Here are the key events so far on Thursday, June 9.
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- Russian forces control most of the strategic city of Severodonetsk and are heavily shelling the twin city of Lysychansk, causing major damage, the governor of Luhansk region said.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the fight for Severedonestsk was “a very brutal battle, very tough, perhaps one of the most difficult throughout this war,” and said it is “where the fate of our Donbas [region] is being decided now”.
- A mayoral aide in the city of Mariupol said 50 to 100 bodies have been found in many of the devastated high-rise buildings that are being searched, calling it an “endless caravan of death”.
- Russian forces killed four civilians and injured another 11 in the Donetsk region on Wednesday, the governor said, and the Luhansk governor said attacks killed at least four people and injured six in Luhansk.
- Two British nationals and a Moroccan captured while fighting for Ukraine could face the death penalty in one of Russia’s proxies in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s RIA state news agency reported.
- Russia has launched at least 2,100 missiles against Ukraine since the start of the invasion, according to information collected by Visegrad, a cultural and political alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. More than 600 of the missiles were launched from Belarus.
- Zelenskyy said that Russia will not join negotiations to end the war at present “because Russia can still feel its power”.
- The US and China are expected to use the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue summit to discuss the war in Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reported.
- Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanked the European Parliament for voting in favour of making his country a candidate for EU membership.
- Ukraine filed eight more war crimes cases against Russian soldiers, in addition to three sentences already handed down, adding up to now more than 16,000 opened investigations into possible war crimes during Russia’s invasion.
- Moscow’s chief rabbi left Russia after coming under pressure to support its invasion of Ukraine, according to a relative.
- The Institute of International Finance estimated Russia’s economy will shrink by 15 percent this year. Russia’s deputy prime minister said the country’s economy has been growing despite sanctions, Tass news reported.
- A United Nations Global Crisis Response Group report said the war “has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation” and is undermining the UN goal of ending extreme poverty around the world by 2030. It said that the war in Ukraine is increasing the suffering of millions of people by escalating food and energy prices, coming on top of ills from a growing financial crisis, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
- The world economy will pay a “hefty price” for the war in Ukraine encompassing weaker growth, stronger inflation and potentially long-lasting damage to supply chains, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.
- China’s telecommunications giant Huawei has begun closing its retail outlets in Russia in part due to a decrease in demand, Moscow’s state news agency RIA reported.
- Volkswagen is offering payoffs to employees at one of the company’s two plants in Russia if they agree to quit voluntarily, the Kommersant newspaper said.
- Russia and Turkey have voiced support for a safe corridor in the Black Sea to allow Ukrainian grain exports, but Kyiv has rejected the proposal, saying it is not credible.
- The UN said it is pursuing a deal that would allow grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea and unimpeded access to world markets for Russian food and fertilisers.
- Russia has no legal obligation to facilitate the export of grain from Ukraine, a top official from Russia’s committee on constitutional legislation and state building said.
- The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Ukraine would have to remove mines from its ports to allow them to reopen.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies