Ukraine ‘probably won the battle for Kharkiv’, the country’s second-largest city, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment of the conflict. “Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from encircling, let alone seizing Kharkiv, then evicting them from the city, as they did Russian forces trying to seize kyiv” , said the US think tank.
The Ukrainians also repelled multiple Russian attempts to cross a strategically important river in the Donbass, inflicting heavy casualties in the process, according to local officials and British intelligence. British defense intelligence said Russia had lost “significant armored maneuver elements” of a battalion battle group – a formation of around 800 men at full strength – following the failure of the attack. effort to cross the Siversky Donets River, 20 km west of Severodonetsk.
Russia will suspend electricity supply to Finland from 1 a.m. Saturday, the supplier said, RAO Nordic, said amid growing tensions over Helsinki’s NATO bid.
This news came as US President Joe Biden has voiced his support for Finland and Sweden’s right “to decide their own futureforeign policy and security agreements” during a call with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö, and Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey will not accept Sweden or Finland joining NATO. The comments appeared directed against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Sweden has a large Kurdish diaspora.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “very difficult negotiations are underway” on the evacuation of seriously injured and medics from the Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, which the Russian forces continue to bombard. “Of course, we are doing everything to evacuate all the others, each of our defenders,” added the president.
A Russian soldier appeared in court charged with the murder of an unarmed man on a bicycle, at the start of the first war crime trial in Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. Vadim Shysimarin, commander of the Kantemirovskaya tank division, is accused of the premeditated murder of a 62-year-old man. The case is due to resume on Wednesday.
Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia will hold a referendum on joining Russia on July 17, announced the head of the region, Anatoly Bibilov. South Ossetia was at the center of the Russo-Georgian war in 2008, after which the Kremlin recognized the territory – along with another breakaway region, Abkhazia – as an independent state and stationed military bases there.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said kyiv hopes to arm a million people as the country prepares for a ‘new and long phase of war’. He warned that “extremely difficult weeks are ahead” and that Ukraine needed “unity, cohesion, will and patience” during this difficult period.
The UK has imposed sanctions on a dozen members of Vladimir Putin’s family and inner circle, including his longtime girlfriend. The Foreign Ministry has argued that the Russian president officially owns only modest assets and has sanctioned people who help support his lavish lifestyle.
Britain and Norway have signed a new joint statement on strengthening cooperation between the two countries. Boris Johnson met his Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Støre, in London on Friday, where the two leaders “underscored their full support for any sovereign choices made by the Nordic partners to strengthen their security,” according to a Downing Street statement.
the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, for the first time since before the invasion began, the Pentagon said. Austin “called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
The EU could agree on a phased embargo on Russian oil next week, despite worries about supplies in Eastern Europe, according to diplomats and officials. A senior EU diplomat told Reuters a deal could be reached as early as Monday when EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels. A third diplomat said there was a chance of reaching an agreement later in the week.
The lawyer of the American professional basketball player Brittney Griner has said her pretrial detention has been extended for a month. The two-time Olympic medalist was arrested in February at Moscow airport, allegedly in possession of vaping cartridges containing cannabis-derived oil. If found guilty, she could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.