Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
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.
* Britain’s Defence ministry said on Sunday morning Ukrainian forces had continued making gains in the Kharkiv region over the past 24 hours, with Russia likely withdrawing units but fighting continuing around the cities of Kupiansk and Izium.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
NUCLEAR, ENERGY, GRAINS
* Operations at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine have been fully stopped as a safety measure, Energoatom, the state agency in charge of the plant, said on Sunday.
* Zelenskiy said he told French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, calling for it to be “demilitarized.”
* 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.
* Britain dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that only a tiny fraction of grain exported from Ukraine under an international deal was going to poor countries, saying 30% has gone to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
(Compiled by Andrew Heavens and William Mallard)
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