Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Hollywood actor Ben Stiller spotted near Kyiv

Hollywood actor Ben Stiller was spotted in the Makariv district of Kyiv in Ukraine on Monday, days after he was seen in the western city of Lviv.

According to a social media post, Stiller – who is a goodwill ambassador with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency – is working with the agency to support Ukrainian refugees.

Stiller said via Twitter on Saturday that he arrived in Poland to meet “people whose lives have been affected by the war in Ukraine.” Today is World Refugee Day.

Residents of Mariupol “on survival”

According to the city’s regional military administration, residents of the southern port city of Mariupol, which was seized by Russian forces in May, are on the brink of survival due to a lack of clean drinking water.

Citing information from Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko, the administration said that “more than 100,000 people who still remain in the city do not have access to drinking water”.

“Currently, the occupants provide it once a week. Residents are queuing for 4-8 hours. They are on the verge of death. This is a humanitarian disaster. Therefore, we must do everything possible to open a green corridor and save people,” the mayor said.

He added that the Russians and “collaborators” had also restricted residents’ access to food. “At the same time, the city finds itself without gas, without light and without an evacuation system.”

CNBC was unable to verify information from the administration and Boychenko.

—Holly Ellyatt

Battles move to villages around Severodonetsk and Lysychansk

Battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces are taking place in “several villages” around the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, with Ukrainian forces losing control of a settlement, according to the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, Serhiy Haidai.

In his latest Twitter update, the official said the Ukrainian army had lost control of the village of Metiolkine just outside the regional center.

“Battles are ongoing in several villages around Siverodonetsk and Lysychansk. Unfortunately, we currently have no control over Metiolkine near the regional center,” he said, adding that Russian forces had “intensified artillery and aerial fire”.

Debris and destroyed cars along a street in Lysychansk.

Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Russian and Ukrainian forces have been engaged in intense fighting and street battles in recent weeks, with the conflict centering on Severodonetsk, the last remaining Ukrainian city in Luhansk province, and its “twin” city on the other side of the Siverskyi Donets River, Lysychansk.

Haidai noted that Ukrainian fighters were successful in close warfare, but enemy artillery prevailed in the area. He added that Russia was “defeating” Lysychansk but said a “silent” civilian evacuation was underway using armored vehicles.

“A lost colony does NOT mean ‘lost war’. The Luhansk region will be defended to the end, we will limit the horde as much as necessary,” Haidai said.

He added that “the Russians are hitting the industrial zone of Severodonetsk and the outskirts of the city hard. The same is happening in the Toshkivka and Ustynivka districts”, where the “orcs” are trying to make a breakthrough. “For this purpose, they collected a large amount of material there,” he said.

Ukrainian officials frequently compare Russian fighters to the fictional, monstrous “orcs” from JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series.

Holly Ellyatt

Air force failures put pressure on Russia’s ‘exhausted’ ground forces, UK says

Servicemen of pro-Russian troops board an infantry fighting vehicle in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 2, 2022.

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

The Russian air force has underperformed and its inability to consistently deliver air power is probably one of the most important factors in the very limited success of the country’s campaign, according to the latest intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defence.

The ministry said the Russian Air Force “cannot achieve complete air superiority and operated under risk-[averse] style, rarely penetrating deep behind Ukrainian lines. He noted that some of the underlying causes of his difficulties echo those of Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine.

“For years, much of Russia’s air combat training was most likely heavily scripted and designed to impress senior officials, rather than to develop dynamic initiative among aircrews,” UK said. United. He added that although Russia has an impressive roster of relatively modern and capable combat aircraft, “the Air Force has almost certainly failed to develop the institutional culture and skills necessary for its personnel to meet Russia’s aspiration to provide a more Western-style modern air campaign.”

This has led to a larger-than-expected effort for ground troops, which are depleting, according to the intelligence report, and advanced cruise missiles, “stocks of which are likely running out.”

Russia’s tactical ground and air operations continued to focus on Donbass in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, the UK noted.

—Holly Ellyatt

Official says Russia ‘evacuated’ 1.9 million Ukrainian citizens

A Russian military official claimed that more than 1.9 million Ukrainian citizens, including 307,000 children, have been “evacuated” to the territory of the Russian Federation since the start of the war.

“Despite all the difficulties created by the Kyiv authorities, over the past 24 hours, without the participation of the Ukrainian side, 29,733 people, including 3,502 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from areas Ukrainian and Donbass republics,” Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian Federation’s National Defense Control Center, said during a briefing on Saturday, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

He said 307,423 children had been “evacuated” since the start of the invasion.

People, mostly women and children, walk through a train station in Poland after fleeing war-torn Ukraine on April 9, 2022.

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The forced or coerced transfer of Ukrainian citizens to Russian territory raises serious concerns. Sometimes humanitarian corridors opened to allow civilians to leave besieged cities, such as Mariupol, have led into Russian territory. Civilians evacuated from the besieged steel mills in Mariupol have reportedly been taken to a former prison camp in an occupied part of Ukraine.

Russia claims it protects ethnic Russians in parts of Ukraine, especially in the east and south (Donbass and Crimea, respectively).

—Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s ‘hostile activities’ could intensify this week, Zelenskyy warns

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he expects Russia to step up its attacks on his country pending a European Union decision this week on whether to grant Ukraine country status. candidate – a decision that could allow him to join the bloc at a future date.

“Tomorrow begins a truly historic day, a week, when we will hear the European Union’s response on Ukraine’s candidate status. [We’ve] already [got] almost a positive decision from the European Commission, at the end of the new week the response from the European Council is expected,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech on Sunday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with local authorities during a visit to the southern city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine June 18, 2022. The country is awaiting a decision from the European Union this week on whether it will grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

The president said Russia could step up its “hostile activities” this week as a result, and warned that Russia was “building up forces” towards Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

“Fierce fighting continues in the Donbass. The Russian army uses the most artillery there, most of its offensive forces. But Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka and other hot spots are holding their own. Our people hold them Our army is holding And I am grateful to all whose strength today is our victory tomorrow.

Ukraine has long aspired to join the EU, the neighboring bloc to the west of the country. The move is sure to anger Russia, as President Vladimir Putin opposes the pro-Western direction Ukraine’s leaders have taken in recent years.

—Holly Ellyatt

War could last for years, says NATO chief

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the West must prepare for a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“We have to be prepared for the fact that it could take years. We must not relax our support for Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of the rising price of oil. energy and food,” Stoltenberg told Bild am Journal Sonntag over the weekend.

An aerial view of completely destroyed settlements about 40 km from the Russian border, in Kharkiv, on June 12, 2022.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“If Putin learns from this war that he can just continue as he did after the 2008 war in Georgia and the occupation of Crimea in 2014, then we will pay a much higher price,” he said. he adds.

Strategists have warned that the war in Ukraine is likely to become a war of attrition.

—Holly Ellyatt

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