Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine
The UN announces at least 4,302 dead in Ukraine since the start of the war
Buzova village resident Oleksandr (surname omitted) watches as police exhume the bodies of his mother, brother and son to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces during the invasion of Ukraine on May 21, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images
The United Nations has confirmed 4,302 civilian deaths and 5,217 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor on February 24.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, as armed conflict may delay death reports.
The international organization said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide area of impact, including heavy artillery fire and multiple rocket launchers, as well as missiles and air strikes.
Russia does not plan to cut gas to more European customers
The Astora underground natural gas storage facility stands on May 12, 2022 in Rehden, Germany.
David Hecker | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Russia said on Thursday it did not expect Gazprom to cut gas supplies to its European customers and said its program to charge buyers for gas in rubles was working as planned.
Gazprom has cut off deliveries to Denmark’s Orsted and Shell Energy for its contract to supply gas to Germany, and to Dutch gas trader GasTerra as well as Bulgaria, Poland and Finland for refusing to pay Russian gas in rubles under the new ruble regime.
Gas payments under the new regime, put in place in response to Western sanctions, were due in April and May.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said everyone who needed to be cut off from the supply was no longer receiving Russian gas.
“The system is working … and those who receive the gas are working under the new system,” Peskov said during his daily conference call with reporters.
When asked whether to expect further gas cuts, he replied: “No”.
Zelenskyy: Millions Could Starve If Russia’s Black Sea Blockade Continues
Wheat grows in an agricultural field about 25 kilometers from the frontline of the battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops on June 08, 2022 near Sloviansk, Ukraine.
Scott Olson | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned millions could starve if Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea continues, adding that the world is on the brink of a “terrible food crisis”.
The Kremlin has been accused of militarizing the food supply by blocking exports from Ukraine and raising the cost of grain. Ukraine has also accused Russia of laying mines in the Black Sea.
Russia, for its part, has disputed those claims, saying Ukraine is responsible for mines at sea which, combined with an unprecedented barrage of international sanctions, are to blame.
“We cannot export our wheat, corn, vegetable oil and other products that have played a stabilizing role in the global market,” Zelenskyy said in a video statement at the TIME100 gala.
“This means that, unfortunately, dozens of countries could face a physical shortage of food. Millions of people could starve if the Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has said a blockade of Black Sea ports means the world’s most vulnerable countries are paying more for less food. UN chief Antonio Guterres has said a trade deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea could avert mass starvation.
Severodonetsk mayor says evacuation attempts impossible for now
The mayor of Severodonetsk described the situation in the eastern Ukrainian city as “quite complicated but controlled” after a night of heavy artillery fire from Russian forces.
Speaking to Ukrainian TV, Oleksandr Stryuk said the bridges between Lysychansk and Severodonetsk “are constantly bombed”.
“Evacuation is impossible at this time,” Stryuk said, according to a translation. “It is possible to get to Lysychansk, because the ‘road of life’ is controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces, but it is constantly bombarded.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the battle for Severodonetsk could decide the outcome of eastern Ukraine.
Russian forces seen targeting southern Izium in eastern Ukraine
The British Ministry of Defense says Russian forces have likely stepped up their efforts to advance south from Izium as fighting continues in Severodonetsk.
“Russia’s progress on the Izium axis has stalled since April, after Ukrainian forces made good use of the terrain to slow Russia’s advance,” the ministry said in its latest update. up-to-date information.
“Russia probably tried to reconstruct [the Eastern Group of Forces] after suffering very heavy casualties in the failed advance on Kyiv, but his units likely remain understrength. Russia is likely looking to regain momentum in this area to put additional pressure on Sieverodonetsk and give it the chance to advance deeper into Donetsk Oblast,” he added.
Russian forces control most of Severodonetsk, regional governor says
People wait to be evacuated in Lysychansk, eastern Ukraine, June 8, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Russian forces control most of the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine and are heavily shelling the nearby town of Lysychansk, according to the governor of the Lugansk region.
In an online message, Serhiy Haidai said that Ukrainian troops in the Luhansk region are not threatened with encirclement.
Russian forces temporarily control more than 90% of the region, he added.
Zelensky says fighting in Severodonetsk could decide fate of eastern Ukraine
Smoke and dirt rise from shelling in the city of Severodonetsk this week. “Severodonetsk remains the epicenter of the confrontation in the Donbass,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said via Telegram, according to a translation.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the fight for control of the city of Severodonetsk could decide the outcome of the conflict with Russian forces in the east of the country.
“According to the results of this day, the 105th day of the full-scale war, Severodonetsk remains the epicenter of the confrontation in the Donbass. We defend our positions, inflict significant losses on the enemy,” Zelenskyy said via Telegram , according to a translation.
“It is a very fierce, very difficult battle. Probably one of the most difficult in this whole war. I am grateful to everyone who defends this direction. In many ways, the fate of our Donbass is decided there. “
UN chief says trade deal could avert mass hunger
The United Nations is pursuing a deal that would allow Ukraine’s grain exports through the Black Sea and unfettered access to world markets for Russian food and fertilizers.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told UN correspondents on Wednesday that without this agreement, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries are threatened by an unprecedented wave of hunger, three months after the invasion of his small neighbor by Russia.
António Guterres said: “The food production of Ukraine and the food and fertilizers produced by Russia must be introduced into world markets, despite the war.
Senior officials have worked closely with contacts in Moscow, Kyiv, Ankara, Brussels and Washington over the past 10 days, António Guterres said. He said he didn’t want to jeopardize the chances of success by revealing details.
“This is one of those times when silent diplomacy is needed, and the well-being of millions around the world could depend on it,” he said.
— Associated Press
Biden reaffirms US support in phone call with Polish president
President Joe Biden speaking to Vladimir Putin from the White House, December 30, 2021.
Source: White House Photo
President Joe Biden spoke with Polish President Andrzej Duda and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to enhancing security along Poland’s borders, the White House said in a reading of the appeal.
“They also discussed their continued support for the Ukrainian people and government in response to Russian aggression,” the statement said.
Biden last met Duda in March during a high-profile trip to Poland.
Ukraine may be on the verge of pulling out of a key eastern city
Smoke rises in the city of Sievierodonetsk during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops on May 30, 2022.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian troops may soon have to withdraw from a key eastern town, the region’s governor and Western military analysts said on Wednesday, as Russian advances force them back.
The street-by-street battle for Sievierodonetsk has become the focus of the conflict those last weeksRussia slowly advancing towards its larger goal of taking full control of the Donbass industrial region.
The last major city still under Ukrainian control in the province of Luhansk – which, together with neighboring Donetsk, constitutes the Donbass – was pounded by artillery in a back-and-forth that remains difficult to decipher. Kyiv said a counter-offensive over the weekend helped its forces regain ground, but the situation appears to have deteriorated further since then.
Satellite imagery released by US defense contractor Maxar Technologies on Wednesday appears to show what it said was “significant damage” to Sievierodonetsk and nearby areas amid fears the city could be turned into a a new Mariupol, the key port besieged by the Russians and left in ruins by fierce fighting.
— NBC News