Ukraine latest updates: Missile hits Kremenchuk shopping mall
Ukraine news from June 27: At least 13 people are killed and 50 others wounded in a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in central Ukraine, senior officials say.
- A Russian attack has killed at least eight civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk as they were out collecting water, Luhansk’s region governor claims.
- Russian shelling in the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine has killed five people and wounded 22, including five children, regional governor says.
- In the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, a Russian missile has hit a crowded shopping centre, killing at least 13 people and wounding 50, senior Ukrainian officials disclose.
- NATO will increase the strength of its rapid reaction force nearly eightfold to 300,000 troops, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announces.
- The US will provide an advanced air missile defence system to Ukraine, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirms on the sidelines of the G7 summit taking place in southern Germany.
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These were the updates on Monday, June 27:
Russia’s ‘abominable attack’ on Ukraine mall ‘a war crime’: G7
Russia’s “brutal” missile attack on a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine constitutes a war crime, G7 leaders have said, promising that Putin and those responsible would be held to account.
“Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” the leaders said in a statement as they “solemnly condemn the abominable attack” in Kremenchuk city.
Ukraine requests UN Security Council meeting Tuesday: Diplomats
Ukraine has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over recent Russian raids on civilian targets, the presidency of the UN body has said.
The missile attack on a shopping centre in Kremenchuk “is the main focus” of the meeting, set for Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, said a spokesperson for the Albanian mission, which currently holds the rotating Security Council presidency.
The “shelling all over Kyiv” on Sunday, which hit a residential complex, will also be discussed at the meeting, the spokesperson said.
Turkey’s Baykar to donate three UAVs to Ukraine after crowdfunding campaign
Turkish defence firm Baykar has said it will donate three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ukraine, after a crowdfunding campaign there raised enough funds to buy “several” of the Bayraktar TB2 model.
The TB2 has been hugely popular in Ukraine, where it helped destroy Russian artillery systems and armoured vehicles. It even became the subject of a patriotic expletive-strewn hit song in Ukraine that mocked Russian troops, with the chorus “Bayraktar, Bayraktar”.
Baykar said the crowdfunding campaign in Ukraine had reached the milestone in a few days and that business leaders as well ordinary people contributed to the fund.
“Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2s, and will send three UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front,” the company said in a statement.
“We ask that raised funds be remitted instead to the struggling people of Ukraine,” it said.
France says Russia must answer for missile strike on Ukrainian mall
Russia must answer for the deadly missile strike on a crowded Ukrainian shopping centre, France’s Foreign Ministry has said, condemning the attack.
“Russia must answer for these acts. France supports the fight against impunity in Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman said in a statement.
Athens slams Russian decision to expel Greek diplomats
The Foreign Ministry in Greece has slammed Russia’s decision to expel eight Greek diplomats as a “decision without a foundation”.
The remaining Greek diplomats would “continue their mission under particularly difficult conditions,” the ministry said in a statement.
Greece expelled 12 Russian diplomats at the beginning of April. Relations between Athens and Moscow are at their lowest since the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to Greece’s participation in sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war, as well as weapons deliveries to Ukraine.
Eight killed, 21 wounded in Russian missile attack on Lysychansk: Local governor
At least eight civilians have been killed and 21 wounded in a Russian missile attack on Lysychansk, Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, has said on the Telegram messaging app.
“Today, when the civilian people were collecting water from a water tank, the Russians aimed at the crowd,” Haidai said.
There was no immediate comment from Russia, which denies targeting civilians.
Russian shelling kills five civilians in Kharkiv: Regional governor
Russian shelling in the city of Kharkiv, northeast Ukraine has killed five people and wounded 22, including five children, the regional governor has said.
There was no immediate comment from Russia, which denies targeting civilians.
“All of them are civilians of Kharkiv, who were walking on the streets, on playgrounds,” Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said on the Telegram messaging app. “My sincere condolences to their families.”
