26 min read

Russia-Ukraine war: Putin’s forces have made ‘genuine headway’ after capturing Lysychansk

Russia-Ukraine war: Putin’s forces have made ‘genuine headway’ after capturing Lysychansk
People inspect the damage caused to the central market in Sloviansk by a suspected Russian missile attack. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian - Maya Yang (now); Léonie Chao-Fong, Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier) Wed 6 Jul 2022 19.32 BST

Russian forces in the south show signs of ‘better cooperation’, western officials say.

  • Show key events only from
  • 2h ago18.26

Russia has made ‘genuine headway’ after capturing Lysychansk, say western officials. The capture of the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine by Russian forces has meant Moscow has made “genuine headway”, while its forces in the south have shown signs of “better cooperation”, western officials said.

Western officials said the sustainability of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine was “challenging”, but described the impact on their munitions and morale as “remarkable”.

But one official said it “remains highly uncertain whether Russia will secure the limits of Donetsk oblast this year”.

Russia has made “some significant command changes” in recent weeks, one official said, notably the recently appointed Gen Sergei Surovikin, who has taken over command of the southern group of forces overseeing the occupation of southern Ukraine and the advances on the Donbas from the south.

The official said:

He’s a controversial figure even by the standards of Russian general officers. It is unclear whether it’s his influence which has led to the recent successes around Lysychansk, but certainly there’s been better cooperation amongst groups of forces on the Russian side than we saw in the earlier phases of the war.

There are “very serious issues” over the stocks of Russian munitions and of morale, an official said, while long-range weapons systems are starting to make a “significant operational difference for Ukraine”.

  • Updated at 18.34 BST
  • 45m ago19.32

The evacuation of civilians from Sloviansk continued Wednesday as Russian troops pressed toward the eastern Ukrainian city in their campaign to control the Donbas region, as Ireland’s prime minister visited Kyiv to voice solidarity.

Agence France-Presse reports:

Sloviansk has been subjected to heavy bombardment in recent days as Russian forces push westwards on day 133 of the invasion.

“Twenty years of work; everything is lost. No more income, no more wealth,” Yevgen Oleksandrovych, 66, told AFP as he surveyed the site of his car parts shop, destroyed in Tuesday’s strikes.

AFP journalists saw rockets slam into Sloviansk’s marketplace and surrounding streets, with firefighters scrambling to put out the resulting blazes.

Around a third of the market in Sloviansk appeared to have been destroyed, with locals coming to see what was left among the charred wreckage. The remaining part of the market was functioning, with a trickle of shoppers coming out to buy fruit and vegetables.

“I will sell it out and that’s it, and we will stay home. We have basements, we will hide there. What we can do? We have nowhere to go, nobody needs us,” said 72-year-old greengrocer Galyna Vasyliivna.

Mayor Vadym Lyakh said that around 23,000 people out of 110,000 were still in Sloviansk but claimed Russia had been unable to surround the city.

“Since the beginning of hostilities, 17 residents of the community have died, 67 have been injured,” he said, adding, “Evacuation is ongoing. We take people out every day.”

Many of the evacuees were taken by bus to the city of Dnipro, further west. “The city is well fortified. Russia does not manage to advance to the city,” the mayor said.

Vitaliy, a plumber, said his wife and their daughter, who is six months pregnant, were evacuated from Sloviansk on Wednesday.

“I am afraid for my wife,” he told AFP. “Here, after what happened yesterday, they hit the city centre; need to leave...I sent my wife, and I have no more choice: tomorrow I will join the army.”
Ukrainian police officers patrol the city of Sloviansk, on July 6, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian police officers patrol the city of Sloviansk, on July 6, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
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Summary of the day so far

It’s 9 pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:

