Ukraine-Russia war – live: Kyiv strikes Russia ‘with kamikaze drones’ as Putin’s troops suffer in Kharkiv

Ukraine-Russia war – live: Kyiv strikes Russia ‘with kamikaze drones’ as Putin’s troops suffer in Kharkiv

Ukraine has struck several regions of Russia with kamikaze drones, officials have claimed, as Kremlin-approved outlets reported damage to multiple military sites.

Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) officials said they targeted military facilities in the Lipetsk, Belgorod and Voronezh, all of which are within 250 miles of the Ukrainian border.

Russian state media outlet Astra reported that a pipeline had been damaged in one of the workshops of the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant in Lipetsk, while residents reported explosions and smoke over the tractor plant at about 1:40 a.m local time. The Russian defence ministry claimed that six drones had been shot down over the three regions.

It comes as a Russian soldier claimed their forces were suffering massive losses in their attempts to capture further territory in the northeast Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

“They just chop us up. We are sent under machine guns, under drones in daylight, like meat. And commanders just shout ‘forward and forward’,” soldier Anton Andreev said in a video message, in comments published by Astra.

Key Points

  • Russian troops paint ‘grim’ Kharkiv battle: ‘They just chop us up'

  • Peace talks with Putin tomorrow if he leaves our soil, says Zelensky

  • Three civilians killed by Russian army in Donetsk region - Ukraine claims

  • Putin's 'absurd' peace proposal a 'hollow attempt to seduce the West'

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

16:00 , Tom Watling

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

Putin sacks four Russian deputy defence ministers, appoints his niece

15:30 , Tom Watling

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday sacked four deputy defence ministers and appointed a relative, Anna Tsivileva, to fill one of the vacancies, according to Kremlin decrees.

The trial of a US reporter charged with espionage in Russia is to begin June 26

15:00 , Tom Watling

The trial of a US reporter charged with espionage in Russia is to begin June 26

Russian attack knocks out power for 55,000 consumers in Ukraine's Poltava region

14:30 , Tom Watling

More than 55,000 private and industrial consumers were left without electricity on Monday after power lines in Ukraine‘s east-central Poltava region were damaged in a Russian air attack, the regional governor said.

Russia's Putin to visit Vietnam, sparking US rebuke of Hanoi

14:00 , Tom Watling

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Hanoi this week, Vietnamese and Russian state media said on Monday, highlighting Communist-ruled Vietnam’s loyalty to Russia and triggering a U.S. rebuke.

The visit follows Hanoi avoiding a Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland last weekend, while sending its deputy foreign minister to a BRICS meeting in Russia earlier last week.

Putin, who was sworn in for a fifth time just over a month ago, is expected to meet Vietnam’s new president, To Lam, and other leaders during the two-day visit to Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.

The United States, which upgraded relations with Hanoi last year and is Vietnam’s top trading partner, reacted harshly.

“No country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalise his atrocities,” a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Hanoi told Reuters when asked about the impact of the visit on ties with the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov at the Kremlin in Moscow (AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov at the Kremlin in Moscow (AP)

Ukraine’s national security chief: Putin could use nuclear weapons if he is on the verge of defeat

13:28 , Tom Watling

Ukraine’s head of the national security council has warned that Vladimir Putin could resort to using nuclear weapons if he is on the “verge of a catastrophic defeat”.

Asked by The Times if there was ever a scenario where Putin could use nuclear weapons - a threat the Russian leader and his officials have made frequently over the past two and half years - Oleksandr Lytvynenko said: “We can’t rule out anything, if Russia is on the verge of a catastrophic defeat.”

He added, however, that there was no likelihood that Putin would deploy nuclear weapons while Russia had the upper hand in the war. Currently, Russian forces hold the momentum, having recently pushed into the northeast Ukrainian region of Kharkiv and retaken territory further east, though their advances have been minimised.

Zelensky says he would hold peace talks tomorrow if Russia leaves Ukraine territory

13:10 , Tom Watling

Zelensky says he would hold peace talks tomorrow if Russia leaves Ukraine territory

World’s top nine nuclear-armed nations deepening their reliance on nuclear weapons

12:40 , Tom Watling

World’s top nine nuclear-armed nations deepening their reliance on nuclear weapons

Rod Stewart ‘booed’ as he salutes Ukraine president Zelensky during Germany concert

12:10 , Tom Watling

Rod Stewart ‘booed’ as he salutes Ukraine president Zelensky during concert

Kremlin says Swiss conference showed futility of talks without Russia

11:40 , Tom Watling

The Kremlin has said that a Swiss-hosted conference on the Ukraine war had produced negligible results and showed the futility of holding talks without Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the results of the meeting were “close to zero”.

President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia was willing to end the war, but he set out conditions for Ukraine - renouncing its Nato ambitions and withdrawing troops from four regions claimed by Russia - that Kyiv rejected as tantamount to capitulation.

At the weekend summit in Switzerland, Western powers and their allies denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but failed to persuade major non-aligned states to join their final statement, and no country came forward to host a sequel.

Over 90 countries attended the two-day talks at a Swiss Alpine resort at the behest of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, billed as a “peace summit” even though Moscow was not invited.

Russia ridiculed the event from afar. A decision by China to stay away all but assured that the summit would fail to achieve Ukraine‘s goal of persuading major countries from the “global South” to join in isolating Russia.

Brazil attended only as an “observer”. And in the end, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa all withheld their signatures from the summit communique, even though some contentious issues were omitted in the hope of drawing wider support.

Still, the conference provided Kyiv with a chance to showcase the support from Western allies that it says it needs to keep fighting against a far bigger enemy.

LGBT soldiers in Ukraine hope their service is changing attitudes as they rally for legal rights

11:10 , Tom Watling

LGBT soldiers in Ukraine hope their service is changing attitudes as they rally for legal rights

Russian spy chief says next peace terms in Ukraine will be tougher, Tass reports

10:45 , Tom Watling

If Russian President Vladimir Putin's current proposals for a peace treaty with Ukraine are rejected, the next peace terms will be tougher, Russian spy chief and close Putin ally Sergei Naryshkin has said, according to the Kremlin-approved Tass news agency.

He didn't specify whom the proposals could be accepted or rejected by in the report.

Chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin (3-L) is pictured at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia (EPA)
Chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin (3-L) is pictured at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia (EPA)

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

10:10 , Tom Watling

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Putin treats international law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv’s top official as peace summit meets

09:45 , Tom Watling

Putin treats global law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv official ahead of peace summit

Denmark aims to limit shadow fleet of Russian oil tankers

09:20 , Tom Watling

Denmark is considering ways to limit the passage of old tankers carrying Russian oil through the Baltic Sea, the Nordic country’s foreign minister said in a statement on Monday, in a move that could trigger confrontation with Moscow.

Russia sends about a third of its seaborne oil exports, or 1.5 per cent of global supply, through the Danish straits that sit as a gateway to the Baltic Sea, so any attempt to halt supplies would send oil prices higher and hit the Kremlin’s finances.

Denmark has brought together a group of allied countries evaluating measures targeting the so-called shadow fleet of ageing ships transporting the Russian oil, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told Reuters.

Crude oil tanker Nevskiy Prospect, owned by Russia's leading tanker group Sovcomflot, transits the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey (REUTERS)
Crude oil tanker Nevskiy Prospect, owned by Russia's leading tanker group Sovcomflot, transits the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey (REUTERS)

We could start negotiating with Russia tomorrow, says Zelensky

08:52 , Tom Watling

Ukraine could begin negotiating a peace plan with Russia “even tomorrow” if it takes seriously Kyiv’s demands to withdraw its troops entirely from Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

In his concluding speech at a Swiss peace summit over the weekend, Mr Zelensky said: “If Russia is at the next summit, it shows that it wants peace … it can start [negotiations] even tomorrow, if it withdraws its troops from our territory.”

He added that the next summit could take place “in months, not years”.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin claims he is willing to negotiate a peace deal but the terms of his proposal, which includes not only the seizure of Ukrainian territories currently occupied by Russia but also land still within Ukraine’s control, has been described by Kyiv as a Hitler-like “ultimatum”.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) walks to attend bilateral talks during the Summit on peace in Ukraine (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) walks to attend bilateral talks during the Summit on peace in Ukraine (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin would be allowed to attend next peace summit, says Swiss president

08:42 , Tom Watling

An exception to Vladimir Putin’s travel embargo, the result of an arrest warrant for genocide issued last year by the International Criminal Court, “can be made” if the Russian leader wishes to attend Switzerland’s next peace summit, the country’s president has said.

Speaking after the first summit over the weekend, Swiss president Viola Amherd said: “An exception can be made. In the case of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, this could be an exception.”

A similar statement was made by Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. He also said that the second conference on Ukraine could be held before the US presidential election scheduled for November this year.

After the ICC issued an arrest for Putin in March 2023 for his commanding role in the forcible deportation of tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands - of Ukrainian children to Russia, the autocrat has been barred from visiting any of the 124 countries that are signatories to the international court. They are legally obliged to arrest him as soon as he steps on their territory.

It is unclear how Switzerland would circumvent this obligation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with participants of the 'Time of Heroes' project that will virtually help veterans of the special military operation to become government administrators (EPA)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with participants of the 'Time of Heroes' project that will virtually help veterans of the special military operation to become government administrators (EPA)

Signatories of Ukraine peace summit drops to 78

08:32 , Tom Watling

The number of countries that have signed their support for a Ukraine peace plan after an international summit in Switzerland has dropped to 78, a Swiss statement has said.

Originally, it was reported that 80 countries had signed their backing for the proposal, which calls for Russian forces to withdraw completely from Ukrainian territory.

But the communique shows that Iraq and Jordan have withdrawn their signatures.

At least 12 countries - including Saudi Arabia - had already withheld their signature.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky flashes a V sign as he addresses Ukraine’s closing press conference of the Summit on peace in Ukraine, at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne, Switzerland (AFP via Getty Images)
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky flashes a V sign as he addresses Ukraine’s closing press conference of the Summit on peace in Ukraine, at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne, Switzerland (AFP via Getty Images)

Here we have some of the latest photos from Ukraine

08:22 , Tom Watling

Good morning.

Below we have some of the latest photos coming from Ukraine.

