, are still missing following the attack on the Kakhovka dam last week, according to an NBC News translation.

The ministry added that at least 10 people have died as a result of the explosion at the dam and the subsequent flooding in the region.

According to the data collected by the agency, more than 3,800 houses were flooded in the Kherson region.

— Amanda Macias

One ship leaves Ukraine over the weekend under Black Sea grain deal

An aerial view of a dry cargo ship transporting grain from Ukraine under the U.N,-brokered Black Sea deal.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

One ship left Ukraine’s port of Chornomorsk over the weekend under the Black Sea grain deal, according to data collected by the U.N.-backed organization responsible for monitoring exports via the humanitarian sea corridor.

The Maltese-flagged vessel named “Sea Commander” departed on Saturday for Spain carrying 69,000 metric tons of corn.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has been extended by Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations twice since its inception last July, is set to expire next month.

— Amanda Macias

International Criminal Court confirms it sent team to investigate Kakhovka dam explosion

Maxar satellite imagery BEFORE the damage to the Nova Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine. Please use: Satellite image (c) 2023 Maxar Technologies.

Maxar Technologies | Getty Images

The International Criminal Court confirmed to NBC News that a team visited the Kakhovka dam in order to carry out an investigation into the explosion that triggered flooding in Ukraine’s southern region.

“We can confirm that a team from the Office of the Prosecutor, OTP, of the International Criminal Court has visited the Kakhovka dam area with the intention of conducting investigations related to the Kakhovka dam breach,” the International Criminal Court wrote in a statement to NBC News.

The statement added that it could not provide further details.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that a team from the International Criminal Court will arrive in Ukraine to begin investigations into the dam attack.

— Amanda Macias

Chechen force signs contract with Russia’s defence ministry that Wagner’s Prigozhin refused

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday it has signed a contract with the Akhmat group of Chechen special forces, a day after Russia’s powerful mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin refused to do so.

The signing followed an order that all “volunteer units” should sign contracts by July 1 bringing them under the control of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as Moscow tries to assert its control over private armies fighting on its behalf in Ukraine.

Nearly a thousand volunteers attend the military training at Russian Special Forces University, where special troops are trained, in Gudermes, Russia on February 28, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In return, volunteer fighters would get the same benefits and protections as regular troops, including support for them and their families if they are wounded or killed.

Prigozhin, who has waged a running feud with the defense ministry and accused it of failing to provide adequate ammunition supplies to his Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine, said on Sunday he would refuse to sign any such contract.

He said that Shoigu “cannot properly manage military formations”.

The contract the defense ministry signed on Monday was with the Akhmat paramilitary group that has often been called the private army of Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechnya region.

Unlike Prigozhin, Kadyrov has recently refrained from criticizing the defence ministry. Members of the two groups have openly sparred, with one of Kadyrov’s close allies on Thursday casting Prigozhin as a blogger who yells all the time about problems.

Akhmat commander Apty Alaudinov, who took part in the signing of the contract, said the unit has “prepared and sent tens of thousands of volunteers” to Ukraine in the past 15 months.

Moscow said on Friday that the Akhmat forces were waging an offensive near the town of Maryinka, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

“I think this is a very good thing,” Alaudinov was quoted as saying by the defense ministry’s website after signing the deal.

Russia’s deputy chief of the general staff, Colonel General Alexei Kim, said after signing the agreement with the Chechens that he hoped other volunteer units would follow suit.

— Reuters

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