Ukraine Russia war update today: Putin expands Black Sea fleet with missile carriers and subs

Putin declares victory in Luhansk region after fall of Lysychansk

Russia has amped up its naval presence in the Black Sea by adding five missile carriers, two submarines and one amphibious assault ship, officials from Ukraine’s southern operational command said.

This comes almost a week after Russia said it is withdrawing from a strategic outpost on Black Sea’s Snake Island — a critical gain it had made within days of invading Ukraine — as a “gesture of goodwill”.

In Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the arsenal sent by Ukraine’s allies and western nations has “started working powerfully” against Russian forces.

“Finally it is felt that the western artillery – the weapons we received from our partners – started working very powerfully. Its accuracy is exactly as needed. Our defenders inflict very noticeable strikes on depots and other spots that are important for the logistics of the occupiers,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address.

And, in a first since the invasion, Russia will send foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to the G20 meeting starting today in Indonesia, despite opposition from other nations within the group.


G20 meeting can’t be business as usual due to Russia situation – senior U.S. official

The G20 and the agenda of this week’s meeting of its foreign ministers in Bali is important but it cannot be business as usual due to the situation with Russia, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.

The United States wants to make sure that nothing from the G20 lends legitimacy to what Russia is doing in Ukraine, the official said, adding the meeting would be a good opportunity to drive the food security agenda forward.

The official said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken would hold a trilateral meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts and that his meeting with China’s foreign minister was about managing their relationship responsibly.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain7 July 2022 07:24


Russia could back its invasion financially in Ukraine with new law, claims UK

The Kremlin could use its latest law on special economic measures proposed on Tuesday to financially aid its invasion in Ukraine, the British defence ministry said on Thursday.

“On 5 July, a law proposed by the Russian government on ‘special economic measures’ passed its first reading in the Duma. The legislation is likely to be adopted and will give the authorities special powers over labour relations; the reactivation of mobilisation facilities; and to release assets from state reserves,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.

It added that the legislation is “likely an attempt by the Kremlin to put in place economic measures to support the ‘special military operation’ with a formal declaration of state mobilisation, which remains politically sensitive”.

It also allows Russia to avoid acknowleding it is engaged in a war or its failure to overcome Ukraine’s military that was outnumbered and outgunned, the ministry said.

On the front line, the defence ministry confirmed heavy shelling along the Donetsk boundary on Wednesday, “but with few advances being made by Russia”.

Russian units involved in the last week’s gains are now likely re-constituting, it added.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 07:04


71 million pushed into poverty since Ukraine war began, says UN

At least 71 million more people across the globe have been pushed into poverty due to rising food and energy prices stirred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations Development Programme said on Thursday.

Releasing the report, the UNDP said that its estimates show 51.6 million more people slipped into extreme poverty in the first three months after the war — March-May, and were forced to live off $1.90 (£1.50) a day or less.

Another 20 million touched the poverty line of $3.20 (£2.60) a day, the UNDP said.

Top UNDP official Achim Steiner said that the “cost of living impact is almost without precedent in a generation… and that is why it is so serious”.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 06:41


Russia to attend G20 meet today as war rages in Ukraine’s east

Russia is set to participate in the two-day long G20 meeting starting today with ministers in Indonesia as the war plays out in Europe, intensifying in Ukraine’s east.

Moscow’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will be participating alongside other G20 ministers and tensions from the Russian invasion are likely to overshadow the summit.

Russia’s presence has been objected to at the summit due to its role in Ukraine’s invasion.

The country “must not be allowed to use the G20 meeting as a platform given its war in Ukraine”, said German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock ahead of her arrival in Bali.

“It is in the interest of us all to ensure that international law is respected and adhered to. That is the common denominator,” Ms Baerbock said in a statement.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 05:39


Zelensky says fighting for entire south, Donbas: ‘Most brutal confrontation’

Volodymyr Zelensky said his troops are fighting the ‘most brutal confrontation’ in the entire Ukrainian Donbas region as he shared the ground situation from the besieged country late on Wednesday.

“Ukrainian forces are currently advancing in several tactical directions, in particular in the south – in the Kherson region, in the Zaporizhzhia region. We will not give up our land – the entire sovereign territory of Ukraine will be Ukrainian. People should know it,” Mr Zelensky said.

He added: “Therefore, if you have an opportunity to speak with people in the south of our country – with Kherson, Henichesk, Berdyansk, Melitopol and other cities and villages – please spread the truth there. Use every opportunity to tell the people in the occupied areas that we remember them and we are fighting for them.”

