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Ukraine update: Zelensky calls for more weapons for cou...

World

UKRAINE UPDATE: 8 JUNE 2022

Zelensky calls for more weapons for counteroffensive; Russian foreign minister lands in Turkey

German troops with their military vehicles during German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit at Camp Adrian Rohn (Nato's Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania) in Pabrade, Lithuania, on 7 June 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Valda Kalnina)
By Bloomberg
08 Jun 2022 1

President Vladimir Putin warned that key industrial sectors are facing major slowdowns even as he highlighted signs of economic strength, underlining the challenges the Kremlin faces as the impact deepens of international sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated calls for more weapons to continue offensives as Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow’s forces had occupied 97% of the territory of Luhansk, one of two regions comprising the Donbas that is the focus of Putin’s war aims in Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was prepared to deploy more troops in the Baltics as part of Nato’s plans to shore up its eastern flank. 

Key developments  

Ukraine says it needs strong security guarantees in Black Sea 

A Russian attack that destroyed a warehouse at a grain terminal in southern Ukraine over the weekend shows the need for guarantees that would be provided “by supplying Ukraine with weapons to protect its shores from naval threats and by involving navies of third parties to patrol certain water areas in the Black Sea,” the Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement.

The ministry said Ukraine valued Turkey’s efforts for an accord to permit food shipments, but Ukraine’s interests must be protected.

Kuleba: No deal on unblocking ports without Ukraine 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba issued a statement as his Russian counterpart arrived in Turkey for talks on unblocking grain exports from the Black Sea, reiterating that no agreement had been reached between Kyiv, Ankara and Moscow on the matter. Any decisions must be made by all sides involved and any accords agreed upon without taking into account Ukraine’s interests will be rejected, Kuleba said.

Ukraine is in talks with the UN and other partners over corridors for grain exports. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Ankara on Tuesday for talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian news agency Tass reported. 

Zelensky: Ukraine lacks weapons for counteroffensive  

Ukrainian troops have slowed down their liberation of Russian-occupied territories as they lack firepower and manpower, Zelensky said in an interview with the Financial Times, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by the president’s office. 

Ukraine needs 10 times the amount of weapons and people to move forward with its counteroffensive, he said. Even so, Zelensky reiterated that his country needs to defeat Russia on the battlefield. Having Russian troops pushed back to their February 24 positions would only be a temporary victory as Ukraine has to regain control over all of its territories, he said. 

“So far I don’t see a configuration which could force Russia to halt this war,” he said when asked about calls to negotiate a resolution.

US says it helped Moldova reroute stranded apples 

As disruptions from the war in Ukraine threaten a global food crisis, Samantha Power cited a success story involving apples from Moldova. Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said that the agency helped Moldova export “tens of millions of dollars” in apples that were stuck in cold storage as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine and blockade of Black Sea ports.

“We are helping reduce Moldova’s dependence on Russian energy, and we are helping reroute exports originally due for Minsk and Moscow to European and global partners,” Power said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

 

 

 

US bars investors from buying Russia debt 

The US Treasury stepped up its financial sanctions on Russia, restricting investors from buying the country’s debt in the secondary market. The new guidance means US firms can hold or sell Russian debt, but can’t buy it, according to a spokesperson for the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Read more: US steps up sanctions, bars investors from buying Russian debt

Metinvest requests probe of metal theft 

Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest asked the Prosecutor-General’s Office to start criminal proceedings into the theft of its metal products in Mariupol by Russian forces, Interfax reported. Metinvest’s Azovstal and Ilyich Iron and Steel Works said property was misappropriated at both plants and shipped in unknown directions, the news service said, citing companies’ requests filed with prosecutors.

Russia claims military advances 

Speaking during a televised Defence Ministry meeting, Shoigu highlighted advances in Luhansk, adding that Russian forces had also taken control of the residential areas of Sievierodonetsk and were storming the industrial area.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that “the most dangerous situation” of the war was in Zaporizhzhia, a region west of Donetsk partly occupied by Russian forces. He added that Ukrainian forces were still fighting in Sievierodonetsk, although they are outnumbered by Russian personnel and heavy weapons.

Putin warns on economic outlook, cites successes 

Putin singled out the automobile sector, where nearly all car plants have shut for lack of imported components and said industries like steel face “risks of substantial reduction in output in the medium term”. At the same time, he touted record-low unemployment and the rouble’s strength as positive signs.

