Russia-Ukraine live news: Attacks continue on Kharkiv, Mykolaiv | News

  • The United Kingdom will provide Ukraine with an additional £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in military aid, as NATO has labeled Russia as the biggest “immediate threat” to Western security.
  • Russia is stepping up its attacks in Ukraine with several regions outside the Donbas that were targeted on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
  • He says ten rockets hit a residential area of ​​the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, killing at least five people as rescue efforts continue.
  • Kiev says 144 Ukrainian soldiers, including dozens of defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, have been released in a prisoner exchange with Moscow.
  • NATO has agreed to put more than 300,000 troops on high alert from 2023, up from 40,000 earlier, in a new military setup similar to the alliance’s stance during the Cold War.

These are the latest updates:

Ukrainian troops train in Britain to use advanced missile systems

Hundreds of Ukrainian troops have undergone military training in the UK, including the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) provided by the UK government to counter Russian artillery tactics.

Ukrainian troops were filmed earlier this week loading and firing 105mm light guns during exercises in Salisbury, England – part of a British-led program carried out by more than 450 Ukrainian armed forces with support from New Zealand. MLRS systems in use were also shown.

“It’s a force multiplier,” Captain James Oliphant of the Royal Artillery, who was involved in the three-week MLRS training element, told reporters.

“Because it’s a tracked vehicle — their missile systems are on wheels — it will give them more maneuverability, which will help with their survivability.”

Five dead in Mykolaiv raids on Wednesday: Zelenskyy

Russia continued shelling towns and settlements across Ukraine on Wednesday and stepped up its attacks outside the Donbas region.

Zelenskyy said Russian troops attacked the city of Ochakiv in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the port city of Mykolaiv and the regions of Kharkiv and Sumy.

He said 10 rockets fell on Mykolaiv on Wednesday, “all aimed at civilian targets”.

“One of these missiles, a hypersonic anti-ship missile ‘Onyx’, destroyed an ordinary five-storey building. The dismantling of the rubble continued throughout the day. At the moment it is known that five people have been murdered,” Zelenskyy said.

Rescuers evacuate a dog from a damaged residential building after a rocket attack in Ukraine's Mykolaiv.
Rescuers evacuate a dog from a damaged residential building after a rocket attack in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, June 29, 2022 [Still image taken from a handout video. Courtesy of State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters]

UK gives Ukraine another £1 billion in military aid

The United Kingdom will provide Ukraine with an additional £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in military aid, the government has said, as NATO labeled Russia the biggest “immediate threat” to Western security.

The funding will go towards strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities, including air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces of equipment for Ukrainian soldiers.

“British weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defenses against this attack. And we will stand firmly behind the Ukrainian people to make sure Putin fails in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

The latest funding comes after the UK said in May it would provide an additional £1.3 billion ($1.58 billion) in military aid and aid to Ukraine, bringing the UK’s total military and economic aid to 3 this year. 8 billion pounds ($4.61 billion).

NATO Expands Troops Hugely Ready for Protracted Russian Threat

NATO has agreed to place more than 300,000 troops on high alert by 2023, up from 40,000 currently. The new military stance is designed to better counter Russia, the country the alliance has identified as the biggest threat.

The move replaces the NATO Response Force, which for many years was the first to respond to a Russian attack or other crisis. The new model resembles the way NATO troops were organized during the Cold War. At that time, specific Allied countries were assigned the defense of specific parts of the border between West and East Germany.

“Today, NATO leaders decided on a fundamental shift in our defense and deterrence to respond to a new security reality,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, adding that NATO is deploying its “battle groups in the eastern part of would strengthen the alliance down to the brigade level.”

A brigade has about 3,000 to 5,000 troops, while a battalion – the unit that in the past formed a battle group – normally has between 300 and 1,000 troops.

Biden thanks Erdogan for NATO deal on Finland, Sweden

US President Joe Biden has thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for striking a deal with Finland and Sweden that paved the way for the two Scandinavian countries to become NATO candidates soon.

Biden also thanked Erdogan for Ankara’s efforts to help get grain out of Ukraine in brief remarks before their meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid. Erdogan said he hoped diplomacy would help solve Ukraine’s grain export problems.

Canada to lead efforts to form ‘combat-ready’ brigade in Latvia: minister

Canada has signed an agreement to work with Latvia and NATO partners to lead efforts to form a “combat-ready” brigade in Latvia, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said.

“This is a commitment that the Canadian government is making with Latvia to work with our allies to get to Latvia at the brigade level and move up there,” Anand told reporters, adding that details on an exact number of troops are not yet available. were known. determined.

“We will deploy additional troops with our allies in the future, but we need to talk about how many additional troops will be deployed by each of the 10 countries that are members of the Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup,” Anand said.

Indonesian president offers to ‘deliver message’ to Putin from Ukraine

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has offered to “deliver a message” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin in an attempt to raise hopes for peace.

“Although it is very difficult to achieve, I have emphasized the importance of a peaceful solution. I offer to deliver a message from President Zelenskyy to President Putin whom I will meet shortly,” Widodo – known as Jokowi – said.

He also confirmed Indonesia’s contribution to medical and infrastructure assistance to Kiev.

Jokowi arrived in Kiev by train from Poland on Wednesday morning. He also visited the town of Irpin, where Ukraine suspects Russian soldiers have committed atrocities. Moscow denies the charges.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo greeted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy just outside the entrance to the Presidential Palace in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy greets Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Kiev, Ukraine, June 29, 2022 [Laily Rachev/Courtesy of Indonesian Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters]

IAEA loses transmission of Russian nuclear power plant in Ukraine

The United Nations nuclear watchdog has said it has again lost connection with its surveillance systems that monitor nuclear material at the Russian-operated Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the largest in Europe, which the watchdog wants to inspect.

“The fact that our remote data transmission is off the air again – for the second time in the past month – only adds to the urgency to send this mission (to Zaporizhzhya),” the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Wednesday. in a statement. The connection went down on Saturday “due to a malfunction in the facility’s communications systems,” it added.

Read all updates from June 29 here.

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