War in Ukraine: Switzerland adopts new EU sanctions – Ukraine reports attacks on Russian positions

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    Putin compares himself with Tsar Peter the Great Ukraine criticizes death sentences of pro-Russian separatists France assures Ukraine more heavy weapons The news about the war in Ukraine in the star ticker.

    Day 107 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to see his country’s situation in the war against the Russian invaders as complicated. On the battlefield in the east of the country, the Ukrainian army is bravely braving the enemy, he says. Meanwhile, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in Moscow puts the armed conflict he ordered against Ukraine on the same level as the Great Northern War under Tsar Peter I – and speaks of a repatriation of Russian soil. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24.

    4:01 p.m.: Pro-Russian separatists: Chemical plant in Severodonetsk surrounded

    According to pro-Russian separatists, the Azot chemical plant in the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian city of Sieverodonetsk is completely surrounded. “A small group of Ukrainian formations on the territory of the Azot chemical plant can no longer leave the plant. All escape routes are cut off for them,” wrote the ambassador of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in Moscow Rodion Miroshnik on the social network Telegram.

    Miroshnik admitted the possibility that civilians could still be staying on the besieged Azot site. The Ukrainian side had recently spoken of several hundred people who used the factory basement as an air raid shelter and were now stuck. After more than three months of war, Russia has already occupied more than 90 percent of the Luhansk region, in which Sieverodonetsk is located.

    The fighting around the Azot chemical plant brings back memories of the siege of the Azovstal steelworks in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol. In mid-May, the last 2,400 Ukrainian defenders who had previously holed up in the plant’s huge bunkers for weeks surrendered. You are now in Russian captivity. Many other Ukrainian fighters did not survive the week-long siege: After the capture of Azovstal, Russia’s military reported the discovery of more than 150 bodies at the end of May.

    2:06 p.m .: Switzerland adopts new EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus

    As one of the most important hubs for international oil trade, Switzerland is adopting the new EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus – including the oil embargo. This was announced by the government in Bern. The EU sanctions will gradually come into force with transition periods until the beginning of 2023.

    According to a report by the Swiss business magazine “Bilanz”, around 50 to 80 percent of the products of the raw material supplier Russia are traded via Switzerland. The world’s largest independent oil trader is the Dutch trading group Vitol, based in Geneva. According to their own statements, the company, like Trafigura – also from Geneva – has already significantly reduced or given up trading in Russian crude oil and petroleum products.

    11:35 a.m.: Britons sentenced to death were regular soldiers, according to governor

    The two Britons sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are regular soldiers, according to Ukrainian sources. “All the people who come to fight on the Ukrainian side sign documents with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which gives them official status,” Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Hajday tells BBC Radio 4. “Therefore, subject they comply with the Geneva Convention if they become prisoners of war.” That’s why they shouldn’t be sentenced to death, even if they’re not Ukrainians, says Hajdaj. The governor says he knows the men’s lawyers have already appealed the unrecognized court’s ruling.

    11:29 a.m .: Zelenskyj is pushing for speed in the Ukrainian EU process

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging the EU to speed up his country’s accession. When a survey shows that 71 percent of Europeans see Ukraine as part of the European family, he wonders why there are still skeptical politicians who are reluctant to do so, he says in a video message at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit Alliance of Democracies Foundation founded by former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    The Ukrainian people have been told for so long that they have to remain in the gray area between the European Union and Russia, Zelenskyj criticizes. This gray area, which is so tempting for Russia, must be eliminated. Action must be taken in the coming weeks and days. “The European Union can take a historic step that will prove that words about the Ukrainian people’s belonging to the European family are not just empty words,” says Zelenskyy.

    10:55 a.m .: Ukraine reports attacks on Russian positions in the Kherson region

    According to the Ukrainian army, it has attacked Russian military positions in the Cherson region in southern Ukraine. The Air Force has flown attacks on equipment and personnel locations and field depots near five towns in the region, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said on Facebook. The Kherson region has been almost completely controlled by Russian troops since the early days of the Russian invasion. Kyiv fears that Moscow could soon hold a referendum on annexation to Russia along the lines of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. Ukraine has launched an offensive to retake the territory. The military situation there remains “tense”, according to the Ukrainian Presidential Office.

    10.09 a.m .: Özdemir in Kyiv – “sign of solidarity” with Ukraine

    At the start of his visit to Ukraine, Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir met his counterpart Mykola Solskyj for talks. “It’s about a sign of solidarity,” says the Green politician when he arrives at the ministry in the capital, Kyiv. Central topics should be help to stabilize the country’s agriculture in the Russian war of aggression. Germany is also working to enable Ukrainian grain exports in other ways, as usual exports via the Black Sea ports are blocked for the time being. Özdemir then wants to visit farms to get an idea of ​​the situation on the farms and the current needs of the Ukrainian agricultural sector. With his visit, he followed an invitation that his Ukrainian counterpart had extended at a ministerial meeting of the G7 group in Stuttgart in May.

    9.10 a.m .: London warns of cholera outbreak in Russian-occupied areas

    In view of the difficult humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, Great Britain warns of the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera. According to the Ministry of Defense in London, there is probably already a critical shortage of medicines in the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson. A cholera outbreak is threatening in the port city of Mariupol. “Individual cases of cholera have been reported since May,” it said, citing secret service findings. “Medical services in Mariupol are likely already on the verge of collapse. A major cholera outbreak in Mariupol will further exacerbate this.” In Ukraine there was a severe cholera epidemic in 1995 and since then there have been repeated smaller outbreaks, especially in the southeastern Ukrainian region around Mariupol on the Azov Sea.

