Ukraine war latest: Moscow's troops 'partially pushed back' from key town, Ukraine claims - as Putin says advance 'going to plan' (2024)

Key points
  • Ukraine 'partially pushes back' Russian troops from Kharkiv town
  • Russian offensive in Ukraine 'going to plan', Putin says
  • Analysts say Russian offensive 'appears to have slowed'
  • Situation there 'extremely difficult'
  • Zelenskyy postpones all foreign visits due to 'situation in Kharkiv'
  • US announces $2bn in extra aid for Ukraine
  • Russia downs missiles launched at Crimea
  • Analysis:Putin's 'baffling' reshuffle explained
  • Live reporting by Lauren Russell

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Russian offensive 'appears to have slowed'

Russia's offensive in northern Kharkiv has been the focus of much of the reporting on the war in Ukraine over recent days.

Sky News military analyst Michael Clarke has said the aim of Moscow is to draw Ukraine's forces to that area from the south, thus stretching the country's military resources.

And the latest analysis from US thinktank the Institute for the Study of War suggests that the pace of the offensive "appears to have slowed over the past 24 hours".

The group's experts said the pattern of Russian offensive activity in the area was consistent with assessments that Vladimir Putin's forces are prioritising the creation of a "buffer zone" in the international border area over a deeper penetration of Kharkiv Oblast.

It said several Ukrainian military officials reported yesterday that they believed the situation in Kharkiv Oblast was slowly stabilising.

"Drone footage purportedly from Vovchansk shows Russian foot mobile infantry operating within the settlement in small squad-sized assault groups, consistent with Ukrainian reports," the analysis added.


Two killed in Russian air attack

Two people have been killed after a Russian air attack on infrastructure in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the regional governor has said.

Serhiy Lysak said onTelegram that there were a number of people who had been injured, but gave no other details.

Dnipro is Ukraine's fourth-largest city, it sits on the Dnipro River and is around 300 miles from Kyiv.


Minister says UK 'will not be diverted from commitment to Ukraine'

Within the last hour, the UK's House of Commons addressed an urgentquestion on "Russia's aggression relating to Ukraine and the situation in Georgia".

Ukraine has come under vast assault from Russia in recent days, while in Georgia there have been riots as Russia asserted its influence to see a controversial "foreign agents" law passed.

The question was tabled by Jim Shannon, a Democratic Unionist Party politician, and answering on behalf of the government was armed forces minister Leo Docherty.

He noted today was "day 811 of Putin's 'special military operation' - an operation that was supposed to last three days, and he has failed in all his objectives".

But the minister went on to say the conflict was "evolving", and confirmed Russia's latest assault on the Kharkiv region, which was "almost certainly" a bid to "divert Ukrainian resources away from other parts of the front line and to threaten Kharkiv - the second-largest city in Ukraine".

He declared the UK would "not be diverted from our commitment to provide Ukraine with the support they need to prevail", pointing to the vast package announced in January and ongoing efforts to support the Ukrainian military.

Turning to Georgia, the minister said the government was observing events "with concern".

"The United Kingdom, along with our partners, is of course committed to the right of peaceful protest, as we are concerned by the introduction of the law" on foreign influence, he said.

He added that the UK was "a close friend of Georgia" and called for "calm and restraint on all sides".


Putin: Russian troops are improving positions in Ukraine every day

Vladimir Putin has said Russian troops in Ukraine are "improving positions in all directions every day" and Moscow's military offensive in the country is "going to plan".

The Russian leaders comments come moments after the Ukrainian military claimed to have "partially pushed back" Russian forces in the town of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region.

Moscow begun a pressing offensive on the Kharkiv region on Friday, after weeks of speculation that Russia was preparing to establish a new frontline there.

The towns of Vovchansk and Lyptsi appear to be the focus of the offensive, the latter of which could provide Russia with an opportunity to put Kharkiv under an artillery barrage, if captured.


Ukraine 'partially pushes back' Russian troops from Kharkiv town

Ukraine's forces have "partially pushed back" Russian troops from the town of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian military has said.

In an update on the battlefield situation, the military said a total of 18 Russian assaults were repelled as active combat clashes rage on in north and northwestern parts of the town.

Ourmilitary analyst,Michael Clarke,said Ukraine was able to push back Russian advances by redirecting troops from military units in the south.

"Parts of their best brigades have been sent north to stem the tide," he said.

Earlier, the head of the Ukrainian police force in the Kharkiv region described the situation in the town of Vovchansk as "extremely difficult".

Oleksiy Kharkivskiy, Vovchansk's patrol police chief, said Russian forces were establishing positions inside the town.


Your questions answered: Why hasn't the West provided Ukraine with navy ships to challenge Russia's dominance?

