Ukraine news

Servicemen of the 126th Separate Territorial Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine take part in military exercises in Odessa region on 22 June, 2022, amid Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine. Photo: Oleksandr GIMANOV / AFP

War in Ukraine: Latest news

Need to know what’s going on in Russia-Ukraine invasion? Here are the latest updates in the Ukraine war today

Ukraine news

Servicemen of the 126th Separate Territorial Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine take part in military exercises in Odessa region on 22 June, 2022, amid Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine. Photo: Oleksandr GIMANOV / AFP

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Deadly strike on Odessa

At least 18 people are killed and dozens wounded in missile strikes on Ukraine’s Odessa region.

The strikes come a day after Russian troops abandoned positions on the strategic Snake Island off the coast of Odessa.

Early Friday the missiles hit a nine-storey apartment building and a recreation centre about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Odessa, emergency services say.

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Snake Island decision ‘changes situation’: Zelensky

Russia’s decision to abandon Snake Island “changes the situation in the Black Sea considerably”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says.

“It does not yet guarantee security. It does not yet guarantee that the enemy will not return. But it already considerably limits the actions of the occupiers,”

he says Thursday in his daily address.

A strategic target, Snake Island sits aside shipping lanes near Odessa port. Russia had attempted to install missile and air defence batteries while under fire from drones.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence says in its latest intelligence update Russia has highly likely withdrawn “owing to the isolation of the garrison and its increasing vulnerability to Ukrainian strikes, rather than as a ‘gesture of good will’, as it has claimed.”

The Russian defence ministry  on Thursday described the retreat as “a gesture of goodwill” meant to demonstrate that Moscow will not interfere with UN efforts to organise protected grain exports from Ukraine.

Lysychansk pounded

The city of Lysychansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region continues to come under sustained bombardment, Sergiy Gaiday — governor of the Lugansk region, says.

Capturing the city would allow the Russians to push deeper in the industrial Donbas, which has become the focus of their offensive since failing to capture Kyiv after their 24 February invasion.

“Residents of Lysychansk barely leave their basements and homes,”

Gaiday writes on Telegram.

The Russians had taken control of parts of the city’s oil refinery, he says.

EU chief warns Ukraine on corruption

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tells Ukraine’s parliament that EU membership is “within reach” but urges them to press forward with anti-corruption reforms.

“You have created an impressive anti-corruption machine,” “But now these institutions need teeth, and the right people in senior posts.”

she tells lawmakers by video link.

Ukraine applied for EU membership just five days after Russia’s February 24 invasion and the 27 member states accepted its candidacy on June 23, in a strong signal of support.

But the accession process could take many years.

She stressed that Brussels and the EU member states were firmly behind Ukraine in both its battle with the ongoing Russian invasion and the quest to be “reunited with our European family”.

But she also insisted on the need to build on reforms already introduced since Ukraine’s 2014 revolt against its previous government to battle corruption and the grip of oligarchs on its economy.

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Ukraine exports electricity to EU

Ukraine has started exporting electricity to the EU via Romania, President Zelensky says, as Russia reduces gas supplies to the bloc.

Several European countries, highly dependent upon Russian gas for their energy needs, have been forced to look for alternatives as Moscow slashes deliveries in response to their support for Ukraine.

“This is only the first stage. We are preparing to increase supply,””a significant part of the Russian gas consumed by Europeans can be replaced”.

Zelensky says, adding

© Agence France-Presse