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Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Ukrainian military says Russian attacks repelled in Kharkiv and Kherson | Ukraine

Welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Virginia Harrison and I’ll be with you for the next hour or so.

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It’s just after 8am in Kyiv and these are the main developments:

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  • The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east. It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region. “From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram.

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  • Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day while in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.

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  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia. “Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday. “But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series … For Ukraine must be free. All of it.”

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  • In an intelligence update, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said on Sunday.

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  • Ukrainian forces are refusing to discard worn-out US-provided arms, with many reverse-engineering spare parts to continue the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. “They’re not willing to scrap it,” one soldier said, recalling artillery with shrapnel damage and sometimes completely worn out from firing round after round against Russian troops.

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  • The Ukrainian military said Russia has deployed Iranian attack drones, the New York Times reported on Sunday. According to a Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times, remnants of the Shahed-136 attack drones have been discovered on the ground during the counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in the north-eastern regions of the country this month.

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  • The Ukrainian military has carried out 20 airstrikes in the past 24 hours against Russian strongholds, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Kyiv Independent reported on Sunday that Ukraine’s Air Force had successfully targeted 15 Russian strongholds and four sites, as well as seven control points.

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  • The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”. The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict. Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.”

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  • The Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, levelled heavy criticism against Russia on Sunday after the discovery of mass graves in Izium last week. Zourabichvili condemned “in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Russia in Izium”, adding that “these war crimes must be answered by justice”, the Kyiv Independent reported.

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  • The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Sunday that the mass graves discovered in Izium were evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. “Obviously the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in standing up in support of Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions,” Trudeau told reporters in London.

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Key events

Reuters has more information on the Russian strike on the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the early hours of Monday:

Russian troops struck the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region early on Monday but its reactors have not been damaged and are working normally, Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said.

A blast took place 300 metres away from the reactors and damaged power plant buildings shortly after midnight, Energoatom said in a statement. The attack has also damaged a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines.

Energoatom said:

Currently, all three power units of the PNPP (Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant) are operating normally. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the station staff

It published two photographs showing a crater it said was caused by the blast. In one of the pictures a man stood in the crater to give a sense of its size.

Commenting on the strike on the Telegram messaging app, Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said:

The invaders wanted to shoot again, but they forgot what a nuclear power plant is. Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it’s too late.

There was no immediate Russian reaction to Ukraine’s accusations.

The Mykolaiv region has been under constant rocket attack by Russian forces in recent weeks.

Another Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia – which is Europe’s largest and lies about 250km (155 miles) east of the Mykolaiv site – was shut down earlier this month due to Russian shelling, prompting concerns about a possible nuclear disaster.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for shelling at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is held by Russian forces but operated by Ukrainian staff. The shelling has damaged buildings and disrupted power lines.

The UN nuclear watchdog said this weekend one of the four main power lines at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility had been repaired and was once again supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid.

Russian troops have struck the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region, but its reactors have not been damaged and are working normally, Reuters reports.

According to Ukraine’s state nuclear company, Energoatom, a blast early on Monday took place 300 metres from the reactors and damaged power plant buildings. The attack has also damaged a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines.

A Russian Su-25 ground attack jet fires rockets on a mission at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (Russian defence ministry press service via AP) Photograph: AP

Russia is highly likely to have lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to about 55 since the beginning of its invasion, the British military said on Monday.

There is a realistic possibility that the increase in losses was partially a result of the Russian air force accepting greater risk in a move to provide close air support to Russian ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances, the defence ministry said in its daily intelligence on Twitter.

Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor, it said. “There is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the frontlines have moved rapidly.” (Via Reuters)

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 19 September 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/yCVZk0byX5

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/264kqpPpTW

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) September 19, 2022

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to the small group of countries excluded from the Queen’s funeral in London today, as AFP reports:

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin – under a travel ban to the UK due to sanctions – had already said he would not attend.

But not inviting any Russian representative to the Queen’s funeral was “particularly blasphemous towards Elizabeth II’s memory” and “deeply immoral”, the foreign ministry spokeswoman in Moscow said on Thursday.

Russia and Belarus have embassies in London and their presidents sent King Charles III messages of condolences.

Other countries with no invitations are Myanmar, Syria, Venezuela and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

Good morning. This is Sam Jones taking over now from my colleague Virginia.

Ukrainians flee shelling of Kupiansk as Russian forces try to slow advances

On Sunday, Ukrainian civilians were fleeing heavy fighting as Russia’s armed forces tried to hold off a further dramatic advance by Ukrainian troops in the north-east of the country.

