VLADIMIR Putin's pal has warned that there is a genuine threat of "nuclear abyss" if Ukraine refuse to accept Moscow's demands.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Russia, Ukraine and the West must agree to halt the Ukraine conflict to avoid the "abyss of nuclear war".

Putin's top ally, Lukashenko, told AFP: "We must stop, reach an agreement, end this mess, operation and war in Ukraine.

"Let's stop and then we will figure out how to go on living," he said during the one-hour interview. 

He added: "There's no need to go further. Further lies the abyss of nuclear war. There's no need to go there."

Read our Ukraine war live blog below for the latest up-to-date news…

  • Louis Allwood

    No intelligence to suggest Putin is sick, according to a CIA expert

    THERE is no intelligence to suggest tyrant Vladimir Putin is sick or unwell, according to a CIA expert.

    Despite ongoing international speculation that Putin is sick, suffering with cancer or Parkinson's disease, a CIA chief has spoken out, saying Putin looks too "healthy".

    William Burns, head of the CIA and Moscow expert, made a very rare public appearance, quashing Putin health rumours.

    He said: "As far as we can tell he's probably too healthy," attributing this to an "informal" judgement.

    Burns addressed a security forum in Aspen, Colorado.

    In total he has spent 20 years liaising with the Russian dictator, during which time he was a US ambassador for Moscow.

    The chief gave a chilling statement about Putin's view on Ukraine, saying: "He insists that Ukraine is not a real country, but real countries fight back."

    Currently, the US estimates that Russian casualties have reached around 15,000 killed and perhaps 45,000 wounded, Mr Burns said.

  • Louis Allwood

    UK to send more artillery guns to Ukraine

    The UK will supply more artillery guns, hundreds of drones and hundreds more anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

    The news has been revealed by the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace.

    The delivery of the new equipment will significantly step up the UK’s support as the country fights to repel Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion.

    More than 20 M109 155mm self-propelled guns and 36 L119 105mm artillery guns will soon arrive from the UK.

  • Louis Allwood

    The moment Russian tank gets destroyed

    Ukraine's Defence Twitter account have shared the moment forces destroyed a Russian tank with a Javelin surface-to-air missile.

  • Louis Allwood

    Ukraine thank Great Britain and New Zealand

    Ukraine's Ministry of Defence have thanked Great Britain and New Zealand for the help they have offered to Ukrainian artillery crews.

    The official Defence of Ukraine's Twitter account shared multiple pictures with the caption: "Experts from Great Britain and New Zealand share their knowledge and experience with Ukrainian artillery crews.

    "With more weapons and equipment from our partners #UAarmy will be able to expel the occupiers from our land.

    "Big thanks to Ben Wallace and to all our friends in Great Britain and New Zealand!"

  • Louis Allwood

    Senior official reveals 'referendum' attempts

    A senior official in the Russian-installed regional government told Reuters it was pressing ahead with plans to hold a "referendum" for Kherson to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

    He praised the era before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when Ukraine was one of 15 national republics ruled by the Communist Party from Moscow.

    "We've decided – the people of Kherson region have decided – that we need to hold a referendum and vote to join the Russian Federation," Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of Kherson's Russian-appointed regional authority, said in an interview.

  • Louis Allwood

    Civilians in Nova Kakhovka fear a return to Soviet times

    In Nova Kakhovka, a city in southern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops five months ago on the first day of its invasion, the signs of creeping annexation by Russia are mounting and some residents fear a return to Soviet times.

    A statue of Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin, erected in April, stands in the city centre, where the Russian and Soviet flags have been hoisted.

    On the side of police cars patrolling the streets, the Ukrainian word "politsiya" has been repainted in Russian.

  • Lauren Lomas

    HSBC has agreed to sell Russian business

    It will sell to Expobank.

    Reportedly, HSBC signed the deal just before Moscow announced it would block foreign bank sales.

    Reuters reported: "Following a strategic review, HSBC has signed an agreement to sell 100 per cent of its participating interests in HSBC banks (RR) LLC to Expobank JSC."

    Once the deal is finalised, this will signal HSBC's final official exit from Russia altogether.

