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Latest Developments in Ukraine

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The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

5:16 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said Russia is restarting a Soviet-era program giving Russian students mandatory military training. The training, which had been discontinued in 1993, includes contingencies for a chemical or nuclear attack, first aid and experience handling and firing Kalashnikov rifles. It goes into effect in September, officials said.

Along with boosting the number of potential military recruits, the update said, the initiative is likely to be part of a wider project to instil an ideology of patriotism and trust in public institutions in the Russian population.

4:26 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said bomb squads are clearing booby traps and mines from the reclaimed city of Kherson, The New York Times reported. In his nightly address Sunday, he urged Ukrainians to be alert and to watch for suspicious objects.

3:33 a.m.: Ukrainian authorities are rebuilding and restoring services in Kherson, the head of the regional military administration said Saturday, CNN reported.

Military administrations have arrived, and Ukraine’s National Police said in a statement Saturday that about 200 officers are working in the city.

“Roadblocks have been set up around and in the territory of Kherson. The regional police continue to record the crimes of the Russian occupiers,” the statement reads.

Mines are the main threat, police said, and 10 groups of explosive technicians are working on the detection and disposal of explosive objects.

Police urged “local residents to follow the established rules, to move carefully around the city and not to touch suspicious objects. If you find any, be sure to report to the law enforcement officers.”

Residents who have left Kherson are advised “not to rush to return until stabilization measures are completed,” police said.

2:07 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said in its latest Ukraine assessment that Ukrainian forces continued to liberate settlements on the western bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.

Russian forces, meanwhile, continued offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Vuhledar.

Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson City, the assessment said, is igniting an ideological fracture between pro-war figures and Russian President Vladimir Putin, eroding confidence in Putin’s commitment to and ability to deliver on his war promises.

12:02 a.m.: The United Nations refugee agency announced Friday it has launched a global funding campaign to help people forcibly displaced by war and persecution survive the bitterly cold winter ahead, according to Lisa Schlein, reporting for VOA.

The UNHCR’s campaign aims to raise $700 million this year to help families who are living under perilous conditions in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and across the Middle East, so they can cope with freezing temperatures.

UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado said the many people who have been forced to flee their homes will be facing an extremely harsh winter. She said it will be difficult for them to provide for their daily needs given the steep rise in the cost of food, fuel, and other basic commodities. She added they also will struggle with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and threats posed by the climate crisis.

Source : VOA News

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