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Ukraine news – live: Putin tells troops to ‘absolutely rest and recover’

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Boris Johnson accused Vladimir Putin of “using the language of nuclear blackmail” before noting a solution to the grain blockade in Ukraine might not receive Russian consent.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Defence Committee, repeated calls for the UK to secure a UN General Assembly resolution to create a “humanitarian safe haven” around the port of Odesa to ensure “vital grain exports can not only reach Europe but also Africa and prevent famine there”.

The prime minister, in his reply, told the Commons the work is being led by the UN but the solution “does not depend upon Russian consent because that may not be forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, the Russian president has instructed his troops to press ahead with the Ukraine invasion after gaining control in Luhansk.

In a televised meeting with defence minister Sergei Shoigu, Putin said the troops involved in the operation to capture the Luhansk region should rest but that other military units should continue fighting.

The president also congratulated his forces on “liberating” the eastern Ukrainian region, a significant milestone for Moscow in its military campaign in Ukraine.

Key Points

  • Boris Johnson accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘using the language of nuclear blackmail'

  • Putin congratulates Russian troops on 'liberating' Ukraine's Luhansk region

  • Russia begins round-the-clock detection of nuclear explosions at newly opened facility

  • Zelensky confirms withdrawal from Lysychansk, vows to return

  • ‘Grinding’ fight for Donbas highly unlikely to change in coming weeks - British MoD

  • Putin tells troops to press ahead with invasion of Ukraine following Luhansk fall

Cost of rebuilding will cost $750bn, says Ukraine PM

09:12 , Holly Bancroft

Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal has said that the cost of rebuilding his war-ravaged country will be an estimated $750billion.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that the task of rebuilding the country would be “colossal”.

“This is Russia’s attack on everything that is of value to you and me,” he said.

“Therefore, the reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but a joint task of the entire democratic world.”

Ukraine raised in chat between US and China

08:35 , Holly Bancroft

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen “frankly” raised her government’s concerns about the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine in a conversation with Chinese vice premier Liu He, the Treasury Department has said.

She also raised unfair and non-market Chinese economic practices, her department said.

China’s commerce ministry said that vice premier Liu He had had a “constructive” virtual dialogue with the US treasury secretary, with both sides agreeing to better coordinate macro policies.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Belarus freezes foreign shareholdings in 190 of its companies

08:00 , Holly Bancroft

Belarus said on Tuesday it was freezing foreign shareholdings in 190 Belarusian companies, including EPAM Systems and Lukoil Belarus, in response to Western sanctions for its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and human rights violations.

A decree published on the official legislative portal said shareholders from countries that “commit unfriendly actions against Belarusian legal entities and/or individuals are prohibited from disposing of their shares.”

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to visit Hanoi

07:34 , Holly Bancroft

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will fly to Hanoi, Vietnam on Tuesday for a two-day visit before heading to a G20 meeting later this week, the Vietnamese government said.

The visit is at the invitation of Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son and comes as the two nations mark ten years of their “comprehensive strategic partnership”, the government said.

Russia is Vietnam’s biggest arms supplier and its companies are involved in several major energy projects in the country.

The two nations have close ties dating back to the Soviet era and Vietnam has not so far condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”.

In April, Vietnam voted against a resolution to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over the war.

Trade between Vietnam and Russia rose 25% last year to $7.1 billion, the statement said.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Russia finally achieved coordination in Lysychansk victory, says UK

07:07 , Arpan Rai

The British defence ministry has said Russia’s speedy capture of a major city in Luhansk will allow it to claim a victory towards its current aim in the war – “liberating” the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

“Russia’s relatively rapid capture of Lysychansk extends its control across virtually all of the territory of Luhansk Oblast, allowing it to claim substantive progress against the policy objective it presented as the immediate purpose of the war, namely ‘liberating’ the Donbas,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update on Tuesday morning.

The ministry added that unlike in previous phases of the war, Russia appears to have “achieved reasonably effective coordination between at least two groupings of forces, the Central Grouping likely commanded by general-colonel Alexandr Lapin and the Southern Grouping probably under the recently appointed general Sergei Surovikin”.

As for Ukraine, the fighters from Kyiv have “likely largely withdrawn in good order, in line with existing plans”.

“The Ukrainian held areas of Sievierodonetsk-Lysychansk consisted of a bulge or salient which the Russians could attack from three sides,” the ministry said.

