(NewsNation) — Ukrainian forces have recaptured the city of Brovary, which is 12 miles east of the capital Kyiv, its mayor said Friday evening during a televised address.
Residents had already returned to the city, and shops and businesses are returning, the mayor said, adding that Ukraine forces will begin working to clear the region of remaining Russian soldiers and military hardware, possibly from mines.
Earlier in the day, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that satellite towns northwest of Kyiv were being targeted after Ukrainian fighters pushed back Russian troops.
Ukrainian troops made more progress on Saturday afternoon, moving further north from the capital Kyiv and taking up positions in the town of Bucha after retaking territory from Russian forces. Residents of Bucha said six civilians, whose bodies were seen by Associated Press reporters scattered along a street, were killed by Russian soldiers.
Weeks after the Russian forces first invaded Ukraine in February, many cities in the smaller country are besieged by troops, but Ukrainian forces have continued fighting back. Russia has claimed it is scaling back the war, but these claims have been met with skepticism.
Klitschko said despite Russia’s promises, the bombardment of satellite towns near the Ukrainian border is ongoing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of difficult battles ahead as the Russians redeploy troops in eastern Ukraine.
Russian forces were leaving behind “a complete disaster” as they retreat from the north, he said, warning residents to beware of more Russian shelling and of land mines.
“They are mining the whole territory, they are mining homes, mining equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed,” he said Friday.
There were three casualties after at least three Russian ballistic missiles were fired late Friday at the Odesa region on the Black Sea. Odesa is Ukraine’s largest port and the headquarters of its navy.
A reported attack on a Russian fuel depot injured two, an act which the secretary of Ukraine’s national security council denied the country was responsible for.
The total number of deaths in Ukraine has been hard to pin down, with the United Nations saying it has been undercounted. The death toll stemming from a Russian rocket strike on the regional government building in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv has risen steadily as the search and rescue operation continues. Ukrainian officials said the latest number of fatalities is 33, with 34 wounded.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says 765 residents managed to make it out of Mariupol in private vehicles on Saturday while a team a humanitarian workers has yet to reach the hard-hit city.
Iryna Vereshchuk said the residents reached Zaporizhzhia, a city 140 miles to the northwest.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross said a team with three vehicles and nine staff members had planned to get into Mariupol, scene of some of the war’s worst attacks, on Saturday to evacuate residents. The Red Cross said it could not carry out the operation Friday because it did not receive assurances the route was safe. City authorities said the Russians blocked access to the city.
A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross said Saturday evening the team, which departed Zaporizhzhia in the morning, was “spending the night en route to Mariupol and are yet to reach the city.” Around 100,000 people are believed to remain in the city on the Sea of Azov, down from a prewar population of 430,000, and facing dire shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine.
The Mariupol city council said earlier Saturday that 10 empty buses were headed to Berdyansk, a city 52 miles west of Mariupol, to pick up people who managed to get there on their own. About 2,000 made it out of Mariupol on Friday, city officials said.
Russia’s top space official said the future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after the United States, the European Union, and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for the lifting of sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.
The head of Russia’s Roscosmos state agency told reporters on Saturday morning that the agency was preparing a report on the prospects of international cooperation at the station, to be presented to federal authorities “after Roscosmos has completed its analysis.”
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin implied on Russian state TV that the Western sanctions, some of which predate Russia’s military action in Ukraine, could disrupt the operation of Russian spacecraft servicing the ISS.
He stressed that the Western partners need the ISS and “cannot manage without Russia, because no one but us can deliver fuel to the station.”
Rogozin added that “only the engines of our cargo craft are able to correct the ISS’s orbit, keeping it safe from space debris.”
Later on Saturday, Rogozin wrote on his Telegram channel that he received responses from his Western counterparts vowing to promote “further cooperation on the ISS and its operations.”
He reiterated his view that “the restoration of normal relations between partners in the ISS and other joint (space) projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting” of sanctions, which he referred to as illegal.
Responding to Western sanctions on Telegram last month, Rogozin warned at the time that without Russia’s help, the ISS could “fall down into the sea or onto land,” and claimed that the crash site was unlikely to be in Russia.
Space is one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Western nations. U.S.-Russian negotiations on the resumption of joint flights to the ISS were underway when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last month, prompting unprecedented sanctions on Russian state-linked entities.
With attacks ongoing in Ukraine, the U.S. Defense Department is providing an additional $300 million in military equipment to Ukrainian forces defending the country from Russian troops.
This gear includes laser-guided rocket systems, unmanned aircraft, armored vehicles, night vision devices and ammunition, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Friday. In total, the Pentagon says that they provided about $2.3 billion in aid to Ukraine since the Biden administration took office, and well over a billion dollars since the invasion began.
Along with the support being given to the country, Western nations are also aiming to help Ukraine in the war by putting sanctions on Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia’s top space official Dmitry Rogozin says the future of the International Space Station “hangs in the balance” after the United States, the European Union and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for the lifting of these sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.
Russia has cracked down heavily on dissenting views of the war.
A Russian group that monitors political arrests says 208 people were detained in demonstrations held Saturday across the country protesting Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.