Russia-Ukraine war latest news today: Vladimir Putin’s troops ‘closing in on Bakhmut’ from three sides

Related: Putin visits Russian troops in Ukraine’s Kherson and Luhansk regions

Russia on Sunday said its forces had advanced in Bakhmut as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to keep defending the city.

The Russian defence ministry said its forces had secured two blocks in western districts and airborne units were providing reinforcements to the north and south.

Ukrainian colonel general Oleksandr Syrskyi shared images on the Telegram messaging app of him poring over a map with three other uniformed men, with the caption “Bakhmut frontline. Our defence continues.”

“We hit the enemy, often unexpectedly for him, and continue to hold strategic lines,” he wrote.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the private Wagner military force which is leading the Bakhmut assault, has claimed to control 80 per cent of the city while Kyiv has repeatedly denied claims its troops are poised to withdraw.

“It is impossible for us to give up on Bakhmut because this will expand the battlefront and will give the Russian forces and Wagner chances to seize more of our lands,” said Zelensky in an interview with the Al Arabiya news channel published on Sunday.

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Black Sea Fleet repels drone attack on Sevastopol – Russian-backed governor

Russia‘s Black Sea Fleet repelled a drone attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol in the early hours of Monday, the Moscow-installed governor of the city said through social media.

“According to the latest information: one surface drone was destroyed … the second one exploded on its own,” governor Mikhail Razvozhaev wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “Now the city is quiet.”

No damage was reported, Razvozhaev added.

Passenger ferry transport had been suspended in the Black Sea port city, Russia‘s Interfax news agency reported, citing Sevastopol transport authorities. No reason was given, but the agency said traffic had been suspended in the past due to drone attacks or storms.

Sevastopol, along with the rest of the Crimean peninsula, was declared annexed by Russia in 2014 but is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

There was no immediate reaction from Ukraine. Kyiv almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia and on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 April 2023 07:43

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Kremlin’s spokesman’s son says he served with Wagner in Ukraine

The son of the Kremlin spokesman has said he served with the Wagner mercenary group for six months in Ukraine.

Nikolai Peskov, son of Dmitry Peskov, said it was his “duty”.

In an interview with pro-Kremlin daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, the 33-year-old said he “couldn’t sit to one side watching as friends and others went off there”.

After making his decision, he said that he asked his well-connected father to help join the group.

The Wagner Group is known as a “private military group” and has trained and deployed thousands of convicted criminals in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

(Reuters)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 April 2023 07:24

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ICYMI: Is the US in a proxy war with Russia?

The short answer: it depends on how the term is defined, says Karen DeYoung, who speaks to experts on Washington’s continued involvement in Ukraine, and what its long-term objectives might be.

Is the US in a proxy war with Russia?

The short answer: it depends on how the term is defined, says Karen DeYoung, who speaks to experts on Washington’s continued involvement in Ukraine, and what its long-term objectives might be

Namita Singh24 April 2023 07:15

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Russia warns grain deal in peril

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that if the G7 moved to ban exports to Russia, it would respond by terminating the Black Sea grain deal that enables vital exports of food from Ukraine. Russia has strongly signalled that it will not allow the deal to continue beyond 18 May.

The Group of Seven (G7) countries are considering a near-total ban on exports to Russia, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported last week, citing Japanese government sources. Russia has repeatedly threatened to scrap its participation in the grain deal, which is due to expire on 18 May.



This idea from the idiots at the G7 about a total ban of exports to our country by default is beautiful in that it implies a reciprocal ban on imports from our country, including categories of goods that are the most sensitive for the G7. In such a case, the grain deal – and many other things that they need – will end for them.

Dmitry Medvedev

“This idea from the idiots at the G7 about a total ban of exports to our country by default is beautiful in that it implies a reciprocal ban on imports from our country, including categories of goods that are the most sensitive for the G7,” Mr Medvedev said in a post on his Telegram channel.

“In such a case, the grain deal – and many other things that they need – will end for them,” he added.

Russia’s former leader Dmitry Medvedev, a President Putin ally who is now deputy chairman of the country’s security council, is seen before a meeting on 21 March 2023

(SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

The G7 is reportedly discussing reversing its sanctions approach so that exports to Russia are automatically banned unless they are included on a designated list of products allowed to be shipped to the country. Under the current framework, goods are allowed to be sold to Russia unless they are explicitly black-listed.

Mr Medvedev, a long-time ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, is Putin’s deputy chair at the influential Security Council and heads a government commission on arms production for the war in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly rallied against the terms of the Black Sea grain deal – the only significant diplomatic breakthrough of the 14-month conflict in Ukraine. It has said it will walk away from the initiative ahead of a 18 May deadline if the West does not lift restrictions on Russian agricultural and fertiliser exports.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 07:00

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Russia ‘will not forgive’ US denial of journalist visas

Russia said Sunday that the United States has denied visas to journalists who wanted to cover foreign minister Sergei Lavrov‘s trip to New York, suggesting that Moscow would take strong retaliatory measures.

