Ukrainian counter-offensive 'in full swing'

Members of a Ukrainian air-defense unit demonstrate their work near Kyiv on Monday, May 8, 2023 - Andrew Kravchenko/AP
Members of a Ukrainian air-defense unit demonstrate their work near Kyiv on Monday, May 8, 2023 - Andrew Kravchenko/AP

The head of the Wagner mercenary group has claimed that the Ukrainian counter-offensive has already begun in Bakhmut, with Ukrainian units approaching from the flanks.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said that Ukrainian operations were proving to be "unfortunately, partially successful", in an audio message posted on his Telegram channel.

He also accused President Volodymyr Zelensky of being "deceptive" by saying that the counter-offensive had been delayed as Kyiv awaits further Western aid.

"As for the counter-offensive, Volodymyr Zelensky is not being exactly truthful: the counter-offensive is in full swing," he said.

On Wednesday, both Prigozhin and the Ukrainian military said Kyiv's forces had routed a Russian army unit near Bakhmut, in a significant advance for Ukraine.

Prigozhin has repeatedly accused senior Russian defence officials of starving his forces of ammunition, and blamed them for reverses around the town.


03:09 PM

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03:08 PM

Wagner chief: Situation in Bakhmut unfolding in line with 'worst of all expected scenarios'

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has said that the situation on the flanks near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was unfolding in line with the "worst of all expected scenarios".

In an audio message uploaded onto Telegram, Mr Prigozhin complained that territory captured over the course of many months was being "thrown away" by those who should be guarding the flanks, which he has said is the responsibility of regular Russian troops.


02:50 PM

Pictured: Boris Johnson meets Chief Rabbi of Ukraine

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has met with the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, Moshe Reuven Azman, as the religious leader visits the UK.

Mr Johnson tweeted a photograph of the pair, and wrote: "An honour to catch up with @rabbiukraine during his visit to London #SlavaUkraini.

Rabbi Azman described Mr Johnson as a "dear friend" as he also shared the image on Twitter on Thursday.

Boris Johnson and Chief Rabbi Of Ukraine Moshe Azman - Boris Johnson via Twitter
Boris Johnson and Chief Rabbi Of Ukraine Moshe Azman - Boris Johnson via Twitter

02:17 PM

Progress made in Black Sea grain deal talks

Progress was made in talks on the Black Sea grain deal which are being held in Istanbul between the deputy defence ministers of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine and UN officials, Turkey’s defence ministry has said.

The parties have agreed to continue with the four-way technical meetings on the deal, which is set to expire on May 18, according to a statement from the ministry.

The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin could speak with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan at short notice if needed regarding the deal’s extension, adding that there were no such plans at present.

The initiative was initially brokered last July between Russia and Ukraine, but Russia had threatened not to extend the deal unless a list of demands designed to remove obstacles to its own exports of grains and fertilisers were met.


02:15 PM

In pictures: War in Ukraine

A senior woman is pictured after the Russian MLRS attack left four houses destroyed completely and 47 partially damaged, Malokaterynivka, Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine. - Ukrinform/Shutterstock/Shutterstock
A senior woman is pictured after the Russian MLRS attack left four houses destroyed completely and 47 partially damaged, Malokaterynivka, Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine. - Ukrinform/Shutterstock/Shutterstock
A woman reacts during the funeral ceremony of Ukrainian serviceman Valerii Sosnovskii who died near Bakhmut, - IHOR TKACHOV/AFP
A woman reacts during the funeral ceremony of Ukrainian serviceman Valerii Sosnovskii who died near Bakhmut, - IHOR TKACHOV/AFP
Ukrainian marines in a wooded position where they were firing their 2S1 self-propelled howitzer in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, May 10, 2023. - TYLER HICKS/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine
Ukrainian marines in a wooded position where they were firing their 2S1 self-propelled howitzer in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, May 10, 2023. - TYLER HICKS/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine

01:55 PM

A closer look at the Storm Shadow long-range missile

Britain is supplying Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles that can hit targets up to 200 miles away, the longest range rockets to be used against Russia.

