Russia Ukraine latest news: CIA director William Burns quietly called Kremlin after Wagner mutiny

Putin appeals to Russian public after Wagner mutiny

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CIA director William Burns reportedly called Russian spy chief Sergei Naryshkin in the aftermath of failed mutiny by the Wagner group.

The phone call to the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service was to assure Kremlin that the US had no role in the Wagner group’s aborted rebellion, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal said.

“The US wasn’t involved,” one official said about the CIA message to the Kremlin. “This is an internal Russian matter,”

The White House declined to comment, saying they will not get into specifics of “individual diplomatic discussions”.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of “extremely active” weeks ahead as Ukrainian forces have launched a counteroffensive to reclaim territories from the Russian army.

He said the counteroffensive is making progress in all directions, adding that his forces have killed 21,000 Wagner troops in a separate interview.

Earlier, a leading think tank said Vladimir Putin may take “formal control” of Wagner forces in Ukraine – and beyond – following the failed rebellion by the mercenary group.

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Rescuers dig through rubble after deadly strike hits Ukraine school

Rescuers dig through rubble after deadly strike hits Ukraine school

Sam Rkaina1 July 2023 11:15


Departure of Army chief reveals deeper malaise among top military brass

The exit of General Sir Patrick Sanders has raised concerns about deeper underlying issues in the UK’s armed forces, writes Kim Sengupta.

The withdrawal from Basra Palace in September 2007 followed one of the most dangerous times of sustained violence faced by the British forces in Iraq.

The convoy arrived at the airport, the last UK base remaining after the palace, for final departure from an inglorious and bitterly divisive war.

There was silence, apart from some clumps of mortar, when the commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Sanders, addressed his troops. He praised their courage, dedication and sacrifice.

Afterwards, he reflected: “I could have stayed on there for another six months; we would have been able to defend ourselves, and killed a lot of people in the process, but what would that have achieved?


Sam Rkaina1 July 2023 08:50


US is considering providing cluster munitions to Ukraine, says America’s top military officer

The US is considering providing cluster munitions to Ukraine, the top American military officer said Friday. Army General. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US is mulling over providing the munitions “for a long time”. He noted that Russian troops are using them on the battlefield in Ukraine and that Ukrainian forces have received cluster bombs from other allies and have deployed the arms. General Milley said at the National Press Club: “The Ukrainians have asked for it, other European countries have provided some of that, the Russians are using it.”

He also dismissed concerns that Ukraine‘s counteroffensive is going too slowly. General Milley said he thought the initial campaign would take six weeks to 10 weeks.

“It’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very long,” General Milley said. “No one should have any illusions about any of that.”

Cluster bombs are weapons that open in the air, releasing submunitions, or “bomblets,” that are dispersed over a large area and are intended to wreak destruction on multiple targets at once.

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 07:30


Ukrainian counteroffensive’s progress measured in blood, Washington, Kyiv officials say

The counteroffensive launched by Ukraine this month to reclaim territory occupied by Russian forces has been met with caution in terms of counting gains. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and US army general Mark Milley both acknowledged that progress in this endeavour is measured in blood.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, General Milley emphasised that the counteroffensive was “advancing steadily, deliberately working its way through very difficult minefields … 500 meters a day, 1,000 meters a day, 2,000 meters a day, that kind of thing.”

General Milley pointed out the stark difference between war on paper and real war, highlighting the human cost involved.

“War on paper and real war are different. In real war, real people die. Real people are on those front lines and real people are in those vehicles. Real bodies are being shredded by high explosives.”

He added, “What I had said was this is going to take six, eight, 10 weeks, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very long, and it’s going to be very, very bloody. And no one should have any illusions about any of that.”

Mr Zelensky said the counteroffensive was progressing slower than desired without providing specific details. While Ukraine claimed to have recaptured a cluster of villages, liberating 130 square kms (50 square miles) in the south, this accounted for only a small portion of the total territory held by Russia.

Yesterday, Mr Zelensky said his forces advanced “in all directions of our active operations,” while Hanna Maliar, deputy defense minister, said the military assessed progress as “going according to plan,” and that the counteroffensive should be evaluated by “a lot of different military tasks.”

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 07:00


Modi holds phone call with Putin after Russian president’s praise of ‘big friend’

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi held a phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday to discuss the situation over the ongoing special military operation and how Moscow had resolved an armed mercenary mutiny yesterday.