  • Lauren Lomas

    'Help us stop this terror' Ukraine's first lady tells the US

    Lady Olena Zelenska recently made the impactful trip to America, to request more weapons to defend the nation against Russia.

    Zelenska spoke to NBC, explaining her young son wanted to be a soldier, because of the war, but she just wants her son to have his "childhood back."

    She said: "Before the war, my son used to go to the folk dance ensemble. He played piano, he learned English."

    Now, "obviously he wants to be a solider," said Zelenska.

    The first lady also made an appeal to members of Congress, telling them: "I am asking for weapons.

    "Weapons that would nit be used to wage war on somebody else's land but to protect one's home and the right to wake up alive in that home."

  • Lauren Lomas

    Kremlin announce Putin is in 'good health'

    The rumours that Putin is unwell have been branded "false reports".

    Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made the statement in a daily briefing.

    Reportedly, he said: "You know that Ukrainian information specialists, and American and British ones, have been throwing out various fakes about the state of the president's health in recent months.

    "These are nothing but fakes."

  • Lauren Lomas

    Nord Stream 1 resumes gas flow

    After there were fears that the gas supply would be cut off for good, the pipeline appears to be back up and running.

    A data operator on the Nord Stream website, shows that the flow increased from just zero to 29,284,591 kilowatts per hour.

    This comes after flow was halted on 10 July.

    CNBC was told by a Nord Stream spokesperson that the company was "resuming gas transportation."

  • Lauren Lomas

    EU pledges to provide millions in assistance to Ukraine

    The European Union has said it will provide 500 million euros worth of military assistance.

    Reportedly, EU's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, said the EU will help the military effort in Ukraine.

    He told the Independent that the EU remains "focused and steadfast" in supporting Ukraine.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Humiliating moment Russia ‘shoots down its OWN $36m fighter jet’

    The fresh humiliation for Putin's forces came on the eighth anniversary of the downing of flight MH-17 by Kremlin-armed rebels.

    The Sukhoi Su-34, a medium-range fighter-bomber, was reportedly downed on Sunday near Alchecvsk in Luhansk, which is under the control of Kremlin-backed separatist forces.

    Several videos of the wreckage were shared on the Telegram messaging app initially claiming a Ukrainian aircraft had been destroyed.

    The videos were later removed by pro-Kremlin sources after it emerged the plane was actually Russian, according to media reports in Ukraine.

    Online sleuths reposted the images and highlighted marking on the wreckage that apparently shows it belonged to the Russian Air Force.

    Ukraine also said it has never had any Su-34s, a twin-seat ground attack jet which is only operated by Russia.

    Click here to read more.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Putin seen limping in appearance in Iran

    The dictator is turning 70 this year, and rumours have been continually swirling that he might be very ill behind closed doors.

    Putin, 69, was seen hobbling along the red carpet with his arm hanging limp by his side as he arrived in Tehran to meet fellow global terror master Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday.

    With his right arm limp by his side, the leader was seen looking unsteady on his feet as he walked down a long red carpet rolled out for him at the capital's airport.

    He briefly waved to the gathered crowds before being whisked into his presidential convoy to the city.

    But Professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, described Putin's arrival as "one of the shortest deplanings of an arriving head of state I’ve ever seen".

    However, a CIA chief has quashed rumours, saying there is no evidence Putin is sick, and that if anything he is "too" healthy.

    Click here to read more.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Catch all the most important live updates

    Stick with The Sun to get all the most important updates about Ukraine.

    Readers are given updates every 30 minutes.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia to crack down on Wikipedia

    In another attempt to limit the spread of free information, the Russian government has attacked Wikipedia, the internet’s largest source of independent information.

    The country’s communication watchdog reportedly slammed the website for hosting “prohibited materials, including fakes about the course of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.”

    This comes as fears among EU nation’s continue to build regarding the increasing scarcity of non-Russian oil and gas.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Putin looks sickly as he’s forced to wait for Turkish leader

    The frail 69-year-old appeared visibly uncomfortable as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan kept him waiting ahead of their sit down in Tehran.

    After slowly striding into the room, the tyrant seemed to become unsteady on his feet within just a matter of seconds on Tuesday.

