Live: Ukraine says fourth village retaken from Russian forces

  • Ukraine says its troops have recaptured a fourth village in a cluster of settlements in the southeast, a day after reporting the first small gains of a counteroffensive against Russian forces.
  • A group of Chechen special forces agreed to be brought under the control of the Russian defence ministry, a day after the Wagner mercenary group refused the offer.
  • President Vladimir Putin has appealed to Russians at what he said was a “difficult time”, as the country remembers the day in 1991 when the Russian parliament formally declared sovereignty from the Soviet Union.

    Russia says it repelled attacks in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia

    Russia’s defence ministry says it repelled attacks by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

    Moscow added its forces launched a strike on Ukrainian army reserve locations using long-range precision weaponry launched from the sea.

    On Monday, Ukraine said its troops had recaptured a fourth village from Russian forces, a day after reporting the first small gains of its long-anticipated counteroffensive.

    Pro-Russian hackers claim attack on Swiss government sites

    Several Swiss government websites were targeted in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that was claimed by pro-Russian hackers.

    Switzerland’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said that “various websites of the Federal Administration and enterprises affiliated with the Confederation were unavailable”.

    “The NCSC is analysing the attack together with the administrative units concerned and defining appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

    The attack comes as the Swiss parliament prepares for a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday.

    The NoName group were also behind a separate attack against the Swiss parliament’s website last week.

    On Telegram, the group said last week’s attack was carried out to “thank Swiss Russophobes” for adopting another EU sanctions package against Moscow.

    Putin thanks Russians for their ‘devotion’ during Russia day celebrations

    In a speech marking Russia Day, President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russians on their “devotion” to the country, the Russian TASS news agency reported.

    “Such piercing feelings are difficult to convey in words, but they are understandable and close to each of us,” Putin said.

    “Today, in a difficult time for Russia, they unite our society even more, stronger, serve as a reliable support for our heroes – participants in a special military operation,” he added.Russia Day is a public holiday marking the establishment of the Russian Federation.

    Polish subsidies are not in line with WTO rules: Ukraine

    Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka says the subsidies that Poland has given its farmers due to a surge in Ukrainian grain exports are not in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

    “These subsidies go far beyond what is allowed by WTO rules. [They] may be a minor development but can be a source of [trade] disturbances around the globe,” Kachka told an International Grains Council conference in London.

    Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia have become alternative transit routes for Ukrainian grain after Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

    Pakistan receives its first shipment of Russian crude oil

    Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says Pakistan’s first shipment of discounted Russian crude oil has arrived in Karachi.

    “I have fulfilled another of my promises to the nation. Glad to announce that the first Russian discounted crude oil cargo has arrived in Karachi,” Sharif tweeted.

    “We are moving one step at a time toward prosperity, economic growth and energy security & affordability. This is the first-ever Russian oil cargo to Pakistan and the beginning of a new relationship between Pakistan and Russian Federation,” he added.Pakistan’s purchase gives Russia a new oil market and adds to its growing sales to India and China as it redirects oil from Western markets due to sanctions.

    Two people injured in air strike in Avdiivka: Ukrainian governor

    Ukraine’s governor of Donetsk, Pavlov Kyrylenko, says two people have been injured in Avdiivka in an air strike on a residential building.

    The attack hit the House of Culture and high-rise residential buildings, Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

    “The Russians are erasing another Ukrainian city from the face of the earth despite the people who still remain in it. We are making maximum efforts to save people from mortal danger,” he posted.

    Chechen special forces sign contract with Russian defence ministry

    Russia’s Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with the Akhmat group of Chechen special forces, a day after the head of the Wagner mercenary group refused to do so.

    The agreement followed an order that all “volunteer units” should sign contracts by July 1 as Moscow tries to assert its control over private armies fighting in Ukraine.

    In return, volunteer fighters would get the same benefits and protections as Russian soldiers.

    The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has had a lengthy feud with the Russian defence ministry, which he has repeatedly accused of failing to provide adequate ammunition to his fighters.

    Prigozhin said Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu “cannot properly manage military formations”.

    Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s cooling ponds stable after dam blast: Minister

    Ukraine’s environment minister says the Kakhovka Reservoir has lost nearly three-quarters of its water since the dam that created it was destroyed, but cooling ponds at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are stable.

    “Regarding the power plant, the water level in the plant’s ponds is stable and sufficient to meet the plant’s needs. The situation is now under control,” Ruslan Strilets said on Ukrainian television.

    The Zaporizhzhia plant is in a warzone and has been shut down, but water is still needed to keep the radioactive fuel in its reactors and its spent fuel cool.

    Fourth village recaptured from Russian troops, Ukraine says

    Ukraine says its troops have recaptured a fourth village, Storozheve, in a cluster of settlements in the southeast, a day after reporting the first small gain of its counteroffensive.

    On Sunday, it said its forces liberated three villages – Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka – which lie on the edge of the Donetsk region next to the Zaporizhia region.

    Kyiv has enforced strict operational silence to avoid compromising an operation it hopes will retake large areas of Russian-occupied land in the east and south.

    Some Russian military bloggers said fighting for Makarivka was still raging but confirmed Ukrainian forces had taken Blahodatne and Neskuchne.

    Sorce: Aljazeera