Ukraine – Russia war latest – Total DISASTER for Vladimir Putin as invasion 'falls apart' & Kremlin now weaker than ever

RUSSIA'S bid to take all of Ukraine during its invasion looks to have “fallen apart” as it's President, Vladimir Putin, is ‘weaker and more diminished figure today’ than he was before, claims UK military chief.

In a speech and follow-on question-and-answer session at an Institute for Government (IfG) event, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said Mr Putin was a “weaker and more diminished figure today” than he was before the invasion started on February 24.

Sir Tony also said the UK was “incredibly cautious” about believing Russian claims, adding: “I think we are seeing that Russia’s ambitions to take Kyiv and Russia’s ambitions to take the whole of Ukraine, and do that in a very swift and impressive fashion, those ambitions have fallen apart.

“And it looks now that less emphasis is being placed on Kyiv and more emphasis is being placed on the east and the south.

“We are starting to see the early indications of those forces being moved back from Kyiv and retreating to both Russia and Belarus.

“That in itself is a difficult evolution for Russia because they are doing that under contact, so Ukraine armed forces will attack those Russian forces as they retreat.”

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    White House: War in Ukraine has been 'strategic disaster' for Russia

    The war in Ukraine has been a "strategic disaster for Russia" and a "strategic failure for Putin", White House director of communications Kate Bedingfield has said.

    Ms Bedingfield said there was now "incontrovertible evidence" was not achieving what Russian President Vladimir Putin had set out to do.

    "We have seen incontrovertible evidence that this has been a strategic disaster for Russia," she said.

    "We have seen this invasion has been a strategic failure for Putin and for Russia. They are working to re-define the initial aims of their invasion.

    "And we've seen, time and again, that the sanctions that have been applied are exacting extreme costs on their economy."

    The White House communications director also announced additional sanctions on Russian technology companies, adding: "We will prevent them from procuring Western technology and evading our severe sanctions.

    "We're also expanding our sanctions authority to target additional sectors of the Russian economy important to Putin, including aerospace, maritime and the electronic sectors. "

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia regrouping for 'powerful strikes', Zelensky warns

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russia is consolidating and preparing "powerful strikes" in the country's east and south – including besieged Mariupol.

    "This is part of their tactics," said Zelensky in a late-night address.

    "We know that they are moving away from the areas where we are beating them to focus on others that are very important… where it can be difficult for us," he said.

    In particular, he warned, the situation in the country's south and east was "very difficult".

    "In Donbas and Mariupol, in the Kharkiv direction, the Russian army is accumulating the potential for attacks, powerful attacks," he said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Video: Ukraine destroys fuel depot 

    Earlier, we reported on the dramatic moment Ukraine attack helicopters allegedly blasted an oil depot INSIDE Russia.

    We now have more on this story, as video footage has been released.

    It sees two helicopters striking the oil storage facility in Belgorod, a Russian city north of the border with Ukraine.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine unable to get supplies to Mariupol or evacuate civilians

    An aide to the mayor of Mariupol has said today the besieged southern Ukrainian city remained closed for anyone trying to enter and was "very dangerous" for anyone trying to leave.

    Petro Andryushchenko said Russian forces had since Thursday been preventing even the smallest amount of humanitarian supplies reaching trapped residents, making clear a planned "humanitarian corridor" had not been opened.

    "The city remains closed to entry and very dangerous to exit with personal transport," he said on the Telegram messaging app.

    "In addition, since yesterday the occupiers have categorically not allowed any humanitarian aid – even in small quantities – into the city."

    A convoy of buses that set out for Mariupol on Thursday did not reach the city, Ukrainian officials said on Thursday evening.

    Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk wrote in an online post late on Thursday that new efforts would be made "to push through a humanitarian corridor to Mariupol so as not to leave our people on their own."

  • Milica Cosic

    More on the oil depot blast

    Firefighters were seeking to stop the inferno ignoring other oil storage tanks.

    The oil plant is around 25 miles from the Ukrainian border.

    This comes amid Western claims that Russia aims to stage “false flag” attacks to be blamed on Ukraine as a justification for continuing the war.

    If the attacks on Russian territory are confirmed as Ukraine, it would mark a significant escalation in the war, and a change of tactics from Kyiv.

    Until now, hostilities have been limited mainly to Ukrainian territory.

    On the earlier attack, The governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov claimes: “Six cases of shells … were registered. The most important thing is that there are no victims.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Dramatic moment ‘Ukraine attack helicopters blast oil depot’

    THIS is the dramatic moment Ukraine attack helicopters allegedly blasted an oil depot INSIDE Russia.

    A huge fireball erupted at the storage plant in Belgorod with initial reports saying two had been wounded. 

    Footage from several sources appeared to show missiles striking the location in the Freida industrial district of Belgorod city, causing the massive explosion.

    The governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed the depot was hit by a low altitude Ukrainian attack helicopter strike at around 5:50am local time.

