Live blog: Russia claims almost full control of Ukraine’s Luhansk region

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Street fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops rages in the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk as Moscow pushes to conquer Ukraine’s eastern Donbass in military offensive, now in its 104th day. After abandoning its bungled attempt to storm Kiev two months ago, Russia declared that taking the entire Donbass is its main objective. (AP) Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Russia claims advances in Ukraine amid fierce fighting

Russia has claimed to have taken control of 97 percent of one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine's Donbass, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of fully capturing the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that 97% of the Luhansk region has already been «liberated» by Moscow’s forces. And it appears that Russia now occupies roughly half of Donetsk province, according to officials.

After abandoning its bungled attempt to storm Kiev two months ago, Russia declared that taking the entire Donbass is its main objective.

Russian MPs vote to quit European Court of Human Rights

Russian lawmakers have passed legislation that finalises Moscow's exit from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

«The European Court of Human Rights has become an instrument of political battle against our country in the hands of Western politicians», Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said following the vote.

Russia holding 600 Ukrainians at Kherson, Kiev says

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of detaining some 600 people, mainly journalists and pro-Kiev elements in the southern region of Kherson, which Moscow's military now holds in its grip.

«According to our information, some 600 people are … being held in specially converted basements in the region of Kherson,» said Tamila Tacheva, the Ukraine presidency's permanent representative in the Crimea, the peninsula to the south of Kherson which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Tacheva said the bulk of those being held were «journalists and militants» who organised «pro-Ukrainian gatherings» in Kherson (city) and the region around it after it was occupied by Russian forces in the wake of the offensive launched in late February.

Ukraine presses to buy Israel's Iron Dome

Ukraine’s ambassador is urging Israel to sell its Iron Dome rocket interception system and provide anti-tank missiles to defend civilians against Russia’s offensive.

Yevgen Korniychuk stopped short of accusing Israel of blocking the sale of the missile defence system. But he wants the Israeli government to back up its verbal support for Ukraine with military assistance. 

At a news conference in Tel Aviv, he said Ukraine wants to buy the Iron Dome system, contending that the United States would not oppose such a sale.

Top Russian, Turkish diplomats to discuss resuming Russia-Ukraine peace talks

Moscow has said that the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers will discuss the resumption of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Turkish capital Ankara.

In a statement on its official website, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the two top diplomats will also discuss the condition and prospects of the Russia-Türkiye relations.

The ministry noted that the Russian-Turkish political dialogue has kept its high intensity since the beginning of the year as the presidents of the two countries have spoken over the phone nine times, while the foreign ministers apart from a phone conversation had a personal meeting in Türkiye's Mediterranean province of Antalya on March 16. 

Ukrainian forces finding it hard to hold centre of Sievierodonestk – official

Ukrainian forces are finding it hard to stave off Russian attacks in the centre of Sievierodonestk, but Moscow's forces do not control the city, the governor of Luhansk region has said.

In an online post, Serhiy Gaidai also said Russian troops were constantly shelling Sievierodonetsk's twin city Lysychansk, which lies across the Siverskiy Donets river.

Russia claims it has occupied large swathes of eastern Ukraine after relentless, weeks-long barrage and recent deployment of more troops. Journalist Dasha Chernyshova has more pic.twitter.com/WgIFp6Y4Tl

— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 7, 2022 Zelenskyy says battlefield stalemate with Russia is not an option for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Kiev will not settle for a battlefield stalemate with Russia and that it aims to regain control of all its territory occupied by Moscow.

«We have already lost too many people to simply cede our territory,» he said by video link at an event hosted by FT Live, in which he added that a stalemate was «not an option» for Kiev.

Kiev has previously said that Russian forces now occupy about 20 percent of Ukrainian territory, including swathes of its east and south.

Ukraine opposes IAEA visit to Russian-occupied nuclear plant

Ukraine has said that it opposes any visit by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog to its nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia while it is under Russian occupation.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said his agency was preparing an expert mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest in Europe and now occupied by Russian forces.

Grossi said on Twitter the visit was arranged after Ukraine had «requested» it. But Ukraine's nuclear agency, Energoatom accused Grossi of lying and said it did not greenlight the visit.

Russia: we've destroyed artillery from West

The Russian military has said it has destroyed several artillery systems provided by the West in the latest series of strikes on Ukrainian targets.

Major General Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian artillery hit a howitzer supplied by Norway and two other artillery systems given to Ukraine by the United States.

He said that the Russian artillery barrage destroyed other Ukrainian equipment in the country’s east while the Russian air force hit Ukrainian troops and equipment concentrations and artillery positions.

Before the conflict began, only 15% of Ukraine's soldiers were women. Now, tens of thousands of others have joined the fight against Russian forces.

