Russian death toll rises to 17,000 as Putin’s forces fail to make any ‘significant’ progress

Russian death toll rises to 17,000 as Putin’s forces fail to make any ‘significant’ progress


Vladimir Putin’s faltering invasion has suffered another devastating blow after battling Ukrainian troops recaptured the war-ravaged town of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv today.

The mayor said forces had seized back full control of the town which had become one of the main hotspots of fighting after Kremlin soldiers hoped to march on to the capital.

Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said: ‘We have good news today – Irpin has been liberated. We understand that there will be more attacks on our town and we will defend it courageously.’ 

Markushyn vowed that the army will now liberate Bucha, Hostomel and Vorzel to further enrage Putin as his force’s death toll rises to 17,000 without seizing any new territories. 

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said earlier today there had been ‘no significant change to Russian forces’ dispositions in the country’ and Russia is still yet to capture any major city after a month of fighting.

They said ‘ongoing logistical shortages have been compounded by a continued lack of momentum and morale against the Russian military, and aggressive fighting by the Ukrainians’.

Kyiv’s ministry of defence said Russia has been forced to withdraw some units surrounding the capital after major losses.

The withdrawal has ‘significantly decreased’ the intensity of the advance on the city as Putin’s troops regroup in Belarus. 

Those still trying to advance on Kyiv are trying to seize the major roads and settlements in the northeast and northwest of the city but are being held back by the defiant Ukrainians.

Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar said: ‘As of today, the enemy is regrouping its forces, but they cannot advance anywhere in Ukraine.’ 

Russian death toll rises to 17,000 as Putin’s forces fail to make any ‘significant’ progress

A woman walks past a residential area which was destroyed as a result of a rocket strike in Kyiv as Ukraine makes military gains in the region

An abandoned Russian armoured vehicle with the Z war symbol emblazoned on it lies in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, after it was seized by Ukraine

An abandoned Russian armoured vehicle with the Z war symbol emblazoned on it lies in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, after it was seized by Ukraine

The southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol (pictured) is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe and must be completely evacuated, its mayor said today

Vladimir Putin's faltering invasion has suffered another devastating blow after battling Ukrainian troops recaptured the war-ravaged town of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv today. Pictured: residents fleeing Irpin earlier this month

Vladimir Putin’s faltering invasion has suffered another devastating blow after battling Ukrainian troops recaptured the war-ravaged town of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv today. Pictured: residents fleeing Irpin earlier this month 

An elderly woman stands amid the rubble of a damaged apartment building in Kharkiv, which has suffered fresh air strikes

An elderly woman stands amid the rubble of a damaged apartment building in Kharkiv, which has suffered fresh air strikes

A square in Byshiv, in the Kyiv region, is completely destroyed by a Russian attack, as troops struggle to enter the capital

A square in Byshiv, in the Kyiv region, is completely destroyed by a Russian attack, as troops struggle to enter the capital

Ukrainian servicemen ride on tanks as they move towards south, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mykolaiv

Ukrainian servicemen ride on tanks as they move towards south, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mykolaiv

A Ukrainian soldier stands before a Russian self-propelled artillery gun destroyed following a battle in the town of Trostyanets, Sumy

A Ukrainian soldier stands before a Russian self-propelled artillery gun destroyed following a battle in the town of Trostyanets, Sumy

Ukrainian servicemen ride on the top of a tank in Mykolaiv with Russia's invasion still struggling to make major gains

Ukrainian servicemen ride on the top of a tank in Mykolaiv with Russia’s invasion still struggling to make major gains

In another devastating symbolic loss, Russia’s famed 4th Guards tank division, which was formed in Stalingrad and helped liberate Poland from the Nazis, has been destroyed by Ukrainians.

Burnt-out tanks and howitzers were seen in the town of Trostyanets, 200 miles west of Kyiv, with forces either killed or captured.  

But the incessant strikes and fighting have left a huge toll on Ukraine, with the total cost of the war so far totalling £430billion, its economy minister said today.

Nearly 5,000 miles of roads and 10million square metres of housing have been destroyed in the month of fighting. 

Russia has gained most ground in the south near the city of Mariupol where heavy fighting continues as Russia attempts to capture the port.

The besieged southern port city has been ‘turned to dust’ and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor said today.

Mayor Vadym Boichenko said 160,000 civilians are trapped without power and must be completely evacuated. 

He said 26 evacuation buses are on standby but Putin’s men had not agreed to give them safe passage.

The civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine.  

Mariupol is widely seen as a strategic prize for the Russian invaders to create a bridge between Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and two separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine. 

Russia is maintaining a blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, cutting off maritime trade with the country. 

The Russian navy is also launching ‘sporadic’ missile strikes against targets in Ukraine, the ministry said.

The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been 'turned to dust' by Russian forces and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor said today

The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been ‘turned to dust’ by Russian forces and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, its mayor said today

Local resident Valentina Demura, 70, stands next to the building where her apartment, destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict, is located in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on Sunday

Local resident Valentina Demura, 70, stands next to the building where her apartment, destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict, is located in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on Sunday

The 160,000 civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine. Pictured: A destroyed tank in Mariupol

The 160,000 civilians trapped in the city are encircled by Russian forces, with ever-dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine. Pictured: A destroyed tank in Mariupol

Local resident Inga Serbina, 45, holds her passport before leaving the city during Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the besieged southern port of Mariupol on Sunday

Local resident Inga Serbina, 45, holds her passport before leaving the city during Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the besieged southern port of Mariupol on Sunday

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Meanwhile ‘significant’ new fires have broken out in the exclusion zone around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said.