A Ukrainian serviceman rides a motorcycle on a road in the Donetsk region (AFP via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian serviceman rides a motorcycle on a road in the Donetsk region (AFP via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian trainee puts on his helmet ahead of a flight with an unseen French military instructor onboard an Alpha Jet fighter jet, at a French Army air base in south-western France (AFP via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian trainee puts on his helmet ahead of a flight with an unseen French military instructor onboard an Alpha Jet fighter jet, at a French Army air base in south-western France (AFP via Getty Images)
A French-made Caesar howitzer is pictured running on a road in the Donetsk region (AFP via Getty Images)
A French-made Caesar howitzer is pictured running on a road in the Donetsk region (AFP via Getty Images)

Heavy fighting grips Ukraine’s Vovchansk town: ‘Difficult but controlled'

06:16 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian soldiers are looking to isolate Russian units that are advancing across the nearby border in Vovchansk near the Kharkiv battlefield. The past weekend has seen massive escalation in fighting in the region.

Military bloggers on both sides have confirmed heavy combat at an aggregate plant on the northern edge of Vovchansk.

“Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets stated that around 200 Russian soldiers, including dead and wounded, are currently isolated in the Aggregate Plant after Russian forces tried to cross the Vovcha River east of the plant on an unspecified date and entered the plant after coming under Ukrainian fire,” said The Institute for the Study of War in its latest analysis.

The situation in Vovchansk, east of Kharkiv and a few miles from the state border, is “difficult but controlled”, said on Ukrainian squad commander. He claimed Russian troops were “surrounded”.

“Our guys are not losing their positions, occasionally conducting successful assaults, liberating positions and pushing the enemy back,” Buniatov said in a post on Telegram yesterday.

The ISW’s assessment added that the Russian military command is “trying to withdraw degraded elements of the 25th Motorized Rifle Brigade (6th CAA, LMD) and 83rd Separate Guards Airborne (VDV) Brigade that have become combat-ineffective due to high losses”.

Putin offers truce if Ukraine exits Russian-claimed areas and drops NATO bid. Kyiv rejects it

06:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Friday to “immediately” order a cease-fire in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv began withdrawing troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounced plans to join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected what he called an ultimatum by Putin to surrender more territory.

Putin’s remarks came as Switzerland prepared to host scores of world leaders -- but not from Moscow -- this weekend to try to map out first steps toward peace in Ukraine.

They also coincided with a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Italy and after the U.S. and Ukraine this week signed a 10-year security agreement that Russian officials, including Putin, denounced as “null and void.”

Putin offers truce if Ukraine exits Russian-claimed areas and drops NATO bid. Kyiv rejects it

Nearly 80 countries back Ukraine’s territorial integrity for peace talks

05:47 , Arpan Rai

A total of 78 nations have called for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war as Volodymyr Zelensky wrapped up two days of hectic talks in Switzerland.

About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries, attended the conference that was billed as a first step toward peace. They included presidents and prime ministers from France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Ecuador, Kenya and Somalia. The Holy See was also represented, and vice president Kamala Harris spoke for the United States.

India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates — represented by foreign ministers or lower-level envoys — were among countries that did not sign the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners. Brazil, an “observer,” did not sign on but Turkey did. China did not attend.

The final document signed by 78 countries said the UN Charter and “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty — can and will serve as a basis for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

This particular clause has been a nonstarter for Putin, who wants Ukraine to cede more territory and back away from its hopes of joining the Nato military alliance.

The joint communique capped a two-day conference marked by the absence of Russia, which was not invited. Many attendees expressed hope that Russia might join in on a road map to peace in the future.

Russian troops paint ‘grim’ Kharkiv battle: ‘They just chop us up'

04:29 , Arpan Rai

Russia is fighting to capture Ukraine’s second largest city at a high attrition rate and the cost of warfare on its troops has been leaked by its own troops who have highlighted the grim picture.

Only 12 out of 100 soldiers were found alive after Russian unit – fifth company of the 1009th regiment – came under Ukrainian fire and drones in nearby Vovchansk city, said one of the soldiers Anton Andreev, reported The Guardian.

“They just chop us up. We are sent under machine guns, under drones in daylight, like meat. And commanders just shout ‘forward and forward’,” he said in a video message, the report added.

The heavy losses has also forced Russia to withdraw its troops from the Kharkiv frontline, said Ukrainian military officials.

“Ukrainian Kharkiv Group of Forces Spokesperson Yuriy Povkh stated that elements of the Russian 138th Motorized Rifle Brigade (6th Combined Arms Army [CAA], Leningrad Military District [LMD]) are unsuccessfully attacking in the Kharkiv direction and that the Russian military command is trying to withdraw degraded elements of the 25th Motorized Rifle Brigade (6th CAA, LMD) and 83rd Separate Guards Airborne (VDV) Brigade that have become combat-ineffective due to high losses,” reported The Institute for the Study of War.

Peace talks with Putin tomorrow if Moscow leaves our soil, says Zelensky

04:04 , Arpan Rai

Vladimir Putin can start peace talks with Ukraine leadership as soon as “tomorrow” if they leave our soil first, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said as he wrapped up the peace summit in Switzerland.

“Russia can start negotiations tomorrow if they pull out of our territories,” he said, stating that Moscow’s presence at negotiations would demonstrate its willingness for peace.

