Here are the key events so far on Monday, June 20.
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- Russia advances as its forces seize a village near Ukraine’s industrial city of Severodonetsk, a prime target in Moscow’s campaign to control Ukraine’s east, Russian state news agency TASS said. Luhansk’s Governor Serhiy Haidai told Ukrainian television Russian claims are a lie and “they control the main part of the town, not the whole town”.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he expects Russia to intensify attacks on Ukraine as Kyiv waits for the European Union’s decision to grant it candidacy status.
- Russia’s air forces are underperforming in Ukraine, forcing Moscow to rely more than planned on exhausted ground troops and advanced cruise missiles that are running out, the UK’s defence ministry said.
- Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor general says Kyiv launched 19 criminal proceedings against Russian soldiers for sexual violence against at least 14 women in the temporarily occupied territories.
- European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen expressed confidence that Ukraine will be granted official candidate status ahead of a key EU summit in Brussels later this month.
- Ukraine is not a suitable candidate for EU membership, the speaker of Russia’s parliament Viacheslav Volodin said, citing “total corruption, rampant crime, oligarchic power and a ruined economy”.
- The UK must have a military capable of fighting in Europe and defeating Russia, the new head of the British army said.
- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the war in Ukraine “could take years” and the West must continue its support, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.
- Russia’s blockade of the export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain is a war crime, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday in Luxembourg.
- EU foreign ministers will discuss ways to free the grain stuck in Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg.
- Russia promised to continue gas shipments to Hungary, Budapest’s foreign minister said.
- Germany’s economy minister said the country will limit the use of natural gas for electricity production amid concerns about possible shortages caused by a cut in supplies from Russia.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies