Monday August 15, 2022

‘Putin is weaponising hunger’: Liz Truss blames Russia for food shortages

Russia has reportedly defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in more than a century, further alienating the country from the global financial system following sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine.

The country has the money to make the $100 million payment but is unable to do so because the sanctions imposed by Western countries mean it cannot get the cash to creditors.

Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelensky is set to address the G7 summit on Monday and press Ukraine’s allies for more weapons in his first-ever such note as the clamour grows to support Kyiv a day after at least 14 missiles struck the capital and the region in a “symbolic  attack”.

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The three-day summit will have the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan in attendance in Berlin with a focus on pledging more support to Ukraine.

India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina will also participate in the session as the nations will centre discussions around climate crisis, energy and other issues.

This comes a day after Russia struck Kyiv and Moscow’s troops turned their focus on capturing Lysychansk as they entered the last major city in Ukraine’ Luhansk province.

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Russia ‘defaults on foreign debt’ for the first time in a century

Russia has reportedly defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in more than a century, further alienating the country from the global financial system following sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine.

The country has the money to make the $100 million payment but is unable to do so because the sanctions imposed by Western countries mean it cannot get the cash to creditors.

The US Treasury Department ended Russia’s ability to pay its billions in debt back to international investors through American banks. In response, the Russian Finance Ministry said it would pay dollar-denominated debts in rubles and offer “the opportunity for subsequent conversion into the original currency.”

Russia calls any default artificial because it has the money to pay its debts but sanctions have frozen its foreign currency reserves held abroad.

Joe Middleton27 June 2022 07:55

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Ukraine: Zelensky calls for more help from G7 during ‘difficult stage of war’

Ukraine: Zelensky calls for more help from G7 during ‘difficult stage of war’

Joe Middleton27 June 2022 07:44

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US likely to announce purchase of surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine

The US is likely to announce this week the purchase of an advanced medium to long range surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Washington is also expected to announce other security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars to address needs expressed by the Ukrainian military, the source added.

Joe Middleton27 June 2022 07:25

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Russia trying to regain momentum in Ukraine’s north, claims UK

Russia is attempting to make inroads again in Ukraine’s northern Izium, the British defence ministry said on Monday.

“While Russia’s main operational focus remains the Sieverodonetsk-Lysychansk pocket, a week of consistently heavy shelling suggests Russia is now trying to regain momentum on the northern Izium axis,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It added that Ukraine’s soldiers “continue to hold the line in that sector, making good use of forested terrain to assist their defence”.

However, the ministry warned that in the coming weeks, Russia’s warfare “will highly likely increasingly rely on echelons of reserve forces”.

These consist of several distinct components which Russia has almost certainly already started to field, the ministry said in its intelligence update.

“Russia’s Combat Army Reserve is a recent innovation of part-time but volunteer reservists, which deploy as whole units typically ear-marked for rear area security tasks,” the British MoD said.

Pointing to the Human Mobilisation Resource as “sizable pool of all veterans who have served in the regular military in the last five years”.

Russian authorities are likely using volunteers from this category to fill out the third battalions within regular brigades, the ministry said.

“Despite a continued shortfall in the number of deployable reservists for Ukraine, the Russian leadership likely remains reluctant to order a general mobilisation,” it added.

Arpan Rai27 June 2022 07:05

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Support for Ukraine among key agendas as G7 leaders meet today

The three-day session will begin on Monday with increased focus on Ukraine.

The G7 leaders from the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan will be in attendance in Berlin and demonstrate support for Ukraine.

Boris Johnson is also expected to nudge his counterparts France and Germany to bolster more military support to Ukraine and warn them against any attempt to push Mr Zelensky into a “bad” peace deal.

Arpan Rai27 June 2022 06:52

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Cambridge University launches support for people displaced by war in Ukraine

Cambridge University is starting a package of support for students and academics displaced in the ongoing war in Europe, including fully-funded residential placements for more than 30 people.

The initiatives have been developed in partnership with universities in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government, Professor Stephen J Toope said.

Prof Toope said: “Since the start of the invasion, the university has been working with education leaders in Ukraine to support academics and students whose lives have been torn apart in this humanitarian tragedy.”

Read the full story here:

Arpan Rai27 June 2022 05:57

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Russian soldiers enter Lysychansk from five directions, isolating Ukrainian fighters – Report

After capturing Sievierodonetsk, Russian soldiers have turned their focus on capturing Lysychansk as they entered the last major city in Ukraine’ Luhansk province.

A separatist official from the region said that Moscow’s fighters had entered the city from five directions and were cornering Ukrainian soldiers.

Russian forces are using artillery to cut off the twin city of Sievierodonetsk from the southern part of Ukraine, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Civilians escaping the fire raging in Lysychansk said that the fighting had worsened in the last week.

“Lysychansk, it was a horror last week. Yesterday we could not take it any more. I already told my husband if I die, please bury me behind the house,” Elena, an elderly woman from Lysychansk who escaped the frontline area said.

Arpan Rai27 June 2022 05:07

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Moscow must be defeated with ‘all our might’, says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated demand for more “powerful” artillery to counter Russian missiles and said that the troops sent by Moscow must be defeated with “all our might”.

“We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers,” Mr Zelensky said.

He added that the “delays in the transfer of weapons to our state, any restrictions are actually an invitation for Russia to strike again and again.”

“The occupiers – these terrorists – must be beaten with all our might so that they do not think they can put pressure and outplay someone,” he said.The attacks also left two casualties — including a Russian citizen, Mr Zelenksy said.

“The second army of the world triumphantly “defeated” a kindergarten and an apartment building. The man died, he was only 37 years old.”

“There are wounded, among them – a girl named Zhenya, she is seven years old, the daughter of the deceased, now she is in “Okhmatdyt”. Her mother was also wounded. By the way, a citizen of Russia. That’s that.”

Mr Zelensky said that missiles struck the Mykolaiv region, the Chernihiv region, Odesa, Cherkasy.

“Artillery and mortar shelling did not stop in the Kharkiv region, in the Sumy region, in Donbas, in the south of our state. My condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Everyone who was injured is given all the necessary help,” he said.

Arpan Rai27 June 2022 04:35

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Ukraine peace deal would give Putin ‘license to manipulate’, Boris Johnson tells Macron

Boris Johnson has warned Emmanuel Macron that any attempt to settle the conflict in Ukraine now will give Russian president Vladimir Putin “license to manipulate” other countries.

The prime minister told the French president that compromise will “only cause enduring instability” as the pair met to discuss the war at the G7 summit in Germany.

Mr Macron was criticised for negotiating with Mr Putin at the start of the invasion and said Russia must not be “humiliated” – raising fears Ukraine could be pushed into giving up territory.

Adam Forrest reports:

Emily Atkinson27 June 2022 03:00

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Watch: Russian missiles target Kyiv as troops consolidate gains in the east

Russian missiles target Kyiv as troops consolidate gains in the east

Emily Atkinson27 June 2022 02:00

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