In Brief | Russia-Ukraine conflict: What you need to know right now

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sacked the head of the country’s domestic security service and state prosecutor, citing hundreds of cases of alleged treason and collaboration with Russia, as Moscow appeared set to step up military operations.

FIGHTING

*Russia’s defence ministry said its aircraft had shot down a Ukrainian MI-17 helicopter near the eastern town of Sloviansk and an SU-25 aircraft in the Kharkiv region.

* The Russian army also said its long-range air-based missiles had destroyed a depot in an industrial zone of Odesa, southern Ukraine, that stored Harpoon anti-ship missiles delivered to Ukraine by NATO countries.* Russia is reinforcing its defensive positions across the areas it occupies in southern Ukraine, British defence ministry said.

* A Russian missile strike hit the northeast Ukrainian town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region, killing three people including a woman of 70, and wounding three more, the regional governor said on Saturday.

* Russian-backed separatists said Ukraine had hit the town of Alchevsk, east of Sloviansk, with six US-made HIMARS rockets on Saturday. The self-styled Luhansk People’s Republic said the strikes had killed two civilians.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

ECONOMY/DIPLOMACY/SOCIETY

* Zelenskyy abruptly fired the head of Ukraine’s powerful domestic security agency, the SBU, and the state prosecutor general, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.

* The refusal of Ukraine and Western powers to recognise Moscow’s control of Crimea poses a “systemic threat” for Russia and any outside attack on the region will prompt a “Judgment Day” response, former President Dmitry Medvedev said.

* The Ukraine war shows that the West’s dominance is coming to an end as China rises to superpower status in partnership with Russia at one of the most significant inflection points in centuries, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.

* Russian media worker Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged a protest against the invasion of Ukraine on live state television in March, was briefly detained in Moscow on Sunday, posts on her social media channels showed.* Dozens of relatives and local residents on Sunday attended the funeral of 4-year-old Liza Dmytrieva, one of 24 people killed in a Russian missile strike in the city of Vinnytsia last week.

 

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