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Russia

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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Russia declares The Moscow Times newspaper 'undesirable'

Russia declares The Moscow Times newspaper 'undesirable'

Russian prosecutors on Wednesday (10 July) declared The Moscow Times newspaper 'undesirable' for its coverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine and deepening the Kremlin's crackdown on independent journalism. This was reported by The Moscow Times itself. This stamp ensures that anyone working with or connected to the organisation can be prosecuted for it.

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Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Alarm is growing in Ukraine over the fate of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which has been under Russian control since the opening weeks of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. In his nightly address on Tuesday (4 July), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is "preparing a provocation" at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Citing Ukrainian intelligence, President Zelensky said that Russia has placed explosives on the roof of two power units, raising concerns that Russia could deliberately damage the power plant under their control to hinder Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive. The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces also reported that Russia is preparing a strike "in the near future", adding that "their detonation should not damage power units but may create a picture of shelling by Ukraine's military". Zelensky also said that "now the whole world must realise that common security depends entirely on global attention to the occupiers' actions at the station". Earlier on 20 June, citing intelligence, President Zelensky also warned that Russia was considering attacking the NPP through radiation leakage.
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Russian airstrike on Idlib market in Syria kill at least 13, injures dozens

Russian airstrike on Idlib market in Syria kill at least 13, injures dozens

A Russian airstrike launched on a market in the north-western Syrian city of Idlib on Sunday (25 June) have killed 13 people, reports Arab News. At least nine civilians are among the dead, including two children. Around 30 people are understood to have been injured in the Russian strike on the rebel-held city, and it is expected that the death toll will rise. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - backed by Russia and Iran - has won back most of the territory that it lost to various groups in the early years of the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011 after the regime violently surpressed pro-democracy protests that had swept through a number of Arab countries. The violent repression of the protests led to President Assad and Syria being a pariah state for a number of years, although a process of the country's rehabilitation has recently taken place with Syria re-joining the Arab League in May this year, at the 32nd summit of the group in Jeddah. You can read more about this here. Over the years, Russia has repeatedly launched airstrikes across rebel-held regions of Syria. Although deadly Russian airstrikes on civilians in Syria have been limited this year - likely due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine - Sunday's strike is the deadliest attack on Syria this year.
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Russian attacks on Ukraine's Kryvyi Rih, Odesa and Donetsk Oblast kill 18, injure many more

Russian attacks on Ukraine's Kryvyi Rih, Odesa and Donetsk Oblast kill 18, injure many more

The past two days have seen Russian missile and drone strikes targeting the Ukrainian cities of Kryvyi Rih, Odesa, and Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka in Donetsk Oblast, in total killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 50. At approximately 3.20am on Tuesday morning (13 June), only one of six missiles fired by Russian forces at the home town of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky breached air defenses, striking an appartment block and a food warehouse. As of 9am CET on Wednesday (14 June), Ukrainian authorities have said the strike has killed 12 people, and injured at least 35. More than 70 residential buildings were also damaged as a result of the missile strike, as well as three schools, three buildings of two other educational institutions, and a dormitory. Then, at approximately 2.30am on Wednesday morning, reports emerged of another Russian overnight attack on the southern city of Odesa. Ukraine's Southern Command has reported that at least 3 people were killed by a strike on the warehouse of a retail chain, which caused a large fire.
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Russia blows up Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine causing widespread flooding

Russia blows up Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine causing widespread flooding

Russia has blown up a dam in southern Ukraine's Kherson region. This was reported by Ukraine's Southern Operational Command early in the morning on Tuesday (6 June). The Soviet-era hydroelectric plant lies on the Dnipro river, next to the city of Nova Kakhovka and approximately 50km east of the city of Kherson. Videos have emerged online of a major breach towards the Russian-occupied side of the river, and there are already reports of flooding in dozens of towns and villages downstream. Ukrainska Pravda, citing a nearby resident, said there was a single explosion, after which the dam "collapsed like a house of cards." Ukrainian authorities say that approximately 16,000 people are in the critical zone, and evacuations have already begun. It is expected that flooding down stream will reach critical levels at around 11am local time. At 9am, Kherson Oblast governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported that the villages of Tyaginka, Lvove, Odradokamyanka, Ivanivka, Mykilske Tokarivka, Ponyativka, Bilozerka, and the Ostriv district in Kherson were "fully or partially flooded." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, according to the council's head, Oleksii Danilov. 
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Reports of increased fighting along Ukraine front line, Russia claims large attack thwarted

Reports of increased fighting along Ukraine front line, Russia claims large attack thwarted

Reports have emerged online during Sunday (4 June) and early Monday morning (5 June) of increased fighting along the front line in Ukraine. Various social media sources that have regularly provided updates on the current situation on the ground in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022 reported forward Ukrainian troop movements in a number of locations along the front line over the last 24 hours. On Monday morning, the commander of Ukraine's ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said troops were "moving forward" towards the eastern city of Bakhmut, and had destroyed a Russian position near the city. As of 09.30 CET on Monday (4 June), nothing else regarding the ostensible counteroffensive has been officially stated by Ukrainian authorities. Yesterday, Ukrainian authorities published a video asking for people to withhold any precise information they may have on Ukrainian troop movements, saying "Plans love silence. There will be no announcement of the start [of the counteroffensive]." The footage featured masked and well-armed troops holding their fingers to their lips, stressing the importance of operational security.