(Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the raising of the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island in the Black Sea was a sign that his country would not be broken, as President Vladimir Putin warned the West that his efforts to defeat him would bring tragedy to Ukraine.
* Russia is likely to concentrate its team in the direction of Siversk, about 8 km (4.9 miles) west of the current Russian front line, the British Defense Ministry said on Friday. It is likely that Russian forces will be stopping to rest before embarking on new offensive operations in the Donetsk region.
* Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday dismissed what he described as “crazy” criticism of the West in the war in Ukraine at a G20 meeting, and rebuked Russia’s rivals for erasing the opportunity to address global economic problems.
* In a hawkish speech to parliamentary leaders more than four months after the war, Putin said on Thursday that Russia had barely begun in Ukraine and that the prospects for negotiations would darken as the conflict dragged on.
* Zelenskiy, in his Thursday night video message, responded defiantly, saying the two-month operation to retake Snake Island was a warning to all Russian forces that Ukraine would not break.
* Kyiv lost one of its main international supporters after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would resign. Moscow did not hide its satisfaction at the political disappearance of a leader whom it has long criticized for arming Kyiv with so much energy.
* More than 8.79 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion, the UN Refugee Agency said.
* Removed from a war zone, a Ukrainian circus group delights in France.
* “We have heard many times that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that everything is going towards that,” Putin said.
* “It is their fantasy (of the Russians) to occupy these cities, but do not expect the level of resistance. It is not just the Ukrainian government, it is the people who refuse to accept them,” said the mechanic turned soldier Artchk in Kramatorsk.
(Compiled by Grant McCool, Alexandra Hudson and Michael Perry)
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