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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Moscow abandoned its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine, a sudden apparent collapse of one of the war’s principal front lines after Ukrainian forces moved to encircle the area in a shock advance.

FIGHTING

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* Ukraine’s counteroffensive this month has liberated around 2,000 square km (700 square miles) of territory, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

* The Russian-installed chief administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region recommended all its inhabitants evacuate to Russia “to save lives,” state-run TASS news agency said.

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* Ukrainian forces established full control over the city of Balakliia, said Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar.

* Russia’s defense ministry ordered troops to leave the area around the city of Izium in Kharkiv province, saying they would be sent to reinforce operations elsewhere in neighboring Donetsk, TASS said.

* Ukrainian troops captured the city of Kupiansk, the sole railway hub supplying Russia’s front line across northeastern Ukraine, cutting thousands of Russian troops off from supplies.

* A Reuters journalist inside a vast area recaptured in recent days by the advancing Ukrainian forces saw Ukrainian police patrolling towns and boxes of ammunition lying in heaps at positions abandoned by Russian soldiers.

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* Russia’s defense ministry said its air forces destroyed a Ukrainian radar tracking station the southern Mykolaiv region and six weapon and missile depots in eastern and southeastern areas, TASS reported.

* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

ENERGY, NUCLEAR

* Ukraine will look into whether it can urgently supply neighboring Poland with 100,000 tonnes of thermal coal to help it through the winter, Zelenskiy said.

* Zelenskiy said he told French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, calling for it to be “demilitarized.”

QUOTES

* Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba: “We have demonstrated we are capable of defeating the Russian army. We are doing that with weapons given to us. And so I reiterate: the more weapons we receive, the faster we will win, and the faster this war will end.”

* Russia’s defense ministry on TASS: “To achieve the stated goals of the Special Military Operation for the liberation of Donbas, it was decided to regroup the Russian troops located in the districts of Balakliia and Izium for the purpose of increasing efforts in the Donetsk direction.”

(Compiled by Andrew Heavens and William Mallard)



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