He also denied falling back on diplomatic means to solve the intensifying battlefield offensive and said Ukraine has always called for peace, reported BBC.

At the Swiss event, the challenge was to talk tough on Russia but open the door for it to join a peace initiative.“Many countries... wanted the involvement of representatives of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said. “At the same time, the majority of the countries do not want to shake hands with them (Russian leaders)... so there are various opinions in the world.”

Zelensky says he would hold peace talks tomorrow if Russia leaves Ukraine territory

Ukraine employs a flexible defense while waiting for new Western ammo to get to the front

04:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian firepower has been improving since U.S. lawmakers approved a much-needed military aid package this spring, though not quickly enough to halt the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Although the influx of Western munitions has shrunk Kyiv‘s glaring artillery disadvantage, Moscow’s forces are still gaining ground along the snaking front line and will likely continue to do so through the summer, when the drier ground and longer days will only aid their push.

Ukraine is still on the defensive in the Donetsk region, enabling Moscow’s forces to inflict heavy losses during Ukrainian troop rotations and bringing them closer to crucial Ukrainian supply routes.

Ukraine employs a flexible defense while waiting for new Western ammo to get to the front

Peter Pellegrini, a close ally of the populist prime minister, is sworn in as Slovakia's president

02:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Peter Pellegrini was sworn in as the president of Slovakia on Saturday in a ceremony that took place amid heightened security following an assassination attempt on his close ally, populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, a month ago.

Pellegrini called for national unity in his speech at a special session of Parliament that took place at the seat of the Slovak philharmonic, becoming Slovakia’s sixth president since it gained independence after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

“We are one nation, one society, one Slovakia,” he said.

Peter Pellegrini, a close ally of the populist prime minister, is sworn in as Slovakia's president

Nations discuss children, nuclear safety at talks on peace in Ukraine taking place without Russia

Monday 17 June 2024 00:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Countries resumed talks Sunday on how to iron out issues of nuclear safety, prisoner exchanges and exports of food from Ukraine that have arisen due to Russia‘s two-year war there, and ways to bring peace to Ukraine — even though Moscow is not represented.

Leaders from many Western countries and others including Ecuador, Somalia and Kenya were meeting in the Swiss resort of Bürgenstock to lay out their visions of what peace could look like in Ukraine one day. Many hope that Russia will join in one day, but say it needs to agree to respect Ukraine’s territory — about one quarter of which it occupies.

Nations discuss children, nuclear safety at talks on peace in Ukraine taking place without Russia

Italian Premier Meloni describes Putin's cease-fire offer for Ukraine as 'propaganda'

Sunday 16 June 2024 23:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni on Saturday dismissed a cease-fire offer for Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “propaganda,” as she wrapped up a Group of Seven summit that saw a deal reached for a $50 billion loan to Ukraine.

The loan will be provided by the U.S., U.K., Canada and possibly Japan, Meloni said. The frozen Russian assets to be used as collateral are mainly in Europe, “so Europe is already contributing by identifying the guarantee mechanism,” she added.

The loan agreement was reached at the opening Thursday of the two-day annual meeting of leaders from the G7 countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States in southern Italy’s Puglia region.

Italian Premier Meloni describes Putin's cease-fire offer for Ukraine as 'propaganda'

LGBT soldiers in Ukraine hope their service is changing attitudes as they rally for legal rights

Sunday 16 June 2024 22:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Several hundred LGBT Ukrainian servicemen and their supporters marched in central Kyiv Sunday to demand more rights and highlight their service to their country in its war with Russia.

The servicemembers — many wearing rainbow and unicorn patches on their uniforms — called on the government to grant them official partnership rights. They described the event as a pride march but it did not have the celebratory atmosphere of peacetime events and took place in the rain and under a heavy police guard amid threats from counterprotesters.

The role of LGBT members in the military has been credited with shifting public attitudes toward same-sex partnerships in the socially conservative country.

LGBT soldiers in Ukraine hope their service is changing attitudes as they rally for legal rights

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

Sunday 16 June 2024 21:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Mykola Kuleba, the founder of Save Ukraine, calls for international action to help bring home children who have been separated from their families by Russia’s invasion:

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

Putin treats international law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv’s top official as peace summit meets

Sunday 16 June 2024 20:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Vladimir Putin has been criticised for treating international humanitarian law like “toilet paper” as a key peace summit focused on the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russia begins.

Almost 20,000 children are known to have been forcibly abducted from the occupied territories of Ukraine, though the true figure is believed to be much higher.

The move prompted the international criminal court to issue arrest warrants for both Putin and his children’s right’s commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova.

Putin treats global law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv official ahead of peace summit

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Sunday 16 June 2024 19:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In a special investigation, Tom Watling tells the story of five teenagers who were taken into Russia or Russian-occupied territory before eventually being rescued. Many others are still believed to be trapped:

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Chilean President Gabriel Boric criticises Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children

Sunday 16 June 2024 17:30 , Barney Davis

Chilean President Gabriel Boric has stressed the need for urgent measures to protect civilians during the war.

It came after The Independent spoke to five teenagers abducted by Russian forces.

“Children everywhere have to be protected. We cannot allow that any country abducts or kidnaps children, as Russia is doing nowadays with Ukrainian children. Civilians must not be damaged. We need urgent action to protect their rights, because they cannot wait,” Boric said.

