Ukraine war latest: Russia admits its forces have retreated - and says Ukraine has launched dozens of attacks 'across line of contact' (2023)

Key points
  • Russia admits its forces have retreated -as Wagner boss says they are 'fleeing'
  • Ukrainian troops 'advance' towards Bakhmut
  • Wagner Group chief invites Russian defence minister to Bakhmut
  • Your questions answered: Where will Ukraine's counterattack take place?
  • Explained: What is Ukraine's counteroffensive - and how could it affect the war?
  • Zelenskyy blocked from addressing Eurovision
  • Britain believes sending missiles is risk worth taking | Deborah Haynes
  • Live reporting by Katie Williams


Zelenskyy thanks UK for 'irreplaceable' arms aid

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the UK for "significantly enhancing" Ukraine's military capability with the provision of long-range missiles.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace confirmed yesterday that Storm Shadow cruise missiles - which have a range of over 250km (155 miles) - will be provided to Kyiv's armed forces.

The Ukrainian president said he thanked UK prime minister Rishi Sunak in a phone call "for the significant enhancement of our capabilities with long-range Storm Shadow missiles and other irreplaceable military assistance".

The pair also discussed further defence cooperation and Ukraine's future with NATO.


Russian leadership 'seriously disturbed' by Wagner chief's attacks

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is not acting in the Kremlin's interests and his outbursts are "seriously disturbing" Russia's top leadership, military analysts say.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that two Kremlin sources told Russian opposition media Mr Prigozhin's ultimatum to the Russian defence ministry last week - in which he threatened to remove his troops from Bakhmut if they were not given more ammunition - was seen as a "serious threat".

The Wagner founder is "committed to claiming Bakhmut as a personal victory in order to have influence over the Russian MoD", the ISW said.

Kremlin officials also feared Mr Prigozhin was mocking Vladimir Putin when he recently alluded to a "happy grandfather figure" who thought all was well with Russia's invasion - although he later insisted he was not referring to the Russian president.

The ISW says Kremlin sources believe the financier's "escalating behaviour is likely a result of his inability to meet an unspecified deadline for the capture of Bakhmut".

One claimed that Mr Prigozhin's blame game is an attempt to "avoid accepting responsibility for failing to follow through on his “personal promise” to capture Bakhmut", the ISW added.

(Video) Where Will Ukraine Attack? - Russian Invasion DOCUMENTARY


Wagner chief says Russian troops 'fleeing' Bakhmut - not 'regrouping'

Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has responded to an acknowledgement by the Russian defence ministry that its forces have retreated from areas north of the embattled city of Bakhmut.

In an update today, the ministry said its troops had been redeployed to "more advantageous defensive positions" near the Berkhivka reservoir northwest of the eastern Ukrainian city (see our 1.38pm post).

But Mr Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group which has spearheaded the battle for Bakhmut, said Moscow's forces are"fleeing" their positions and not "regrouping," via the Telegram page of his press service.

Yesterday, the Russian defence ministry denied reports that Ukrainian troops had made gains along frontlines around Bakhmut.


Boris Johnson reacts to Zelenskyy Eurovision address ban

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said it "would have been right" to hear from Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Eurovision grand final.

The Ukrainian president had reportedly hoped to make a surprise video appearance and urge the audience of millions to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

In a since-deleted tweet, Mr Johnson, who had a close relationship with Mr Zelenskyy while he was PM, said: "It would have been right to hear from president Zelenskyy at tonight's Eurovision.

"There is only one reason the contest is not in Ukraine and that is because of Putin's illegal war."


Russian bombers fly over neutral waters near Alaska

Russian state media is reporting that two Russian strategic bombers flew conducted routine flights over the Chukchi Sea between Siberia and Alaska.

"In the course of the flight, the crews of the long-rangeaircraft carried out aerial refuelling," the TASS news agency quoted Russia's defenceministry as saying.

