July 15, 2024

(Bloomberg) — A senior Ukrainian military officer with deep ties to the country’s intelligence services played a central role in sabotaging the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in 2022, the Washington Post and Germany’s Der Spiegel reported, citing officials in Ukraine and elsewhere who weren’t identified.

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Russian forces have stepped up attacks near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region “with new force,” Ukrainian military spokesman Volodymyr Fityo said on local TV, adding that Kremlin troops near the city, scene of a bitter, months-long battle for control, have flipped back to offensive action. Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said on Telegram that Russia is trying to recapture positions they previously lost around Bakhmut.

A day after targeting Kyiv for the first time since September, Russian forces fired two air-to-surface missiles and one Iskander missile overnight, General Staff said without elaborating. Ukrainian air defense downed one of the air-to-surface missiles. Russia on Saturday opened a criminal case into possible terrorism after the detonation of an “improvised explosive device” caused a freight train to derail southeast of Moscow, sending 19 cars off the tracks.

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