Russia-Ukraine War: Moscow ‘seriously preparing for offensive actions’

We can now bring you an update on the situation on the front line. 

Yesterday, Ukraine’s ground forces commander said the situation on the northeast frontline had “significantly escalated” in the northeastern Kupiansk-Lyman area.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi was shown in footage released by Ukraine meeting troops at an undisclosed location in a wooded area.

In it, he said: “The enemy is preparing, seriously preparing for offensive actions, bringing in staff.

“The main goal is to break through our troops’ defences and recapture our territory.”

Russia’s defence ministry also acknowledged its intense military activity in the area, saying its troops had repelled 10 Ukrainian attacks in the Kupiansk area and two more in the adjacent area of Lyman.

Russia launched an attack in and around Kupiansk at the beginning of August, moving the frontline by two miles.

It has been raining shells on the city, prompting local aut hosrities to launch a civilian evacuation. 

More than 40 Russian soldiers ‘killed by Ukrainian partisans’ in Mariupol

Ukrainian partisans have been carrying out attacks on Russian soldiers in Mariupol in recent months, according to a report from the Kyiv Post. 

More than 40 Russian soldiers have been killed as a result – most of them by poisoning – sources told the paper. 

In the most recent incident, 26 troops were killed and 15 treated in hospital. 

“This is the activity of partisans. It became possible because of a new rotation [of personnel] and because the orcs [derogatory term for Russians] are idiots,” a source said. 

They continued: “They were fed poison. The cooks are safe now, as are their families.” 

In a previous incident last summer, five Russian soldiers drowned in the city after drinking poisoned alcohol. 

Putin has flurry of diplomatic talks over Middle East

Vladimir Putin is speaking with five major players in the Middle East in an attempt to secure a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. 

Earlier, we reported Mr Putin had called for an immediate ceasefire. 

He spoke with Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian president, and Bashar al Assad, the Syrian president, earlier today, the Kremlin said. 

The Russian president also has plans to speak to Abdel Fattah al Sisi, the Egyptian president, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. 

Russia has relationships with Iran, Hamas, major Arab powers, the Palestinians and Israel. 

It has also repeatedly said there should be an independent Palestinian state within 1967. 

Mr Putin has claimed the current violence in the Middle East shows how far US policy in the region has failed. 

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