  • The governor of Donetsk, the last remaining eastern province of Ukraine partially under Kyiv’s control, has urged the region’s 350,000 people to flee amid reports of fresh deaths and injuries. At least seven civilians have been killed in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours and 25 are said to have been wounded as the Kremlin continues to step up its offensive in eastern Ukraine.
  • The capture of the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine by Russian forces has meant Moscow has made “genuine headway”, while its forces in the south have shown signs of “better cooperation”, western officials said. Western officials said the sustainability of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine was “challenging”, but described the impact on their munitions and morale as “remarkable”.
  • Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said resistance was ongoing in villages around the city of Lysychansk, where 15,000 civilians remain. On Telegram, Haidai said: “Today’s videos from Lysychansk are painful to watch.” He accused Putin’s troops of engaging in a scorched earth policy, “burning down and destroying everything on their way”.
  • The battle for Sloviansk is likely to be the next key contest in the struggle for Donbas as Russian forces approach within 16km of the Donetsk town, British intelligence said. Russian forces from the eastern and western groups of forces are likely now around 16km north of Sloviansk as central and southern groups of forces also pose a threat to the town, the UK Ministry of Defence has said.
  • Ukraine has rejected a claim by Russia’s defence ministry that Moscow’s armed forces had destroyed two advanced US-made Himars rocket systems and their ammunition depots in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s general staff tweeted that the claims by Russia’s defence ministry were fake and that it was using the US-supplied Himars to inflict “devastating blows” on Russian forces.
  • The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas. The commission is working on a “European emergency plan” with the first proposals to be presented by the middle of the month, she said. “If worst comes to worst, then we have to be prepared,” she said.
  • Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited the war-scarred suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv on Wednesday to reiterate his country’s solidarity with Ukraine. Martin said he and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, discussed a joint response to the threat to food security, the energy crisis, and the preparation of the seventh sanction package against Russia.
  • Russia has denied reports that a Russian-flagged ship is being held and investigated by Turkish authorities in the Black Sea port of Karasu over claims its cargo was stolen from Ukraine. Turkish customs officials acted after Kyiv claimed the Zhibek Zholy was illegally transporting 7,000 tonnes of grain out of Russian-occupied Berdiansk, a Ukrainian port in the southeast of the country. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Alexei Zaitsev, said the ship was “undergoing standard procedures”.
  • The head of the Russian-imposed administration of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, Yevgeny Balitsky, has said the region plans to sell Ukraine’s grain to the Middle East. The main countries involved in the deal were Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing grain, a charge that Moscow has denied.
  • Sri Lanka’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said he asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin to help import fuel to his country as it faces its worst economic crisis in seven decades. Rajapaksa tweeted that he had a “productive” telephone call with Putin while thanking him for “all the support extended by his [government] to overcome the challenges of the past.
  • Ukraine’s military has announced plans to introduce a system of permits that would prohibit men eligible for conscription from leaving the region where they are registered. The move, based on legislation from 1992, was intended to enable the country’s armed forces to locate potential conscripts more easily, but it prompted an immediate backlash.
  • Latvia is to reinstate compulsory military service amid growing tension with Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Latvia, which borders Belarus and Russia, had scrapped mandatory service a few years after joining the Nato military alliance.
  • Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, has admitted that he met the former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev, without officials present while foreign secretary. Johnson told MPs he accepted he met the former KGB agent on a trip to Italy. Asked whether he reported the meeting to officials, Johnson said: ‘I think I did.’
  • 1h ago18.49

Ukraine’s military plans to limit free movement to make conscription easier. Isobel Koshiw

Ukraine’s military has announced plans to introduce a system of permits that would prohibit men eligible for conscription from leaving the region where they are registered.

The move, based on legislation from 1992, was intended to enable the country’s armed forces to locate potential conscripts more easily, but it prompted an immediate backlash.

President Volodymyr Zelensky criticised the announcement in his nightly TV address to the nation on Tuesday, saying that the general staff should not make decisions without him. Two parliamentarians immediately filed draft legislation that would scrap the army’s initiative, which they described as “outdated”.

It remains unclear if movement permits for men will be introduced, but the army’s announcement highlights the precarious position facing Ukrainian men who could be conscripted to fight at any moment.

Most Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 could be conscripted at any time to fight against Russian forces.
Most Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 could be conscripted at any time to fight against Russian forces. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Since Zelenskiy declared martial law at the start of Russia’s invasion, all Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are eligible for military service and are forbidden from leaving the country. (There are a few exceptions such as men with poor health, or fathers of three or more children.)

