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Ukraine claims to recapture Black Sea oil platforms seized throughout Crimea’s annexation

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KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian army stated Monday that it recaptured strategic gasoline and oil drilling platforms from Russia within the Black Sea and claimed positive aspects in occupied areas close to Bakhmut, a metropolis in jap Ukraine left in ruins after the warfare’s longest and deadliest combating.

The recapture of the so-called Boyko Towers platforms offers an vitality supply and takes again an asset that Russia seized in 2015 and used to launch helicopters, Ukraine’s Ministry of Protection stated.

“Russia has been disadvantaged of the power to totally management the waters of the Black Sea, and this makes Ukraine many steps nearer to regaining Crimea,” the Primary Intelligence Directorate stated.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to do all he can to deliver again Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and has urged worldwide allies to assist the hassle.

Ukraine’s reported battlefront positive aspects, which couldn’t be independently confirmed, got here as North Korean chief Kim Jong Un was on a prepare headed for Russia for a gathering with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The assembly introduced by the 2 leaders’ nations may embody discussions of North Korea offering arms to restock Russia’s dwindling arsenal.

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U.S. officers launched intelligence final week indicating that North Korea and Russia have been arranging a Putin-Kim assembly for someday this month as they develop cooperation within the face of deepening confrontations with the US.

In different developments, German International Minister Annalena Baerbock made an unannounced go to to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. She promised assist for Ukraine’s path towards European Union membership whereas calling for extra reforms within the nation.

“With monumental braveness and willpower, Ukraine can be defending the liberty of all of us,” Baerbock stated in an announcement launched by her ministry. “In the identical approach that Ukraine stands up for us, it will probably additionally depend on us.”

Baerbock additionally pledged continued army, financial, and humanitarian assist for the nation and stated the 22 billion euros ($23.6 million) supplied to date now made Germany second to the U.S. when it comes to complete assist.

Baerbock stated that whereas Ukraine had already made good progress reforming the judiciary and the media, it nonetheless had “some approach to go” in combating corruption.

In combating, Ukrainian forces liberated a part of the Donetsk province city of Optyne and superior on the cities of Klishchiivka and Andriivka south of Bakhmut, Deputy Protection Minister Hanna Malyar stated.

Fight has endured on the outskirts of Bakhmut since Ukrainian troops pulled out of town in Might. Ukraine is attempting to achieve the excessive floor in Klishchiivka, to ascertain artillery management over Bakhmut.

In southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province, Ukraine’s major counteroffensive forces have been inching nearer to overcoming Russian fortifications and dense minefields to take Tokmak, a crucial logistics hub for Russian forces and a significant railway junction, Malyar stated.

Ukrainian forces liberated Robotyne, a city in the identical province, final month.

Russian forces additionally attacked the Dnipropetrovsk province metropolis of Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy’s birthplace, with drones in a single day, Ukrainian authorities stated. There have been no rapid stories of casualties or harm.

The retaking of the Black Sea platforms follows the U.Okay. Ministry of Protection reporting naval and air pressure skirmishes at sea two weeks in the past.

Ukraine has struck a number of Russian-controlled platforms in combating in the course of the warfare, and troops from each nations have occupied them periodically, the U.Okay. stated in a army replace on the warfare. Together with drilling, the platforms can be utilized to land helicopters, as deployment bases and to place long-range missile techniques.

Professional-Russia occupation authorities seized the platforms operated by the Chernomorneftegaz firm following the annexation of Crimea, which a lot of the world thought to be unlawful.

After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine greater than 18 months in the past, Putin illegally annexed 4 provinces in September 2022: Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia. Voting for Kremlin-installed legislatures started within the occupied areas final week as Russian authorities try to tighten their grip on territories that Moscow nonetheless doesn’t totally management.

Russia’s Central Election Fee stated Monday that the nation’s ruling occasion, United Russia, positioned first within the 4 Ukrainian areas and in Crimea.


Stephanie Liechtenstein in Vienna and Brian Melley in London contributed to this story.


Comply with AP’s protection of the Ukraine warfare: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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