Ukraine news – live: Mall was not intended target of deadly Russian strike, UK says

·30 min read

The UK Ministry of Defence Intelligence has said that there is a “realistic possibility” that the Kremenchuk missile strike was accidental.

The update released this morning states that the missile may have been intended to hit a “nearby infrastructure target”.

It comes as dozens of people are still missing following the strike that also killed at least 18 people.

Meanwhile, defence secretary Ben Wallace has said the Ukrainians are still “winning” in their struggle with Russia, despite recent Russian advances in the east of the country.

Speaking at the Nato summit in Madrid, Mr Wallace told LBC: “Twenty five thousand Russians, we think, have been killed in that fight in the space of 112, 115 days. Russia has failed on all its major objectives.

“It is now reduced to a grinding advance - a few hundred metres every few days at massive cost in one small part of eastern Ukraine along two or three axes. That is not a victory in anyone’s book.”

Key Points

  • Death toll from shopping centre airstrike climbs to 18

  • Nato concerned by Putin’s ‘closer than ever’ ties with China

  • Ukraine requests UN Security Council meeting after Kremenchuk airstrike

  • Nato increases forces on high alert from 40,000 to 300,000 amid Russia threat

  • The UK Ministry of Defence has said that there is a “realistic possibility” that the Kremenchuk missile strike was accidental.

08:28 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The UK Ministry of Defence has said that there is a “realistic possibility” that the Kremenchuk missile strike was accidental.

The update states that the missile may have been intended to hit a “nearby infrastructure target”.

‘Toxic masculinity’: Putin wouldn’t have launched ‘macho’ war if he were a woman, says Boris Johnson

08:23 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Boris Johnson has claimed that Vladimir Putin would not have launched his “crazy, macho” attack on Ukraine if he were a woman.

The prime minister said the Russian president was a “perfect example of toxic masculinity” as he joined Nato leaders in Madrid to discuss a radical overhaul of the western defence alliance.

Mr Johnson told German broadcaster ZDF: “If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”

Adam Forrest has more:

Putin wouldn’t have launched ‘macho’ war if he were a woman, says Boris Johnson

Ben Wallace reiterates call for increased defence spending

07:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has reiterated his call for increased defence spending to counter the threat from Russia.

Mr Wallace, who is attending the Nato summit in Madrid, said that while he had enough funding for the “here and now”, extra investment was needed in the next government spending round from the middle of the decade.

“We were prepared to take certain vulnerabilities on board in the middle of the decade as we got rid of some equipment and re-equipped anew. I think the invasion of Russia into Ukraine has changed that,” he told Sky News.

“That is why I think discussions are so important for the middle-of-decade funding. In the here and now we are rightly set. The question is what happens in the middle of the decade.

“My settlement was done before Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia is very, very dangerous on the world stage. The world is less secure than it was two, three years ago and is not looking likely to change for the rest of the decade.

“That is the moment, in the middle of the decade, to say we should commit to increased funding.”

Moscow-administered Kherson prepares referendum on joining Russia

07:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Moscow-imposed military-civilian administration in Ukraine‘s Kherson region said it had begun preparations for a referendum on joining Russia, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday.

Russian missile strike in Ukraine's Mykolaiv blamed for three deaths

07:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

At least three people were killed and five wounded by a Russian missile strike on a residential building in Ukraine‘s southern city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday, said local authorities who have launched a rescue effort for survivors.

Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said eight missiles had hit the city, and urged residents to evacuate. He said the building appeared to have been hit by a Russian X-55 cruise missile.

Photographs from the scene showed smoke billowing from a four-storey building with its upper floor partly destroyed.

Ukrainians who died in Kremenchuk ‘collateral damage’ – Russian ambassador to UK

07:10 , Stuti Mishra

Russia’s ambassador to the UK has described the Ukrainians who died in Moscow’s missile attack on a packed shopping centre as “collateral damage”.

The strike, which killed 18 people in the central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, caused shock around the world and was denounced by Ukrainian leaders as a war crime and terrorist attack.

Ambassador Andrei Kelin echoed Russian authorities’ claim that the shopping centre was not the target.

Yes, it’s a tragic event. Unfortunately, collateral damage happens

Russia’s Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin

Read more:

Ukrainians who died in Kremenchuk ‘collateral damage’ – Russian ambassador to UK

Dozens still missing after Russian missile strike on Kremenchuk mall

06:48 , Stuti Mishra

Dozens of people are still missing after a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in central Ukraine two days ago that killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens.

Ukraine said Russia had killed civilians deliberately when it pounded the mall in Kremenchuk. Moscow claims the mall was empty and it had struck a nearby arms depot.

“Russian missile hit this location precisely... It is clear that Russian killers received those exact coordinates,” Ukraine‘s president Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening video address. “They wanted to kill as many people.”

Authorities said around 36 people were still missing.

Workers are seen clearing the rubbles of the Amstor mall, after it was hit by a Russian missile strike according to Ukrainian authorities in Kremenchuk (Getty Images)
Workers are seen clearing the rubbles of the Amstor mall, after it was hit by a Russian missile strike according to Ukrainian authorities in Kremenchuk (Getty Images)

Russia working on Taliban ties, says Putin in Tajikistan

06:22 , Stuti Mishra

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is trying to build relations with the Taliban and that Russia wants to see all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan take part in running the country.

Mr Putin’s statement Tuesday came in a meeting with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan during the Russian leader’s first trip abroad since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict.

“We are doing everything so that the situation in that country normalizes,” Putin said in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. “We are attempting to build relations with the political forces that control the situation.”

Read more:

Russia working on Taliban ties, Putin says in Tajikistan

Editorial: Nato must leave no member state behind in the face of Russian aggression

05:55 , Stuti Mishra

“The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, doesn’t seem to be the sort of chap to indulge in hype, so his warning about chances of a wider war in Europe, one for which Ukraine is a mere rehearsal, should be heeded.

It is perfectly plausible that, by accident or design, the conflict in Ukraine could spill over into a larger war in eastern Europe, moving Russian forces into the Baltic republics, the eastern Balkans and Poland – and ever closer to Germany. After all, not so long ago, many wise heads and intelligence chiefs believed the Russian army’s manoeuvres were a bluff.”

Read more:

Editorial: Nato must leave no member state behind in the face of Russian aggression

Only a 'monster' would attack a mall, says survivor

05:33 , Stuti Mishra

The mall was nothing extraordinary, but in the middle of a war, it was an escape for those in this Ukrainian city who had decided not to flee. Then it exploded in a Russian airstrike.

In moments on Monday afternoon, a summer hangout became a hellish inferno. Life and death depended on a shopper’s decision whether to heed yet another air raid siren and take shelter.

Survivors and other residents shared images on social media that showed the burned body of a woman, white sneakers still intact, who appeared to have been caught in the blast as she tried to run.

In another video, around the time of impact, a man could be heard calling for his mother.

Read more:

Ukrainian survivor: Only a 'monster' would attack a mall

Putin’s ‘macho’ Ukraine war is ‘toxic masculinity', says Boris Johnson

05:11 , Stuti Mishra

Prime minister Boris Johnson has branded Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine an example of “toxic masculinity”.

Speaking during an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said: “If Putin were a woman, I just don’t think he would have started such a macho war.”

“If you want a very good example of toxic masculinity, he’s got that in front of us,” he added, according to the outlet’s translation.

Emily Atkinson has more here:

Putin’s ‘macho’ Ukraine war is ‘toxic masculinity’, says Boris Johnson

Putin has become 'a terrorist', says Zelensky

04:39 , Stuti Mishra

Ukraine‘s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of becoming “a terrorist” leading a “terrorist state” and urged Russia’s expulsion from the United Nations.

In a virtual address to the UN Security Council, Mr Zelensky on Tuesday urged the UN to establish an international tribunal to investigate “the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil” and to hold the country accountable.

“We need to act urgently to do everything to make Russia stop the killing spree,” Mr Zelensky said, warning that otherwise Russia’s “terrorist activity” will spread to other European countries and Asia, singling out the Baltic states, Poland, Moldova and Kazakhstan.

Read more:

Ukraine's president says Putin has become 'a terrorist'

Nato summit to open as leader warns of ‘dangerous’ world

03:00 , Liam James

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a “fundamental shift” in Nato’s approach to defence, and member states will have to boost their military spending in an increasingly unstable world, the leader of the alliance said Tuesday.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke as Joe Biden and other Nato leaders began to arrive in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. He said the meeting would chart a blueprint for the alliance “in a more dangerous and unpredictable world”.