There was no immediate comment from the US State Department about the claim of refused visas. The journalists aimed to cover Lavrov’s appearance at the United Nations to mark Russia’s chairmanship of the Security Council.

“A country that calls itself the strongest, smartest, free and fair country has chickened out and done something stupid by showing what its sworn assurances about protecting freedom of speech and access to information are really worth,” Mr Lavrov said before leaving Moscow on Sunday.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 06:45

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‘Ukraine war spurs record global spending on military’

Global military spending rose to a record last year as Russia’s war in Ukraine drove the biggest annual increase in expenditure in Europe since the end of the Cold War three decades ago, a leading conflict and armaments think tank said on Monday.

World military expenditure rose by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022 to $2.24 trillion, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a statement.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February last year following years of growing tensions, has prompted European countries to rush to bolster their defences.

Ukrainian artillerymen of the Aidar battalion work with artillery shells on a front line position near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on 22 April 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

SIPRI estimated that military aid to Ukraine from the United States accounted for 2.3 per cent of total US military spending in 2022. Though the United States was the world’s top spender by far its overall expenditure rose only marginally in real terms.

Meanwhile, Russia’s military spending grew by an estimated 9.2 per cent, though SIPRI acknowledged figures were “highly uncertain given the increasing opaqueness of financial authorities” since its war in Ukraine began.

“The difference between Russia’s budgetary plans and its actual military spending in 2022 suggests the invasion of Ukraine has cost Russia far more than it anticipated,” said Lucie Beraud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI’s military expenditure and arms production programme.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 06:30

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EU ministers braced for Ukrainian frustration over ammunition plan

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba gets a chance today to vent Kyiv’s frustration to European Union foreign ministers over wrangling that is holding up an EU plan to buy ammunition to help Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion.

Mr Kuleba expressed frustration in a tweet last week that a landmark deal for EU countries to jointly buy artillery shells for Ukraine has not yet been implemented due to disagreements over how much of the business has to stay within Europe.

“The inability of the EU to implement its own decision on the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine is frustrating,” he said on Thursday.

“For Ukraine, the cost of inaction is measured in human lives.”

Mr Kuleba can make his case directly when he discusses the state of the war and Ukraine’s needs by video link to a regular meeting of EU foreign ministers, taking place in Luxembourg. EU diplomats say they expect him to do so.

Artillery rounds, particularly 155mm shells, have become critical to the conflict as Ukrainian and Russian forces wage an intense war of attrition. Officials say Kyiv is burning through more rounds than its allies can currently produce.

The joint procurement plan is part of a multi-track EU deal to get one million artillery shells or missiles to Ukraine within 12 months and ramp up European munitions production, approved by foreign ministers last month.

The first element is the most immediate. It sets aside $1.1bn to reimburse EU governments for sending munitions to Ukraine from existing stocks.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 06:15

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South Korea restricts technology and industrial export to Russia and Belarus

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced restricting technology and industrial exports to Russia and its ally Belarus to support the US-led pressure campaign against Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

In announcing its new regulations over exports of strategic materials, the South Korean trade ministry said the country will place hundreds more industrial products and components under its export restrictions against the two countries beginning this week.

Seoul’s controls so far have covered 57 items, including those related to electronics and shipbuilding, with authorities banning their shipments to Russia and Belarus unless the companies obtain special approvals.

Ukrainian artillerymen of Aidar battalion fire a 122mm D30 howitzer artillery field gun, at a front line near Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, on 22 April 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

The list will increase to 798 items beginning Friday, including exports related to construction, machinery, steelmaking, automobiles, semiconductors and advanced computing.

“(We) plan to work with relevant ministries to strengthen crackdowns and enforcement to prevent (the restricted items) from reaching Russia or Belarus through third countries,” the ministry said in a statement.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 06:00

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‘Russian antisubmarine destroyer to conduct drills in Sea of Japan’

Russia’s antisubmarine destroyer Admiral Tributs will conduct exercises in the Sea of Japan involving mock enemy objects, the news agency Interfax reported on Monday, quoting the press service of Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

“In the Sea of Japan, the Admiral Tributs ship will conduct an anti-submarine exercise in accordance with the fleet combat training plan,” the press service said.

File: Sailors aboard the Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs stand on 8 April 2019

(AFP via Getty Images)

As part of the exercises, the ship’s crew, in cooperation with naval helicopters, will search for a mock enemy submarine, as well as perform combat training drills with torpedoes.

Launched in 1983, the Admiral Tributs vessel serves in the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 05:45

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Black Sea Fleet repels drone attack on Sevastopol, claims Russian-backed governor

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet repelled a drone attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol in the early hours of Monday, the Moscow-installed governor of the city said through social media.

“According to the latest information: one surface drone was destroyed … the second one exploded on its own,” governor Mikhail Razvozhaev wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “Now the city is quiet.”

No damage was reported, Mr Razvozhaev added.

Sevastopol, along with the rest of the Crimean peninsula, was declared annexed by Russia in 2014 but is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

There was no immediate reaction from Ukraine. Kyiv almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia and on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.

Namita Singh24 April 2023 05:30

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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