(Video) Putin's 'incompetent' Russian Air Force could run out of pilots - this is how | Ukraine Russia


Russia admits its forces have retreated - and says Ukraine has launched dozens of attacks 'across line of contact'

Russia's defence ministry has said on Friday its forces had repelled a surge of attempted Ukrainian attacks against its positions -and indicated that its troops had fallen back in one area for what it said were tactical reasons.

The ministry said in a statement thatUkrainehad deployed more than a thousand troops and up to 40 tanks in 26 attempted attacks across a frontline extending over 95km (59 miles).

It said the attacks had taken place in the direction of the town of Soledar, which is held by Moscow's forces.

"All the attacks by Ukrainian army units were rebuffed," the ministry said.

"No breakthroughs in the defensive lines of Russian forces were allowed to take place."

However, the same statement did indicate that Russian forces had fallen back a bit in one area of the front, taking up what it described as "more favourable positions" near the Berkhivka reservoir northwest of Bakhmut.

Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose troops have done the bulk of the fighting in and around Bakhmut, said via his press service that what the defence ministry had described was in fact a "rout".


Your questions answered: Where will Ukraine's counterattack take place?

We have been receiving your questions to put to our military analysts - this one comes from Olekssss.

(Video) Ukraine carries out one of the deadliest attacks against Russian forces since war began

Retired Air Vice-Marshal Sean Bell has answered this one...

Ukraine has been very careful not to share details of its strategy with any international partners; instead, it has been Western journalists and analysts that have been making informed judgements as to where such an attack might come.

And, deception is always an effective strategy in battlefield planning, but the choice of counteroffensive options is relatively limited.

Most military analysts believe there are three main options facing Ukraine.

The first is to continue their strategy of pushing back Russia in and around the Donbas - this proved effective last year. The primary challenge there is that some areas have entrenched positions and have been the focal point for some of the most attritional battles of the war to date.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the side on the offence tends to suffer three times the casualties of those on the defence, albeit experience, tactics and professionalism also play a key role in the level of attrition.

Ukraine is smaller than Russia – by some margin – so will inevitably be cautious about getting dragged into a war of attrition which they will struggle to win.

The Dnipro River provides a natural defensive line for the Russian forces who are entrenched on the eastern bank.Therefore, the second option for Ukraine – of moving on Crimea – would need to be commenced with an amphibious assault across the river – which would be very challenging and again, probably result in high casualties.

The third option is for Ukraine to try to sever the land bridge between Crimea and the Donbas.

This is an extensive frontline, and if holes can be punched in the Russian defensive line, could provide Ukraine with a clear run to the coast, thus isolating the Russian forces on the east of the Dnipro and probably forcing them to withdraw into Crimea.

Western tanks and weapons provide the ideal weapon to punch the initial holes, and if successful, Ukraine could make significant gains. And, this strategy probably offers the lowest risk of Ukrainian casualties.

But, this is Ukraine's war and they will be acutely aware that any counteroffensive will carry significant risk, so, all we can do is speculate at this stage.

The question form is now closed while our analysts sift through some of the 1,000+ submissions - we'll open it again on Monday


Rishi Sunak 'disappointed' Zelenskyy won't address Eurovision

Rishi Sunak is unhappy with a decision to block Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from making an address at the Eurovision Song Contest over fears it could politicise the event.

A Number 10 spokesman says the prime minister believed it would be "fitting" as the UK is hosting the event on Ukraine's behalf.

They said the PM was "disappointed" in the decision by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the contest.

The EBU said it had declined Mr Zelenskyy's request to address the event's audience on Saturday.

"The freedoms President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people are fighting for are not political, they are fundamental," Mr Sunak's spokesman said.

Number 10 said the Ukrainian president has thanked Mr Sunak for Liverpool's role in hosting tomorrow's contest on Ukraine's behalf.

(Video) Russian troops run for their lives as advancing Ukrainian tanks storm battlefield

Follow our live coverage of the contest here...


China sending envoy to Ukraine and Russia to 'seek a political settlement'

China is sending a special envoy to Ukraine and Russia next week in a bid to help reach a political settlement.

Li Hui, China's special representative for Eurasian affairs and a former ambassador to Moscow, will also visit Poland, France and Germany, Beijing confirmed.