“I don’t want to fight. I want to continue working,” said Roman, a 31-year-old software developer in Kyiv. “But I also don’t want to think negatively about it because many of my friends have been mobilised and it’s not fair on them. I try not to think that if I’m mobilised it 100% means I will die or be injured or see fighting.”

Ukraine’s military plans to limit free movement to make conscription easier read more

  • 2h ago18.46
National Pedagogic university destroyed by a Russian attack in Kharkiv.
National Pedagogic university was destroyed by a Russian attack in Kharkiv. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

An apartment building damaged by a Russian attack in Saltivka district in Kharkiv.
An apartment building was damaged by a Russian attack in the Saltivka district in Kharkiv. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
  • 2h ago18.33

A crowdfunded Turkish-made military drone is expected to be delivered “immediately” from Lithuania, the country’s defence minister, Arvydas Anušauskas said.

The “Vanagas” (which means “Hawk” in Lithuanian), along with ammunition, arrived in the Baltic country on Monday, Anušauskas said. “Very soon it will be delivered to Ukraine,” he tweeted.

Last hours of Bayraktar “Vanagas” in Lithuania. Very soon it will be delivered to 🇺🇦! pic.twitter.com/mBXkWFzCV3

— Arvydas Anušauskas (@a_anusauskas) July 6, 2022

The crowdfunding campaign raised nearly €6m (£5m) for the Bayraktar TB2 drone over three days last month, before its Turkish manufacturer announced it would donate the drone free of charge.

A portion of the crowdfunded funds was used to equip the drone with munitions while the rest went towards humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

  • Updated at 18.41 BST
  • 2h ago18.26

Russia has made ‘genuine headway’ after capturing Lysychansk, say western officials

The capture of the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine by Russian forces has meant Moscow has made “genuine headway”, while its forces in the south have shown signs of “better cooperation”, western officials said.

Western officials said the sustainability of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine was “challenging”, but described the impact on their munitions and morale as “remarkable”.

But one official said it “remains highly uncertain whether Russia will secure the limits of Donetsk oblast this year”.

Russia has made “some significant command changes” in recent weeks, one official said, notably the recently appointed Gen Sergei Surovikin, who has taken over command of the southern group of forces overseeing the occupation of southern Ukraine and the advances on the Donbas from the south.

The official said:

He’s a controversial figure even by the standards of Russian general officers. It is unclear whether it’s his influence which has led to the recent successes around Lysychansk, but certainly there’s been better cooperation amongst groups of forces on the Russian side than we saw in the earlier phases of the war.

There are “very serious issues” over the stocks of Russian munitions and of morale, an official said, while long-range weapons systems are starting to make a “significant operational difference for Ukraine”.

  • Updated at 18.34 BST
  • 2h ago18.09

The Irish taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has been speaking at a joint news conference with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Kyiv. He said the pair discussed a joint response to the threat to food security, the energy crisis and the preparation of the seventh sanction package against Russia.

Ukraine “belongs to the European Union”, Martin said, adding that his country would support Kyiv “every step of the way”.

Martin said:

Russia’s brutal war against this beautiful, democratic country is a gross violation of international law. It is an affront to everything that Ireland stands for. It cannot and it will not be allowed to stand.

He pointed out that Ireland had welcomed 40,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war and that they were “welcome to stay in Ireland for as long as they need to”.

  • Updated at 18.18 BST
  • 2h ago18.00

The US president, Joe Biden, and vice-president, Kamala Harris, has spoken to the wife of the US basketball player, Brittney Griner, who is detained in Russia, the White House said.

Biden reassured Cherelle Griner he was “working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other US nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world”, the White House said in a statement after the call.

From CNN’s Kylie Atwood:

Pres Biden spoke with Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner's wife, today, the White House says. He read her a draft of the letter that he is sending to Brittney today. He also reassured Cherelle that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/lTk0hXXChp

— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) July 6, 2022
  • Updated at 18.20 BST
  • 3h ago17.11

Earlier we reported that Boris Johnson has admitted to MPs that he met the former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev, without officials present while foreign secretary.

Asked by Labour’s Dame Diana Johnson at the Commons liaison committee if he met with Lebedev without officials on 28 April 2018, Johnson said:

I certainly have met the gentleman in question who used to be the proprietor of the London Evening Standard when I was mayor of London.

I certainly am not going to deny having met Alexander Lebedev, I certainly have.

He added:

I have certainly met him without officials. I met him on a very few occasions. On the occasion you are mentioning, if that was when I was foreign secretary, then yes.

Our Luke Harding has tweeted the clip:

"Did you meet Alexander Lebedev without your officials?"

"I think I probably did, [mumble], I would need to check"

"Where did you meet him?"

"Er, I met him in Italy as it happens" pic.twitter.com/xlFlEtjvhH

— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) July 6, 2022
  • 3h ago16.53

Ukraine has rejected a claim by Russia’s defence ministry that Moscow’s armed forces had destroyed two advanced US-made Himars rocket systems and their ammunition depots in eastern Ukraine.

Russia earlier claimed that its armed forces destroyed two launchers for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars) that America and its allies had been supplying to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s general staff tweeted that the claims were fake and that it was using the US-supplied Himars to inflict “devastating blows” on Russian forces.

УВАГА! РОСІЙСЬКИЙ ФЕЙК
російські пропагандисти активно поширюють неправдиві повідомлення про нібито знищення американської артилерійської системи “HIMARS”.

Наголошуємо, що дані повідомлення не відповідають дійсності і є нічим іншим, як черговим російським фейком.

— Генеральний штаб ЗСУ (@GeneralStaffUA) July 6, 2022

It has not been possible to independently verify either side’s claims.

  • Updated at 17.20 BST

4h ago16.43

The Irish taoiseach, Micheal Martin, and Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, shaking hands
The Irish taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, shaking hands at a joint press conference in Kyiv. Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA
  • Updated at 18.17 BST
  • 4h ago16.32
  • Lizzy Davies

The number of people going hungry in the world has risen by 150 million since the start of the Covid pandemic, the UN has said, warning that the food crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine risks pushing the worst-hit countries into famine.

Globally, the number suffering from chronic undernourishment rose to as many as 828 million last year, a rise of about 46 million on the previous year, and three times that increase if measured since the world shut down due to Covid, a report has found.

With the price of fuel, food staples and fertiliser soaring since the invasion of Ukraine, however, that total is expected to rise even further in the next year – a scenario that could see some of the world’s poorest fall into famine, the most extreme form of food deprivation.

“There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead,” said David Beasley, executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). “The global price spikes in food, fuel and fertilisers as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push countries around the world into famine.

A family fleeing drought in Somalia arrive at a camp near Mogadishu last month. Mass migration is now likely ‘on an unprecedented scale’, the WFP warns.
A family fleeing drought in Somalia arrive at a camp near Mogadishu last month. Mass migration is now likely ‘on an unprecedented scale’, the WFP warns. Photograph: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP

“The result will be global destabilisation, starvation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale,” he warned. “We have to act today to avert this looming catastrophe.”

Due to the uncertainty caused by the lingering impact of Covid shutdowns, the report, released on Wednesday, is unable to give a precise figure for the number of people going hungry in 2021, instead estimating that the total was somewhere between 702 million and 828 million. If the latter, that would equate to about 10.5% of the world population. The global hunger toll soars by 150 million as Covid and Ukraine war make their mark.

  • 4h ago16.04

Nearly 9 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, says UN

Daniel Boffey

Daniel Boffey

Nearly 9 million people have left Ukraine since Vladimir Putin invaded, the UN refugee agency has said, as the governor of Donetsk called on civilians still in the region to flee.

With Russia stepping up its offensive in the east of the country, there are increasingly loud calls from the Ukrainian authorities for people to escape while they can from frontline areas.

The UN refugee agency announced on Wednesday that 8.793 million people had crossed out of Ukraine since 24 February, while Donetsk’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, urged the region’s 350,000 people to flee amid reports of fresh deaths and injuries.

Donetsk is the last remaining eastern province of Ukraine partially under Kyiv’s control. Reports suggested on Wednesday that at least seven civilians had been killed in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours and 25 are said to have been wounded.

Kyrylenko said two people had died in the region’s central city of Avdiivka while fatalities were also reported in Sloviansk, Krasnohorivka and Kurakhove.

“The destiny of the whole country will be decided by the Donetsk region,” Kyrylenko said. “Once there are fewer people, we will be able to concentrate more on our enemy and perform our main tasks.”Nearly 9m people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, says UNRead more

  • Updated at 17.23 BST
  • 4h ago15.59

Summary of the day so far

It’s 6 pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:

  • The governor of Donetsk, the last remaining eastern province of Ukraine partially under Kyiv’s control, has urged the region’s 350,000 people to flee amid reports of fresh deaths and injuries. At least seven civilians have been killed in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours and 25 are said to have been wounded as the Kremlin continues to step up its offensive in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said resistance was ongoing in villages around the city of Lysychansk, where 15,000 civilians remain. On Telegram, Haidai said: “Today’s videos from Lysychansk are painful to watch.” He accused Putin’s troops of engaging in a scorched earth policy, “burning down and destroying everything on their way”.
  • The battle for Sloviansk is likely to be the next key contest in the struggle for Donbas as Russian forces approach within 16km of the Donetsk town, British intelligence said. Russian forces from the eastern and western groups of forces are likely now around 16km north of Sloviansk as central and southern groups of forces also pose a threat to the town, the UK Ministry of Defence has said.
  • Russia’s defence ministry has claimed its forces destroyed two advanced US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) rocket systems and ammunition depots in eastern Ukraine. It also said Russian forces destroyed two ammunition depots storing rockets for the HIMARS near the frontline in a village south of Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. These claims have not been independently verified.
  • The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas. The commission is working on a “European emergency plan” with the first proposals to be presented by the middle of the month, she said. “If worst comes to worst, then we have to be prepared,” she said.
  • Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited Ukraine on Wednesday to reiterate his country’s solidarity with Kyiv. After viewing the war-scarred suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin, Martin tweeted that it was “difficult to comprehend the devastation and inhumanity of Russia’s attacks” during its occupation of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin.
  • Russia has denied reports that a Russian-flagged ship is being held and investigated by Turkish authorities in the Black Sea port of Karasu over claims its cargo was stolen from Ukraine. Turkish customs officials acted after Kyiv claimed the Zhibek Zholy was illegally transporting 7,000 tonnes of grain out of Russian-occupied Berdiansk, a Ukrainian port in the southeast of the country. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Alexei Zaitsev, said the ship was “undergoing standard procedures”.
  • Russian-backed separatists have seized two foreign-flagged ships in the Russian-occupied port city of Mariupol and claimed they are “state property”. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) informed two shipping companies that their vessels were the subject of “forcible appropriation of movable property with forced conversion into state property”.
  • The head of the Russian-imposed administration of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, Yevgeny Balitsky, has said the region plans to sell Ukraine’s grain to the Middle East. The main countries involved in the deal were Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing grain, a charge that Moscow has denied.
  • Sri Lanka’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said he asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin to help import fuel to his country as it faces its worst economic crisis in seven decades. Rajapaksa tweeted that he had a “productive” telephone call with Putin while thanking him for “all the support extended by his [government] to overcome the challenges of the past
  • Latvia is to reinstate compulsory military service amid growing tension with Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Latvia, which borders Belarus and Russia, had scrapped mandatory service a few years after joining the Nato military alliance.
  • Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has announced that the UK’s ratification of Finland and Sweden’s membership of Nato will be fast-tracked through parliament in London. She said she will move that the accession is ratified on a fast-track before the parliamentary recess on 21 July without the usual process of ratifying a treaty.
  • The first rotation of Ukrainian soldiers has arrived in the UK for training, according to the defence secretary, Ben Wallace. The training is part of an innovative programme that aims to train up to 10,000 new Ukrainian recruits alongside a £2.3bn military aid package.
  • The US and other allies have called for Russian and Belarusian national governing bodies of sports to be suspended from international sports federations. The Russian embassy in the United States described the move as “Russophobic” and said, “sports should stay out of politics.”

