Latest Ukrainian news: Russia accused of forcing hospital patients in Donetsk to fight

The Missing: Ukrainians Abducted During Putin’s War

Russia has been accused of forcing patients hospitalized in the occupied territories of Ukraine to take part in the fighting.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Vladimir Putin’s army had forced wounded and sick men to fight to compensate for the losses suffered by the troops.

He wrote on social media: “Forced mobilization is currently underway in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In Donetsk, the Russian occupiers found a new “source” to replenish lost manpower.

“For example, recently, representatives of the Russian occupation army began arriving at local hospitals and forcibly “discharging” patients.

“In particular, they ‘liberate’ men of conscription age who are receiving treatment for various illnesses or injuries, in particular as a result of their participation in hostilities.”

Over the past day, around 300 Russian soldiers have been ‘liquidated’ in the ongoing invasion and the total death toll of Russian soldiers since February is now around 49,800 – the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

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Russia sentences journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in prison

A Russian court today sentenced a former journalist to 22 years in prison for treason.

Prosecutors have accused Ivan Safronov of leaking state secrets about Russia’s arms sales in the Middle East to the Czech Republic’s foreign intelligence branch.

His supporters said the decision was a harsh punishment that underscored the lack of press freedom in Russia.

Safronov, a former defense reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers who became an adviser to the head of the Russian space agency, was arrested in 2020 and accused of leaking classified information.

Ivan Safronov in court on July 16, 2020

(Alexander Zemlianitchenko/AP)

His lawyers said they would appeal the verdict. His supporters say the case is revenge for his reporting which revealed details of Russia’s international arms deals.

Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said the sentence was a “savage punishment, demonstrably cruel, corresponding to the current state of Russia”.

He said he had not found any example of a treason case resulting in such a long sentence, let alone against a journalist.

Mr Safronov has denied the charges and last month rejected a plea deal that would have seen him serve a 12-year prison sentence.

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“Winter is coming”, Iran mocks Europe in the midst of an energy crisis

Iran has mocked Europe over its deepening energy crisis, citing the game of thrones slogan “winter is coming” after Russia further reduced its gas exports to the continent.

Tehran, tongue in cheek, has offered the prospect of Iranian gas exports if a nuclear deal with Western powers is reinstated and sanctions removed.

Read the full story here by the international correspondent Borzou Daragahi

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Russian occupiers’ referendum in Kherson postponed for security fears

Russian-appointed officials in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine have postponed a referendum on joining Russia for security reasons.

The referendum is “suspended” for security reasons – said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed administration.

Recently, the Ukrainian army shelled the Antonovskiy bridge and vehicles can no longer cross the Dnipro river.

Images on social media show the bridge under fire with the use of HIMARS rocket launch systems.

Speaking on Russian state television, Mr Stremousov said barges ferrying civilians across the river also came under Ukrainian fire.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has urged civilians to leave Kherson as fighting intensifies in the region.

She also warned that anyone who votes in the Russian referendum would face prosecution by Ukraine.

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ICYMI: Russia says relations with UK could deteriorate with election of Liz Truss as PM

Russia has said it cannot rule out the possibility that the country’s dire relationship with Britain will worsen further under new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Before Ms Truss was announced as Boris Johnson’s successor, the Kremlin dismissed any suggestion that relations with the UK would improve under her leadership or that of her rival Rishi Sunak.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked by reporters whether Moscow expected a change in its relationship with the UK – to which he replied: ‘I wouldn’t like to say that things can change for the worse because it’s hard to imagine anything worse.

“But unfortunately this cannot be ruled out, given that the candidates for the post of British Prime Minister have clashed in anti-Russian rhetoric, in threats to take further action against our country, etc.

“Therefore, I don’t think we can expect anything positive.”

Read the full story here by a foreign publisher David Hardin

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‘Russia could send more gas through other pipelines but chooses not to’ – EU

Russia could send more gas to Europe through other routes to compensate for the shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, but Moscow is choosing not to, a European Commission spokesman said today.

“If there was a technical problem that impeded the supply via Nord Stream 1, there would be a possibility, if there was a will, to deliver gas to Europe via other gas pipelines,” said the spokesperson.

“That’s something we don’t see happening.”

The spokesman added that this behavior was proof that Russia was “arming” its gas supplies to Europe. Russian gas giant Gazprom has blamed the shutdown of Nord Stream 1 on Western sanctions and technical issues.

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UK to expand training program for Ukrainian ‘citizen soldiers’

Britain is expanding a program that is training thousands of Ukrainian citizens to become frontline soldiers amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The course is being extended from three to five weeks to keep more of the training in the UK to reduce the threat posed by the bombardment of Vladimir Putin’s troops.

Around 4,700 Ukrainian citizens have already undergone training at military bases in England since the program began in June.

Read more here by Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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Russian shelling killed at least four civilians in past 24 hours, Ukraine says

At least four civilians have been killed and seven others injured by Russian shelling in the past 24 hours in several regions of Ukraine, the country’s presidential office announced today.

Most of the victims were in the separatist-controlled eastern region of Donetsk – where three people were killed and four injured.

In the Kharkiv region of northern Ukraine, three people were injured when a rocket hit a residential building, the president’s office said.

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Russia claims to have destroyed one of the HIMARS systems supplied by the United States to Ukraine

Russia claimed to have destroyed a US-supplied HIMARS rocket system in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry’s claim was reported by the independent Russian news agency Interfax.

Reuters said it could not immediately verify the report.

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Kremlin ‘expects nothing positive’ from new UK PM

The Kremlin has said it expects nothing positive from Britain’s next prime minister.

Boris Johnson’s successor will be announced today after the end of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party’s six-week leadership race.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is competing with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the top job, is expected to be named the new leader.

Before the contest winner was announced, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked by reporters whether Moscow expected a change in its relationship with the UK.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in front of a screen displaying Vladimir Putin

(AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Peskov said: “I would not like to say that things can change for the worse, because it is difficult to imagine anything worse.

“But unfortunately this cannot be ruled out, given that the candidates for the post of British Prime Minister have clashed in anti-Russian rhetoric, in threats to take further action against our country, etc.

“Therefore, I don’t think we can expect anything positive.”

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Two members of the IAEA will be permanently based in Zaporizhzhia

Two members of the IAEA mission are expected to stay at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on a “permanent” basis, Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom said on Monday.

She added that four other representatives had left the territory of the station.

The Ukrainian power station was captured by Russia in March but continues to be operated by Energoatom engineers and supplies electricity to the Ukrainian grid.

A Russian soldier guards the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

(Yuri Kochetkov/EPA)

“Today … four of the six representatives of the IAEA inspection team completed their work at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and left the territory of the plant,” Energoatom wrote in a statement. on Telegram.

“It is expected that two experts will continue to work at (the plant) on a permanent basis,” the statement said.

Local Russia-based official Vladimir Rogov confirmed in a Monday radio interview that two monitors would stay, but did not give a likely timeframe.

“IAEA mission members have now left the Zaporizhzhia (factory), while at present two people remain there as observers,” he said.

Christi C. Elwood