Death toll in Kremenchuk rises to 11
Dmytro Lunin, governor of the central Poltava region, has said on Telegram that 11 people have now been confirmed killed by the strike, adding that rescue workers will keep searching through the smouldering rubble, with more bodies likely to be found.
Lunin also wrote on Telegram that 21 people had been hospitalised, and 29 others had been given first aid without hospitalisation.
“It’s an act of terrorism against civilians,” he said separately, suggesting there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.
Zelenskyy holds briefing with Moldovan president
Speaking at a joint briefing with his Moldovan counterpart Maia Sandu, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine will respond to any attempted attacks from the territory of a Russian-backed breakaway region outside the control of Moldova’s capital, Chisinau.
After Sandu visited Kyiv and its suburbs, Zelenskyy said that any attempts to strike Ukraine from Transnistria, which broke off from Moldova in 1992 and continues to host Russian troops, would be “a mistake on a global scale”.
“These people from the temporarily occupied territories of Moldova should know that for us it will not be a blow, but a mere slap in the face and we will respond to this slap in the face with a blow,” Zelenskyy said.
Blinken says ‘world horrified’ by Russian strike on Ukraine mall
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has voiced horror at Russia’s deadly strike on a crowded mall and vowed to hold Moscow responsible.
“The world is horrified by Russia’s missile strike today, which hit a crowded Ukrainian shopping mall – the latest in a string of atrocities,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.
“We will continue to support our Ukrainian partners and hold Russia, including those responsible for atrocities, to account.”
UN spokesman says attack on Ukraine shopping mall ‘deplorable’
The United Nations is concerned about the intensifying fighting in Ukraine and the “deplorable” attack on a shopping mall, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said.
“It is deplorable, to say the least. Any sort of civilian infrastructure, which includes obviously shopping malls, and civilians should never ever be targeted,” Dujarric told reporters.
At least 10 killed in Russian missile strike on shopping mall: Governor
At least 10 people were killed in a Russian missile strike on the shopping mall in Kremenchuk, regional governor Dmytro Lunin has said.
Lunin, the governor of the Poltava region, said that 40 others had been wounded.
Three killed, 40 wounded in Kremenchuck attack: Officials
Two Russian missiles that hit the Kremenchuk shopping centre have killed at least three people and wounded 40, senior Ukrainian officials have said.
Ukraine mall attack shows Putin’s ‘barbarism’: UK PM
Russia’s missile attack on a crowded mall in Kremenchuk demonstrates the “depths of cruelty and barbarism” of Putin, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
“Putin must realise that his behaviour will do nothing but strengthen the resolve that the UK and every other G7 country stand by the Ukraine for as long as it takes,” he said.
Canada to impose additional sanctions, ban tech export to Russia: Statement
Canada has announced more measures including additional sanctions and a ban on the export of technologies that could help improve Russia’s defence manufacturing capability.
The new sanctions would target six individuals and 46 entities linked to the Russian defence sectors, 15 Ukrainians supporting Russia, and 13 individuals and two entities in Belarus, according to a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office.
Canada also intends to introduce sanctions against Russian state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda agents and entities, according to the statement.
Turkey’s concerns ‘all legitimate and must be addressed’: NATO chief
Turkey’s security concerns on Nordic membership bids are legitimate and must be addressed, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid, Stoltenberg said “no ally has suffered more at the hands of terrorists … including grievous attacks by the terrorist group PKK.”
The NATO chief said the alliance should redouble its efforts in the fight against terrorism, and a special session devoted to NATO’s counterterrorism efforts will be convened during the summit in the Spanish capital.
“We are now working together on an agreement between Sweden, Finland, and our ally Turkey to further address security concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said.
Russian shelling kills four in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv: Regional governor
Russian shelling of the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine has killed four people and wounded 19, the regional governor has said.
There was no immediate comment from Russia, which denies targeting civilians.
“Doctors are providing all the necessary assistance. Information on the number of victims is being updated,” Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said on the Telegram messaging app.
Ties to Russia cannot return to what they were pre-Ukraine war: Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said at a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations that there would be no return to times before Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which has ushered in long-term changes in international relations.
