Ukraine LIVE: Putin faces revolt within Kremlin as Russian troops turn on defence minister – Express

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The Russian advance in the Donbas has slowed to a snail’s pace and Putin’s army faces a major Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson region.
Independent Russian media reports allege that Sergei Shoigu has now been “side-lined” by the Kremlin.
The Russian president is said to be now receiving military briefings directly from his commanders.
In its daily bulletin on the war, the UK’s Ministry of Defence wrote: “Recent independent Russian media reports have claimed that due to the problems Russia is facing in its war against Ukraine, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is now being side-lined within the Russian leadership, with operational commanders briefing President Putin directly on the course of the war.
“Russian officers and soldiers with first-hand experience of the war probably routinely ridicule Shoigu for his ineffectual and out-of-touch leadership as Russian progress has stalled.”
They added: “Shoigu has likely long struggled to overcome his reputation as lacking substantive military experience, as he spent most of his career in the construction sector and the Ministry of Emergency Situations.”
FOLLOW UPDATES BELOWRussia
The West is “deeply disappointed” after Russia blocked the adoption of a joint declaration by a United Nations conference on nuclear disarmament.
As buildings were yesterday pulled down in the decimated Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and fresh Russian rocket attacks were seen in Kharkiv, there was dismay over the Kremlin’s vetoing of a nuclear deal.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. 
But over the weekend, Russia objected to a draft text citing “grave concern” over military activities around Ukraine’s nuclear plants, in particular the huge sprawling complex at Zaporizhzhia – the biggest in Europe.

READ MOREPicture of Vladimir PutinVladimir Putin’s order to increase army recruitment is “unlikely to make progress”, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has warned.
Russia is planning to increase its army to more than 1.15million as it is trying to recruit 137,000 soldiers. President Vladimir
Putin may be trying to replace the estimated 75,000 soldiers killed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for a common European air defence system during a speech on Monday.
Mr Scholz argued that the EU-27 need to close ranks against Russia and that the system would be “a security win for the whole of Europe”.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader called for proposed reforms on military cooperation during a speech at Prague’s Charles University.
He said: “Russia will define itself in opposition to the European Union for the foreseeable future.
“[Vladimir] Putin will exploit any disagreement between us, any weakness.”
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Russia is heading towards a “terrible end” and “revolution” as anger over the war in Ukraine grows among the public, according to a leading anti-Putin activist.
Protest against the war in Russia has up until now mostly been confined to symbolic acts of defiance – such as the handing out and wearing of green ribbons, individual pickets and in some cases the torching of army recruitment centres.
This is due in large part to the harsh repressive measures introduced by the Putin regime to crush opposition – making the act of protest fraught with danger.
However, political protest against Putin and his war in Ukraine appeared to escalate last week with the assassination of Darya Dugina – the daughter of the ultranationalist ideologue Aleksander Dugin.
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Russia has blocked a joint declaration by a UN conference on nuclear disarmament as its invasion of Ukraine leaves a wasteland in its wake.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, including the UK, aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
But, over the weekend there was dismay as Russia objected to a draft text. It cited “grave concern” over military activities around Ukraine’s nuclear plants, in particular the complex at Zaporizhzhia – the biggest in Europe.
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MP Kira Rudik gave a warning of a possible incoming catastrophe taking place at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, one week after reports of Russian militants shelling around the high-risk area in Ukraine.
Kira Rudik leader of the political party Voice claimed that Russian forces were playing with fire.
Ms Rudik explained that Ukraine was at every moment one accident away from something extremely tragic happening, due to the Russian army currently posing a major nuclear threat.
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Vladimir Putin’s desperate push to bolster Russia’s dwindling armed forces is unlikely to have an impact on the Ukraine war, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has revealed.

After losing an estimated 70,000 troops in the conflict, the Kremlin leader recently signed a decree to increase the Russian armed forces’ military personnel to more than 1.15m – a potential increase of 137,000.
But the MoD said the boost is unlikely to increase Russia’s combat power – partly because of ongoing heavy losses.
A United Nations team of nuclear safety experts finally set off for the Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine on Monday in an urgent bid to stop a ‘world catastrophe’.
Heavy shelling by Russian forces struck close to the vast complex again over the weekend. Fires had already forced all six of its turbines to be closed.