“This summit represents a beacon of hope and serves as a catalyst for fostering enduring peace dialogues. We totally endorse the joint communique that we have approved, and the purpose of this gathering is really important.”

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Zelenskiy says China should communicate its peace proposals to Ukraine directly

Sunday 16 June 2024 16:40 , Barney Davis

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that China should communicate its peace proposals on ending the war with Russia to Ukraine directly, instead of doing so via media outlets.

The Ukrainian leader made the comment at a news conference in Switzerland after an international summit to build consensus on how to end the war.

Zelensky said on Sunday the participants in a Swiss summit on peace in Ukraine had agreed to continue working in special groups afterwards and that once “action plans for peace” were ready, a path to a second summit would be open.

“We agreed to start to work in special after-summit groups on specific ideas, proposals and developments that can restore security in various aspects.”

China Ukraine Envoy
China Ukraine Envoy

Canada plans meeting to tackle human cost of Ukraine war

Sunday 16 June 2024 15:30 , Barney Davis

Canada plans to host a gathering of foreign ministers in the coming months to advance work on the human cost of the war in Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday.

Trudeau was speaking alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other leaders at a summit hosted by Switzerland aimed at creating a pathway towards peace in Ukraine

Video shows scorched earth after battlefield as Ukrainian paratroopers hold strategic point

Sunday 16 June 2024 15:01 , Barney Davis

Defiant Ukrainian forces have released a shocking video of the as paratroopers resist Russian advances in Luhansk.

“This is what the outpost of the Luhansk region - Bilohorivka - looks like. Paratroopers of the 81st Separate Slobozhanska Airmobile Brigade continue to hold the defense of this settlement despite the constant statements of the Russians about taking the village under their control,” a message on Instagram says.

It adds: “There are no civilians for a long time. The earth is ripped with explosions from shelling. On the territory of the village there are many units of destroyed Russian equipment.”

Ukraine summit strives for broad consensus to lean on Russia to end war

Sunday 16 June 2024 14:15 , Barney Davis

Western powers and other nations sought a consensus on the second day of a summit in Switzerland n condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and underscoring the war’s human cost.

A draft of the final summit declaration seen by Reuters refers to Russia’s invasion as a “war” - a label Moscow rejects - and calls for Ukraine’s control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and its Azov Sea ports to be restored.

The draft, dated June 13, called for Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be respected.

But - in line with the conference’s more modest stated aims - it omitted knottier issues of what a post-war settlement for Ukraine might look like, whether Ukraine could join the NATO alliance or how troop withdrawals from both sides might be managed.

Many Western leaders voiced forceful condemnation of the invasion and rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands for parts of Ukraine as a condition for peace.

“One thing is clear in this conflict: there is an aggressor, which is Putin, and there is a victim, which is the Ukrainian people,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

EU chief says Putin is not serious about peace

Sunday 16 June 2024 14:04 , Barney Davis

A Swiss summit over the weekend has brought peace closer to Ukraine but real peace will not be achieved in one step, and the path there will require patience and determination, European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.

“We know that peace in Ukraine will not be achieved in one step, it will be a journey,” she said after the talks.

“It was not a peace negotiation because (Russia’s President Vladimir) Putin is not serious about ending the war, he’s insisting on capitulation, he’s insisting on ceding Ukrainian territory - even territory that today is not occupied.”

Path open for second peace summit - Zelensky

Sunday 16 June 2024 14:00 , Barney Davis

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday the participants in a Swiss summit on peace in Ukraine had agreed to continue working in special groups afterwards and that once “action plans for peace” were ready, a path to a second summit would be open.

“We agreed to start to work in special after-summit groups on specific ideas, proposals and developments that can restore security in various aspects,” the Ukrainian leader told a joint news conference.

“When the action plans for peace are ready and when every step is worked out, the path will be opened for the second peace summit.”

Switzerland Russia Ukraine War (' KEYSTONE POOL / URS FLUEELER)
Switzerland Russia Ukraine War (' KEYSTONE POOL / URS FLUEELER)

80 countries sign on for territorial integrity of Ukraine to be basis of any peace agreement

Sunday 16 June 2024 13:58 , Barney Davis

Eighty countries jointly called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

The joint communique capped a two-day conference at the Bïrgenstock resort in Switzerland marked by the absence of Russia, which was not invited, but that many attendees hoped could join in on a roadmap to peace.

About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries but also some key developing nations, were on hand for the conference — and experts were on watch to see how and if at all they might line up behind the outcome document.

Participants India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates — which were represented by foreign ministers or lower-level envoys — were among those that did not sign onto the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners.

Brazil, an “observer” country, did not sign on but Turkey — which has sought to an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine — did.

Russia's war in Ukraine causing large-scale suffering, summit communique says

Sunday 16 June 2024 13:53 , Barney Davis

Russia’s war in Ukraine was causing “large-scale human suffering and destruction” but a path to peace needed the involvement of all parties, the final communique of a Ukraine summit in Switzerland said on Sunday.

The communique was backed by most of the more than 90 countries that attended the summit but some did not put their name to it, including Saudi Arabia and India.

“The ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine continues to cause large-scale human suffering and destruction, and to create risks and crises with global repercussions,” the declaration said.

