Ukraine war: Russian general fired, F-16s pose 'nuclear' threat, Russia strikes Kyiv

A Lockheed Martin F-16 Jet fighter performs its demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, east of Paris.
A Lockheed Martin F-16 Jet fighter performs its demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, east of Paris. Copyright Francois Mori/AP
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest development from the war in Ukraine.

Russian general fired after criticising army leaders


A top Russian general has been dismissed after laying bare the dire situation in Ukraine. 

Maj Gen Ivan Popov, who commanded the 58th Army fighting around Zaporizhzhia, blasted the high causality rate, lack of artillery and poor military intelligence in the Russian army.

"It was necessary either to keep quiet and be a coward or to say it the way it is," he said in a voice message posted on Telegram. 

"I had no right to lie in the name of you, in the name of my fallen comrades in arms, so I outlined all the problems which exist."

Russian military bloggers claim the order came from the head of Russia's armed forces, Gen Valery Gerasimov, who accused the fired general of "alarmism and blackmail". 

Fighter jets for Ukraine poses 'nuclear' threat - Russian FM

Sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine would be deemed a "nuclear" threat by Moscow, Sergei Lavrov warned in an interview broadcast on Thursday.

"We will consider the very fact that the Ukrainian armed forces have such systems as a threat from the West in the nuclear field," the Russian foreign minister said. 

"Russia cannot ignore the ability of these devices to carry nuclear charges." 

Lavrov noted he had warned the US, UK and EU states not to deliver F-16s.

"The United States and its NATO satellites are creating the risk of a direct armed confrontation with Russia and this risks having catastrophic consequences," he said. 

F-16s flying in Greece.THANASSIS STAVRAKIS/AP

The US, previously unwilling to give Kyiv fighter jets for fear of escalating the violence, gave the green light to deliver F-16s in May- something Kyiv has long demanded. 

When they will be handed over to Ukraine remains unclear. 

It was announced at the Vilnius NATO Summit on Tuesday that 11 countries would form a coalition to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the jet, as early as August. 

Ukraine struggles amid deadly Russian strikes

At least one person has been killed and four injured in the latest drone attack on the Ukrainian capital, according to the city's administration. 

Russian forces targeted Kyiv with a barrage of self-exploding Iranian-made Shahed drones early Thursday morning. 

Some 20 Russian drones and two cruise missiles were shot down overnight, according to the Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat.

Russian drone attacks continued in and around Kyiv for the third consecutive night and more attacks are expected in the future, Ukraine's air force said in a statement. 

Explosions were heard in different parts of the city, and debris from intercepted drones fell on four districts of the Ukrainian capital.


Some drones, however, were able to target and damage civilian infrastructures, according to the Kyiv administration. 

UK not an 'Amazon' for weapons, says defence secretary

The UK is not an "Amazon delivery service" for arms to Ukraine, British defence secretary Ben Wallace said on Wednesday. 

"I said to the Ukrainians last year, when I drove 11 hours to [Kyiv to] be given a list - I said, I am not Amazon," he said. 

Wallace hinted at a lack of gratitude from Kyiv for always demanding more weapons despite getting hefty amounts of aid. 

Ukraine's real focus should be on persuading doubting politicians from "on the Hill in America" and other countries to get sustainable weapon aid, he added.  


"My counsel to the Ukrainians is sometimes you're persuading countries to give up their own stocks [of weapons] and yes the war is a noble war and yes we see it as you doing a war for - not just yourself - but our freedoms," he told British broadcaster Sky News. 

"I said to the Ukrainians last year, when I drove 11 hours to [Kyiv to] be given a list - I said, I am not Amazon."
Ben Wallace
UK Defence Secretary

Wallace called for better training for Ukrainian soldiers to minimise casualties and ultimately political backing from its allies. He offered to provide such training in the UK. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Ukrainian President pushed back against Wallace's comments, agreeing Ukraine has always been grateful to London for its support. 

"We could get up in the morning and express our words of gratitude personally to the minister. We are grateful to the UK," Zelenskyy quipped. 

Sunak added that the Ukrainian people were fighting for their lives and freedom daily, and promised to continue to support "Zelenskyy and his people" to stop the war.


UN Human Rights Chief urges Russia to obey humanitarian law in war

The United Nations human rights chief urged Russia to respect humanitarian law following evidence of torture and abuses against Ukrainian civilians. 

A UN report published two weeks ago revealed the arbitrary detention of more than 900 civilians since the start of the war in February 2022. 

"These findings are shocking. They call for concrete measures by the Russian Federation to instruct and ensure their Russian personnel comply with international human rights and humanitarian law," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said on Wednesday. 

Turk added that more than 90% of the detainees experienced torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, by Russian officials. 

Russia's ambassador to the UN said the report and its findings underestimated the crimes committed by the Ukrainian side. 


"The real scale of the atrocities of the Ukrainian authorities and military is deliberately hushed up," Gennady Gatilov told the UN Council. 

Although some violations were committed by the Ukrainian side, it provided the investigators with full access barring one incident, Turk said.

Russia refused access to detainees upon repeated requests, he added.

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