But on Monday an inspection team from the UN’s nuclear watchdog were making their way there.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the team was expected to arrive at the plant – the biggest nuclear facility in Europe – later this week.
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Putin has been sent a chilling warning of an impending coup, which an expert has suggested would result in Russia’s powerful nuclear weapons being seized.
War strategy expert Harry Kazianis told Express.co.uk that Vladimir Putin is facing an “existential situation”. He said that top-ranking Russian officials could launch a coup, as they may “try to take things into their own hands” if Putin does not win the war in the next few months. This, Mr Kazianis said, would be “really dangerous”, given the high number of nuclear weapons in Russia’s possession.
He warned that the situation is “far bigger than Ukraine”.
This comes as Putin’s forces continue to suffer humiliating losses in Ukraine.PutinUkraine has launched a series of strategic attacks in the Russian-occupied region of Kherson using advanced long-range weapons provided by Western allies.
Speaking from Zaporizhzi, security and defence editor Deborah Haynes confirmed: “An operation has begun in the Kherson region.”
Speaking on Sky News, she continued: “A person we’ve spoken to has confirmed that there were what they described as ‘very intense actions’ by the Ukrainian forces in that region.
“It wasn’t confirmed as to whether this was the start of a big counter offensive, which is what people have been waiting for.
“Maybe it is the shaping operations that come ahead of that larger-scale, more strategic shift in the war.
“Whatever the case, it is significant that this action is happening against a part of the country that, from the very first days of Russia’s all out invasion back in February, fell under Russian control.”
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Vladimir Putin is facing a crucial turning point in strategy as Russian equipment is obliterated on a daily basis, according to experts.
The nation’s capacity to fight in the way it has been doing so far is limited, which could see the quality of its military offensives decline.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr James Pritchett, a lecturer in war studies at the University of Hull, described how the Russian military lacks infantry due to a loss of soldiers in combat.
Dr Pritchett also pointed to the use of “low quality” and “shoddy” equipment as an issue for the Kremlin.
The footage shows Ukrainian forces locating and targeting a Russian tank which is trying to camouflage amongst trees and shrubs in the East of the country.
Ukrainian forces zoom in and take aim at the Russian tank, hitting it with precision and accuracy with one hit.
The tank explodes in a flash of flames which engulf the tank.
Thick black smoke begins to float up into the sky as the flames continue to flicker and burn.
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VLADIMIR PUTIN was once again facing ridicule after his fighter jets wiped out a public toilet using expensive cruise missiles.
In a mission on Sunday, a Russian SU-35 fighter jet fired off an X-59 cruise missile at a military target.
Unfortunately for the pilot, the high-precision missile succeeded in only wiping out a public toilet on the outskirts of the city of Novovorontsovka.

Ukraine’s Southern Military Command could not contain their laughter as they announced the news in a statement n their Facebook page.
They wrote: “A high-speed rocket class ‘air-surface’ X-59, released from an enemy SU-35, targeted another public toilet on the outskirts of Novovorontsovka.”
RUSSIAN commanders have abandoned their troops in the south of Ukraine and are fleeing “en masse”, as morale sinks to rock bottom in Putin’s army, according to reports.
The Ukrainian army has grown increasingly more confident in recent weeks, since the delivery of US HIMARS.
The precision artillery weapon has allowed Ukrainian commanders to target Russian supply lines, ammunition dumps and command posts far behind enemy front lines.
The HIMARS along with other Western-supplied heavy artillery weapons have allowed Kyiv to regain the initiative in the gruelling war.
RUSSIAN mums were left horrified at Vladimir Putin’s decision to use young children as propaganda symbols for his disastrous war in Ukraine.
The Russian leader has seen his “special military campaign” backfire spectacularly, as woes continue to pile up for his military.
Ukrainian commanders have succeeded in slowing the Russian advance in the Donbas to a snail’s pace and appear on the verge of launching a major counteroffensive in the Kherson region.
Russia’s army has also suffered huge casualties, with the Pentagon estimating that between 70,000 to 80,000 soldiers have been killed and injured.
The Russian despot is desperate to shore up domestic support for the war and give the appearance that the entire country stands united behind its leader.
To that effect, the Kremlin appears to have decided to enlist kindergarten children as propaganda symbols.