Live: Leaders make closing statements at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine

Sunday 16 June 2024 13:35 , Barney Davis

Ukraine's foreign minister says peace summit communique considers Kyiv's positions

Sunday 16 June 2024 12:02 , Barney Davis

Kyiv’s positions have been considered in the final communique for a summit of world leaders convened to pursue peace in Ukraine’s war with Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday.

He told reporters at the Buergenstock resort in central Switzerland that the text was complete and “balanced.” He also said no alternative peace plans had been discussed at the two-day event.

Russian troops fired eight times at settlements in the Donetsk region over the past day, destroying and damaging 16 houses.

Sunday 16 June 2024 11:00 , Barney Davis

The Ukrainian military has released pictures of the devastation caused by Russian missiles in Donetsk.

The head of the Donetsk Military District Military Administration, Vadym Filashkin said on Telegram: “In just one day, Russians fired eight times at the settlements of the Donetsk region.”

It came as Russians were accused of killing three residents of the Donetsk region and injuring five others on Saturday.

Filashkin added that 59 more people, including 11 children, were evacuated from the front line in the Donetsk region.

 (Telegram)
(Telegram)

Russian forces storm a detention facility to rescue staff taken hostage, killing hostage takers

Sunday 16 June 2024 10:45 , Barney Davis

Russian security forces stormed a detention center in southern Russia, ending a hostage standoff, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported Sunday.The hostages at the facility in Rostov-on-Don were uninjured, said RIA Novosti, citing Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service.It said that the hostage takers had been “liquidated,” with other local news outlets reporting that at least some of the prisoners had been killed.

It came as inmates took two employees hostage, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said on Sunday.

Russian state news agency Tass, citing unnamed sources in law enforcement, said that six hostage takers were in the central courtyard of the Rostov region’s Detention Center No. 1, armed with a penknife, a rubber baton and a fire ax. The prisoners include men accused of links to the Islamic State group, it said.

Three civilians killed by Russian army in Donetsk region - Ukraine claims

Sunday 16 June 2024 09:46 , Barney Davis

The Russian army allegedly killed three residents of the Donetsk region and injured five others in the past 24 hours, a military chief has said.

The head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Vadym Filashkin wrote in Telegram: “On June 15, Russians killed three residents of the Donetsk region in Ulakly. Another five people were injured in the region during the day.”

He added: “Total number of victims of Russia in Donetsk oblast doesn’t include killed and injured in Mariupol and Volnovakha. #StopRussia #RussiaKillsCivilians.”

According to Filashkin, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia has killed 1,999 civilians in the region, and another 5,029 have been injured.

The head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Oleh Syniehubov, added that another civilian was injured when a private house was destroyed in the village of Petropavlivka, Kupiansk district, as a result of Russian mortar shelling.

Putin's 'absurd' peace proposal a 'hollow attempt to seduce the West'

Sunday 16 June 2024 09:42 , Barney Davis

Vladimir Putin’s interest in peace negotiations is merely a hollow attempt to “seduce” the West and undermine Swiss peace conference, military analysts say.

“The Kremlin is not interested in good faith negotiations with Ukraine and only feigns its interest in negotiations as part of a wider informational effort intended to convince the West to pre-emptively make concessions that violate Ukraine’s sovereignty,” said the Institute for the Study of War.

Mr Putin’s demands would “irrevocably damage the principle of state sovereignty and the inviolability of international borders”.

The ISW called Putin’s promise to respect a ceasefire “particularly hollow following months of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war”.

“Putin’s demands continue to reflect his long-demanded ultimatums that are based on presuppositions that deny the existence of an independent and sovereign Ukraine and that seek to seduce the West to pre-emptively compromise on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the ISW.

Italian Premier Meloni describes Putin's cease-fire offer for Ukraine as 'propaganda'

Sunday 16 June 2024 07:40 , Arpan Rai

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni dismissed a ceasefire offer for Ukraine by Russian president Vladimir Putin as “propaganda,” as she wrapped up a Group of Seven summit that saw a deal reached for a $50bn loan to Ukraine.

Asked about Putin’s cease-fire proposal, Meloni said it “seems to me more like a propaganda move than a real one.”

The Russian president said Friday he would “immediately” order a cease-fire in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv begins withdrawing troops from the four regions Moscow annexed in 2022 and renounces plans to join Nato.

“If president Putin’s proposal is: We are willing to have a peace negotiation if Ukraine recognises the invasion of Ukraine and gives up the occupied parts... doesn’t seem particularly effective to me as a proposal,” Meloni said.

Ukraine's Western allies lay out three-point agenda to end war

Sunday 16 June 2024 07:02 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine’s allies in the West that are gathered for the peace summit in Switzerland this weekend have released the draft text of an agenda to end the war, which is now in its third year.

Titled “Joint Communique on a Peace Framework Switzerland”, the text states: “This Summit was built on the previous discussions that have taken place based on Ukraine’s Peace Formula and other peace proposals which are in line with international law, including the United Nations Charter.”

It asks for nuclear safety, global food security and release of prisoners of war as a common vision to bring peace and stability in Ukraine.

Here are the main points:

“Firstly, any use of nuclear energy and nuclear installations must be safe, secured, safe-guarded and environmentally sound. Ukrainian nuclear power plants and installations, including Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, must operate safely and securely under full sovereign control of Ukraine and in line with IAEA principles and under its supervision.

“Any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing war against Ukraine is inadmissible.

“Secondly, global food security depends on uninterrupted manufacturing and supply of food products. In this regard, free, full and safe commercial navigation, as well as access to seaports in the Black and Azov Seas, are critical. Attacks on merchant ships in ports and along the entire route, as well as against civilian ports and civilian port infrastructure, are unacceptable.

“Food security must not be weaponised in any way. Ukrainian agricultural products should be securely and freely provided to interested third countries.

“Thirdly, all prisoners of war must be released by complete exchange. All deported and unlawfully displaced Ukrainian children, and all other Ukrainian civilians who were unlawfully detained, must be returned to Ukraine.

“We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties. We, therefore, decided to undertake concrete steps in the future in the above-mentioned areas with further engagement of the representatives of all parties.”

Ukraine summit strives for broad consensus to lean on Russia to end war

Sunday 16 June 2024 06:35 , Arpan Rai

Western powers and countries from the rest of the world will use the second day of a major summit in Switzerland today to pursue a consensus on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and underscoring concerns about the war’s human cost.

A draft of the final summit declaration seen by Reuters refers to Russia’s invasion as a “war” - a label Moscow rejects - and calls for Ukraine’s control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and its Azov Sea ports to be restored.

Moscow casts what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine as part of a broader struggle with the West, which it says wants to bring Russia to its knees. Kyiv and the West say Russia is waging an illegal war of conquest.

World leaders including US vice president Kamala Harris, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and French president Emmanuel Macron gathered this weekend at a mountaintop resort in a bid to bolster international support for ending the war.

Many Western leaders voiced forceful condemnation of the invasion, invoking the UN Charter in defence of Ukrainian territorial integrity, and rejecting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands for parts of Ukraine as a condition for peace.

“One thing is clear in this conflict: there is an aggressor, which is Putin, and there is a victim, which is the Ukrainian people,” Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Some leaders are expected to depart early, and talks on Sunday will turn towards pursuing a joint position on the need for nuclear and food security, and the return of prisoners of war and children removed from Ukraine during the conflict.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Qatar had helped to mediate the return from Russia of 30 or more Ukrainian children to their families.

Kyiv says about 20,000 children have been taken to Russia or Russian-occupied territory without the consent of family or guardians since the war began. Moscow rejects this, saying it has protected vulnerable children from the war zone.

The draft communique, dated 13 June, calls for all illegally deported children to be returned.

Ukraine employs a flexible defense while waiting for new Western ammo to get to the front

Sunday 16 June 2024 06:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian firepower has been improving since U.S. lawmakers approved a much-needed military aid package this spring, though not quickly enough to halt the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Although the influx of Western munitions has shrunk Kyiv‘s glaring artillery disadvantage, Moscow’s forces are still gaining ground along the snaking front line and will likely continue to do so through the summer, when the drier ground and longer days will only aid their push.

Ukraine is still on the defensive in the Donetsk region, enabling Moscow’s forces to inflict heavy losses during Ukrainian troop rotations and bringing them closer to crucial Ukrainian supply routes.

Ukraine employs a flexible defense while waiting for new Western ammo to get to the front

Zelensky slams Putin and Russia in inaugural speech at peace talks

Sunday 16 June 2024 05:07 , Arpan Rai

Calling for peace in war-hit Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin’s military onslaught and invasion in his inaugural speech at the ongoing peace talks in Switzerland.

“Putin has taken the lives of thousands of our people to take over a neighboring country. I wish this to no one. I wish all the peoples of the world, every child, and family to live without war. I want this for all Ukrainians. Ukraine has the right to peace. Just like all of you,” he said last night.

The Ukrainian leader also explained Russia’s absence from the table, where it was not invited. “Now there is no Russia here. Why? Because if Russia was interested in peace, there would be no war. We must decide together what a just peace means for the world and how it can be achieved in a truly lasting way. The UN Charter is the basis for us,” Mr Zelensky said.

“No one has the right to kidnap the children of another nation. No one has the right to undermine peace. We are able to ensure the effectiveness of such principles. They are globally important,” he said.

Putin offers truce if Ukraine exits Russian-claimed areas and drops NATO bid. Kyiv rejects it

Sunday 16 June 2024 05:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Friday to “immediately” order a cease-fire in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv began withdrawing troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounced plans to join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected what he called an ultimatum by Putin to surrender more territory.

Putin’s remarks came as Switzerland prepared to host scores of world leaders -- but not from Moscow -- this weekend to try to map out first steps toward peace in Ukraine.

Putin offers truce if Ukraine exits Russian-claimed areas and drops NATO bid. Kyiv rejects it

Putin treats international law like ‘toilet paper’, says Ukrainian official

Sunday 16 June 2024 04:42 , Arpan Rai

Vladimir Putin has been criticised for treating international humanitarian law like “toilet paper” as a key peace summit focused on the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russia begins.

Almost 20,000 children are known to have been forcibly abducted from the occupied territories of Ukraine, though the true figure is believed to be much higher.

The move prompted the international criminal court to issue arrest warrants for both Putin and his children’s right’s commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova.

