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Stay: UK’s Johnson visits Ukraine on Independence Day, pledges extra navy support

by FRANCE 24
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world information British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a shock go to to Ukraine on Wednesday because the nation marks its independence from Soviet rule in 1991. Precisely six months after the Russian invasion, Johnson lauded Ukraine’s “indomitable” resistance and pledged an additional navy support package deal. Comply with our liveblog for all the most recent developments. All instances are Paris time (GMT+2).

Six months after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the battle rages with no sign of ending. Western intelligence sources, nevertheless, say the momentum is shifting in opposition to Russia. Practically 9,000 Ukrainian troopers have died because the February 24 invasion, Ukraine’s navy chief stated this week. The UN has confirmed the deaths of greater than 5,500 Ukrainian civilians. The actual toll is more likely to be a lot larger. At a world discussion board on the eve of Independence Day, Zelensky vowed to take again Crimea, the southern peninsula Russia annexed in 2014. A spate of explosions have rocked Crimea in latest weeks. Ukraine has not claimed accountability, however has hinted its forces performed a job. The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine has been hit by shelling in latest weeks, prompting requires an Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company (IAEA) mission to the location. Fears of intensified Russian assaults mounted after the killing over the weekend of Darya Dugina, daughter of a distinguished Russian ultra-nationalist, in a automotive bombing close to Moscow. Russia blamed Ukraine for the assault, a cost Kyiv denies.8:45pm: Russia launches lethal Russian missile at railway station in central UkraineA Russian strike on a Ukrainian railway station killed 15 folks and wounded 50 others, stated President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I’ve simply acquired details about a Russian missile strike on a railway station within the (central) Dnipropetrovsk area… No less than 15 folks had been killed and round 50 injured,” Zelensky stated in a speech to the UN Safety Council on Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Zelensky stated the strike was “proper on the wagons at Chaplino station. 4 passenger vehicles are on hearth”.

“Rescuers are engaged on the spot, however the loss of life toll might rise sadly. That is our day by day life,” Zelensky stated. 

5:29pm: Ukrainian id ‘has by no means been stronger’“If Vladimir Putin is relying on bringing Ukrainians to their knees via sheer terror then I believe he miscalculated,” explains Peter Zalmayev, director Eurasia Democracy Initiative, in an interview with FRANCE 24. As Ukraine marks 31 years of independence from Soviet rule, Zalmayev stated Ukraine’s nationwide id “has by no means been stronger” with the nation engaged in a “struggle for survival” in opposition to invading Russian forces.

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5:09pm: Russia ought to cease ‘nuclear blackmail’, Zelensky tells UNAddressing the UN Safety Council through video hyperlink, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated Russia “ought to unconditionally cease nuclear blackmail” and “fully withdraw” from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.

Zelensky’s deal with got here as the pinnacle of Russia’s state nuclear power company on Wednesday held a gathering with the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company (IAEA) chief to debate an anticipated inspection of the Zaporizhzhia facility.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi and Rosatom chief Alexei Likhachev met in Istanbul, the place they “mentioned intimately all the problems regarding the deliberate IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant”, based on a Rosatom assertion.

3:58pm: Johnson pledges extra navy support to UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised an additional package deal of navy assist to Ukraine throughout his shock go to to Kyiv.

The brand new 54 million pound ($63.5 million) package deal will embrace “850 hand launched Black Hornet micro-drones, that are particularly designed to be used in cities and villages, and are deployed to detect approaching enemy forces,” stated a press release launched by Johnson’s workplace.

Army personnel might be skilled to fly the helicopter drones, “that are smaller than a cell phone, in below 20 minutes. Every drone feeds again reside video and nonetheless pictures to permit forces on the bottom to defend city areas safely,” the assertion added.

“Right this moment’s package deal of assist will give the courageous and resilient Ukrainian Armed Forces one other increase in functionality, permitting them to proceed to push again Russian forces and combat for his or her freedom,” stated Johnson.

3:43pm: In Kyiv, Johnson declares UK stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson has arrived in Kyiv on a shock go to to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day.

“There is a sturdy will of Ukrainians to withstand, and that’s what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin failed to grasp,” Johnson instructed reporters in Kyiv. “You defend your proper to reside in peace, in freedom, and that is why Ukraine will win,” he added.

3:21pm: Three Zaporizhzhia plant staff detained for aiding Ukraine, says RussiaTwo workers of Ukraine’s Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant have been detained for passing info to Ukrainian authorities, based on Russia’s Nationwide Guard.

In a press release, the Nationwide Guard stated it had prevented what it referred to as “unlawful actions” that threatened the plant’s safety, and arrested two nuclear plant staff, together with a 3rd one that, it stated, had violated the plant’s entry procedures and collaborated with the Ukrainian armed forces.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, was captured by Russian troops in March. It stays near the frontline, and has come below repeated hearth in latest weeks, elevating fears of a nuclear catastrophe. Each Russia and Ukraine have accused one another of shelling the plant.

3:04pm: Six months on, Irpin residents return to ruinsSome of essentially the most dramatic scenes through the early levels of the Ukraine struggle had been the shelling and evacuations from Irpin, a satellite tv for pc metropolis positioned simply 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kyiv.

The Irpin bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces simply hours after the Russian invasion started on February 24 to cease the invading forces from reaching the nation’s capital. Right this moment, the bridge has changed into a logo of the Ukrainian resistance, says FRANCE 24’s James André reporting from Irpin, as residents are returning to rebuild their lives. 

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2:14pm: Western leaders salute Ukraine on its Independence DayEuropean leaders pledged unwavering assist for Ukraine because the war-torn nation marked its Independence Day on Wednesday, coinciding with the six-month milestone of Russia’s invasion. 

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