Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is calling on the West to speed up deliveries of weapons systems as Ukrainian troops move to consolidate control over a large swath of northeastern territory seized back from Russia.
* Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces had retaken 6,000 square km (2,400 square miles) of Russian-held territory since the beginning of the month.
* Russia has largely ceded its gains near Kharkiv and many of the withdrawing Russian soldiers have exited Ukraine, a senior U.S. military official said.
* Vitaly Ganchev, the Russian-installed head of Moscow’s occupation administration in what remained of Russian-held territory in Kharkiv region, acknowledged that Ukraine’s troops had broken through to the frontier.
* Ukraine’s general staff said its forces had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day.
* At least 1,000 people have been killed in the last six months in fighting in the city of Izium but the real figure is probably much higher, an official said, two days after Kyiv’s forces recaptured the major supply hub.
* Britain’s defense ministry said Russia had probably ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entire occupied Kharkiv region west of the Oskil River.
* Faced with one of its worst defeats in nearly seven months of war, the Kremlin insisted it would achieve its military goals and Putin maintained an air of business as usual.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
* U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was still early days in Ukraine’s counteroffensive against the Russian military, but Ukrainian forces have made “significant progress.”
* The International Monetary Fund’s executive board reviewed a plan on Monday that would help Ukraine and other countries hit hard by Russia’s war, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* The Kremlin said it saw no prospect of peace talks and that what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine would achieve its goals.
* Ukraine and Russia are interested in the U.N. atomic watchdog’s proposal that a protection zone be created around the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the watchdog’s chief Rafael Grossi said, describing it as a ceasefire.
(Compiled by Lincoln Feast and Shri Navaratnam; Editing by Michael Perry)
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