World: Russia says shelling killed dozens of Ukrainian POWs

Ukraine could get any of 'a number of different' jets to rebuild its fighter fleet, but it won't be Russian, top US Air Force general says

  Ukraine could get any of 'a number of different' jets to rebuild its fighter fleet, but it won't be Russian, top US Air Force general says Swedish, French, and other European-made fighter jets are options for Ukraine, but "probably not MiGs," Gen. Charles Q. Brown said Wednesday. US-made fighter jets are only one option for Ukraine as it looks to rebuild its air force to face Russia and other threats, US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said on Wednesday. Ukraine has lobbied the US to provide fighter jets — particularly the F-15 and F-16 — to help it counter Russia's larger and technologically superior force since Moscow attacked its smaller neighbor in February.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian-backed separatists said Friday that a Ukrainian attack with U.S.-supplied missiles on a separatist eastern region hit a prison and killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were captured in Mariupol. There was no immediate confirmation of the attack from Ukraine.

FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File) FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 5, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 5, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo, File)

The attack with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers on the prison in Olenivka, in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region, also injured 75 Ukrainian POWs, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. Speaking before the latest update from the separatists, he put the death toll at 40.

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FILE - Red Cross staff drive by in their vehicles to the besieged Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant to observe the evacuation of Ukrainian servicemen from Azovstal steel plant, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Red Cross staff drive by in their vehicles to the besieged Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant to observe the evacuation of Ukrainian servicemen from Azovstal steel plant, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo, File)

Konashenkov described the strike as a “bloody provocation” aimed at discouraging Ukrainian soldiers from surrendering. He said that eight prison guards were also wounded by the shelling.

The attack could not be independently verified and officials in Ukraine have not yet commented on the reports. Ukrainian authorities in the Donetsk region said Russia has pressed on with the shelling of civilian targets in Ukrainian-held areas.

British spy chief says Russia is about to 'run out of steam' in Ukraine, opening the door for Ukrainian forces to 'strike back'

  British spy chief says Russia is about to 'run out of steam' in Ukraine, opening the door for Ukrainian forces to 'strike back' The British spy chief said that it's important for Ukrainian morale that they "demonstrate their ability to strike back."Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

“The fighting in the region has been intensifying by the day, and civilians must evacuate while it’s still possible,” said Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko. “The Russian army doesn’t worry about civilian casualties. They are pummeling cities and villages in the region.”

The Ukrainian troops in Mariupol were taken prisoner after the fierce fighting for Ukraine’s Azov Sea port, where they had been holed up at the giant Azovstal steel mill. Their resistance has become a symbol of Ukrainian struggle against the Russian invasion that started on Feb. 24.

The Azov Regiment and other Ukrainian units defended the steel mill for nearly three months, clinging to its underground maze of tunnels. More than 2,400 surrendered in May under relentless Russian attacks from the ground, sea and air.

Scores of Ukrainian soldiers were taken to prisons in Russian-controlled areas such as the Donetsk region, a breakaway area in eastern Ukraine which is run by Russian-backed separatist authorities. Some have returned to Ukraine as part of prisoner exchanges with Russia, but families of others have no idea whether their loved ones are alive, or if they will ever come home.

Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine's skies. These are the jets they're using to fight the air war.

  Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine's skies. These are the jets they're using to fight the air war. As of late July, observers have identified 36 Russian aircraft and 35 Ukrainian aircraft as lost, but the totals for both sides are likely higher.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

In other developments:

— Ukrainian officials said Russian forces shelled the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv.

City mayor Ihor Terekhov said a central part of the northeastern city was hit, including a two-story building and a higher education institution. Terekhov said the strike occurred just after 4 a.m. on Friday.

“The State Emergency Service is already working — they are sorting out the rubble, looking for people under them,” Terekhov said in a Telegram update.

— The Ukrainian presidential office said that at least 13 civilians were killed and another 36 were wounded in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours.

In the southern city of Mykolaiv, at least four people were killed and seven others were wounded when Russian shelling hit a bus stop.

“The Russians have changed their tactics because of the Ukrainian forces’ successes in the south. ... They fire near a bus stop,” Mykolaiv Gov. Vitaliy Kim said.

The Russian barrage also hit a facility for distribution of humanitarian assistance, where three people were wounded, officials said.

Ukrainian officials also said at least four civilians were killed and another five were wounded in the eastern town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, which is the focus of the Russian offensive in the Donbas. More than 30 residential buildings and a kindergarten were damaged.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Russia declares Ukrainian military unit a terrorist group .
The Russian Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Ukraine’s Azov Regiment a terrorist organization banned in Russia, a designation that fuels the Kremlin's narrative of the war in Ukraine and that may expose Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Moscow to terrorism charges. Azov, which played a key part in the defense of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, has been repeatedly portrayed by Russian officials and state media as a Nazi formation allegedly committing atrocities against Ukraine’s civilians.

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