Russia-Ukraine war: ‘significant’ blow against Snake Island occupiers, says Ukrainian army; Russia marks anniversary of Hitler’s invasion – live news | World news

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Satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies, dated 21 June, appear to show damage inflicted on Snake Island after Ukraine claimed it launched an attack on the small southern territory on Tuesday.

A destroyed tower in the southern end of the island and burnt areas on the northern end can be observed.

Russia said it repelled a Ukrainian attempt to retake the island in the Black Sea captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.

A destroyed tower seen on the southern end of Snake Island in a satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on 21 June. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images
Burn marks can be seen on the northern end of Snake Island.
Burn marks can be seen on the northern end of Snake Island. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images
Russia said it repelled a Ukrainian attempt to retake Snake Island, a small territory in the Black Sea captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.
Russia said it repelled a Ukrainian attempt to retake Snake Island, a small territory in the Black Sea captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine launches strikes on Snake Island

Ukraine’s army has said it had launched airstrikes on Zmiinyi Island, also known as Snake Island, causing “significant losses” to Russian forces.

In a post on Facebook, the military’s southern operational command said it had used “aimed strikes with the use of various forces” on the island.

The command added:

The military operation continues and requires information silence until it is over.

Summary and welcome

Hello it’s Samantha Lock back with you as we continue to report all the latest news from Ukraine.

Here are all the other major developments as of 8am in Kyiv.

  • The military situation for Ukraine’s defenders in the eastern Donbas is “extremely difficult”, officials have said. There are 568 civilians thought to be holed up in Sievierodonetsk’s Azot chemical plant, as Russian attacks intensify in an effort to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said Lysychansk was getting shelled “en masse”.
  • Russian forces have captured several settlements near Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. The head of the Sievierodonetsk district military administration, Roman Vlasenko, said the frontline village of Toshkivka had not been under Ukrainian control since Monday. Russian forces also reportedly captured Pidlisne and Mala Dolyna, located south-west of Sievierodonetsk, and saw success near the Hirske settlement in Luhansk.
  • At least 15 civilians were killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region by Russian shelling on Tuesday, according to the regional governor, Oleh Synegubov.
  • Mass mobilisation is “about to happen” in Russia with the Kremlin recruiting people in poorer regions to fight in Ukraine, according to western officials. Officials also said there was “more chatter” about Vladimir Putin’s health and “more speculation” about who would replace him in Russia. However, there did not appear to be an “immediate threat” to the Russian president’s position from the elite or the general population, they said.
  • The US attorney general, Merrick Garland, visited Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss Russia’s war crimes, a justice department official said. Garland met with Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, and announced a war crimes accountability team to identify and prosecute perpetrators. “There is no hiding place for war criminals,” Garland said.
  • German self-propelled howitzers have arrived in Ukraine in the first delivery of heavy weapons promised by Berlin. “We have replenishment!” Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, announced. “The German Panzerhaubitze 2000 with trained Ukrainian crews joined the Ukrainian artillery family.”
  • Turkey should be cautious about delivering more weapons to Ukraine, the head of Turkey’s weapons production agency said. The remarks by Ismail Demir to the Wall Street Journal show how Ankara is increasingly playing both sides of the war. Turkish-made drones have played a critical role in Kyiv’s defence.
  • Turkey’s military delegation will travel to Russia this week to discuss a possible safe sea corridor in the Black Sea to export Ukrainian grain, according to Turkish presidency sources. A meeting between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations would be held in Istanbul in the coming weeks, possibly with the participation of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the UN’s secretary general, António Guterres, the sources said.
  • European countries are united in their support for granting Ukraine the status of EU member candidate, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister has said. Jean Asselborn told reporters: “We are working towards the point where we tell Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine defends.”
  • The UK government is “determined” to impose further sanctions on Russia and will continue to do so until Moscow fully withdraws from Ukraine, Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has said. She told parliament that she would be travelling to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss options to help get grain out of Odesa. Boris Johnson also warned of the need to resist “growing fatigue” around the war and said any concessions to Vladimir Putin would be a “disaster”.
  • Estonia summoned the Russian ambassador on Tuesday to protest about an “extremely serious” violation of its airspace by a Russian helicopter. The Estonian foreign ministry said the helicopter flew over a point in the south-east without permission on 18 June.
A Ukrainian service member with a dog seen in the ruined eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk.
A Ukrainian service member with a dog seen in the ruined eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk. Photograph: Reuters

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