China says it remains "neutral" over Russia's war in Ukraine but has declared a "no limits" relationship with Moscow and blames the US and NATO for provoking the war.

Beijing has put forward a peace plan for Ukraine that has been largely dismissed by the country's supporters, who say a resolution can only come when Russia ceases its attacks and withdraws its troops from Ukrainian territory.

"The visit of the Chinese representative to relevant countries expresses China's commitment to promoting peace and negotiations,"foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing.

China wishes to prevent an "escalation of the situation", Mr Wang added.

Mr Li's visits are to begin next week, but his detailed schedule has not been released.


Ukraine won't know how good their plan is until they try it

Sky News defence and security analyst Professor Michael Clarke says he doesn't believe this is the beginning of the anticipated counteroffensive, but it could be the beginning of the phase before.

He said: "We are waiting for the beginning of the Ukrainian offensive, some say this is it, but I don't think it will be.

"When that offensive begins, it will almost certainly start with lots of deception and decoys. I think there will be a couple of weeks of real uncertainty, but we may now be in the beginning of that process of uncertainty and confusion.

"The Ukrainians are waiting for the weather to get better and in the next couple of weeks there's not much rain in the forecast for southern Ukraine, the ground is drying very fast.

(Video) Ukraine War: Is Bakhmut about to fall to Russian forces?

"So the Ukrainians know that this is their moment, but we don't know how well they have integrated all their armour, and they don't know until they try it.

"As the old saying goes, 'no military plan survives first contact with the enemy' or as Mike Tyson put it, 'everyone has a plan until you get hit in the mouth'."


Ukraine war latest: Russia admits its forces have retreated - and says Ukraine has launched dozens of attacks 'across line of contact'? ›

Ukraine war latest: Russia admits its forces have retreated - and says Ukraine has launched dozens of attacks 'across line of contact' Moscow admits its forces have retreated to what it says are "more favourable positions" in one area - but says it has repelled 26 attacks.

What has happened to Ukraine since the Russian invasion? ›

The largest refugee crisis in decades

One of the starkest consequences of the Russian invasion has been the displacement of millions of Ukrainians, internally and externally. To date, more than 8 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe, according to the U.N.

Is the kerch strait international waters? ›

View all notes Ukraine also stated that: “[T]he Kerch Strait is an international strait […] connecting “one part of […] an exclusive economic zone” in the Sea of Azov to “an exclusive economic zone” in the Black Sea.”67.

What do Ukrainians eat? ›

The most famous traditional Ukrainian dishes are borshch, varenyky, holubtsi, Chicken Kyiv, banosh, and syrnyky, and it surely is not an exhaustive list. Borshch (sometimes written as borsch, borsht, bortsch, or borshch) is a sour soup with distinctive red colour.

How much food does Ukraine supply? ›

According to the European Commission, Ukraine accounts for 10% of the world wheat market, 15% of the corn market, and 13% of the barley market. With more than 50% of world trade, it is also the main player on the sunflower oil market.

What country owns international waters? ›

International waters are those located outside any nation's territorial waters. Some refer to these waters as the open seas or the high seas. No nation 'owns' these waters.

Who owns the Black Sea? ›

On paper, all six littoral states share the Black Sea militarily. Yet four of them (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine) have relatively small navies, making the sea a de facto maritime condominium between Turkey and Russia.

Who controls Black Sea waters? ›

Turkey has tremendous influence over the Black Sea since it controls two straits, the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, which ships must pass through to transit between the Black Sea and other global waterways.

What is Ukraine's number 1 food? ›

The national dish of Ukraine is borscht, the well-known beet soup, of which many varieties exist. However, varenyky (boiled dumplings similar to pierogi) and a type of cabbage roll known as holubtsi are also national favourites, and are a common meal in traditional Ukrainian restaurants.

What do ukranians eat for breakfast? ›

Ukrainian people eat a lot of cereals for breakfast. For example, in cities, a common breakfast will include boiled buckwheat, rice, or oats. In Western Ukraine, corn porridge is also quite popular and is commonly eaten with white cheese. Bread with salo (pork fat) is a common addition for any meal.