There is a realistic chance, according to the ministry, that the “Ukrainian forces will now be able to fall back to a more readily defendable, straightened front line”.

Mapping out the next few weeks of the war in Europe, the ministry said: “The battle for the Donbas has been characterised by slow rates of advance and Russia’s massed employment of artillery, levelling towns and cities in the process.”

The fighting in Donetsk Oblast, the other province in the Donbas region, will almost certainly continue in this manner, it claimed.

Putin tells troops to ‘absolutely rest and recover’ as Ukraine lays out defence in Donetsk

06:20 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian fighters are bracing for Russia to make a fresh offensive in Donetsk on Tuesday where major cities remain under Kyiv’s control, while focus also turns to the southern part of the besieged country, officials said.

Referring to Russia’s capture of Luhansk, Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to president Volodymyr Zelensky, said: “This is the last victory for Russia on Ukrainian territory.

“These were medium-sized cities. And this took from 4th April until 4th July – that’s 90 days. So many losses...,” he said.

The adviser to Mr Zelensky confirmed that Ukraine was hoping to launch counter offensives in the south of the country besides the ongoing battle for Donetsk.

“Taking the cities in the east meant that 60 per cent of Russian forces are now concentrated in the east and it is difficult for them to be redirected to the south,” Mr Arestovych said.

“And there are no more forces that can be brought in from Russia. They paid a big price for Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk,” he added.

This comes after Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said that he had confirmed the completion of “the operation” in Luhansk to Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin said the military units “that took part in active hostilities and achieved success, victory” in Luhansk “should absolutely rest and recover their military preparedness”, while units in other areas keep fighting.

Putin likely directed an ‘operational pause’ after Russia captured Lysychansk - report

05:35 , Arpan Rai

Vladimir Putin is likely to have asked Russian military to carry out an operational pause after his soldiers managed to capture Lysychansk, according to an assessment by US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War.

“Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrated the Russian seizure of Lysychansk and the Luhansk Oblast border and appeared to direct the Russian military to conduct an operational pause,” the latest assessment read.

It claimed that Mr Putin met with Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu on 4 July (Monday) to “discuss recent Russian gains in Luhansk oblast and presented colonel general Alexander Lapin and major general Esedulla Abachev with the ‘Hero of Russia’ award for their leadership during the Lysychansk operation”.

It added that both the leaders “presented the capture of Lysychansk and Luhansk oblast as a major victory for Russian forces in Ukraine”.

Mr Putin also stated that the Russian units that participated in the battle for Lysychansk should rest to increase their combat capabilities, the report said.

The think tank has claimed that Mr Putin’s public comment was likely aimed at signalling “his concern for the welfare of his troops in the face of periodic complaints in Russia about the treatment of Russian soldiers”.

Ukraine’s reconstruction ‘common task’ of entire world - Zelensky

05:02 , Arpan Rai

The reconstruction of Ukraine is the “common task of the entire democratic world”, wartime president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday as the country charted out its $750bn recovery plan.

“The reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, is not a project of one nation, but a common task of the entire democratic world — all countries, all countries who can say they are civilised,” Mr Zelensky said in an address to hundreds of attendees in Lugano.

He was delivering a virtual address to the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland.

“Restoring Ukraine means restoring the principles of life, restoring the space of life, restoring everything that makes humans humans,” Mr Zelensky said.

He added that such ambitions will require wide-scale construction, funding and security “in all of our country which will be forced to continue living beside Russia”.

He underlined that Ukraine’s needs have been on an up-and-down march towards democracy ever since the Cold War ended and it now faces widespread devastation.

Meanwhile, the British foreign secretary has said that such a recovery will need a sort of “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine in its rebuilding endeavours.

Russia continues to terrorise Ukraine’s border in east, says Zelensky

04:28 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian offensive continues to terrorise the besieged country’s frontiers on the east, but added that the situation has not seen any drastic change.

“The situation on the frontline did not undergo significant changes during the day. The enemy continues to terrorise the border areas of the Sumy region, the city of Kharkiv and the Donbas region,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address late on Monday.

He added: “The armed forces of Ukraine respond, put pressure and destroy the offensive potential of the occupiers day after day. We need to break them.

“This is a difficult task, it requires time and superhuman efforts. But we have no alternative - this is about our independence, about our future, about the fate of the entire Ukrainian people,” Mr Zelensky said.

