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A multi-storey building burns in Bakhmut, Ukraine, in this handout picture released by the Ukrainian armed forces on 21 May.
A multi-storey building burns in Bakhmut, Ukraine, in this handout picture released by the Ukrainian armed forces. Kyiv has rejected Moscow’s claim to have captured the city. Photograph: Ukrainian armed forces/Reuters
A multi-storey building burns in Bakhmut, Ukraine, in this handout picture released by the Ukrainian armed forces. Kyiv has rejected Moscow’s claim to have captured the city. Photograph: Ukrainian armed forces/Reuters

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 453 of the invasion

Russian-imposed Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin says demining is being carried out in Bakhmut; Ukraine’s deputy defence minister insists Ukraine still had a small foothold inside the city

  • The Russian-imposed leader of the occupied Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, has said that Russian forces have begun demining operations in Bakhmut. Tass quotes him appearing on the Rossiya-24 TV channel and saying: “There is a preliminary demining of the city. It is important for us to carry out a complete, thorough demining. This is a very painstaking and difficult work, given the scale of the hostilities that took place there.”

  • In another report, Tass quotes a source from the local Russian-imposed officials saying that “a few dozen more residents” remained in Bakhmut, but that “perhaps, the figure will change as the basements of houses are examined”. The source said that the “evacuation” of civilians continues.

  • Ukrainian troops are still advancing on the flanks of the devastated city, although the “intensity” of their movement has decreased and Russia is bringing in more forces, Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday. She said that Ukraine had a small foothold inside the city itself, again denying Russia’s assertion that it has established full control over Bakhmut.

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin congratulated Wagner and Russian regular forces on “the completion of the operation to liberate Artemovsk [the city’s Soviet-era name]” after Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin posed among the wreckage, and said his mercenary group controlled the entire city at the weekend. It has not been possible for journalists to verify the battlefield situation in the city for months.

  • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been switched to standby and emergency power supply generators, a Russia-installed local official in the Moscow-controlled part of the region says. Vladimir Rogov said the plant was “completely” disconnected from external power supply after Ukraine disconnected a power line it controls, Reuters reports. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, but Anatoliy Kurtev, Zaporizhzhia city council’s secretary in Ukraine, said that work was ongoing since early Monday to restore power to the city.

  • Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) “cannot continue”.

  • At least eight people were wounded and scores of buildings were damaged in a Russian air attack on Dnipropetrovsk region. “The Russian invaders attacked military and infrastructure facilities of the eastern outpost of Ukraine – the city of Dnipro,” Ukraine’s air force said on the Telegram messaging service. “The attack was carried out by 16 different types of missiles and 20 Shahed-136/131 strike drones,” the air force said, adding that air defences brought down 20 Russian drones and four cruise missiles. At least one person was injured, and images from the city show destruction of emergency services equipment in what appears to have been a strike on a fire station.

The aftermath of shelling on an emergency service point in Dnipro.
The aftermath of shelling on an emergency service point in Dnipro. Photograph: State Emergency Service Handout/EPA
  • Russia’s ambassador to the US appears to have warned Washington that any strike on Crimea could be considered a strike on Russian territory by Nato after US president Joe Biden said he would support training for Ukrainian pilots on US F-16 fighter jets. In remarks published on the embassy’s Telegram channel, Anatoly Antonov wrote: “I would like to warn representatives of the administration against thoughtless judgments on Crimea, especially in terms of ‘blessing’ the Kyiv regime for air attacks on the peninsula. Let me remind you that strikes on this territory are considered by us as an attack on any other region of the Russian Federation. It is important that the United States is fully aware of the Russian response.”

  • Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of president of Ukraine, has said “Crimea is an indisputable and inseparable part of Ukraine. It was, it is and it will be. The liberation of Crimea using any military force and means is the only rational way to stop ‘Russian aggressions’ and bring the world back to international law. It is Ukraine’s direct obligation and necessity today”

  • The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region has claimed on Telegram that an explosive device dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle in Novaya Tavolzhanka, without causing any injuries.

  • The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region has claimed this morning that Ukraine has shelled a village.

  • The EU’s top diplomat will propose further sanctions against Russia, following a promise by G7 leaders to intensify western restrictions on Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage war on Ukraine. Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, said he hoped to soon present “concrete proposals to implement the decision of the G7 on new kinds of sanctions against Russia”.

  • Zelenskiy secured fresh military aid from the US during a day of frantic diplomatic activity at the G7 summit at the weekend. US president Joe Biden announced military assistance worth up to $375m (£300m) to Kyiv, telling Zelenskiy the US was doing everything possible to strengthen Ukraine’s defence. The package includes ammunition, artillery, armoured vehicles and training.

  • Biden told a press conference that he had received a “flat assurance” from Zelenskiy that he would not use western-provided F-16 fighter jets to go into Russian territory. Biden said F-16 warplanes could, however, be used “wherever Russian troops are within Ukraine and the area”. Biden told G7 leaders that Washington supports joint allied training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s warplanes, although Kyiv has not won specific, public commitments for delivery of the fighter jets.

  • In a G7 speech, Zelenskiy said Kyiv’s plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine was “an obvious expression of rationality”, and sought support for his “peace formula”. He thanked western leaders for achieving “a level of cooperation which ensures that democracy, international law, and freedom are respected”, but questioned: “Is this enough?”

  • Zelenskiy played down the fact he did not meet Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on the sidelines of the summit, saying it was likely because of scheduling. Lula has said Zelenskiy and Putin bear equal responsibility for the war and accused western powers of encouraging the conflict.

  • Berlin police have opened an investigation into the suspected poisoning of two Russian journalists visiting the city for a conference last month organised by the Russian Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The probe comes after Russian investigative media group Agentsvo wrote that the two women had reported symptoms that pointed to possible poisoning around the time of the event at the end of April.

More on this story

More on this story

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