“To be able to defend in a more dangerous world we have to invest more in our defence,” Mr Stoltenberg said. Just nine of Nato’s 30 members meet the organisation’s target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

Top of the agenda for leaders in meetings Wednesday and Thursday is strengthening defenses against Russia and supporting Ukraine.

‘We are outgunned and outnumbered by Russia’ – Ukrainian politician

02:00 , Liam James

A Ukrainian politician has made a plea for heavy weapons, saying his country is “outgunned and outnumbered” by the Russian attack.

Oleksandr Merezhko said Ukraine had only 10 per centof what they need.

He made the appeal while appearing virtually at an Irish parliament committee meeting on Tuesday, the day after a Russian attack on a packed shopping centre in Kremenchuk caused shock across the world.

“Our top priority to survive is we need heavy weapons,” the chair of the Ukrainian Committee on Foreign Affairs and Inter-parliamentary cooperation said.

“It is crucial because because we are outgunned and outnumbered by Russia.

“Russia is using heavy artillery. First, Russia uses jets heavily shelling bombardments then it uses mortars then tanks and only after that it uses infantry, so the tactics of Russia is to destroy completely everything in front of their troops by using artillery.

“We need to help our soldiers to survive and civilians.”

UK defence spending to reach 2.3% of GDP this year

01:00 , Liam James

Britain’s defence spending is projected to reach 2.3 per cent of its GDP this year due to increased military support for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, the UK government forecasted.

Nato estimated that Britain will spend 2.12 per cent of GDP in 2022, down from an estimated 2.26 per cent in 2021 but still above the 2 pe cent threshold the alliance asks its members to meet.

Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, is reported to be lobbying Boris Johnson to bring defence spending up to 2.5 per cent.

Jeff Koons sculpture fetches £10m for Ukraine aid

Wednesday 29 June 2022 00:11 , Liam James

A Jeff Koons sculpture has sold for more than £10m at an auction to raise money for the humanitarian effort in Ukraine.

Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena donated Koons’ Balloon Monkey to raise money for soldiers and civilians needing prosthetics, medical treatment and rehabilitation following the Russian invasion.

Auctioneers Christie’s said the magenta sculpture now stood as a “monumental symbol of hope and solidarity” with those men, women and children from the war-torn country.

It was sold as part of the auction house’s 20th/21st Century: London evening sale – just exceeding its upper estimate of £10m.

For the last two weeks, Balloon Monkey has been on public display in London’s St James’s Square.

Balloon monkey in St James’s Square last fortnight (AFP/Getty)
Balloon monkey in St James’s Square last fortnight (AFP/Getty)

Russia’s Lavrov says Western arms supplies dragging out conflict

Tuesday 28 June 2022 23:30 , Thomas Kingsley

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the more western countries send weapons to Ukraine the longer the conflict will last.

Russia has repeatedly blamed the west for prolonging the conflict, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, and has targeted missile strikes against arms depots storing weapons provided to Kyiv by the United States and Europe.

Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Turkmenistan, Lavrov said Russia did not target a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, where at least 18 people died following a Russian strike.

Echoing a statement issued by Russia’s defence ministry earlier on Tuesday, Lavrov told reporters the mall was empty at the time a fire occurred as a result of Russia hitting an arms depot storing western weapons that was next to the shopping centre.

Washington’s Kerry says Russian invasion should advance move from fossil fuels

Tuesday 28 June 2022 22:09 , Liam James

US climate envoy John Kerry said on Tuesday Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a warning to nations around the world that they cannot be hostage of oil-rich autocratic governments to meet their energy needs.

Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Mr Kerry said Russia has been using energy as a weapon and would continue to do so in the future but Europe was committed to put an end to its dependency.

“It’s a warning to everybody that you do not want to be prisoners of petrostate dictators who are willing to weaponise energy,” Mr Kerry said.

He said the world was “running out of time” to tackle climate change but governments should not use the war in Ukraine as an excuse to delay the process even further.

“We have seen people choosing short-term [solutions] in order to respond to the challenge of losing gas for Russia,” he said. “And we cannot allow the war in Ukraine to alter the reality that we need to reduce emissions and we need to deal with speeding up the transition to alternative renewable energy.”

