Live: Ukraine war enters 100th day with Russia controlling ‘20 percent’ of territory

Ukraine marked 100 days since Moscow's invasion on Friday with Russian forces hammering the Donbas in their push to capture the country's east. On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces controlled 20 percent of Ukrainian territory. Follow FRANCE 24’s liveblog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

9:47am: Ukrainians had 'great success' in Kyiv region

The UK ministry of defence said earlier that intelligence shows Russia has failed in its objectives. However, "it's a bit funny for the British to present this as military intelligence because this is really the opinion that's presenting in all the media and which is the very widely shared opinion on the ground in Ukraine", FRANCE 24's Gulliver Cragg reported from Kyiv. "The Ukrainian forces had great success in pushing the Russians back from Kyiv region in the north of Ukraine and also to some degree from the Kharkiv region."

9:15am: Ukraine has no plans to attack Russia with US missiles, presidential advisor says

Ukraine does not plan to use multiple-launch rocket systems it receives from the United States to attack facilities in Russia, a Ukrainian presidential advisor said on Friday.

"Ukraine is waging a defensive war and does not plan to use the MLRS to attack facilities in Russia," Mykhailo Podolyak said in a Twitter post. "Our partners know where their weapons are used."

7:55am: UK says on 100th day of Ukraine invasion Russia misses objectives

Britain's defence ministry said that on the 100th day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine that Moscow failed to achieve its initial objectives to seize Kyiv and Ukrainian centres of government but was achieving tactical success in the Donbas.

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"Measured against Russia's original plan, none of the strategic objectives have been achieved," Britain's Ministry of Defence said in a Twitter update, but it said it was achieving tactical success in the eastern region of the Donbas and was controlling more than 90% of Luhansk Oblast.

Russia is close to capturing all of Luhansk, one of two Ukrainian regions that make up the swathe of land known as the Donbas.

06:12am: War enters 100th day with Russia controlling ‘fifth of Ukraine’

Ukraine marked 100 days since Moscow’s invasion on Friday with Russian forces hammering the Donbas in their push to capture the country’s east.

The somber milestone came less than 24 hours after Kyiv announced Moscow was now in control of 20 percent of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea and parts of the Donbas seized in 2014.

After being repelled from around the capital, President Vladimir Putin’s troops have set their sights on capturing eastern Ukraine, prompting dire warnings the war could drag on.

Following White House talks with US President Joe Biden, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday that Ukraine’s allies needed to brace for a gruelling “war of attrition”.

“We just have to be prepared for the long haul,” Stoltenberg said, while reiterating that NATO does not want direct confrontation with Russia.

While the advance has been much slower than Moscow expected, Russian forces have expanded control beyond the 43,000 square kilometres (16,600 square miles).

“Today, about 20 percent of our territory is under the control of the occupiers,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to Luxembourg lawmakers.

Since Russia’s February 24 invasion, thousands of people have been killed and millions forced to flee, with Ukraine’s east now bearing the brunt of Russia’s assault, which Zelensky said was killing up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers every day.

Street battles were raging in the industrial hub of Severodonetsk in Lugansk, part of the Donbas.

Russia already controls about 80 percent of the strategic city but its defenders are putting up stiff resistance, with Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday vowing Ukrainian forces will fight “until the end”.

Severodonetsk’s Azot factory, one of Europe’s biggest chemical plants, was targeted by Russian soldiers who fired on one of its administrative buildings and a warehouse where methanol was stored.

Ukrainian troops were still holding an industrial zone, Gaiday said, a situation reminiscent of Mariupol, where a huge steel works was the southeastern port city’s last holdout until Ukrainian troops finally surrendered in late May.

In the city of Sloviansk, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Severodonetsk, residents said there were constant bombardments by Russian troops.

“It’s very difficult here,” said paramedic Ekaterina Perednenko, 24, who only returned to the city five days ago but realises that she will have to leave again.

“Shooting is everywhere, it’s scary. No water, electricity or gas,” she said.

In the southern city of Mykolaiv, Russian shelling killed at least one person and injured several others, Ukrainian military officials said late Thursday.

5:11am: Russian Pacific fleet begins week-long exercises

Russia’s Pacific Fleet launched a week-long series of exercises with more than 40 ships and up to 20 aircraft taking part, Russian news agencies quoted the defence ministry as saying.

The ministry statement said the exercises, taking place from June 3-10, would involve, among other matters, “groups of ships together with naval aviation taking part in search operations for (enemy) submarines”.

The exercises were taking place amid Russia’s three-month-old incursion into Ukraine, described by Moscow as a “special military operation”. Ukraine lies thousands of kilometres to the west of where the exercises are occurring in the Pacific.

3:36am: Russia seeks to portray return to normalcy in war-scarred Mariupol

Some children are returning to school in Mariupol after Russian troops captured the Ukrainian port city in a bloody, weeks-long siege. Trucks pass through the streets playing videos from Russian state television as the occupying forces seek to portray a return to normalcy. But signs of death and devastation are everywhere, including in backyard grave sites and massive new cemeteries on the city’s outskirts. A census of those killed in the battle for Mariupol has yet to even begin.

FRANCE 24’s Jennie Shin reports with our colleagues at France 2:

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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