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Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia sends in elite troops to stop Ukrainian breakthrough

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Russia has redeployed some of its most elite troops to the Zaporizhzhia region in an attempt to halt Ukrainian troops from reclaiming the area, according to The Institute for the Study of War.

The Kremlin’s forces have been relocated from the Kreminna area in Luhansk Oblast to the Robotyne area in western Zaporizhia Oblast, in a sign that Russia lacks military reserves.

Robotyne has been at the centre of heavy fighting, with Ukrainian forces making “tactically significant gains” in recent days.

Ukrainian and Western sources have reported that Kyiv’s forces may have got through Russia’s strongest defences in the area, though have not achieved a breakthrough so far.

11:56 AM BST

In Pictures: Ukrainian pilots killed in mid-air crash

Vyacheslav Minka, Sergiy Prokazin and Andrii Pilshchykov collided in combat-training aircrafts

Vyacheslav Minka, Sergiy Prokazin and Andrii Pilshchykov collided in combat-training aircrafts – AFP

Wreckage of planes in the Zhytomyr region

Wreckage of planes in the Zhytomyr region – AFP

11:44 AM BST

Wagner boss died in plane crash, investigators confirm

Russian investigators say they carried out DNA testing to confirm that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner mercenary chief, died in the plane crash earlier this week.

The investigation committee said the identities of those who died in the crash match the names on the fight list.

“As part of the investigation into the accident with the crashed airplane in Tver region, molecular genetic studies have been completed. According to the results of the expertise, the identities of all 10 dead have been established, they coincide with the list specified in the passenger list,” the committee said.

Russia has named the dead as:

The identities have not been verified by an external body.

11:36 AM BST

Prigozhin’s death is ‘turning point in war’, says analysts

The “assassination” of the Wagner boss could be a turning point in the war as Ukraine seeks to exploit the “chaos” in the Kremlin, say analysts.

Ambassador Bill Taylor, vice president for Russia and Europe at the US Institute of Peace, told the BBC Today Programme on Sunday that the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin could evoke a strategic shift as Russia’s military chain is left “fragile and upset” by the incident.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Army is using the disorder in Russia to make “gradual, grinding, difficult progress in the counter-offensive” and despite losing fighters they are “encouraged” by the low moral among its leadership.

Mr Prigozhin died in a plane crash near Moscow on Wednesday, prompting speculation that a missile or bomb caused the incident.

11:30 AM BST

Leopard 1 tanks stored in the open as Switzerland rejects transfer to Ukraine

Nearly 100 Leopard 1 tanks are being stored out in the open in Italy after Switzerland blocked their transfer to Ukraine.

The tanks, owned by Swiss company RUAG, were to be refurbished and transferred to Ukraine but Switzerland rejected the sale over the country’s neutrality policy.

RSI photos show the tanks covered with green tarpaulin and stored in a depot near Gorizia, northeastern Italy – where they have been held since 2017.

A contract obtained by RSI revealed that RUAG planned to sell them to Germany’s arms manufacturer, Rheinmetall.

Switzerland rejected sale of tanks over neutrality policy

Switzerland rejected sale of tanks over neutrality policy – RSI

11:07 AM BST

In Pictures: Protest in Kyiv calls for relatives to be freed from Russian captivity

A Ukrainian boy holds a placard reading 'bring back our father from captivity' during a rally in Kyiv

A Ukrainian boy holds a placard reading ‘bring back our father from captivity’ during a rally in Kyiv – Shutterstock

10:59 AM BST

Ukraine investigates incident that killed three pilots

Ukrainian authorities have launched an investigation after a mid-air collision between two warplanes in the west of the country killed three pilots.

Ukraine’s air force spokesman Yuri Ihnat told Ukrainian television on Sunday it wasn’t immediately clear how long the inquiry would take.

According to the air force’s Telegram page, two L-39 training military aircraft collided on Friday during a combat mission over Ukraine’s western Zhytomyr region.

Three pilots were killed, including Andriy Pilshchykov, a well-known pilot with the nickname “Juice” who was an outspoken advocate for Ukraine getting F-16 fighter jets.

Ukraine’s Vasilkiv tactical aviation brigade on Sunday identified the other two pilots killed in the collision as Viacheslav Minka and Serhiy Prokazin.

10:27 AM BST

In Pictures: Drone strike on Kursk, a city in western Russia

A building damaged in a drone attack

A building damaged in a drone attack – Reuters

An interior of a building that was damaged in the drone strikes

An interior of a building that was damaged in the drone strikes – Reuters

10:02 AM BST

Tensions remain high in the Black Sea, says MoD

Tensions remain high in the Black Sea with skirmishes between maritime and air forces, the Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update.

Conflict has broken out around gas and oil platforms near to Crimea and Odesa, which are valuable strategic sites that can be used as deployment bases.

09:47 AM BST

Wagner war graves ‘wiped away’

The graves of Wagner mercenaries are being removed after the leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in an air crash.

The plane crashed on Wednesday shortly after taking off from Moscow.

Russian investigators have recovered 10 bodies and flight recorders from the scene.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has rejected allegations that Russia was involved in the downing of his plane on Tuesday.

09:28 AM BST

Russia shoots down two drones near border

Russia’s defence ministry said its forces shot down two drones overnight on Sunday in two regions bordering Ukraine.

One drone was shot down over the Bryansk region in Russia’s west and another in the Kursk region, just south of it, the defence ministry said on the Telegram messaging channel.

There was no further information about possible damage or casualties.

09:25 AM BST

Zelensky leads tributes to pilots killed in mid-air collision

The Ukrainian president has paid tribute to three pilots killed in a mid-air collision over Ukrainian territory on Saturday.

The crash killed a pilot that has been a public figure in the Ukrainian Air Force nicknamed ‘Juice’.

Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter: “Sadly, there is also tragic news.

“A catastrophe in the sky over the Zhytomyr region killed three pilots, including Andriy Pilschikov, callsign ‘Juice’.

“My heart goes out to the pilots’ friends and loved ones.

“Ukraine will never forget all those who defended its free sky.”

09:12 AM BST

In Pictures: Marines seize buildings occupied by Russians

Marines work out how to seize and clean buildings occupied by Russians

Marines work out how to seize and clean buildings occupied by Russians – Facebook

Marines 38 Obrmp secure buildings

Marines 38 Obrmp secure buildings – Facebook

09:09 AM BST

Russia launches overnight air attack on Ukraine

Russia launched an overnight air attack against Ukraine on Sunday, sending missiles over Kyiv and other parts of the country, authorities said.

The Ukrainian military reported shooting down four cruise missiles of up to eight total airborne targets detected, adding that the rest of the targets were “probably false”.

It also said there were no immediate reports of strikes.

Two people were reportedly wounded and 10 buildings damaged by falling missile debris in one unspecified area of the region.

“Enemy targets moving in the direction of Kyiv were destroyed by air defence forces,” Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on the Telegram messaging app. The attack involved cruise missiles, he said.

All of Ukraine was under air raid alerts for about three hours early on Sunday before they were cleared at around 6 am.

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