Hello, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong still with you today with all the latest news from the war in Ukraine. I’m on Twitter or you can email me.

  • 4h ago15.57
Andrew Sparrow

Andrew Sparrow

Boris Johnson is still answering questions at the Commons liaison committee, where he was asked whether he met the former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev without officials when he was foreign secretary in April 2018.

Johnson says he did meet Lebedev because he used to own the Evening Standard, but he says he cannot remember when.

When pressed, he says he thinks it is correct that he met Lebedev without officials when he was a foreign secretary in Italy. Asked if he reported the meeting to his officials, he says he thinks he did.

Johnson was referring to this meeting.

From the i’s Paul Waugh:

Wow. @BorisJohnson finally confirmed something he has previously ducked repeatedly. Asked by @Meg_HillierMP whether he met ex-KGB spy Alexander Lebedev without officials when he was Foreign Secretary he replies: "I probably did."

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) July 6, 2022

And ITV’s Robert Peston:

.@BorisJohnson tells Diana Johnson he “probably” met Alexander Lebedev in Italy as foreign secretary without officials. This looks like another can of worms. Lebedev is ex KGB, has had murky relationship with Putin, and is father of Evgeny L, owner of Standard

— Robert Peston (@Peston) July 6, 2022
  • Updated at 16.17 BST
  • 4h ago15.48
Jennifer Rankin

Jennifer Rankin

The European parliament has backed plans to label gas and nuclear energy as “green”, rejecting appeals from Ukraine and climate activists that the proposals are a gift to Vladimir Putin.

One senior MEP said the vote was a “dark day for the climate”, while experts said the EU had set a dangerous precedent for countries to follow.

The row began late last year with the leak of long-awaited details on the EU’s green investment guidebook, intended to help investors channel billions to the clean power transition.

The European Commission decided some gas and nuclear projects could be included in the EU taxonomy of environmentally sustainable economic activities, subject to certain conditions.

Under the plans, gas can be classed as a sustainable investment if “the same energy capacity cannot be generated with renewable sources” and plans are in place to switch to renewables or “low-carbon gases”. Nuclear power can be called green if a project promises to deal with radioactive waste.

Svitlana Krakovska, a Ukrainian climate scientist and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said: “I am in shock. Russia’s war against Ukraine is a war paid for by climate-heating fossil fuels and the European parliament just voted to boost billions of funding to fossil gas from Russia. How in the world is that in line with Europe’s stance to protect our planet and stand with Ukraine?”

‘Putin rubbing hands with glee’ after EU votes to class gas and nuclear as green.

  • 5h ago15.24

Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, has been giving evidence to the Commons liaison committee including covering the situation in Ukraine.

Asked what he considers victory for Ukraine, Johnson replies that it is ultimately up to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to decide the terms “but he’s been very clear that he would like to return at least to the status quo” before Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

Johnson says even if Zelenskiy wanted to do a land deal in exchange for peace, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin isn’t offering any such deal.

He says the UK government is helping Ukrainians with de-mining areas of the country and “doing what we can” to help small packets of grain to leave the country on rail routes.

As our Andrew Sparrow writes, it is not obvious from the questions that MPs on the committee have been closely following what is happening elsewhere in the building.

Andrew is covering the developments from the UK on our politics live blog. Boris Johnson reportedly refused to resign despite a cabinet delegation telling him to go – liveRead more

  • 5h ago15.02

Donetsk governor urges people to flee after more civilian deaths

Daniel Boffey

Daniel Boffey

The governor of Donetsk, the last remaining eastern province of Ukraine partially under Kyiv’s control, has urged the region’s 350,000 people to flee amid reports of fresh deaths and injuries.

At least seven civilians have been killed in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours and 25 are said to have been wounded as the Kremlin continues to step up its offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Donetsk’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said two people had died in the region’s central city of Avdiivka while fatalities were also reported in Sloviansk, Krasnohorivka and Kurakhove.