What is Russia's national dish? ›

Pelmeni. Pelmeni is considered the national dish of Russia. They are pastry dumplings are typically filled with minced meat and wrapped in a thin, pasta-like dough. They can be served alone, slathered in butter and topped with sour cream, or in a soup broth.

Are food shortages coming in 2023? ›

It was a bad year for food shortages in 2022, with categories including eggs and baby formula hit hard. Unfortunately, 2023 could see its own batches of food shortages. Here's what consumers should start stocking up on now before prices soar and products likely become harder to find on store shelves.

What is Russia's biggest export? ›

The most recent exports are led by Crude Petroleum ($113B), Refined Petroleum ($81.8B), Petroleum Gas ($37.7B), Coal Briquettes ($19.1B), and Gold ($19.1B). The most common destination for the exports of Russia are China ($70.9B), Netherlands ($39B), United States ($27.4B), United Kingdom ($24.7B), and Italy ($22.2B).

What food products come from Russia? ›

U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Russia totaled $69 million in 2019. Leading categories include: snack foods ($8 million), tree nuts ($6 million), other vegetable oils ($3 million), essential oils ($3 million), and other dairy products ($2 million).

Who owns the ocean floor? ›

All of us own the oceans, and yet none of us do. It's a conundrum. For centuries, beginning with the Age of Exploration when ships were developed that could convey humans across the globe, the governments that represent people like you, the oceans' owner, agreed that no one owned the oceans.

How much of the ocean does the U.S. own? ›

The territorial sea is a maritime zone over which the United States exercises sovereignty. Sovereignty extends to the airspace above and to the seabed below the territorial sea. The U.S. territorial sea extends 12 nautical miles from the baseline.

How far do U.S. waters extend? ›

Each coastal State may claim a territorial sea that extends seaward up to 12 nautical miles (nm) from its baselines. The coastal State exercises sovereignty over its territorial sea, the airspace above it, and the seabed and subsoil beneath it.

Can US Navy ships enter the Black Sea? ›

Since the closure, only warships with ports on the Black Sea, which includes Russia's Black Sea Fleet and Turkish ships, can enter. The last American warship to transit the strait was USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), which left the Black Sea on Dec. 15, 2021.

How many warships does Russia have in the Black Sea? ›

There are currently 20 units in the Black Sea, including 4 missile carriers, one of them is underwater; the total salvo is 28 missiles that can be equipped for launch." Details: Also, according to Humeniuk, many units of the auxiliary fleet were recorded at sea.

Is it safe to swim in the Black Sea? ›

However, the Black Sea is COMPLETELY SAFE to swim in and is a popular summer destination for many looking for refuge from the heat. The Black Sea has a unique feature, which might make people believe it is not swimmable. The Black Sea is anoxic, meaning there is only a small amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.

How do ships get out of Black Sea? ›

The Bosporus Strait connects the Black Sea to the much smaller Sea of Marmara, which is connected to the Aegean Sea by the Strait of Gallipoli. These connections are large enough for most ships, if not all, to access the Black Sea.

Who is mining the Black Sea? ›

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of being responsible for mines now drifting through the Black Sea. Nearby countries, like Romania, are monitoring their waters to defuse them.

Does Russia have submarines in the Black Sea? ›

Russia Navy still has 13 ships including two submarines in Black Sea to threaten Ukraine. According to information published by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on March 2, 2023, the group of Russian ships in the Black Sea consists of 13 ships, 4 of which are capable of carrying Kalibr missiles, including 2 submarines.

How has Ukraine been affected by the war? ›

The war in Ukraine was a “massive and historic energy shock” to the markets, according to a November 2022 report by the OECD. The “shock” of the war was one of the main factors that had slowed economic growth in 2022 to just 3.1 percent, and why the OECD projected it to slow to 2.2 percent in 2023.

