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🔴 Live: Fierce fighting raging for centre of Bakhmut, say Ukraine, Wagner Group

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Fierce fighting was raging for control of the centre of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the longest-running and bloodiest battle of the war, said both sides on Monday. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

8:40am: Ukrainian forces in ‘fierce battles’ with Wagner units for Bakhmut’s centre, military says

Fierce fighting was raging for control of the centre of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the longest-running and bloodiest battle of the war, both sides said on Monday.

Wagner assault units are advancing from several directions, trying to break through our troops’ defensive positions and move to the centre of the city. In fierce battles, our defenders are inflicting significant losses on the enemy,” the Ukrainian military said in a morning briefing, referring to the Russian mercenary group that has claimed to be leading Moscow’s offensive.

Wagner meanwhile said: “the enemy is battling for every metre, the closer we are to the city centre, the harder the battles”.

7:00am: HRW sounds alarm on children ‘illegally taken’ from orphanages in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had “devastating” consequences for children in residential institutions, with thousands transferred to occupied territories or to Russia, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

In a report released Monday, the watchdog also said the war highlighted the urgent need for reform in Ukraine, which had over 105,000 children in institutions before the invasion, the largest number in Europe after Russia.

“This brutal war has starkly shown the need to end the perils faced by children who were institutionalised,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at the New York-based organisation.

“Returning children who were illegally taken by Russian forces should be an international priority,” he added.

At least several thousand children have been transferred to Russia or occupied territories, the report said.

It added that 100 institutions that had housed over 32,000 children before 2022 are now in territories under Russian occupation.

12:02am: Arms transfers to Europe almost doubled in 2022, says report

Arms imports into Europe almost doubled in 2022, driven by massive shipments to Ukraine, which has become the world’s third-largest destination, researchers said Monday.

With a 93 percent jump from the year before, imports also increased due to accelerating military spending by European states including Poland and Norway, and they are expected to accelerate further, according to the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

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