Ukraine news – live: Russian oil refinery on fire after ‘kamikaze drone attack’

Actor Ben Stiller seen in Lviv whilst working with UNHCR to support Ukrainian refugees

A suspected “kamikaze” drone started a fire at a Russian oil refinery near the Ukrainian border on Wednesday, local officials have said.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of Russia’s Rostov region, confirmed that a blaze had broken out at the Novoshakhtinsk site, which is located 5 miles from Ukraine.

The refinery’s operations were suspended on Wednesday as a result, he said, adding that two drones were later found at the site.

“One of them made an impact, crashing into a heat transfer unit, after which the blaze started. The second one flew away,” an unnamed local source told the Tass news agency.

Meanwhile, the latest British military intelligence report suggest that Russia is suffering “extraordinary” losses in eastern Ukraine.

The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Kremlin’s proxy, said 2128 of its soldiers had been killed and another 8897 injured this year. This equates to more than 50 per cent of its original force, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

This comes as heavy shelling continues to rain down on Ukraine’s eastern region Donbas, where Russia is attempting to capture the key city of Sievierodonetsk.

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Putin’s war has killed 324 children, says Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has killed at least 324 children, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office has said.

Another 592 children have been injured, it added.

The true casualty toll is likely to be much higher, as the figures do not include the areas where hostilities are ongoing.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 11:46

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Suspected ‘kamikaze’ drone attack causes fire at Russian oil refinery

A suspected “kamikaze” drone attack has caused a fire at a Russian oil refinery.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of Russia’s Rostov region, confirmed that a blaze broke out at the Novoshakhtinsk site, leading it to suspend operations on Wednesday. The refinery is located just 5 miles from the Ukrainian border.

He added that two drones had been discovered at the refinery.

“One of them made an impact, crashing into a heat transfer unit, after which the blaze started. The second one flew away,” an unnamed local source told Tass news agency.

Videos uploaded to social media appeared to show a drone flying towards the site, which burst into flames a short time later.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 11:23

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Moscow reiterates vow to punish Lithuania over blocked goods

Russia will not only respond “diplomatically” to Lithuania’s ban on EU-sanctioned goods travelling to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, the Kremlin has said.

“One of the main questions has been about whether the response would be exclusively diplomatic. The answer: no,” Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

“The response will not be diplomatic but practical,” she added.

Her comments come a day after Russia warned there would be “serious consequences” for the Lithuanian people.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 10:48

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Seven Russian missiles hit Mykolaiv, says regional governor

Seven Russian missiles hit the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said.

In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, he gave no details of any casualties or damage.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 10:25

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One dead and 11 injured in Russian shelling, says Donetsk governor

One person has been killed by Russian shelling in the eastern town of Chasiv Yar, the Ukrainian governor of Donetsk has said.

Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Wednesday that another 11 people, including 6 children, were injured in the attack.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 09:35

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Russian OSCE delegates denied British visas

Russian delegates to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have had their British visa applications turned down, Moscow has said.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, a senior figure in Russian upper house’s international affairs committee, announced the development on Wednesday.

Along with its western allies, Britain has imposed sanctions against Russia in response to its aggression against Ukraine.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 09:01

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Russian soldier death toll rises above 34,000, according to Ukrainian army

Almost 35,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the first four months of the war, the Ukrainian army has claimed.

Although Moscow has not released any death toll figures since late March, the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), one of its proxies, has said 2,218 of its troops have died. Another 8897 have been wounded, it added.

This casualty rate is roughly 55 per cent of the initial size of DPR’s forces, British military intelligence has suggested.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 08:30

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Russian demotions show Kremlin’s ‘ongoing dysfunction’, says ISW

Moscow’s decision to replace some of its top commanders shows the “ongoing dysfunction in the Kremlin’s conduct of the war”, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said.

See here for the US think tank’s latest update on the situation in Ukraine:

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 08:14

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Putin to mark WWII anniversary

Russian prresident Vladimir Putin will today mark the Nazis’ invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two by laying flowers to honour the dead.

The German invasion lasted 1,418 days from 22 June, 1941, and caused the deaths of an estimated 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians.

The day is also commemorated in Belarus and Ukraine, the country which Putin invaded on 24 Febuary. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far as a result of the war, according to the UN.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 07:56

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Ukrainian journalist and soldier ‘coldly executed’ by Russian troops, RSF claims

A Ukrainian photojournalist was “coldly executed” along with the soldier who was accompanying him soon after Vladimir Putin’s invasion, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a report on Wednesday.

Maks Levin and Oleksiy Chernyshov went missing on 13 March north of Kyiv while they were searching for this drone. Their bodies were found on 1 April in woods close to the capital.

Their burned car was riddled with more than a dozen bullet holes, according to investigators.

A bullet was discovered near Levin’s body, with RSF concluding that “he was probably killed with one, perhaps two bullets fired at close range when he was already on the ground”.

Rory Sullivan22 June 2022 07:39

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