Russia-Ukraine live news: UK to send Kyiv longer-range missiles | Russia-Ukraine war News

  • The UK says it will give Ukraine M270 multiple-launch rocket systems that can hit targets up to 80km (50 miles) away in a move coordinated with the US.
  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin says Russia will “strike targets we haven’t hit before” if Ukraine gets new long-range missiles.
  • Luhansk governor says the situation in Severodonetsk has “worsened a little” after saying Ukraine’s forces had pushed Russians back and regained control over half of the city.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits front-line troops in the Zaporizhia region, as well as in Soledar, Donetsk, and Lysychansk, Luhansk, as Russia continues to attack the Donbas.
  • A Russian state media journalist reports Moscow’s Major General Roman Kutuzov was killed in eastern Ukraine, adding to Russia’s string of high-ranking military casualties.

Here are the latest updates:

US ambassador to Russia says Moscow, Washington must keep embassies open

Russia and the US should keep their respective embassies in one another’s countries open despite the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine because the world’s two biggest nuclear powers must continue to talk, the US ambassador to Moscow has been quoted as saying.

John Sullivan told Russia’s state-controlled TASS news agency that Washington and Moscow should not simply break off diplomatic relations.

“We must preserve the ability to speak to each other,” Sullivan said. His remarks were reported by TASS in Russian and translated into English by the Reuters news agency.

Russia’s Lavrov ‘forced to cancel Serbia visit’

A visit to Serbia by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been cancelled after countries around the Balkan nation closed their airspace to his aircraft, according to media reports.

Read more here.

Explosions heard in southern Ukraine city of Mykolaiv: Mayor

Explosions have been heard in Ukraine’s southern Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, its mayor says.

Oleksandr Senkevych reported the blasts in a Telegram post. There was no further information immediately available.

Ukraine says its position has ‘worsened a little’ in Severodonetsk

The position of Ukrainian forces fighting in Severodonetsk has “worsened a little”, the governor of the Luhansk region has said.

“Our defenders managed to undertake a counterattack for a certain time; they liberated almost half of the city. But now the situation has worsened a little for us again,” Serhiy Haidai said in televised remarks.

Governor says Russia’s Kursk region shelled

The governor of Russia’s Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, says the village of Tetkino was shelled on Monday morning.

“There were no wounded or dead. The main blow was inflicted on the local bridge,” Roman Starovoit said on Telegram.

The governors of several of Russia’s border regions have multiple times accused Ukraine of firing on their settlements.

Ukraine: Russia lost more than 31,000 soldiers

Ukraine’s military says the Russian army has lost 31,250 personnel since the beginning of its invasion on February 24.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces also said Russia lost 1,386 tanks, 3,400 armoured personnel vehicles, 690 artillery systems, 209 multiple-launch rocket systems, 551 cruise missiles, 96 air defence systems, 211 aircraft, 176 helicopters, and 13 ships and boats.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.

Shelling injured six people in Kharkiv region: Governor

Russian forces continued to shell Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region on Sunday, wounding six people, the governor has said.

Oleh Synyehubov said Russian shelling injured a 52-year-old man in the town of Chuhuiv, two people in the villages of Korobochkyne and Chkalovske, two others in the village of Malinovka and an elderly woman in the town of Balakliya.

An injured Ukrainian serviceman is evacuated to a hospital in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, June 5, 2022
An injured Ukrainian serviceman is evacuated to a hospital in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 5 [Bernat Armangue/AP]

Woman wounded, nearly 30 homes damaged in Luhansk: Governor

Russian shelling in Luhansk wounded one woman and damaged more than 27 houses, the governor has said.

Serhiy Haidai also said it was unclear how much damage has been done in Severodonetsk, as street fights there are continuing.

Haidai said a bakery in Lysychansk had caught fire and was extinguished by firefighters.

