Ukraine. Zelensky says Russia must pay financial compensation – live updates | News | DW
- Russia suspends gas exports to Finland
- Ukraine demands war compensation from Russia
- Pentagon says 40 countries will participate in military aid contact group
- According to the UN refugee agency, more than 6.4 million people have fled Ukraine
This article was last updated at 06:30 UTC/GMT
More than 6.4 million people flee Ukraine (UNHCR)
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says more than 6.4 million people have left Ukraine since Russia began its invasion on February 24.
Most went to neighboring Poland, which has taken in 3.4 million people from Ukraine, UNHCR told the German daily. Welt am Sonntag. Romania, Russia and Hungary were the other main destinations for Ukrainian refugees, the agency said.
Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy are the non-neighbouring countries that have received the most Ukrainian refugees, he added.
The German Interior Ministry says more than 700,000 Ukrainian refugees have already been registered, although the actual number is believed to be higher.
Many children who fled Ukraine now attend German schools
Russia’s military operation likely to be hampered by drone losses (UK military intelligence)
Russia’s supply of unmanned aerial vehicles (UVAs) used to search for targets to strike could become increasingly limited as Western sanctions bite, according to an intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defense.
The use of UVAs has been “pivotal” for both sides in the war, the update says, but they are susceptible to being shot down or disabled by electronic jamming, meaning many have been lost.
According to the update, crewed Russian planes avoided flying over Ukrainian territory due to the danger posed by Ukrainian air defense systems.
Russia stops gas supplies to Finland
Russian energy giant Gazprom has stopped exporting gas to neighboring Finland, gas system operator Gasgrid Finland announced on Saturday.
“Gas imports through the Imatra entry point have been stopped,” it said in a statement.
Imatra is the entry point for Russian gas into Finland.
The move comes after Gazprom Export, which later upheld the shutdown, demanded European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles due to sanctions imposed following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland refused to comply.
Russia’s halt to gas exports also comes amid tensions with Moscow generated by Finland’s bid for NATO membership on Wednesday.
Although most of the gas used in Finland comes from Russia, gas accounts for only around 5% of its annual energy consumption.
Moscow already cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after refusing to pay in roubles.
40 countries will participate in the Ukrainian contact group hosted by the Pentagon
The US Department of Defense is hosting a videoconference for the Ukrainian Contact Group with about 40 countries expected to attend the event hosted by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
In late April, Austin hosted international partners at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss how to provide defense assistance to Ukraine. He proposed the monthly contact group at the time.
Kirby added that several countries not present in April have since asked to join the Ukrainian contact group.
Zelenskyy: Russia must compensate Ukraine for its destruction
During his overnight video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday evening that Ukraine and its allies had formally offered an agreement to obtain financial compensation from Russia for damage caused by Russian forces and munitions.
Zelenskyy added that Russia was committed to destroying Ukrainian infrastructure as much as possible and that an agreement addressing compensation concerns would make it clear to countries planning unwarranted acts of military aggression that they would be forced to pay.
“Russia will feel the weight of every missile, every bomb, every shell it has thrown at us,” he said.
What happened in Russia’s war against Ukraine on Friday
The Russian Defense Ministry said it has full control over the territory of the Azovstal steel plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. According to the ministry, the last group of 531 Ukrainian fighters has surrendered.
Since May 16, a total of 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers have laid down their arms, Russia said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels that the operation to ensure the withdrawal of Mariupol defenders from the Azovstal steel plant was carried out with the participation of Western partners. Zelenskyy also said that Ukraine had lost many helicopter pilots supplying the Mariupol garrison.
He raged against Russian airstrikes that destroyed a recently renovated cultural center in Lozova, in the eastern region of Kharkiv. Seven people, including a child, were injured.
On Telegram, Zelenskyy wrote: “The occupiers have identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for “technological sovereignty”, saying Russia has been hit by numerous cyberattacks since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine. According to Putin, the attacks come from different countries but are “clearly coordinated”.
Moscow is on the verge of full control of the separatist region of Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in remarks relayed by Russian news agencies. Shoigu’s announcement came after Russia’s war on Ukraine shifted Kyiv’s focus to eastern Ukraine due to strategic losses and defeats.
Russia’s lower house of parliament is to debate allowing Russians over 40 and foreigners over 30 to enlist in the military, the State Duma website said on Friday. So far, only Russians between the ages of 18 and 40 and foreigners between the ages of 18 and 30 have been able to enter into a first contract with the army.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update that Russia would likely move troops from Mariupol to support its military operations in Donbass after securing the Black Sea port despite strong resistance from Ukrainian fighters.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is expanding its investigation into human rights violations committed during Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Observers have been sent to Ukraine to interview witnesses and survivors, the OSCE Office for Democracy and Human Rights (ODIHR) said in a statement.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday that Italy had submitted a peace plan for Ukraine to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. According to Di Maio, the plan calls for local ceasefires to evacuate civilians along humanitarian corridors and create the conditions for a general ceasefire leading “to a lasting peace”.
EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell said he was aware of the plan, adding that the EU was “making every effort to try to end this conflict”. Borrell also reiterated warnings of global food shortages due to the war in Ukraine.
Germany will deliver the first 15 “Gepard” tanks to Ukraine in July, a German Defense Ministry spokesperson said after a conversation between German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and her counterpart Ukrainian Oleksii Reznikov. The package also includes training support for the Bundeswehr, the supply of almost 60,000 cartridges and the delivery of another 15 tanks this summer.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder told Russian state oil company Rosneft that he could not continue serving on its board, according to a statement posted on the company’s website. Dresden’s former Stasi chief turned German businessman Matthias Warnig has also dropped out of Rosneft’s board.
Russian gas will stop flowing to neighboring Finland on Saturday morning, Finnish gas wholesaler Gasum said in a statement. The move comes amid a row over Moscow’s demand for countries to pay for gas in rubles and Finland’s application for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Find out what happened Friday in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
ar/sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)