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Putin loses more than 1,500 soldiers in faltering Kharkiv offensive

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Russia has lost more than 1,500 soldiers in the past week in the grinding war in Kharkiv even as Vladimir Putin claimed he has “no plans” to take Ukraine’s second largest city.

As of yesterday evening, Russia has lost 1,572 soldiers in just the last seven days and 263 units of military equipment, including 75 drones, 66 army vehicles and eight tanks, Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

In the past 24 hours Russian troops have tried to break through Ukraine’s defences using aircraft and guided aerial bombs, and there have been around a dozen ground skirmishes.

Tens of thousands of Russian forces stormed across the border into the Kharkiv region last month to capture the city. But Mr Putin, speaking in Beijing last week, said his troops have “no plans as of today” to try and take control of Kharkiv city.

This comes as at least 11 people were killed and dozens were wounded after Russian forces struck a busy lakeside resort on the edge of Kharkiv and attacked villages in the surrounding region.

Key Points

  • Russia loses over 1,500 soldiers trying to capture Kharkiv

  • Russian missile attack on Kharkiv resort kill at least 11

  • Volodymyr Zelensky calls for more Patriots, western aid in Kharkiv

Putin has lost 493,690 troops in Ukraine since full-scale invasion

07:15 , Arpan Rai

Russia has lost 493,690 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its invasion on 24 February 2022, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed today.

Russia has also lost 7,590 tanks, 14,665 armoured fighting vehicles, 17,311 non-fighting vehicles and fuel tanks, 12,737 artillery systems, 1,076 multiple launch rocket systems, 807 air defence systems, 354 airplanes, 326 helicopters, 10,236 drones, 27 ships and boats, and a submarine, the General Staff added.

The statement comes as Russian forces continue to push forward in the northern areas of Kharkiv region. The Russian military has said they have captured at least 12 villages in the area so far.

Russia’s foreign ministry has previously rejected the numbers provided by Ukraine but not shared its own estimates of manpower and material losses. Moscow treats the information as a state secret.

Ukraine downs all 29 drones launched by Russia overnight

06:43 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian forces shot down all 29 drones used by Russian forces in an overnight attack, Ukraine’s air force said today.

Sixteen of the drones were shot down over the southern region of Mykolaiv where debris damaged a private residence and caused a fire, the region’s governor said.

Three of the drones were shot down over the western region of Lviv, with no damage reported by local officials.

The attack also targeted the Odesa and Poltava regions with drones, in addition to attacking the Kharkiv region with an Iskander-M ballistic missile.

Russia has stepped up its offensive on several Ukrainian territories as Kyiv’s forces shot down all 90 Shahed-type drones launched by Russia in the past week, military spokesperson Dmytro Lykhoviy said today.

Ukraine’s divisive mobilisation law comes into force

06:22 , Arpan Rai

A divisive mobilisation law in Ukraine has come into force as Kyiv struggles with a severe shortage of soldiers to fight the Russians who have launched a new offensive seemingly to take the country’s second city Kharkiv.

The law makes it easier to identify every conscript in the country and harshly punish draft dodgers. It also promises incentives such as cash bonuses or money for buying a house or car to conscripts that some analysts say Ukraine cannot afford.

Ukranian lawmakers passed the mobilisation law in mid-April, a week after lowering the age for men who can be drafted from 27 to 25. The measures reflect the growing strain that more than two years of war with Russia has had on Ukraine’s forces, who are trying to hold the frontlines in fighting that has sapped the country’s ranks and stores of weapons and ammunition.

Ukraine’s divisive mobilization law comes into force as a new Russian push strains front-line troops

Ukraine and Russia exchange drone attacks while Russia continues its push in the east

05:50 , Arpan Rai

Russia has said its forces shot down nearly 60 drones and several missiles over its territory overnight into Sunday while Ukraine claimed to have destroyed over 30 Russian drones. The attacks came as the Russian military continued its renewed offensive in Ukraine’s northeast.

Russian air defences shot down 57 Ukrainian drones over the southern Krasnodar region overnight Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defence said Sunday morning.

Local military officials said drone debris hit an oil refinery in the town of Slavyansk-on-Kuban, but there was no damage. A local news outlet, Astra, published videos appearing to show an explosion at the refinery as it was hit by a drone. The videos could not be independently verified.

Nine long-range ballistic missiles and a drone were also destroyed over Crimea following Friday morning’s Ukrainian drone attack that cut off power in the city of Sevastopol on the peninsula.

Ukraine and Russia exchange drone attacks while Russia continues its push in the east

Volodymyr Zelensky calls for more Patriots, western aid in Kharkiv

05:31 , Arpan Rai

President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again called on his Western allies to supply Kyiv with additional air defence systems to protect Kharkiv and other cities.

“The world can stop Russian terror – and to do so, the lack of political will among leaders must be overcome,” Mr Zelensky said on Telegram.

“Two Patriots for Kharkiv will make a fundamental difference,” he said, referring to Patriot missile defence systems. Air defence systems for other cities and sufficient support for soldiers on the frontline would ensure Russia’s defeat, the president added.

Russian missile attack on Kharkiv resort kill at least 11

05:27 , Arpan Rai

At least 11 people have been killed and dozens are wounded after Russian missiles hit a busy lakeside resort on the edge of Ukraine’s Kharkiv yesterday.

The missile strikes were the latest in what have been constant Russian attacks in recent weeks on the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine, where Russian troops have launched an offensive.

Prosecutors said six people were killed there, one was missing and 27 were wounded. Rescuers said the initial strike was followed by a second strike around 20 minutes later, targeting emergency crews at the scene in a “double tap”.

Ukrainian officials said the Russian missiles targeted an area which never had any soldiers.

“There were never any soldiers here,” said Yaroslav Trofimko, a police inspector who arrived after the first strike and was then caught up in the second. “It was a Sunday, people were supposed to be here to rest, children were supposed to he here, pregnant women resting, enjoying a normal way of life.”

Valentyna, 69, had blood running down her face at the lakeside resort area where her home had been destroyed and a busy restaurant nearby was obliterated. Her husband was killed near the lake, she said, gesturing to an area close to the shore that now was the site of a crater, rubble and corpses.

“To lose my husband, to lose my house, to lose everything in the world, it hurts, it hurts me,” she shouted through tears “They (the Russians) are animals. Why do they need to kill people?”

Russia loses over 1,500 soldiers and 200 pieces of equipment trying to capture Kharkiv

05:06 , Arpan Rai

Russia has lost more than 1,500 soldiers in the past week in the grinding war in Kharkiv as well as a substantial stockpile of military equipment, Ukrainian military officials claimed.

As of yesterday evening, Russia has lost 1,572 soldiers in the past seven days and 263 pieces of military equipment, including 75 drones, 66 army vehicles and eight tanks, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

In the past 24 hours, Russian troops have tried to break through Ukraine’s defences using aircraft and guided aerial bombs and there have been around a dozen ground skirmishes.

The Russian Ministry of Defence did not comment on the casualty count of its troops shared by Kyiv.

Thousands of Russian soldiers stormed across the border into the Kharkiv region last month and are now engaged in a grinding war on their way to capture Ukraine’s second city.

04:30 , Arpan Rai

Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on Monday, 20 May.

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