    8.16 a.m .: Minister of Agriculture Özdemir arrived in Ukraine for a visit

    Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) has arrived in Ukraine for a visit. This is announced by a spokesman. A meeting with the Ukrainian head of department Mykola Solskyj is planned in the capital Kyiv. Central topics of discussion should be help to stabilize the country’s agriculture in the Russian war of aggression. Germany is also working to enable Ukrainian grain exports in other ways, as usual exports via the Black Sea ports are blocked for the time being.

    7.45 a.m .: Lauterbach offers Ukraine an aid package for the care of the injured

    Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants to offer Ukraine an “aid package” for the care of war wounded during his visit to the country. “So much misery has arisen here as a result of this barbaric war of aggression,” says the SPD politician in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. He is on the road with a team of surgeons and specialists “to help with the care of severely injured people with burns – that’s where we want to train, that’s where we want to build it up”.

    6:58 a.m.: Russian troops are advancing on Bakhmut from the southeast

    According to Ukrainian information, with heavy fighting continuing in the Donbass, the Russian troops are finally advancing on the Bakhmut transport hub. They are threatening to cut off supplies to the administrative center of Sieverodonetsk. “The enemy attacked in the direction of Vozdvyshenka – Roty, was partially successful and is holding on to the positions taken,” said the Ukrainian General Staff in its situation report. The villages are only about ten kilometers southwest of Bachmut. The road from Bakhmut to Sievjerodonetsk can also be shelled with heavy equipment from there.

    6.30 a.m .: Zelenskyj promotes further rapprochement with the EU

    The situation at the front is “without any significant changes,” says Ukrainian President Zelenskyj in a video message. The strategically important town of Sievarodonetsk and its neighboring city of Lysychansk, as well as other cities in the Donbass that Russian attackers currently consider key targets in the east of the country, could defend themselves effectively. He promotes further rapprochement between the EU and his country. “Most Europeans support the integration of Ukraine.”

    5.10 a.m.: Ukraine criticizes death sentences by pro-Russian separatists

    Ukraine has sharply criticized a trial of three foreign fighters in its armed forces. The Supreme Court of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic had sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan to death as mercenaries. Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko says that foreigners in the Ukrainian army are regular soldiers and should be treated as such. They had the rights of prisoners of war. The process put propaganda above law and morality. The three men can still appeal.

    4:05 a.m .: Like Tsar Peter the Great, Putin wants to “take back” Russian soil

    Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin puts the war he ordered against Ukraine on the same level as the Great Northern War under Russia’s Tsar Peter I and speaks of a return campaign from Russian soil. Peter didn’t conquer the area around today’s metropolis of St. Petersburg from the Swedes, but rather won it back. “Apparently it’s also our lot: to bring them back and strengthen them,” says Putin, according to the Interfax agency, drawing parallels to the war against Ukraine. June 9th is the 350th birthday of Peter the Great, who was the first Russian tsar to call himself “Emperor”.

    3.30 a.m .: Kyiv cancels city twinning with Minsk

    Because Belarus supports the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian capital Kyiv has canceled the city partnership with the Belarusian metropolis Minsk, which has existed since 1997, as Mayor Vitali Klitschko reports. Rockets were flying from Belarus to Ukrainian towns and villages, and Russian troops also invaded from there, emphasizes the former boxing world champion.

    2.55 a.m .: Ukrainian ambassador wants more clarity from Germany

    Ukraine has not yet received any information from Germany as to when the weapons recently promised by the federal government for defensive combat against Russia will be delivered. So far there is no clarity as to when the Mars multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks will be handed over, says the Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, the “Tagesspiegel” (Online). “We expect the traffic light to quickly fulfill this promise because our troops need this weapon system most urgently to protect Ukrainian civilians from barbaric attacks by Russia.”

    2.10 a.m .: France assures Ukraine of more heavy weapons

    French President Macron assures Ukraine that he will deliver more heavy weapons if necessary. In a phone call with Zelensky, Macron emphasized that his country was still on Ukraine’s side, the Élysée Palace said. Macron asked Zelenskyy about needs in terms of military equipment, political and financial support, and humanitarian aid.

    1:25 a.m.: Ukrainian Defense Minister on difficult situation at the front

    According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the situation at the front is difficult. “Every day up to 100 of our soldiers are killed and up to 500 wounded,” writes Resnikov on Facebook. Russia suffers great losses. “But there are still forces advancing in some parts of the front,” he stresses. Ukraine urgently needs heavy weapons. “We have proved that, unlike many others, we do not fear the Kremlin. But as a country, we cannot afford to lose our best sons and daughters.” Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak even speaks of 100 to 200 deaths a day.

    12:50 a.m .: “Russians have more casualties than Ukrainians”

    According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops suffered significant losses in the battle for Sievjerodonetsk. “The Russians have significantly more casualties than the Ukrainians,” said Luhansk governor Serhiy Hajdaj on Facebook. The ratio is “one to ten”. He gave no information on Ukrainian losses. The Russian army has withdrawn the remains of units from the republic of Buryatia in Russia’s Far East. “They die like flies,” says Hajdaj. The information is not independently verifiable.