Russia-Ukraine live news: G7 vows Moscow isolation, mulls oil cap

G7 leaders have vowed to further isolate Russia, support Ukraine, at the end of three day summit. [File: Brendan Smialowski/The Associated Press]

G7 leaders call on Russia to lift blockade on Ukrainian Black Sea ports and cease actions blocking export of food.

  • G7 leaders have called on Russia to lift the blockade on Ukrainian Black Sea ports and cease actions contributing to global food insecurity.
  • The toll from Russia’s missile hit on a crowded shopping centre in Kremenchuk has risen to at least 18 dead and 59 wounded, officials say.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the raid as “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history,” adding that Russia is the largest terrorist organisation in the world.
  • Western leaders have condemned the attack, calling it “sickening,” “cruel” and “horrendous,” and have promised to hold Russia accountable.
  • The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday on Russia’s targeting of civilians, with the Kremenchuk attack being “the main focus”, the UN body states.
  • Russian forces are storming the city of Lysychansk from the south and southwest, trying to block the city from that direction and as well as its transport to the Donetsk region, the governor of Luhansk says.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Macron backs Russia oil price cap

French President Emmanuel Macron told the G7 summit that he backed the idea of a cap on Russian oil prices, saying he felt that some were making money out of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Some producers and speculators are making a lot of money with the current war,” said Macron.

Macron added he was very favourable towards a Russian gas cap, which could be easier to implement compared to a Russian oil cap, and that an alliance of buyers needed to be widened for a Russian oil cap to work.

Ukraine facing ‘brutality’ unseen in Europe since WWII: NATO chief

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has urged leaders of the bloc heading to a summit in Madrid to keep up their backing for Ukraine as it faces an onslaught from Russia.

“It is extremely important that we are ready to continue to provide support because Ukraine now faces a brutality which we haven’t seen in Europe since the Second World War,” Stoltenberg said ahead of the gathering in Spain.

French President Macron: Russia strike on Ukraine mall was war crime

French President Emmanuel Macron said that Russia’s strike this week on a Ukrainian shopping mall was a “war crime” and that France would keep supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary.

“Russia cannot and must not win this war,” Macron said at the G7 summit in Germany.

Firefighters and soldiers searched on Tuesday for survivors in the rubble of a Ukrainian shopping mall, where authorities said 36 people were still missing after a Russian missile strike that had killed at least 18.

G7 will drive up costs for Russia over Ukraine war: Scholz

Leaders of the G7 vowed to make Russia pay for its invasion of Ukraine, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressing that “Putin must not be allowed to win”.

“The G7 stands united in its support for Ukraine,” Scholz told a press conference after a three-day summit.

“We will continue to keep up and drive up the economic and political costs of this war for President Putin and his regime,” he said.

G7 leaders end meeting with condemnation of Russia

G7 leaders have ended their meeting in Germany with united stance  to support Ukraine for “as long as necessary”, while explore far-reaching efforts to cap Kremlin income from oil sales that are financing its invasion.

The final statement left out key details on how the fossil fuel price caps would work in practice, but set up more discussion in the weeks ahead to “explore” measures to cap import of Russian oil at an undetermined level.

During the three days of meetings, leaders also agreed on a ban on imports of Russian gold and to step up aid to countries hit with food shortages by the blockage on Ukraine grain shipments through the Black Sea.

G7 germany
The leaders of the G7 have ended a three day meeting in Germany. [File: John MacDougall/The Associated Press]

Zelensky says Russia ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

Zelensky has said Russia must be labelled a “state sponsor of terrorism” after a missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk killed at least 18 people.

“Only total insane terrorists, who should have no place on Earth, can strike missiles at civilian objects,” Zelensky said on his Telegram channel, accusing Russia of carrying out “calculated strikes” at civilian infrastructure.

“Russia must be recognised as a state sponsor of terrorism. The world can and therefore must stop Russian terror,” Zelensky added.

Biden to meet Turkey’s Erdogan at NATO summit: White House

US President Joe Biden will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid where the alliance will discuss the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House has said.

Leaders at the Madrid summit will also take “historic decisions to strengthen the alliance’s collective defence and security,” the statement said.

Analysts believe the meeting between Biden and Erdogan could play a crucial role in lifting Turkey’s resistance to bids by Sweden and Finland to join the Western defence alliance in response to the war.

Russia adds Biden wife, daughter to travel ban

Russia has placed an entry ban on Biden’swife Jill and daughter Ashley,  its foreign ministry has said.