Read more hereRussiaWeb cameras with loud speakers in Russia and occupied parts of Ukraine were hacked by activists.
The hackers then played a song celebrating Ukraine’s Independence Day, much to to bemusement of office workers and shoppers.
Ukraine celebrated 31 years of independence last Wednesday.
This is unbelievably good. Webcameras with loudspeakers in Russia and occupied Ukraine, hacked with congratulations to #IndependenceDayUkraine!@MollyMcKew @20committee @anders_aslund @patrikoksanen @McFaul @_JakubJanda @edwardlucas @elisabethbraw @Pabriks @carlbildt pic.twitter.com/AziODG8tZA
The Kremlin has said it welcomes the visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant later this week.
Experts from the agency will assess the plant for any physical damage, as well as determine the functionality of safety and security systems.
Fears have been growing that fighting in the vicinity of the plant may lead to a serious leakage of radioactive gas.
A top Putin diplomat told Russian media the visit would provide an opportunity to dispel misconceptions about the plant’s condition.
Mikhail Ulyanov said: “Russia has made a significant contribution to the preparation of this mission.
“We hope that the visit of the plant by the IAEA mission will dispel numerous speculations about the unfavourable state of affairs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”RussiaUKRAINIAN authorities are handing out iodine tablets, which counteract reaction, near the shelled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The facility, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, is close to the southern front line and has been repeatedly shelled. Both Russia and Ukraine put the blame for shelling the facility at one another’s feet.
Regional governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, Oleksandr Starukh, has now said that civilians close to the plant are receiving instruction on how to use potassium iodide.
A spokesperson added the pills were being handed out for a 50km radius from the power plant.
They added that the measure was undertaken “in case of any future radiation leak”.
Potassium iodide pills offer around 24 hours’ of protection from radioactive iodine absorbed through the thyroid glands.
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Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed that Ukraine will reconquer territories it has lost to Russia during the current war.
In an emotional and defiant speech, Ukraine’s President said the Donbas was “almost destroyed” but that “dignity” for the people of the region would return.
He said: “Now Donbas is almost destroyed by Russian strikes, devastated.
“Proud and glorious Ukrainian Donetsk is humiliated by Russian occupation, robbed. But Ukraine will return.
“It’s for sure. Dignity for the people of Donbas will return.
“The opportunity to live will return. The opportunity to live safely and happily.
“This is exactly what our Ukrainian flag will symbolize when we set it up in Donetsk, Horlivka, Mariupol, in all the cities of Donbas and the Azov region, in all areas under Russian occupation: in Kharkiv Oblast, Zaporіzhіа, Kherson region.
“And definitely – in Crimea. Ukraine remembers everything.”UkraineA new video has emerged on social media purportedly showing the aftermath of the fierce battle at Pisky in Ukraine’s Donbas.
The Russians claimed they took the town two weeks ago, which had been controlled by the Ukrainians since July 2014.
The images show a scene of total destruction and devastation.
The video was posted by social media user @glosmeusec.
They wrote: “#Ukraine – 20220828 – Pisky (Peski) Donetsk Oblast – Reported around 18.45 pm, drone footage -unknown whether it is of this date and time as well as who took the footage- shows a complete destroyed town.”
u2696ufe0fud83cuddf7ud83cuddfa#Ukraine – 20220828 – Pisky (Peski) Donetsk Oblast – Reported around 18.45 pm, drone footage -unknown whether it is of this date and time as well as who took the footage- shows a complete destroyed town pic.twitter.com/p3zjYxtAaR
REGIONAL airports are being prepared to host combat planes for the first time since the Second World War as tensions with Russia mount.
The concept, called Agile Combat Employment (ACE), has been in the works for more than a year and was primarily intended to be used in potential hotspots around the globe, such as the Indo- Pacific, Middle East or even Nato’s Eastern flanks in Europe. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns of a subsequent war involving Nato have now seen ACE accelerated and extended to within the UK, senior sources have confirmed.
It will be the first time since Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 that the RAF has drawn up plans to disperse fighter aircraft to different parts of the country.
The aim is to ensure elements of the RAF’s Quick Reaction Force will survive direct attacks on their bases. Eurofighter Typhoons based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray protect the northern sector of the UK, while those at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire look after the southern sector. However other combat jets and larger aircraft will also be re-based in times of “imminent crisis”.
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