Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

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The UN announces at least 5,110 dead in Ukraine since the start of the war

This photograph taken on July 15, 2022 shows newly dug graves at a cemetery in Vinogradnoe district, Donetsk region, amid ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.

– | AFP | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 5,110 civilian deaths and 6,752 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor on February 24.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, as armed conflict may delay death reports.

The international organization said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide area of ​​impact, including heavy artillery fire and multiple rocket launchers, as well as missiles and air strikes.

—Amanda Macias

Russia uses private military firm Wagner to bolster front lines, UK says

A mural praises the Russian Wagner Group and its mercenaries fighting in Ukraine on March 30, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Peter Crom | Getty Images

Russia has used the private military company Wagner to bolster frontline forces and to mitigate personnel shortages and casualties, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

“Wagner has almost certainly played a pivotal role in recent fights, including the capture of Popasna and Lysyschansk. These fights have inflicted heavy casualties on the group,” the ministry said on Twitter on Monday.

Wagner is lowering recruitment standards, the ministry also said in its latest intelligence update, suggesting the state-linked Russian paramilitary group has “hired convicts and previously blacklisted people.”

Very limited training is made available to new recruits, he added, noting that “this will most likely impact the future operational effectiveness of the group and reduce its value as an accessory to regular forces. Russians”.

Noting tensions between the Wagner Group and the Russian military, the UK said the fact that Wagner’s leader Yevgeniy Prigozhin had recently been named a Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s performance in Lugansk was likely to exacerbate the grievances between the army and Wagner. It is also likely to have a negative impact on Russian military morale.

Holly Ellyat

Russian news agency RT repeatedly breached impartiality rules, UK regulator says

Russian English-language news site RT “is aimed at a Western audience, and therefore what is broadcast on RT is not what is said in Russia,” said Jeremiah Fowler of Security Discovery.

Lionel Bonaventure | AFP | Getty Images

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, has ruled that news and current affairs coverage by Russian English-language broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today) following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia broke impartiality rules 29 times in four days.

When dealing with major issues such as wars or conflict zones (in these cases, in particular the ongoing conflict in the Donbass region), all Ofcom licensees must comply with the particular impartiality requirements of its broadcast code.

“These rules require broadcasters to take additional steps to maintain the required impartiality, namely by including and giving due weight to a wide range of material opinions,” Ofcom said in a statement on Monday, saying that these measures were “particularly important in situations where events change”. quickly and potentially harmful misinformation is available online. »

Ofcom said it had launched 29 investigations into RT following complaints from viewers and Ofcom’s own monitoring of the channel. “Our investigations focused on the impartiality due to 15 RT News bulletins from February 27, 2022, 12 from March 1, 2022 and one from March 2, 2022 as well as the documentary The Donbass yesterday, today and tomorrow which repeated itself on March 1 and 2, 2022.”

“In each case, we found that RT’s coverage failed to maintain the required impartiality of the conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine. Ofcom considers these violations to be serious and repeated, and we are willing to consider them for the imposition of a lawful penalty.

RT no longer broadcasts in the UK as Ofcom has been revoked RT Broadcast License on March 18 on the grounds that the agency did not consider RT’s license holder, ANO TV Novosti, fit and proper to hold it.

Holly Ellyat

Zelenskyy removes senior officials after cases of treason in government agencies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has suspended the head of Ukraine’s security services and the prosecutor general.

It was announced on Sunday that Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and SBU (Ukraine’s security service) chief Ivan Bakanov were suspended after Zelenskyy said cases of treason had been uncovered in both government agencies.

Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Irina Venediktova speaks to reporters during the exhumation of victims of the Buchan genocide.

Mikhail Palinchak | Light flare | Getty Images

“As of today, 651 criminal cases have been registered for high treason and collaborative activities of employees of prosecutors’ offices, preliminary investigation bodies and other law enforcement agencies,” Zelenskyy said in his Sunday night speech. .

He said that “more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the SBU remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state.”

Head of Ukraine’s Security Service Ivan Bakanov is pictured during a briefing following the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) meeting, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

Pavlo Bagmut | Edition of the future | Getty Images

Zelenskyy said “all Russian war criminals” would be brought to justice as well as “every collaborator” and “all those responsible for terrorism”.

There was no comment from officials named by Zelenskyy.

Holly Ellyat

Increase operations in all directions, Russian defense chief tells troops

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a wreath laying ceremony, marking the anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany in 1941, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia June 22, 2022.

Mikhail Metzel | sputnik | Reuters

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called on the country’s armed forces to “intensify” operations on all fronts, saying this was to “prevent massive missile and artillery attacks” which, according to him, were launched by the Ukrainian forces on civil infrastructures, the Donbass and other Regions.

The remarks by Shoigu, a close ally of President Putin, come after Ukraine’s military said it had carried out a series of successful strikes against Russian ammunition depots and logistics centers in recent weeks.

Shoigu’s comments also mark what could be a more aggressive stance on Russia’s part as Western weapons delivered to Ukraine begin to have an impact in this phase of the war, which has seen heavy fighting in both main regions of Donbass: Luhansk, which is now fully occupied. by Russia, and neighboring Donetsk into which Russian forces are trying to advance.

Russia says it is trying to “liberate” Donbass, where there is a preponderance of ethnic Russians and where there are two self-proclaimed “People’s Republics”. Contrary to Shoigu’s claims, there have been several instances of Russia hitting civilian infrastructure. Last week there were several deaths following missile attacks on central and eastern Ukraine.

Holly Ellyat


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