The president himself and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as hundreds of legislators, are already on the blacklist.

The Foreign Ministry said Russia had in total placed new bans on 25 US nationals, including well-known professor Francis Fukuyama, for having taken “Russophobic” positions.

G7 appeals to countries, companies with food stockpiles

The G7 has condemned “Russia’s war of aggression” in Ukraine, saying it is “dramatically aggravating” the global hunger crisis, which is expected to leave about 323 million at risk of food insecurity.

The wealthy countries committed an additional $4.5bn to address global hunger, while calling on Russia to “end its blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports” and other actions that have impeded Ukrainian production and exports of grains.

The G7 also called on countries and companies with “large food stockpiles” to “make food available without distorting the markets”.

Russia says strike in central Ukraine was on weapons depot, not mall

The Russian military has said it struck a weapons depot in central Ukraine the previous day and the resulting explosions hit a closed shopping mall.

The strike hit “a depot with weapons and ammunition from the USA and European countries in the vicinity of the Kremenchuk automobile factory”, the army said in a statement.

“The explosions of ammunition for Western weapons sparked a fire in the nearby shopping mall, which was not operational at the time.”

Ukraine had said a missile strike on the crowded mall killed at least 18 people.

G7 to commit $5bn to global hunger: Official

The G7 countries will commit up to $5 billion to improve global food security, a senior US official has said, as the group responds to worries in developing nations about the threat of hunger triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the final day of the G7 summit in Germany, the official said that the United States would provide over half of that sum, which would go to efforts to fight hunger in 47 countries and to fund regional organisations.

Turkish defence firm to donate 3 TB2 drones to Ukraine

Baykar, a Turkish defence firm that manufactures the globally known TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), says it will donate drones rather than sell them after a crowdfunding campaign in Ukraine raised enough funds to buy several of its combat-proven drones.

“Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2s, and will send 3 UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front,” the company said.

Baykar stated that the “raised funds be remitted instead to the struggling people of Ukraine,” adding that the company appreciates the “solidarity and resolve” of Ukrainians amid the war.

“Baykar prays for a just resolution and lasting peace,” it added.

Michelin to transfer Russian activities to local management

Michelin, French tyre maker, says it intends to transfer its activities in Russia to local management by the end of the year.

“Michelin now confirms that it is technically impossible to resume production, due in particular to supply issues, amid a context of general uncertainty”, the company said in a statement.

It added that the new entity would operate through an independent structure. The company in April said its balance sheet exposure to Russia and Ukraine still amounted to roughly €200m ($211.78m), adding that it was its goal to stop raw material imports from Russia by June.

Three killed, six injured in Mykolaiv: Mayor

Three people were killed and six injured when a community in the Mykolaiv region came under fire early Tuesday morning, the mayor of Mykolaiv has said.

A child was among those killed in the town of Ochakiv, Alexander Senkevich wrote on Telegram.

The port city of Mykolaiv also came under “massive rocket fire” on Tuesday morning, Senkevich said, adding that information on victims and damage was being clarified.

Villages across the Mykolaiv region were shelled on Monday and Tuesday, with fires erupting but no casualties, he added.

Some 36 people still missing in Kremenchuk

The governor of the Poltava region has said 36 people are still missing after yesterday’s attack on the Kremenchuk shopping centre, as rescuers continue searching through the rubble.

“More than a thousand people worked all night on the ruins – rescuers, police, medics and volunteers,” Dmytro Lunin said in an early morning post on Telegram.

He said 25 people had been hospitalised out of a total of 59 wounded. The death toll currently stands at 18.

Russia storming Lysychansk from two directions: Governor

The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region says Russian forces are storming the town of Lysychansk from the west and southwest.

“They are trying to block the city from this side and take over the transport connection with Donetsk region,” Serhiy Haidai said.

Fighting is under way between the settlement of Vovchoyarivka, about 12km southwest of Lysychansk and an oil refinery, Haidai wrote on Telegram. He did not specify whether he meant the refinery in Vovchoyarivka or in Lysychansk.

A Moscow-backed separatist official reportedly said earlier Russian forces had taken control of a part of the Lysychansk oil refinery and fighting in the other parts of the refinery was continuing. The officials also did not specify whether it was the refinery inside the town of Lysychansk itself.

Russian forces in Ukraine ‘hollowed out’: UK

Russia deployed the core elements of six different armies in the battle for Severodonetsk, but achieved only “tactical success,” the United Kingdom’s defence ministry has said, adding that  Russian forces are “increasingly hollowed out”.