The horrific practice will be raised at the summit, which will also discuss food and nuclear security, which is taking place in Switzerland.

Tom Watling reports:

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Sunday 16 June 2024 04:38 , Arpan Rai

Anastasiia Motychak did not know why Irina – the person in charge of her camp in Russian-occupied Crimea – had just slapped her across the face; she just knew she missed her mum and wanted to go home to the Ukrainian city of Kherson.

It had been two months since the then 15-year-old had been put on a bus and moved from the then Russian-occupied Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to a two-week “vacation camp” in Yevpatoria, western Crimea. Kherson was no place for a child, the Russian soldiers had warned.

Days later, Ukrainian forces liberated the city. But by then, Anastasiia was 150 miles deeper into occupied territory, sleeping in a room with barred windows.

Roughly 20,000 Ukrainian children have been moved to such camps since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, according to Ukrainian officials. Nearly a quarter of those who have been taken are orphans or children without parental care.

More than 70 camps for forcibly “re-educating” children have been found, according to the Ukrainian government, including in Belarus, occupied Crimea and even far-east Russia, where the children are three times closer to the United States than Ukraine.

Read Tom Watling’s special report:

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Putin's ceasefire proposal calling for surrender, says Kamala Harris

Sunday 16 June 2024 04:26 , Arpan Rai

US vice president Kamala Harris, who led the Washington delegation at the peace summit in Switzerland yesterday, said the Russian president was asking Ukraine to surrender to Moscow.

On the eve of the summit, Vladimir Putin said Russia would end the war if Kyiv agreed to drop its Nato ambitions and handed over four provinces claimed by Moscow. The conditions apparently reflected Moscow’s growing confidence that its forces have the upper hand in the war. The proposal was swiftly rejected by Ukraine and its allies in the West.

“He’s calling for surrender,” Ms Harris said, adding, “Let nothing about the end of this war be decided without Ukraine.”

“Freezing the conflict today, with foreign troops occupying Ukrainian land, is not the answer. It is a recipe for future wars of aggression,” said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Ms Harris announced more than $1.5bn in energy and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, where infrastructure has been pounded by Russian airstrikes since the 2022 invasion.

Ukraine conference draft communique calls out Russia's war on Ukraine

Sunday 16 June 2024 04:06 , Arpan Rai

A draft communique for a summit of world leaders convened to pursue a pathway for peace in Ukraine makes reference to Russia’s “war” against Kyiv and urges that Ukraine’s territorial integrity be respected, according to a copy of the document seen by Reuters.

“In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to refraining from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine, within their internationally recognised borders, including territorial waters, and the resolution of disputes through peaceful means as principles of international law,” the text of the draft communique read.

The final communique is due to be issued on Sunday at the conclusion of the two-day conference at the Buergenstock resort in central Switzerland. The draft was dated 13 June.

The Swiss government has said it hopes the final summit declaration will be supported unanimously by participants. The document tracked certain changes made to the draft.

The document also calls for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be restored to Ukrainian control and for Kyiv’s access to its Azov sea ports to be safeguarded.

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

Sunday 16 June 2024 04:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Mykola Kuleba, the founder of Save Ukraine, calls for international action to help bring home children who have been separated from their families by Russia’s invasion:

We rescue Ukrainian children from Russia and see the trauma they suffer

Sunak warns Russia’s allies they are ‘on the wrong side of history’ at Ukraine summit

Sunday 16 June 2024 03:56 , Arpan Rai

Rishi Sunak has warned Russia’s allies they are “on the wrong side of history” and said Vladimir Putin has no interest in “genuine peace” in Ukraine,

He also condemned the Russian leader’s “escalating nuclear rhetoric”.

The prime minister is at a major international summit on Ukraine in Switzerland with Volodymyr Zelensky.

It comes after Mr Sunak said G7 leaders had reached a “historic breakthrough” at a summit in Italy this week by agreeing a loan for Ukraine that will be funded by frozen Russian assets in Europe.

He said: “This is just and it is right. But true justice will only come when Russia leaves Ukraine.”

Sunak warns Russia allies they are ‘on the wrong side of history’ at Ukraine summit

Sunak warns Russia’s allies they are ‘on the wrong side of history’ at Ukraine summit

Sunday 16 June 2024 03:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak has warned Russia’s allies they are “on the wrong side of history” and said Vladimir Putin has no interest in “genuine peace” in Ukraine,

He also condemned the Russian leader’s “escalating nuclear rhetoric”.

The prime minister is at a major international summit on Ukraine in Switzerland with Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sunak warns Russia allies they are ‘on the wrong side of history’ at Ukraine summit

Putin treats international law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv’s top official as peace summit meets

Sunday 16 June 2024 02:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Vladimir Putin has been criticised for treating international humanitarian law like “toilet paper” as a key peace summit focused on the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russia begins.

Almost 20,000 children are known to have been forcibly abducted from the occupied territories of Ukraine, though the true figure is believed to be much higher.

The move prompted the international criminal court to issue arrest warrants for both Putin and his children’s right’s commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova.

Putin treats global law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv official ahead of peace summit

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

Sunday 16 June 2024 01:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In a special investigation, Tom Watling tells the story of five teenagers who were taken into Russia or Russian-occupied territory before eventually being rescued. Many others are still believed to be trapped:

Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia