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A least six explosions were heard near Russian-occupied Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ivan Fedorov, the city's exiled mayor, reported on June 3. One of the explosions was reported at a railway near Melitopol, which Russian forces had reportedly been using to transport military equipment and personnel. Fedorov did not provide further details.
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"We are ready" for the counteroffensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal released on June 3. "We would like to have some things, but we can't wait," he added.
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According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,829 tanks, 7,502 armored fighting vehicles, 6,289 vehicles and fuel tanks, 3,533 artillery systems, 582 multiple launch rocket systems, 342 air defense systems, 313 airplanes, 298 helicopters, 3,165 drones, and 18 boats.

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Ukrainian Intelligence: Putin ‘raising stakes’ with nuclear threats

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 27, 2023 6:43 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russian threats to place nuclear weapons in Belarus are merely an attempt by dictator Vladimir Putin to “raise the stakes,” said Ukrainian military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov on March 27.

“Defeated on the battlefield in a conventional war, Putin resorts to nuclear blackmail,” said Yusov in comments to Radio Svoboda.

“That is, it is clear that this is an act of trying to raise stakes. Although both the United States and the European Union clearly and unequivocally responded that they do not plan to act on this blackmail."

Putin claimed on March 25 that his country intends to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus due to the U.K. Defense Ministry's recent move to supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium.

In addition, it was announced that the Iskander operational-tactical missile system, which can carry nuclear warheads, will be deployed in Belarus.

Yusov added that back in January, Ukrainian intelligence warned that Putin could use the territory of Belarus for "nuclear provocations."

Ukraine’s allies have also criticized Russia’s alleged plan, calling it "dangerous and irresponsible."

On March 26, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reacted to Russia’s announcement, calling it an “irresponsible escalation and threat to European security.”

Borrell added that Belarus, which acts as Russia's ally in the war against Ukraine, “can still stop it, it is their choice."

On March 27, Peter Stano, the spokesperson for the European Commission on foreign policy issues, said that the European Union would react if Russia deployed its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus as announced by Moscow.

Ukraine war latest: EU, NATO condemn Putin’s nuclear threats, Kyiv calls for UN Security Council meeting
Key developments on March 26: * EU, NATO denounce Putin’s threat to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus * Ukraine calls for emergency UN Security Council meeting * US sees no signs Russia moved nuclear weapons to Belarus * Military: Vuhledar ‘completely razed to the ground,’ battle for B…
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