Ukraine Russia latest: Volodymyr Zelensky visits ‘brave men’ on front line

Boris Johnson meets President Zelensky in Kyiv

Ukraine’s president has visited soldiers on the front line in the south of his country under siege, calling them “brave men” who are “working flat out”.

Volodymyr Zelensky made a trip to Mykolaiv, where he went to see troops in the region and the Black Port city itself.

In his trademark khaki t-shirt, the president handed out medals and posed for selfies with the servicemen in what appeared to be an underground shelter, according to a video posted to Telegram.

He said: “We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win!”

Mr Zelensky was also seen visiting a hospital in Mykolaiv, as well a destroyed regional administration building, where a rocket killed 37 in late March.

Russian forces reached the outskirts of the city at the start of the same month but were driven back to the eastern and southern edges of the region, where fighting is ongoing.

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‘We must steel ourselves for long war,’ says Johnson

The prime minister has warned Britons that “we need to steel ourselves for a long war” in Ukraine on his return from the nation’s capital.

After visiting Kyiv, Boris Johnson said that Vladimir Putin’s invasion is “entering a new phase” and if Russian advances were successful he “would not stop at dismembering Ukraine”.

Writing in The Times, Mr Johnson also outlined a four-point plan on how the UK and its allies can best support Ukraine.

He wrote: “I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality.

“The UK and our friends must respond by ensuring that Ukraine has the strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail.”

“Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack,” he added.

“Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine’s side.”

Looking beyond the invasion, he warned that if Russia is successful in securing territory in Ukraine “no nation anywhere would be safe” because “every dictator would feel emboldened to pursue their own ambitions by force”.

Chris Baynes19 June 2022 00:38

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Russia ‘sending large number of reserve troops to Sievierodonetsk’

Russia is sending a large number of reserve troops to Sievierodonetsk from other battle zones to try to gain full control of the frontline eastern city, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region said on Saturday.

“Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, they will throw in all the reserves they have … because there are so many of them there already, they’re at critical mass,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on national television.

He said Russian forces already controlled most but not all of Sievierodonetsk.

Chris Baynes19 June 2022 00:37

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Hundreds mourn Ukrainian activist killed in war

Hundreds of mourners have gathered in Ukraine‘s capital for a well-known Kyiv activist who was killed after taking up arms against Russian invaders.

The 24-year-old Roman Ratushnyi had been a teenage protester during months of demonstrations that toppled Ukraine‘s pro-Russian leader in 2014.

He was also known as an environmental campaigner in Kyiv who led a fight to preserve a wooded park from development.

Mourners gather for funeral of activist

(EPA)

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 17:29

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ICYMI: Russia not ‘squeaky clean’, foreign minister says

Russia has not been “squeaky clean” in the war with Ukraine and is “not ashamed of it”, claims the country’s foreign minister.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 16:58

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Watch: Zelensky hands medals to troops

Volodymyr Zelensky has been visiting troops Mykolaiv region of Ukraine to issue them with medals and certificates of merit for their services.

Zelensky hands out awards to troops on Ukraine frontline

President Zelensky has been visiting troops Mykolaiv region of Ukraine to issue them with medals and certificates of merit for their services.Despite the ongoing war, he took time to interact with the soldiers, as well as take pictures with them. One even gifted Zelensky a cap.”I thank each and every one of you, for what you do protecting our country, each of us, our families,” he told those involved. The city of Mykolaiv was hit by an airstrike which killed two people just yesterday (17 June).Click here to sign up to our newsletters.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 16:32

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Prisoner swap

Ukraine‘s defence intelligence directorate said on Saturday that five Ukrainian civilians had been returned in a five-for-five prisoner swap with Russia. It did not say whether the exchanged Russians were combatants.

The directorate said four of the five Ukrainian civilians had been taken prisoner during Russia’s occupation of parts of Kyiv region, from where Russian forces withdrew at the end of March.

It also said the dead body of a Ukrainian civilian was recovered in the exchange.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 16:07

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Zelensky’s trip to Mykolaiv

Here are some more images from Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Mykolaiv:

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the head of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration Vitaliy Kim (c) during the visit

(EPA)

Volodymyr Zelensky visited a hospital during his visit to the city of Mykolaiv

(EPA)

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 15:47

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ICYMI: Boris Johnson says Putin victory would be ‘catastrophe’

Boris Johnson has said the West must continue to support the Ukrainians as they seek to recover territory seized by Russia, saying it would a “catastrophe” if President Vladimir Putin was able to claim victory.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 15:27

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Miners rescued after being trapped underground

Seventy-seven miners were rescued on Saturday after being trapped underground during a power outage and shelling of territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, local officials said.

The miners were underground when power was lost in the Zasyadko coal mine in Ukraine‘s Donetsk region but all were now safe and no-one was injured, according to a statement by local separatist officials.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 15:07

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‘Postcode lottery’ over Homes for Ukraine payments in UK

In other news, Britons who have opened their homes to Ukrainian refugees are facing a postcode lottery over how quickly they get their monthly £350 “thank you” payment from the UK government, according to charity.

Zoe Tidman18 June 2022 14:55