As Luke Harding and Isobel Koshiw report, cars packed with families streamed out of the city of Kupiansk, which Ukraine recaptured just over a week ago as part of a stunning counter-offensive. Kupiansk, a strategic railway junction, sits on either side of the river. It is on the new frontline after Ukrainian forces on Friday crossed to the right bank. They are now poised to push further into Luhansk province, which the Kremlin and its local proxies have controlled entirely since June, and partly since 2014. Here’s the full story.

Ukrainian soldier stands in front of a Kupiansk sign
Ukrainian troops are piling pressure on retreating Russian forces and are poised to push further into Luhansk province from Kupiansk. Photograph: Kostiantyn Liberov/AP

Russian pop star speaks out against war in Ukraine

The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”.

The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict.

Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.” Read more here.

Milley: “Not going too well for Russia”

The top US general on Sunday said it was still unclear how Russia might react to the latest battlefield setbacks in Ukraine and called for vigilance among US troops as he visited a base in Poland aiding Ukraine’s war effort, Reuters reported.

“The war is not going too well for Russia right now. So it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,” US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Warsaw.

Milley said he was not suggesting US troops in Europe were at any increased threat, but said they had to be ready.

“In the conduct of war, you just don’t know with a high degree of certainty what will happen next.”

Some recent images from Kharkiv, Ukraine.

People receive humanitarian aid in Prykolotne village, Kharkiv, Ukraine on Sunday.
People receive humanitarian aid in Prykolotne village, Kharkiv, on Sunday. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
Cars drive across a damaged bridge in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Cars drive across a damaged bridge on Sunday. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
A Ukrainian flag waves above Kharkiv city on Sunday.
A Ukrainian flag waves above Kharkiv city. Photograph: Vudi Xhymshiti/VX/REX/Shutterstock
A burnt banner with Russian flag in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A burnt banner with a Russian flag in Kharkiv. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
A damaged building in Kharkiv after attacks by Russian forces.
A damaged building in Kharkiv after attacks by Russian forces. Photograph: Vudi Xhymshiti/VX/REX/Shutterstock

Russian attacks in east and south repelled, says Ukraine military

Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the areas of the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in south where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east, Reuters reports.

It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region.

“From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram. Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the neighbouring Luhansk region, said this meant the “de-occupation” of his region was “not far away”.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Russia president Vladimir Putin is “increasingly relying on irregular volunteer and proxy forces rather than conventional units,” in its latest update on the Russian campaign.

Putin’s souring relationship with the military command and the Russian (MoD) may explain in part the Kremlin’s increasing focus on recruiting ill-prepared volunteers into ad-hoc irregular units rather than attempting to draw them into reserve or replacement pools for regular Russian combat units,” the ISW said.

Russian President Vladimir #Putin is increasingly relying on irregular volunteer and proxy forces rather than conventional units and formations of the #Russian Federation Armed Forces.https://t.co/FnqcLd1RQo pic.twitter.com/9mwlzs8RwA

— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) September 19, 2022

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Welcome

Welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Virginia Harrison and I’ll be with you for the next hour or so.

It’s just after 8am in Kyiv and these are the main developments:

  • The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east. It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region. “From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram.

  • Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day while in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.

  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia. “Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday. “But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series … For Ukraine must be free. All of it.”

  • In an intelligence update, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said on Sunday.

  • Ukrainian forces are refusing to discard worn-out US-provided arms, with many reverse-engineering spare parts to continue the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. “They’re not willing to scrap it,” one soldier said, recalling artillery with shrapnel damage and sometimes completely worn out from firing round after round against Russian troops.

  • The Ukrainian military said Russia has deployed Iranian attack drones, the New York Times reported on Sunday. According to a Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times, remnants of the Shahed-136 attack drones have been discovered on the ground during the counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in the north-eastern regions of the country this month.

  • The Ukrainian military has carried out 20 airstrikes in the past 24 hours against Russian strongholds, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Kyiv Independent reported on Sunday that Ukraine’s Air Force had successfully targeted 15 Russian strongholds and four sites, as well as seven control points.

  • The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”. The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict. Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.”

  • The Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, levelled heavy criticism against Russia on Sunday after the discovery of mass graves in Izium last week. Zourabichvili condemned “in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Russia in Izium”, adding that “these war crimes must be answered by justice”, the Kyiv Independent reported.

  • The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Sunday that the mass graves discovered in Izium were evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. “Obviously the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in standing up in support of Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions,” Trudeau told reporters in London.

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/sep/19/russia-ukraine-war-live-updates-ukrainian-military-says-russian-attacks-repelled-in-kharkiv-and-kherson

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