Extensive damage in Ukraine as Sloviansk hit by Russian shelling
Turkey has announced a deal with the governments of Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations aimed at resuming Ukrainian grain exports blocked by Russia, raising prospects for an end to a standoff that has put millions at risk of starvation.
The deal was set to be signed when the parties meet again next week and included joint controls for checking grains in ports and Turkey ensuring the safety of Black Sea export routes for Ukrainian grain.
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Vladimir Putin’s attempts to deepen ties with Iran amid the Ukraine conflict represents a “profound threat”.
Mr Sullivan’s comments come as US officials have said Iran is preparing to help supply Russia several hundred drones, including some that are weapons-capable, to use in Ukraine.
Mr Putin is expected to visit Tehran next week. Mr Sullivan called the timing of the Putin trip “interesting.”
“Russia deepening an alliance with Iran to kill Ukrainians is something that the whole world should look at and see as a profound threat,” he said.
Water supplies in Russian-held Mariupol to resume this month – report
Water supply to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, currently held by Russian forces, will resume this month, reported state news agency TASS, citing Moscow-designated mayor Konstantin Ivaschenko.
Officials in the city plan to resume operations of the city’s passenger port that links up to Russia’s Rostov-on-Don and Black Sea cities, Mr Ivaschenko said.
His appointment in the Russian-held town has not been recognised by Kyiv.
Arpan Rai14 July 2022 06:08
Making significant efforts to restore food supply to world market – Zelensky
Welcoming the unblocking of agricultural exports in Europe, Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United Nations and Turkey, which brokered the talks with Russia, for their help in making the first such attempt to resolve the ongoing food crisis.
“We are indeed making significant efforts to restore the supply of food to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts. The success of this story is needed not only by our state, but also, without exaggeration, by the whole world,” Mr Zelensky said.
He added: “If we manage to remove the Russian threat to navigation in the Black Sea, it will remove the severity of the world food crisis.”
“The Ukrainian delegation informed me that there is some progress. We will agree on the details with the UN Secretary General in the coming days,” the Ukrainian president said.
Arpan Rai14 July 2022 05:48
Zelensky to address Hague on Russian war criminals
Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will address the forum in The Hague tomorrow and talk about the prosecution of Russian war criminals.
“I am preparing to address the participants of the forum in The Hague in the Netherlands, which will be held tomorrow and dedicated to the prosecution of Russian war criminals. World democracies are willing to do everything necessary to make every Russian terrorist responsible for evil against Ukrainians,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address.
“We must coordinate our efforts in such a way that all the guilty receive fair sentences” as there will be a tribunal, he added.
In the battle-hit places, Mr Zelensky said that debris clearance continued after the Russian attack on the city of Chasiv Yar.
“As of this time, the list of the dead includes 48 people, including one child. Unfortunately, the number of those rescued has not changed – 9 people. Rescuers will work on site until all debris is cleared,” he said.
“It was one of the most brutal Russian strikes during the entire war – so many victims… My condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims,” Mr Zelensky said.
Arpan Rai14 July 2022 05:19
IMF further downgrades global growth projections for 2022 and 2023
The International Monetary Fund has decided to further bring down the projections of global growth for 2022 and 2023 in the wake of the ongoing war in Ukraine and surging fuel prices, which has impacted the inflation globally in a domino-effect.
In a statement yesterday, the IMF’s head Kristalina Georgieva said: “The human tragedy of the war in Ukraine has worsened. So, too, has its economic impact especially through commodity price shocks that are slowing growth and exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis that affects hundreds of millions of people—and especially poor people who cannot afford to feed their families. And it’s only getting worse”.
Ms Georgieva added that the inflation is “higher than expected and has broadened beyond food and energy prices”.
“This has prompted major central banks to announce further monetary tightening—which is necessary but will weigh on the recovery. Continuing pandemic-related disruptions—especially in China—and renewed bottlenecks in global supply chains have hampered economic activity,” the statement read.
“As a result, recent indicators imply a weak second quarter—and we will be projecting a further downgrade to global growth for both 2022 and 2023 in our World Economic Outlook Update later this month,” it added.
The IMF has stated that the outlook remains “extremely uncertain”.
“Think of how further disruption in the natural gas supply to Europe could plunge many economies into recession and trigger a global energy crisis. This is just one of the factors that could worsen an already difficult situation,” the IMF head said.
It is going to be a tough 2022—and possibly an even tougher 2023, with increased risk of recession, the statement added.
Arpan Rai14 July 2022 04:47
Explosions heard in Ukrainian city near Black Sea
The Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv was rocked by explosions early today, officials said.
The explosions were reported by Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych, who urged residents to stay in shelters, reported The Kyiv Independent.
Arpan Rai14 July 2022 04:25
British men captured in Ukraine appeal death sentences – separatist leader
The leader of a Moscow-backed separatist government in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province said two British foreign fighters convicted of terrorism and trying to overturn constitutional order for helping Ukrainian troops have appealed their death sentences.
If the court rejects the appeals, the British men and a Moroccan could face a firing squad.
Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin said about 100 members of a Ukrainian National Guard battalion captured after the fall of Mariupol were scheduled to appear before a court soon.
Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, the two British men, were captured weeks after the war began after travelling to fight with Ukrainian forces against the advice of the UK Foreign Office.
Liam James14 July 2022 04:15
Lego pulls out of Russia ‘indefinitely’ and closes 81 stores
Lego has made the decision to close its shops in Russia “indefinitely” following Vladmir Putin’s launch of war on Ukraine (Maryam Zakir-Hussain writes).
The Danish toy company had already ended its sales into Russia in February, shortly after the invasion began.
But on 12 July, Lego cut off its partnership with Inventive Retail Group- a local company which runs many of the toy giant’s stores.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the company said: “The Lego Group paused shipments to Russia in March. Given the continued extensive disruption in the operating environment, we have decided to indefinitely cease commercial operations in Russia.
“This includes ending employment for most of our Moscow-based team and our partnership with Inventive Retail Group who owned and operated 81 stores on the brand’s behalf.”
Lego pulls out of Russia ‘indefinitely’ and closes 81 stores
The company will let go of most of its Moscow staff
Liam James14 July 2022 03:12
Ukrainian military tries to reclaim captured city in south as Russia sets sights on east
The Ukrainian military claimed on Tuesday to have used missiles to destroy a Russian ammunition depot in occupied Nova Kakhovka, a city east of the Russian-occupied Black Sea port of Kherson.
The precision of the depot strike suggested Ukrainian forces had employed US-supplied multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or Himars.
Russia’s Tass news agency said the reported blast occurred when a mineral fertiliser storage facility exploded. Some ingredients in fertiliser can be used for ammunition.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian officials met face-to-face on Wednesday for the first time in months. Military delegations from the two countries and Turkey were holding talks in Istanbul on a potential deal to get grain out of Ukraine’s blockaded and mined ports through the Black Sea.
United Nations representatives also were involved in the talks. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion has halted shipments, endangering food supplies in many developing countries and contributing to higher global prices.
The Ukrainian foreign minister says grain exports from his country’s ports won’t resume without security guarantees for ship owners, cargo owners and Ukraine as an independent nation.
Liam James14 July 2022 02:08
‘If you can’t send tanks, send crisps’: The Briton on the front line in Ukraine’s foreign legion
The one thing Craig, a Londoner, misses more than anything else while fighting on the front line in Ukraine is salt and vinegar crisps.
At the start of 2022, the 31-year-old was a semi-retired network cabling engineer more likely to be found “chilling out and snowboarding”.
Then, on 24 February, Russia invaded Ukraine. The Stockwell resident was so enraged he couldn’t sleep for three days. In the end, despite having no combat experience, he travelled to the war-torn country and signed up for the foreign legion. Four months on, he is still fighting as an infantryman on one of many front lines, where the fighting is ferocious.
In the worst moments in the trenches, under relentless Russian fire, when food and supplies are scarce, he says home comforts get the troops through.
Bel Trew reports on the ground in Kharkiv:
‘If you can’t send tanks, send crisps’: The Briton in Ukraine’s foreign legion
Ukraine relies on large numbers of overseas fighters in its battle with Russia. Bel Trew, in Kharkiv, spoke to some of those who have volunteered to fight thousands of miles from home in the country’s foreign legion
Liam James14 July 2022 00:20
Warning household energy costs could triple in Germany as Russian gas supplies dwindle
Household energy costs could triple in Germany as Russian gas supplies dwindle, officials in the sector said, and one company representative raised the possibility of social unrest unless there was a cap on prices.
In an interview with the RND newspaper group published on Thursday, Klaus Mueller, head of the Federal Network Agency regulator urged consumers to reduce consumption and set aside money.
And in an interview with Reuters, the head of the municipal works of Chemnitz, one of the 900 city-owned public companies that are a major part of Germany’s energy landscape, went further.
“We must help average households and set an upper limit for energy costs,” Roland Warner said, warning that annual bills of 1,500 euros could rise to 4,700 euros in October. “If we get social unrest the state won’t be able to cope.”
The energy ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent after working hours.
Energy minister Robert Habeck has in the past rejected calls for state price caps, saying the state cannot fully offset increased prices and that attempting to do so would send the wrong signal about the need to conserve energy.
After prospering from cheap Russian gas for decades, Europe’s largest economy is facing a crunch as Russia dials back supplies.
Western governments say Moscow is retaliating against sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, but Moscow blames technical problems.
Some analysts warn that public backing for a tough line against Moscow could weaken further if living standards decline.
A Forsa poll published on Wednesday found that support for a boycott of Russian gas – a major source of finance for what Moscow calls its “special operation” in Ukraine – had fallen from 44% of respondents six weeks ago to just 32% now.
With spot prices soaring, Mueller warned that end-consumers rolling over their fixed-term contracts now would find themselves paying twice as much now, and three times at the end of the summer.
“Some prices on exchanges are up sevenfold,” said Mueller. “It’s not all going to come through immediately, and won’t be fully passed on, but it’s going to have to be paid eventually,” he said.
Sam Rkaina13 July 2022 23:04
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