Ukraine raises its flag over Snake Island once again

04:00 , Emily Atkinson

Ukraine raised its flag once againa over Snake Island in the Black Sea on Monday.

Military officials in Kyiv said the blue and yellow flag was raised after Russian forces withdrew from the strategic outpost last week.

“The military operation has been concluded, and... the territory (Snake Island) has been returned to the jurisdiction of Ukraine,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, told a news conference.

Ukraine claims it it has driven the Russian forces out after an artillery and missile assault.

Our foreign editor David Harding reports:

Ukraine raises its flag over Snake Island once again

03:00 , Emily Atkinson

Images capture the damage left behind at a school in Kharkiv after it was destroyed by a fierce missile attack.

 (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
 (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
 (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

G7 may use Danube to move Ukraine grain, says PM

02:00 , Emily Atkinson

Prime minister Boris Johnson has suggested that the G7 is looking at the possibility of using the Danube river to get grain out of Ukraine “in smaller quantities”.

His comments came in response to a question posed by Labour MP Stella Creasy in which she asked the PM to confirm whether he is looking at breaching the Montreux Convention “about larger forces in the Black Sea”.

Mr Johnson said: “She is right to raise that. No, we are not looking at that. There are alternative solutions that don’t involve the presence of UK or other warships in the Black Sea.

“Though they might involve a tougher approach, but what we are also looking at is the possibility of using the rivers, using the Danube in particular, to try to get... using the railways to try to get the grain out in smaller quantities than we would be able to do with a giant maritime convoy through the Black Sea.

“So we are looking at all the possible options, including smaller packets of grain coming out that way.”

Opinion: Have EU sanctions hurt Russia since it invaded Ukraine? Here’s the truth

01:00 , Emily Atkinson

Are the sanctions against Russia useful? Yes, they are already hitting Vladimir Putin and his accomplices hard, and their effects on the Russian economy will increase over time, writes Josep Borrell Fontelles.

Since Russia deliberately violated international law by invading Ukraine, the EU has adopted six packages of sanctions against Moscow. Our measures now target nearly 1,200 individuals and 98 entities in Russia as well as a significant number of sectors of the Russian economy.

Some may ask, do these sanctions really have an impact on the Russian economy? The simple answer is yes. Although Russia exports a lot of raw materials, it also has no choice but to import many high value-added products that it does not manufacture. For all advanced technologies, it is 45 per cent dependent on Europe and 21 per cent on the United States, compared with only 11 per cent on China.

Opinion: Have EU sanctions hurt Russia since it invaded Ukraine? Here’s the truth

Watch: Ukrainian houses hit by shelling in Sumy residential neighbourhood

Tuesday 5 July 2022 00:00 , Emily Atkinson

Belarus slapped with UK sanctions for supporting Russian invasion

Monday 4 July 2022 23:00 , Emily Atkinson

The UK will introduce new economic, trade and transport sanctions on Belarus over its support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also said it had sanctioned six Russians who were spreading disinformation.

The Belarus package will include import and export bans on goods worth around £60 million pounds, including on exports of oil refining goods, advanced technology components and luxury goods, and imports of Belarusian iron and steel.

Britain will also ban more Belarusian companies from issuing debt and securities in London.

“The Belarus regime has actively facilitated Putin’s invasion, letting Russia use its territory to pincer Ukraine - launching troops and missiles from their border and flying Russian jets through their airspace,” the FCDO said in a statement.

Smoking out the enemy: How Ukraine is using e-cigarettes to fight a drone war against Russia

Monday 4 July 2022 21:50 , Emily Atkinson

Resourceful Ukrainians are using batteries from discarded vape pens as a way to power drones on the front line. Bel Trew reports from a lab in Kyiv where production has begun.

Smoking out the enemy: Ukraine uses e-cigarettes to fight drone war against Russia

Ukraine shares video of Russians allegedly dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island

Monday 4 July 2022 20:50 , Emily Atkinson

Ukrainian officials have shared footage of the moment they say the Russian military dropped phosphorus bombs on Snake Island.

This video, posted on Facebook on Friday (1 July) by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is black and white footage showing bombs dropping on an island.

The claims come just one day after Russia said that it withdrew its troops from the island, also known as Zmiinyi Island.

Commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said the bombs were flown over the island from Crimea.

Ukraine shares video of Russians allegedly dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island

Efforts to remove Ukraine grain about stopping war and famine, says SNP

Monday 4 July 2022 20:20 , Emily Atkinson

The SNP’s Westminster leader has called on Boris Johnson to support efforts to get grain out of Ukraine, telling the Commons on Monday afternoon: “This is now not just about stopping war, it is about stopping famine too.

Ian Blackford continued: “I am sure the prime minister will agree that all of these global efforts will only begin and only work if there is trust between global leaders.

“Can the prime minister therefore explain that in this moment of many crises how exactly breaking international law and threatening to start a trade war with out neighbours helps anyone?”

Mr Johnson replied: “What the countries around the world see is the UK offering consistent leadership in the matter of standing up for the rule of law and standing up against Putin’s aggression, and that is, I promise you, that is what has been raised with me.”

Keir Starmer criticises Boris Johnson's 'lack of influence' over Nato

Monday 4 July 2022 19:50 , Emily Atkinson

Johnson accuses Putin of ‘using language of nuclear blackmail'

Monday 4 July 2022 19:22 , Emily Atkinson

Vladimir Putin has been accused by his UK counterpart of “using the language of nuclear blackmail”.

Speaking to MPs on Monday, prime minister Boris Johnson also noted that a solution to the grain blockade in Ukraine might not receive Russian consent.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the defence committee, repeated calls for the UK to secure a UN General Assembly resolution to create a “humanitarian safe haven” around the port of Odesa to ensure “vital grain exports can not only reach Europe but also Africa and prevent famine there”.

Mr Johnson, in his reply, told the Commons: “The work is being led by the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, the UK is doing a huge amount to support.

“But as I’ve told the House before, we may have to prepare for a solution that does not depend upon Russian consent because that may not be forthcoming.”

Truss says free world must support Ukraine ‘whatever it takes’

Monday 4 July 2022 18:50 , Joe Middleton

Liz Truss has said it is Britain and the free world’s duty to “do whatever it takes to support” Ukraine in rebuilding its economy as quickly as possible.

The Foreign Secretary told a recovery conference in Switzerland on Monday that the UK will “remain at Ukraine’s side” as the war-torn nation emerges “stronger and more successful” after the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told leaders gathered at the event that rebuilding Ukraine is the “common task of the whole democratic world”.

Truss says free world must support Ukraine ‘whatever it takes’

Aiden Aslin: Captured Brit in Ukraine appeals against death sentence

Monday 4 July 2022 18:21 , Joe Middleton

British citizen Aiden Aslin has submitted an appeal against his verdict, after being sentenced to death by a court in the Russian-backed breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Mr Aslin, 28, was sentenced last month together with fellow Briton Shaun Pinner, 48, for “mercenary activities”.

They had been captured while fighting as foreigners for Ukraine’s army against Russian and Russian-backed forces in Ukraine.

Aiden Aslin: Captured Brit in Ukraine appeals against death sentence

Ukrainian houses hit by shelling in Sumy residential neighbourhood

Monday 4 July 2022 17:50 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson suggests G7 looking to Danube river to get grain out of Ukraine

Monday 4 July 2022 17:25 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson suggested the G7 is looking at the possibility of using the Danube river to get grain out of Ukraine “in smaller quantities”.

His comments came as Labour MP Stella Creasy asked him to confirm whether he is looking at breaching the Montreux Convention “about larger forces in the Black Sea”.

The Prime Minister said: “She is right to raise that. No, we are not looking at that. There are alternative solutions that don’t involve the presence of UK or other warships in the Black Sea.

“Though they might involve a tougher approach, but what we are also looking at is the possibility of using the rivers, using the Danube in particular, to try to get... using the railways to try to get the grain out in smaller quantities than we would be able to do with a giant maritime convoy through the Black Sea.

“So we are looking at all the possible options, including smaller packets of grain coming out that way.”

Have EU sanctions hurt Russia since it invaded Ukraine? Here’s the truth

Monday 4 July 2022 17:12 , Joe Middleton

We have begun show that, when provoked, Europe can respond powerfully, writes Josep Borrell Fontelles.

Opinion: Have EU sanctions hurt Russia since it invaded Ukraine? Here’s the truth

Ukraine raises its flag over Snake Island once again

Monday 4 July 2022 16:56 , Joe Middleton

Ukraine raised its flag once againa over Snake Island in the Black Sea on Monday.

Military officials in Kyiv said the blue and yellow flag was raised after Russian forces withdrew from the strategic outpost last week.

“The military operation has been concluded, and... the territory (Snake Island) has been returned to the jurisdiction of Ukraine,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, told a news conference.

David Harding reports.

Ukraine raises its flag over Snake Island once again

Full statement: Johnson updates parliament on Nato and G7 summit outcomes

Monday 4 July 2022 16:39 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘using the language of nuclear blackmail'

Monday 4 July 2022 16:28 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “using the language of nuclear blackmail” before noting a solution to the grain blockade in Ukraine might not receive Russian consent.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Defence Committee, repeated calls for the UK to secure a UN General Assembly resolution to create a “humanitarian safe haven” around the port of Odesa to ensure “vital grain exports can not only reach Europe but also Africa and prevent famine there”.

The prime minister, in his reply, told the Commons: “The work is being led by the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, the UK is doing a huge amount to support.

“But as I’ve told the House before, we may have to prepare for a solution that does not depend upon Russian consent because that may not be forthcoming.”

Putin will not congratulate Biden on US Independence Day after ‘unfriendly actions’

Monday 4 July 2022 16:17 , Joe Middleton

Russian president Vladimir Putin will not congratulate Joe Biden on Monday’s US Independence Day because of Washington’s “unfriendly” actions towards Moscow, the Kremlin has said.

“Congratulations this year can hardly be considered appropriate,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The United States’ unfriendly policies are the reason.”

It comes as the US president blamed Russia for spiking gas prices as well as the global food shortage at Nato’s Madrid summit last week.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain reports.

Putin will not congratulate Biden on US Independence Day after ‘unfriendly actions’

Ukraine must ‘prevail' against Russia , Boris Johnson tells MPs

Monday 4 July 2022 15:56 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson told MPs this afternoon that Ukraine must “prevail” against Russia and welcomed new Nato allies Sweden and Finland to the military alliance.

The prime minister told the House of Commons: “Our immediate priority is to join with our allies to ensure that Ukraine prevails in her brave struggle against Putin’s aggression.”

Mr Johnson said the Madrid Nato summit “exceeded all expectations in the unity and single-minded resolve of the alliance to support Ukraine for as long as it takes”.

He added: “All of us understand that if Putin is not stopped in Ukraine he will find new targets for his revanchist attacks and we are not defending some abstract ideal but the first principle of a peaceful world, which is that large and powerful countries cannot be allowed to dismember their neighbours and if this was ever permitted, then no nation anywhere would be safe.”

The prime minister said that Ukraine “must have the strength to finish this war on the terms that President Zelensky has described”.

Mr Johnson also welcomed Sweden and Finland as new Nato allies and stressed that the alliance was “defensive” in its purpose.

Russian invasion is a ‘worldview confrontation’ Zelensky says

Monday 4 July 2022 15:47 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In his address to the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia’s war “is not just an attempt to seize our land and destroy our state, but also a worldview confrontation.”

UK to introduce new economic and trade sanctions on Belarus

Monday 4 July 2022 15:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Britain said it would on Tuesday introduce new economic, trade and transport sanctions on Belarus over the country’s support for Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

The new package will include import and export bans on goods worth around 60 million pounds including on exports of oil refining goods, advanced technology components and luxury goods, and imports of Belarusian iron and steel.

Britain will also ban more Belarusian companies from issuing debt and securities in London.

“The Belarus regime has actively facilitated Putin’s invasion, letting Russia use its territory to pincer Ukraine - launching troops and missiles from their border and flying Russian jets through their airspace,” the British government said in a statement.

Britain has already raised import tariffs on a range of products from Belarus by 35 percentage points and sanctioned Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and senior government officials.

Britain, along with Western allies, has been imposing sanctions against Russian elites, banks and strategic industries since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Russia says it is conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Putin tells troops to press ahead with invasion of Ukraine following Luhansk fall

Monday 4 July 2022 15:11 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

President Vladimir Putin has instructed his troops to press ahead with the Ukraine invasion after gaining control in Luhansk.

During a brief televised meeting with his defence minister, Putin congratulated Russian forces on their “victories in the Luhansk direction”. Those who participated in the combat should “absolutely rest and recover their military preparedness”, while other units continue fighting in other areas, he said.

Liz Truss wants ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine

Monday 4 July 2022 14:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Foreign secretary Liz Truss called for a Marshall Plan-style programme for Ukraine, echoing the one used to rebuild Europe after World War II.

