Ukraine’s president said “victory must be won on the battlefield” while calling for more Western support.
- Ukraine’s leader, President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, told a British newspaper that a standoff with Russia was “not an option”.
- Ninety-seven percent of the Luhansk region, one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s Donbass, is under Russian control, according to Moscow Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
- Shoigu says Russian forces have completely “liberated” residential areas of Severodonetsk.
- A Ukrainian official says some 600 Ukrainians are being held captive and tortured in the Russian-occupied southern region of Kherson.
World Bank Board Approves $1.49 Billion in New Funds for Ukraine
The World Bank said its board had approved additional financing of $1.49 billion for Ukraine to help pay government and social worker salaries, bringing the full support pledged by the bank in Kyiv to more than 4 billion dollars.
The World Bank said in a statement that the latest funding round for Ukraine is backed by funding guarantees from Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Latvia. The project is also supported by parallel funding from Italy and contributions from a new multi-donor trust fund.
‘Don’t blame me’ for not trying hard enough for Ukraine: Merkel
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had done her best while in office to prevent the situation in Ukraine from developing to the current state, adding that she did not blame herself for not having tries hard enough.
“It’s a great sadness that it didn’t work out, but I don’t blame myself for not trying,” Merkel said, speaking of the 2014 Minsk deal with Russia. She spoke in an interview with German journalist and author Alexander Osang which was televised by broadcaster ARD.
Merkel said there was no justification for Russia’s “brutal disregard for international law” in Ukraine, adding that she had opposed a plan to let Ukraine into NATO because she wanted to prevent a escalation with Russia and that Ukraine was not ready for such membership.
Russia returns bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters to Kyiv: military
Russia has handed over to Kyiv the bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters, most of whom died defending the city of Mariupol against Russian forces in a vast steelworks, the Ukrainian army has announced.
“The process of returning the bodies of the fallen defenders of Mariupol is ongoing. To date, 210 of our soldiers have been discharged – most of them heroic defenders of Azovstal,” Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Directorate said on Twitter.
Standoff with Russia ‘not an option’: Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy told Britain’s Financial Times that a standoff with Russia was “not an option”.
“Victory must be won on the battlefield,” he said, reiterating his call for Western military support.
“We are inferior in terms of equipment so we are not able to advance,” he told the newspaper. “We are going to take more losses and people are my priority.”
Zelenskyy said restoring the Ukrainian-controlled borders before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion would be “a serious temporary victory.”
But he said the ultimate goal was the “complete deoccupation of our entire territory”.
Ukrainian forces struggle to hold central Severodonestk: Governor
Ukrainian forces are struggling to repel Russian attacks in central Sievierodonestk, but Moscow forces do not control the city, the governor of the Luhansk region said.
In an online post, Serhiy Gaidai also said that Russian troops are constantly shelling Sievierodonetsk’s twin town, Lysychansk, which is across the Siverskiy Donets River.
Lavrov in Turkey for talks on Ukrainian grain exports
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Ankara for a two-day visit to Turkey for talks on unblocking grain exports from Ukraine.
This is Lavrov’s second trip to Turkey after meeting his Turkish and Ukrainian counterparts Mevlut Cavusoglu and Dmytro Kuleba in Antalya on March 10.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Read all of the updates from Tuesday, June 7 here.