Ukraine war LIVE – Putin's army facing 'SEVERE under-manning' & 'struggle sustaining power', UK Ministry of Defence say | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin's army is facing 'SEVERE under-manning' and is 'struggling to sustain power' during the battle in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence has said.

The Ministry of Defence have said that the Russian army are “struggling to sustain” their combat power as the war progresses.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said: “Russia continues to commit what are nominally six separate armies to its Donbas offensive. At full strength, before the invasion, these formations were established for around 150,000 personnel.

“In recent weeks, Russia has often operated with company-sized groupings of around 100 personnel when undertaking offensive operations in any one sector at a time.

“Russia has struggled to sustain effective offensive combat power since the start of the invasion and this problem is likely becoming increasingly acute.”

Meanwhile, Putin travels outside of the Soviet Union to strengthen his foreign alliances as EU sets sanctions against Russia.

The Russian dictatormeets with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ensuring whatever few alliances Russia has left stay in tact.

Read our Ukraine war live blog below for the latest up-to-date news…

  • Louis Allwood

    'Our positions are close or identical'

    Putin has described Western sanctions as a declaration of economic war – and is also attempting to build bridges with China and India.

    Yuri Ushakov, Mr Putin's foreign policy adviser said: "The contact with Khamenei is very important.

    "On most issues, our positions are close or identical."

    An Iranian official said: "We need a strong ally, and Moscow is a superpower."

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin and Khamenei set to discuss war plans

    Putin – who is rumoured to have Parkinson's or terminal cancer – and hardline Islamist tyrant Khamenei are set to discuss war plans and weapon exchanges in their coordinated campaign against the West.

    It's Putin’s first trip outside the boundaries of the former Soviet Union since the invasion of Ukraine in February.

    Khamenei – sworn enemy of the US, UK and Israel – is one of only a handful of world leaders still willing to do business with blood-soaked outcast Putin.

    Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan – blasted over human rights abuses and strained relations with NATO allies – was also expected to join the pair for talks.

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin HOBBLES along red carpet with his arm hanging limp

    Vladimir Putin hobbled along the red carpet with his arm hanging limp by his side as he arrived in Iran today.

    Footage of the Russian leader's arrival showed him shuffling down the steps of his jet as he landed in Tehran to meet with fellow global terror master Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    With his right arm limp by his side, Putin, 69, was seen hobbling down a long red carpet rolled out for the dictator at the capital's Mehrabad airport.

    The Russian president is right-handed – but there's speculation he's ambidextrous as he wears his watch on his right hand.

    He briefly waved to the gathered crowds before being whisked into his presidential convoy to the city.

  • Louis Allwood

    UK Ministry of Defence latest update

    The Ministry of Defence have said that the Russian army are "struggling to sustain" their combat power as the war progresses.

    The UK's Ministry of Defence said: "Russia continues to commit what are nominally six separate armies to its Donbas offensive. At full strength, before the invasion, these formations were established for around 150,000 personnel.

    "In recent weeks, Russia has often operated with company-sized groupings of around 100 personnel when undertaking offensive operations in any one sector at a time.

    "Russia has struggled to sustain effective offensive combat power since the start of the invasion and this problem is likely becoming increasingly acute."

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin visits Iran 

    Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran on Tuesday for talks with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Kremlin leader's first trip outside the former Soviet Union since Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

    In Tehran, Putin will also hold his first face-to-face meeting since the invasion with a NATO leader, Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss a deal aimed at allowing the resumption of Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports as well as peace in Syria.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia's independent TV channel returns from abroad

    The show, Rain, was forced to close down four months ago around the same time the war in Ukraine kicked off.

    But the channel's broadcast has picked up again, but from Riga, Latvia.

    According to the BBC, it received an EU license to broadcast.

    However, it might prove difficult for Russian's to access the channel from home, as it will likely be blocked by Kremlin forces.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Unexplained incident reportedly kills Russian soldiers in Ukrainian power plant

    Reports have surfaced that troops at Zaporizhzhia had to be hospitalised.

    The mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, said that troops were "so scared they ran around in a panic" and had to be taken to hospital.

