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Today’s developments in Russia’s war against Ukraine | Ukraine war news | Al Jazeera

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Today’s developments in Russia’s war against Ukraine | Ukraine war news | Al Jazeera
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his troops had suffered painful losses in the eastern towns of Severo-Donetsk and the Kharkiv region and called for more anti-missile systems.
  • Russia urged Ukrainian fighters hiding in the Azot chemical plant in Severo-Donetsk to surrender on Wednesday.
  • The Russian army claims it will create a humanitarian corridor to evacuate hundreds of civilians from the factory.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Ukraine’s children have been forced from their homes and the war is a “child rights crisis”, a UN official said.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that NATO must strengthen its readiness and maintain a stronger combat readiness posture along its eastern border following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian-Ukrainian War
Which powers control the different regions of Ukraine?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the battle for the Donbas region would go down in military history as one of the most violent in Europe. The head of Ukraine’s national police has revealed that authorities are investigating the killing of more than 12,000 Ukrainians during the war (Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates

Russia-backed separatists announce road from Donbass to Crimea

TASS quoted a Moscow-backed member of the self-proclaimed Zaporozhye government as saying that the route between Ukraine’s Donbas region and the Russian annexed territory of Crimea passes through the occupied areas of Mariupol, Melitopol and Kherson. The route is now open to civilian vehicles.

“It’s not just for the military,” Vladimir Rogov said. “I myself have traveled from Kherson to Berdyansk, Mariupol, Nova-Azosk via Melitopol. I went to Russia via Novo-Azosk.”

“People can take advantage of this, there’s a lot of people wanting to use the road, there are long queues at the border, it’s not designed for that kind of influx. But the corridor is there,” he added.

Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the opening of a route from the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to the Ukrainian-occupied cities of Mariupol, Berdyansk and Melitopol.

Russia: Anniversary of the annexation of Crimea (Al Jazeera)

Nicaragua Congress extends Russian training exercises

The United States has criticized Nicaragua’s Congress for updating a decade-long decree that allows Russian troops to train in the Central American country.

Tuesday’s decision allowed 230 Russian soldiers to enter Nicaragua between July 1 and December 31 to patrol Pacific waters with Nicaraguan troops.

The decision of President Daniel Ortega to support Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine was expected.

Since 2012, Nicaragua’s unicameral Congress has approved the entry of foreign military personnel, including Russians, every six months.

UN: Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children left home during war

Nearly two-thirds of Ukraine’s children were forced to leave their homes during the war, according to UN officials who visited the country last week.

“The war in Ukraine is a child rights crisis,” Khan told a news conference on Tuesday. She is UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

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Khan said 277 children were killed and 456 injured in Ukraine, mainly due to the use of explosives in urban areas. She said the number of damaged schools could be in the thousands, with only about 25 percent of Ukraine’s schools still operating.

Children look out the window on an unheated train bound for Lviv in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022 (AP)

Russia ‘ready to listen’ if UK appeals to prisoners

The Kremlin said Russia would be ready to consider a British appeal over the fate of two Britons sentenced to death for fighting in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said neither Moscow nor the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who passed the verdict had heard from London about the matter.

Peskov said on Tuesday: “Of course you need to apply to the national authorities where the court made the ruling, and it is not the Russian Federation. But, of course, everything depends on London’s appeal. I am sure the Russian side will be ready to listen.”

Last week, two Britons, Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner, and a Moroccan man named Brahim Saden were sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic on suspicion of acting as mercenaries, The court has given the men a month to appeal their sentences.

Polish PM criticises NATO’s support for Ukraine

The Polish prime minister has criticized NATO’s support so far for Ukraine, which has repeatedly called for more and more heavyweight weapons.

“We’re not doing enough to defend Ukraine, to support the Ukrainian people in defending their freedom and sovereignty. That’s why I urge you, I ask you to do more to send arms and artillery to Ukraine,” Mateush said. Morawiecki told an informal meeting of seven NATO countries in Europe in The Hague.

“If Ukraine fails, where is our credibility? Can we imagine Ukraine failing and we get back to normal? I hope not,” he added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Ukraine should have more heavy weapons, and NATO allies and partners have been supplying heavy weapons for a long time now. But they are also stepping up their efforts.”

NATO and Ukraine: The weapons issue (Al Jazeera)

European officials worried about Russian-flying Western-built planes

Europe’s top aviation safety regulator said he was “very concerned” about the safety of Western-built planes continuing to fly in Russia without spare parts and proper maintenance.

