Ukraine news latest: Russia accused of forcing hospital patients in Donetsk into combat

The Missing: The Ukrainians abducted in Putin’s war

Russia has been accused of forcing hospital patients in occupied territories of Ukraine to take part in combat.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Vladimir Putin’s army has been forcing injured and ill men into battle to compensate for the losses suffered by the troops.

It wrote on social media: “Forced mobilisation is currently underway on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In Donetsk, Russian occupiers have found a new ‘source’ to replenish losses in manpower.

“For example, recently, representatives of the Russian occupation army have started arriving at local hospitals and forcibly ‘discharging’ patients.

“In particular, they ‘discharge’ men of conscription age who are receiving treatment for various illnesses or injuries, including from taking part in hostilities.”

In the past day, about 300 Russian soldiers had been “liquidated” amid the ongoing invasion and the total number of Russian soldiers’ deaths since February is now in the region of 49,800 – the Ukrainian defence ministry said today.

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ICYMI: Russia says relations with UK could get worse as Liz Truss elected PM

Russia said it could not rule out the possibility that the country’s dire relations with Britain would get even worse under new prime minister Liz Truss.

Before Ms Truss was announced to be Boris Johnson’s successor, the Kremlin dismissed any suggestion that relations with the UK would improve under her or her rival Rishi Sunak’s leadership.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked by reporters if Moscow expected a change in its relations with the UK – to which he said: “I wouldn’t like to say that things can change for the worse because it’s hard to imagine anything worse.

“But unfortunately, this cannot be ruled out, given that the contenders for the post of British prime minister competed with each other in anti-Russian rhetoric, in threats to take further steps against our country, and so on.

“Therefore, I don’t think that we can hope for anything positive.”

Read the full story here by foreign editor David Harding

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‘Russia could send more gas via other pipelines but is choosing not to’ – EU

Russia could send more gas to Europe through other routes to compensate for the closure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but Moscow is choosing not to do this, a European Commission spokesman said today.

“If there was a technical problem which was impeding supplies via Nord Stream 1, there would be a possibility, if there was willingness, to deliver gas to Europe through other pipelines,” the spokesman said.

“That’s something we’re not seeing happening.”

The spokesman added that this behaviour was proof of Russia “weaponising” its gas supplies to Europe. Russian gas giant Gazprom has blamed the Nord Stream 1 closure on Western sanctions and technical issues.

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UK to expand programme to train Ukrainian ‘citizen soldiers’

Britain is expanding a programme that trains thousands of Ukrainian citizens to become frontline soldiers amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The course is being extended from three weeks to five in order to keep more of the training in the UK in order to reduce the threat posed by shelling of Vladimir Putin’s troops.

Around 4,700 Ukrainian citizens have already undergone training at military bases in England since the programme began in June.

Read more here by Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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Russia’s shelling kills at least four civilians in past 24 hours, says Ukraine

At least four civilians were killed and seven others were wounded by Russian shelling in the past 24 hours across several regions of Ukraine, the country’s presidential office said today.

Most of the casualties were in the eastern separatist-controlled Donetsk region – where three people were killed and four were wounded.

In the Kharkiv region of northern Ukraine, three people were wounded when a rocket hit a residential building, the president’s office said.

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Russia says it destroyed one of Ukraine’s US-supplied HIMARS systems

Russia has claimed to destroy a US-supplied HIMARS rocket system in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

The claim by the Russian defence ministry was reported by the independent Russian news agency Interfax.

Reuters said it could not immediately verify the report.

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Kremlin ‘not hoping for anything positive’ from new British PM

The Kremlin said it expects nothing positive from the next British prime minister.

The successor to Boris Johnson will be announced today after the six-week-long leadership contest of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party ended.

It’s expected that foreign secretary Liz Truss, who is competing against former chancellor Rishi Sunak for the top job, will be named as the new leader.

Before the winner of the contest was announced, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked by reporters if Moscow expected a change in its relations with the UK.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in front of a screen displaying Vladimir Putin

(AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Peskov said: “I wouldn’t like to say that things can change for the worse, because it’s hard to imagine anything worse.

