Saturday, 18 June 2022 06:34

What to know after Day 114 of Russia-Ukraine war

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The European Union gave its blessing on Friday for Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become candidates to join, in the most dramatic geopolitical shift to result from Russia's invasion. FIGHTING

* Ukrainian officials said their troops were still holding out in Sievierodonetsk, site of the worst fighting of recent weeks, on the east bank of the Siverskyi Donets river. It was impossible to evacuate more than 500 civilians who are trapped inside a chemical plant, the regional governor said.

* The eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk was heavily shelled by Russian forces on Friday and there were many dead, Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukraine's public broadcaster. Gaidai later said in an online post that a key highway out of the city was now impassable.

* Russian media outlets on Friday broadcast images of what they said were two U.S. citizens who had been captured while fighting for Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden said he had been briefed about the missing Americans but was unaware of their whereabouts.

* Ukraine said its forces hit a Russian naval tugboat with two Harpoon missiles in the Black Sea on Friday, the first time it has claimed to have struck a Russian vessel with Western-supplied anti-ship weapons.

DIPLOMACY

* The Kremlin on Friday said the goal of its "special military operation" in Ukraine remains the protection of the population of the eastern Donbas region.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered to launch a military training programme for Ukrainian forces on Friday as he met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on his second trip to the Ukrainian capital since Russia's invasion.

* The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest cannot be held in Ukraine given the ongoing war in the country, the European Broadcasting Union said Friday, adding it was in talks with the BBC to host it in Britain. ECONOMY

* Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West on Friday of colonial arrogance and trying to crush his country with "stupid" sanctions that amounted to an economic "blitzkrieg".

* Italy may declare a heightened "state of alert" on gas next week if Russia continues to curb its supplies, two government sources said on Friday after energy company Eni reported a shortfall in flows from Moscow for the third day in a row.

* Gas flows from Germany to France have stopped since June 15 after what German officials on Friday described as Russia's politically motivated decision to reduce supplies to the European Union.

QUOTES

* "We are strong people and can cope with any challenge. Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem, the entire thousand-year history of our country speaks of this." - Russian President Vladimir Putin

* "Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream." - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

 

Reuters


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