    Putin awkwardly shifts his weight while battling to keep composure as a crowd of photographers focus on the loitering Russian leader.

    His continuous fidgeting and twitching face further highlighted his instability, sparking rumours the warmonger's health has took a turn for the worse.

    Putin has become a shadow of his former strongman self in recent months, amid claims he is suffering from Parkinson's or terminal cancer.

    Click here to read more.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia is ready to spread war further, said Kremlin foreign minister

    Sergei Lavrov made a statement in a recent Russian state television interview.

    He said Russia is no longer just focused "only" on the east of Ukraine, referencing the need to protect the nation's own security.

    This comes after the western nations aided Ukraine's defence efforts.

    The US pledged to give Ukraine long range weapons.

    Russia must ensure it's own security, the foreign minister said.

  • Lauren Lomas

    British missiles help Ukrainian forces to blitz Russian bases

    Missiles from Britain have let Ukrainian forces bombard Russian bases deep behind enemy lines.

    Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov said that the long-range rockets were a game changer in the battle against Vladimir Putin’s troops.

    Speaking on a visit to a secret UK training base, where thousands of Ukrainian recruits are learning vital soldier skills, he said: “We are able to stop the advance of Russia in the East.

    “We’ve stopped them in the South. Most importantly, they now have no resources and no guts to advance.

    “The contribution of Great Britain in supporting Ukraine has been crucial and very critical.”

    Click here to read more.

  • henry moore

    Russia ‘using energy as a weapon’ EU chief claims

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned that Europe is set of an energy crisis if Russia continues to block gas supplies.

    “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial, major cut-off of Russian gas or a total cut-off of Russian gas, Europe needs to be ready,” von der Leyen told a news conference in Brussels.

    “We have to be proactive. We have to prepare for a potential full disruption of Russian gas. And this is a likely scenario. That’s what we’ve seen in the past,” she went on to say.

    “Assuming there is a full disruption of Russian gas, we need to save gas, to fill our gas storage faster, and to do so we have to reduce our gas consumption.”

  • henry moore

    EU agrees seventh round of sanctions

    According to Reuters, the EU has approved the seventh round of sanctions on Russia, as it continues its brutal invasion of Ukraine.

    Designed to damage the country’s gold industry, the sanctions also target other industries and individuals.

    This comes just hours after the Ukrainian minister for foreign affairs called for a new wave of sanctions.

  • henry moore

    Russia reveals plans to expand invasion efforts

    A top Russian official has revealed that they plan to take over far more than just the the eastern Donbas border region.

    In fact, according to Russia’s foreign minister, the invading nation plans to massively expand invasion efforts following the collapse of peach talks.

    The minister told a Russian news outlet: “It’s far from just the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, it’s also Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and a number of other territories.”

  • henry moore

    Ukrainian leadership calls for more weapons

    As the war in Ukraine rages on, Dmytro Kuleba, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, has called for the west to hit Russia with more sanctions.

    The official also pleaded for more weapons to be delivered.

  • henry moore

    Russia has ‘already lost the Ukraine war’ UK army chief claims

    Russia will fail in its attempts to invade Ukraine Head of the Armed forces Sir Tony Radakin told the BBC this morning.

    “What you’re seeing is a Russia, if we focus on the Donbas, that is less than 10 per cent of the territory of Ukraine and we are approaching 150 days,’ he told the BBC,” he said.

    “Russia is struggling to take that territory, and it is struggling because of the courage and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

  • henry moore

    ‘Russia is blackmailing us’

    The European Commission proposed a voluntary target for all EU states to cut gas use by 15% from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period in 2016-2021.

    EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial, major cut-off of Russian gas or a total cut-off of Russian gas, Europe needs to be ready.”

  • henry moore

    EU tells members to cut gas usage amid new Putin warning

    The European Union told members states on Wednesday to cut gas usage by 15% until March as part of an emergency plan.

    It comes after President Vladimir Putin warned that Russian supplies sent via the biggest pipeline to Europe could be reduced further.

    Deliveries via Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which accounts for more than a third of Russian gas exports to the EU, are due to resume on Thursday after a 10-day halt for annual maintenance.

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