Ukrainian troops prevent Russian river crossing, Turkey could prevent Finland and Sweden from joining NATO

The Russian military suffered a heavy blow in Ukraine, where local forces destroyed a pontoon bridge that enemy troops were using to try to cross a river, officials in Kyiv and London said.

Ukraine’s Airborne Command released photos and video of what it said was the damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and several destroyed or damaged Russian military vehicles nearby.

The Ukrainians said they destroyed at least 73 tanks and other military equipment during the two-day battle earlier this week when Russian forces attempted to cross the river.

The command said its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers”.

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The UK Ministry of Defense said Russia had lost “significant armored maneuver elements” from at least one battalion battle group as well as the equipment used to deploy the makeshift pontoon bridge.

The Ukrainians said the operation destroyed at least 73 Russian tanks.(AP: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office)

Turkey ‘unfavorable’ to Finland and Sweden joining NATO

Finland’s and, potentially, Sweden’s plans to join NATO have been thrown into doubt, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying his country was “not of a favorable view” of the idea.

He accused Sweden and other Scandinavian countries of supporting Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers terrorists.

Mr Erdogan has not said outright that he would prevent the two countries from joining NATO, but the military alliance takes its decisions by consensus, which means that each of its 30 members has the right to veto over who can join.

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Finland is one step closer to joining NATO.

A NATO expansion would be a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched the war in Ukraine in part to thwart the alliance’s eastward advance.

But the invasion of Ukraine has sparked fears in other countries on Russia’s flank that they could be Moscow’s next target.

As Ukraine demands more weapons to repel invasion, European Union foreign chief announces plans to give country another 500 million euros ($752 million) to buy arms heavy.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov hailed the heavy weapons heading for the front lines, but admitted there was no quick end to the war in sight.

“We are entering a new long-term phase of the war,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Losses force Russia to scale back targets

The battle for Ukraine’s Donbass region has turned into a village-by-village drudgery, with no major breakthroughs on either side and little ground gained.

In his Friday night speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no one could predict how long the war would last, but his country’s forces had made progress, including retaking six Ukrainian towns or villages during the war. last day.

The Ukrainian military chief of the Luhansk region in the Donbass said on Friday that Russian forces opened fire 31 times on residential areas the day before, destroying dozens of houses, including in the villages of Hirske and Popasnyanska.

He said Russian troops had taken almost complete control of Rubizhne, a town with a pre-war population of around 55,000.

In the south, Ukrainian officials claimed another success in the Black Sea, saying their forces shot down another Russian vessel, although there was no confirmation from Russia and no casualties were reported. reported.

Large logistics ship sailing.
The ship Vsevolod Bobrov would be heavily damaged.(Reuters: Yoruk Isik)

The logistics ship Vsevolod Bobrov was badly damaged but is not believed to have sunk when it was hit while trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island, said Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian presidential adviser .

In April, Ukraine sank the Moskva, a guided-missile cruiser that was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. In March, he destroyed a landing ship.

Justin Crump, a former British tank commander who is now a security consultant, said Moscow’s losses forced him to scale down his targets.

He said the Russians had to use hastily patched units that had not trained together and were therefore less effective.

“I think the Russian side is very clear that it’s going to take a long time.”

Schools reopen in makeshift classrooms

As the war continues, teachers attempt to restore a sense of normalcy to children.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, classes are held in a metro station that is home to many families.

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The children join their teacher Valeriy Leiko around a table to learn about the history of art, with children’s drawings lining the walls.

“It helps support them mentally,” Mr. Leiko said.

“Because now there is a war, and many have lost their homes… some people’s parents are fighting now.”

He said the classes help students “feel that someone loves them”.

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Life in Kharkiv’s underground shelters through the eyes of an Australian doctor

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Sharon P. Juarez