Mr Zelensky said “we are fighting for our entire south, for the entire Ukrainian Donbas – the most brutal confrontation is currently there, near Slovyansk and Bakhmut”.

“We are fighting for the Kharkiv region. The occupiers should not think that their time on this land is long-lasting and that the superiority of their artillery is eternal,” he said.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 04:48


Russia expands fleet in Black Sea: Ukrainian officials

Russia has increased its presence by deploying additional units in the Black Sea, officials from the Ukrainian military said.

The amping up of naval presence by Moscow has been confirmed by Ukraine’s southern operational command, reported The Kyiv Independent.

Russia has deployed an additional five missile carriers, two submarines and one amphibious assault ship, the Ukrainian military said.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, in its war update early on Thursday, said: “In the waters of the Black and Azov seas, the enemy keeps four ‘Calibre’ sea-based cruise missile carriers in readiness for launching missile strikes on infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine”.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 04:35


Weapons from west ‘working powerfully’, says Zelensky

The artillery received from western nations to aid Ukraine in the ongoing Russian invasion has “started working powerfully”, Volodymyr Zelensky said late on Wednesday.

“Finally it is felt that the western artillery – the weapons we received from our partners – started working very powerfully. Its accuracy is exactly as needed. Our defenders inflict very noticeable strikes on depots and other spots that are important for the logistics of the occupiers,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address.

He added that the bonus military prowess has helped Ukrainian fighters “significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army”.

The losses of the occupiers will only increase every week, as will the difficulty of supplying them, Mr Zelensky added.

He also detailed the losses in the besieged country in the past 24 hours.

“Today in Kharkiv, the Pedagogical University was destroyed by a Russian missile strike – the main building, lecture halls, university museum, scientific library. This characterises the Russian invasion with 100 per cent accuracy,” he said.

Mr Zelensky said that when it comes to the “definition of barbarism, this strike fits the bill the most”.

“Only an enemy of civilisation and humanity can do such things – strike missiles at a university, a pedagogical university,” he said.

Arpan Rai7 July 2022 04:25


Russia says Japan has ‘unfriendly’ stance toward Moscow

Japan has taken an “unfriendly” position toward Russia which does not help to develop ties in either trade and economy or the energy sector, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The east asian island nation has joined its Western allies in slapping sweeping economic sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. Moscow has also been annoyed by reports that Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida has proposed capping the price of Russian oil at around half its current level.

“Japan is taking a very unfriendly position towards Russia. In any case, such an unfriendly stance does not help to facilitate relations on trade and the economy, including the energy dialogue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“We discussed Mr Kishida’s proposal yesterday and have said that this is only an initiative announced, there were no consolidated decisions taken,” Peskov said. “It is doubtful whether such decisions could be taken, frankly speaking.”

Commenting on Kishida’s reported comments, Russia‘s former president Dmitry Medvedev warned on Tuesday that global oil prices might exceed $300-$400 (£250-£335) per barrel if the price cap proposals were implemented.

Liam James7 July 2022 03:20


Scholz says Germany must speed up green transition due to Ukraine war

Germany must implement the transition to green energy faster because of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, adding that Russia was using energy as a political weapon.

“Energy policy is not just a question of price. Energy policy is also security policy,” Mr Scholz said at an event hosted by the Renewable Energy Association.

“That’s why we now have to turbo charge the expansion of renewable energy,” he said.

Germany has agreed with other EU countries to ban imports of Russian oil from December, with a ban on petroleum following on 5 February 2023. Last month Russia closed the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany for scheduled maintenance works but Berlin fears Moscow will not turn the pump back on.

Liam James7 July 2022 02:20


Russia blocks oil pipeline to Europe citing ‘environmental concerns’

A court in Russia ordered a pipeline bringing oil from Kazakhstan to Europe halted for 30 days for what it said were environmental violations, Russian media reported.

The ruling by a court in Russia’s southern city of Novorossiysk cited the results of a recent inspection of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

Kazakh leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told EU Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday that Kazakhstan “is ready to use its hydrocarbon potential in order to stabilise the situation on the world and European markets”.

European Union countries are moving away from Russian gas in response to the war in Ukraine but officials fear that Moscow will cut off supplies before replacement sources are found.

Russia has already cut supplies on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline serving Germany and France and has reduced the flow of gas to other countries including Italy and Poland.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday called for emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off by Moscow.

Liam James7 July 2022 00:20

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