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RUSSIA

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An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Reuters Kyiv would not be swayed by nuclear threats or by the annexation votes, and would press on with plans to retake all territory occupied by invading Russian forces.
Putin also accused officials of NATO countries of making statements about "the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia - nuclear weapons."
Shortly after the announcement regarding plans for a vote in Kherson, the head of Russia's parliament said he would support the regions joining Russia.
In an evening address, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said around 3,100 square miles have been liberated so far, apparently all in the northeastern region of Kharkiv. "Stabilization measures" had been completed in about half of that territory, Zelenskyy said, "and across a liberated area of about the same size, stabilization measures are still ongoing."
Ukraine's general staff said its soldiers had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine's troops had retaken 2,400 square miles of Russian-held land since the start of the month, twice the figure given just a day earlier.
After keeping silent for a day, Russia effectively acknowledged that a section of its frontline had crumbled southeast of Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv. "The enemy is being delayed as much as possible, but several settlements have already come under the control of Ukrainian armed formations," Vitaly Ganchev, head of the Russian-backed administration in the Kharkiv region, said on state television host Vladimir Solovyov's daily livestream.

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Ukraine remained guarded about its counter-offensive in the east but its top general warned Russia could turn to nuclear weapons and other nations could be drawn into a protracted "Third World War."
"This morning alone, five of six Russian X-101 missiles were downed," Zelenskyy said in an evening address. "This is a costly loss for Russia, and it saves many Ukrainian lives. Four of these missiles were downed by the "South" district of the air command."
Only one of the six reactors remained in operation at the station, the agency said in a statement posted on its website.

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