June 19, 2024

Russia Ukraine war live: First lady Olena Zelenska issues sobering warning in rare interview

Russian missiles hit apartment block and Ukrainian security service building in Dnipro

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has issued a sobering warning to the world as the conflict enters its 18 month, in an exclusive interview with Independent TV.

Speaking from the command centre in Kyiv, Ms Zelenska warned that her country is in desperate need of “faster” support to enable it to fight Vladimir Putin’s troops.

“We keep hearing from our Western partners that they will be with us as long as it takes. ‘Long’ is not the word we should use. We should use the word ‘faster’,” she told Independent TV.

“Ukrainians are paying for this war with the lives of our compatriots. The rest of the world pays with its resources. These are incomparable things, so we urge you to speed up this help,” she added.

A comedy screenwriter and the childhood sweetheart of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Ms Zelenska gave up her day job to become an ambassador for Ukraine after Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Founding the Olena Zelenska Foundation in September 2022, the organisation’s work is wide-ranging, encompassing everything from reconstructing hospitals to supporting those suffering with their mental health.

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What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

In a rare interview the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has spoken to Independent TV about her work rebuilding Ukraine in the middle of war, the pressures on her family and concerns for the future of her country.

From the presidential palace, she told The Independent’s Bel Trew about the need to reconstruct cities despite the fighting raging on, about building cutting-edge facilities to treat the country’s’ war-wounded and fighting stigma on trauma around the country.

What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

In a rare interview the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has spoken to Independent TV about her work rebuilding Ukraine in the middle of war, the pressures on her family and concerns for the future of her country. From the presidential palace, she told The Independent’s Bel Trew about the need to reconstruct cities despite the fighting raging on, about building cutting-edge facilities to treat the country’s’ war-wounded and fighting stigma on trauma around the country. Watch the full interview on Independent TV, across mobile and connected TV from Monday 7 August.

Eleanor Noyce2 August 2023 22:07

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If Russia wins now it’s the worst-case scenario for humanity, warns Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska

Ukraine’s first lady has warned that Russia winning the war it started is “the worst-case scenario for all humanity”, in a heartfelt plea for the world not to lose interest in her country as its soldiers are fighting for “the democratic balance of the world”.

Speaking exclusively to Independent TV, Olena Zelenska said Ukraine is deeply concerned that the world is underestimating the wider threat from Moscow as the conflict grinds into its 18th month.

Read the full interview here:

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 05:40

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Ukrainians forced to become Russian citizens, US-backed research finds

Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territory are being forced to assume Russian citizenship or face harsh retaliation, including possible deportation or detention, US-backed research published yesterday said.

A series of decrees signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin compel Ukrainians to get Russian passports, in violation of international humanitarian law, the report said.

Yale University researchers said that as part of a plan by Moscow to assert authority over Ukrainians, residents of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions are being targeted by a systematic effort to strip them of Ukrainian identity.

The Kremlin has consistently denied allegations of war crimes in Ukraine by forces taking part in a “special military operation” it says was launched to “de-Nazify” its neighbour and protect Russia.

Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin said in May that Moscow has given passports to almost 1.5 million people living in the annexed parts of Ukraine‘s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions since last October.

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 05:21

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ICYMI: Mideast countries that are already struggling fear price hikes after Russia exits grain deal

Ahmed Salah grew anxious when he heard the news that Russia had suspended a crucial wartime grain deal. The bakery owner in Egypt‘s capital is concerned it could mean global food prices soar.

“There mightn’t be immediate impact,” the 52-year-old said last week as he oversaw workers baking bread in his shop in Cairo, “but if they didn’t find a solution soonest, things would be very difficult.”

Russia pulled out of the deal brokered by the U.N. and Turkey to allow Ukraine’s grain to flow during a global food crisis. It helped stabilize food prices that soared last year after Russia invaded Ukraine — two countries that are major suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other food to developing nations.

Eleanor Noyce3 August 2023 05:00

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Putin’s troops fail to advance but are well dug in, says Ukrainian official

Even though Russian forces have not made any significant headway along the front lines, they are entrenched in heavily mined areas they control, making it difficult for Ukrainian troops to move east and south, Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday.

Russian forces have utilised ample time this year during their occupation in frontline areas to prepare defences and lay extensive minefields, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, said.

“The enemy has prepared very thoroughly for these events,” he told national television. “The number of mines on the territory that our troops have retaken is utterly mad. On average, there are three, four, five mines per square metre.”

In June, Ukrainian forces launched a drive to retake occupied areas and have been pressing southward toward the Sea of Azov to sever a land bridge between occupied eastern Ukraine and the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula.

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 04:30

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Several explosions in Kyiv overnight as anti-aircraft units repel attacks

Anti-aircraft units were in action against attack drones during a three-hour air raid alert in and around Kyiv in the early hours today, the military said, with several explosions reported but no strikes or casualties announced.

Kyiv military authorities lifted the alert just after 4am (1am GMT).

One report by the military said airborne targets had been downed, but no details were provided.

Alerts were also lifted in most other areas of the country.

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 04:07

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Face to face with a mercenary: Inside Wagner and its blood-soaked role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Amid the ravages of war, Sergey, a seasoned Wagner mercenary, found himself grappling with the relentless violence that has become a way of life and death on the front line. The savage conflict, the sense of betrayal from the Kremlin, and rumours of plots, all combined to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and dread.

At the end he decided to abandon the Wagner group and the savage, meat-grinding combat of Donbas where corpses piled up, and towns and cities were razed.

Kim Sengupta meets a fighter – a father of two – who has recently left the mercenary group and hears about the daily routine of ‘fight, eat, pray’ on some of the fiercest frontlines in the war:

Eleanor Noyce3 August 2023 04:00

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Areas near Bakhmut recaptured, says Kyiv

Officials in Kyiv have said its troops have retaken areas near Bakhmut, an eastern city seized by Russian forces in May after months of battles.

Deputy Ukrainian defence minister Hanna Maliar said Russian forces had “tried quite persistently to halt our advance in the Bakhmut sector. Without success.”

Russian forces, she wrote on Telegram, were beefing up reserves and equipment in three areas further north, where heavy fighting has also been reported in recent weeks.

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 03:51

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Russia attacks grain port across River Danube from Romania

Russia attacked Ukraine’s main inland port across the River Danube from Romania yesterday, sending global food prices higher as it ramps up its use of force to prevent Kyiv from exporting grain.

The attacks destroyed buildings in the port of Izmail, south of Moldova, and halted ships in their tracks as they prepared to arrive there to load up with Ukrainian grain in defiance of a de-facto Black Sea blockade reimposed by Russia last month.

The port, which lies across the river from Nato-member Romania, is the main alternative route for exports.

Arpan Rai3 August 2023 03:44

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Mapped: The latest strikes on Ukraine and Russia as war rages on

“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centres and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process,” he said in a video address from the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

Russia’s defence ministry conceded on Sunday (30 July) that a 50-storey building containing the offices of a number of government agencies and a shopping precinct in the capital’s western Moskva-Citi business district were both hit by drone strikes it blamed on Ukraine, claiming to have brought down three more devices.

Joe Sommerlad has the full story:

Eleanor Noyce3 August 2023 03:00

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