TRT World met some of them on the front lines in the Black Sea city of Mykolayiv pic.twitter.com/8ICQJIWtZc

— TRT World (@trtworld) June 7, 2022 Russia denies arson of All Saint Skete monastery in Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied the arson of the All Saint Skete monastery in Ukraine and also reported strikes carried out on Monday night in Ukraine.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov denied a statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the arson of the All Saints Skete monastery in Ukraine by the Russian military.

Konashenkov cited statements by citizens living close to the monastery, saying the Ukrainian military wanted to install an artillery position on the territory of the architectural monument, but was opposed by both secular and religious residents of the area.

Putin orders new budget rules to boost Russia's growth

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to draw up new budget rules by the end of July to boost growth and help protect the economy from a serious downturn.

«Work has already started on the federal budget for the next three years…,» Putin said in a televised meeting.

Russia punishes officers after conscripts were sent to Ukraine

Russia has prosecuted around a dozen army officers after hundreds of conscripts were sent to fight in Ukraine, a military prosecutor has said.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Russia is using conscripts, young men who are drafted by the state to serve in the army, saying only professional soldiers and officers are taking part in its military operation.

However the defence ministry acknowledged in March that some had been mistakenly sent to fight.

Ukraine must not be pressured into a bad peace deal: Johnson

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy must not be pressured by world powers into accepting a bad peace deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told his top team of ministers.

At the cabinet meeting, British foreign minister Liz Truss also said London was readying further sanctions against Russia for its offensive in Ukraine, Johnson's spokesman told reporters.

Johnson, who survived a confidence vote brought by his lawmakers, told his ministers Britain would «remain at the forefront» of support for Ukraine, the spokesman added.

Bodies of dozens of Ukrainian soldiers killed at the Azovstal steelworks in the destroyed city of Mariupol have been returned to Ukraine by Russia, Ukrainian officials say https://t.co/kUpMpZSg6b

— TRT World (@trtworld) June 7, 2022 Russia 'fully liberated' residential areas of Sievierodonetsk: minister

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said Moscow's troops were in full control of the residential areas of Sievierodonetsk, a key city in Ukraine's east.

«The residential areas of the city of Sievierodonetsk have been fully liberated,» Shoigu told a defence ministry meeting in televised remarks. The Russian army was still seeking to establish control over the city's «industrial zone and the nearest settlements», he added.

Russian general killed in Ukraine: separatists

Pro-Kremlin separatists in Ukraine have confirmed the death of another Russian general during Moscow's military campaign in the country.

The leader of Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists, Denis Pushilin, expressed his «sincere condolences to the family and friends» of Major General Roman Kutuzov «who showed by example how to serve the fatherland».

«As long as our generals fight shoulder to shoulder with soldiers, our country and our nation will be invincible,» Pushilin said on the Telegram messenger, posting a black and white photo of Kutuzov.

Mariupol, Berdyansk ports ready to ship grain: Russia

Russia's defence minister has said the Ukrainian ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, seized by Russian forces, have been de-mined and are ready to resume grain shipments.

Sergei Shoigu also said in televised comments that 6,489 Ukrainian military personnel had surrendered to Russian forces since the start of what Russia calls its «special military operation», including 126 in the past five days.

Battles in Donbass region are in full swing – Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai pic.twitter.com/E619RaPsaX

— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 7, 2022 Fierce battle for key Ukraine's Sievierodonetsk

Street fighting raged for the control of Ukraine's flashpoint city of Sievierodonetsk, with the situation changing «every hour», an official has said.

«Our heroes are holding their positions in Sievierodonetsk. Fierce street fights continue in the city,» Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Sievierodonetsk – the largest city still in Ukrainian hands in the Luhansk region of the Donbass – has been the focal point in recent weeks, and officials described a fast-changing situation on the ground.

Russia puts sanctions on 61 US nationals

Russia's Foreign Ministry has announced that is levying sanctions on 61 US nationals.

It said the move was being taken «in response to the ever-expanding US sanctions against Russian political and public figures, as well as representatives of domestic business.»

The list includes US officials and former and current top managers of large American companies, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy: UK providing Kiev with 'exactly' the right weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that the United Kingdom has been providing weapons Kiev needs to fight the offensive with Russia and thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a «complete» understanding of the needs.

Britain said that, in coordination with the United States, it will supply Ukraine with multiple-launch rocket systems that can strike targets up to 80 km away as part of a new UK military aid for Kiev.

«I am grateful to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the complete understanding of our demands and preparedness to provide Ukraine with exactly the weapons that it so needs to protect the lives of our people,» Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

For live updates from Monday (June 6), click  here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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