Kyrylenko said:

The destiny of the whole country will be decided by the Donetsk region. Once there are less people, we will be able to concentrate more on our enemy and perform our main tasks.

After declaring victory in the province of Luhansk, Vladimir Putin has set as his latest public goal the “liberation” of the eastern Donbas region, made up of Luhansk and Donetsk, but his forces continue to face stiff resistance.

Luhansk’s governor, Serhiy Haidai, said on Wednesday that resistance was ongoing in villages around the city of Lysychansk, where 15,000 civilians remain.

On Telegram, Haidai said:

Today’s videos from Lysychansk are painful to watch.

He accused Putin’s troops of engaging in a scorched earth policy, “burning down and destroying everything on their way”.

Read the full article here. Nearly 9m people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, says the UN.

  • 6h ago14.26

UK's ratification of Sweden and Finland joining Nato to be fast-tracked – Truss

British foreign secretary Liz Truss has announced that the UK’s ratification of Finland and Sweden’s membership of Nato will be fast-tracked through parliament in London.

While it has been a very busy day in British politics today, as my colleague Andrew Sparrow is covering on our UK politics live blog, there is still some government business being done.

Truss, who would be a frontrunner to replace the beleaguered prime minister Boris Johnson, has just tweeted about the process of the UK ratifying Finland and Sweden’s application to join Nato. She said:

Important moment signing the instrument of ratification to fast-track Nato membership for Finland & Sweden. It will now go to Washington to come into force. Russian aggression is being met with unity and resolve.

Important moment signing the instrument of ratification to fast-track @NATO membership for Finland & Sweden 🇫🇮🇸🇪. It will now go to Washington to come into force.

Russian aggression is being met with unity and resolve.

My statement to @HouseofCommons 👇https://t.co/LoOBo8Wf8E pic.twitter.com/uzCor65B6g

— Liz Truss (@trussliz) July 6, 2022

Truss then linked to her written statement to parliament which says, in part:

The government is committed to strengthening security and defence at home and overseas. A strong Nato is at the heart of our ability to deter and defend against state adversaries.

With Russia conducting an illegal and barbaric war in mainland Europe, it is unsurprising that countries that already work closely with Nato would consider applying to join the alliance and to benefit from its collective security guarantees. We must ensure that Finland and Sweden are integrated into Nato as quickly as possible.

She then says she will move that the accession is ratified on a fast-track before the parliamentary recess on 21 July without the usual process of ratifying a treaty. She says

Using this process will ensure the UK’s part is concluded swiftly and use our example to encourage other Allies to think radically about how quickly they can respectively ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession. All thirty Allies need to ratify the protocols before Finland and Sweden can join the Alliance. I have been pushing my Allied colleagues hard to complete the ratification process as soon as possible. It is important that the UK does everything we can to do likewise.

She cites the risk that Finland and/or Sweden could be attacked by Russia prior to them coming under the umbrella of Nato’s collective security, saying: “Russia has already made several threatening comments in the public domain regarding the possibility of Swedish and Finnish membership of Nato.”

© 2022 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. (modern)


Editor Commentary:

What everybody must be aware of is that this is not a war to prevent Putin from occupying Ukraine, but an attempt by the evil Khazarian Jews/WEF/NATO to control yet another country in their growing New World Order. They are simply using Ukraine as a battlefield. Their plan is to destroy totally the world's economy and turn the population into slaves. Like the Freemasons, they have also life-threatening rules in their membership, one being REVENGE, 10 times harder than was ever perpetrated on them. Russia in particular, in the past, has expelled the Khazars several times. I have all of 7 detailed articles in book format on the Khazarian Jews if anybody is interested in further information. Putin, and earlier also Trump, are the ONLY Presidents who have enough guts to see what they are attempting to do to the world population and have sufficient courage to do something about it.

HUMAN SYNTHESIS


COPYRIGHTS

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WHO and WHAT is behind it all? : >

The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.

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HUMAN SYNTHESIS