June 29, 2022

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Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

UK announces new trade sanctions against Russia

The British pound reached its lowest level since July 1, 2020.

Matt Cardi | Getty Images

The United Kingdom announced a new set of trade sanctions against Russia on Thursday, in the latest escalation of pressure on the Kremlin.

The measures include a ban on the export of jet fuel and fuel additives to Russia as well as the pound sterling from European Union-denominated banknotes.

In addition, the export of goods and technology related to chemical and biological weapons, goods and marine technology, additional oil refining goods and technology, and additional vital industrial goods and technology is prohibited.

For a full list see here.

– Holly Eliat

UNESCO lists 152 destroyed or damaged sites in Ukraine

Seventy religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 memorials, 12 museums, seven libraries: this is how many buildings of cultural significance have been destroyed or damaged in Ukraine so far in the war, According to UNESCO.

“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO (a specialized agency of the United Nations that aims to promote global peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture).

Museum workers carry a statue of Ukrainian philosopher Hryhorri Skovoroda from the destroyed building of the Hryhoriy Skovoroda National Literary Memorial Museum in the village of Skovorodynivka, Kharkiv region, on May 7, 2022, the 73rd day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Bobok | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

“Cultural heritage in all its forms should never be targeted. I reiterate my call for respect of international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict,” she said.

– Holly Eliat

The UK said Russian forces showed “improved performance” in the Donbas offensive

The British Ministry of Defense said, on Thursday, that it is highly likely that Russian forces have advanced more than 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) towards the southern entrances to the city of Lyschansk in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine over the past few days.

The ministry said the progress, which has been made since June 19, may reflect the fact that some Ukrainian units have withdrawn to avoid being encircled.

Black smoke and dirt billow from the city of Severodonetsk during a battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine on June 9, 2022.

Aris Messines | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

In addition, the ministry noted that “Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of the unit’s recent strengthening and heavy focus of firing.”

The ministry said on Twitter that Russian forces were putting the Lyschansk-Severodonetsk enclave under increasing pressure, “with this advancing creep around the edges of the built-up area”.

However, it added that its efforts to achieve a deeper encirclement to capture western Donetsk Oblast (or province) were still stalled.

See also  Close the US embassy in Kiev and move the remaining diplomats to the West amid fears of a Russian invasion

– Holly Eliat

The UK said Russian forces showed “improved performance” in the Donbas offensive

The British Ministry of Defense said, on Thursday, that it is highly likely that Russian forces have advanced more than 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) towards the southern entrances to the city of Lyschansk in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine over the past few days.

The ministry said the progress, which has been made since June 19, may reflect the fact that some Ukrainian units have withdrawn to avoid being encircled.

Black smoke and dirt billow from the city of Severodonetsk during a battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine on June 9, 2022.

Aris Messines | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

In addition, the ministry noted that “Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of the unit’s recent strengthening and heavy focus of firing.”

The ministry said on Twitter that Russian forces were putting the Lyschansk-Severodonetsk enclave under increasing pressure, “with this advancing creep around the edges of the built-up area”.

However, it added that its efforts to achieve a deeper encirclement to capture western Donetsk Oblast (or province) were still stalled.

– Holly Eliat

The European Union is preparing to take a decision on the status of Ukraine’s candidate

Tackling corruption and reforming the judicial system are key changes the EU will want to know if Ukraine’s demand holds.

Norfoto | Norfoto | Getty Images

The European Union is expected to make its decision later today on whether Ukraine will be granted the status of a candidate country to join the bloc. EU leaders meet on Thursday and the issue will be high on the agenda.

The award of the EU nomination is seen as a massive act of solidarity with Ukraine, but if awarded as widely expected, the process of joining the political and economic union could take years, and Ukraine is expected to undertake deep reforms.

Tackling corruption and reforming the judicial system are key changes the EU will want to know if Ukraine’s demand holds.

Two other former Soviet states, Georgia and Moldova, have applied to join the European Union. Kosovo and North Macedonia, among other countries, have been waiting years for membership applications to be submitted.

– Holly Eliat

Zelensky says Russia wants to “destroy the entire Donbass step by step”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine continues to see what he called “intense air and artillery strikes”.

“The goal of the occupiers in this direction remains the same – they want to destroy the entire Donbass step by step,” he said.

“Lysychansk, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk – they aim to turn any city into Mariupol. Totally destroyed.” He said that the southern port of Mykolaiv and the northeastern city of Kharkiv were bombed yesterday.

