Monday evening UK news briefing: Putin's orders to Russian forces after seizing Luhansk

·7 min read
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Go-slow protests | Drivers faced more chaos during this morning's rush hour as campaigners blocked motorways in a protest over soaring fuel prices. Protesters created a rolling blockade along the M4, while similar demonstrations were also reported in Yorkshire and Shropshire. Watch traffic being brought to a crawl and see a map of the areas hit.

Why Russian generals will not celebrate Luhansk's fall

Russian forces have been ordered to push deeper into eastern Ukraine, as local officials warned civilians to flee the front-line after the capture of Lysychansk.

After a months-long battle over the Luhansk Oblast, Vladimir Putin instructed his troops to "press ahead" with Moscow's offensive.

Yet although Russia has claimed a victory in the city of Lysychansk, leaders in Moscow and Kyiv may look favourably upon the end of the fighting.

The area has limited strategic value, so while it is always regrettable for a defending force to cede ground, Kyiv's troops there have largely achieved their mission: slow the Russian advance, make the enemy pay dearly and get out without being decisively engaged.

Dominic Nicholls analyses the reason why Russian generals will not be celebrating the fall of Luhansk.

Piotr Wilczek outlines how Russia is, in fact, losing, and it will be defeated if Nato keeps its resolve.

Ukraine has flown its national flag on Snake Island for the first time since regaining control of the territory.

The small island in the Black Sea became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after a radio exchange went viral at the start of the war, in which Ukrainian soldiers used an expletive to rebuff a Russian warship's demand to surrender.

Meanwhile, a Russian ice-hockey star has been forcibly drafted to the army in an apparent attempt to prevent him transferring to a team based in America.

PM knew about Pincher allegations before he got job

Boris Johnson spent last week acting the statesman across Europe but back home Downing Street has admitted that the Prime Minister was aware of allegations about Chris Pincher's conduct before making him deputy chief whip.

His official spokesman said he knew there were claims about his behaviour prior to his appointment in February but said these were "either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint".

The acknowledgement from Number 10 comes as Mr Johnson faces a Cabinet backlash over his handling of allegations against Pincher, amid anger among ministers at being asked to defend the affair.

Yet a new poll of the Conservative grassroots has suggested one of the main candidates who could try to succeed him, Jeremy Hunt, would lose the final round of a Tory leadership contest against all of his main potential challengers.

Trump's 80 seconds deciding where to put his water

As journalists try to get to the bottom of the scandals surrounding UK politics, a British documentary-maker in the US has shed light on the uprising that threatened American democracy.

Alex Holder has claimed Donald Trump was "irate" about losing his Twitter account in the wake of the January 6 riots and had convinced himself he won the 2020 election.

He was making a behind-the-scenes film about the Trumps and was given extraordinary access to the former president and his family.

He is now a key witness in the congressional investigation into the attack on the US Capitol.

Read more of his revelations, including Trump's 80 seconds spent deciding where to put his glass of water.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Moment US helicopter crashes

Dramatic footage has been released of a 2017 MV-22 Osprey helicopter crash into the side of a US warship, killing three Marines who were on board. The clip shows the helicopter attempting to make a landing on board the USS Green Bay during a training exercise in Queensland, Australia. he Osprey, which is designed to be able to fly like a plane and hover like a helicopter, pitches violently to the left just as it comes in to land, causing the left engine compartment to strike to deck of the ship.

Monday interview

'We've raised a generation that can't cook'

'Plants made to look and taste like meat are not necessarily where I want to have my dinner right now,' says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - Jeff Gilbert
'Plants made to look and taste like meat are not necessarily where I want to have my dinner right now,' says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - Jeff Gilbert

The River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talks to Eleanor Steafel about the state of teenage nutrition, solutions to the farming crisis and cold water swimming

Read the interview

Sport briefing: Cash accuses Kyrgios of 'cheating'

Nick Kyrgios appeared to make light of the storm engulfing him at Wimbledon, even after being accused of "cheating" by fellow Australian Pat Cash and picking up his second fine of the tournament. Today he reached the Wimbledon quarter finals for the first time since 2014 against Brandon Nakashima. It took him five tough sets. England were set a target of 378 against India on day four of the fifth Test. Follow the latest. After Zhou Guanyou's horror crash in Formula One, former Jordan and Jaguar technical director Gary Anderson reveals all on F1 drivers' 'survival cell' and how the Halo prevented two deaths at Silverstone.

Editor's choice

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Business briefing: The secret billionaire scrap dealer

The little known family behind the UK's biggest private scrap merchant is verging on billionaire status as profits and revenues at their business soar. Warrington-based European Metal Recycling is emerging as one of the UK's largest private companies after posting profits of £250m on sales of £4.7bn last year. EMR is led by Chris Sheppard, the son of the company's founder, Phillip, dubbed "the god of metal recycling" in the press. Having recently capitalised on booming steel prices, read how the secret billionaire scrap dealer is making a killing on car shortages.

Tonight starts now

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival | What better way is there to enjoy this beautiful weather than by appreciating what people have come up with for their outdoor space? The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival runs from today until Saturday, and celebrates the best up-and-coming names in garden design, with several categories celebrating the joys of first-time gardens, allotments, and global gardens. For those who were disappointed by this year's trend for wilderness and rewilding at Chelsea, Hampton Court may prove a welcome contrast. This year's displays are generally a lot more carefully manicured than those we saw earlier in the spring. Here are all the medal winners.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

'I had no idea if Strictly would destroy my career' | Natasha Kaplinsky was the first ever winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. The presenter and journalist, 49, talks alpacas, trauma recovery and opening her home to Ukrainian refugees.

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