Ukraine war latest: Russian forces take control of village in Kharkiv region - defence ministry (2024)

Key points
  • Russia takes control of village in Kharkiv - defence ministry
  • Ukraine's divisive draft law comes into force | At least 30 Ukrainians have died crossing river to avoid
  • Putin concludes trip to China with veiled reference to West
  • Two civilians killed while evacuating city
  • Analysis: Great power politics on display in China visit
  • Live reporting byJess Sharpand (earlier)Josephine Franks


We're pausing our live coverage

We're pausing our coverage of the Ukraine war for the moment.

Scroll through the blog below to catch up on today's developments.


Decorated Ukrainian pilot killed in action

A decorated Ukrainian pilot has been killed in action, the country's 831st tactical aviation brigade has announced.

In a post on Facebook, the brigade said First Deputy Commander of the Aviation Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Denis Vasilyuk, was killed during a combat mission.

"We lost not just a pilot, but a reliable combat brother, a friend and just a wonderful and bright man," it added.

He flew dozens of missions since the beginning of the war has has been awarded the Order For Courage medal.

The medal is handed to members of the military for individual courage and heroism while rescuing people or valued materials while endangering their own life.


Ukrainian missile destroyed over Belgorod, says Russia

A Ukrainian missile has been destroyed over Belgorod, the Russian defence ministry has said.

It said the Tochka-U tactical missile was launched at around 9.15pm local time (7.15pm UK time).

"Duty air defence systems destroyed one tactical missile over the territory of the Belgorod region," it added.

Belgorod has been targeted several times, with attacks increasing in recent weeks.


Russia losing infantry and equipment, says Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised his forces' successes during his nightly address.

The Ukrainian president said his troops had grown in confidence, particularly in the Kharkiv region.

However, his message comes after Russia's defence ministry said its forces captured the village of Starytsia in the Kharkiv region earlier today - just eight days after a new Russian push in the area began.

"The occupier is losing its infantry and equipment, a tangible loss, even though, just as in 2022, it was counting on a quick advance on our land," Mr Zelenskyy said, referring to Russia's initial invasion of Ukraine in February of that year.

In the eastern Donetsk region around Chasiv Yar, a city seen as a key target in Russia's campaign, Mr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces had repelled a Russian assault.

"Our soldiers destroyed more than 20 units of the occupier's armoured vehicles," he added.


Russia claims to have captured 'very valuable' British-made vehicle

Russia has claimed to have captured a "very valuable" British-made vehicle from the battlefield.

In a post on Telegram, the defence ministry said the FV104 Samaritan evacuation vehicle has been taken but needs to be repaired.

It claimed it was big enough to evacuate four people and carry a crew of two.

It said it was "very valuable" and could be used as a "rare collection exhibit".

It shared a video of the vehicle but Sky News has not been able to verify if it is a FV104 Samaritan.


Five people - including two children - injured in Russian shelling attack

Five people have been injured in a Russian shelling attack in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian national police has said.

A 13-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy are among those hurt, it said.

The Russian military attacked the city at around 30pm, it added, with several hits recorded on residential buildings.

"As a result of shelling, five civilians were injured, and civilian infrastructure was also damaged," police official Oleksandr Kobylev said.

"Currently, two minor children are known to have suffered minor injuries. Necessary medical assistance is provided to all victims."


Russian attack plane shot down, says Ukraine

A Russian attack plane has been shot down, a Ukrainian army brigade has reported.

The 110th separate brigade said the Su-25 had been destroyed in Donetsk.

It said it was the fourth Su-25 to have been shot down, adding it will keep issuing "flaming fines" to Russia for crossing into Ukraine.

"Our sky will become hell for the occupant pilots. Our squad number will be a nightmare for them," it added.


Ukrainian sergeant stabbed by civilian

A Ukrainian sergeant has been stabbed in the hand by a civilian, the country's ground forces has said.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the army said the attacker was detained and has been charged with attempted murder and obstructing the armed forces.

The attack took place in the city of Sinelnikove, in the central Dnipro region, earlier today.

"A civilian committed an armed assault with cold weapons (knife) on the sergeant of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the statement said.

The sergeant, who worked for the territorial recruitment and social support centre, has been provided with "all the necessary medical care", it added.


Latest pictures from Kharkiv

In Ukraine's second largest city, airstrikes have become a daily occurrence as intense battles continue.

Russian troops have been pushing ahead with a ground offensive that opened a new front in northeastern Kharkiv region in recent days, putting further pressure on Kyiv's overstretched military.

After weeks of probing, Moscow launched the new push knowing that Ukraine suffered personnel shortages, and that its forces have been spread thin in the northeast.

Two people were killed after Russian airstrikes hit Kharkiv on Friday as Ukrainian troops fought to halt Russian advances in the region.

The airstrikes targeted Ukraine's second-largest city during the daytime, injuring 25 people and killing two, according to Kharkiv's mayor Ihor Terkhov.