In its latest intelligence briefing, the ministry said Russia launched its intense waves of strikes across Ukraine on June 24-26 using what included Soviet-era missiles. While these weapons were designed for strategic strikes, Russia is using them to gain tactical advance, the ministry said.

The Russian forces are accepting a “level of degraded combat effectiveness, which is probably unsustainable in the long term”, the ministry said.

Ukrainian forces are also consolidating their positions on higher ground in Lysychansk and continuing to disrupt Russian command and control “with successful strikes deep behind Russian lines,” it added.


US ambassador to UN says Kremenchuk attack ‘absolutely sickening’

The US ambassador to the United Nations has called Russia’s attack on the Kremenchuk shopping centre “absolutely sickening”, adding that the body’s security council would meet on Tuesday to “discuss Russia’s atrocities against civilians”.

“We must continue to hold Russia accountable,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield wrote on Twitter.

US President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken also promised on Twitter to hold Russia to account for its crimes.

Kremenchuk death toll climbs to 18: Governor

The death toll from the attack in Kremenchuk has climbed to 18, governor of the Poltava region has said.

“Sincere condolences to family and friends. Rescuers continue to work,” Dmytro Lunin wrote on Telegram.

Russian forces occupy part of Lysychansk oil refinery: TASS

Russian troops together with allies from the Moscow-backed self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have occupied part of the Lysychansk Oil Refinery, TASS news agency has quoted a source close to the LPR as saying.

The source also reporting said that fighting continues in the west of the refinery.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify these claims.

Moscow’s UN ambassador accuses Ukraine of Kremenchuk attack

Moscow’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations has accused Ukraine of orchestrating the attack on the shopping centre in Kremenchuk to ensure attention ahead of the NATO summit to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Looks like we are dealing with a new Bucha-style Ukrainian provocation,” Dmitry Polyanskiy wrote on the Twitter.

Hundreds of civilians were found murdered, some with their hands behind their back, in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, after Russian forces withdrew from the region. Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of staging the scenes and producing fake footage.

“One should wait for what our Ministry of Defence will say, but there are too many striking discrepancies already,” Polyanskiy said.

Ukraine says more than 40 missing in Kremenchuk attack

More than 40 people have been reported missing after a missile strike on a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s has said.

Family members of the missing lined up at a hotel across the street where rescue workers had set up a base, as firefighters and soldiers searched for survivors in the rubble.

A survivor receiving treatment at Kremenchuk’s public hospital, Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, said she was shopping with her husband when the blast threw her into the air. “I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing,” she told Reuters.

“It was hell,” added her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage wrapped around his head.

A couple wounded in a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike hold hands in a hospital in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 27, 2022
A couple wounded in a shopping centre hit by a Russian missile strike hold hands in a hospital in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine on June 27, 2022 [Anna Voitenko/Reuters]

Basketball star Brittney Griner ordered to stand trial Friday in Russia

American basketball start Brittney Griner has been ordered to stand trial by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about four and a half months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.

Griner was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial, which is to begin on Friday. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs – she was allegedly found in possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.

Her detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already-high tensions with sweeping sanctions by the United States and Russia’s denunciation of US weapon supplies to Ukraine.

Amid the tensions, Griner’s supporters had taken a low profile in hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs — effectively the US government’s chief negotiator.

Read more here.

EC president condemns Kremenchuk attack

The president of the European Council has condemned the “horrendous and indiscriminate” attack on the shopping centre in Kremenchuk.

“Russian scare and intimidation tactics will never work,” Charles Michel wrote on Twitter adding that Ukraine would prevail with the support of G7 partners “and beyond”.


Ukraine’s forces starting withdrawal from Lysychansk: Moscow-backed separatists

The self-proclaimed ambassador to Russia from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) says that units of Ukraine’s army have been seen leaving the town of Lysychansk, Russia’s state news agency TASS has reported.

“Local residents report that they are observing the beginning of the withdrawal of the armed Ukrainian formations from Lysychansk. Yesterday they tried to pass through Verkhne-Kamenka towards Siversk, but under the blows of the allied artillery and the Russian Aerospace Forces, they lost several columns,” LPR’s Rodion Miroshnik reportedly said.

The LPR is the territory of Ukraine’s Luhansk region that has been occupied by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Lysychansk is now Ukraine’s last stronghold in the Luhansk region after Russian forces took Severodonetsk over the weekend. If Russia takes Lysychansk, it will occupy the region.