See also  Lithuania says sanctions on goods bound for Kaliningrad are in effect

Zelensky said he continues to press for arms supplies to Ukraine, noting that “parity is required on the battlefield as quickly as possible to stop this demonic fleet and move it beyond Ukraine’s borders.”

The destroyed storage facilities of the Nika-Tera private company in the southern city of Mykolaiv on June 12, 2022, which were bombed on June 4, according to the military department.

Genia Savelov | Afp | Getty Images

A number of cities, towns and villages in the Donbas region, and in Luhansk Province in particular, have been the focus of fierce fighting for several weeks, with Russian and Ukrainian forces engaging in street battles while Russian artillery fire destroyed infrastructure and homes. in the region.

Separately, Zelensky said he expects a decision on whether Ukraine will be granted candidate status by the European Union on Thursday evening. He said he is making calls with various EU leaders to put pressure on the issue of Ukraine to join the bloc.

Holly Eliat

Official says Russians push for full control of Severodonetsk

The governor of Luhansk, the region that has seen the heaviest fighting in recent weeks, said Russian forces continue to try to gain full control of Severodonetsk, a city he said is under constant bombardment, as well as trying to encircle Ukrainian forces. In the Lysychansk region and block the road out of the city to the nearby Bakhmut.

“The settlements of Loskotivka and Rai-Olksandrivka have been captured by the enemy,” Serhi Hedayi said on Facebook Thursday, in his latest update on military action in his province. He said Russian forces were “breaking into” an orphanage in the area.

A community arts center destroyed in the aftermath of a strike in the city of Lysichansk in Donbass on June 17, 2022.

Aris Messines | Afp | Getty Images

He added that the Russian forces are approaching other villages in the region as well and that they “continue to exterminate the settlements of the region every day. Yesterday, enemy aircraft hit the regional center, Serotinum, Verkhnyukamyantsy, Girsky.”

CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information.

Microsoft said Russia increased propaganda in Ukraine by 216%

Russia has increased the spread of propaganda through cyber influence operations by 216% in Ukraine and 82% in the United States since the war began, according to a Microsoft report.

Silas Stein | Photo Alliance | Getty Images

Russia has Increase the spread of advertising Operations with cyber influence have increased 216% in Ukraine and 82% in the United States since it began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, according to a Microsoft report.

The report added that the Russian military also launched multiple waves of “devastating” cyber attacks against 48 Ukrainian agencies and companies.

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Outside of Ukraine, Microsoft said, Russian intelligence agencies have ramped up network espionage and hacking activities, targeting 128 organizations in 42 countries.

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, added that Russia has prioritized government goals, especially among NATO members.

– Chelsea Ong

Germany’s Schulz says G7 will discuss ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz made a press statement about war crimes discovered the day before in Bucha, Ukraine, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on April 3, 2022.

Hannibal Hanschke | Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said he wants to discuss the outlines of a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” with the leaders of the Group of Seven nations at their upcoming summit in Germany.

Schultz hopes to forge a united front of long-term support for Ukraine when he hosts the annual Group of Seven summit in Bavaria next week. The group of the world’s leading economic powers consists of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan.

“The reconstruction of Ukraine will be important for generations,” the chancellor told the German parliament. Referring to his visit last week to Irben, a suburb of Kyiv that saw heavy fighting, he said that “some things there don’t just remind me of pictures of German cities after World War II.”

Like Europe then, Schulz said, “Ukraine today needs a Marshall Plan to rebuild it” — referring to the US-sponsored plan that helped revive European economies after World War II.

– News agency

Stoltenberg: Sweden and Finland should join NATO as soon as possible

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference following the meeting of NATO Defense Ministers at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on June 16, 2022.

Eve Hermann | Reuters

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would address Turkey’s concerns about Finland and Sweden’s applications to join NATO next week in Madrid.

“We are now actively working on the next steps in the accession process for Finland and Sweden. Addressing Turkey’s security concerns, including counter-terrorism,” Stoltenberg said during a discussion hosted by Politico.

“My goal is to find a common way forward so that both countries can join our alliance as soon as possible,” he said, adding that adding Sweden and Finland “will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic region more robust and secure.”

In May, the two countries began the formal process of applying to NATO. President Joe Biden welcomed leaders from both countries to the White House and pledged to work with Congress – which must certify US approval of NATO bids – and the other 29 members of the world’s most powerful military alliance to quickly bring Sweden and Finland into the group. .

– Amanda Macias

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