LIVE: 219th day of Russian aggression against Ukraine

Photo: PAP

The war continues. On Thursday, Vladimir Putin took the intermediary step of signing decrees paving the way for occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be formally annexed into Russia.

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The pro-Russian leader of occupied areas in Ukraine's Donetsk province acknowledged his forces had lost full control of Dobryshev and Yampil villages, leaving Moscow's main garrison in northern Donetsk half-encircled in the city of Lyman.

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The Kremlin said on Friday it would consider attacks against any part of the regions of Ukraine that it is about to annex as acts of aggression against Russia itself.

Russia is moving to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

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At least 23 people were killed and 28 wounded in a Russian missile strike that hit a convoy of civilian vehicles near the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia on Friday, the regional governor said.

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