Reuters

Kremenchuk shopping centre: Photos show mall before ‘barbaric’ missile strike

Tuesday 28 June 2022 21:22 , Liam James

As rescuers dig for survivors in the bombarded Kremenchuk shopping centre, terrified shoppers recall the moment missiles landed on the mall as more than 1,000 people were inside (Thomas Kingsley writes).

Before the invasion, the central Ukrainian city had a population of 217,000 and was an important industrial site. The shopping centre was a busy and popular location in the heart of the city.

Today it’s a shell of itself. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, 60 per cent of the shopping centre was damaged leaving 18 dead, 59 injured and 31 people still missing after the Monday afternoon strike. Images of the complex before the attack show a large modern mall, but photos coming from the aftermath show what survivors have described as “hell.”

Photos show Kremenchuk mall before ‘barbaric’ missile strike killed 18

Germany and Netherlands pledge six more howitzers to Ukraine

Tuesday 28 June 2022 19:30 , Liam James

Germany and the Netherlands will deliver six additional howitzers to Ukraine, the defence ministers of both countries said on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Madrid.

Each country will provide three of the artillery weapons, Germany’s Christine Lambrecht and Kajsa Ollongren from the Netherlands told reporters, on top of 12 howitzers the countries have already sent to Ukraine.

“We show our resolve and our commitment to Ukraine, and not to give in to this Russian aggression,” Ms Ollongren said.

Commenting on Nato’s announcement to have more than 300,000 troops at high readiness from 2023 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ms Lambrecht said Germany would provide one division, some 15,000 troops, for these forces, including around 65 planes and 20 ships.

“Germany is ready to do its share, Nato must be strong and this needs to show in troop numbers as well,” she told reporters.

'Dozens missing’ after Russian strike on shopping centre

Tuesday 28 June 2022 19:00 , Liam James

Ukraine authorities said 36 people were missing after a Russian missile strike on a shopping centre yesterday that killed at least 18.

Russia has been condemned for the strike by Ukraine’s western allies. Emmanuel Macron of France, who earlier in the war struck a concilliatory tone with Moscow, said the strike was a “war crime”.

Ukraine said Moscow had killed civilians deliberately in Kremenchuk. Russia said it had struck a nearby arms depot and falsely claimed that the shopping centre was empty.

UK defence secretary urges military spending boost

Tuesday 28 June 2022 17:27 , Liam James

Britain’s defence secretary today called for an increase in defence spending to counter what he said was a growing threat of Russia attacking the UK and its European allies.

As Nato leaders gathered for a major summit in Madrid, Mr Wallace said the British military had for too long had to survive on “a diet of smoke and mirrors, hollowed-out formations and fantasy savings”.

He is reported to have asked Boris Johnson for a 20 per cent increase in defence spending. The prime minister said the government had already presided over the biggest increase in defence spending since the Cold War.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute land warfare conference in London, Mr Wallace said the £24 billion increase announced in the 2020 spending review had been a “strong start”.

However he said more action was needed to reverse the cuts made by successive governments after the end of the Cold War when the threat of conflict with Russia subsided.

“If governments historically responded every time the NHS has a winter crisis so must they when the threat to the very security which underpins our way of life increases,” he said.

Watch: CCTV from park 500m away from Russian missile strikes shows how intense blast was

Tuesday 28 June 2022 16:20 , Thomas Kingsley

US seeking WNBA star Griner’s return from Russia, Sullivan says

Tuesday 28 June 2022 15:52 , Thomas Kingsley

The United States is actively trying to resolve WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in Russia, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday, reiterating Washington's call for Moscow to release her.

“The United States government is actively engaged in trying to resolve this case and get Brittney home,” Mr Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One, declining to give any details.

Ms Griner has been held since February and faces up to 10 years in prison after Russian officials alleged her luggage contained multiple cannabis oil vape cartridges. A Russian court this week set Ms Griner's trial for Friday, the Associated Press and the Washington Post have reported.

Mr Sullivan, who is traveling with president Joe Biden to Spain ahead of a Nato meeting, said he and US secretary of state Antony Blinken have both spoken with Cherelle Griner, the wife of the two-time Olympic champion, in recent days.

“The Russian government should release her and allow her to be returned and reunited with her family and come home safe and sound,” he said, reiterating that the US government has made it clear that “Griner is wrongfully detained, unjustly detained.”