“But unfortunately, this cannot be ruled out, given that the contenders for the post of British prime minister competed with each other in anti-Russian rhetoric, in threats to take further steps against our country, and so on.

“Therefore, I don’t think that we can hope for anything positive.”

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Two IAEA members to be permanently based at Zaporizhzhia

Two IAEA mission members are expected to stay at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on a “permanent basis,” Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said on Monday.

It added that four other representatives had left the station’s territory.

The Ukrainian power plant was captured by Russia in March but continues to be operated by Energoatom’s engineers and supplies electricity to Ukraine’s grid.

Russian soldier guards the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

(Yuri Kochetkov/EPA)

“Today… four of the six representatives of the IAEA inspection team completed their work at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and left the plant’s territory,” Energoatom wrote in a statement on Telegram.

“It is expected that two experts will continue to work at the (plant) on a permanent basis,” the statement said.

Russian-installed local official Vladimir Rogov confirmed during a radio interview on Monday that two observers would remain, but did not give a likely time frame.

“The IAEA mission’s members have now left the Zaporizhzhia (plant), while at present two people have remained there as observers,” he said.

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Russian court strips Novaya Gazeta of media licence

A Russian court stripped newspaper Novaya Gazeta of its media licence today, effectively banning the publication from operating inside Russia.

In a case filed by Russia’s media watchdog Rozkomnadzor, Novaya Gazeta was accused of not providing documents related to a change of ownership in 2006.

The independent newspaper – set up in 1993 – is known for its critical coverage and investigation of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov holding up the newspaper in New York, in June 2022

(AP)

The newspaper, which has set up operations in Latvian capital Riga, has been censored and blocked a number of times by the Kremlin since the start of the war in February.

Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief and Nobel Peace Prize winner, had revealed in 2017 that the newspaper’s employees jointly own 76 per cent of shares.

Alexander Lebedev – father of Evgeny Lebedev, owner of some UK news outlets including The Independent – owned 14 per cent and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev – who died last week aged 91 – had owned 10 per cent.

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Two soldiers accused over child pulling trigger of RPG

Two Ukrainian soldiers are accused of being involved in an incident that wounded at least nine people – including six children – in Chernihiv, officials said.

A child was allowed to pick up a loaded rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and pull the trigger at an arms exhibition on Saturday in the northern Ukrainian city, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) said today.

Six children were among at least nine people to have been injured as a result of the anti-tank grenade being launched, it said.

The SBI said: “During a demonstration of weapons, one of the servicemen allowed a child to pick up a loaded rocket-propelled anti-tank grenade (RPG-26) and pull the trigger. At least nine people were injured as a result of the shot, six of whom were children.”

The two accused soldiers are the ones who allowed the child to pull the trigger and his commander, who ordered subordinate soldiers to bring weapons to the exhibition for demonstration.

Earlier, we reported that Volodymyr Zelensky announced a criminal investigation into the explosion and that a two-year-old boy in serious condition was among the wounded.

Viacheslav Chaus, the Head of Chernihiv Regional Military Administration, has said that the presence of military personnel and the presence of weapons at the event was not planned.

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Teachers ‘pressured to use Russian curricula’ in Kherson

Troops occupying the Kherson region of southern Ukraine are pressuring teachers who are refusing to use Russian curricula in schools, according to local officials.

Teachers who are refusing to co-operate with the demands are being summoned for “interviews” with Russian law enforcement in the region, it has been reported.

Yuriy Sobolevsky, the First Deputy Chairman of the Kherson Regional Council, said as reported by Ukrinform: “The occupying Russian authorities are putting pressure on educators who refused to work under the Russian curriculum.

“In this way, they are trying to persuade them to cooperate and compensate for the lack of personnel.

“In addition, there are reports of threats to the families of school principals who fled the occupied areas and set up from the Ukraine-controlled territory the distance learning process for school children.”

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