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Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 197 of the invasion

  • US intelligence says Ukrainian forces are making “slow but meaningful progress” on the battlefield. “We’ll see how things pan out,” defence undersecretary Colin Kahl said. “But I certainly think things are going better on the Ukrainian side right now in the south than is true on the Russian side.” The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington-based thinktank, reported on Wednesday that Ukrainian forces probably captured Verbivka, less than two miles (3.2km) north-west of Balakliia, on Tuesday, citing geo-locatable images posted by Ukrainian soldiers.

  • Shelling resumed near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Wednesday. Ukrainian officials accused Russian forces of firing on the city of Nikopol, across from the plant, as well as in Enerhodar, where the power plant is located. “Employees of communal and other services simply do not have time to complete emergency and restoration work, as another shelling reduces their work to zero,” the Ukrainian mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, said on Telegram.

  • The UN has accused Moscow of forcing Ukrainians into detention camps and even prisons via a Kremlin-directed “filtration” program, and removing children from the war zone to hand over to adoptive parents inside Russia. “We are concerned that the Russian authorities have adopted a simplified procedure to grant Russian citizenship to children without parental care, and that these children would be eligible for adoption by Russian families,” Ilze Brands Kehris, assistant UN secretary-general for human rights, told the security council. The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told the council that estimates indicate authorities have “interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported” between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainians to Russia since late February in an attempt “to prepare for an attempted annexation”.

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