War in Ukraine: Macron confirms: French journalist killed in Ukraine – Ukrainian ex-president Poroshenko is allowed to leave the country

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    Moscow has grain shipped from Ukraine to Russia According to the governor, the Russian army is advancing on the center of Severodonetsk  The developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.

    Day 96 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: The Russian army wears down the Ukrainian lines in the east with massive shelling. In the strategically important Severodonetsk, the Kremlin troops are apparently moving towards the city center and in the Sloviansk area, according to Ukrainian information, the invaders are preparing a large-scale offensive. Meanwhile, Ukraine is reporting its own successes in an offensive in the south. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to speak at an EU summit in Brussels that begins today.

    4:44 p.m.: French journalist killed in Ukraine

    A French journalist has been killed in Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter that Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was on a bus with civilians. “I share the suffering of his family, relatives and colleagues,” emphasizes Macron. He expressed France’s support to everyone who was deployed in crisis areas to report on what was happening there.

    The circumstances of his death were initially unclear. Leclerc-Imhoff, who worked for the broadcaster BFM-TV, was traveling with civilians who wanted to flee the war. Macron wrote that he was “deadly hit”.

    4:13 p.m .: Third attempt: Ukrainian ex-president Poroshenko is allowed to leave the country

    At the third attempt, the Ukrainian ex-president Petro Poroshenko managed to leave his country. The opposition leader has left for Poland, the Ukrinform news agency reported on Monday, referring to Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party. In a letter to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy published on Facebook, Poroshenko stated that he wanted to attend a congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Rotterdam.

    On Friday, the 56-year-old tried in vain to cross the border into Poland. According to the information, Poroshenko wanted to travel to a lecture before the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Despite an exit permit, the Ukrainian border guards did not let him through. The following day, Poroshenko was turned away by border guards. Again there were problems with his documents.

    Poroshenko was head of state of the ex-Soviet republic from 2014 to 2019. Criminal proceedings are currently underway against him for high treason, but he may remain free under reporting conditions.

    3:48 p.m .: Von der Leyen: Quick agreement on oil embargo unrealistic

    EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen does not believe in a quick solution to the dispute over a European oil embargo against Russia. It is important that an embargo does not unfairly burden anyone in the EU, she says before the start of an EU summit in Brussels. “And that’s exactly the question we haven’t solved yet.”

    According to you, there are various ideas for a solution, but no common position yet. The probability that there will be a compromise at the summit is not very high, she says.

    EU Council President Charles Michel, on the other hand, was optimistic that an agreement would be reached in the dispute over the planned European oil embargo against Russia at the summit meeting of heads of state and government.

    2:51 p.m .: Germany confirms import end for Russian oil by the end of 2022

    Ahead of the EU summit beginning this afternoon, Germany and Poland underlined their will to impose an import ban on Russian oil by the end of the year. This will also apply if the EU allows exceptions to the planned oil embargo with a view to Hungary and other countries, according to diplomatic circles in Brussels. A compromise on the embargo sought shortly before the summit stipulates that oil deliveries via pipelines should be excluded indefinitely. Theoretically, this would have opened up the possibility that Germany could also have benefited from the exception.

    The EU countries continue to fight for an oil embargo against Russia. Countries that are heavily dependent on this raw material, and Hungary in particular, blocked the necessary unanimous sanctions decision. Therefore, a graduated embargo is now under discussion. Imports via pipelines, which are particularly important for Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, could therefore be possible for much longer.

    2:23 p.m .: Moscow has grain shipped from Ukraine to Russia

    Russia, which has been blocking Ukrainian agricultural exports by sea for weeks, has now imported grain into its own country from the occupied Black Sea region of Cherson. The export of last year’s harvest to Russia has begun, reported the deputy chief of the pro-Russian military administration in Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, the state news agency TASS. It’s about making space in the stores for the new harvest. Therefore, part of the grain stocks were sold to Russia. Stremusov did not say under what conditions the farmers handed over their harvest to Russia. Kyiv accuses Moscow of stealing grain supplies. Russian troops illegally exported nearly 500,000 tons from Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Taras Vysotskyi said today.

    Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. As a result of the war and Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, global food prices have risen significantly. Western politicians accuse Moscow of speculating on a hunger crisis and using it as a means of pressure for the West to relax sanctions. The Kremlin rejects this.

    1:36 p.m .: Ex-President Poroshenko can now leave Ukraine after all

    Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has left Ukraine after he said he was prevented from leaving the country twice over the weekend. Under pressure from members of the EU Parliament and government representatives from the EU, Poroshenko has now been allowed to leave the country in order to be able to take part in the party conference of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) in Rotterdam tomorrow, his press office announced. At the border control, Poroshenko presented the same documents with which he had previously been refused departure. Poroshenko’s opposition party, European Solidarity, has accused the authorities in Kyiv of trying to prevent the ex-president from attending a NATO meeting in Vilnius.

    Billionaire Poroshenko ruled Ukraine from 2014 to 2019 before losing the election to Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Before the war began, the Ukrainian authorities investigated dozens of crimes in which Poroshenko is said to be involved. In December they announced that they suspected him of high treason. A travel ban was imposed on him in January. However, he was granted an exit permit for the NATO meeting.

    1:05 p.m .: Kremlin accuses Ukraine of attacking civilian infrastructure in Donbass

    As the British BBC reports, citing the Russian news agency Interfax, Moscow is accusing Ukraine of “outrageous” attacks on civilian infrastructure in the course of the fighting in Donbass. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Ukrainian troops would also target “children’s institutions”. It is precisely this type of attack that the Russian army wants to prevent in Donbass. This information cannot be checked independently.

    The Russian armed forces are themselves accused of numerous war crimes in Ukraine. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has therefore opened investigations against Russia for alleged crimes against humanity.

    12:02 p.m.: Netflix is ​​no longer available in Russia

    The US streaming service Netflix is ​​no longer available to people in Russia. As the company announces, this is the result of a corresponding announcement in early March. At the time, Netflix announced that it would cease operations in Russia. According to the company, subscriptions and payments have still been processed since then.

    Although Netflix is ​​the world’s leading streaming service with 221.8 million subscribers (as of the end of March), it only played a small role in Russia. In a letter to its investors in April, it said the withdrawal from Russia meant the loss of 700,000 paying subscribers.

    11:54 a.m .: Russia reports successful artillery attack on Mykolaiv

    The Russian military said it fired on a shipyard in the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. “An artillery strike on a hangar on the territory of the shipbuilding factory ‘Ocean’ in the city of Mykolaiv destroyed more than 15 Ukrainian main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and 5 large artillery systems,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. In the past 24 hours, air, rocket and artillery attacks have also destroyed dozens of command posts and command posts in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, as well as telecommunications centers and numerous troop concentrations. More than 320 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 47 military vehicles were disabled. The information cannot be independently verified.

    11:26 a.m .: Federal government confirms agreement on taking in endangered Russians

    The federal government has agreed on regulations for the uncomplicated admission of Russians who are considered particularly endangered in their home country. “Russia’s increasingly brutal aggression against Ukraine is being accompanied by ever-increasing internal repression, especially against the press, against human rights activists and members of the opposition,” quoted Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as saying. “We offer Russians who are being persecuted and threatened protection in Germany. And we will give Russian journalists in particular the opportunity to report freely and independently from Germany.”

    According to the ministry, the general rules should continue to apply to Russians, after which they can enter with a passport and stay in this country. Depending on the purpose of your stay, a visa may also be necessary, for example for Russian professionals who want to work here. In particular, members of the opposition or other endangered persons have the possibility in individual cases to be admitted via a regulation in the Residence Act. This is then justified with the “preservation of political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany”.

    10.15 a.m .: Poland’s border guard has 3.7 million entries from Ukraine

    Since the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Polish border guards have registered 3.7 million arrivals from the neighboring country to the east. Yesterday, 21,700 people came across the border to Poland, as the authority announced on Twitter. At the same time, 28,600 people crossed the border towards Ukraine. A total of almost 1.7 million people have entered Ukraine from Poland since February 24. According to the authorities, most of these were Ukrainian citizens. They mostly travel to areas that the Ukrainian army has recaptured. There is no official information on how many of the war refugees stayed in Poland and how many traveled on to other EU countries.

    The Polish Ministry of Education estimates that up to 400,000 girls and boys from Ukraine will start classes in Polish schools from the start of the coming school year on September 1st. According to Deputy Education Minister Tomasz Rzymkowski, 195,000 students from the neighboring country are currently studying in Polish schools.

    10.06 a.m .: Injured in bomb attack in Melitopol

    At least three people were injured in a bomb attack in the Russian-held town of Melitopol in southern Ukraine. “Today at 7.40 a.m. there was a powerful explosion right in the city center,” writes the head of the Russian military administration, Vladimir Rogov, on Telegram, calling the incident a terrorist attack. According to reports, a bomb planted under a parked vehicle detonated in Victory Square. The administration building occupied by the Russians is also on the square. The explosive device injured volunteers who had unloaded Russian aid supplies to the population, Russian media reports.

    Melitopol belongs to the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine and serves as an administrative center for the Russians, since the regional capital itself is still under Kiev control. Increased partisan activities by Ukrainians have been reported in the region in recent weeks — with attacks on infrastructure, Russian soldiers, but also collaborators working with the Russian occupiers.