On Thursday, the air alarm sounded for more than 16 hours, a record since the beginning of the military campaign by Russia.

Here are some of the latest pictures from the city:


Ukrainian strikes disrupted 14% of Russia's oil refining capacity - Pentagon

Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian power facilities in early 2024 disrupted 14% of Russia's oil refining capacity, according to the US Department of Defence.

The strikes pushed up domestic oil prices by 20-30% and forced Russia to halt exports to focus on meeting domestic demand, a report from the Pentagon’s intelligence agency said.

But it caused only a "negligible disruption" to the electricity supply for Russian civilians and the military, because of Russia's "robust generation capacity" and the level of power in the grid.

Ukraine war latest: Russian forces take control of village in Kharkiv region - defence ministry (2024)


Does Ukraine control Kharkiv? ›

Zelenskyy says Ukraine has taken back control in areas of Kharkiv region, aerial attacks continue. KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces have secured “combat control” of areas where Russian troops entered the northeastern Kharkiv region earlier this month, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

What did Russia do to Kharkiv? ›

Russian forces continued their intensified offensive against Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, where officials said a shell struck a building-materials store on May 25, killing at least six people and trapping dozens of others, while surrounding villages reported damage and injuries under a hail of drone and missile ...

How much of Donetsk is under Russian control? ›

In the course of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, around 55% of Donetsk Oblast came under the control of Russia and the DPR by June 2022.

What area did the Russian forces control in Ukraine? ›

Before 2022, Russia occupied 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) of Ukrainian territory (Crimea, and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk), and occupied an additional 119,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) after its full-scale invasion by March 2022, a total of 161,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) or almost 27% of Ukraine's territory.

Why is Kharkiv Ukraine important? ›

Kharkiv is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport, and industrial centre of Ukraine, with numerous museums, theatres, and libraries, including the Annunciation and Dormition cathedrals, the Derzhprom building in Freedom Square, and the National University of Kharkiv.

Is Kharkiv part of Donetsk? ›

The modern Kharkiv Oblast was established on 27 February 1932. In the summer of 1932, some parts of the oblast were included in the newly created Donetsk Oblast originally centered in Artemivsk (later in Stalino).

When did Ukraine take back Kharkiv? ›

All but about 300,000 of the city's population of 1.5m left. Then a Ukrainian counter-attack in autumn 2022 pushed Russian forces back across the border. Kharkiv was now out of artillery range. Over the course of 2023, many residents who had fled to Europe or safer Ukrainian cities returned.

Is Kharkiv a Russian city? ›

"Unbreakable" best describes Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city. It has faced almost daily Russian shelling since the beginning of the full-scale war. Aerial bombs, missiles, and drones have destroyed infrastructure, devastated residential buildings, and claimed countless lives.

Why is Russia at war with Ukraine? ›

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas war.

How many tanks does Russia have left? ›

The IISS Military Balance 2024 report says Russia has around 1,750 tanks of various types—including more than 200 of the T-90 variety—remaining, with up to 4,000 tanks in storage.

Who controls Donetsk now? ›

As of October 2022, Russia has full control of the city, with Ukrainian and Russian forces still in combat near the city.

What countries are under Russian control? ›

The term is applied to Georgia (in Abkhazia and South Ossetia), Moldova (in Transnistria), Ukraine (in Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia) and sometimes Chechnya (completely occupied).

Which cities in Ukraine are under Russian control? ›

Executive Summary. Russia occupies Crimea and parts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts. In February 2014, armed forces of the Russian Federation seized and occupied Crimea. In March 2014, Russia claimed that Crimea had become part of the Russian Federation.

What language is spoken in Ukraine? ›

Who owns Crimea? ›

The Soviet fleet in Crimea was also in contention, but a 1997 treaty allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Sevastopol. In 2014, the peninsula was occupied by Russian forces and annexed by Russia, but most countries recognise Crimea as Ukrainian territory.

What is the percentage of Russians in Donetsk? ›

Number of Russians by region (Oblast) per the last systematic census in 2001
OblastNumber in 2001Percent in 2001
Donetsk Oblast1,844,40038.2
Dnipropetrovsk Oblast627,50017.6
Kharkiv Oblast742,00025.6
23 more rows

Who governs Donetsk? ›

Since the 2022 annexation, which is not recognized internationally, Donetsk and Luhansk have been governed as regions within the Russian Federation, meaning that most if not all important policy decisions are made in Moscow.

How large is Donetsk Oblast? ›

The area of the oblast (26,517 km2) comprises about 4.4% of the total area of the country.

How many troops does Russia have? ›

How many soldiers does Russia have? Russian Armed Forces had 3.57 million troops as of 2024, with 37 percent of them, or 1.32 million, being active military personnel. Two million were reserve service members, and 250,000 were paramilitary forces.

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