Live: ‘Fierce’ battle raging in Ukraine for control of Vuhledar, near Donetsk

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Ukrainian troops were locked in a “fierce” confrontation with Russian fighters Friday for control of the town of Vuhledar, southwest of Donetsk, as the two sides battle along the southern front. Meanwhile, at least three were killed after Russian forces struck a neighbourhood in Kostiantynivka on Saturday, the regional governor said. Read FRANCE 24’s liveblog for coverage of the latest events in the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).


10:24am: Three killed in Russian strike on eastern Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka

Three people were killed and at least two others wounded after Russian forces struck a residential neighbourhood in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka, the regional governor said on Saturday.

Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app that four apartment buildings and a hotel had been damaged and that rescuers and police officials were at the site to “carefully document yet another crime by the Russian occupiers”.

Earlier on Saturday Kyrylenko said four people had been killed and at least seven wounded from Russian strikes over the past 24 hours.

8:41am: Russia’s deputy foreign minister to meet new US envoy early next week, reports RIA news agency 

Russia‘s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov will hold a meeting with Lynne Tracy, the new US ambassador to Moscow, early next week, the RIA news agency reported on Saturday.

Tracy arrived in Moscow earlier this week. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the new US ambassador would not improve ties between the two countries because of what she called Washington’s ongoing “hybrid war” against Russia.

6:55am: Situation at front ‘extremely acute’, says Zelensky 

President Volodymyr Zelensky described the situation at the front as “extremely acute”, particularly in the eastern  Donetsk region where Russia is stepping up an offensive.

Zelensky also reported major battles taking place for Vuhledar, to the southwest of Donetsk’s regional capital, and Bakhmut, to the northeast. Bakhmut has largely been pulverised by repeated Russian attacks.

Ukraine has been promised 321 heavy tanks by several countries, said its ambassador to France.

4:00am: ‘Fierce’ battle in Ukraine for Vuhledar near Donetsk

Ukrainian troops were locked in a “fierce” confrontation with Russian fighters Friday for control of the town of Vuhledar southwest of Donetsk as the two sides battle along the southern front.

Both sides claimed success in the small administrative centre of apartment blocks surrounded by flat fields, a short distance from the strategic prize of the village of Pavlivka.

“The encirclement and subsequent liberation of this city solves many problems,” said Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed leader of the Donetsk region.

“Soon, Vuhledar may become a new, very important success for us,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

But Kyiv said the town, which had a pre-invasion population of around 15,000 people, remained contested.

“There is fierce combat there,” Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty told local media.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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