Ukraine remains in control of the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering after a Russia-backed separatist claimed 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped in the conflict zone — now in its 109th day.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
WTO ministers: Blockage of access to Black Sea jeopardising food supplies
More than 50 trade ministers at the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Geneva have issued a supporting statement for embattled Ukraine and its ability to trade, underlining the importance of maintaining open and predictable markets.
The ministers issued the statement on the opening day in Geneva of the first meeting of trade ministers in five years, an event that was postponed several times from June 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They expressed deep sadness “at the devastating human losses and profound suffering caused by the aggression against Ukraine,” supporting UN General Assembly resolutions that have condemned the offensive started by Russia on February 24.
Moscow-backed officials seeks to solidify rule in Ukraine
Kremlin-backed officials in occupied southern Ukraine have celebrated Russia Day and begun issuing Russian passports to residents in one city who requested them, as Moscow sought to solidify its rule over captured parts of the country.
At one of the central squares in the city of Kherson, Russian bands played a concert to celebrate Russia Day, the holiday that marks Russia’s emergence as a sovereign state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
In the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, Moscow-backed officials raised a Russian flag in Melitopol’s city centre. Ukrainian media reported that few, if any, local residents attended the Russia Day festivities in the two cities. Also, the Russia-aligned administration in Melitopol started handing out Russian passports to those who applied for Russian citizenship.
Pro-Russian separatists uphold foreigners’ death sentences
A pro-Russian separatist leader in eastern Ukraine has said he will not alter the death sentences handed to two Britons and a Moroccan for fighting with the Ukrainian army.
“They came to Ukraine to kill civilians for money. That’s why I don’t see any conditions for any mitigation or modification of the sentence”, Denis Pushilin, the leader of the separatist Donetsk region, which tried them, told reporters.
Pushilin said the court had “issued a perfectly fair punishment” to the three fighters. He also accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of ignoring their fate and failing to contact the separatist authorities.
Second Briton killed fighting for Ukraine
A British former soldier has been shot and killed in Ukraine, his family said, praising him as a “hero”.
Jordan Gatley is the second Briton reported to have died fighting alongside Ukrainian forces against Russian troops.
In a post on Facebook, his father Dean Gatley said his son had left the British Army in March and went to Ukraine “after careful consideration”. Gatley said his son was killed in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, which has been under heavy Russian attack.
Pro-Ukraine protest held in Serbian capital Belgrade
A pro-Ukraine demonstration has been held in Serbia’s capital Belgrade.
It was organised near the famous Hotel Moskva in one of Belgrade’s main squares by a group called Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Serbians against the conflict.
Carrying Serbian and Ukrainian flags, the protesters condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to the offensive.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra says Türkiye’s initiative to open a safe corridor is much needed but requires caution due to Russia’s attached demands.
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 12, 2022
NATO Baltic Sea military exercise concludes
Touted as the largest-ever military drill in the Baltic Sea, NATO’s Baltops 22 exercise has wrapped up on the Swedish Island of Gotland with the participation of member and partner nations.
Among the nations taking part were Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Türkiye, the UK and the US.
The participation of Sweden and Finland was notable, as both countries have applied for membership in the alliance, spurred by Russia’s ongoing offensive in Ukraine, which started on February 24.
Scores of Ukraine Azovstal fighters’ bodies still in Mariupol: ex-commander
The bodies of scores of Ukrainian fighters killed during the siege of the Azovstal steelworks in the southern city of Mariupol are still awaiting retrieval, the former commander of Ukraine’s Azov National Guard regiment has said.
Maksym Zhorin said that under the terms of a recent exchange, around 220 bodies of those killed in Azovstal had already been sent to Kiev but “just as many bodies still remain in Mariupol”.
“Talks are continuing about further exchanges, to return home all the bodies. Absolutely all bodies must be returned and this is something we will work on”, Zhorin added in a video posted on his Telegram channel.
Ukraine remains in control of the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering after a Russia-backed separatist claimed 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped in the conflict zone — now in its 109th day
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— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 12, 2022
UK says Russia is using its force to seize territory in Sievierodonetsk
Russia is using its overmatch in force ratio and artillery to gradually seize territory in and around Ukraine’s Sievierodonetsk, Britain’s Defence Ministry has said.
Russia has likely started preparing to deploy the third battalion from some combat formations in recent weeks, the ministry said in its latest intelligence update posted on Twitter.
Ukraine grain exports via Poland, Romania face bottlenecks
Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a global food crisis although bottlenecks have slowed the supply chain, Kiev’s deputy foreign minister has said.
Dmytro Senik said global food security was at risk because Russia’s offensive in Ukraine had halted Kiev’s Black Sea grain exports, causing widespread shortages and soaring prices.
Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest grain exporter and it says there are some 30 million tonnes of grain stored in Ukrainian-held territory which it is trying to export via road, river and rail.
What is a day in the shadow of war like? Meet Rymma, a mother of four, who shares her story of living under bombs pic.twitter.com/6kZU5IblkN
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 12, 2022
Large depot with western weapons destroyed in Ukraine: Russia
Russian forces fired Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy a large depot with US and European weapons in Ukraine’s Ternopil region, Interfax has reported, citing the Russian defence ministry.
Russian forces have also shot down three Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jets near Donetsk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, Interfax quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying.
Many wounded in Russian strike in western Ukraine: governor
At least 22 people were wounded when Russia struck the Ukrainian town of Chortkiv, the regional governor has said, marking a rare attack in the west of the country.
“Yesterday at 19:46 (1645 GMT) Chortkiv was hit by four missiles, all fired from the Black Sea,” Volodymyr Trush said in a Facebook post, adding that all of those wounded were hospitalised.
Russian shelling in Sievierodonetsk on a chemical plant where hundreds of civilians had taken shelter, has sparked a major fire. There are now fears the Ukrainian city is fast becoming the new Mariupol pic.twitter.com/gSFR4rTijJ
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 12, 2022
Fighting rages on Sievierodonetsk
Bitter fighting raged in Sievierodonetsk, but the region’s governor said Ukraine remained in control of an industrial area and chemical plant in the eastern city where hundreds of civilians are sheltering from incessant Russian shelling.
A Russia-backed separatist group on Saturday claimed 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped at the Azot plant. Earlier, the governor, Serhiy Gaidai, conceded Russian forces now controlled most of the small city in Luhansk province, and said Russian shelling of the plant had ignited a big fire after an oil leak. It was not known if the fire was still burning on Sunday.
In neighbouring Donetsk province to the west, Russian media reported a huge cloud of smoke could be seen after an explosion in the city of Avdiivka, which houses another chemical plant. Sievierodonetsk has become epicentre of the battle in eastern Ukraine for control over the industrialised Donbas region, made up of the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.
Beijing opposes giving weapons to Russia against Ukraine — China
China has never provided any material support to Russia in the Ukraine crisis, Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.
The Chinese defence minister made a point of saying China supported peace talks and opposed “providing weapons, applying maximum pressure”.
“What is the root cause of this crisis? Who is the mastermind behind this? Who loses the most? And who stands to gain the most? Who is promoting peace and who is adding fuel to the fire? I think we all know the answers to these questions,” he said, without addressing them or stating China’s position.
For live updates from Saturday (June 11), click here
Source: TRTWorld and agencies