    There was no immediate confirmation.

    The governor said: "There are casualties. Two people. They're employees of the oil depot. They've been given first aid and their lives are not in danger/.

    “We are starting to resettle the residents of Pochtovaya, Makarenko and Konstantin Zaslonov streets to a safer location.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russian hackers attempted to penetrate NATO networks

    A report by Google’s Threat Analysis Group said Russian hackers recently attempted to penetrate the networks of NATO.

    Alongside this they also attempted attacks on the militaries of some eastern European countries.

    Google said the attempted cyber attacks were launched by a Russian-based group called Coldriver, or Callisto.

    The Google report said: “We see malicious cyber activity on a daily basis.

    “NATO Centres of Excellence work alongside the Alliance but they are not part of NATO as such. We are in touch with them on this issue.”

  • Milica Cosic

    UK claims Russia reinforcing invasion of Ukraine

    The British defence ministry has said that Moscow is “redeploying elements of its forces from Georgia to reinforce its invasion of Ukraine”, citing latest intelligence inputs.

    The latest intelligence update from the ministry reads: “Between 1,200 and 2,000 of these Russian troops are being reorganised into 3 x Battalion Tactical Groups”.

    It added: “It is highly unlikely that Russia planned to generate reinforcements in this manner and it is indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukrainian forces retake villages to the south of Chernihiv

    The UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has shared an intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine.

    It said Ukrainian forces have retaken the villages of Sloboda and Lukashivka, which sit to the south of Chernihiv.

    The MoD added that both Chernihiv and Kyiv were still being  subjected to air and missile strikes.

  • Milica Cosic

    Peace talks to resume today

    Peace talks between the two nations of Russia and Ukraine will resume after a one-day break.

    Officials from Ukraine have however said they are not counting on the peace talks for a swift resolution.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Labour renews calls for PM to quit over 'partygate'

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said Labour’s renewed calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to go in the wake of the partygate scandal. She said this will not affect the government’s response to the situation in Ukraine.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she went on to say “the whole of parliament” stood “united” in its response to the war.

    Ms Reeves added: “If Boris Johnson was replaced by a different member of the Cabinet, a different member of parliament, the position on Ukraine would not change.

    “The House of Commons is united in our resolute response to Russia’s aggression and to the needs of the Ukrainian people.

    “The position of the UK Government would not change if the prime minister changed.

    “But at the moment we have a prime minister who has a total disrespect for the rules, has treated the British people as if they are fools, and I don’t think that he is fit to govern.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukrainian soldiers refuse to believe Russian claims

    Standing outside the Ukrainian military checkpoint in Kyiv, soldiers and officers fighting for the city there say they do not believe the Russian claims that its troops have given up on the capital.

    “What does it mean, significantly scaling down combat actions in the Kyiv and Chernihiv areas?” asked brigadier general Valeriy Embakov asked.

    “Does it mean there will be 100 missiles instead of 200 missiles launched on Kyiv or something else?”

  • Milica Cosic

    Over 3,000 criminal cases opened against Russian military

    Ukraine's prosecutor office has opened 3,457 criminal cases against the Russian military, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

    In a message on Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak wrote: "The prosecutor office has already opened 3,457 criminal cases against RF military."

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia block evacuation busses from Mariupol

    AROUND 170,000 people are still estimated to be trapped in apocalyptic-like conditions in the besieged city of Mariupol.

    Russia's defence ministry said it would pause attacks to allow people to leave, as President Vladimir Putin assured the city humanitarian access would be granted. 

    However, Putin's troops in Ukraine blocked around 45 buses from a convoy that was sent to evacuate the civilians, officials from the Ukrainian government said.

    Of the people trying to leave the port city, only 631 were able to exit in private cars.

    "It's desperately important that this operation takes place. The lives of tens of thousands of people in Mariupol depend on it," said Ewan Watson, from the international Red Cross.

  • Milica Cosic

    Good morning. Milica Cosic logging on, bringing you the latest news and updates on the Russia-Ukraine war.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PM spokesman: We will judge Putin by actions, not words

    Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters: “We will judge Putin and his regime by his actions and not by his words.

    “We don’t want to see anything less than a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Emirates will continue flying to Russia – until owners tell them not to

     Emirates airlines will continue to fly to Russia until its owners tell them not to, President Tim Clark said on Tuesday.

    “As long as the state, our owner, requires us to fly there, we will continue,” he said.

    “There are lots of reasons why we fly, we carry humanitarian goods in our holds.

    “We’ve got NGOs travelling in and out of Russia.

    “We’ve got the diplomatic community going in and out of Russia…so all we’re doing is being an enabler, facilitator, without taking a political position on this for the time being,” Clark added.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Foreign Office ‘very concerned’ by suspected Roman Abramovich poisoning

    Claims that Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich suffered suspected poisoning during attempts to aid peace talks in Ukraine are “very concerning”, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has said.