    9.33 a.m .: France’s new foreign minister travels to Kyiv

    France’s new Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna is visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv today. With the trip, she wanted to express France’s determination to increase military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, according to the Foreign Ministry in Paris. It is also a sign of France’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression. Colonna is received in Kyiv by President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. She is also meeting her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, with whom she wants to talk about a solution to the blockade on Ukrainian grain exports.

    Colonna took office just over a week ago after the appointment of the new government of re-elected President Emmanuel Macron. Macron himself has not yet traveled to Kyiv and had announced that he would do so at a moment when it could have a concrete benefit in ending the conflict.

    9.06 a.m .: London reports “devastating losses” among Russian officers

    According to British findings, Russia suffered “devastating casualties” in its officer corps in its war against Ukraine. Brigade and battalion commanders are active on the front line, according to the Ministry of Defense in London, citing intelligence findings. On the one hand, this is because they are held personally responsible for the success of their units. In addition, the Russian army lacked qualified non-commissioned officers who fulfilled this role in Western armed forces.

    These heavy losses would have several consequences for the Russian armed forces, the ministry said. For example, newly formed battalions are probably less effective due to the lack of junior leaders. In addition, there is a danger that existing problems such as a lack of discipline and weak morals will be exacerbated. There are credible reports of isolated mutinies. After all, the modernization of the army will become even more difficult.

    8.52 a.m .: According to the governor, the Russian army is advancing towards the center of Severodonetsk

    According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops are advancing in the strategically important city of Severodonetsk. “The Russians are advancing towards the center of Severodonetsk. Fighting continues, the situation is very difficult,” writes the governor of the Luhansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, on Telegram. Two people in a car were injured in a Russian attack, but they could have been taken “to safety”. “The important infrastructure of Severodonetsk has been destroyed, 60 percent of the apartments cannot be rebuilt,” said Gajdaj. The road connecting Severodonetsk with Lysychansk and the city of Bakhmut further south is too “dangerous” to bring civilians to safety and relief supplies to the city.

    Severodonetsk and the neighboring city of Lysychansk are the last two Ukrainian-held cities in the Luhansk region. The mayor of Severodonetsk, Olexander Stryuk, had already sounded the alarm over the weekend about the humanitarian and sanitary situation in the city with a former population of 100,000. “Constant bombing raids” made the supply of drinking water more difficult. There has been no electricity in the city for more than two weeks.

    7.22 a.m .: According to Ukraine, Russia is preparing a major attack on Sloviansk

    According to Ukrainian information, the Russian armed forces are preparing a large-scale attack on the Sloviansk area, the center of the Ukrainian defense forces in the Donbass. Kremlin troops deployed new units to the area to attack Sloviansk from both Izyum and the recently captured small town of Lyman, the Ukrainian General Staff situation report said. In preparation, they moved 250 military vehicles to the Izyum area and also repaired a railway bridge in the area to speed up supplies. In addition, a squadron of modern Ka-52 heavy attack helicopters was stationed north of Izyum. In addition, the Russian troops are in the process of repositioning themselves in Lyman, northeast of Sloviansk.

    The Sloviansk-Kramatorsk region is the largest metropolitan area in the Donbass that is still under Kyiv’s control. The high command of the armed forces in the east of the country is also stationed here.

    6.40 a.m .: Ukraine reports successes in offensive in the south

    According to the Ukrainian military, it continued its offensive in the south of the country during the night. “The situation in the south is dynamic and tense,” says the high command of the Ukrainian military district South on its Facebook page. Russia is assembling reserves and trying to fortify the front lines in the Kherson region. “At the same time, our units continue their offensive activities to tie down the enemy and prevent regrouping of reserves.” According to their own statements, the Ukrainian military pushed back the Kremlin troops near the three villages of Andriyivka, Lozove and Bilohirka, killing 67 Russian soldiers and disabling 27 military vehicles in the fighting. Including six — albeit very outdated — T-62 tanks. This information cannot be independently verified.

    Kyiv also launched the attacks in the south at the weekend as a counter-offensive to the Russian advance in the Donbass. The military experts at the US war research institute Institute for the Study of War (ISW) rate it as a “successful limited counterattack”. This has forced the Russians in the region to turn to defense and disrupted Moscow’s attempt to establish control of the Black Sea region of Kherson. The city of Kherson at the mouth of the Dnieper and in close proximity to the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia is of strategic importance.

