Ukraine war: 'Extremely fierce battles', Azov fighters on trial, Russia strikes Kryvyi Rih

Ukrainian soldiers firing rockets near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on June 13, 2023.
Ukrainian soldiers firing rockets near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on June 13, 2023. Copyright ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AFP/AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian counteroffensive inches forward amid vicious fighting


Parts of Ukraine are witnessing "extremely fierce battles" on Thursday as Kyiv's troops push into Russian-occupied territory, according to the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister.  

Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces had gained ground near Bakhmut in the east and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

Troops have advanced between 200 and 500 metres in unspecified sectors of the Bakhmut frontline and 300 to 350 meters towards Zapotizhzhia, she noted. 

But the Minister conceded Russian forces were mounting a stiff resistance in some areas.

US Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Washington was committed to partially replacing Ukrainian losses of US-supplied equipment used in counteroffensive operations. 

However, she noted there may not be a one-for-one replacement ratio.

Russian strikes targeting Ukrainian supply lines

Russian cruise missiles hit two industrial complexes in the central city of Kryvyi Rih overnight, according to regional governor Serhiy Lysak.

He said strikes caused significant damage, including broken gas pipelines.

"Fires broke out at enterprises, which rescuers have already put out,” he added. 

A 38-year-old man was injured in the attack.

Military officials said four cruise missiles were launched by Russia overnight. One was destroyed by Ukrainian air defences, the rest hit industrial facilities in the Dnepropetrovsk region, where Kryvyi Rih is located.

Oleksandr Vilkul, the mayor of Kryvyi Rih, noted the attacks caused “significant” damage, but the buildings hit “had nothing to do with the military”. 

The southern port city of Odesa was reportedly targeted by 20 Russian drones, all of which were shot down, according to Ukraine's southern military command. 

Japan may give Ukraine artillery shells through US

Toyoko is in talks to provide artillery shells to the US to help with the Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

The East Asian nation is considering supplying 155 mm artillery shells as a part of a 2016 ammunition pact, according to the US-based Wall Street Journal.

This could mark a breakaway since Japan resisted supplying ammunition to Ukraine "with the capacity to kill or wound" citing its internal principles.

Eugene Hoshiko/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is escorted by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.Eugene Hoshiko/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

The country, however, has been providing bulletproof vests, helmets, and mine detection equipment since the start of the war. 

Tokyo's relief packages to Ukraine have come in the form of humanitarian aid with an additional 435 million euros pledged during Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to the war-torn nation.


Captured Ukrainian soldiers face trial in Russia

More than 20 Ukrainian prisoners of war went on trial in southern Russia on Wednesday.

The captured soldiers were members of the Azov Battalion, an elite Ukrainian armed forces unit that fought Russian troops in Mariupol. 

Moscow captured the Sea of Azov port last year after a three-month battle that reduced most of the city to smouldering ruins.

The last remaining Ukrainian defenders - who holed up at a giant Soviet-era steel mill - surrendered to Russian forces in May 2022.

Russian authorities have designated the Azov battalion as a terrorist group.


The defendants are facing charges of involvement in a terrorist organization and taking part in action to overthrow the Russia-backed authorities in the Donetsk region.

They face 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

Of the 24 people initially charged, two have been swapped for Russian POWs in a prisoner exchange. Of the remaining 22 defendants facing the trial, eight are women, who reportedly worked as cooks for the Azov battalion.

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