Russia has declared victory in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, a day after Ukrainian forces withdrew from their last remaining stronghold in the province. On Monday, Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, told Putin that “the operation” in Luhansk was complete. The Russian president said the military units “that took part in active hostilities and achieved success, victory” in Luhansk “should rest, increase their combat capabilities”.
Luhansk governor, Serhiy Haidai, said the weeks-long battle for Lysychansk had drawn in Russian troops that could have been fighting on other fronts, and had given Ukraine’s forces time to build fortifications in the Donetsk region to make it “harder for the Russians there”. He also reiterated calls for Ukraine’s western allies to provide more arms, saying the country’s armed forces would launch a counteroffensive when they had sufficient long-range weapons.
Following Russia’s capture of Lysychansk and control of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, Ukrainian forces will be able to fall back to a more readily defendable, straightened frontline, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
Only 3% of Mariupol residents have access to water, according to the Russian-occupied southern Ukrainian city’s mayoral adviser, Petro Andriushchenko. Residents are being forced to take water everywhere, “including sewage wells”, Andriushchenko said.
At least one person has died and three people were wounded after Russian forces struck a market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region, according to police. Yellow smoke was seen billowing up from an auto supplies shop, and flames engulfed rows of market stalls as firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze.
The 30 Nato member countries have signed accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, sending the membership bids of the two Nordic countries to allied parliaments for approval. The protocol means Finland and Sweden can join in Nato meetings and have greater access to intelligence, but will not be protected by an alliance defence clause - that an attack on one ally is an attack against all - until ratification.
Ukraine has laid out a $750bn (£620bn) ‘recovery plan’ for its postwar future during the Ukraine Recovery Conference hosted by Switzerland on Monday. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said the common task of the entire democratic world was to map out a physical future for Ukraine in the event it survives as a western-facing nation after the Russian invasion.
Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said a key source of funding for the recovery plan should be assets confiscated from Russian oligarchs. Ukraine’s recovery plan so far has three phases: a first focused on fixing things that matter for people’s daily lives, such as water supply, which is ongoing; a second “fast recovery” component that will be launched as soon as fighting ends, including temporary housing, hospital and school projects; and a third that aims to transform the country over the longer term.
Ukrainian forces are set to raise the country’s flag on Snake Island, a strategic and symbolic outpost in the Black Sea that Russian troops retreated from last week after months of heavy bombardment. Ukraine’s military earlier stated that the national flag had been returned to the island shortly before 11pm on Monday. However, Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, later confirmed in an interview with CNN: “The flag was delivered to the island by helicopter. It will wait for the arrival of the troops, then it will wave.”
A British citizen who has been sentenced to death by a Russian proxy court in eastern Ukraine has launched an appeal against the verdict. Aiden Aslin, 28, a British-Ukrainian former care worker from Nottinghamshire who was a Ukrainian marine, was captured by Russian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol in April.
Ukraine’s ministry for foreign affairs has called for the exclusion of Russian cosmonauts from future International Space Station (ISS) missions. It comes in the wake of the three Russians currently on-board the ISS appearing to display the flags of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.
Russia is reportedly planning to launch a railway link between the Rostov region and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk which it occupies in eastern Ukraine.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has claimed that Russia has made two humanitarian corridor in the Black and Azov Seas to facilitate the export of grain.
Yevgeny Balitsky, head of the Russian-imposed administration of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, has said the region plans to sell Ukraine’s grain to the Middle East. The main countries involved in the deal were Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged the international community to reduce Russian access to maritime transport, saying “Russia’s export-oriented economy relies heavily on maritime transportation provided by foreign fleets. I urge partners: restrict Russia’s access to their services and deplete Putin’s war machine.”
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has said alternative routes to retrieve grain stuck in Ukraine would need to be looked at, including through Europe’s Danube River, if it cannot be moved via the Bosphorus strait in Turkey. “The Turks are absolutely indispensable to solving this. They’re doing their very best … We will increasingly have to look at alternative means of moving that grain from Ukraine if we cannot use the sea route, if you can’t use the Bosphorus,” he told parliament on Monday.
Turkey has halted a Russian-flagged cargo ship off its Black Sea coast and is investigating a Ukrainian claim that it was carrying stolen grain, a senior Turkish official said on Monday.
Ukraine is holding talks with Turkey and the United Nations to secure guarantees for grain exports from Ukrainian ports, Zelenskiy said. “Talks are in fact going on now with Turkey and the UN [and] our representatives who are responsible for the security of the grain that leaves our ports,” Ukraine’s president told a news conference alongside the Swedish prime minister, Magdalena Andersson.
Ukraine has renewed its invitation for Pope Francis to visit the country and urged the pontiff to continue praying for the Ukrainian people, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, will fly to Hanoi today for a two-day visit to Vietnam before heading to a G20 meeting later this week in Indonesia.
Western envoys in China have criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with the US ambassador saying China should not spread Russian “propaganda”, during an unusual public forum in a country that has declined to condemn Moscow’s attack.
Russian missiles hit a secondary school in the Kharkiv district at 4am on Monday, according to a report from Oleh Synyehubov, governor of the region.
Britain is proposing a new law that will require social media companies to proactively tackle disinformation posted by foreign states such as Russia. The law would tackle fake accounts on platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Twitter that were set up on behalf of foreign states to influence elections or court proceedings, the government said in an announcement on Monday.