Here are the key events so far on Tuesday, June 7.
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- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed for more weapons to arrive faster, saying things could become very difficult for Ukraine if Russian forces break through the front lines in Donbas.
- Zelenskyy says his country’s forces are not giving up positions in Severodonetsk, the main Donbas city not in Russian hands, where street fighting is raging. He did, however, admit that Russian forces had a numerical advantage in the battle.
- The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Russian forces likely controlled most of Severodonetsk as of Monday.
- On Monday morning, Russian forces shelled the town of Zolote, destroying 13 houses, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said.
- Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Monday that Russian forces were also advancing towards Sloviansk, about 85km (53 miles) to the west of Severodonetsk.
- Reports of heavy shelling near the city of Izyum suggest Russia is preparing for a renewed effort on the northern axis, as its progress made through May on the southern Popasna axis has stalled over the last week, Britain’s defence ministry said.
- Russia’s ambassador to the United States accused Washington of harassing Russian journalists in the US, state news agency RIA reported.
- The US accused Russia of trying to “intimidate” American correspondents in Moscow who were summoned by the Russian foreign ministry and threatened with reprisals because of US sanctions.
- Zelenskyy thanked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for sending long-range missiles to Ukraine.
- No change in the US embassy posture in Kyiv, the state department said, after Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital for the first time in more than a month. The US embassy had resumed its operations last month.
- US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan said Washington and Moscow “must preserve the ability to speak to each other”, urging Russia not to close the US embassy, Russian state media reported.
- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was forced to cancel a visit to Serbia on Monday after Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro prevented his plane from passing through their airspace, officials said.
The human cost of the war
- More than 14 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes since the Russian invasion on February 24.
- Ukraine said 263 children have been killed as a result of the invasion and conflict, while more than 467 have been injured.
- The “unprecedented” displacement of millions of Ukrainians is “turning into a human trafficking crisis”, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence Pramila Patten said.
- Russia has been urged to stop sexual violence allegedly carried out by its military forces and armed proxies in Ukraine, allegations that Moscow denounced as “lies” at a meeting of the UN Security Council.
- About 60 percent of Ukrainians need psychological help as a result of the war, Ukraine’s first lady said, adding that Kyiv was working on establishing a national support system.
- Russia has imposed sanctions on 61 US officials, including US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and energy secretary Jennifer Granholm, in retaliation for “constantly expanding US sanctions”, the foreign ministry said.
- US authorities are pushing to seize two luxury jets linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after a federal magistrate judge signed a warrant approving the move.
- Japan will freeze the assets of two more Russian banks and one more Belarusian bank as part of additional sanctions for Russia’s Ukraine invasion, Japan’s foreign ministry said.
- Zelenskyy said up to 75 million tonnes of grain could be stuck in Ukraine by this autumn, and that Kyiv wanted anti-ship weapons that could secure safe passage for its exports.
- European Council President Charles Michel accused Russia of using food supplies as “a stealth missile against developing countries” and blamed the Kremlin for a looming global food crisis, prompting Moscow’s UN ambassador to walk out of a Security Council meeting.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there are “credible reports” that Russia is “pilfering” Ukraine’s grain exports to sell for profit.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies