Ukraine has flown its national flag on Snake Island for the first time since regaining control of the territory.
"The flag of Ukraine has been installed on Snake Island," Nataliya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for forces in the south of the country, told reporters.
"The military operation has been completed and the territory has now been returned to the jurisdiction of Ukraine," she added.
The small island in the Black Sea became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after a radio exchange went viral at the start of the war, in which Ukrainian soldiers used an expletive to rebuff a Russian warship's demand to surrender.
Ukraine 'must prevail' - Boris Johnson
Ukraine must "prevail" against Russia's invasion, Boris Johnson has told the Commons.
Updating MPs on his attendance at several international summits, the Prime Minister said: "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.
Aiden Aslin appeals against death sentence
Aiden Aslin and Moroccan Brahim Saadun, sentenced to death by a court in separatist-controlled Ukraine, have submitted their appeals.
In June, Mr Aslin, Mr Saadun and another British citizen, Shaun Pinner, were accused of acting as mercenaries for Ukraine and sentenced to death by separatist authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
The Supreme Court of the breakaway territory said in a statement that Mr Saadun had filed an appeal.
Separately, a representative of the separatist statelet's court told state news agency RIA Novosti that Aslin had also lodged an appeal.
Britain has expressed fury over the death sentences handed to the two Britons in the case.
They surrendered in April in Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine that was captured by Russian troops after a weeks-long siege.
Pictured: Greenpeace activists on sidelines of Ukraine Recovery Conference
Rich Russians should pay the bill to rebuild, says Ukraine's PM
The cost of rebuilding Ukraine following Russia's invasion could reach $750 billion and rich Russians should help to meet the cost, Denys Shmygal, the Ukrainian Prime Minister said.
"We believe that the key source of recovery should be the confiscated assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs," he told a conference in the Swiss city of Lugano, citing estimates that frozen Russian assets were worth $300-$500 billion.
"The Russian authorities unleashed this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction and they should be held accountable for it."
UK to introduce new economic and trade sanctions on Belarus
Britain said it would 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.
LTA appeal against WTA fines for Russians' exclusion
Wimbledon organisers and Britain's tennis authorities said they have appealed against fines handed to them by the women's governing body, WTA, for excluding Russian and Belarussian players from this year's grasscourt events.
The All England Club (AELTC), which organises the Grand Slam, and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) banned players from the two countries at tournaments in Britain following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The WTA and its men's counterpart ATP called the move discriminatory and decided to strip all ranking points from Wimbledon while warning the LTA of sanctions.
As part of the penalties, the LTA was slapped with a fine of £620,000 (about $753,000) while the AELTC has been asked to pay £207,000 ($250,000), the Daily Mail reported.
"I think the first thing to say is that it is the subject of a legal process so I can't comment specifically on that," AELTC CEO Sally Bolton told reporters at Wimbledon on Monday.
"We stand by the decision we made, we are deeply disappointed at the reactions of the tours to that decision and I probably can't say anything more on that at this time, I'm afraid."
Ukraine needs $750 billion for a recovery plan in the wake of Russia's invasion, says Ukrainian PM
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.
There needs to be a new Marshall plan for Ukraine, says Truss
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called for a Marshall Plan-style programme for Ukraine, echoing the one used to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.
She told a recovery conference in Switzerland on Monday that the UK is "resolute" in its support of Ukraine's territorial integrity and will "continue to lead in supporting the Ukrainian government's reconstruction and development plan".
Ms Truss said: "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.
European Union to set up platform for Ukrainian reconstruction
The European Union will set up a reconstruction platform to coordinate the rebuilding of Ukraine after its war with Russia, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said on Monday.
The platform will be used to map investment needs, coordinate action and channel resources, von der Leyen told the Ukraine Recovery Conference in the Swiss city of Lugano.
"Since the beginning of the war, the European Union has mobilized around 6.2 billion euros ($6.48 billion)in financial support," von der Leyen said. "And... more will come. We will engage substantially in the mid- and long-term reconstruction."
The platform will bring together countries, institutions, the private sector and civil society. It will also include international organisations like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.
Russian capital set to rename spot near the UK embassy to honour Ukraine’s separatist fighters of Luhansk
The Russian capital is set to rename a spot near the UK embassy to honour Ukraine’s separatist fighters of Luhansk, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva.
The Moscow City Hall said in a statement on Monday it floated an idea for Muscovites to pick a location and rename it “Square of the Luhansk People’s Republic".
An online vote reportedly chose the spot next to the UK embassy. There is no square or plaza near the embassy that stands on the Moskva River’s Smolenskaya embankment.
The City Hall said on Monday it got the idea after receiving a petition from pro-Kremlin lawmakers as well as ordinary citizens.
Last month, Moscow authorities held a similar vote to rename a plaza outside the U.S. embassy in the same neighbourhood “Square of the Donetsk People’s Republic” after a separatist statelet next to Luhansk.
The U.S. embassy has since updated its website to list geographical coordinates as its new postal address, not the name of the statelet that the United States refuses to recognise.
Ukraine reconstruction 'common task' of democratic world, says Zelensky
Rebuilding Ukraine is the "common task of the whole democratic world", Volodymyr Zelensky has said, insisting the recovery of his war-torn country would serve world peace.
Speaking via videolink to a conference in Switzerland, the Ukrainian president said: "Reconstruction of Ukraine is the biggest contribution to the support of global peace".
Latest MoD intelligence
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 04 July 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/yJeFMdZUt8
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/wbuuR1Ht3n
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 4, 2022
Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit
Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit Ukraine and urges the pontiff to continue praying for the Ukrainian people, a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.
"It is time to deepen connections with those who sincerely desire it. We renew the invitation to Pope Francis to visit our country and urge you to continue praying for the Ukrainian people," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said when asked for comment about an interview Francis gave to Reuters.
The pope said in the interview that he hoped he would be able to go to Moscow and Kyiv after a trip to Canada as part of efforts to end the war in Ukraine.
Russian ice-hockey star forcibly drafted into army and sent to Arctic Circle
A Russian ice-hockey star who was forcibly drafted over the weekend has resurfaced at a Russian Arctic military base near a nuclear testing site.
Ivan Fedotov, who was named the best goalkeeper of the KHL league at the end of last season and won silver for Russia at the Beijing Olympics, was detained in St Petersburg on Friday in an elaborate operation that involved plain clothes security agents posted outside his home and the arena where he was training.
The 25-year-old old player said at the end of the season in April he would be moving to the United States in summer to play for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers as his contract with CSKA, an ice-hockey team affiliated with the Russian Defence Ministry, ran out.
Read the full story from Nataliya Vasilyeva here
Pictured: Ukrainian rescuers look at a crater in the school yard after an attack in Kharkiv
Ukraine flag raised again on Snake Island, military says
The Ukrainian flag has been raised again on Snake Island in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said on Monday, after Russian troops withdrew from the strategic outpost last week.
"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.
Luhansk has fallen, but there’s a reason why Russian generals will not be celebrating
Although Russia has claimed a victory in the city of Lysychansk, leaders in Moscow and Kyiv may look favourably upon the end of the fighting in the last pocket of the Luhansk region.
The area has limited strategic value, so while it is always regrettable for a defending force to cede ground, Kyiv’s troops there have largely achieved their mission: slow the Russian advance, make the enemy pay dearly for every mile gained and get out without being decisively engaged.
Vladimir Putin will care little, if at all, for what this most tactical of victories has cost his forces.
Read the full story from Dom Nicholls here
Turkey halts Russian ship and investigates Ukrainian claims
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's ambassador to Turkey said on Sunday the Zhibek Zholy ship was detained by Turkish customs authorities. Ukraine previously asked Turkey to detain the vessel, according to an official and documents viewed by Reuters.
Russia claims victory in Lysychansk as Chechen soldiers appear to celebrate capture
I would like to go to Ukraine and Russia, says Pope
Speaking to Reuters, Pope Francis said:
"I would like to go [to Ukraine] and I wanted to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this because I thought that if the president of Russia gave me a tiny window, I would go there to serve the cause of peace .... And now it's possible, after I come back from Canada; it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine. The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals."
"[With Russia] there is still that very open dialogue, very cordial, very diplomatic in the positive sense of the word, but for the moment it's OK; the door is open."
'Independence is sacred for both our great nations': Ukraine wishes the US a happy 4th of July
Best 4th of July greetings from Ukraine to our American friends. Independence is sacred for both our great nations. I am deeply grateful to the U.S. and @SecBlinken for proving it with deeds and standing #UnitedWithUkraine, including with the recent new package of military aid.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) July 4, 2022
Russian hockey star detained for allegedly dodging military draft
Ivan Fedotov, the Russian hockey star, has been detained for allegedly trying to dodge military service and sent to the country's Far North to serve, Russian media reported on Monday.
One-year military service is mandatory in Russia but is relatively unpopular, and many now fear it due to the prospect of being sent to Ukraine.
Fedotov, the 25-year-old goalkeeper of the Russian national hockey team, had recently signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers and was due to leave soon for the United States.
He was detained in Saint Petersburg on Friday evening because he was suspected of wanting to evade military service, several Russian media outlets said.
Rouble slides to two-week low
The rouble slid to a two-week low against the dollar and euro this morning, extending losses sustained in the previous session as the market awaited more information on possible currency interventions.
Russian stock markets slumped late last week after gas giant Gazprom cancelled dividend payments for the first time in more than two decades.
The rouble, having lost the support of last week's tax-driven dollar and euro sales, dived sharply away from more than seven-year highs.
The currency was 1.4pc weaker against the dollar at 55.27 this morning after dropping to its weakest point since June 20.
Last week Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia could cut state spending and channel funds to foreign currency interventions to keep a lid on the rouble's strengthening, which threatens budget revenues.
Russian cosmonauts celebrate capture of Ukraine's Luhansk region in space
Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday celebrated Russia's capture of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, described Moscow's capture of the Luhansk region as "a liberation day to celebrate both on Earth and in space."
The agency posted pictures of cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergei Korsakov smiling as they held up flags of Russia's proxies in eastern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic and Donetsk People's Republic
Pictured: Sunbathers on the banks of Dnipro river in Kyiv
France suspends expulsions of foreign students fleeing Ukraine
The French government said on Monday it will suspend expulsions of foreign students fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a sensitive issue that has seen European countries accused of racist double standards.
"We have introduced a moratorium for students until September," a government source said.
This means "no requirement to leave French territory will be applied or any new ones decided on until the new university year", Joseph Zimet, a senior official in charge of hosting Ukrainian refugees, had earlier told newspaper Le Monde
Pictured: Aftermath of shelling in Sloviansk
Uzbekistan says 18 killed, hundreds wounded in Karakalpakstan unrest
Eighteen people were killed and 243 wounded during unrest in Uzbekistan's autonomous province of Karakalpakstan which broke out last week over plans to curtail its autonomy, Uzbek authorities said on Monday.
Security forces detained 516 people while dispersing the protesters last Friday but have now released many of them, the national guard press office told a briefing
Luhansk governor says Russia will shift focus to Donetsk region
Russia will shift the main focus of its war in Ukraine to trying to seize all of the Donetsk region after capturing neighbouring Luhansk, the Luhansk region's governor said on Monday.
Governor Serhiy Gaidai said in an interview that he expected the city of Sloviansk and the town of Bakhmut in particular to come under attack as Russia tries to take full control of what is known as the Donbas in eastern Ukraine
Gazprom says exports of gas to Europe via Ukraine at 42.1 mcm
Russian gas producer Gazprom said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point was seen at 42.1 million cubic metres (mcm) on Monday, unchanged from Sunday.
An application to supply gas via the Sokhranovka entry point had again been rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said
Ukraine recovery meeting to kick off in Switzerland
Leaders from dozens of countries, international organisations and the private sector gathered in Switzerland Monday to hash out a "Marshall Plan" to rebuild war-ravaged Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will take part virtually, warned Sunday that the work ahead in the areas that have been liberated alone was "really colossal".
"And we will have to free over 2,000 villages and towns in the east and south of Ukraine," he said.
The two-day conference, held under tight security in the picturesque southern Swiss city of Lugano, had been planned well before Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24.
As billions of dollars in aid flows into Ukraine, however, lingering concerns about widespread corruption in the country mean far-reaching reforms remain in focus and will be a condition for any recovery plan
Germany's 15 billion euro credit line for gas 'might not be enough'
The head of Germany's energy regulator warned that the 15 billion euros' ($15.64 billion) worth of credit lines provided by the government to buy gas for storage facilities may not be enough, according to an interview in the WirtschaftsWoche magazine.
Germany has sounded the alarm over gas shortages in response to dwindling supplies from Russia, in an escalating energy standoff between the West and Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Bundesnetzagentur head Klaus Mueller said that the 15 billion euros might not be enough for Germany to fill up its gas storages by the winter because the supply squeeze may push up prices even higher in the meantime.
Germany has federally mandated targets to fill up its gas storages to 80 per cent and 90 per cent by October and November, respectively. Current storage levels are at about 61 per cent.
"The more the gas price rises, the more expensive it becomes to reach the statutory storage targets for October and November," Mr Mueller was quoted as saying.
Europe's largest economy could also face gas shortages in the coming months if Russian gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, set to be temporarily stopped for maintenance in July, do not resume, Mr Mueller warned.
"Based on our recent experience dealing with Russia, it would be irresponsible to assume that everything will be fine on its own."
Russia will now 'switch focus to taking Donetsk' - MoD
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 4 July 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/rihoxEds3Z
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/qH7DudnPCh
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 4, 2022
EU lending arm aims to raise 100 bn euros to help rebuild Ukraine
The European Investment Bank is proposing a funding structure previously used during the COVID-19 pandemic to help rebuild Ukraine with up to 100 billion euros (£86.2 billion pounds) of investment, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The EU-Ukraine Gateway Trust Fund would seek to have an initial 20 billion euros in contributions from EU countries and the EU budget in the form of grants, loans and guarantees.
