War between Russia and Ukraine: list of important events, day 491

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By Webdesk


As the war enters its 491st day, these are the major developments.

This is the state of affairs on Thursday 30 June.

To fight

  • The death toll from the Kramatorsk missile strike has risen to at least 11, including three teenagers, after a Russian missile hit a crowded restaurant in the eastern city on Tuesday evening, Ukrainian officials said. At least 61 people were injured.
  • Ukraine has arrested a man accused of coordinating the attack. Security officials said he was suspected of filming the restaurant for Russian troops and informing them of its popularity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the man is accused of treason. “The possible penalty is life imprisonment. Accomplices of a terrorist state should be treated as traitors to humanity,” he said in his nightly video address.
  • After the attack, Russia said it only hit targets in Ukraine that were “linked” to the military.
  • Oleh Syniehubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, said at least three people were killed in Russian shelling.
  • Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, told the United Kingdom’s Financial Times that Ukraine’s main troop reserves, including most of the brigades recently trained in the West and equipped with modern tanks and armored vehicles, had not yet been deployed to the counteroffensive.

Diplomacy

  • Switzerland has tightened sanctions against Russian entities and individuals in line with the latest measures taken by the European Union. Among them are people, companies and organizations that support the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, a statement said.
  • The Kremlin said Vatican peace envoy Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, who is in Moscow, will hold talks with Yuri Ushakov, President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy adviser.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda arrive for a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  The room is ornate and on either side of the door are two soldiers in ceremonial dress.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said they would do everything they could to move Ukraine’s proposed NATO membership forward. [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service via Reuters]
  • Zelenskyy said Kiev understood it could not join NATO while the war was raging on its territory, but wanted a signal that it could join the military alliance after the end of the war.
  • During a visit to Kiev, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said they would do everything they could to ensure that Ukraine joins NATO as soon as possible. “We try to make sure that the decisions made on the [NATO] top clearly state the perspective of membership, we are having discussions on this issue with our allies,” said Duda. The summit of the alliance will take place in Vilnius next month.

Weapons

  • The Ukrainian government has appointed Herman Smetanin as the new head of state arms producer Ukroboronprom, which aims to boost domestic arms production and increase transparency.
  • President Nauseda said Lithuania had bought two NASAMS air defense systems to supply to Ukraine.
  • The Swiss Federal Council said it rejected a request from Swiss defense firm Ruag for the trade of 96 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks for use in Ukraine. Such a sale would violate the war material law and require an adjustment of Switzerland’s neutrality policy, the cabinet said.
  • Most Americans support providing weapons to Ukraine to defend against Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey. Eighty-one percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents support supplying U.S. weapons to Ukraine, the poll found.

Wagner breakdown

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin was “weakened” by the mutiny, but that the ultimate consequences of the short-lived uprising remained unclear. “It shows that the autocratic structures, the power structures are cracked and he is not nearly as firmly in the saddle as he always claims,” ​​said the German leader.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the mutiny was indicative of Putin’s “across the board failure” in Ukraine. “We see it through pretty much every metric,” Blinken said. “Russia is in worse shape economically; it is worse off militarily; his position in the world has plummeted.”
  • The Russian Foreign Ministry said leaders of African countries should decide for themselves whether to continue working with the Wagner Group. The mercenaries operate in Mali and the Central African Republic, among others.



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