In a televised meeting with officials, Putin called on the government to provide more assistance to companies and consumers, though he didn’t announce any new spending. He didn’t specifically mention sanctions imposed by the US and its allies, referring only to “today’s difficulties caused by a series of circumstances that we won’t get into the details of”.

Russia is facing one of the deepest downturns in years, according to official forecasts, as sanctions cut off access to key markets and components and have triggered an exodus of foreign companies.

Johnson: Ukraine shouldn’t be pressured into ‘bad peace’  

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, fresh from surviving a vote of no confidence, told ministers at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that it was “vital” Zelensky wasn’t “pressured into accepting a bad peace”. Asked by reporters whether the remark was a dig at recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, Johnson’s spokesman Max Blain said the prime minister had no specific person in mind.

Macron’s rivals back his Russia stance in row with Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has played a major part in the fortunes of Johnson, who often presents the UK’s response as a reason for rebels in his ruling Conservative Party not to try to oust him. Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday that Zelensky would be “punching the air” following Johnson’s narrow win in the confidence vote.

Ukraine sees no immediate fresh attacks from north  

Ukraine sees no signs that Russia’s troops are poised to resume their invasion of Ukraine from the north, although it retains three battalion tactical groups, or about 2,000 soldiers, near its southern border with Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Military Staff. 

Russian forces meanwhile retreated from parts of Vasylivka south of the city of Zaporizhzhia in the direction of Kherson, governor Oleksandr Starukh said on national television. And Russian forces pulled back from most road checkpoints around Melitopol, the city’s mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said on Facebook.

Scholz says Germany prepared to reinforce Baltics 

“We are prepared to strengthen our engagement toward a robust fighting brigade,” Scholz said in Vilnius after a meeting with leaders from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. 

The three countries want the alliance’s battalion groups to be increased to brigade-size units of roughly 5,000 troops. This, together with local troops, would give it division-level strength in each of the Baltic countries. Nato’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Group in Lithuania is now led by Germany, which currently has some 500 soldiers on the ground there.

 

 

 

Turkey says Finland, Sweden in Nato is ‘not a right’ 

Finland and Sweden’s Nato membership is an “issue of principle” for Turkey, said Fahrettin Altun, communications director of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Speaking in Ankara, Altun said Turkey expects “concrete steps against terrorism” from the two nations, adding, “Nato membership is not a right but a privilege.”

Speaking separately in Helsinki, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto called on Nato to confirm “that they have the mechanism for taking new members” and said the bloc’s summit in Madrid at the end of June “is a very crucial point where they have to take stock of where we are in the process of Finnish and Swedish application”.

Ukraine’s river ports take lead as main food export route  

Most of Ukraine’s agriculture commodities were exported through river ports last month, making them the “main export gate” for one of the biggest global suppliers of food, which is struggling to restore its shipments to foreign markets amid the war with Russia. 

The country boosted its exports of grains, oilseeds and refinery products by 80% from the previous month in May, with 47% of overall shipments going via river ports and ferries, while in April the most popular way to ship was by rail, according to Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry.

Kingspan to invest €200m in Ukraine tech plant 

Irish building materials firm Kingspan Group Plc is investing €200-million in a building technology campus in Ukraine following its withdrawal from the Russian market. The move is a rare signal of investment confidence in Ukraine and its government since the invasion.

The facility will make insulation and heating products to help meet the demand for energy-efficient buildings and create more than 600 jobs, the company said in a statement.

Russian forces intensify attacks in north, east of Ukraine 

Russia is continuing its offensive near Izyum in the Kharkiv region and Slovyansk in the north of the Donetsk region, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian army. “Reports of heavy shelling near Izyum suggests Russia is preparing to make a renewed effort in the northern axis,” the UK Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update on Twitter. 

Russian forces also intensified attacks in the nearby Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine. Around 40 mortar and artillery projectiles were fired on Monday evening on several villages in the Sumy region near the Russian border, Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said on Telegram. Mortar and artillery fire continued on Tuesday morning, he said. DM

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  • The Russian army clearly cannot win a ground war in Ukraine so it now bombs Ukraine military and civilians with long range missiles. Time to up the game. Give Ukraine weapons that can strike back at ANY distance Russia launches attacks from plus give them live satellite data of the coordinates where the attacks are originating. If Russia is sending missiles from well inside Russia then those targets are fair game.

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