Russian forces claim to have captured about a third of the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, but their offensive is said to have taken longer than expected.
On Monday, Russian tanks and troops advanced into the city, the largest in Donbass still under Ukrainian control, sparking street fighting.
“We can already say that a third of the city is already under our control,” Leonid Bashnik, president of the Russia-backed Luhansk People’s Republic, told Russia’s state media agency TASS on Tuesday morning.
Bashnik said fighting was still raging in the city, but that Russian forces had not advanced as quickly as they had hoped.
“But above all, we want to preserve the city’s infrastructure,” he added.
However, Ukrainian officials say that the city’s vital infrastructure has been destroyed by Russian bombing, destroying much of Sievierodonetsk and damaging 90% of the buildings.
Heads of State and Government of the European Union have Supported a partial embargo on Russian oil After talks at a summit meeting in Brussels lasted until late Monday night.
European Council President Charles Michel hailed the agreement as a “remarkable achievement” that would “put maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”.
The sanctions will directly affect 75% of Russia’s oil imports. By the end of the year, 90% of Russian oil imports into Europe will be banned.
Speaking to the media late Monday night, Michel said:
This is a remarkable achievement by the European Council.
We do not underestimate all the difficulties. We know it took us a few weeks to make a decision.
There has been speculation over the past few hours and days about the lack of European unity and I think it is more important than ever to show that we can be strong, that we can be resilient, that we are capable of toughness, to defend our country. values and interests.
The President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen He added that the decision “expresses a common message.”
“The council should now be able to end a ban on nearly 90% of all Russian oil imports by the end of the year,” she added. “This is an important step forward.”
Officials agreed to exempt the Druzhba pipeline from the oil embargo and exempt supplies entering Europe via a pipeline to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that stopping supplies would damage his economy and would destroy the country.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell later tweeted:
Historic decision to paralyze Putin’s war machine.
Our unity is our strength.”
The latest package of sanctions also includes blocking access to Swift payments to Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank; ban of three other Russian state radio stations; and further sanctions against “persons responsible for war crimes in Ukraine”.
Hello. My name is Samantha Lock, back to the blog with you as we continue to update the latest news from Ukraine.
- European Union leaders backed a partial embargo on Russian oil after late-night talks at a summit in Brussels. Officials said the sanctions would immediately affect 75% of Russia’s oil imports, with a goal of banning 90% of all Russian oil imports into Europe by the end of the year. European Council President Charles Michel hailed the agreement as a “remarkable achievement” that would “put maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”. The settlement exempts the Druzhba pipeline from the oil embargo and releases supplies that reach Europe via the pipeline after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that a supply disruption would destroy his country’s economy.
- The latest package of sanctions also includes blocking access to Swift payments for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank; ban of three other Russian state radio stations; and further sanctions against “persons responsible for war crimes in Ukraine”.
- European Union Council President Charles Michel addressed speculation about the dispute within the European Union In the days leading up to the agreement. “In the last few hours and days there has been speculation about the lack of European unity,” he told reporters. We do not underestimate all the difficulties. We know it took us a few weeks to make a decision.”
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier lamented the delay in the European Union leaders imposing tougher sanctions on Vladimir Putin.. “The pause in agreeing on new sanctions in Europe was too long,” he said.
- The European Council added that it was ready to give Ukraine 9 billion euros for post-war reconstruction. European Council President Charles Michel said Monday evening that the council “will continue to assist Ukraine in meeting its immediate liquidity needs with the Group of Seven.” European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen He warned that Ukraine needed 5 billion euros a month just to maintain basic services and “…to give Ukraine a fair chance to rise from the rubble.”
- Zelensky claims that Russia blocks exports 22 million tons of grain from Ukrainian ports warned of impending famine. ““Russia’s embargo on our exports is destabilizing the situation on a global scale,” he said in his latest national speech. Zelensky added that Russian forces “have already stolen at least half a million tons of grain” and are “now looking for ways to sell it illegally somewhere.”
- The situation in Donbass remains “extremely difficult”, Zelensky added that Russian forces bombed Kharkiv again on Monday. “The territory of our Sumy region was also bombed across the Ukrainian-Russian border,” he said.
- Russian tanks and troops began to advance on Severodonetsk, The largest city in Donbass is still under Ukraine control and led to the outbreak of street fighting on Monday. District Governor Serhi Gedayi described the “heavy fighting” and said the fighting was “extremely intense”.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoganHe said that if sanctions are lifted, Russia could export “large quantities of fertilizer and agricultural products”.
- Joe Biden said the United States would not supply Ukraine with long-range missiles that could reach Russia. Ukraine has ordered Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with a range of about 300 kilometers (185 miles) to offset Moscow’s increasingly effective use of long-range artillery.
- France wants to increase military aid to Ukraine. Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said during her visit to Kyiv on Monday that France “will continue to increase arms sales.”
- Belarus will hold military mobilization exercises in the Hummel region in June and JulyThe state news agency BelTA reports.
- Russia will halt gas supplies to the Netherlands from tomorrow after government-backed dealer GasTerra refused to pay Gazprom in rubles. About 44% of energy consumption in the Netherlands depends on gas, but only about 15% of Dutch gas comes from Russia, according to the government.
- Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia has canceled plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia that had been scheduled for July 17. The head of the Moscow-controlled enclave, Alan Gaglov, warned of “the uncertainty about the legal ramifications of this issue, which is subject to the referendum,” according to an AFP report.
- French journalist Frédéric Leclerc Emhoff was martyred at the age of 32 Ukrainian and French authorities said an armored evacuation vehicle he was traveling in was hit by shrapnel from a Russian shell in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk. France called for an investigation into the journalist’s death, with Zelensky offering his “sincere condolences” to his colleagues and family.
- The first alleged rape case by a Russian soldier has been brought to justicesaid the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Irina Venediktova said the soldier is on trial for the alleged murder of the victim’s husband and “sexual violence against his wife.”
- The winners of the Eurovision Song Contest “Kaloosh Orchestra” auctioned their trophy to raise funds for the Ukrainian military.The band, whose song Stefania won in Turin earlier this month, said they had raised $900,000 (£713,000) by auctioning the glass mic and another $370,000 by pulling on the pink hat Ole Bisuk wore during the performance. .