The EU has imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, expand import and export bans and blacklist people following Moscow’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the President of Ukraine, told European heads of state in Prague that Ukraine must win so that Russia “does not advance on Warsaw or even on Prague”.
Russian opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza, imprisoned in Moscow since April, is under investigation for “high treason”, as authorities bolster their case against him for his criticism of the war in Ukraine.
The United States accused Russian mercenaries of exploit natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to help fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a charge that Russia has dismissed as “anti-Russian rage”. US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that The Wagner mercenary group exploits natural resources and “these ill-gotten gains are being used to fund Moscow’s war machine in Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine.”
Ukrainian emergency services said three bodies had been pulled from the rubble after a Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-storey building in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.
The Kremlin has denied reports that 700,000 Russians have fled the country since Moscow announced a mobilization campaign, it has declared that it will call up hundreds of thousands of people to fight in Ukraine.
Two Russians who said they fled their country to avoid compulsory military service have sought asylum in the United States after land in a small boat on a remote island in Alaska in the Bering Sea, the office of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski announced Thursday.
The head of the UN nuclear agency is on his way to Kyiv to discuss the creation of a safety zone around the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, after Vladimir Putin ordered his government to take it back. “On our way to Kyiv for important meetings,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi wrote on Twitter, saying the need for a protective zone around the site was “more urgent than ever”. Grossi is also expected to travel to Moscow in the coming days to discuss the situation at the factory. The IAEA said it has learned of plans to restart a reactor at the plant, where all six reactors have been shut down for weeks.
Ukrainian forces push their advance east and south, forcing Russian troops to retreat under pressure from both fronts. Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the Ukrainian army made major and rapid advances against Russian forces last week, retaking dozens of towns in the southern and eastern regions that Russia declared annexed. Military experts say Russia is at its weakest point, partly because of its decision not to mobilize sooner and partly because of massive losses of troops and equipment.
Ukraine has extended its control zone in the Kherson region by six to 12 miles, according to his army’s southern command. Zelenskiy confirmed the takeover of the villages of Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka, saying the settlements had been “liberated from the sham referendum and stabilized”, in a speech on Wednesday.
Moscow forces left behind destroyed cities formerly under occupation and, in places, mass burial sites and evidence of torture chambers. In Lyman, which was retaken by Ukrainian forces on Sunday, more than 50 graves have been discovered, some with names, others with numbers, Kyiv-based media Hromadske reported on Wednesday.