With a second front opening in the war and Russia claiming control of several settlements, it's been an important week for the war in Ukraine.

Readers have been sending in their questions to our senior correspondents and military experts for their take on the changing battlefield environment.

Today, Lamas asked:

Given the impressive success of Ukraine to contain the operational degrees of freedom of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, why hasn't the West supplied the Ukrainian navy with ships in order to consolidate its dominance and pose a serious new challenge to the Russian army?

Military analyst Sean Bell had this to say...

Thank you for this interesting question.

At the start of the Russian ground offensive the Ukrainians scuttled their remaining naval warships to stop them falling into the hands of the Russia invaders.

However, since then the Ukrainians have proven very effective at using naval drones to target Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) vessels, forcing the remainder of the Russian naval forces to move east for their own protection.

This Ukrainian operational success has limited Russia's ability to conduct an amphibious assault against the Ukrainian port of Odessa, and has also provided vital freedom of movement on the western edge of the Black Sea to enable Ukraine to continue exporting its grain and provide vital revenues to help fund its war effort.

Late last year the UK Ministry of Defence announced that two Royal Navy minehunter ships were to be transferred from the Royal Navy to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in a move to strengthen Ukraine's ability to operate at sea.

As the UK and Norway launched a new Maritime Capability Coalition, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced the procurement of two Sandown Class mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) by Ukraine through UK export finance.

Strengthening the Ukraine's maritime capabilities, in particular countering the threat from Russian sea mines, was expected to help restore Ukraine's maritime exports.

However, the only maritime access route into the Black Sea is through the Bosphorus straits, and that is controlled by Turkey.

Under the terms of the Montreux Convention of 1936 - which is still in place - the straits are treated as an international shipping lane, except that Turkey has the power to restrict warships' access to the Black Sea.

This restriction applies to warships from any country, whether or not they border the Black Sea, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, although the UK was prepared to bolster Ukraine's maritime capability in the near term, the Maritime Capability Coalition will be primarily focused on helping Ukraine rebuild its military maritime capability once the current hostilities have ended.

The international community retains the ability to donate maritime capabilities that are land (or air) transportable, but for now that will not include the UK Naval Minehunters that can only be delivered once access to the Black Sea is re-opened.


Blinken: US remains 'deeply concerned' over China's support for Russia

Antony Blinken has said the US remains "deeply concerned" about China's support for Russia's industrial defence base.

The US secretary of state told a news conference in Kyiv that China has so far held back from providing weapons to Russia, but it will continue to sanction against any enterprises that are involved in support for Moscow.

It comes a day ahead of Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing, where he is keen to show he is suppotred by his most powerful politicalpartner, Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mt Putin's two-day visit is expected to highlight the pair'svaunted "no limits" partnership in defiance from pressure fromthe US over its invasion of Ukraine.

Late last month Mr Blinken was in China where he warned top diplomat Wang Yi against deepening military supportfor Russia.


Blinken announces additional aid package for Ukraine

Following on from our post below, Antony Blinken has just announced that the US will provide an additional $2bn (£1.5bn) in military funding to Ukraine.

Speaking from Kyiv, where the secretary of state is on a two-day visit, he said the additional fund would be able to provide weapons "today" and invest in Ukraine's industrial base.

"We are rushing ammunition, armoured vehicles, missiles and air defences to get them to the front lines," Mr Blinken said.

The secretary of state said the US was "intensely focused" on providing patriots and other forms of air defence systems, which Volodymyr Zelenskyy has persistently asked allies for.

He said support was coming from the US at a critical time for Ukraine - which is facing fierce levels of fighting in the north - as Moscow targets the region of Kharkiv.

When asked if he would support US weapons being used to strike places inside Russia, he said: "We don't encourage this, but Ukraine has to make the decision for itself."


In pictures: Blinken oversees US aid reaching Ukrainian capital

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has today continued his visit to Kyiv.

He has been pictured visiting a drone production facility and witnessing packages of US aid being unloaded at a shipment facility in the city of Vyshneve.

Mr Blinken also accompanied Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba to a wreath laying ceremony at the wall of rememberance in the capital.

His visit coincides with the start of fierce battles in Ukrainian towns and villages, but Mr Blinken pledged unceasing US support for the country, during and beyond the war.


Russia takes control of three more Ukrainian settlements - reports

The Russian defence ministry claims its troops have taken control of three more settlements in Ukraine, the state-owned news agency RIA has reported.

The reports said two of the settlements - Hlyboke and Lukiantsi - are in the Kharkiv region and one - Robotyne - is in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Fierce fighting is currently ongoing in the Kharkiv region, particuarly in parts of Vovchansk and the border village of Buhruvatka.

