Ukraine begins mandatory pull out from eastern city


The following are the latest developments related to the Ukraine crisis:

The Ukrainian authorities on Thursday started a mandatory evacuation from the frontline city of Kupyansk in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region and the settlements surrounding it.

The forced evacuation order has been given due to the challenging security situation and constant shelling, the Kupyansk city military administration said in a post on Telegram.

According to the Ukrayinska Pravda media outlet, the evacuation will be carried out in 37 settlements in the Kupyansk district.

Earlier in the day, Oleh Synehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional state administration, said that Russian forces hit Kupyansk with a guided FAB-250 aerial bomb overnight Thursday, damaging the city council building.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that two Tu-160 strategic bombers carried out a flight over neutral waters of the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

“Two Tu-160 strategic missile carriers completed a scheduled flight in airspace over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean for about 8 hours,” the ministry said in a statement.

The bombers were escorted by Russian Su-35S aircraft during the flight, the ministry added.

The ministry did not disclose more details of the flight.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the pullout of Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine is a condition for starting peace talks with Russia, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Thursday.

“We can negotiate with Russia after the withdrawal of their troops from our lands,” Kuleba said.

He ruled out the possibility of direct talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting that Kiev sees “diplomatic ways to deal with the issues indirectly.”

Last week, security advisors and representatives from some 40 countries met in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah to work out a solution to the Ukraine crisis.

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The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that it had thwarted Ukraine’s attempts to carry out attacks with drones, which caused no casualties or damage.

Two Ukrainian drones flying towards Moscow were shot down by air defense systems over the Maloyaroslavets district of Kaluga region and the Odintsovo district of Moscow region, according to the ministry.

Near the city of Sevastopol, two Ukrainian drones were destroyed by air defense systems and nine were jammed and fell into the Black Sea.

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