Here are the key events so far on Wednesday, June 8.
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- Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu said 97 percent of the Luhansk region, one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s Donbas, is under Russian control, adding that Russian forces “liberated” the residential quarters of Severodonetsk.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces have made no significant advances in the eastern Donbas region over the past day, and that “the absolutely heroic defence of the Donbas continues”.
- Soldiers are “successfully holding back the assault in the city of Severodonetsk” and were holding off attacks in Toshkivka and Ustynivka, the Ukraine general staff said
- However, the governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said the defenders were finding it hard to repel Russian attacks in the centre of Severodonetsk.
- At least three people were killed and six more injured after Russian forces shelled Kharkiv and its regional villages of Cherkaska Lozova, Slatyne and Korobochkyne on Tuesday, Governor Oleh Synyehubov said.
- A stalemate with Russia is “not an option” and “victory must be achieved on the battlefield”, Zelenskyy told Britain’s Financial Times, repeating the call for Western military support.
- The next winter will be “the most difficult” since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, Zelenskyy said, adding that Kyiv was setting up a headquarters to centralise the running of winter heating.
- More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered in Mariupol have been transferred to Russia for investigation, Russia’s state-owned Tass news agency reported.
- Russia has returned the bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters, most of whom who died defending Mariupol at a vast steelworks, Ukraine’s military said.
- US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmytro Senik in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss the war’s impact on global food security and how to get Ukraine’s grain to international markets, according to a US state department statement.
- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Ankara for a two-day visit to Turkey for talks on unblocking grain exports from Ukraine. The Russian parliament passed two bills ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in the country.
- Russia’s former president and deputy chairman of its security council Dmitry Medvedev made some strong remarks against his enemies, calling them “b******s” and saying he would do his “best to make them disappear”, but did not specify who his words were directed at.
- Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her record on Russia, saying she had “nothing to apologise for” and that she had tried to prevent the situation in Ukraine from reaching the current state. She added that she had been against letting Ukraine into NATO because she wanted to prevent escalation with Russia and Ukraine was not ready for NATO.
- Ukraine will only be able to export a maximum of 2 million tonnes of grains a month if Russia does not lift its blockade of its Black Sea ports, Ukraine’s first deputy minister for agrarian policy and food said.
- The World Bank said its board of executive directors approved $1.49bn in additional financing for Ukraine to help pay wages for government and social workers, expanding the bank’s total pledged support for Kyiv to more than $4bn.
- US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said it is “virtually impossible” for the US to insulate itself from oil market shocks such as those caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so it is important to shift towards renewable energy sources.
- The US has taken command of the Russian-owned superyacht in Fiji and taken it after winning a legal battle to seize the $325m vessel, amid a move to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs.
- Russian state flagship airline Aeroflot plans to raise up to 185.2 billion roubles ($3bn) in an emergency share issue triggered by Western sanctions and airspace bans, Reuters reported.
- The first 15 outlets of the rebranded “McDonald’s” will open in Moscow and its surrounds on June 12 after McDonald’s pulled out of Russia in May and sold the license for all 850 restaurants across the country to local businessman Alexander Govor.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies