Russia Ukraine war live: Putin launches heavy attacks as Kyiv says leadership reset coming

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Vladimir Putin’s troops have launched heavy attacks along Ukraine’s front line with dozens of clashes as Kyiv hinted at an armed forces leadership reset.

There were 78 clashes over the past day, with 43 Russian air strikes carried out in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s general staff.

It comes as Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he was seeking to replace the country’s most senior military commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

“A reset, a new beginning is necessary. If we want to win we must all push in the same direction, convinced of victory, we cannot be discouraged, let our arms fall, we must have the right positive energy,” Zelensky told Rai News.

The president and Zaluzhnyi have disagreed over plans for further mobilisation, with Zelensky announcing at the end of last year that he had turned down a request from the military to mobilise up to 500,000 new recruits.

Meanwhile, at least 28 people have been killed after Ukrainian shelling destroyed a bakery in the Russian-occupied city of Lysychansk, Moscow officials claimed.

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Bipartisan Senate group releases text of Ukraine-immigration agreement

The bipartisan group of Senators that have negotiated since late last year released the text of their legislation that would restrict immigration in exchange for aid to Ukraine and Israel on Sunday evening.

The group—comprised of Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut—released the text of the legislation on Sunday after months of back-and-forth. The bill’s total price tag is approximately $118bn.

President Joe Biden praised the bill on Sunday evening, calling it the “toughest and fairest” border reform legislation in “decades” and urged Congress to pass it.

Joe Middleton6 February 2024 04:00

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The EU is providing Ukraine with $54 billion. How will the money be spent?

EU leaders on Thursday sealed a deal to provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros ($54 million) to shore up its war-ravaged economy after Hungary dropped weeks of threats to veto the measure.

The aid package — about two-thirds loans and one-third grants to be paid out over a four-year period — is not intended to fund arms and ammunition, which fall under a separate EU plan. Instead, it aims to stabilize Ukraine’s economy after nearly two years of fighting, pay for rebuilding, and set the country up for future EU membership.

The package will help Kyiv plug budget gaps while avoiding the skyrocketing inflation seen in the first months after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Ukraine lost a third of its economic output to wartime destruction and occupation by Moscow, which took over the main heavy industry hubs in the east.

Joe Middleton6 February 2024 03:00

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Russia does not want peace, Zelensky says

Vladimir Putin does not want peace and wants to “completey destroy” Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“There is no disconnect in the fact that we need to proceed to the peace process. It’s just that everyone needs to understand how it’s happening and what the situation is.

“First. Russia does not want peace and neither do they seek peace. For them, peace is a loss. They are not ready for any peace.

“At first they spoke privately – they sent, let’s say, different messages – but now they are talking about it publicly: ‘We are not going to stop, we have not yet completed our task.’ And their task, I emphasize, is to completely destroy Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

Joe Middleton6 February 2024 02:00

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Kremlin declines to comment on Tucker Carlson visit

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he could not comment on US far-right political commentator Tucker Carlson’s reported visit to Moscow or speculation that Carlson was there to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Carlson was spotted in Moscow on 3 February attending a ballet at the famed Bolshoi theater, the Russian Telegram channel Mash reported. He has not publicly commented on his trip to Russia.

The Russian-state controlled media outlet Izvestia posted a video on Monday showing someone identifying himself only as Alexey approaching Carlson and asking him why he is in Moscow.

Joe Middleton6 February 2024 01:00

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Bipartisan Senate group releases text of Ukraine-immigration agreement

The bipartisan group of Senators that have negotiated since late last year released the text of their legislation that would restrict immigration in exchange for aid to Ukraine and Israel on Sunday evening.

The group—comprised of Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut—released the text of the legislation on Sunday after months of back-and-forth. The bill’s total price tag is approximately $118bn.

President Joe Biden praised the bill on Sunday evening, calling it the “toughest and fairest” border reform legislation in “decades” and urged Congress to pass it.

Tom Watling5 February 2024 22:15

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Twenty journalists detained in Moscow crackdown on protests held by wives of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

Russian police have detained 20 journalists reporting on a rally in central Moscow, in which the wives of soldiers sent to the frontline in Ukraine urged Vladimir Putin to bring their loved ones home.

The relatives of military reservists have been gathering weekly to publicly voice their demands, in a rare but mounting display of dissent which threatens Mr Putin’s claim to have the full backing of the Russian people in his war against Ukraine, as he seeks a near-certain victory in next month’s presidential elections.

Tom Watling5 February 2024 21:15

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Zelensky says he is preparing reset of senior Ukrainian leadership

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said a broad “reset” of the country’s military and leadership is needed – suggesting his plans go beyond removing his army’s top commander, Valery Zaluzhny.

“Definitely a reset, a new beginning is necessary,” he said, when asked about rumours of General Zaluzhny’s dismissal by Italian outlet Rai News. “I have something serious in mind, which is not about a single person but about the direction of the country’s leadership.”

Mr Zelensky said he had some “serious” decisions on his mind. His comments come days after it was rumoured that Mr Zelensky had called General Zaluzhny into his office and told the military commander-in-chief that he intended to fire him.

Tom Watling5 February 2024 20:33

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Kremlin declines to comment on Tucker Carlson visit

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he could not comment on US far-right political commentator Tucker Carlson’s reported visit to Moscow or speculation that Carlson was there to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Carlson was spotted in Moscow on 3 February attending a ballet at the famed Bolshoi theater, the Russian Telegram channel Mash reported. He has not publicly commented on his trip to Russia.

The Russian-state controlled media outlet Izvestia posted a video on Monday showing someone identifying himself only as Alexey approaching Carlson and asking him why he is in Moscow.

The Kremlin declined to comment on reports US commentator Tucker Carlson was in Moscow to interview Vladimir Putin

(Getty Images)

Alexander Butler5 February 2024 18:15

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Russia does not want peace, Zelensky says

Vladimir Putin does not want peace and wants to “completey destroy” Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“There is no disconnect in the fact that we need to proceed to the peace process. It’s just that everyone needs to understand how it’s happening and what the situation is.

“First. Russia does not want peace and neither do they seek peace. For them, peace is a loss. They are not ready for any peace.

“At first they spoke privately – they sent, let’s say, different messages – but now they are talking about it publicly: ‘We are not going to stop, we have not yet completed our task.’ And their task, I emphasize, is to completely destroy Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said Putin wanted to ‘completely destroy’ Ukraine

(UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)

Alexander Butler5 February 2024 17:15

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Russia deploys missile carrier to Black Sea

Russia has deployed a missile carrier to the Black Sea posing a “high” threat to Ukraine, according to the country’s military.

“The enemy has deployed one submarine missile carrier equipped with up to four Kalibr missiles to the Black Sea. The level of missile threat is high,” Ukraine’s southern defence forces said.

Alexander Butler5 February 2024 16:15

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