Top daily stories I'm keeping an eye on
The Specialised Prosecutor's Office started a probe into the State Agency for National Security (SANS), investigating employees of the agency suspected of espionage in favor of the Russian intelligence services. According to BNT sources, counter-intelligence officers also participated in the raid, investigating their own colleagues.
A pre-trial proceeding for espionage in favor of the Russian Federation was initiated at the Specialised Prosecutor's Office on a signal from SANS. via BNT
Zelensky says two generals were stripped of their rank due to treason.
Andriy Naumov, who used to head the department of internal security at Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU), and Serhiy Kryvoruchko, head of the SBU in the city of Kherson, were stripped of their ranks as they had “violated their oath to Ukraine,” according to President Volodymyr Zelensky via Ukrainian Pravda
NATO's chief warned Russian forces are not withdrawing, but are repositioning as they maintain pressure on Kyiv and other cities. Ukrainian and US officials say Russians may be regrouping in Belarus. Heavy shelling, meanwhile, has been reported in eastern Ukraine amid an apparent shift by Russia to redirect military efforts to the Donbas region. via CNN
During a briefing at the Ukraine Media Center, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk spoke about the crimes committed by the occupiers on Ukrainian soil.45,000 people were forcibly deported by the occupiers to the so-called DNR and Russia."Forced deportation is another tragedy and a consequence of the Russian invasion," said Irina Vereshchuk. According to the official, Russian servicemen commit a huge number of crimes in the temporarily occupied territories. These include murder, bullying, looting, rape, and others. They are recorded by the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine. "But the most striking are sexual crimes. They have no statute of limitations. The occupiers are mocking our children, underage girls, and women. Such facts are evidenced by women who managed to leave Mariupol. The whole world should know about this, "said the Deputy Prime Minister. via Ukrainian Government
Status of some key Ukrainian cities under Russian attack via Washington Post
Kyiv: Heavy fighting and shelling continued in the capital and its surrounding areas following the retreat of some Russian forces. The city is still a central focus of Russian airstrikes, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. The Russian military continued attacks on other cities in the region as well, U.S. and local officials reported — a confirmation that Russia has not de-escalated their efforts.
Chernihiv: Small groups of Russian troops near the northern city also have begun heading north, Kirby said, following Ukrainian reports of near-constant attacks that have cut power and decimated resources. Russian forces “spent the whole night striking Chernihiv,” the regional governor, Viacheslav Chaus, said Wednesday.
Irpin: Russian forces continued artillery fire on the city and areas such as Vorzel, Bucha and Hostomel, making it too dangerous for civilians to return, Oleksandr Pavlyuk, the governor of the Kyiv region, said Thursday. Hundreds of civilians had died before the town was reportedly taken back from Russians this week, officials said.
Mariupol: The Red Cross will attempt to lead an evacuation operation from this southern port city on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the shelling of Mariupol will cease only when Ukrainian forces surrender. The pronouncement comes after Russians devastated the city, Kirby said, adding that their forces are probably close to the city center.
Kharkiv: The city of Izyum — about 75 miles southeast of Kharkiv — remained under heavy fire, making it impossible for thousands of residents to leave, Ukraine’s commissioner for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, said Thursday. She added the city has been badly damaged, with 80 percent of residential buildings destroyed, and left with no water, gas or electricity.
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