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Ukraine war: 'Biggest' offensive blow awaits Russia, night attacks, Navalny anti-war campaign

Women cross themselves as they walk by Mykhaylo Golden Domed cathedral frescoes and new exhibits of open air exhibition of destroyed Russian armoured vehicles in Kyiv in June.
Women cross themselves as they walk by Mykhaylo Golden Domed cathedral frescoes and new exhibits of open air exhibition of destroyed Russian armoured vehicles in Kyiv in June. Copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP or licensors
Copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AP/AFP
Published on Updated
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

New night attacks on Ukraine from east to west

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"Massive" Russian attacks targeted Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Zaporizhia overnight from Monday to Tuesday, according to authorities.

Explosive drones attacked Ukraine's capital in waves from multiple directions, wrote the city's military administration on Telegram, adding the alert had lasted more than three hours. 

In the western city of Lviv, "critical infrastructure" was hit by drones, said the head of the regional administration, Maksym Kozytskyi. 

Meanwhile, authorities in Zaporizhia said the city had been subjected to a "massive attack" aimed at civilian objectives, including residential suburbs. 

The Ukrainian General Staff later claimed the country's air defences shot down 28 out of 30 drones launched by Russian forces overnight. 

No casualties were immediately reported. 

Navalny urges anti-war campaign

Alexei Navalny urged his supporters on Monday to begin a broad campaign against Moscow's actions in Ukraine. 

The imprisoned Russian opposition leader made the remarks as he went on trial on new charges of extremism that could keep him behind bars for decades.

Navalny said the anti-war effort must reach out to millions and explain the disastrous impact of the fighting and “combat Putin's lies and the Kremlin's hypocrisy.” 

He argued that despite a relentless crackdown on dissent, such a campaign could be efficiently conducted on messaging apps outside the authorities' control.

“No one but us could enter this fight for our citizens' hearts and minds, so we need to do it and win,” Navalny said.

Soon after it started, the judge closed the trial despite his demand to keep it open.

In a statement posted on social media by his allies, Navalny declared the decision to close the trial was a sign of fear by President Vladimir Putin. 

Navalny, who exposed official corruption and organised major anti-Kremlin protests, was arrested in January 2021 upon returning to Moscow after recovering from nerve agent poisoning in Germany. 

'Biggest' counteroffensive blow awaits Russia, says Ukraine

Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the "biggest blow" in Kyiv's military campaign is yet to come, but admitted the operation is difficult, as Russia mounts stiff resistance. 

"The ongoing operation has several objectives, and the military is fulfilling these tasks," Maliar wrote on Telegram. "They are moving as they should have been moving. And the biggest blow is yet to come."

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After months of acquiring Western weaponry, training and preparations, Ukraine began the first stage of its counteroffensive two weeks ago to reclaim nearly fifth of its land now occupied by Russia.

"The enemy will not easily give up their positions, and we must prepare ourselves for a tough duel," Maliar said. "In fact, that is what is happening right now,"

The Ukrainian military, which had maintained strict silence about the campaign, has claimed small victories, claiming on Monday it had liberated several small settlements.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said late last week the Ukrainian counteroffensive did not have any meaningful success. 

Officials and some Russian military bloggers say Kyiv has made small gains at the expense of huge troop and equipment losses.

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Euronews cannot verify these claims.

Ukraine accuses Hungary of blocking access to POWs

Ukraine accused Hungary of blocking access to a group of Ukrainian war prisoners on Monday. 

Some eleven prisoners were transferred to Hungary on June 8 from Russia with the help of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

"They have no access to open sources of information, their communication with relatives takes place in the presence of third parties", Ukrainian spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said on Facebook.

Ukrainian authorities claim they were unaware of the transfer, denouncing Budapest's acts as a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights.   

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Kyiv has asked for immediate access to the prisoners once again, with Nikolenko adding they need to assess their "physical and psychological condition".

This group of prisoners belong to Transcarpathia, a region in western Ukraine home to a large Hungarian community.

Hungary has defended itself claiming to have acted in accordance with international law. 

"They are here of their own free will, they can also leave the country freely at any time. We are not monitoring them," Prime Minister Viktor Orban's spokesperson said, adding that those who were not Hungarian had been granted refugee status.

Orban has continued to maintain contact with Moscow despite the war in Ukraine and has forged strong ties with the Russian Orthodox Church in recent years. 

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