The southeastern Zaporizhzhia region has also previously been targeted by Moscow due to its nuclear power plant.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that the power plant had been attacked three times since 7 April.

It said the attacks had led the world "dangerously close to a nuclear accident".

Sky News cannot independently verify these battlefield claims.

Ukraine war latest: Moscow's troops 'partially pushed back' from key town, Ukraine claims - as Putin says advance 'going to plan' (2024)


What percent of Ukraine does Russia control? ›

By 11 November 2022, the Institute for the Study of War calculated that Ukrainian forces had liberated an area of 74,443 km2 (28,743 sq mi) from Russian occupation, leaving Russia with control of about 18% of Ukraine's territory.

What part of Ukraine is Russia trying to invade? ›

He said his goal was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine. Russian air strikes and a ground invasion were launched at a northern front from Belarus towards Kyiv, a southern front from Crimea, and an eastern front from the Donbas and towards Kharkiv.

Is Crimea part of Russia or Ukraine? ›

The Soviet fleet in Crimea was also in contention, but a 1997 treaty allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Sevastopol. In 2014, the peninsula was occupied by Russian forces and annexed by Russia, but most countries recognise Crimea as Ukrainian territory.

Was Ukraine part of Russia? ›

17th and 18th-century Ukraine

Galicia fell to the Austrian Empire, and the rest of Ukraine to the Russian Empire. While right-bank Ukraine belonged to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until late 1793, left-bank Ukraine had been incorporated into Tsardom of Russia in 1667 (under the Treaty of Andrusovo).

How many tanks does Russia have left? ›

The IISS Military Balance 2024 report says Russia has around 1,750 tanks of various types—including more than 200 of the T-90 variety—remaining, with up to 4,000 tanks in storage.

How many troops has Russia lost? ›

General Staff: Russia has lost 495,070 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022.

How much territory has Ukraine lost? ›

Moscow's forces have claimed 654 sq km since the beginning of this year, outstripping the 414 sq km lost to Ukraine between June 1 and Oct. 1 last year, Paroinen said.

How many dead are in Ukraine? ›

Civilian deaths

By 24 September 2023, OHCHR had recorded 27,449 civilian casualties in Ukraine since February 24, 2022: 9,701 killed and 17,748 injured. This included 14,231 (4,287 killed and 6,324 injured) in Donetsk and Luhansk.

How much has Ukraine retaken? ›

"Ukraine has retaken more than half of the sovereign territory that was grabbed by the Kremlin's forces in 2022," he continued.

What does Russia want from Ukraine? ›

His declared goal on 24 February 2022 was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine and not occupy it by force, days after backing independence for eastern Ukrainian territories occupied by Russian proxy forces since 2014.

What percent of Crimea is Russian? ›

Russians constitute the majority in Crimea (71.7% in Sevastopol and 58.5% in the Autonomous republic of Crimea).

Why did Russia give Crimea to Ukraine? ›

In 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet transferred the Crimean Oblast to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR. The territory had been recognized within the Soviet Union as having "close ties" to the Ukrainian SSR, and the transfer itself commemorated the Union of Russia and Ukraine Tercentenary.

What was the old name for Ukraine? ›

The Polish term Ukrajina, or “the borderland,” first emerged during the 16th century when the Ukrainian lands were incorporated into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. By the 18th century, the French introduced l'Ukraine, and the article stuck.

What was Ukraine called in ancient times? ›

Ukrainian land initally was “ the craddle” of Russia, now called Kievan Rus. It was a developed medieval state that existed from the 9th to the 13th century. It was centered around the city of Kiev (now Kyiv) and covered a vast territory that spanned much of modern-day Ukraine, Belarus, and parts of Russia.

How old is Ukraine? ›

Ukraine Україна (Ukrainian)
• Independence declared24 August 1991
• Current constitution28 June 1996
• Total603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi) (45th)
44 more rows

What percentage of Ukraine is Russian? ›

Demographics of Ukraine
Major ethnicUkrainians (77.8%) 2001
Minor ethnicRussians (17.3%) 2001, Other (4.9%) 2001
23 more rows

What portion of Ukraine is Russian? ›

Russia occupies Crimea and parts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts.

What does Ukraine need to win? ›

Ukraine needs defense against missiles and aircraft most of all: the Estonian plan states that 4,800 anti-air missiles are needed annually. Meeting that number would require the entire annual production of anti-air missiles from the United States (3,600) and the remaining NATO production (estimated at 1,000).

What would happen if Russia won the war? ›

A Russian victory over Ukraine would herald the end of the world as we know it. The West would be disavowed as a guarantor of stability, security, and order. Revisionist actors such as China, Russia, Iran, and others, together with their allies, would impose their ideas of international order.


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