- Dozens of Russian missiles have simultaneously hit military facilities in western and northern Ukraine, local officials say.
- Ukraine’s military says strikes on the border region of Chernigiv were launched from the territory of Russia’s ally Belarus.
- Artillery has hit the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, the regional governor says, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed concern that Ukraine could face pressure to agree to a peace deal with Russia that was not in its interests due to the economic consequences of the war in Europe.
Here are the latest updates:
Russia pushes to block second city in eastern Ukraine
Russian forces are attempting to blockade the city of Lysychansk from the south, Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk, has said on Facebook.
Russian moves to cut off Lysychansk will give Ukrainian troops retreating from nearby Severodonetsk little respite as Moscow focuses all efforts on capturing all of the eastern Donbas region, comprising Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.
Russia removes Polish flag from Soviet massacre memorial
Russian authorities have removed a Polish flag from a memorial commemorating the thousands of Poles killed by the Soviet Union, amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Warsaw over the Ukraine conflict.
The mayor of Smolensk city confirmed the removal of the flag from the Katyn memorial in western Russia. “There cannot be Polish flags on Russian monuments. Even less so after the frankly anti-Russian comments by Polish political leaders,” Andrei Borisov said on social media platform VKontakte.
“The culture ministry of the Russian Federation made the right decision by removing the Polish flag. Katyn is a Russian memorial.”
‘Massive’ bombardment on Chernigiv region came from Belarus: Ukraine army
Ukraine’s northern border region of Chernigiv came under “massive bombardment” fired from the territory of Russia’s ally Belarus, the Ukrainian army has said in a statement.
“Around 5:00 o’clock in the morning (0200 GMT) the Chernigiv region suffered a massive bombardment by missiles. Twenty rockets, fired from the territory of Belarus and from the air, targeted the village of Desna,” Ukraine’s northern military command wrote on Facebook, adding that there were no reports of victims so far.
Russian shelling hits Severodonetsk chemical plant where civilians trapped
Russia has launched artillery and air strikes on the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, hitting a chemical plant where hundreds of civilians are trapped, a Ukrainian official has said.
“There was an air strike at Lysychansk. Severodonetsk was hit by artillery,” Serhiy Haidai said on the Telegram messaging app, adding the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk and the villages of Synetsky and Pavlograd and others were shelled on Friday.
He made no mention of casualties in the industrial zone, where about 300 civilians are sheltering.
Dozens of Russian missiles hit military facilities across Ukraine
Dozens of Russian missiles have rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine, local officials said.
Six missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base in the Lviv region in western Ukraine, governor Maxim Kozytskyi said in a video posted online.
Vitaliy Bunechko, governor of the Zhytomyr region in the north of the country, said strikes on a military target killed at least one soldier. “Nearly 30 missiles were launched at one military infrastructure facility very near to the city of Zhytomyr,” Bunechko said, adding that nearly 10 missiles had been intercepted and destroyed.
In the Chernihiv region, also in the north, governor Vyacheslav Chaus said the small town of Desna, which is home to a training centre for Ukraine’s infantry forces, had come under fire. Chaus did not specify what had been hit, but said there had been “infrastructure damage.” There were no casualties, he added.
Russian missiles hit Yavoriv military base near Lviv: Governor
A Russian strike on the Yavoriv military facility in western Ukraine has wounded four people, Lviv governor Maksym Kozytskyy has said in a video post.
Six missiles were fired from the Black Sea, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting the target, according to Kozytskyy.
Ankilled 35 people and wounded at least 130, according to Ukrainian officials.
The 360-square-kilometre (140-square-mile) compound, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, has long been used to train Ukrainian military personnel, often with instructors from the United States and other NATO countries.
British intelligence says Russia removed key generals from Ukraine
The British defence ministry says Russia likely withdrew several generals from key command roles in the Ukraine conflict this month.
“Since the start of June, the Russian high command has highly likely removed several generals from key operational command roles in the war in Ukraine,” the ministry said in its daily Twitter update.
They include the commander of Airborne Forces, General-Colonel Andrei Serdyukov, whose 30-year-long service has been “dogged with allegations of corruption and brutality”.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 25 June 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response:
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ)
UK fears Ukraine will be coerced to make a ‘bad peace’: PM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he feared Ukraine could face pressure to agree to a peace deal with Russia that was not in its interests, due to the economic consequences of the war in Europe.
“Too many countries are saying this is a European war that is unnecessary … and so the pressure will grow to encourage – coerce, maybe – the Ukrainians to a bad peace,” he told broadcasters in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, where he was attending a Commonwealth summit.
Johnson said the consequences of Russian President Vladimir Putin being able to get his way in Ukraine would be dangerous to international security and “a long-term economic disaster”.
Ukrainian forces ordered to withdraw from key city of Severodonetsk
Ukrainian forces have been ordered to withdraw from theafter weeks of fierce street fighting, in order to limit further casualties and regroup.
Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said that “it is now a situation where it makes no sense to hold out in battered positions”.
“That’s why our defenders who are there have already been ordered to withdraw to new positions and conduct normal, fully fledged military operations from there,” he said.
Severodonetsk was already mostly under the control of Russian troops, even if they still met resistance. The move will be seen by Russia as a significant victory.
Read all the updates from June 24.
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