Ukraine war live: Kyiv losing up to 200 troops a day – Zelenskyy aide

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Friday’s key points

  • Ukraine is losing up to 200 troops a day, according to a Zelenskyy aide. This is more than double previous estimates.

  • Two Britons and a Moroccan national captured fighting Russian forces in Ukraine were sentenced to death Thursday. Their sentencing has been denounced in Ukraine and the West. They will face firing squard, reports the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Ukrainian troops sit on an armoured vehicle as they move back from the front line near the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 1, 2022.
Ukrainian troops sit on an armoured vehicle as they move back from the front line near the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 1, 2022.   –   Copyright  ARIS MESSINIS/AFP or licensors
  • Fierce street fighting is continuing in Sievierodonetsk, with the eastern Ukrainian city being hammered by Russian bombs. Some 10,000 civilians are trapped in the city and cannot be evacuated, says its mayor.

  • No agreement on exporting much-needed Ukrainian grain has been reached. Both Ukraine and Russia blame one another for the impasse.

  • Putin has compared himself to Tsar Peter the Great, paralleling their quests to capture land for Russia.

  • Nearly 5 million Ukrainians have registered as refugees since the Russian invasion, leading the UNHCR to call the Ukraine war ‘one of the largest human displacement crises in the world.’


UK MP: Condemned Britons have ‘significant rights’ as prisoners of war

A British MP has condemned the sentencing of two Britons to death by Russian-backed forces, saying they should be afforded rights as prisoners of war.

Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, who were captured fighting Russian forces in Ukraine, were handed death penalties Thursday by a court in the self-proclaimed Donestk People’s Republic. A Moroccan student Saaudun Brahim was also sentenced.

“This is a really concerning situation,” said Labour MP for Nottingham North, Alex Norris.”These are legitimate combatants, are prisoners of war, and as such have significant rights. They should not have been tried by that tribunal that they have been, in the way that they have been.

“As a result, those rights aren’t being upheld,” he added.

The British lawmaker called on his country to make a unified response.

“I think it’s really important that we send a strong message back from this country of our unity on this,” he said.

“That these gentlemen must have their rights, and they must be treated properly as they should be under the Geneva convention.”

Norris urged diplomatic efforts to start in earnest.

“Whether that’s calling in the ambassador, or whatever other channels are open, we must use all of them, and show a united front that we expect their rights to be upheld,” he said.


British citizen Aiden Aslin stands behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, in the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People’s Republic control, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo)
A man exercise in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
A journalist takes a picture of smoke rising from a landmine exploded by a Ukrainian specialized team working on a field to clean the area on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

     Death sentence for captured foreign fighters denounced West

The West and Ukraine have denounced a pro-Moscow court’s decision to sentence three foreigners fighting for Ukraine to death, calling the proceedings a sham and violation of the rules of war.

Aiden Aslin (UK), Shaun Pinner (UK) and Saaudun Brahim (Morrocco) were handed the death penalty Thursday evening by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, having been captured by Russian forces weeks ago.

The three men were found guilty of seeking the violent overthrow of power, an offence punishable by death in the unrecognized eastern republic. The men were also convicted of mercenary activities and terrorism.

Saadoun’s father, Taher Saadoun, told the Moroccan online Arab-language newspaper Madar 21 that his son is not a mercenary and that he holds Ukrainian citizenship.

Saadoun had been studying at National Institute of Dialectics for Space Sciences before it was destroyed in the war and he was drafted into the Ukrainian army as a translator, according to his father.

Aslin’s and Pinner’s families have said that the two men were long-serving members of the Ukrainian military. Both are said to have lived in Ukraine since 2018.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the trio will face a firing squad. They have a month to appeal.



Fighting continues in Sievierodonetsk

Ukrainian and Russian forces are still battling it out in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, with Kyiv claiming it has frustrated Moscow’s attacks.

“The occupiers, with the help of motorized rifle units and artillery, conducted assault operations in the city of Sievierodonetsk,” said the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in an operational update Thursday evening.

“They were not successful; the fighting continues,” it added.