    It said the UK will “continue to assist” by implementing tough sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime as well as by providing defensive and humanitarian support to put Ukraine “in the strongest possible negotiating position”.

    The suspected poisoning of the billionaire was not intended to kill him and the two Ukrainian representatives, the lead Russia investigator with investigative news outlet Bellingcat has said.

    Christo Grozev told Times Radio the “most plausible” explanation for the alleged poisoning was that it was a warning to Mr Abramovich.

    “The dosage was not high enough to kill any of the three, the most likely target would have been Abramovich. And it kind of makes sense. I mean, he volunteered to play… this role of (an) honest broker, but other oligarchs had… declared certain independence from the Kremlin position and criticise(d) the war,” the journalist said.

    “So it could well be seen as a warning sign to them to not join the ranks of those who dissent, and to not be too much of an honest broker.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia’s slain commanders

    Putin’s top brass killed since the invasion of Ukraine:

    • Major Dmitry Toptun
    • Major Alexey Osokin
    • Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev
    • Major General Vitaly Gerasimov
    • Major General Andrei Kolesnikov
    • Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky
    • Colonel Nikolay Ovcharenko
    • Colonel Sergei Porokhyna
    • Colonel Sergei Sukharev
    • Colonel Andrei Zakharov
    • Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky
    • Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Agarkov
    • Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov
    • Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov
    • Major Viktor Maksimchuk
    • General Magomed Tushaev
    • Colonel Alexei Sharov

    Biden proposes $6.9bn to aid Ukraine against Russia & bolster NATO

    The US would spend $6.9 billion to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s invasion and support NATO member countries under a budget proposal President Joe Biden’s administration released Monday.

    The funds would represent Washington’s latest allocation of defence aid after Russia’s shock invasion of its neighbor last month.

    Th budget would be used to “enhance the capabilities and readiness of US forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression,” the White House said.

    US says Putin does not seem ready to compromise on Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin does not appear ready to make compromises to end the war in Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

    It comes as Ukraine and Russia have been preparing for their first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks.

    “Everything I have seen is he is not willing to compromise at this point,” the senior U.S. State Department official told Reuters on condition of anonymity after Ukraine’s president sketched out a potential way to end the crisis over the weekend. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan

    • Joseph Gamp

      Ukrainian amateur drone users destroy Russia’s 40-mile convoy

      A SQUAD of amateur drone users say they’ve managed to destroy Russia’s 40-mile convoy in a number of deadly ambushes.

      The unlikely heroes took out swathes of Russia’s infamous “death convoy” of tanks and armoured vehicles, which was trapped outside Kyiv.

      Volunteer experts from specialist air reconnaissance unit Aerorozvidka used drones with thermal imagine cameras or those capable of dropping small bombs as well as sniper rifles to attack Russian troops.

      The group’s commander Lt Col Yaroslav Honchar said an ambush near the town of Ivankiv helped to halt the massive Russian operation during the first days of the Ukraine invasion.

      The special IT force used quad bikes to approach the column at night, and attacked its supply depot to prevent the Russians from advancing.

      Honchar told the Guardian: “This one little unit in the night destroyed two or three vehicles at the head of this convoy, and after that it was stuck.

      “They stayed there two more nights, and [destroyed] many vehicles.”

      “The first echelon of the Russian force was stuck without heat, without oil, without bombs and without gas. And it all happened because of the work of 30 people,” he added.

      The elite unit claims it also helped to stop a Russian airborne attack on Hostomel airport by shelling 200 paratroopers.

      Honchar compared the group’s fight to the work of “a hive of bees.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      Boris ‘not off partygate hook’ says Labour

      Labour’s deputy leader has said the war in Ukraine does not get Boris Johnson off the hook over the partygate saga.

      Angela Rayner told Sky News: “The situation with Ukraine – the whole of Parliament, the whole of the House, the fact that MPs are all united in support to ensure that we do everything we can in national security to protect our country and to work with our Nato allies – that doesn’t negate the Prime Minister from lying to the British public and not following his own rules. If he’s found to have broken them then I don’t believe his position is tenable.

      “I think it’s disgraceful and I don’t see how he can continue in his role when he’s been so… when he’s not told the truth to the British public.”

      Ms Rayner said Chancellor Rishi Sunak should also resign if fined.

      “There’s plenty (of) other MPs out there that are willing to do the job and do it in the public interest,” she said.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

      PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.

      Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun's Ukraine Fund.

      Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

      Donate here to help The Sun's fund

      Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

      £3 — text SUN£3
      £5 — text SUN£5
      £10 — text SUN£10

      Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

      The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.

      In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

      For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund

    • Joseph Gamp

      Russia claims it will open humanitarian corridor from Mariupol- reports

      The Russian defence ministry said on Thursday it would open a humanitarian corridor from the besieged city of Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia on Friday, Tass news agency reported.

      It quoted Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, as saying Moscow was acting on a request that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had made to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      Source: Read Full Article