 (AFP/ Getty)
(AFP/ Getty)

Nato says does not regard China as adversary but worried over Russia ties

Tuesday 28 June 2022 15:30 , Thomas Kingsley

Nato does not see China as an adversary but it is concerned about Beijing's ever closer ties with Moscow since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Naot secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.

“We don't regard China as an adversary,” Stoltenberg said on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Madrid, adding that China would soon be the biggest economy in the world and that Nato needed to engage with Beijing on issues like climate change.

“But we are disappointed by the fact that China has not been able to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that China is spreading many of the false narratives about Nato, the West, and also that China and Russia are more close now than they have ever been before,” he added

‘It was hell,’ Kremenchuk survivors describe deadly mall attack

Tuesday 28 June 2022 15:10 , Thomas Kingsley

Moscow said the mall was disused and empty at the time of the strike, a claim plainly contradicted by wounded survivors such as Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, who had been shopping there with her husband when the blast threw her into the air.

"I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing," she said at a nearby public hospital where she was being treated.

"It was hell," said her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage around his head.

Exhausted fire fighters sat on a curb alongside another of the shopping centre's walls. Others lay on a grass embankment, smoking and scrolling on their phones.

"We pulled out five bodies. We didn’t find anybody alive," said a fire fighter who gave his name only as Oleksandr.

Outside the hospital, a small group of mall workers were filled with worry and grief, but also relief.

Hearing an air-raid siren, they had made their way to a nearby basement when the missiles struck, said Roman, 28, who asked to be identified by only one name.

He added that many others had stayed inside as the mall's management had three days ago allowed shops to remain open during air raid sirens.

Many Ukrainians have stopped reacting to the now regular warning sirens as strikes have been occurring less frequently outside of Ukraine's battle-torn east.

Back in the intensive-care ward, Yulia, a 21-year-old woman covered with deep cuts, said Monday was her first day working in one of the stores in the mall.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Russia's Lavrov says Western arms supplies dragging out conflict

Tuesday 28 June 2022 14:41 , Thomas Kingsley

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the more western countries send weapons to Ukraine the longer the conflict will last.

Russia has repeatedly blamed the west for prolonging the conflict, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, and has targeted missile strikes against arms depots storing weapons provided to Kyiv by the United States and Europe.

Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Turkmenistan, Lavrov said Russia did not target a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, where at least 18 people died following a Russian strike.

Echoing a statement issued by Russia's defence ministry earlier on Tuesday, Lavrov told reporters the mall was empty at the time a fire occurred as a result of Russia hitting an arms depot storing western weapons that was next to the shopping centre.

Russia wants the surrender of Ukraine, Macron says

Tuesday 28 June 2022 14:10 , Thomas Kingsley

French president Emmanuel Macron told the G7 summit that Russia had one goal in mind - the surrender of Ukraine.

"Right now, it is clear, Russia's attack on Ukraine's territory has one objective - the surrender of Ukraine," said Mr Macron.

Speaking at the end of the G-7 summit in Germany, Macron appeared to address that concern, vowing that the seven industrialized democracies would support Ukraine and maintain sanctions against Russia "as long as necessary, and with the necessary intensity."

"Russia cannot and should not win," he said, adding that Monday's attack on the mall was "a new war crime."

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

We could be next: Fearful Baltic states urge Nato for more troops ahead of Madrid summit

Tuesday 28 June 2022 13:50 , Thomas Kingsley

On the eve of the Nato summit, Baltic states are urging the military alliance to increase the number of troops earmarked to defend their corner of Europe against Russia to as many as 25,000 after secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg promised the “biggest overhaul of its collective deterrence and defence since the Cold War”.

Top of the agenda in the meeting in Madrid, which starts in earnest on Wednesday, is Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine which has sparked a geopolitical shift, even prompting once neutral countries Finland and Sweden to apply to join Nato.

Read more below from our international correspondent, Bel Trew:

We could be next: Fearful Baltic states urge Nato for more troops

36 still missing after Russian strike kills 18

Tuesday 28 June 2022 13:27 , Thomas Kingsley

Firefighters and soldiers searched on Tuesday for survivors in the rubble of a Ukrainian shopping mall, where authorities said 36 people were still missing after a Russian missile strike that had killed at least 18.

Relatives of the missing were lined up on Tuesday at a hotel across the street from the wreckage of the shopping centre, where rescue workers had set up a base.

