Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Battle for Sloviansk fast approaching, says UK

A market in Sloviansk was hit on July 5, 2022, following a suspected missile attack amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Miguel Medina | AFP | Getty Images

The British Ministry of Defense said a battle for the major city of Sloviansk on the front line in Donetsk was imminent. Russian forces advance into Donetsk Province after capturing the neighboring region of Luhansk.

“The Russian forces of the Eastern and Western groups of forces are now probably about 16 km north of the city of Sloviansk. Since the city is also threatened by the Central and Southern groups of forces, there has a realistic possibility that the battle of Sloviansk will be the next key fight in the struggle for Donbass,” the ministry said on Wednesday.

A market in Sloviansk was struck yesterday, killing two people and injuring seven others, the city’s mayor, Vadym Lyakh, said on Wednesday.

The ministry noted that Russia was likely continuing to consolidate its control over Lysychansk and Luhansk oblast (province) where heavy fighting has been going on for weeks, culminating last weekend in Russia’s capture of the last Ukrainian city of the province.

North of Sloviansk, the British noted, Russia has “committed most of the remaining available units of the Eastern and Western groups of forces to the axis of Izium”, referring to the road between Sloviansk via Izium, in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. .

“Over the past week, Russian forces have probably advanced up to another 5 km on the main E40 road from Izium, in the face of extremely determined Ukrainian resistance,” the ministry said.

—Holly Ellyatt

Russia seeks to mobilize its economy to support the war

Russia’s parliament has taken several steps to put the country’s economy on a war footing, with two bills passed in the State Duma that would allow the government to compel Russian companies to supply the military with goods for the war effort.

Natalia Kolesnikova | AFP | Getty Images

Russia’s parliament has taken several steps to put the country’s economy on a war footing, with two bills passed in the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) that would allow the government to force Russian companies to provide the army with goods for the war effort.

“The load on the defense industry has increased significantly. In order to ensure the supply of weapons and ammunition, it is necessary to optimize the work of the military-industrial complex and enterprises that are part of the cooperation chains,” said said Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. told lawmakers on Tuesday, according to a Reuters translation.

A second bill, also passed by the Duma after a first reading, would modify the labor code. This means that companies supplying goods that contribute to the war effort could have their employees work nights, weekends and holidays, and without annual leave, if necessary.

Both bills still have to pass second and third readings in the Duma and must be approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin.

“The mobilization of the country’s economic and industrial potential to support the army is a tacit recognition of the significant losses suffered since the start of the invasion and the impending shortages of certain types of equipment,” said Andrius Tursa, Central Europe adviser and oriental at Teneo Intelligence. commented on Tuesday.

“At the same time, Moscow could be seen as preparing to maintain its longer-term military operations.”

—Holly Ellyatt

Airborne alert sounded across most of Ukraine, sparking anxiety among civilians, Zelenskyy says

Zelenskyy told Ukrainians not to “think too much”, saying “you shouldn’t look for logic in the actions of terrorists”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said an air raid was announced across most of Ukraine on Tuesday evening, leaving many civilians anxious after a period of relative calm in parts of the country.

“Before that, there had been no air alerts in the capital and in some areas for some time,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech, adding that this had caused many people to wonder whether the Russia was planning something.

Zelenskyy told Ukrainians not to “think too much”, saying “you shouldn’t look for logic in the actions of terrorists”.

“The Russian army does not take a break. It has a task – to take people’s lives, to intimidate people – so that even a few days without an air alarm already seem to be part of the terror.”

—Holly Ellyatt

Growing evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, UN says

A member of the war crimes prosecutor’s team talks on the phone next to buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, in Ukraine on April 7, 2022.

Zohra Bensemra | Reuters

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said her office had mounting evidence that Russian forces were committing unlawful killings and summary executions.

“Growing evidence gives my office reasonable grounds to believe that serious violations of international humanitarian law in this regard have been committed by Russian armed forces,” Bachelet wrote in a statement.

Bachelet said UN investigators verified the recovery of more than 1,200 civilian bodies in Kyiv. She added that her office was working to corroborate more than 300 allegations of killings by the Russian armed forces in situations that were not related to active combat.

“Arbitrary detention of civilians has also become widespread in territories controlled by the Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups. Despite access restrictions, we have documented 270 cases of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance,” he said. -she adds.

The Kremlin has previously denied that its forces committed crimes against civilians in Ukraine.

—Amanda Macias

The United States and its allies call for the suspension of Russia and Belarus from international sports, the banning of official state flags at sporting events

A fan waves a Russian flag during the luge relay event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Getty Images

The State Department reiterated its calls for the international sports community to suspend Russian and Belarusian sports organizations and remove Russian and Belarusian individuals from positions of influence associated with the sports community.

“National and international sports organizations should consider suspending the broadcast of sports competitions in Russia and Belarus,” the State Department wrote in a statement adding that “official Russian and Belarusian flags, emblems and anthems should be banned.” .

“Furthermore, we reiterate our encouragement to the international sporting community to continue to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including supporting the continuation and reconstruction of Ukrainian sport where possible,” the department wrote. state in a joint statement with representatives from more than 30 countries.

—Amanda Macias

‘Historic day’, says NATO chief as 30 NATO allies approve Finland and Sweden’s membership

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto attend a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, after signing their countries’ accession protocols at NATO headquarters alliance in Brussels, Belgium on July 5, 2022.

yves herman | Reuters

NATO’s 30 member countries have approved accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance, an important step in NATO enlargement.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed “the historic day for Euro-Atlantic security”.

“With 32 nations around the table, we will be stronger and safer in the face of a more dangerous world,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

In May, the two countries began the formal process of applying to join the NATO alliance.

—Amanda Macias

Pro-Russian forces heading towards Donetsk, separatist leader says

Denis Pushilin (C), leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) separatists arrives to give a press conference in Donetsk, April 11, 2022.

Alexander Nemenov | AFP | Getty Images

Pro-Russian separatist forces from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” (known as the DPR and LPR) are heading towards Donetsk province, DPR leader Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. .

“We can already say that our body, the first body that participated and helped our brothers [in the liberation of the LPR]is already moving towards the direction of Donetsk as well as the second corps [from] Luhansk,” Pushilin said.

Russia and its proxies in eastern Ukraine are calling the seizure of the Luhansk region, which occurred over the weekend, a “liberation”, although Russia is widely seen as using a logic of “protection” of separatist separatist zones, which were founded in 2014 during the annexation of Russia. Ukraine’s Crimea, as an excuse to invade Ukraine.

—Holly Ellyatt

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