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, confirmed reports that the RAF cruise missiles are arriving to bolster Ukraine’s anticipated counter-offensive.

The move comes after the US and other allies ruled out sending longer-range missiles to Ukraine over fears of provoking Vladimir Putin.

Read more on this story here.


01:20 PM

Zelensky: 'Our historical responsibility' to make full punishment for aggression inevitable


01:16 PM

Ben Wallace: Storm Shadow delivery 'calibrated and proportionate response'

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace told the Commons that "the use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push black Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory,” as he announced the donation of long range missiles to Ukraine.

He added: “Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided to Ukraine. It is my judgement as the defence secretary that this is a calibrated and proportionate response to Russia’s escalations.”


01:02 PM

UK defence secretary confirms donation of Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed that the UK is donating Storm Shadow long range missiles to Ukraine.

In a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr Wallace said that "the Prime Minister and I have now taken the decision to provide longer range capabilities” to the country, making Britain the first nation to provide long range missiles to Ukraine.

"Today I can confirm that the UK is donating Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine,” he said, adding that the donation "compliments the long range systems already gifted” to the country by allies.

Mr Wallace added that the gift of Storm Shadow missiles "gives Ukraine the best chance to defend themselves against Russia’s continued brutality."


12:20 PM

Zelensky wanted Eurovision to be hosted near Ukraine - not UK

Volodymyr Zelensky has declared he wanted Eurovision to be hosted in a neighbouring country so Ukrainians would find it easier to attend the ceremony, Jamie Bullen reports. 

The Ukrainian president said that while he holds "great respect" for the UK, nations such as Slovakia or Poland would have been his preference in staging the contest.

Mr Zelensky previously vowed the competition would be staged in Mariupol before a decision was made to relinquish Ukraine's hosting rights on security grounds.

Read more on this story here. 


11:46 AM

Reports of UK missiles delivery requires 'adequate response from our military' says Kremlin

The Kremlin has said that reports that Britain had supplied cruise missiles to Ukraine would require “an adequate response from our military”.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, was responding to a question about a report by CNN that Britain had supplied multiple long-range Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine.


11:37 AM

Wagner chief: Zelensky 'being deceptive' over counter-offensive wait

The head of Russia’s Wagner Group has said that Ukrainian units had begun their counterattack on Bakhmut, and were approaching from the flanks.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said in response to a question from Russian media on Telegram that Ukrainian operations were “unfortunately, partially successful”. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the assertion.

Mr Prigozhin went on to say that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskt was “being deceptive” when he told European broadcasters that the counter-offensive had not yet begun and that they were waiting for more Western aid. 


11:29 AM

In pictures: Victims of Kherson attack buried

The city of Kherson saw one of its bloodiest days last Wednesday, as an artillery attack killed at least 23 and injured 46. Among the targets were a supermarket, a railway station and residential buildings.

Gravediggers bury Oleksandr Kyrychenko, 64, and his wife, Tetiana Kyrychenko, 65, who were both killed last week by Russian shelling that hit a supermarket, at the main cemetery in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson - FINBARR O'REILLY/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine
Gravediggers bury Oleksandr Kyrychenko, 64, and his wife, Tetiana Kyrychenko, 65, who were both killed last week by Russian shelling that hit a supermarket, at the main cemetery in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson - FINBARR O'REILLY/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine
Gravediggers carry the coffin of a civilian killed last week by Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson as smoke from fresh shelling rises in the distance - FINBARR O'REILLY/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine
Gravediggers carry the coffin of a civilian killed last week by Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson as smoke from fresh shelling rises in the distance - FINBARR O'REILLY/NYTNS / Redux / eyevine

11:17 AM

Defence sources tell The Telegraph that Storm Shadow missiles to be supplied to Ukraine

Defence sources have told the Telegraph that Storm Shadow, the RAF’s long range cruise missile, will be supplied to Ukraine as the country continues to build its forces ahead of the anticipated counter offensive, Dominic Nicholls reports. 

Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, will make a statement to Parliament at midday in which he is expected to confirm the news.

No details have been released about numbers to be gifted, dates of arrival or even if the missiles are already in Ukraine.

There has been speculation for months that Britain was supplying Storm Shadow, a satellite-guided missile with a range of about 150 miles that carries a 450kg warhead.

Ukraine has been asking for long range precision munitions for months, as a way of hitting Russian command posts, ammunition and logistic depots and key pieces of battlefield equipment such as air defence.

The US has resisted pressure from Kyiv to send the long range surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), supposedly over fears they could be used to hit targets inside Russia; an act deemed too sensitive and escalatory, given the poor performance by Russia’s forces since the launch of the full-scale war in February 2022.

Whether the action by the UK - that was similarly first to pledge to send Western tanks - will unlock similar offers from allies is not known.


11:11 AM

Russia to be sidelined in handover of chairmanship of Atlantic Council

The Arctic Council is to sideline Russia, its largest member, during its delicate handover of chairmanship on Thursday.

The inter-governmental forum, a model for cooperation between former Cold War foes, will see Norway take over from Russia, which has been at the helm for two years.

Seven of the eight members, the United States, Canada, and five Nordic countries, suspended their meetings with Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine. Foreign representatives had been invited to visit Siberia for the handover, but the Western nations had refused.

Norwegian foreign minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, told AFP on Wednesday: “None of the member states have come out in favour of excluding Russia from the Arctic Council.

"(But) because of the war of aggression launched by Russia, it will be a totally different chairmanship than what was envisaged.”


10:17 AM

'New wave of repression' faces Belarusians following invasion of Ukraine

A report by the world’s biggest security organisation has found that Belarusians have been facing a “new wave in repression”, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The report, released on Thursday and seen by AFP, has found that at least 1,486 people were being held in Belarus on politically motivated charges as of last month.

The report said that since the war began, “repression has been particularly directed at those expressing their opposition to the war or their support for the Ukrainian people”.

It added: “There is a new wave of repression.”

In March, 38 of the 75 members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, called for a study into the country, but Belarus, a member of OSCE, declined to participate despite a request for cooperation.


09:59 AM

Princess Diana’s jewellery to be auctioned off to raise funds for Ukraine war relief

Princess Diana’s privately-owned jewellery will be put on sale for the first time by a Ukrainian family who are raising war relief funds, India McTaggart reports.

A diamond and pearl necklace and earring set, reportedly given to the late Princess by Dodi Al-Fayed, has emerged for sale for more than £10 million.

The necklace was famously worn by Diana at the gala evening for Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall in June 1997, which became her last official engagement before her death.

The jewellery set, known as the Swan Lake Suite, has belonged to a prominent Ukrainian family since 2008.

Read more on this story from The Telegraph's royal correspondent here. 


09:37 AM

Russia fines Google for not deleting content about Russia's campaign in Ukraine

A Moscow court has fined  Alphabet's Google 3 million roubles (£31,680) for failing to delete content about Russia's military campaign in Ukraine and what it described as "LGBT propaganda", Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

According to court materials, the case partly concerned "several Youtube videos containing false information about the course of the special military operation" in Ukraine, Interfax reported. Tass news agency reported that Russian prosecutors said Google had refused to remove several videos posted on YouTube, including one by a blogger considered a "foreign agent" by Moscow about how same-sex couples raise children and about the LGBT community in St. Petersburg.

Moscow has issues dozens of fines against Western tech companies under new censorship laws passed shortly after it sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022. Google has been fined twice since the end of 2021, according to the agency. As well as passing strict censorship laws shortly after it dispatched troops into Ukraine, Russia also last year strengthened its laws against what it calls the "promotion of LGBT propaganda", a move heavily criticised by independent human rights group.


09:17 AM

Watch: Russian soldier ‘follows the drone’ as he is lured to surrender

A lone Russian soldier begged a Ukrainian drone “not to bomb him” but was instead offered a peace offering in remarkable footage purportedly showing his surrender in Bakhmut, Joe Barnes reports. 