    Russian troops were using the power plant to store weapons and missile systems.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia fines internet giant Google over banned content

    Google is reported to have fined to restrict access to "prohibited" material.

    The country's communications regulator Roskomnadzor, said the information that was allowed to slip through Russia's tight net was "fake," according to Reuters.

    This included "fake" reports that urged people to protest.

    Google is yet to comment, but it did remove commercial services in Russia.

    However it did not remove search, maps and YouTube, in order to provide Russians access to "global information and perspectives."

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia’s top female tennis star Daria Kasatkina in tears as she slams Ukraine war

    Russia's top female tennis player has bravely come out as gay – and tearfully slammed Vladimir Putin's ongoing war with Ukraine.

    Daria Kasatkina, 25, is the world No12 and reached the semi-final of the French Open earlier this year.

    Russian law forbids the discussion of LGBTQ relationships which "promotes non-traditional sexual relations" to minors.

    There are even discussions within the nation's parliament over making the rules even more strict.

    Yet Kasatkina – who lives and trains in Barcelona, Spain – has bravely come out as gay and even shared a snap of her with her significant other on social media.

    When asked if she was dating a woman, Kasatkina replied, "Yes", before admitting "living in the closet" would not be sustainable.

    Click here to read more.

  • Lauren Lomas

    European Union to sanction against Russian gold exports

    President Zelenskiy has called on European powers to "do everything to strengthen" sanctions.

    While the EU freezes oligarch finances and places embargos on Russia, Politico writer Jamie Dettmer believes Ukrainian officials think this is not enough.

    He wrote: "Ukrainians push for a gas embargo, of course, and they remain frustrated with the recent Canadian-German agreement to waive restrictions on a key component – a turbine – needed for Nord Stream, Russia's natural gas pipeline running to Germany."

  • Lauren Lomas

    Putin set to visit Iran for talks on grain blockade

    Vladimir Putin is about to meet with Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    According to Turkish officials, they will be discussing Ukraine, grain exports from Ukriane and Syria.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Odesa in flames, Russian shelling: In pictures

    Firefighters are working tirelessly to put out relentless flames in Odesa after Russia shells the city.

    Ukrainian firefighters are pictured working hard at a scene after shelling in Odesa.

    The city was hit by missiles, three days ago on 16 July, Russian missiles allegedly ruined the Ukrainian army's warehouse, full of anti-ship missiles, according to Russian reports.

    However, Ukrainian press insists that Russia actually hit a civilian manufacturing and trading company warehouse.

    Reports were made by Ukrinform.

    Firefighters work at a scene after a shelling, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues in a location given as OdesaCredit: Reuters
  • Lauren Lomas

    Cuts to wheat harvest this year, if Russia continues to blockade the Black Sea

    Exports from Ukraine have been majorly hindered after Russia prevents any ships containing exports from leaving ports.

    Ukrainian agricultural minister has spoken out about the global shortage that the situation could cause.

    Mykola Solskyi said farmers will be reducing their winter sowing of seeds by up to two thirds.

    The Financial Times reported that the shortage has left poorer countries in African and the Middle East struggling to secure wheat, and that the blockade is preventing "cash flow" to farmers in Ukraine.

    Ukraine is having talks with Turkey and Russia over resuming exports, as more than one hundred ships are stuck in the Black Sea.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Shelling kills six in eastern Ukraine

    A collapsed two storey building is thought to have trapped civilians.

    The town of Toretsk was heavily shelled by Russian artillery.

    Reports have said that emergency services had recovered five bodies from the rubble.

    One was alive when pulled out, but later passed away in hospital, according to Agence France-Press.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia could reopen major gas pipeline to Germany

    Nord Stream 1 was cut off for "maintenance" works, and was meant to remain closed until September this year.

    Gazprom told customers it can't guarantee gas, due to "extraordinary circumstances," according to Reuters.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Missile strikes hit multiple Ukrainian cities

    Shells have his Sumy, Odesa and Mykolaiv.

    Reuters reported that cluster bombs have hit Mykolaiv, missile strikes hit Odesa and shelling in Sumy.