“When the situation changes, we have to change,” Scholz said in a televised statement at the end of the second day of the G7 summit taking place in a castle resort in the Bavarian Alps.
Scholz, who is hosting this year’s gathering, said that the G7 leaders had held constructive discussions with the guest nations on Monday – India, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa and Argentina – which he labelled “democracies of the future”.
Sweden unequivocally committed to fighting terrorism: Sweden’s PM
Sweden will continue to take a firm stance on “terrorism” and will not be a safe haven for extremists, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has said.
“Sweden condemns terrorism in the strongest possible terms. We are unequivocally committed to the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” she told reporters after meeting NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
“Our stance regarding PKK is crystal clear. It is listed as a terror organisation in the European Union, and is regarded as such by Sweden”, she said, adding that new and tougher anti-terrorist legislation was under way.
‘Price of freedom worth paying’, says Johnson of Ukraine
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has drawn parallels with the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany in World War II as he defended the West’s backing for Ukraine as a price “worth paying”.
“Just remember, it took the democracies in the middle of the last century a long time to recognise that they have to resist tyranny and aggression,” and that it was very expensive, he told the BBC.
“But what it bought with the defeat of the dictators, particularly of Nazi Germany, it bought decades and decades of stability,” he said. “The price of freedom is worth paying.”
Russia could have three motives for attack: Ministry adviser
Vadym Denysenko, a Ukrainian interior ministry adviser, has said Russia could have had three motives for the attack on the Kremenchuk shopping centre.
“The first, undoubtedly, is to sow panic, the second is to … destroy our infrastructure, and the third is to … raise the stakes to get the civilised West to sit down again at the table for talks,” he said.
Biden raises US tariff rate on certain Russian imports to 35 percent
United States President Joe Biden has raised the tariff rate on certain Russian imports to 35 percent as a result of suspending Russia’s “most favoured nation” trading status over its war in Ukraine, according to a proclamation issued by the White House.
The higher 35 percent duty applies to imports of “certain other products of the Russian Federation, the importation of which has not already been prohibited,” the proclamation said.
The Biden administration previously banned US imports of Russian petroleum and energy products, fish, seafood, alcoholic beverages and non-industrial diamonds. An annex listing the products subject to the higher duty was not immediately available.
NATO’s Stoltenberg plays down hope of Turkey breakthrough in Madrid
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has played down expectations of a breakthrough ahead of talks with Turkey on the eve of a NATO summit this week, as the country continues to block a bid by Sweden and Finland to join the alliance.
Stoltenberg said in a Brussels press conference that he “will not make promises” ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Tuesday.
The aim of the talks in Madrid, Spain “is to make progress,” Stoltenberg said, but underlined “it’s too early to say what kind of progress” could be made ahead of the summit.
‘Russia’s inhumanity has no limits’: Ukraine mission to the EU
Ukraine’s mission to the EU has said on Twitter that rescuers are trying to extinguish the fire at a Kremenchuk shopping mall that was struck by Russian missiles.
“Russia’s inhumanity has no limits. We call on partners to #ArmUkraineNow and stop Russian war crimes against Ukrainian people,” it said.
🔴 #Russia fired missiles at a shopping mall in #Kremenchuk, #Poltava region with more than 1000 visitors inside. The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire. Russia’s inhumanity has no limits. We call on partners to #ArmUkraineNow and stop 🇷🇺 war crimes against 🇺🇦 people pic.twitter.com/gM1tGIjwur
— UKR Mission to the EU (@UA_EUMission) June 27, 2022
Target in missile strike was Amstor shopping centre: Official
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine, has said the target of the missile strike was the Amstor shopping centre in Kremenchuk.
“There were hundreds of people there at the time of the impact. I ask foreign media journalists to leave for Kremenchuk. We will show you this next war crime of Putin,” he said.
Russia’s Putin and Brazil’s Bolsonaro discuss global food security
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro have discussed global food security and confirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership, the Kremlin has said.