Ukrainian forces had also repelled a Russian attack on the village of Toshkivka, northwest of Sievierodonetsk, according to the General Staff.

The Ukrainian governor of the eastern Luhansk region, where Sievierodonetsk is located, said Thursday that “fierce battles” continue to engulf the city.

Serhii Haidai said Russian forces continue to shell the neighbouring city of Lysychansk using large-calibre weapons which “pierce even concrete,” in a Telegram post.

“It is extremely dangerous for civilians to remain, even in shelters,” he said.


A Ukrainian tank drives in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Putin compares himself to Peter the Great

Russian president Vladimir Putin compared his current actions in Ukraine to Tsar Peter the Great Thursday, who conquered swathes of eastern and central Europe in the early 18th century.

After marking the Tsar’s 350th birthday with a visit to a museum, Putin told a group of young entrepreneurs “you get the impression that by fighting Sweden he was grabbing something. He wasn’t taking anything, he was taking it back.”

In comments that were later televised, Putin compared his offensive in Ukraine with Peter’s campaign to expand the then Russian Empire.

“Apparently, it also fell to us to return [what is Russia’s] and strengthen [the country],” said the Russian leader. “if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face.”

Putin also noted how when Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg, the former Russian capital, “none of the countries in Europe recognised this territory as belonging to Russia.”

“Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years,” he said. “It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned [what was Russia’s].

Putin continued: “Everyone considered it to be part of Sweden. But from time immemorial, Slavs had lived there alongside Finno-Ugric peoples. It is our responsibility also to take back and strengthen. Yes, there have been times in our country’s history when we have been forced to retreat, but only to regain our strength and move forward.”

By defeating Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700-1721) Peter the Great made Russia a leading regional power and an important player in European affairs.He was also a modernising, Europe-looking leader who drew inspiration from the west to develop Russia’s army, state, church and society. Peter the Great’s shift Europewards still has an important cultural legacy today.

However, amid heighten animosity between the west and Russia over the Ukraine invasion, Moscow is downplaying Peter’s affinity for Europe and focusing on how he expanded Russian borders.

Peter I reigned first as tsar and then as emperor from 1682 until his death in 1725.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets young entrepreneurs in Moscow on June 9, 2022.

Russia may earn more from fossil fuels than before invasion – US official

Russia may currently be getting more revenue from its fossil fuel sales than before its invasion of Ukraine, claimed one United States (US) official.

Increases in global oil and gas prices have offset the impact of important bans, US energy security envoy, Amos Hochstein, said during a senate hearing.

Russia has been able to sell more to other buyers, including major energy consumers China and India, by offering it at a discount to oil from other origins, he said.

Russia is the third-largest oil producer after the US and Saudi Arabia.

It is the world’s largest exporter of oil and petroleum products, data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows.



Ukraine losing up to 200 troops a day – Zelenskyy aide

Between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed on the front line every day, according to a senior Ukrainian presidential aide.

Speaking to the BBC, Mykhaylo Podolyak said “Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front and that includes heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems and aviation.”

Ukrainian troops are currently under savage bombardment as Russian forces attempt to take capture the Donbas region in the east of the country.

Podolyak’s suggestion that up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers are dying every 24 hours is more than double previous estimates.

On Thursday, Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said Ukraine was losing 100 soldiers, with 500 more injured, each day.

These different figures reflect the difficulties of getting precise information from the battlefield.

Still, Reznikov claimed that a high number of Russian soldiers are also being killed, despite Ukraine’s mounting casualties.

“The Kremlin continues to press by sheer mass, stumbles, faces strong rebuffs and suffers huge casualties,” he said. “But yet still has forces to advance in some parts of the front.”

Luhansk regional governor Sergei Haidai said Russians were “dying like flies.”

Russia has kept its casualty figures close to its chest.

Official Russian Defence Ministry figures released on 25 March detailed that 1,351 Russian service members have been killed In Ukraine. Whereas Ukraine calculates around 30,000 Russian deaths.

Either claim cannot be independently verified.