The European Union and the United States have moved to limit Russia’s access to components after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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“It’s very unsafe,” Patrick Key, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting, adding that regulators don’t have good data on many of the planes flying in Russia.

Allies: Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny moves to unknown location

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been abruptly moved from a prison where he is serving his sentence to an undisclosed location, according to his allies.

Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov said on Telegram on Tuesday that when the lawyer arrived at Correctional Institution No. 2 in Pokrov, 119 kilometers (74 miles) east of Moscow, he was told, “There are no such criminals here.”

“Where Alexei is now and which correctional facility he was taken to, we do not know,” Volkov said in a statement on Telegram.

Just last month, Navalny slammed Putin in a Russian court via video link, saying the Kremlin chief had waged a “stupid war” that slaughtered innocent people in Ukraine and Russia.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears in a prison video provided by Russia’s Federal Prison Service in Moscow City Court, Tuesday, May 24, 2022 (AP)

Governor: Russian army controls 80% of Severo Donetsk

The governor of the Luhansk region said Russian troops control about 80 percent of the competitive eastern city of Severo Donetsk.

Sergei Heyday admitted on Tuesday that a mass evacuation of civilians from Severo Donetsk is now “simply impossible” due to relentless shelling and fighting. About 500 civilians were still taking refuge at the Azot chemical plant, he said.

He said Ukrainian troops had been pushed to the industrial outskirts of the city because of “the Russians’ use of scorched-earth policies and heavy artillery.”

“There is still an opportunity to evacuate the wounded and communicate with the Ukrainian military and local residents,” he told The Associated Press by phone, adding that Russian soldiers had not yet completely sealed off the strategic city.

Zelensky: Ukraine suffers painful loss in Severo Donetsk in Kharkov

Zelensky said Ukrainian troops suffered painful losses as they fought Russian troops in the eastern city of Severo Donetsk and the Kharkiv region.

Ukraine said Ukrainian troops were still trying to evacuate civilians from Severo Donetsk after Russia destroyed the last bridge to the city. This is the latest stage in Moscow’s attempt to seize the Donbas region in a weeks-long battle.

Both sides claimed heavy casualties in the fighting in the city, which is Russia’s main battleground.

About 12,000 people remain in Severo Donetsk, the city’s pre-war population of 100,000, according to the region’s governor.

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Ukraine: Civilians trapped (Al Jazeera)

Secretary-General: NATO must strengthen preparations

The head of the NATO military alliance said that after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO must build “higher combat readiness” and strengthen the weapons and equipment deployed on its eastern border.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held informal talks in the Netherlands on Tuesday with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the leaders of Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Portugal and Belgium. At the end of the month, Madrid will host a wider NATO summit.

“In Madrid, we will agree to significantly strengthen our posture,” he said. “Tonight we discussed the need for a stronger, more ready front, with higher readiness, more equipment and supplies pre-positioned.”

When asked about applications from Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, Stoltenberg said he was seeking “a unified way forward” to resolve Turkey’s objections. Turkey is angry at Sweden’s support for Kurdish activists.

Zelensky: Ukraine needs more anti-missile systems

Zelensky repeated his call for the West to send “more modern anti-missile systems” to his troops.

“Our country is not yet at a sufficient level, but our country in Europe needs this weapon the most right now,” Zelensky said, adding that Ukraine was only hit by the Lviv and Ternopol regions on Tuesday. Some missiles were successfully shot down before hitting.

He said the delay in supplying these weapons was not justified.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar said on Tuesday that Kyiv had received only 10 percent of the weapons it requested.

Biden: Temporary silo program allows Ukrainian grain to be exported

U.S. President Joe Biden said he was working closely with European Union partners to build temporary granaries on the Ukrainian border and in Poland to access much-needed food.

Biden made the announcement during a speech in Philadelphia.

Ukraine: Food export crisis (Al Jazeera)

Russia urges Ukrainian fighters at Azot factory to surrender

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it offered Ukrainian fighters sheltering in the eastern Ukrainian town of Severo-Donetsk the Azot chemical plant a chance to surrender on June 15.

Russia said on Tuesday it would open a humanitarian corridor on Wednesday to allow civilians to leave factories, while urging Ukrainian fighters to “stop senseless resistance and lay down their weapons.”

Click here to read more.

You can read all the updates for Tuesday, June 14 here.

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