Exhausted-looking firefighters sat on a kerb after a night battling the blaze and searching for survivors, mostly in vain. Oleksandr, wetting his face from a water bottle on a bench, said his team had worked all night picking through the rubble.

"We pulled out five bodies. We didn't find anybody alive," he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of deliberately targetting civilians in the attack in the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, far from the frontline. He called it "one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history".

Russia said the incident was caused by a strike on a legitimate military target. Its defence ministry said it had fired missiles at an arms depot for Western weapons, where an explosion of ammunition caused the blaze at the nearby mall.

 (Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters)
(Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters)

Russian court jails opposition politician for 15 days

Tuesday 28 June 2022 13:00 , Thomas Kingsley

A Moscow court jauled prominent Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin for 15 days on Tuesday for disobeying a police officer.

Yashin, a municipal deputy for Moscow's Krasnoselsky district, was detained on Monday. “The case against me is trumped up, I am innocent," Yashin said on his Telegram social media channel, linking his detention to his political activities.

Yashin is an outspoken critic of Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”.

Pictured: Leaders gather for close of G7 summit

Tuesday 28 June 2022 12:40 , Thomas Kingsley

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (AP)
(AP)

BorisJohnson says he doesn’t think Britain will end up at war with Russia

Tuesday 28 June 2022 12:22 , Thomas Kingsley

UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said he did not think Britain would end up at war with Russia.

Asked if Britain was preparing for war with Russia, he told reporters at the G7 summit: “I don't think it will come to that and clearly we're working very hard to make sure that we confine this to Ukraine.”

It comes as new UK army chief Patrick Sanders said Britain must be ready to fight Russia as the threat of war grows. He added that the Kremlin will be an even greater threat to European security after the war and the army must be ready to fight to “avert conflict.”

“We’re not at war, but we must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion,” he said.

He said the army should focus on boosting readiness so troops could be deployed quickly, and on urban combat and rebuilding stockpiles. He described the choice facing Britain as its “1937 moment” in what appeared to be a reference to when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler invaded Austria.

G7 urges China to press Russia to stop its Ukraine invasion

Tuesday 28 June 2022 12:05 , Thomas Kingsley

G7 leaders urged China on Tuesday to uphold the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes by pressing Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine and to drop its "expansive maritime claims" in the South China Sea.

In a communique concluding their three-day summit in the Bavarian Alps, the G7 leaders also said they were gravely concerned by the human rights situation in China and that they were consulting on collective approaches to challenges posed by non-market economic policies.

China Russia (Sputnik)
China Russia (Sputnik)

G7 leaders end summit pledging to hurt Russia economically

Tuesday 28 June 2022 11:50 , Thomas Kingsley

Leaders of the world's wealthiest democracies struck a united stance Tuesday to support Ukraine for "as long as necessary" as Russia's invasion grinds on, and said they would explore far-reaching steps to cap Kremlin income from oil sales that are financing the war.

The final statement from the Group of Seven summit in Germany left out key details on how the fossil fuel price caps would work in practice, setting up more discussion in the weeks ahead to "explore" measures to bar import of Russian oil above a certain level. That would hit a key Russian source of income and, in theory, relieve the energy price spikes afflicting the global economy as a result of the war.

Leaders also agreed on a ban on imports of Russian gold and to step up aid to countries hit with food shortages by the blockage on Ukraine grain shipments through the Black Sea.

Russia's Lavrov to join G20 meeting in Bali next week - embassy

Tuesday 28 June 2022 11:37 , Thomas Kingsley

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the Group of 20 (G20) foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali next week, a spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Jakarta told Reuters on Tuesday.

The meeting, hosted by current G20 chair Indonesia takes place from 7-8 July.

The Foreign Minister of Russia Mr Sergei Lavrov, arrives for a joint UK- Russia foreign and defence ministerial conference, at Lancaster House in London. (PA Archive)
The Foreign Minister of Russia Mr Sergei Lavrov, arrives for a joint UK- Russia foreign and defence ministerial conference, at Lancaster House in London. (PA Archive)

UK must be ready to fight Putin’s Russia, army chief says

Tuesday 28 June 2022 11:21 , Thomas Kingsley

Russia will likely be an even greater threat to European security after the war in Ukraine than it was before and the British army must be prepared, its Chief of the General Staff Patrick Sanders said on Tuesday.

