Here are the key events so far on Thursday, June 16.
Get the latest update here.
- Ukrainian fighters inside the Severodonetsk Azot chemical plant ignored a Russian ultimatum to surrender, as the United Nations warned essential supplies are running out for the thousands of civilians trapped in the city, including many sheltering in the facility.
- For both Russian and Ukrainian forces, fighting for key towns and cities such as Severodonetsk was “devolving to small groups of troops typically operating on foot”, the United Kingdom’s defence ministry said.
- The Russian military said it used long-range missiles to destroy a depot in Ukraine’s western region of Lviv near the Polish border where ammunition for NATO-supplied weapons was stored.
- Two United States citizens who travelled to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces have been missing for a week and are feared captured, family members said. A White House national security spokesperson said if the reports are true, the US “will do everything we can” to get them back.
- Washington announced an additional $1bn in security assistance to Ukraine, including 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of ammunition, and 18 tactical vehicles to tow the howitzers. Russia’s UN ambassador denounced Western countries for supplying weaponry to Ukraine.
- French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have arrived in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, where they will hold talks with Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- The European Union’s executive is expected to propose on Friday that Ukraine becomes a formal candidate for membership of the bloc, diplomats and officials said.
- The head of the UN refugee agency said the food crisis stoked by the war in Ukraine was set to drive record displacement to more “staggering” levels.
- The Black Sea port in the Romanian city of Constanta has become one of the main transit hubs for Ukrainian grain exports.
- Russian Gazprom’s move to cut gas supplies to Germany is a warning signal for Europe’s biggest economy next winter, the head of Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur energy regulator said.
- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said the rouble is overvalued and industry would be more comfortable if it fell to between 70 to 80 against the US dollar from the current 57, according to state-owned Tass news agency.
- Russian people and companies are using Georgian entities to bypass Western sanctions, Ukrainian lawmakers on a visit to Washington, DC, said but did not provide details or examples. The Georgian embassy in Washington said the accusations were “completely false”.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies