Russia-Ukraine war latest: Putin warns of new targets; Zelenskiy visits troops on eastern front – live | Ukraine




Summary and welcome

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow will hit new targets if the west supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles. “We will strike at those targets which we have not however been hitting,” Putin told Rossiya state television, without specifying what those targets were. The comments were made after the US went by with the delivery of Himars rocket artillery that the White House promised last week.
  • Britain is to supply long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, including a handful of tracked M270 multiple set afloat rocket systems, which can hit targets up to 80km (50 miles) away. UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said the decision to ship the rocket launchers was justified because “as Russia’s tactics change, so must our sustain to Ukraine”.
  • Russia hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month. A railway depot was hit in the eastern suburb of Dniprovsky. Five cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea were launched from Tu-95 bombers, one of which was intercepted, Ukraine’s air force said, in an attack that represented a change of approach on the part of Russian forces.
  • A Russian cruise missile “flew critically low” over the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear strength plant, in the south of the country, at about 5.30am on Sunday, seemingly heading for Kyiv. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom said Russian forces “nevertheless do not understand that already the smallest break up of a missile that can hit a working strength unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and radiation leak”.
  • Ukrainian forces have counterattacked and retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk in the east of the country, officials said. “It had been a difficult situation, the Russians controlled 70% of the city, but over the past two days they have been pushed back,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai told Ukrainian television. “The city is now, more or less, divided in half.” The Institute for the Study of War, a US thinktank, also said Ukrainian forces were “successfully slowing down Russian operations” in Donbas and were making “effective local counterattacks in Sievierodonetsk”.
  • Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited his troops on eastern frontlines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in addition as the south-eastern vicinity of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday. Zelenskiy said he travelled to Lysychansk – just a few kilometres south from Sievierodonetsk – and Soledar, two cities very close to some of the most intense fighting.
  • Nato kicked off a nearly two-week US-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea on Sunday with more than 7,000 sailors, air personnel and marines from 16 nations, including Finland and Sweden – who aspire to join the military alliance. “It is important for us, the United States, and the other Nato countries to show solidarity with both Finland and Sweden in this exercise,” Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said.
  • A Russian general, Maj Gen Roman Kutuzov, was killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian state media journalist said on Sunday, adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties consistent by Moscow. There was no immediate comment from the Russian defence ministry.
  • Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Serbia has been cancelled after countries around Serbia closed their airspace to his aircraft, according to local media reports. A senior foreign ministry source told the Interfax news agency that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had closed their airspace to the plane that would have carried Moscow’s top diplomat to Belgrade on Monday. “Our diplomacy has however to master teleportation,” the source said.
  • Spain is to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles and Leopard battle tanks in a step up of its military sustain, according to government supplies cited by newspaper El País. Spain will provide basic training to the Ukrainian military in how to use the tanks, according to the reports.
  • A Ukrainian lawmaker, Yevhen Yakovenko, was detained at the Moldovan border at the request of Interpol, Moldova’s border police said on Sunday. Viorel Tentiu, the head of Interpol in Moldova, said in a statement that Yakovenko was put on the list following accusations from Belarus of bribery and corruption.
  • Russia’s sanctions against Gazprom Germania and its subsidiaries could cost German taxpayers and gas users an additional €5bn (£4.27bn) a year to pay for substitute gas, the Welt am Sonntag weekly reported, citing industry representatives.

Smoke seen after several explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on Sunday.Smoke seen after several explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on Sunday. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Hello. I’m Samantha Lock, back with you on the blog as we continue to cover all the latest news from Ukraine.

Updated at 05.16 EDT

Vincent NiVincent Ni

More than 100 days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s strategic assessment of the conflict is becoming clearer: it does not wish to be cast in the same light as Russia, but the war has deepened Beijing’s mistrust of the west.

In Beijing’s view, the pessimism has been exacerbated by the US and its allies’ recent efforts, for example, to help Taiwan increase its international recognition. On Monday last week, Beijing made the second-largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defence zone this year with Taipei reporting 30 jets entering the area, including more than 20 fighters.

China’s tone has also evolved from sitting on the fence to outright defensive. When the conflict first began in late February, Beijing tried to be “impartial”, but in the last few weeks, it deployed the language that directly confronted the US-led Nato and western sanctions, calling them “financial terrorism” and “economic weaponisation”.

Read more from our China affairs correspondent Vincent Ni here: Ukraine war deepens China’s mistrust of the west

Katharine MurphyKatharine Murphy

Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new chief minister, has confirmed Australia will attend the G20 meeting in Bali in November despite Russia’s controversial attendance at the summit, with the chief minister also pledging to assist Indonesia as large number of the leaders meeting.

With some world leaders signalling they may not attend the event if Russia comes, Indonesia as the summit great number has arranged for the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to make a virtual turn up.

On Monday, Albanese told his great number, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, that Australia would come to Bali in November because the G20 “is basic at this time of global economic uncertainty, and it will be by working with Indonesia that we most effectively tackle the many challenges we confront in navigating the post-Covid global economic recovery”.

Read more of Katharine Murphy’s report here: Anthony Albanese tells Joko Widodo he will go to the G20 in Indonesia despite Russia’s attendance

Russia should not close the US embassy despite the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine because the world’s two biggest nuclear powers must continue to talk, the US ambassador to Moscow was quoted as saying today.

In what looks like a clear attempt to send a message to the Kremlin, John J Sullivan, the US ambassador appointed by the former president Donald Trump, told Russia’s state Tass news agency that Washington and Moscow should not simply break off diplomatic relations.

“We must preserve the ability to speak to each other,” Sullivan told Tass in an interview. He warned against the reported removal of the works of Leo Tolstoy from Western bookshelves or refusing to play the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

His remarks were reported by Tass in Russian and translated into English by Reuters.

Updated at 05.44 EDT

6 June is famous as day of the journalist in Ukraine, and several civic leaders in the country have been posting in praise of the domestic journalists who have been covering the war. Typical is this message from Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevych, who said:

In peacetime, I would like to wish you interesting texts, bright characters and sensational investigations – all that is highly valued in your profession. But today you all had to become military correspondents. At the risk of your life, you keep your information front every day and tell the truth about the situation in the country, the consequences of insidious enemy shelling and the heroism of Ukrainians. You show the stories of our strong warriors, fearless doctors and tireless volunteers. Sincere thanks to each of you. I wish you good health and unwavering faith in our victory.

Among the claims in today’s operational briefing from Russia’s ministry of defence are that:

  • air defence shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 aircraft near the village of Slavyansk in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • 13 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed.
  • missile troops and artillery hit 431 areas of accumulation of manpower and military equipment.
  • they claim to have killed over 300 Ukrainian forces, and to have destroyed 10 tanks, two Grad multiple rocket launchers, 17 special vehicles, 17 field artillery pieces and mortars, and a US-made counter-battery radar AN/TPQ-50.

None of the claims have been independently verified.

Updated at 05.42 EDT

‘The Russians are levelling Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk’ – Luhansk governor

There have been some more updates on Telegram from civic leaders in Ukraine.

Oleksandr Senkevych, mayor of Mykolaiv, has said “Explosions are heard in the city. Friends, I ask everyone to go to the shelters. At the very least, follow the rules of the two walls.”

Maksym Kozytskyi, governor of Lviv, said that where were no air raid warnings overnight – in contrast to Kyiv vicinity which was hit by missiles.

Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, has additional some more detail to his reports of the situation around Sievierodonetsk. He posted that “the number of shellings in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk increased tenfold. In the Luhansk vicinity there are many cities with a situation comparable to Mariupol: Now the Russians are levelling Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.”

Updated at 05.39 EDT

There are some further lines on Reuters from the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk vicinity, Serhiy Haidai. It reports he has said:

  • the situation has worsened a little for Ukraine in Sievierodonetsk.
  • there is intense street fighting raging in the city.
  • Ukrainian forces are holding locaiongs in the city’s industrial zone.

Speaking on national television, Haidai said: “Our defenders managed to attempt a counterattack for a certain time; they liberated almost half of the city. But now the situation has worsened a little for us again.”

Updated at 05.37 EDT

The headquarters of the territorial defence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has posted to Telegram to say that one person has been killed and five people have been injured in the last 24 hours by Ukrainian shelling into the occupied territory of Donetsk.

In 2014, the photojournalist Sergey Korovayny watched Russian forces take his home town, Khartsyzsk in Donetsk vicinity. Eight years later, with the next invasion by Russia, he and his family fled their new home in Kyiv. The situation prompted Korovayny to track down others from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine who have also had to flee for a second time.

“Is it harder to lose their home again? Or do they already have these survival skills?” he asked. “Did they have the complete tank of gas and luggage ready? And where are those homes now?”

In this photo essay, Korovayny meets the 2014 Ukraine refugees forced to flee for a second time:

Updated at 05.36 EDT

Russian forces continue to storm the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk and fired missiles at the nearby cities of Sloviansk, Lysychansk and Orikhove, Ukraine’s military has said.

Russian troops fired at Ukrainian units defending Sievierodonetsk with mortars and artillery fire, damaging infrastructure in the towns of Metolkino, Borivske, Ustynivka and Toshkivka, according to the latest operational report released by Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces.

Russian forces are also shelling the civilian infrastructure of the settlements of Chernihiv and Sumy, the military claims.

Russian forces continue assault on eastern city of Siverodonetsk.Russian forces continue assault on eastern city of Siverodonetsk.

Updated at 05.33 EDT

The parliamentary committee on Ukraine’s integration into the EU will keep up a meeting today in order to draft bills on the adaptation of EU legislation, an official press release reads.

According to the draft agenda, the committee will focus on discussing a draft law on ratification of the agreement between Ukraine and the Netherlands on paid activities of family members of diplomatic and other personnel of diplomatic missions.

Other topics of discussion will include a draft law on amendments to certain laws of Ukraine concerning the recognition in Ukraine of the results of conformity assessment conducted in the member states of the European Union.

Updated at 05.35 EDT

A total of 262 children have been killed and 467 injured since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to newly released figures from Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office.

Ювенальні прокурори:
729 дітей постраждали в Україні внаслідок повномасштабної збройної агресії росії. За офіційними даними, 262 дитини загинуло, 467 – поранені. pic.twitter.com/96B1C1q3lg

— Верховна Рада України (@verkhovna_rada) June 6, 2022

Attack on Kyiv likely attempt to disrupt supply of western arms, UK MoD says

The Russian missile attack on Kyiv early on Sunday was likely an attempt to disrupt the supply of western military equipment to frontline Ukrainian units, according to British intelligence.

The report, released by the UK Ministry of Defence, reads:

In the early hours of 5 June, Russian Kh-101 air-launched cruise missiles hit rail infrastructure in Kyiv, likely in an attempt disrupt the supply of western military equipment to frontline Ukrainian units.

In the Donbas, heavy fighting continues in the contested town of Sievierodonetsk and Russian forces continue to push towards Sloviansk as part of their attempted encirclement of Ukrainian forces.”

Following the loss of the Russian cruiser Moskva in April, Russian forces have likely moved multiple air defence assets to Snake Island in the western Black Sea, the report adds.

At sea, following the loss of the cruiser Moskva in April, Russian forces have likely moved multiple air defence assets to Snake Island in the western Black Sea, including SA-15 and SA-22 systems.

It is likely these weapons are intended to provide air defence for Russian naval vessels operating around Snake Island.

Russia’s activity on Snake Island contributes to its blockade of the Ukrainian coast and hinders the resumption of maritime trade, including exports of Ukrainian grain.”

Updated at 05.33 EDT

Here are some of the latest images to be sent over our newswires from Ukraine.

An elderly man in front of the apartment building where he lives as it burns from shelling in the city of Lysychansk, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on Sunday.An elderly man in front of the apartment building where he lives as it burns from shelling in the city of Lysychansk, in the eastern Ukrainian vicinity of Donbas, on Sunday. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty ImagesAn elderly woman sits in front of destroyed houses after a missile strike in the city of Druzhkivka in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.An elderly woman sits in front of destroyed houses after a missile strike in the city of Druzhkivka in the eastern Ukrainian vicinity of Donbas. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty ImagesA man walks up the stairs inside a building of Kharkiv National University which has been destroyed by Russian attacks.A man walks up the stairs inside a building of Kharkiv National University which has been destroyed by Russian attacks. Photograph: Iván Alvarado/ReutersAn elderly man watches the apartment building where he lives in Lysychansk as it burns after shelling.An elderly man watches the apartment building where he lives in Lysychansk as it burns after shelling. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 05.28 EDT

UK to send long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine

Dan SabbaghDan Sabbagh

Britain is to supply long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, despite a threat on Sunday from Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, to bomb fresh targets if similar weapons from the US were delivered to Kyiv.

The UK will send a handful of tracked M270 multiple set afloat rocket systems, which can hit targets up to 50 miles away, in the hope they can disrupt the concentrated Russian artillery that has been hitting cities in eastern Ukraine.

Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, argued the decision to ship the rocket launchers was justified because “as Russia’s tactics change, so must our sustain to Ukraine”. The move risks further provoking an already irritated Kremlin.

The UK, in conjunction with the US and other western nations, began the war by promising only to supply “defensive weaponry” to help Ukraine ward off the Russian invasion. But as Russia has made gains in the east and the south of the country, western countries have little by little sent more lethal arms.

UK to send long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine.UK to send long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine.

London said it had been cooperating closely with Washington. The British announcement comes a few days after the US said it would send four similar truck-mounted Himars systems. The US and UK systems are intended to be complementary. The ranges of both are far greater than any land weapons Ukraine currently has.

Like the US, the UK has sought assurances from Kyiv that the M270s would not be used to strike targets within Russia. A British defence source said the weapons will be used “to defend Ukraine, in Ukraine”. They additional: “We have confidence that the weapons will be used appropriately.”

Britain did not say how many M270s it was sending, although the number is small and will be comparable to the US decision to send four Himars. Ukrainian troops will be trained on how to use the launchers in the UK, the MoD additional, and Kyiv’s forces will be supplied with the appropriate rockets “at extent”.

Russia hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month.

Columns of smoke were seen rising over the city after missiles hit the eastern outskirts, injuring at the minimum one person, according to the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko. Russia’s defence ministry said the strikes had targeted tanks and other armoured vehicles on the outskirts of the city.

Smoke rises above Kyiv after first airstrikes on city in five weeks – videoSmoke rises above Kyiv after first airstrikes on city in five weeks – video

Five cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea were launched from Tu-95 bombers, one of which was intercepted, Ukraine’s air force said.

The attack, the first to hit Kyiv in five weeks, represents a change of approach on the part of Russian forces.

Video of the aftermath can be seen in the footage below.

Updated at 05.23 EDT

Putin warns west he will strike at new targets

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, earlier warned that Moscow will hit new targets if the west supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles.

In an interview with Rossiya-1 state television, and without specifying what those targets were, Putin said:

We will strike at those targets which we have not however been hitting.”

The Russian president’s comments come after President Joe Biden last week said Washington would supply Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, after he received assurances from Kyiv that it would not be used to target Russia.

Putin warns west he will strike at new targets.

Putin said the arms shipments were “nothing new” and “doesn’t change anything basically” but warned that there would be a response if the United States supplied longer-range munitions for the HIMARS systems which have a maximum range of up to 300km (185 miles) or more.

If longer-range missiles are supplied, “we will strike at those targets which we have not however been hitting,” Putin said.

Putin did not clarify the targets Russia would strike, but said the “fuss” around western arms supplies was designed to drag out the conflict.

Updated at 05.20 EDT

Zelenskiy visits troops on Ukraine’s eastern frontlines

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited his troops on Ukraine’s eastern frontlines on Sunday to understand the position of Ukrainian defenders as Russia’s assault on Donbas continues.

According to a release from his office, Zelenskiy visited command posts and frontline locaiongs of Ukrainian troops in the area of Bakhmut in the Donetsk vicinity and Lysychansk in the Luhansk vicinity, just a few kilometres south from Sievierodonetsk, where Ukraine claims to be fighting back in one of the war’s biggest ground battles.

The president heard information on the operational situation in these parts of the front, in addition as a report on the logistics of Ukrainian defenders,” the statement read.

In two separate videos, Zelenskiy was shown talking to troops in confined, bunker-like structures, presenting some with awards and addressing others.

“What you all deserve is victory – that is the most important thing. But not at any cost,” Zelenskiy said in one of the videos.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits troops in Donetsk and Luhansk – videoVolodymyr Zelenskiy visits troops in Donetsk and Luhansk – video

Earlier in the day, Zelenskiy visited frontline troops in the south-eastern vicinity of Zaporizhzhia.

Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia vicinity, told Zelenskiy that some 60% of the vicinity’s territory is under Russian occupation, with more than 2,700 infrastructure objects either damaged or destroyed.

Humanitarian hubs have been set up in the Zaporizhzhia vicinity to shelter residents of the temporarily occupied territories and settlements where hostilities continue.

“Over the last 15 days the largest number of people have come from the Kherson vicinity. They also come from Mariupol,” Starukh said.

Zelenskiy’s office later said the president also visited a medical facility in the vicinity and spoke with people forced to leave their homes, including from Mariupol, which is now in Russian hands after being under siege for weeks.

Updated at 05.19 EDT

Summary and welcome

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow will hit new targets if the west supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles. “We will strike at those targets which we have not however been hitting,” Putin told Rossiya state television, without specifying what those targets were. The comments were made after the US went by with the delivery of Himars rocket artillery that the White House promised last week.
  • Britain is to supply long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, including a handful of tracked M270 multiple set afloat rocket systems, which can hit targets up to 80km (50 miles) away. UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said the decision to ship the rocket launchers was justified because “as Russia’s tactics change, so must our sustain to Ukraine”.
  • Russia hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month. A railway depot was hit in the eastern suburb of Dniprovsky. Five cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea were launched from Tu-95 bombers, one of which was intercepted, Ukraine’s air force said, in an attack that represented a change of approach on the part of Russian forces.
  • A Russian cruise missile “flew critically low” over the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear strength plant, in the south of the country, at about 5.30am on Sunday, seemingly heading for Kyiv. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom said Russian forces “nevertheless do not understand that already the smallest break up of a missile that can hit a working strength unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and radiation leak”.
  • Ukrainian forces have counterattacked and retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk in the east of the country, officials said. “It had been a difficult situation, the Russians controlled 70% of the city, but over the past two days they have been pushed back,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai told Ukrainian television. “The city is now, more or less, divided in half.” The Institute for the Study of War, a US thinktank, also said Ukrainian forces were “successfully slowing down Russian operations” in Donbas and were making “effective local counterattacks in Sievierodonetsk”.
  • Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited his troops on eastern frontlines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in addition as the south-eastern vicinity of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday. Zelenskiy said he travelled to Lysychansk – just a few kilometres south from Sievierodonetsk – and Soledar, two cities very close to some of the most intense fighting.
  • Nato kicked off a nearly two-week US-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea on Sunday with more than 7,000 sailors, air personnel and marines from 16 nations, including Finland and Sweden – who aspire to join the military alliance. “It is important for us, the United States, and the other Nato countries to show solidarity with both Finland and Sweden in this exercise,” Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said.
  • A Russian general, Maj Gen Roman Kutuzov, was killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian state media journalist said on Sunday, adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties consistent by Moscow. There was no immediate comment from the Russian defence ministry.
  • Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Serbia has been cancelled after countries around Serbia closed their airspace to his aircraft, according to local media reports. A senior foreign ministry source told the Interfax news agency that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had closed their airspace to the plane that would have carried Moscow’s top diplomat to Belgrade on Monday. “Our diplomacy has however to master teleportation,” the source said.
  • Spain is to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles and Leopard battle tanks in a step up of its military sustain, according to government supplies cited by newspaper El País. Spain will provide basic training to the Ukrainian military in how to use the tanks, according to the reports.
  • A Ukrainian lawmaker, Yevhen Yakovenko, was detained at the Moldovan border at the request of Interpol, Moldova’s border police said on Sunday. Viorel Tentiu, the head of Interpol in Moldova, said in a statement that Yakovenko was put on the list following accusations from Belarus of bribery and corruption.
  • Russia’s sanctions against Gazprom Germania and its subsidiaries could cost German taxpayers and gas users an additional €5bn (£4.27bn) a year to pay for substitute gas, the Welt am Sonntag weekly reported, citing industry representatives.

Smoke seen after several explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on Sunday.Smoke seen after several explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on Sunday. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Hello. I’m Samantha Lock, back with you on the blog as we continue to cover all the latest news from Ukraine.

Updated at 05.16 EDT



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