    Ukraine has accused Russia of killing many civilians, while Russia insists it has hit military bases.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Zelenskiy appoints new spy chief

    This comes after SBU chief, Ivan Bakanov, was "sacked" from his position.

    There were rumours that the childhood friend of Zelenskiy had been removed or was still "under investigation" according to reports, but it is confirmed he has been replaced.

    He has been replaced by Vasyl Maliuk, former first deputy hed of the SBU.

    Maliuk reportedly led the anti-corruption and organised crime unit.

  • Louis Allwood

    British prisoner forced to sing Russian anthem on state TV

    A British fighter has been captured by the Russian military, and is being sentenced to death.

    He was forced to sing the Russian national anthem in front of millions across Russia’s state television network.

    The 28 year old was forced to sing to a firing squad.

    Chillingly, US exile John Mark Dougan, a former American police officer who works for Russian propaganda outfit Sputnik International, told Aiden: “I have goosebumps, man. That was f***ing amazing.”

    Aslin replies: “Really?” Dougan goes on: “Absolutely. You’ve got the talent, man. On that note, dude, thanks. Amazing voice.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia has ‘already lost the Ukraine war’ UK army chief claims

    Russia will fail in its attempts to invade Ukraine Head of the Armed forces Sir Tony Radakin told the BBC this morning.

    “What you’re seeing is a Russia, if we focus on the Donbas, that is less than 10 per cent of the territory of Ukraine and we are approaching 150 days,’ he told the BBC,” he said.

    “Russia is struggling to take that territory, and it is struggling because of the courage and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia using mercenary group Wagner to reinforce Ukraine frontlines

    British military intelligence said on Monday that Russia has used the private military contractor Wagner to reinforce its frontline forces in the Ukraine conflict.

    Wagner is lowering its recruitment standards and hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals, potentially impacting Russian military effectiveness, the Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update.

  • Louis Allwood

    Ukraine's Defence Minister visits parliament

    The UK's Defence Minister welcomed Volodymyr Havrylov to Parliament on Monday.

    It comes as the Ukrainian Minister is visiting the UK to see how Ukrainian military personnel are getting on with training.

  • Louis Allwood

    'These investigations will hang over them for the rest of their lives'

    It may take years to hold perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine accountable, according to the the European Union’s top justice official.

    Speaking to Reuters he said those responsible should know the threat of prosecution will hang over them “forever”.

    The EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said: “It will be for the next weeks, next months, next years, maybe for the next decades. For some cases, it will be very fast. It will be longer for others.

    “But it is also a clear message to the Russian authorities – the risk of these investigations and prosecutions and trials will hang over them for the rest of their lives. It’s forever.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Zelensky appoints Vasyl Maliuk as acting chief of the SBU

    Zelensky has appointed an experienced security official and corruption fighter as the acting head of the domestic security agency after Ivan Bakanov's removal.

    Zelensky suspended childhood friend Ivan Bakanov over what he portrayed as a failure to root out treason in the agency.

  • Louis Allwood

    Shock as furious Zelensky SACKS top spy chief

    TREASON has rattled the Ukrainian government as top officials were found to be secretly collaborating with Russia behind President Zelensky's back.

    President Volodymry Zelensky has fired the head of Ukraine's domestic security agency.

    SBU chief, Ivan Bakanov, is thought to be a childhood friend and close confidant of the Ukrainian President.

    Ivan was first investigated in June, for multiple failures, as reported by Politico.

    The prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, who was in charge of prosecuting Russian war crimes, has shockingly also been given the boot.

    It is reported that in total there were around 651 cases of treason and more than 60 officials under Venediktova and Bakanov have sided with the enemy.

    The SBU is more than seven times the size of Britain’s MI5 and almost matches the scale of America's FBI, even though Ukraine is just 16 times smaller than America.

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin and Erdogan to discuss grain exports on Tuesday

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the export of Ukrainian grain at their meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, a Kremlin aide has told reporters.

    Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are expected to sign a deal later this week aimed at resuming the shipping of grain from Ukraine across the Black Sea, which has been all but choked off by Russia's decision last February to send its armed forces into Ukraine.

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