Putin assured Bolsonaro in a phone call that Russia would fulfil all its obligations to supply fertilisers to Brazil, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Regional governor denounces attack as a ‘war crime’
Poltava region governor Dmytro Lunin has denounced the attack on the Kremenchuk shopping mall as a “war crime” and “crime against humanity”, saying it was a “cynical act of terror against the civilian population”.
Russia says it is expelling eight Greek diplomats
Russia has declared eight Greek diplomats “personae non gratae” and has given them eight days to leave the country, the Russian foreign ministry has said.
The foreign ministry said it had summoned the Greek ambassador to protest over what it called “the confrontational course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, including the supply of weapons and military equipment to the Kyiv regime”.
The ministry said it had also protested against a Greek decision to declare a group of Russian diplomats “personae non gratae”.
At least 2 killed, 20 wounded in Kremenchuk shopping mall strike
The deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office has said that at least two people have been killed and 20 wounded in the Russian missile strike that hit a Kremenchuk shopping mall in central Ukraine.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko said nine of the wounded were in a serious condition.
Russian missiles hit crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine: Zelenskyy
A Russian missile strike has hit a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, President Zelenskyy has said.
“The occupiers fired missiles at a shopping centre where there were over a thousand civilians. The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire. The number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram.
“It’s useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Zelenskyy wrote.
Russian missile attack causes deaths in central Ukrainian city: Mayor
A Russian missile strike hit a “very crowded” place in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, causing deaths and injuries, Mayor Vitaliy Meletskiy has said on Facebook.
He said he was at the scene but did not say what had been hit and how many people had been killed or wounded.
More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Mykolaiv attack: Moscow
Russian troops have killed more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers in the Mykolaiv region in southeastern Ukraine, the Defence Ministry in Moscow has said.
Russia’s forces also destroyed military equipment near the village of Vysunsk on Sunday, the ministry said. A total of 24 command posts were destroyed in several areas, it said, although the information could not be independently verified.
Moscow also confirmed missile attacks on Kyiv on Sunday, but denied having hit a residential building, saying the attack was aimed at the Artem arms factory.
Russian-backed separatists say Morocco can speak with captured citizen: RIA
Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine have granted Morocco permission to speak with a Moroccan citizen sentenced to death for fighting with Ukrainian forces, the RIA Novosti agency has reported on Monday citing a top official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
A court in the breakaway DPR, which is only recognised by Russia, sentenced Saaudun Brahim and two British citizens to death in June in what Western politicians have decried as a show trial.
Civilian building hit in Kremenchuk: Governor
Russian forces have hit a civilian building in an attack on the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, causing casualties, the regional governor has said.
Dmitry Lunin, the governor of the Poltava region, gave no details of the attack or the casualties. “Unfortunately, there are victims. More details later,” Lunin said.
Zelenskyy asks G7 to limit price of Russian oil
President Zelenskyy has asked the Group of Seven rich nations to further squeeze Russia by capping prices of oil exported by Moscow.
“For us, a consistent position of the G7 countries on sanctions is important. They must be further strengthened, by limiting the prices of oil exported by the aggressor,” Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram account after addressing a G7 leaders’ meeting in Germany via video link.
He added that “Ukraine feels the support of the G7 countries”.
NATO to boost rapid reaction force, Ukraine military support
NATO will increase the strength of its rapid reaction force nearly eightfold to 300,000 troops as part of its response to an “era of strategic competition”, the military alliance’s secretary-general has said.
The NATO reaction force currently numbers around 40,000 soldiers, who can deploy quickly when needed. It will be a topic at a summit of NATO leaders in Madrid later this week.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he is expecting NATO leaders to “consider Russia as the most significant and direct threat to our security” at the summit.
Coupled with other measures including the deployment of forces to defend specific allies, Stoltenberg said the move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defence and deterrence since the Cold War”.