‘It is impossible to control and extinguish fires in full due to the capture of the exclusion zone by the Russian occupation forces,’ Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says on Telegram. 

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to take place in Turkey this week, with Volodymyr Zelensky insisting on the territorial integrity of his country after earlier suggesting he was ready for a compromise.

He said in his video address to the Ukrainian people late on Sunday that in talks due to take place in Istanbul his government would prioritise the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine.

But in comments made to Russian journalists earlier in the day Zelensky adopted a different tone, saying Ukraine was willing to assume neutral status and compromise over the status of the eastern Donbas region as part of a peace deal.

In the video call that the Kremlin pre-emptively warned Russian media not to report, Zelensky said any agreement must be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum.

‘Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it,’ he added, speaking in Russian.

Even with talks looming, Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said Russian President Vladimir Putin was aiming to seize the eastern part of Ukraine.

‘In fact, it is an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,’ he said, referring to the division of Korea after World War Two. Zelensky has urged the West to give Ukraine tanks, planes and missiles to help fend off Russian forces.

In a call with Putin on Sunday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to host the talks and called for a ceasefire and better humanitarian conditions, his office said. Ukrainian and Russian negotiators confirmed that in-person talks would take place.

Top American officials sought on Sunday to clarify that the United States does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, after President Joe Biden said at the end of a speech in Poland on Saturday that Putin ‘cannot remain in power’.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Biden had simply meant Putin could not be ’empowered to wage war’ against Ukraine or anywhere else.

On Friday, Russia signalled it was scaling back its ambitions to focus on securing the Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army for the past eight years.

A local leader in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said on Sunday the region could soon hold a referendum on joining Russia, just as happened in Crimea after Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break with Ukraine and join Russia – a vote that much of the world refused to recognise.

An armoured vehicle of pro-Russian troops with the symbol "Z" painted on its front drives along a road near Mariupol on Sunday

An armoured vehicle of pro-Russian troops with the symbol ‘Z’ painted on its front drives along a road near Mariupol on Sunday

A Ukranian serviceman stands on top of a Russian tank captured after fighting with Russian troops in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv

A Ukranian serviceman stands on top of a Russian tank captured after fighting with Russian troops in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv 

Destroyed cars are seen in front of an apartment building which was heavily damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol yesterday

Destroyed cars are seen in front of an apartment building which was heavily damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol yesterday

Budanov predicted Ukraine’s army would repel Russian forces by launching a guerrilla warfare offensive.

‘Then there will be one relevant scenario left for the Russians, how to survive,’ he said.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson also dismissed talk of any referendum in eastern Ukraine.

‘All fake referendums in the temporarily occupied territories are null and void and will have no legal validity,’ Oleg Nikolenko told Reuters. 

Moscow says the goals for what Putin calls a ‘special military operation’ include demilitarising and ‘denazifying’ its neighbour. Ukraine and its Western allies call this a pretext for unprovoked invasion.

Ukraine has described previous negotiations, some of which have taken place in Russian ally Belarus, as ‘very difficult’.

A part of a shell is seen in the street during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port of Mariupol

A part of a shell is seen in the street during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port of Mariupol

A Ukranian serviceman walks past the wreck of a Russian tank in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv

A Ukranian serviceman walks past the wreck of a Russian tank in the village of Lukyanivka outside Kyiv

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to take place in Turkey this week, with Volodymyr Zelensky insisting on the territorial integrity of his country after earlier suggesting he was ready for a compromise

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to take place in Turkey this week, with Volodymyr Zelensky insisting on the territorial integrity of his country after earlier suggesting he was ready for a compromise

The invasion has devastated several Ukrainian cities, caused a major humanitarian crisis and displaced an estimated 10 million people, nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population.

Tatyana Manyek, who crossed the Danube by ferry into Romania on Sunday with other refugees, said people in her home city of Odesa were ‘very afraid’ but she would have stayed were it not for her daughter.

‘It would be very difficult to provide the child with basic living conditions. That’s why we decided to leave,’ she said, clutching a pet dog.

In his Sunday blessing, Pope Francis called for an end to the ‘cruel and senseless’ conflict.  

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko said Russia had started destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage centres. 

Appearing to confirm that, Russia said its missiles had wrecked a fuel deposit on Saturday as well as a military repair plant near the western city of Lviv.

Air raid sirens were raised across the country late last night as Russian Kalibr cruise missile explosions were reported at strategic positions in the northwestern city of Lutsk, as well as Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne and Kyiv.

Two missile strikes were reported within 15 minutes of each other in Lutsk, Volyn oblast, around 10:30pm last night, before local authorities confirmed a major oil depot had been set ablaze. It is now under control.

The mayor of Slavutych, the town created and built to house the plant’s staff in the aftermath of the 1986 accident, said early on Monday that Russian forces that took over the town at the weekend had now left.

Yuri Fomichev said in an online video post that the troops ‘completed the work they had set out to do’ and were gone. He originally said three people had been killed in clashes.

The United Nations has confirmed 1,119 civilian deaths and 1,790 injuries across Ukraine but says the real toll is likely to be higher. 

Ukraine said on Sunday 139 children had been killed and more than 205 wounded so far in the conflict. 



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Author: Shirley