Zelenskiy says Ukraine forces pushing back Russia troops in Kharkiv

President says military gradually pushing Russian troops away from key city as Ukraine’s gas operator says it will stop the flow of gas to Europe

  • Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates

Ukraine’s government suggested that Kyiv could expand its own war aims with an intensifying counteroffensive against the Russians, and said it would suspend the flow of Russian gas through its country to Europe.

With the war now in its 11th week and Russia pounding the vital port of Odesa with missile strikes in an apparent effort to disrupt supply lines, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said late on Tuesday that the military was gradually pushing Russian troops away from the key city of Kharkiv and back towards the border with Russia.

US lawmakers in the House of Representatives have approved more than $40bn more aid for Ukraine. The legislation was due to go the US Senate with hopes high for its passage.

Russia could dominate the north-western Black Sea if it is able to consolidates its position on Snake Island, according to the the UK ministry of defence.

The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, will visit Finland and Sweden on Wednesday as they consider whether to apply for Nato membership. Downing Street said they would discuss “broader security issues”.

Ukrainian officials said they found the bodies of 44 civilians in the rubble of a building destroyed weeks ago in the northeastern city of Izyum.

Figures from the UN on Tuesday said that 14 million Ukrainians were forced from their homes by the end of April, including more than 5.9 million who have left the country.

In Washington, a top US intelligence official testified Tuesday that eight to 10 Russian generals have been killed in the war. Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, who leads the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a Senate committee that because Russia lacks a noncommissioned officer corps, its generals have to go into combat zones and end up in dangerous positions.

Zelenskiy used his nightly address to pay tribute to Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of an independent Ukraine, who died Tuesday at 88. Zelenskiy said Kravchuk showed courage and knew how to get the country to listen to him.

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