Russia’s Snake Island defences contribute to Ukraine’s ports blockade: UK

Russia has likely moved air defence systems to Snake Island in the Black Sea, contributing to its blockade of the Ukrainian coast and hindering grain exports, the UK’s defence ministry says.

“Russian forces have likely moved multiple air defence assets to Snake Island in the western Black Sea including SA-15 and SA-22 systems,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence briefing, adding that the weapons are likely to provide air defence for Russian ships operating around the island.

The ministry also said that heavy fighting was continuing in Severodonetsk and that Russian forces continued to push towards Sloviansk “as part of their attempted encirclement of Ukrainian forces”.

Russia’s Rusal files suit against Rio Tinto linked to Australia’s Moscow sanctions: Reuters

Russian aluminium producer Rusal has filed a lawsuit against global miner Rio Tinto, seeking to regain access to its 20 percent share of alumina produced at a jointly owned refiner in Australia.

Rio Tinto took sole control of Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL) in April, sidelining Rusal. Rio owns 80 percent of the refinery, while Rusal owns 20 percent.

Australia banned the export of alumina and aluminium ores to Russia following its Ukraine invasion. Rusal was not directly targeted by Australian sanctions, but Rio Tinto’s actions were triggered by sanctions on oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, who own 25.6 percent and 8 percent of Rusal respectively.

Rusal’s Australian unit Alumina and Bauxite Company (ABC) said in an Australian Federal Court filing that the circumstances required for Rio to step in to take control did not exist and amounted to a breach of obligations, according to the court documents reviewed by Reuters.

Russian ministry website appears hacked: Reuters

The website of Russia’s Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities appears to have been hacked, with an internet search for the site leading to a “Glory to Ukraine” sign in Ukrainian, the Reuters news agency reported.

Russia’s state news agency RIA late on Sunday quoted a ministry representative as saying that the site was down but users’ personal data was safe. RIA said other media had reported that hackers were demanding a ransom to prevent the release of users’ data. Reuters was not able to ascertain which media outlets were being cited by RIA.

Many Russian state-owned companies and news organisations have suffered sporadic hacking attempts since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

UK to send Ukraine M270 rocket launchers

The UK says it will supply Ukraine with multiple-launch rocket systems that can attack targets up to 80km (50 miles) away, in a move coordinated with the US.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said UK support for Ukraine would change as Russia’s tactics evolved, explaining the gift of the M270 multiple-launch systems, which are similar to the systems the US is sending, the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The UK said Ukrainian troops would be trained on how to use the new launchers in Britain after it previously announced it would train Ukrainian personnel to use armoured vehicles.

Russian general killed in Ukraine: State media

A Russian general was killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian state media journalist said on Sunday, adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties sustained by Moscow.

The report, published on the Telegram messaging app by state television reporter Alexander Sladkov, did not say precisely when and where Major General Roman Kutuzov was killed.

There was no immediate comment from the Russian defence ministry, which classifies military deaths as state secrets even in peacetime and has not updated its official casualty figures in Ukraine since March 25, when it said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of its invasion.

Missiles kill three and injure two in Donetsk: Governor

Russian missile attacks have killed three people and injured another two in the Donetsk region on Sunday, the governor said.

Two people were killed in the town of Avdiivka and one in the town of Druzhkivka, Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

He added it was impossible to establish the exact number of victims in the occupied city of Mariupol and the town of Volnovakha.

A resident sits on a sofa inside a house damaged after a missile strike in Druzhkivka, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, June 5, 2022
A resident sits on a sofa inside a house damaged after a missile raid in Druzhkivka, eastern Ukraine.

Nearly 100 evacuated from Lysychansk: Governor

Evacuations have resumed from the Ukrainian-held part of Luhansk province on Sunday, and 98 people had managed to escape the town of Lysychansk, the governor said.

However, Serhiy Haidai said that “evacuation from Severodonetsk is currently impossible”, and about 15,000 people remained in the city.

