War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russians seize 'most' of key eastern city -

Russian forces seize control of most of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, a regional governor says.

"Unfortunately, today, Russian troops control most of the city," Lugansk governor Sergiy Gaiday says in a video.

The industrial city is key to Russia's goal of capturing the Donbas region, where Moscow has shifted the bulk of its firepower since failing to seize Kyiv.

- Nitric acid tank 'hit' -

Gaiday also says Russian forces struck a tank containing nitric acid at a Severodonetsk chemical plant, calling on residents to stay in shelters.

"For the Russian military, for Russian commanders, for Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says in an evening video address on Telegram.

- EU agrees ban on most Russian oil -

EU leaders agree to ban most Russian oil imports, after reaching a deal with Hungary that allows it to keep receiving Russian crude.

The deal bans oil imports delivered by tankers but exempts pipeline deliveries, a key demand of landlocked Hungary, whose leader Viktor Orban had warned that a full oil blockade would be an "atomic bomb" for his country's economy.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says the accord will cut around 90 percent of the EU's Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

But EU leaders play down the prospects of getting a ban on Russian gas in a next round of sanctions.

- Gazprom cuts gas supplies -

Danish energy company Orsted says Russian gas giant Gazprom Export will cut supplies to Denmark on June 1 after the Danish company refused to pay in rubles.

Dutch energy firm GasTerra says Gazprom has suspended its gas supplies for the same reason.

Finland, Bulgaria and Poland have already seen their gas supplies severed.

- 'Thousands' of alleged war crimes in Donbas -

Ukraine is investigating several thousand cases of suspected war crimes in the Donbas region, Kyiv's chief prosecutor says.

On a visit to The Hague, Ukraine's prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova says some 15,000 cases of alleged war crimes have been reported countrywide since Russia's invasion on February 24.

- Mariupol port resumes business -

A Russia-bound cargo ship has left occupied Mariupol, less than two weeks after the last Ukrainian defenders of the strategic port city surrendered, the city's new rulers say.

Dozens of container ships are blocked in Ukrainian ports which have been blockaded by Russian vessels. Russia is in talks with Turkey about creating a secure corridor for shipping companies.

Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron says he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have urged Vladimir Putin to end Russia's blockade of the major Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa under the terms of a UN resolution.

- 'Banking sanctions hurt Africa'

The chairman of the African Union, Macky Sall, warns EU leaders their decision to expel Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system risks hurting Africa's food supplies by making it harder to import Russian grain.

On Monday, the EU barred Russia's largest bank Sberbank from SWIFT as part of a sixth round of sanctions on the Russian economy.

The move makes it difficult for the bank to receive or make international payments but Sberbank says it is operating "as normal".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says it was up to the West and Kyiv to resolve the growing global food crisis.

Turkey's top diplomat says Lavrov will arrive in Turkey on June 8 for talks on unblocking grain exports from Ukraine.

- Two more Russian soldiers convicted -

Two Russian soldiers are sentenced to more than 11 years in jail in Ukraine for breaching the rules of war by shelling civilian areas in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

Their convictions come a week after a Kyiv court sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for shooting dead an unarmed civilian on his bicycle.

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