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AP
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Iranian state TV says the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has accused the deputy ambassador of the United Kingdom and other foreigners of “espionage” and taking soil samples from prohibited military zones. The country’s state-run IRNA news agency reported Wednesday that the foreigners had been arrested, but did not say when. The U.K. Foreign Office swiftly denies its diplomat was arrested, calling the report “completely false.” The accusations follow escalating tensions over a pickup in Tehran’s arrests of foreigners and a rapid advancement of its nuclear work, while talks to revive the landmark 2015 atomic accord remain at a standstill.

AP
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The governor of the last remaining eastern province partly under Ukraine's control urged his more than 350,000 residents to flee as Russian troops escalated their offensive. The governor of Donetsk made the plea Tuesday, after Russia declared it had seized the neighboring Luhansk province. In Donetsk province, a city in the path of Moscow’s offensive came under sustained bombardment Tuesday. The mayor of Sloviansk reported “massive shelling” that killed at least one person and wounded seven in the city. Russian forces are apparently positioning to advance farther into Ukraine’s Donbas region. The mostly Russian-speaking industrial area is where Ukraine's most experienced soldiers are concentrated. In nearly all of Ukraine Tuesday night, air alerts were activated.

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After more than four months of ferocious fighting, Russia claimed full control over one of the two provinces in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland. But Moscow’s seizure of the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk province came at a steep price. The critical question now is whether Russia can muster enough strength for a new offensive to complete its capture of the Donbas and make gains elsewhere in Ukraine. There are signs Russia is sustaining heavy losses. That raises doubts about whether Moscow’s forces and their separatist allies are ready to quickly thrust deeper into Donetsk, the other province that makes up the Donbas.

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FILE In this handout photo taken by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service and released on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu awards troops who were wounded during Russia's military operation in Ukraine at the Central Military Clinical Hospital in Moscow, Russia. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

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FILE - In this handout photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Saturday, July 2, 2022, a Russian Su-25 ground attack jet fires rockets on a mission at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. Since then, Russia has been more careful, pounding Ukrainian positions in the Donbas with relentless artillery and air raids before moving any troops in. The slow-and-steady approach is how they seized several remaining Ukrainian strongholds in Luhansk over the course of several weeks. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared victory in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, one day after Ukrainian forces withdrew from their last remaining bulwark of resistance in the province. Putin's declaration came as Russian forces were trying to press their offensive deeper into eastern Ukraine after capturing the Luhansk stronghold of Lysychansk on Sunday. The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces are now focusing their efforts on pushing toward the line of Siversk, Fedorivka and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, one of the two regions that make up the country’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas. About half of Donetsk is controlled by Russia.

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In this handout photo taken from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Monday, July 4, 2022, A man sets a Russian national flag on a balcony of a residential building in Lysychansk, which is now territory under the Government of the Luhansk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

AP
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Cities burned to the ground and colleagues with severed limbs. Bombardments so relentless the only option is to lie in a trench, wait and pray. Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front lines in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region – where Russia is waging a fierce offensive - describe life during what has turned into a grueling war of attrition as apocalyptic. In interviews with The Associated Press, some complained of chaotic organization, desertions and mental health problems caused by relentless shelling. Others spoke of high morale, their colleagues’ heroism, and a commitment to keep fighting, even as the better-equipped Russians control more of the combat zone.

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The last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol. The native West Virginian will receive that tribute at a later date. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the honor on Sunday. During a memorial in Charleston, West Virginia, Williams was remembered for his courage, humility and selflessness. President Harry Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Williams in 1945 for his heroics during one of the Pacific theater's fiercest fights, the battle for Iwo Jima.

AP

Russia has claimed control over the last Ukrainian stronghold in an eastern province that is key to achieving a major goal of Moscow’s grinding war. The General Staff of Ukraine’s military reported Sunday that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk in Luhansk province. Ukraine's president acknowledged the withdrawal in his nightly video address but said his forces would return with more modern weapons. If confirmed, Russia’s complete seizure of Luhansk would provide its troops with a stronger base from which to press their advance in the Donbas. Russian President Vladimir Putin is bent on capturing that region in a campaign that could determine the course of the entire war.