- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says air alerts rang out across almost all of Ukraine Tuesday night, as he calls again for a modern, effective air-defence system.
- He says there were attacks in the Khmelnytskyi region of western Ukraine, the central region of Dnipropetrovsk, the border region of Sumy, and the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv and its region.
- Russian troops are engaged in heavy fighting and making their way into Ukraine’s Donetsk region, the governor of Luhansk has said, adding that a large quantity of equipment is being sent towards Donetsk.
- Local officials have said at least two people were killed and seven injured after Russian forces struck a market and residential area in Sloviansk, in the Donetsk region on Tuesday.
- The governor of Donetsk has urged some 350,000 citizens to evacuate the region to help Ukraine’s forces fight better with Russian troops.
Here are the latest updates:
Blinken to seek G20 pressure on Russia to open sea lanes, warn China on Ukraine: Diplomats
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will call on G20 nations this week to put pressure on Russia to support United Nations efforts to reopen sea lanes blocked by the Ukraine conflict and repeat warnings to China not to support Moscow’s war effort, diplomats have said.
Blinken heads to Asia on Wednesday for a meeting of Group of 20 foreign ministers in Bali on Friday. His trip will include his first meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi since October, but no meeting is expected with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, told reporters Blinken would raise energy security and a UN initiative to try to get Ukrainian and Russian foodstuffs and fertiliser back to global markets.
Meanwhile, top US diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, said he expected a “candid” exchange on Ukraine in Blinken’s talks with China’s Wang, which are expected on Saturday. “This will be another opportunity … to convey our expectations about what we would expect China to do and not to do in the context of Ukraine,” he said.
West wants to turn Ukraine into neo-Nazi state: Lavrov
The West is seeking to turn Ukraine “into an openly Russophobic, neo-Nazi state, a military foothold” that would threaten Russia’s security, Moscow’s foreign minister was quoted by state news agency TASS as saying.
Tass said Lavrov had informed Mongolian leaders “in detail” about what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
“We are interested in making the facts about how the representatives of the Kyiv regime behaved and continue to behave in Ukraine available to the broad world community,” Lavrov said.
“Unfortunately the West is doing everything to block the work of the media, which provide objective information about what is happening,” he said, without offering any evidence.
Russia foreign minister visits Mongolia in drive for support
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has met with leaders in Mongolia during a trip to Asia to seek support amid his country’s diplomatic isolation by the West and punishing sanctions.
Lavrov met with Mongolian Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh and paid a courtesy call on President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh on Tuesday, Mongolian state media reported.
Mongolia is a landlocked nation sandwiched between Russia and China, and has sought to maintain friendly relations with both neighbours while also cultivating close ties with the US, whose relations with Moscow and Beijing have become increasingly fraught.
Mongolian and Russian state media gave no details of any specific discussions about the Ukraine conflict, while emphasising strong bilateral relations. The two sides have signed a series of trade agreements, and a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to China is being built through Mongolian territory.
Mitsui, Mitsubishi shares fall after Medvedev suggests loss of Russian oil, gas supply to Japan
Shares of Japanese trading firms Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp dropped more than 4 percent on Wednesday after former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made comments threatening the loss of oil and gas supply to Japan.
Commenting on a reported proposal by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the weekend to cap the price of Russian oil at around half its current level, Medvedev said on social media that Japan “would have neither oil nor gas from Russia, as well as no participation in the Sakhalin-2 LNG project” as a result.
Mitsui and Mitsubishi hold stakes of 12.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in the Sakhalin-2 project.
Air alarms blared across almost all of Ukraine Tuesday: Zelenskyy
An air alert rang out across almost all of Ukraine on Tuesday night, Zelenskyy has said, as he again called for a modern modern anti-missile system.
“Before that, there has been no air alert in the capital and in some regions for some time, and some people even felt particularly anxious because of such unusual silence. They were overthinking, dreading, looking for some kind of explanation – as if the occupiers were preparing for something…,” he said in his nighttime address.
“You should not look for logic in the actions of terrorists. The Russian army does not take any breaks. It has one task – to take people’s lives, to intimidate people – so that even a few days without an air alarm already feel like part of the terror. And this evening, Kyiv and again almost the whole of Ukraine heard the air alarm,” he added.
Zelenskyy said there were raids in the Khmelnytskyi region of western Ukraine, the central region of Dnipropetrovsk, the border region of Sumy, and the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv and its region. “Some of the missiles were shot down by our air defence forces. And we have not reduced and will not reduce our diplomatic activity for a single day to obtain modern anti-missile systems for Ukraine in sufficient quantity.”
Russians moving into Ukraine’s Donetsk: Governor
Russian troops are engaged in heavy fighting and making their way into Ukraine’s Donetsk region after taking control of the last two towns in neighbouring Luhansk, the regional governor of Luhansk has said.
Serhiy Haidai said the Russian troops had sustained heavy losses in the long process of capturing the twin towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, but were channelling their efforts into moving southward.
“Heavy fighting is going on at the edge of Luhansk region … All the forces of the Russian army and reserves have been redirected there … They are sustaining heavy losses,” Haidai told Ukrainian television.
“A large quantity of equipment is being sent towards Donetsk region. Of course, after Luhansk region, Donetsk is at the top of their list.”
Ukraine is a ‘terrorist’ state: Russia parliament speaker
The speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament has told members in a plenary session that Ukraine had become a “terrorist state”, according to remarks posted on the State Duma’s website.
Vyacheslav Volodin was quoted as saying that Zelenskyy was the head of a “criminal regime”.
Russian officials have since the beginning of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine sought to paint their neighbour as being controlled by anti-Russian fascists and “neo-Nazis”, but have not pushed the idea that it is a terrorist state.
Ukraine and the West say the claim is baseless propaganda, used to justify a land grab.
Two killed, seven injured in Sloviansk Tuesday: Officials
At least two people were killed and seven injured after Russian forces struck a market and a residential area in Sloviansk on Tuesday, local officials have said.
A Reuters news agency reporter on the scene saw yellow smoke billowing from an auto supplies shop, and flames engulfing rows of market stalls as firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze.
It was not immediately clear what munitions had been used in the attack on the front-line city in the Donetsk region, or how many people had been at the market when it was hit.
“Russians again deliberately target areas where civilians congregate,” Donetsk Regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote in a Facebook post that detailed the toll of Tuesday’s attacks. “This is sheer terrorism.”
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Read all the updates for July 5 here.