The guarantees in particular would have a multiplier effect, leading to infrastructure projects totalling some 100 billion euros, the document said, about half of Ukraine's more immediate needs.
Australia to send more armoured vehicles to Ukraine and ban Russian gold imports
Australia will provide 34 additional armoured vehicles to Ukraine and prohibit Russian gold imports, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in Kyiv on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference in Ukraine's capital alongside President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Albanese said Australia would impose sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs, bringing the total number of Russian individuals sanctioned by Australia to 843.
Gas shortages threaten to spark another power struggle with Europe
Gas will stop flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline running from Russia to Germany next week (July 11). While the planned maintenance might last only ten days, it marks an important moment in the escalating crisis rippling through Europe’s energy markets (writes Rachel Millward).
As energy supplies increasingly tighten, officials around the Continent are preparing contingency plans. With Europe and Britain’s electricity markets increasingly interconnected by cables and pipelines trading power hour-by-hour, a looming power battle threatens.
The question is: will energy flow freely or will cooperation break down?
UK to host 2023 Ukraine recovery conference
Britain will host a conference next year focused on helping Ukraine recover from the damage caused by Russia's invasion, the foreign office said, as nations gather in Switzerland for this year's event.
The Ukraine Recovery Conference beginning on Monday in Lugano will discuss how to rebuild Ukraine, bringing together a Ukrainian delegation with representatives of other countries, international organisations and civil society.
Britain said it was working with Ukraine and others to host next year's conference, and it would sit on a supervisory board to help coordinate between Ukraine and its allies on recovery measures. An office will be set up in London.
"We have led on support for Ukraine during the war and will continue to lead in supporting the Ukrainian Government’s Reconstruction and Development Plan," Liz Truss said in a statement.
"Ukraine’s recovery from Russia’s war of aggression will be a symbol of the power of democracy over autocracy. It will show [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that his attempts to destroy Ukraine have only produced a stronger, more prosperous and more united nation."
Germany among nations 'doing the most' for Ukraine, says chancellor
Germany is one of the countries doing the most to provide military aid to war-torn Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said while defending his country's delays in delivering weapons to Kyiv.
The long delays for German weapons, compared to the speedy deliveries of US arms, are due to the need to train Ukrainian soldiers in Germany, Scholz told CBS News on the talk show "Face the Nation" broadcast Sunday.
"We will always see that Germany is one of the countries that is doing the most, because what we are sending now is the most sophisticated technology you can use," Mr Scholz said in the interview conducted on Thursday.
UK to pledge long-term support to rebuild Ukraine
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will on Monday commit long-term British support for Ukraine, to help the country rebuild when the conflict with Russia ends.
Ms Truss is due to attend a Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland, where she will pledge both immediate humanitarian assistance as well as access to British financial and economic expertise.
Boris Johnson has been hawkish in his support for President Volodymyr Zelensky, visiting Kyiv twice since the conflict began in late February.
Last week, he pledged another £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, taking the total support provided in terms of weapons and other hardware to £2.3 billion.
According to Truss's department, she will tell delegates that Ukraine's recovery "will be a symbol of the power of democracy over autocracy".
IOC boss Bach says Ukraine 'flag will fly high' at Olympics
Olympics chief Thomas Bach on Sunday said the organisation would ensure that Ukrainian athletes could compete at the 2024 Games despite the Russian invasion.
Speaking during a visit to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Bach pledged to increase the amount of IOC funding for athletes from the war-torn nation.
That will ensure that at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and at the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 in Cortina-Milano, "the Ukrainian flag will fly high", said Bach.
"The IOC will triple the fund we have been establishing at the very beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine from $2.5 million to $7.5 million," he added.
Zelensky welcomed the additional support.
Belarus leader stands with Russia in campaign
The president of Belarus -- Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin's closest ally -- said on Sunday his ex-Soviet state stood fully behind Russia in its military drive in Ukraine as part of its longstanding commitment to a "union state" with Moscow.
Addressing a ceremony marking the anniversary of the World War Two liberation of Minsk by Soviet troops, Lukashenko said he had thrown his weight behind Putin's campaign against Ukraine "from the very first day" in late February.
"Today, we are being criticised for being the only country in the world to support Russia in its fight against Nazism. We support and will continue to support Russia," a video on the state BelTA news agency showed Lukashenko telling the gathering.
"And those who criticise us, do they not know that we have such a close union with the Russian Federation?...That we have practically a unified army. But you knew all this. We will remain together with fraternal Russia."
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