Instead of an explosive, the survivor was dropped a message containing instructions on how to give himself up in aerial footage published by the Ukrainian military.

As Russian artillery fire pounded the area, the fighter was urged to climb out of his trench and onto open terrain to be escorted by the drone to a Ukrainian position.

Read more on this story here. 


08:58 AM

Tobias Ellwood: UK must support 'further counter-offensives' which will be required in Ukraine

Chairman of the defence select committee Tobias Ellwood has said that Britain must lend its support to "further counter-offensives which will be required in Ukraine", as he warns that the war "isn't going to be over with just one push" of a spring counter-offensive.

Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News, the Conservative MP, who had just returned from a visit to Ukraine, said: "The concern that we picked up whilst [in Ukraine] is that it isn’t going to be over with just one push, that they’re going to be able to flush the Russians out and we will go back to normal.”

He added: "We need to make sure that we continue the support. This is what Putin is banking on, that we’re all going to get tired, Ukraine fatigue as it’s called, and so he’s hoping and banking on Donald Trump winning the next United States elections and therefore he will then pull troops out, or indeed the other candidates on the Republican side as well.

"So international efforts will start to dry up, that’s what he’s banking on and we need to keep our efforts. We need to make sure that it’s not just this counter-offensive that we provide support to, but further counter-offensives which will be required.”


08:46 AM

Pictured: Emergency services inspect an area for mines and unexploded shells in the Mykolaiv region

Members of the State of Emergency Service inspect an area for mines and unexploded shells, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near the village of Blahodatne, in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine - BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS
Members of the State of Emergency Service inspect an area for mines and unexploded shells, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near the village of Blahodatne, in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine - BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS

08:33 AM

Bryansk governor claims Ukrainian drone struck oil depot

The governor for the Bryansk region of Russia has claimed that a Ukrainian drone has “attacked” an oil depot.

Alexander Bogomaz wrote on Telegram on Thursday morning: “As a result of the discharge of ammunition, the concrete base and the tank for storing petroleum products were partially damaged.”

Mr Bogomaz said that there were no casualties, but that operational services were on the scene.

This is the latest in a series of alleged attacks on oil depots in Russia over the past few weeks.

The reports have not been independently verified.


08:21 AM

Kremlin admits Ukraine operation is 'very difficult'

The Kremlin admitted that its operation in Ukraine is “very difficult”, as a Ukrainian unit claimed that it had routed a Russian brigade near the front line city of Bakhmut.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he had no doubt Bakhmut “will be captured and will be kept under control”, despite footage emerging on Wednesday of Russian troops fleeing across open fields as they were pursued by a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Mr Peskov blamed the slow progress of the Russian campaign on the fact that Russia “is not waging war”.

Speaking on a Bosnian Serb television channel, Mr Peskov was quoted by Russian state news agency Tass as saying: “Waging war is a completely different matter - it means complete destruction of infrastructure, it means complete destruction of cities.

"We are not doing this. We are trying to preserve infrastructure and preserve human lives."

Mr Peskov said: “The special military operation continues. This is a very difficult operation, and, of course, certain goals have been achieved in a year.”

Referring to Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, he added: “We managed to beat up the Ukrainian military machine quite a bit. This work will continue”.


08:04 AM

Russian forces retreat up to 2km in Bakhmut, says Ukrainian commander

Russian forces retreated up to 2km following a successful counterattack in the front line city of Bakhmut, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces has claimed.

General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said on Wednesday: “In some areas of the front, the enemy could not resist the onslaught of the Ukrainian defenders and retreated to a distance of up to 2km.”

Gen Syrsky also claimed on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military had “exhausted” Wagner Group mercenaries, who had been spearheading the campaign in Bakhmut, forcing them “to be replaced in certain directions by less well-prepared units of Russian regular troops [who] were defeated and left.”

The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Progozhin, confirmed the partial retreat from an area on the outskirts of the city.


07:57 AM

Latest MoD update


07:57 AM

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