How much Ukraine is captured by Russia? ›

A new Guardian analysis of Institute for the Study of War data shows that, after once having seized as much as 51,000 sq miles (132,000 sq km) of Ukrainian land, Russia has since lost a fifth of this. It now controls 40,000 sq miles of Ukrainian land, entirely in the south and east.

How much money has Canada sent to Ukraine? ›

PM Trudeau also says $2.4 B loan to Ukraine has been issued

The latest federal package of military and financial assistance for Ukraine was unveiled Tuesday following a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

What is the impact of the war in Ukraine on global energy? ›

The economic disruption caused by the war in Ukraine has amplified calls for an accelerated energy transition. A shift that would move countries away from highly polluting fuels, often supplied by only a handful of major producers, to sources of low carbon energy such as renewables and nuclear.

Is Ukraine important to the world? ›

Ukraine has long played an important, yet sometimes overlooked, role in the global security order. Today, the country is on the front lines of a renewed great-power rivalry that many analysts say will dominate international relations in the decades ahead.

Is Ukraine a part of NATO? ›

Ukraine applied to integrate with a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2008. Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country closer to Russia, was elected President.

What do people in Ukraine need right now? ›

Ordinary Ukrainians need sleeping bags, thermal underwear, warm socks, generators, and heaters. Americans can send these goods to Help Center Ukraine, an outstanding distribution site run by Ukrainian businessman Andrey Stavnitser and a close friend.

What percentage of Ukraine is under Russian control? ›

War in Ukraine: Russia now controls only 16% of Ukrainian territory.

How many troops does Ukraine have? ›

In 2021, Ukraine's Armed Forces, now numbering 246,445 (including 195,626 military personnel), was the second largest in the region after the Russian Armed Forces.
Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Armed Forces
Active personnel~700,000 (2022)
Reserve personnel1,000,000 (2022)
Deployed personnel40,114 (2021)
25 more rows

What language is spoken in Ukraine? ›

Ukrainian, the official language, belongs with Russian and Belarusian to the East Slavic branch of the Slavic language family. Ukrainian is closely related to Russian but also has distinct similarities to the Polish language.

What country has given the most aid to Ukraine? ›

The United States has given the most in grants, valued at 25 billion euros ($26.5 billion).

What country has sent the most money to Ukraine? ›

ukraine war

As this chart shows, the United States has so far pledged the most financial support to Ukraine: €71 billion in military, financial and humanitarian aid since the beginning of 2022.

How much is NATO giving Ukraine? ›

How much aid have NATO members sent to Ukraine? According to the latest data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank, NATO members committed at least 75.2 billion euros ($80.5bn) in financial, humanitarian and military aid between January 24 and November 20, 2022.

Can Europe survive without Russian gas? ›

"In 2023, Europe will likely, for the first time, need to survive a full calendar year with only minimal volumes of Russian pipeline gas," S&P Global analysts Michael Stoppard and Alun Davies said in a recent report.

Which country is the largest producer of gas? ›

Top 10 Natural Gas Producers by Country (Updated 2023)
  1. United States. Production: 934 billion cubic meters. ...
  2. Russia. Production: 701.7 billion cubic meters. ...
  3. Iran. Production: 256.7 billion cubic meters. ...
  4. China. Production: 209.2 billion cubic meters. ...
  5. Qatar. Production: 177 billion cubic meters. ...
  6. Canada. ...
  7. Australia. ...
  8. Saudi Arabia.
Mar 23, 2023

What is the world's fastest growing way to produce electricity? ›

The report finds that renewables are set to account for over 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years, overtaking coal to become the largest source of global electricity by early 2025.


1. Ukraine frontline: street fighting as Russian troops attack Bakhmut - BBC News
(BBC News)
2. Update from Ukraine | Surprise Ukrainian Counterattack near Bakhmut
(Denys Davydov)
3. Ukraine: Area of Bakhmut liberated as Putin's troops 'flee'
(The Telegraph)
(Reporting from Ukraine)
5. Ukraine High Precision Weapon Destroyed Russian Frontline Trenches & Intelligent Radar System
6. It's all over: Russians are officially Retreating from Bakhmut! Finally Putin admitted that he lost!
(US Daily News)


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