She told a recovery conference in Switzerland on Monday: “This needs to be a new Marshall Plan for Ukraine and it needs to be driven by Ukraine itself.

We will push for immediate investment and to drive economic growth because it’s absolutely imperative we get the Ukrainian economy going.”

Asked how to make the UK’s support sustainable, she said “the number one thing we have to do is to help Ukraine recover its economy in the shortest possible time-frame”, and open ports so the war-torn nation can export its agricultural goods.

Ukraine needs $750 bln for recovery plan, prime minister says

Monday 4 July 2022 14:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine needs $750 billion for a three-stage recovery plan in the wake of Russia‘s invasion, its prime minister said on Monday.

Denys Shmygal also told the Ukraine Recovery Conference hosted by Switzerland that there had been over $100 billion of direct damage to Ukrainian infrastructure from Russia‘s invasion.

“Today, the direct infrastructure losses of Ukraine stand at over $100 billion,” he said. “Who will pay for the renewal plan, which is already being valued at $750 billion?”

Shmygal added that the Ukrainian government believed that a key source of funding for the recovery plan should be assets confiscated from Russian oligarchs.

He said Ukraine‘s recovery plan had three phases: A first focused on fixing things that matter for people’s daily lives like water supply which is ongoing, a “fast recovery” component that will be launched as soon as fighting ends including temporary housing, hospital and school projects, and one that aims to transform the country over the longer term.

Ukraine needs $750 bln for recovery plan, prime minister says

Monday 4 July 2022 14:18 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine needs $750 billion for a recovery plan in the wake of Russia‘s invasion, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday.

Shmyhal also told the Ukraine Recovery Conference hosted by Switzerland that there had been over $100 billion of direct damage to infrastructure from Russia‘s invasion.

Film reveals Macron’s diplomatic bids amid war in Ukraine

Monday 4 July 2022 14:01 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Four days before President Putin ordered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron was making a last-ditch attempt to prevent the war in a key phone call revealed in a French TV documentary.

In the rare public recording of a discussion between two world leaders, Macron tries to convince the Russian president to “calm things down” in the region. But all his suggestions reach a dead end on Putin’s side.

The French documentary “A President, Europe and War” offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at months of diplomatic wrangling amid Europe’s worst crisis in decades. It was meant to focus on Macron during France’s leadership of the rotating EU presidency, but ended up capturing historic moments in Ukraine’s war, including following Macron to Moscow and on two trips to Kyiv.

Read more here:

Film reveals Macron’s diplomatic bids amid war in Ukraine

Briton appeals against death sentence in separatist-held east Ukraine

Monday 4 July 2022 13:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

British citizen Aiden Aslin, sentenced to death by a court in the Russian-backed breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, submitted an appeal on Monday, the Russian Interfax agency reported on Monday.

“A cassation appeal against the verdict was filed today,” the lawyer representing him, Pavel Kosovan, told Interfax.

Aslin was sentenced to death last month together with fellow Briton Shaun Pinner and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun for “mercenary activities” because they had been captured while fighting as foreigners for Ukraine‘s army against Russian and Russian-backed forces in Ukraine.

TASS news agency reported on Friday the breakaway region’s supreme court had received appeals from lawyers for Saadoun and Pinner but that Aslin had yet to submit an appeal.

Ukraine says it has raised its flag again on Snake Island

Monday 4 July 2022 13:28 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Ukrainian flag has been raised again on Snake Island in the Black Sea, Ukraine‘s military said on Monday, after Russian forces withdrew from the strategic outpost last week.

“The military operation has been concluded, and ... the territory (Snake Island) has been returned to the jurisdiction of Ukraine,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine‘s southern military command, told a news conference.

Some analysts have said Russia‘s withdrawal from Snake Island off Ukraine‘s southwestern coast could loosen its blockade on Ukrainian ports.

But a Kyiv-based foreign diplomat told Reuters it was still not enough to allow for safe transit of Ukrainian grain.

“There is a requirement for demining, and Russia still has capabilities (military vessels, costal defence systems and air superiority) that will allow them to interdict shipping lanes,” the diplomat said.

To unblock its ports so it can ship grain, Ukraine would need allied support and for Turkey to play a key role, the diplomat added.

Russia said it had pulled out from Snake Island on Thursday as a “gesture of goodwill” to show it was not obstructing United Nations attempts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grain to be shipped from Ukraine.

Ukraine said it had driven the Russian forces out after an artillery and missile assault.

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