President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday that counteroffensive and defensive operations were taking place in Ukraine, a day after Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin said Kyiv’s long-vaunted drive to retake territory was well under way. Zelenskiy would not say what stage they were at, but to pass on to Putin that his generals were optimistic and in ‘positive mood’.
Counterattacking Ukrainian forces have advanced up to 1,400 metres at a number of sections of the front line near the eastern city of Bakhmut in the past day, a Ukraine military spokesperson said on Saturday.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence said over the past 48 hours “significant” Ukrainian operations have taken place in several sectors of eastern and southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have “likely made good progress” and “penetrated the first line of Russian defences”, the MoD added. However, in other areas “Ukrainian progress has been slower”.
The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday that Ukraine’s forces have continued “unsuccessful” attempts in the past 24 hours to launch attacks south of Donetsk and in Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as in the area of the eastern city of Bakhmut.
A drone attack by Russian forces killed three people and injured 27 people, including three children, in Ukraine’s Odesa region in the early hours of Saturday, according to Ukraine’s southern command. Emergency services said but the fire had been rapidly put out and 12 people were rescued from the building.
The UN’s top aid official Martin Griffiths has warned Ukraine’s humanitarian situation is “hugely worse” after the Kakhova dam rupture.
Canada’s minister, Justin Trudeau, landed in Kyiv on Saturday and said Canada will be part of a multinational effort to train Ukrainian fighter pilots. He also announced C$500m ($375m) worth of military aid for Kyiv and said the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam was a “direct consequence of Russia’s war”.
German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Saturday that he planned to speak to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on the phone soon to urge him to withdraw troops from Ukraine.
Russian activists and dissidents say Russian authorities in Kherson region are preventing 1,842 left bank residents, including 338 urgent cases around Olekshy, and nearby, from leaving. The figure includes 148 children and 243 elderly people, said the Anti-War Human Rights Coalition.
Russia has fired missiles and attack drones at the central Ukrainian region of Poltava overnight, inflicting “some damage of infrastructure and equipment” at the Myrhorod military airfield, according to the regional governor.
A £150m fund to help Ukrainians into their own homes has been announced by the UK government. More than 124,000 people have arrived in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. The UK will also provide an extra £16m of humanitarian aid to Ukraine after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iceland’s decision to suspend its embassy operations in Moscow “destroys” bilateral cooperation adding the action would elicit a “corresponding” response.
The southern reach of the Dnipro River is likely to return to its banks by 16 June after the breach of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam this week, a Russian-installed official said on Saturday. Vladimir Saldo said the water level at Nova Kakhovka, the town adjacent to the dam on the downstream side, had now dropped three metres (10ft) from Tuesday’s peak, Reuters reported.
German investigators are examining evidence suggesting a sabotage team used Poland as an operating base to damage the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency says it has put the last operating reactor at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant into a “cold shutdown” as a safety precaution amid flooding from the collapse of the Kakhovka dam.
South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has briefed Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about an upcoming mission to broker peace by African leaders to Russia and Ukraine to try and broker peace, Pretoria said on Saturday.
The UN has helped boost Russian exports of food and fertilisers, facilitating a steady flow of ships to its ports ahead of an important grain deal deadline. Top UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan met with Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Vershinin as Moscow threatens to walk away from a deal allowing the safe export of food and fertiliser from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on 17 July if obstacles to its own shipments are not removed.
The post Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 473 of the invasion appeared first on The Guardian.