RUSSIA,UKRAINE: Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday its forces shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane carrying weapons and munitions near the Black Sea Port of Odesa.
The Ministry said Russian missiles also struck an artillery training centre in Ukraine’s Sumy region where foreign instructors worked. Another strike destroyed a “foreign mercenaries'” outpost in the Odesa region, it said.
The Russian Defence Ministry’s claim comes as the fighting in battleground Ukraine has crossed 100 days since Vladimir Putin launched an all out invasion on the eastern European country.
Kyiv said on Saturday it was pushing back Russian troops in Sievierodonetsk as intense fighting raged around the industrial city, the focus of a Russian offensive to take the eastern Donbas region.
Governor of Luhansk Province Serhiy Gaidai said Russian forces had suffered severe defeats and were blowing up bridges across the Siverskyi Donets river to prevent Ukraine bringing in military reinforcements and delivering aid to civilians in Sievierodonetsk.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the West for emerging global food and energy crises and repeated his government’s offers of safe passage for ships exporting grain from Ukraine if mines are removed from the waters.
As reported by the state-run Tass news agency, Putin also said Western sanctions against Russia would only worsen world markets reducing the harvest and driving up prices. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, INDIA TODAY, NEW INDIAN EXPRESS