Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | Russia accuses Ukraine of torturing prisoners of war

Here are the latest developments from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict on July 5

July 05, 2022 12:16 pm | Updated July 06, 2022 09:36 am IST

After more than four months of ferocious fighting, Russia claimed full control over one of the two provinces in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland. File

After more than four months of ferocious fighting, Russia claimed full control over one of the two provinces in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland. File | Photo Credit: AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said the reconstruction of his war-battered country is the “common task of the entire democratic world,” as Ukraine’s Prime Minister laid out a $750 billion recovery plan once the war with Russia ends.

Ukraine’s forces have withdrawn from the bombed-out city of Lysychansk, prompting Russia to claim full control of the eastern Luhansk region, a key Kremlin war goal, but President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to regain the lost territory

The battlefield focus now shifts to the neighbouring Donetsk region, where Kyiv still controls swathes of territory.

Here are the latest updates

Lysychansk, Ukraine

Few civilians, charred buildings in Ukraine’s Lysychansk after capture by Russia

A Reuters reporter in Lysychansk, captured on Sunday by Russia and its separatist allies, found few residents in a city that was once home to nearly 100,000 people and widespread destruction, testament to the ferocity of the battle to take it.

A few civilians, all women, surveyed the damage, armoured vehicles manned by Russian-backed forces trundled around the streets and the red Soviet victory banner - a World War Two symbol adopted by Russian forces - hung above the entrance of a wrecked local government building, the offices inside exposed to the elements.

The fall of Lysychansk to Russia and its proxies was hailed as an important moment by Moscow which is now in total control of the wider Luhansk region, one of the aims of what President Vladimir Putin calls his “special military operation” to eliminate what he has cast as a dangerous threat.-Reuters


Ukraine town warned to evacuate ahead of Russian assault

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, the mayor of a city in the path of Moscow’s offensive warned residents Tuesday to evacuate ahead of an expected assault.

The warning from the mayor of Sloviansk underscored fears that Russian forces were positioned to advance farther into Ukraine’s Donbas region, a mostly Russian-speaking industrial area where the country’s most experienced soldiers are concentrated.

Sloviansk, which had a population of about 107,000 before Russian invaded Ukraine more than four months ago, appeared to be the next target. The city has taken rocket and artillery fire during the war, and the bombardment has picked up since Moscow took the last major city in neighboring Luhansk province, Mayor Vadim Lyakh said.-AP


Duma gives first approval to laws moving Russia towards war economy

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday gave the first stamp of approval to two bills that would authorise the government to oblige businesses to supply the military with goods and their employees to work overtime to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The initiatives come more than four months into what Russia calls its “special military operation,” which has prompted Western countries to impose a wave of sanctions against Moscow.

One of the bills -- approved in a first reading by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament -- said the state could impose “special economic measures” during military operations, requiring firms to supply goods and services to the military at the demand of the Russian government.-Reuters


IKEA reopens for online fire sale in Russia before market exit

IKEA will open for business for a final time in Russia on Tuesday, with customers permitted to buy goods in an online-only fire sale before the Swedish furniture company winds down its operations in a market to which it hopes one day to return.

“From July 5 for a few weeks you can buy IKEA goods only on,” IKEA said on its Russian website. “Goods will be on sale for as long as they are in stock.” -Reuters


Russia accuses Ukraine of torturing prisoners of war

Russia said on Tuesday it was investigating the torture of Russian soldiers held prisoner in Ukraine and recently released as part of a prisoner swap with Kyiv in late June.

The Russian Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said in a statement that it was “verifying facts of inhuman treatment of Russia soldier prisoners in Ukraine”. -AFP


FSB official takes over Moscow-occupied Kherson region

An official from Russia’s powerful FSB security services took over the government of the Moscow-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine, Kremlin-installed authorities said Tuesday.

Sergei Yeliseyev, until now the deputy head of government in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, “became head of the government in the Kherson region”, said Vladimir Saldo, who heads the Russian occupational administration. -AFP


NATO poised to sign accession protocols for Sweden, Finland

The 30 NATO allies are set to sign off on the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland on Tuesday, sending the membership bids of the two nations to the alliance capitals for legislative approvals.

The move will further increase Russia’s strategic isolation in the wake of its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine in February and military struggles there since. -AP


Gas consumption set to contract due to Russia: IEA

Gas consumption will contract slightly this year due to high prices and Russian cuts to Europe, with only slow growth over coming years as consumers switch to alternatives, the IEA said Tuesday.

The International Energy Agency chopped its forecast for global gas demand by more than half in its latest quarterly report on gas markets. -AFP


U.K. says to strengthen internet laws to fight Russian disinformation

Britain is proposing a new law that will require social media companies to proactively tackle disinformation posted by foreign states such as Russia, the government said on Monday.

The law would tackle fake accounts on platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Twitter that were set up on behalf of foreign states to influence elections or court proceedings, the government said. -Reuters


Zelenskiy says Ukraine is in talks with Turkey, UN on grain exports

Ukraine is holding talks with Turkey and the United Nations to secure guarantees for grain exports from Ukrainian ports, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday.

“Talks are in fact going on now with Turkey and the U.N. (and) our representatives who are responsible for the security of the grain that leaves our ports,” Mr. Zelenskiy told a news conference alongside Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. -Reuters


U.K. adds six people, one business to Russia sanctions list

 Britain has added the names of six individuals and one company to its list of people and businesses who are subject to an asset freeze following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The measures allow for “the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities or bodies involved in destabilising Ukraine ... or obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia,” Britain’s finance ministry said. -Reuters


British Foreign Secretary says Russians must be accountable for Ukraine war

Russia needs to help pay for the damage it has inflicted on Ukraine during its “appalling war” while Kyiv also needed help to revive its battered economy, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Reuters on Monday.

“Russia needs to be held to account for this appalling war,” Ms. Truss said on the sidelines of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano. “We are looking at options for the deployment of Russian assets.” -Reuters

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