Russia’s Killnet hacker group says it attacked Lithuania
Russian hacker group Killnet has claimed responsibility for a DDOS cyberattack on Lithuania, saying it was in response to Vilnius’s decision to block the transit of some goods sanctioned by the European Union to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
A spokesperson for the group confirmed to Reuters that it was behind the attack.
When asked if the attack was in retaliation for blocking the transit of goods to Kaliningrad, the spokesperson said: “Yes.”
Moldovan leader says her country also vulnerable
Moldova’s president has said during a visit to Ukraine that her country is “fragile and vulnerable” and needed help to remain “part of the free world”.
President Maia Sandu said Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people that borders Ukraine, wanted to determine its own future.
“Moldova is a fragile and vulnerable country,” she said. “Ukraine and Moldova need help. We want this war [in Ukraine] to stop, this Russian aggression against Ukraine to be stopped as soon as possible. We want to stay part of the free world.”
US to send Ukraine air defence missiles
The US is planning to send Ukraine sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to defend against Russian attacks, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said.
“I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalising a package that includes advanced air defence capabilities,” Sullivan told reporters in Germany.
Sullivan said Biden had told Zelenskyy – who joined the G7 talks by video link – that the US was preparing shipment of “advanced medium- and long-range air defence capabilities”.
Sullivan said additional aid being prepared due to “urgent need” also included artillery ammunition and counter-battery radar systems, which are used to pinpoint the source of enemy artillery firing.
If Ukraine loses, all democracies lose: Italy PM
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi says G7 countries are united with Ukraine because a defeat in its war against Russia would be a defeat for all democracies.
“We are united with Ukraine, because if Ukraine loses, all democracies lose. If Ukraine loses, it will be harder to argue that democracy is an effective model of government,” Draghi was quoted as saying in comments sent by his office.
G7 to stand by Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies say they will stand by Ukraine “for as long as it takes” by cranking up sanctions on Russia and backing security commitments for Kyiv in a post-war settlement.
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the leaders said in a statement.
Putin to visit Tajikistan, Turkmenistan: Spokesman
Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Tajikistan on Tuesday, his spokesman says, his first trip abroad since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine.
“A working visit by President Putin is scheduled for tomorrow in Tajikistan,” Dmitry Peskov said.
Putin is also expected in Turkmenistan on Wednesday for a summit of countries bordering the Caspian Sea.
G7 voices ‘serious concern’ over Russia-Belarus nuclear missile transfer
G7 leaders say they are seriously concerned over Russia’s plans to deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months.
“We urge Russia to behave responsibly and exercise restraint,” the leaders of the world’s top industrialised nations said in a statement.
“In this regard we express serious concern after the announcement by Russia that it could transfer missiles with nuclear capabilities to Belarus,” the statement added.
Kremlin rejects Russia debt default claim
Moscow has rejected reports that it defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said Russia made bond payments due in May but the fact they had been blocked by Euroclear because of Western sanctions on Russia was “not our problem”.
Russian shelling kills two, injures five in Kharkiv: Governor
Kharkiv Governor Oleh Sinehubov says constant shelling by Russian forces has killed two women and wounded five people in the region.
Sinehubov said the deaths occurred in the northern Chuguevsky district that borders Russia.
He said an attack by Russian troops near the towns of Dementiivka and Pitomnik was repelled.
Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.
Zelenskyy asked G7 for air defence systems: official
A European official who spoke to Reuters news agency says Zelenskyy asked for anti-aircraft defence systems, more sanctions on Russia and security guarantees as he addressed leaders of the G7 summit.
Addressing the summit in the Bavarian Alps via video link, Zelenskyy also asked for help to export grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid, the European official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Regional governor urges civilians to evacuate Lysychansk
Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region which includes Lysychansk, says civilians should urgently evacuate the city which is being attacked by Russian forces.
“The situation in the city is very difficult,” Haidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.
EU to discuss options to jointly curb gas demand
European Union Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson says the bloc’s energy ministers will discuss options for how they could jointly curb gas demand, as the member states grapple with Russian supply cuts and prepare for possible further supply shocks.
“I plan to present to ministers the concrete steps that I believe we have to make, both at member states’ side and the commission’s side, to be better prepared,” Simson said.
Russian energy imports price cap would need broad support: Germany
Germany’s Energy Minister Robert Habeck says a price cap on Russian energy imports pushed for by the United States would only be effective with sufficient support internationally.
“This is a good idea if enough countries take part,” Habeck said.
Russia trying to regain momentum on Izyum axis: UK
A week of consistently heavy shelling suggests Russia is trying to regain momentum on the northern Izyum axis, the UK’s defence ministry has said.
The ministry’s latest intelligence briefing said Russia’s campaign would increasingly rely on different units of reserve forces in the coming weeks. They include Russia’s Combat Army Reserve, which consists of part-time volunteers with units typically earmarked for rear area security tasks.
Then there is the Human Mobilisation Resource, which the ministry said is a sizeable pool of all veterans who have served in the regular military in the last five years, adding that “Russian authorities are likely using volunteers from this category to fill out the third battalions within regular brigades”.
“Despite a continued shortfall in the number of deployable reservists for Ukraine, the Russian leadership likely remains reluctant to order a general mobilisation,” the ministry said.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 27 June 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/sKDdkkH7BC
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/i963Jlmikl
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) June 27, 2022
More than 100 bodies found in Mariupol house: Mayoral adviser
More than 100 bodies have been found in one house in the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol, the mayor’s adviser has said.
“When examining buildings in the Lioberezhny district, in a house hit by an air bomb at the intersection … more than 100 bodies of those who died from the bombing were found. The bodies are still under the rubble. The occupiers do not plan to seize and bury,” Piotr Andryushchenko wrote on Telegram.
Zelenskyy to address G7 leaders on Monday
The conflict in Ukraine will continue to dominate the agenda on the second day of a three-day summit of G7 leaders in southern Germany on Monday, with Zelenskyy set to join talks via video link.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also set to join the group via video link to address the food crisis that has resulted from Russia’s war in Ukraine, which is now in its fifth month. The conflict is preventing grain from leaving the country’s ports and making food more expensive across the globe, with experts and aid groups warning of the potential for famine in parts of Africa and elsewhere.
Taiwan holders of Russian bonds say haven’t received payments: Reuters
Some Taiwanese holders of Russian eurobonds have not received interest due on May 27 after a grace period expired on Sunday evening, two sources told Reuters.
Putin signed a decree last Wednesday to launch temporary procedures and give the government 10 days to choose banks to handle payments under a new scheme, suggesting Russia will consider its debt obligations fulfilled when it pays bondholders in roubles.
One of the Taiwanese sources told Reuters that with the two Eurobonds in question there was “no rouble clause attached”.
“The coupon cannot be paid in roubles instead,” the source added.
US to announce purchase of advanced missile defence system for Ukraine: Reuters
The US is likely to announce this week the purchase of an advanced medium to long-range surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.
Washington is also expected to announce other security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars to address needs expressed by the Ukrainian military, the source added.
Biden praises Scholz on Ukraine leadership
US President Joe Biden has thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his leadership, saying it was “in no small part because of you” that the West had stuck together against Russia four months after the invasion of Ukraine.
“You’ve done an incredible job,” Biden said at the G7 summit on Sunday.
“Putin is counting on from the beginning that somehow NATO would and the G7 would splinter … But we haven’t it and we’re not going to,” he added.
NATO to urge Turkey to let in Nordics, pledge aid to Baltics
NATO leaders will urge Turkey to lift its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance when they meet for a summit on Tuesday, diplomats said, as the West strives to send Russia and China a signal of resolve.
Taking place in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Madrid gathering comes at a pivotal moment for the transatlantic bond after failures in Afghanistan and internal discord during the era of former US President Donald Trump, who threatened to pull Washington out of the nuclear alliance.
Negotiations among an often-fractious organisation are still under way, diplomats said, but leaders also hope to agree to provide more military aid to Ukraine, increase joint defence spending, cement a new resolve to tackle China’s military rise and put more troops on standby to defend the Baltics.
Although British and US officials have advised against a Baltic request for permanent multinational forces in the region, the summit is likely to settle on a compromise of promising rapid reinforcements.
Russia misses deadline on debt payments
Russia has missed the deadline on payment of its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century as the 30-day grace period on about $100m of two bond payments due on May 27 expired on Sunday.
The deadline is considered an event of default if missed, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
Russia has struggled to keep up payments on $40bn of outstanding bonds since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which provoked sweeping sanctions that have effectively cut the country out of the global financial system and rendered its assets untouchable to many investors.
Read more here.
G7 leaders mock bare-chested horseback rider Putin
Leaders of the G7 mocked the macho image of their absent adversary, Russian leader Putin, on Sunday.
As the besuited leaders sat down for their first meeting of the three-day G7 summit in the sweltering Bavarian Alps, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked if their jackets should come off – or if they should even disrobe further.
“We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin,” Johnson said, to laughter from some of his colleagues.
“Bare-chested horseback riding,” shot back Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
“Oh yes,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Horseback riding is the best.”
Erdogan to meet leaders of Sweden, Finland before NATO summit
Turkish President Erdogan will attend a round of talks with the leaders of Sweden, Finland as well as NATO’s secretary-general before the Western alliance’s upcoming summit in Madrid, according to a presidential aide.
Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told the broadcaster Haberturk that the meeting will take place in Madrid on Tuesday, a day before the NATO gathering.
“There will be a four-way summit in Madrid at the leader level upon the request of the NATO secretary-general with the attendance of our president,” he said. But Erdogan attending the talks with Sweden, Finland and NATO “does not mean we will take a step back from our position”, he said.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But their bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish fighters and arms embargoes on Ankara.
Kalin also said he and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal would attend a round of talks with the Swedish and Finnish delegations in Brussels on Monday.
Four G7 nations move to ban Russian gold
Four of the G7 nations have moved to ban imports of Russian gold to tighten the sanctions squeeze on Moscow and cut off its means of financing the invasion of Ukraine.
But it was unclear whether there was G7 consensus on the plan, with European Council President Charles Michel saying the issue would need to be handled carefully and discussed further.
The United Kingdom, the US, Japan and Canada agreed to the ban on new Russian gold imports, the UK government said on Sunday. It said the ban was aimed at wealthy Russians who have been buying the safe-haven bullion to reduce the financial effect of Western sanctions. Russian gold exports were worth $15.5bn last year.
Read more here.
EU ministers to meet as Russian gas supply cuts loom
Energy ministers from the EU will meet this week to attempt joint plans to fight climate change.
The energy ministers’ meeting on Monday, and environment ministers’ meeting the following day, are also expected to agree on common positions on proposed laws to meet a 2030 target to cut net emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels. The laws would expand renewable energy, revamp the EU carbon market and ban sales of new cars running on fossil fuels from 2035.
Brussels says the energy supply crisis this year caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means the 27 EU countries should move even faster to wean themselves off fossil fuels. But the threat of an economic slump from surging energy prices has also made some countries more cautious about swift change that they fear might bring more disruption.
Zelenskyy calls for a more modern air defence system
Ukraine needs a modern air defence system to deter Russian missiles, Zelenskyy has said, after a weekend that saw Moscow step up attacks across Ukraine.
In his night-time address, Zelenskyy decried Sunday’s attack on Kyiv, which killed a 37-year-old man and wounded at least six people, saying “the second army of the world triumphantly ‘defeated’ a kindergarten and an apartment building”.
“Missiles also hit the Mykolaiv region, the Chernihiv region, Odesa, Cherkasy. Artillery and mortar shelling did not stop in the Kharkiv region, in the Sumy region, in Donbas, in the south of our state,” he said in his nightly address, adding that Russia had fired 62 missiles at Ukraine within 24 hours.
“Part of the missiles were shot down. But only part. We need a powerful air defence – modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles … And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers.”
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Read all the key developments from Sunday, June 26 here.