Mr Modi expressed his support to what the Kremlin called the Russian leadership’s decisive actions in handling the mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group, the Kremlin said.

“In connection with the events of June 24 in Russia, Narendra Modi expressed understanding and support for the decisive actions of the Russian leadership to protect law and order, ensure stability in the country and the security of its citizens,” it said.

The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement that the two “exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest”.

“While discussing the situation in Ukraine, PM reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy,” a short statement said.

“Both leaders agreed to remain in touch and continue to make efforts to further strengthen Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries.”

The call between the two leaders came a day after Mr Putin praised Mr Modi as his “big friend”.

It was after Mr Modi met US president Joe Biden to reaffirm that the “United States and India as among the closest partners in the world”.

“Our friends in India and our big friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the ‘Make in India’ initiative several years ago. It has had a truly impressive effect on the Indian economy. It would do no harm to emulate what is working well, even if it was not us but our friends who created it,” the Russian president was quoted saying by Russia’s RT News.

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 06:15


Zelensky says Ukraine counteroffensive ‘made progress in all directions’ after high-level meeting

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said he had a long and detailed meeting with Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s Staff.

In his nightly address on Friday, Mr Zelensky said the Ukrainian forces “made progress in all directions of our active actions during the day”.

“And although our work with partners to receive rounds for Ukrainian soldiers is already at our best capacity, we will make it even more active,” he said. “Strengthening our artillery is an obvious priority, and all foreign affairs specialists received additional tasks today.”

He said the army is dealing with the situation in the north, especially the territory of Belarus separately.

“By the decision of the Staff, Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny and General Naev were instructed to strengthen the northern direction – to guarantee peace. Appropriate deadlines are set,” he said.

He said the coming weeks will be “will be extremely active”.

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 05:45


Ukrainian president says 21,000 Wagner troops killed by his forces

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said his forces have killed 21,000 Wagner troops so far and thousands have been injured.

His comments came in an interview with the Spanish news outlet El Mundo on Thursday.

Mr Zelensky said over 80,000 Wagner group mercenaries have been injured in the fighting.

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 05:00


Belarus leader says nuclear arms will not be used

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said the Russian tactical nuclear weapon deployed in his country would never be used.

The Belarusian president, in an address marking his ex-Soviet state’s national day, said the stationing of the weapons in Belarus was “my firmest initiative”.

“As we move along, we become more and more convinced that they (the weapons) must be stationed here, in Belarus, in a reliable place,” Mr Lukashenko told a gathering in a large hall in an online broadcast by the state BelTA news agency, with many present waving red and green national flags.

“I am certain that we will never have to use them while they are here. And no enemy will ever set foot on our land.”

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday the deployment did not violate the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 as Russia retained control over the weapons. He told Russia’s Tass news agency the deployment had been “forced” on Russia.

Shweta Sharma1 July 2023 04:30


Latest Ministry of Defence update on Ukraine

The Ministry of Defence has issued it’s latest daily update on the war in Ukraine.

“Since around 23 June, Ukrainian forces have almost certainly restarted deploying personnel to the east bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast, near the ruined Antonovskiy Bridge.

“Fighting intensified on the east bank from 27 June. The defending Russian force includes elements of Russia’s 7th Guards Air Assault Division, part of the Dnipro Group of Forces (DGF).

“In recent weeks, Russia has highly likely reallocated elements of DGF defending he bank of the Dnipro to reinforce the Zaporizhzhia sector.

“Combat around the bridge head is almost certainly complicated by the flooding, destruction and residual mud from the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam on 6 June.”

Sam Rkaina1 July 2023 03:46


Ukraine has an array of new Western weapons. What advantages could they offer in a counteroffensive?

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine’s military was largely reliant on Soviet-era weaponry, from tanks to artillery to fighter jets.

While that arsenal helped Ukraine fend off an assault on the capital of Kyiv and prevent a total rout in the early weeks of the war, billions of dollars in military assistance has since poured into the country, including more modern Western-made weapons.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive, now in its early stages, could offer a glimpse of whether and to what extent the newer weapons systems have strengthened Kyiv’s ability to stand up to Russia.

Eleanor Noyce1 July 2023 03:00

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