Mr Sanders, who became chief of the general staff this month, used his first speech to warn that the army must be ready to fight to "avert conflict", in what appeared to be an appeal for modernisation and possibly further defence spending.

"We don't know how the war in Ukraine will end. But in most scenarios Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine than it was before."

He said the army should focus on boosting readiness so troops could be deployed quickly, and on urban combat and rebuilding stockpiles. He described the choice facing Britain as its "1937 moment" in what appeared to be a reference to when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler invaded Austria.

"We're not at war, but we must act rapidly so that we aren't drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion," he said.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Russia says missile hit on weapons depot in Kremenchuk shopping centre fire

Tuesday 28 June 2022 11:05 , Thomas Kingsley

Russia's defence ministry on Tuesday denied hitting a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk with missiles, saying it had struck a weapons depot and a subsequent explosion of ammunition had triggered a fire in the nearby mall.

At least 18 people were killed on Monday in what Kyiv said was a direct Russian missile strike against the busy shopping centre in Kremenchuk. The G7 called the hit a Russian war crime, while Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said it was “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history,” accusing Russia of directly targeting civilians.

Moscow on Tuesday rejected those accounts, saying it had hit a legitimate military target in the city, and that the shopping centre was not in use.

“In Kremenchuk, Russian forces struck a weapons depot storing arms received from the United States and Europe with high-precision air-based weapons. As a result of the precision strike, Western-made weapons and ammunition concentrated in the warehouse ... were hit,” Moscow's defence ministry said in a statement posted on its Telegram channel.

“The detonation of stored ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping centre located next to the depot,” it added.

 (Ukrainian State Emergency Servic)
(Ukrainian State Emergency Servic)

Russia fines foreign firms Twitch, Pinterest, UPS over data storage

Tuesday 28 June 2022 10:45 , Thomas Kingsley

A Moscow court said it had fined video streaming service Twitch, social network Pinterest and United Parcel Service in three of several cases expected on Tuesday over alleged refusal by foreign companies to store Russian citizens' personal data in Russia.

Moscow has clashed with Big Tech over content, censorship, data and local representation in a simmering dispute that has erupted into a full-on information battle since the invasion started.

Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor in late May opened administrative cases against Alphabet Inc's Google and six other foreign technology companies, including Amazon-owned Twitch, Pinterest and UPS , for alleged violations of personal data legislation.

The Moscow courts' press service said Twitch had been found guilty by the Tagansky District Court of violating Russian personal data legislation and fined 2 million roubles ($37,700). Pinterest was also fined 2 million roubles, news agencies reported, and UPS 1 million roubles.

Twitch, Pinterest and UPS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

NEW: Russia places sanctions against First Lady Jill Biden and daughter Ashley

Tuesday 28 June 2022 10:15 , Thomas Kingsley

Moscow has announced that is placing sanctions on the wife and daughter of US President Joe Biden.

The decision is part of a new package of sanctions announced by Russia on 25 American individuals.

Read the developing news below:

Russia sanctions First Lady Jill Biden and daughter Ashley

G7 leaders working to release Ukraine grain

Tuesday 28 June 2022 10:04 , Thomas Kingsley

G7 leaders are working on finding a way of letting Ukraine export its grain, British prime minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

“We're working on it, we're all working on it,” he said at the start of a five-way meeting with France's Emmanuel Macron, Italy's Mario Draghi, Germany's Olaf Scholz and the US's Joe Biden, when asked if they were going to get the grain out of Ukraine.

Ukraine's bulk grain exports are being hindered by a Russian blockade of its Black Sea ports, forcing exporters to use less efficient land routes.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Russia will be greater threat to European security post Ukraine, UK army chief says

Tuesday 28 June 2022 09:42 , Thomas Kingsley

Russia will likely be an even greater threat to European security after the war in Ukraine than it was before, the British army's chief of the general staff Patrick Sanders said on Tuesday.

“While Russia's conventional capability will be much reduced for a time at least, (Russian president Vladimir) Putin's declared intent recently to restore the lands of historic Russia makes any respite temporary and the threat will become even more acute,” Mr Sanders said in a speech.

“We don't know how the war in Ukraine will end. But in most scenarios Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine than it was before.”

 (AP)
(AP)
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