Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | G-7 demands Russia ‘immediately’ return Ukrainians taken by force

Ukrainian service members fire a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launch system, near the town of Lysychansk, Luhansk region, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Ukrainian service members fire a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launch system, near the town of Lysychansk, Luhansk region, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The G-7 leaders have pledged to continue supporting Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” In a joint statement Monday after a video link session with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the leaders underlined their “unwavering commitment to support the government and people of Ukraine in their courageous defence of their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

President Joe Biden is set to announce that the U.S. is providing an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine, as well as additional artillery support

Russian forces were fighting on June 27 to achieve one of their strategic objectives in Ukraine as Moscow-backed separatists said they were pushing into Lysychansk, the last major city still held by Ukrainian troops in eastern Luhansk province. Lysychansk's twin city of Sievierodonetsk fell on Saturday in a victory for Moscow's campaign to seize the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk on behalf of pro-Russian separatists.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin called a “special military operation” to rid the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security.

Here are the latest updates:


Civilian building hit in Russian attack on Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, says local governor

Russian forces hit a civilian building in an attack on the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine on Monday, causing casualties, the regional governor 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. - Reuters


Russia says Ukraine at fault for missile landing on Kyiv residential building

Russia’s defence ministry said on Monday that a missile hitting a Kyiv residential building over the weekend could have been the result of a failure of Ukraine’s air defence system.

Ukraine said Russia struck the capital Kyiv for the first time in weeks over the weekend, with U.S. President Joe Biden saying the attacks were more evidence of Russia’s “barbarism” in its offensive against Ukraine.

In a statement, the Russian defence ministry said it believes a Ukrainian Buk missile system intercepted a S-300 air defence missile which then “fell down to a residential building.”- Reuters


G-7 leaders confer with Zelensky, prepare new aid for Ukraine

Leading economic powers conferred by video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday as they underscored their commitment to Ukraine for the long haul with plans to pursue a price cap on Russian oil, raise tariffs on Russian goods and impose other new sanctions.

In addition, the U.S. was preparing to announce the purchase of an advanced surface-to-air missile system for Kyiv to help Ukraine fight back against Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

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Ukraine’s richest man sues Russia at Europe’s top human rights court

 Ukraine’s richest man filed a lawsuit against Russia at Europe’s top human rights court on Monday, seeking compensation over what he has said are billions of dollars in business losses since Russia’s invasion.

Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the Azovstal steelworks in the city of Mariupol where Ukrainian fighters defied weeks of Russian bombardment, sued Russia for “grievous violations of his property rights” at the European Court of Human Rights, his System Capital Management (SCM) holding company said.- Reuters


Russia ‘pouring fire’ on Ukrainian city as offensive mounts

 Russia was mounting an all-out assault on the last Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region, “pouring fire” on the city of Lysychansk from the ground and air, the local governor said Monday, as Western leaders met to discuss ways of bolstering support for Kyiv.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said Russian forces were pummeling Lysychansk after capturing the neighboring city of Sievierodonetsk in recent days.- AP


G-7 demands Russia ‘immediately’ return Ukrainians taken by force: statement

G-7 leaders on Monday told Moscow it must allow Ukrainians taken to Russia against their will to return home at once.

“We demand that Russia immediately allow the safe return of Ukrainian nationals taken often with force to Russia without their consent,” G7 leaders said in a statement from a summit in Germany.- AFP


G-7: we will stand with Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’

Leaders of the G-7 wealthy democracies on Monday pledged to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes” by cranking up sanctions on Russia and backing security commitments for Kyiv in a post-war settlement.

 The Group of Seven rich democracies are determined to reduce the Kremlin’s revenues, for example from gold exports, over its invasion of Ukraine and will continue to target sanctions evasion, according to a G-7 communique.

The G-7 will also expand targeted sanctions to further restrict Russia’s access to key industrial inputs, services and technologies, according to the document issued on the second day of the annual G-7 summit- Reuters


‘We have to stay together’: Biden on alliance behind Ukraine

President Joe Biden on Sunday praised the continued unity of the global alliance confronting Russia, as he and other heads of the Group of Seven leading economies strategized on sustaining the pressure in their effort to isolate Moscow over its months-long invasion of Ukraine.

Biden and his counterparts were meeting to discuss how to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep fallout from the war from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow. They were set to announce new bans on imports of Russian gold, the latest in a series of sanctions the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine.- AP


Russia bars entry to 43 Canadians in sanctions response

 Russia sanctioned 43 Canadian citizens on Monday, barring them from entering the country in a tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions on Moscow.

The list, published by the foreign ministry, included the chairperson of Canada’s governing Liberal Party, Suzanne Cowan, and the former governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, Mark Carney.

In April, Moscow sanctioned 61 Canadian officials and journalists. It has barred dozens of other Western politicians, journalists and business figures from entering Russia.- Reuters


Russia pledges response to Japanese sanctions

Russia promised on Monday to hit Japan with countermeasures in response to Tokyo’s imposition of sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Tokyo’s latest moves earlier on Monday, including a ban on Russian gold imports, new asset freezes and export bans on a host of Russian individuals and companies.

Sanctions are “short-sighted and harm Japan itself, especially the business community,” ambassador Mikhail Galuzin said in a statement posted on the Russian embassy’s Facebook page.

“Of course, such an increase in a hostile policy towards Russia will be taken into account by us in our future approach towards Japan and will not go unanswered,” he added.- Reuters


Zelensky asked G7 for air defence systems, tougher Russia sanctions - official

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday asked for anti-aircraft defence systems, more sanctions on Russia and security guarantees as he addressed leaders of the Group of Seven summit, a European official said.

Addressing the summit in the Bavarian Alps via video link, Mr. Zelensky also asked for help to export grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid, the European official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.- Reuters


U.S. announces new G7 sanctions targeting Russia’s defence sector

The United States on Monday announced new G7 sanctions targeting Russia’s defence industry in a bid to hobble the Kremlin’s ability to maintain the military machine during its invasion of Ukraine.

“G7 leaders will align and expand targeted sanctions to further restrict Russia’s access” to Western technology that can support the Russian arms industry, the White House said.

And the U.S. will also “aggressively target Russian defence supply chains... and limit Russia’s ability to replace the military equipment it has already lost during its brutal war”. - AFP


G7 agrees to use Russia trade tariffs to fund Ukraine: U.S.

G7 leaders have agreed that money collected from higher trade tariffs imposed on Russian exports should be funnelled as aid to Ukraine, the White House said Monday.

President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders “will seek authority to use revenues collected by any new tariffs on Russian goods to help Ukraine and to ensure that Russia pays for the cost of its war,” a senior U.S. official said. - AFP


Regional governor urges civilians to evacuate Ukrainian city of Lysychansk

Regional authorities urged civilians on Monday to urgently evacuate the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk which is being attacked by Russian forces.

“The situation in the city is very difficult,” Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region which includes Lysychansk, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. - Reuters


U.K. helping ensure stolen Ukrainian grain does not make it to market: Minister

Britain is providing technology to ensure that any wheat stolen from Ukraine by Russia does not make it to the global market, Britain’s environment minister George Eustice said on Monday.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of its Black Sea ports has prevented the country, traditionally one of the world’s top food producers, from exporting much of the more than 20 million tonnes of grain stored in its silos.

Last week Turkey said it was investigating claims that Ukrainian grain had been stolen by Russia and shipped to countries including Turkey, but added the probes had not found any stolen shipments so far.

Russia has previously denied allegations that it has stolen Ukrainian grain. - Reuters


U.S. providing anti-air defence system to Ukraine

President Joe Biden is set to announce that the U.S. is providing advanced an surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine, as well as additional artillery support, according to a person familiar with the matter, in the latest assistance meant to help the country defend against Russia’s four-month invasion.

The U.S. is purchasing NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system, to provide medium- to long-range defence, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. NASAMS is the same system used by the U.S. to protect the sensitive airspace around the White House and U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Additional aid includes more ammunition for Ukrainian artillery, as well as counter-battery radars, to support its efforts against the Russian assault in the Donbas, the person said. - AP


Putin to make first foreign trips since launching Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet states in central Asia this week, Russian state television reported on Sunday, in what would be the Russian leader's first known trip abroad since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

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G7 leaders set to commit to long haul in backing Ukraine

Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers are set to commit themselves to the long haul in supporting Ukraine as they meet in the German Alps and confer by video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The G7 leaders will begin Monday’s session of their three-day summit with a focus on Ukraine. Later, they will be joined by the leaders of five democratic emerging economies — India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina — for a discussion on climate change, energy and other issues.

The war in Ukraine was already at the forefront of the G7 leaders’ minds as they opened their summit at the secluded Schloss Elmau luxury hotel on Sunday — just as Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for the first time in weeks.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to.” Britain’s Boris Johnson warned the leaders not to give in to “fatigue.” - AP


Zelensky to press G7 for more help as war rages

President Volodymyr Zelensky will urge world powers to step up their support for Ukraine when he addresses the G7 summit on Monday, as Kyiv reels from the first Russian strikes on the capital in weeks. U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies, meeting in the Bavarian Alps, have stressed their unity in the face of Russia’s aggression — even as the global fallout worsens.

Mr. Zelensky is set to join the leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Canada via video link at 10:00 a.m. In his daily address late Sunday, Mr. Zelensky renewed his calls for more weapons and air defence systems to be delivered to Ukraine and for fresh sanctions against Russia by G7 nations. - AFP


Ukraine war could boost illegal drug production: UN

The war in Ukraine could allow illegal drug production to flourish, while the opium market’s future hinges on the fate of crisis-wracked Afghanistan, the United Nations warned Monday. Previous experience from the Middle East and Southeast Asia suggests conflict zones can act as a “magnet” for making synthetic drugs, which can be manufactured anywhere, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its annual report.

“This effect may be greater when the conflict area is near large consumer markets.” The UNODC said the number of dismantled amphetamine laboratories in Ukraine rose from 17 in 2019 to 79 in 2020, the highest number of seized laboratories reported in any country in 2020. - AFP

June 26 | Germany

Joe Biden says G7 to ban Russian gold in response to Ukraine war

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the United States and other Group of Seven leading economies (G7) will announce a ban on imports of gold from Russia, a step the leaders hope will further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine.

A formal announcement was expected Tuesday as the leaders meet for their annual summit.

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June 26 | Kyiv

Russia strikes Kyiv as G7 summit opens

Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday, a day after a key eastern city fell to pro-Russian forces in a major set-back for Ukraine and as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss further sanctions against Moscow.

Up to four explosions rang out in central Kyiv in the early hours, in the first such attack on the city in weeks. Two more blasts were heard on the southern outskirts of the city later in the day, a Reuters reporter said.

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 8:24:31 am |