Russian forces have been trying for weeks to cut off the main road out of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk to encircle Ukrainian troops there, and evacuations were halted last week after a journalist was killed in the shelling.

Russia looking to Africa to sell stolen Ukrainian grain: NYT

In May, the US sent an alert to 14 countries, mostly in Africa, that Russian cargo vessels were leaving ports near Ukraine carrying what the state department called “stolen Ukrainian grain”, the New York Times reported, adding that Russia has been trying to sell the stolen grain to African countries.

Ukraine says Russia has stolen up to 500,000 tonnes of wheat worth $100m since it invaded in February. Most of it was taken to ports in Russia-controlled Crimea and put on ships, including some under Western sanctions, Ukrainian officials say.

On Friday, Vladimir Putin met with the African Union head, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who tried to find a solution to the grain problem. African countries are acutely affected by the grain shortage crisis driven in large part by Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, which has sent prices of grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertiliser soaring.

Zelenskyy visits towns near front in eastern Ukraine

Zelenskyy says he visited two towns near the front line of battles against the Russian army after meeting troops in the Zaporizhia region.

“After that, I went with the head of [my] office to the east. We were in Lysychansk and Soledar,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video.

Lysychansk is in the Luhansk region and Soledar is in the Donetsk region. Both regions make up the Donbas, which is the focus of Russia’s campaign in eastern Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits a position of Ukrainian soldiers in Zaporizhzhia region
Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits a position of Ukrainian soldiers in the Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, June 5, 2022 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters]

Russia hits Kyiv with missiles

Russia took aim at Western military supplies for Ukraine on Sunday, launching air raids on Kyiv that it claimed destroyed donated tanks.

Ukraine said missiles aimed at the capital hit a train repair shop. At least one person was hospitalised but no deaths had been reported, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Before the morning attack, Kyiv had not faced any such Russian air raids since the April 28 visit of UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Read more here.

We will ‘use our means of destruction’ over arms supplies: Putin

Putin has lashed out at Western deliveries of weapons to Ukraine, saying they aim to prolong the conflict.

He insisted such supplies were unlikely to change the military situation for Ukraine’s government.

If Kyiv gets longer-range rockets, he added, Moscow will “draw appropriate conclusions and use our means of destruction, which we have plenty of, in order to strike at those objects that we haven’t yet struck”.

Read more here.

Russia using proxy forces to limit its own casualties: UK

The UK defence ministry says Ukrainian counterattacks in Severodonetsk were “likely blunting the operational momentum Russian forces previously gained through concentrating combat units and firepower”.

Russian forces previously made a string of advances in the city, but Ukrainian fighters have pushed back in recent days. The ministry’s intelligence brief also said Russia’s military was partly relying on reserve forces of Luhansk separatists.

“These troops are poorly equipped and trained, and lack heavy equipment in comparison to regular Russian units,” it said, adding the use of these troops likely “indicates a desire to limit casualties suffered by regular Russian forces”.

Ukraine loses 1-0 to Wales in World Cup qualifier match

It was an agonising end to Ukraine’s mission to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar while under invasion by Russia.

The Ukrainian players appeared heartbroken following the defeat; their coach Oleksandr Petrakov said he could not utter a word of criticism of his players.

“I think we did everything we could but I want the people of Ukraine to remember our team, our efforts. I want to say sorry we didn’t score. But that is sport, that happens.”

Read more here.

Ukraine says it controls ‘half’ of Severodonetsk

Ukraine says its forces have retaken control of half of the strategic eastern city of Severodonetsk as a counterattack drove back Russian troops in the critical battle for the Luhansk region.

But Luhansk’s governor Serhiy Haidai said they expect a major counterattack from Russian forces in the coming days.

“Our armed forces have cleaned half” of the industrial hub of Russian forces, Haidai said on his official social media channels. “In the next five days, there will be a large increase in the number of shellings from heavy artillery.”

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Read all the updates from Sunday, June 5 here.