LIVE: 173rd day of Russian aggression against Ukraine

A destroyed building in a village in the Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine. Photo: PAP/Alena Solomonova

Ukrainian forces reported heavy Russian shelling and attempts to advance on several towns in the eastern region of Donetsk that has become a key focus of the near six-month war, but said they had repelled many of the attacks.

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Police in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa said on Monday that three people had died and two others were injured in an underwater explosion off the coast.

A spokesperson for Odesa's military administration said on social media that preliminary examinations had suggested the blast was caused by a sea mine.

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The commander-in-chief of the armed forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, expressed his wishes to Poland on the occasion of the Polish Army Day. He also referred to the joint Polish-Ukrainian struggle against Bolshevik Russia.

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Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 5.5 million people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border into Poland, the Border Guard (SG) tweeted on Monday morning.

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New Zealand is sending 120 military personnel to Britain to help train Ukrainians in front-line combat, the government said on Monday.

The deployment will enable two infantry training teams to equip Ukrainian personnel with the core skills to be effective in combat, including weapon handling, combat first aid, operational law and other skills.