    6.25 a.m .: The federal government apparently agrees on criteria for the admission of persecuted Putin opponents

    According to a report, the federal government has set criteria for the admission of particularly vulnerable Kremlin critics from Russia. As the newspapers of the Funke media group report, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media have come to an agreement on the groups of people who are at risk. These are human rights defenders threatened by political persecution, members of the opposition, employees of human rights organizations and scientists, but also journalists who are specifically endangered. According to the federal government, they will be helped faster and less bureaucratically with a residence permit when they flee Russia.

    4.11 a.m .: EU heads of state and government are negotiating new financial aid for Ukraine

    Further financial aid for Ukraine and European defense policy are topics of the EU special summit today and tomorrow in Brussels. It is unclear whether the heads of state and government can agree on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. This should also include an oil embargo against Russia, which Hungary does not want to support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to report on the situation in Ukraine by video at the beginning of the summit.

    Hungary has so far blocked the planned EU oil embargo because it says it gets 65 percent of its crude oil from Russia. The country recently demanded a four-year transition period and 800 million euros in financial aid to adapt its refineries and expand a pipeline from Croatia. The French EU Council Presidency originally convened the special summit to make progress on European defense policy. Among other things, a joint procurement policy is to be discussed.

    3:15 a.m.: Reports of dead and injured in Russian attacks

    According to the authorities, several civilians were killed or wounded in attacks on Ukrainian locations. The governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, blames Russia for three dead and four injured in the government-controlled part of the region in the east of the country. In Mykolaiv in the south of the country, the authorities report at least one death in an attack on a residential area. Russia denies attacking civilian targets.

    According to the General Staff in Kyiv, the Ukrainian army has fended off 14 Russian attacks in the Donbass. More than 60 Russian soldiers were killed and tanks and artillery destroyed. The information cannot be independently verified.

    2:47 a.m.: Gauck for supporting Ukraine with weapons

    According to the former German President Joachim Gauck, arms deliveries to the Ukraine are important for their fight for freedom against the Russian attackers. “Without the weapons of the Allies in the World War there would have been a Europe under Nazi rule,” says Gauck in the “Bild” newspaper. Ukraine must be allowed to say what it needs to oppose Russia. “If people then say to us: We want to fight for our freedom, we’ll even risk our lives, then it’s not up to us to explain to them from a safe place what the right thing is,” said the ex-president. “That would be callous and highly arrogant.”

    Nevertheless, politicians must continue to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Responsible politics must also talk to dictators. We must never do without diplomacy.” However, it is important to negotiate from a position of strength. That also “proved to be correct during the Cold War.”

    1.19 a.m .: Selenskyj accuses Russia of a war of annihilation

    After an unannounced visit to the embattled Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is shocked. “Black, burned-out, half-ruined apartment buildings face east and north with their windows — to where Russian artillery fired from,” he says in a video message. Russia not only lost the battle for Kharkiv, but also for Kyiv and northern Ukraine. “It has lost its own future and any cultural ties to the free world. They are all burned.”

    Zelenskyj also accuses Russia of extensively destroying the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the Donbass. The entire infrastructure has been destroyed, he says in the video message. “90 percent of the houses are damaged. More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock has been completely destroyed.” The city is constantly under attack. According to Zelensky, Moscow wants to hoist its flag on the administrative building of Sievjerodonetsk, which is located on the Boulevard of Friendship of Nations there. “How bitter that name sounds now.” Sievjerodonetsk has been the target of attacks for months. The city is considered the last point that the Ukrainian military still controls in the Luhansk region.

    The trip to Kharkiv was Zelensky’s first known visit to the front since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. In Kharkiv, he says he fired the local head of the domestic secret service SBU, “because he hasn’t worked to protect the city since the first days of the war, but only thought about himself,” the president said. The case was handed over to the judiciary.

    12:25 a.m .: Lavrov rejects speculation about Putin’s illness

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied rumors that Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has fallen ill. “I don’t think that reasonable people can see signs of any kind of illness or infirmity in this person,” Lavrov said in response to a question from French television channel TF1. Putin, who will be 70 in October, appears in public “every day”. “You can see him on screens, read and listen to his speeches,” Lavrov said, according to a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Putin’s health and personal life are taboo subjects in Russia and almost never discussed in public.

    0.02 a.m .: Eurovision winners auction trophy in favor of Ukraine

    The Ukrainian winners of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced that they have auctioned off their competition trophy for the benefit of their home country’s army. “A special thanks to Team Whitebit who bought the trophy for $900,000 and are now the legal owners of our trophy,” the band Kalush Orchestra announced. Whitebit is a Ukrainian company that operates a crypto exchange, an online trading platform where cryptocurrencies can be bought, sold and exchanged. Since 2008, the winners have been presented with a glass microphone trophy. Kalush Orchestra won the 66th ESC in Turin in mid-May with the song “Stefania”.