Moscow police detain opposition politician

Moscow police have reportedly detained one of the few politicians openly opposing the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine who remains in Russia.

Ilya Yashin, a municipal deputy, was taken into custody while he walked with a journalist friend in a Moscow park, she said. The journalist, Irina Babloyan, told the TASS news agency he was taken to a detention facility in the Russian capital’s Luzhniki neighbourhood.

After charges of discrediting the Russian army were filed against him last month, Yashin said he wouldn’t run away or retract his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Latvia-based independent Russian news site Meduza reported.

Russian authorities have been cracking down on war critics since adopting a law criminalising spreading false information about its military shortly after its troops rolled into Ukraine in late February. The offence is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Human rights advocates have counted dozens of cases.

Biden to announce extension of US troop presence in Poland: NBC

US President Joe Biden plans to announce an extension of some of the increased US troop presence in Poland and changes to US deployments in several Baltic nations that he authorised ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NBC News has cited officials as saying.

The changes to the US troop footprint could affect countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, NBC reported.

To the extent there could be new troops deploying to the region on a more permanent basis, officials said the number would be minimal, but several hundred could remain in Poland on a more permanent basis, NBC reported.

Harris swears in new US ambassador to Ukraine

The new United States ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, has been officially sworn into office by Vice President Kamala Harris, following her Senate confirmation in May.

The US Senate unanimously approved the veteran diplomat on May 18, filling a critical post that has been vacant for three years, as Washington works to increase support for the government in Kyiv.

Former President Donald Trump in May 2019 abruptly recalled then US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

A Michigan native who speaks Russian, Brink was previously US ambassador to Slovakia. A diplomat for 25 years, she has worked in Uzbekistan and Georgia as well as in several senior positions across the State Department and White House National Security Council.

US Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swears-in Bridget Brink as the Ambassador to Ukraine at the White House in Washington, US June 27, 2022
US Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swears in Bridget Brink as the ambassador to Ukraine at the White House in Washington, US, on June 27, 2022 [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

More than 30 wounded in Kharkiv attack: Zelenskyy

More than 30 people have been wounded in the Kharkiv attack on Monday, which killed five people, Zelenskyy has said.

“Another brutal shelling of Kharkiv, northern Saltivka took place today. At present, we know about five people killed and more than 30 were wounded, five of them children,” he said in his nighttime address.

“All are civilians, no military,” he added.

Any NATO encroachment on Crimea could lead to WWIII: Russia’s Medvedev

Any encroachment on the Crimea peninsula by a NATO member state could amount to a declaration of war on Russia which could lead to “World War III,” Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, has been quoted as saying.

“For us, Crimea is a part of Russia. And that means forever. Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war against our country,” Medvedev told Argumenty i Fakty, a news website owned by the city of Moscow.

“And if this is done by a NATO member-state, this means conflict with the entire North Atlantic alliance; a World War III. A complete catastrophe.”

Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, also said that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Russia would strengthen its borders and be “ready for retaliatory steps,” including the prospect of installing Iskander hypersonic missiles “on their threshold”.

Kremenchuk toll rises to 16 dead, 59 wounded

The toll from Russia’s missile raid on a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk has risen to 16 dead and 59 wounded, the head of Ukraine’s emergency services has said.
“As of now, we know of 16 dead and 59 wounded, 25 of them hospitalised. The information is being updated,” Serhiy Kruk said on Telegram.

Russia ‘the largest terrorist organisation in the world’: Zelenskyy

Russia’s attack on a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk is “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history,” Zelenskyy has said.
“Only totally insane terrorists, who should have no place on earth, can strike missiles at such an object,” he said, adding that the attack was not “off-target” but “calculated”.

Zelenskyy said he has urged the United States to recognise Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” a measure adopted by the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on Friday.

“The Russian state has become the largest terrorist organisation in the world. And this is a fact. And this must be a legal fact. And everyone in the world must know that buying or transporting Russian oil, maintaining contacts with Russian banks, paying taxes and customs duties to the Russian state means giving money to terrorists,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine requests UN Security Council meeting Tuesday: Diplomats

Ukraine has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over recent Russian raids on civilian targets, the presidency of the UN body has said.

The missile attack on a shopping centre in Kremenchuk “is the main focus” of the meeting, set for Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, said a spokesperson for the Albanian mission, which currently holds the rotating Security Council presidency.

The “shelling all over Kyiv” on Sunday, which hit a residential complex, will also be discussed at the meeting, the spokesperson said.


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