The Latest on the Russia-Ukraine War: What We Know on Day 156 of the Invasion!
Ukraine has stepped up its efforts to take back parts of the south that are controlled by Russia by bombing and isolating Russian troops in places where they can’t get supplies. The Ukrainian military said that on Thursday, five Russian strongholds near Kherson and another nearby city were hit by Ukrainian planes. Kyiv also said that it had taken back some small towns on the northern edge of the Kherson region.
British defence and intelligence officials say that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south of the country is “gaining momentum.” The UK ministry of defence said that thousands of Russian troops stationed near the Dnieper River are “highly vulnerable” and alone because of what Ukraine has done to the southern city of Kherson, which is occupied by Russia.
People who live in parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that are controlled by Russia have been told to leave. Iryna Vereshchuk, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, said that if people stayed in the area, they could lose access to “power, water, food and medical supplies, heating, and communication.”
On Thursday, Russian missiles hit the hangars of an aviation company in Kropyvnytskyi, which is north of Mykolaiv. This killed at least five people and hurt at least 25 more.
At least two people were killed Thursday when a Russian missile hit the town of Toretsk near Donetsk. This caused a five-story building to collapse, killing at least two people.
Vitaliy Kim, the governor of the Mykolaiv region, said that two people were killed by a sea mine that went off while they were swimming in the southern town of Koblevo.
US officials told US lawmakers that more than 75,000 Russians were thought to have died or been hurt in the war. Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic House representative who has been to a secret US government briefing, told CNN that the number was “huge.” But the Russian government did not have any up-to-date information on the number of deaths.
The head of UN aid said he was hopeful that the first grain shipment from a Ukrainian port on the Black Sea could happen as soon as Friday. Martin Griffiths said that “important” details were still being worked out to make sure ships could pass safely, and that “the devil was in the details.”
On Thursday, it was said that talks between the Kremlin and Washington about a possible prisoner swap had not “yet” led to a clear plan. According to reports, the deal involves trading a well-known Russian arms dealer for a famous American basketball player and a former marine.
Estonia said on Thursday it would block Russian nationals from obtaining temporary residence permits or visas to study in Estonia, in a move its foreign minister described as putting “relentless pressure” on Russia and its population.
Hungary’s prime minister said Ukraine could not win the war against Russia under Nato’s current support strategy. “This war in this form cannot be won,” Viktor Orbán said. “Without changing the strategy, there is not going to be peace.”
Marina Ovsyannikova, a former reporter for Russian state TV, was fined 50,000 roubles ($820 or £681) after she was found guilty of insulting the country’s military in social media posts that criticised Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Ovsyannikova said that the charges against her were “ridiculous.”
Roskomnadzor, which is in charge of regulating the media in Russia, has filed a lawsuit to take away the registration of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which had said it would start publishing in Russia again after the war was over.
Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign minister, said that if she were to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, she would be Ukraine’s “greatest friend.” Truss said she would work with allies to get more weapons and help people in need so that “Putin fails in Ukraine, loses strategically, and Russia is limited in the future.”
A Russian gas crisis is coming up, so German cities are making people take cold showers and turn off lights to save energy. Hanover said it would take steps to save energy, such as turning off the hot water in showers and bathrooms in city-run buildings and recreation centres. Other cities are turning off fountains and turning off the lights on public monuments.