Finnish Foreign Minister on Ukraine: “This is not charity”
Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen spoke about Ukraine’s fight against Russia and stressed that Western aid for the country is not about charity, but about broader self-defense and support for what Ukraine is fighting for. .
“We in the West need to understand that obviously this is not charity because Ukraine is fighting for us. They are fighting for our freedom and the European security architecture,” Valtonen told the Financial Times in an interview.
“I wouldn’t say there is fatigue and I hope there never will be,” he added, saying the West is committed to helping Ukraine.
Ukraine receives the bodies of 62 soldiers
Ukraine received the bodies of 62 of its soldiers from Russian forces occupying parts of the country, state broadcaster Suspilne reported. Soldier body swaps typically require challenging negotiations.
US-supplied cluster bombs arrive in Ukraine
The remains of a rocket carrying cluster munitions found in a field in the Kherson region countryside.
Alice Martin | The Washington Post | fake images
US-supplied cluster munitions have now reached Ukraine, the Pentagon confirmed.
kyiv lobbied heavily for weapons, seeing them as an important tool in fighting Russian forces. But the issue faced significant opposition and debate in Congress due to the controversial nature of the bombs, which burst open in midair and release numerous smaller mini-bombs.
Cluster munitions have one of the highest failure rates of any weapon class, as their minibombs are designed to explode on impact, but often don’t, instead exploding years later, causing devastating damage to civilians. . They also often miss their intended targets and affect areas well beyond their target range.
Russia has been using cluster bombs in its attacks on Ukraine.
More than 120 countries have bans under the Cluster Munitions Convention, including many NATO member states. There was significant opposition to the Biden move in Washington and even among other NATO allies. Biden administration officials say the US is shipping a version of the weapon that has a lower rate of non-exploding bombs, and is supplying Ukraine with thousands of rounds.
Ukraine’s air force says it shot down 16 Russian drones
Ukraine’s air force said on Friday it shot down 16 of the 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian troops since Thursday night, according to Comments translated by Google on Telegram.
The drones came from the southeast, the air force added.
Russia’s military has increased its attacks on Ukraine in recent days, including targeting the capital kyiv. The offensive coincided with the NATO military alliance summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, which focused heavily on aid to Ukraine.
CNBC was unable to independently verify developments on the ground.
— Ruxandra Iordache
Wagner no longer fighting in Ukraine ‘in a significant capacity’: Pentagon
Members of the Wagner Group prepare to depart from the Southern Military District headquarters and return to their base on June 24, 2023 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
stringer | Anadolu Agency | fake images
The Pentagon does not see the Russian private mercenary force Wagner Group currently participating in the Ukraine combat in any significant way, one of its representatives said.
“At this stage, we don’t see Wagner’s forces engaging in any meaningful way in support of combat operations in Ukraine,” Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder told a briefing. He said that according to the Defense Department’s assessment, “the majority” of Wagner’s fighters are in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
The comments come about three weeks after the group led by its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin attempted a short-lived mutiny.
Putin says additional Western weapons promised to Ukraine will only escalate the conflict
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin issues a statement in Moscow June 24, 2023 as Wagner fighters riot in the biggest threat to Putin’s hold on power for a quarter century.
Pavel Bedniakov | AFP | fake images
Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a television address that new international commitments to supply Ukraine with security assistance packages and additional weapons after the NATO summit will only intensify the ongoing conflict.
Putin said that, in particular, Russian forces will make tanks delivered to Ukraine for use on the battlefield “a priority target,” according to a Reuters report. Putin’s comments follow a summit of NATO leaders in the Lithuanian capital.
The Russian leader reiterated the Kremlin’s position that kyiv’s promotion to the NATO alliance, which has been ongoing since 2002, will also pose a risk to Russia’s security.
Russia says IOC is discriminating against Russian athletes ahead of 2024 Olympics
A supporter waves a Russian flag in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) logo at its headquarters on December 5, 2017 in Pully, near Lausanne, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | fake images
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said on Telegram that the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, is discriminating against Russian athletes. according to a translation by NBC News.
Earlier on Thursday, the IOC said that Russia and Belarus would not receive an official invitation to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris like other countries later this month.
“We are still faced with two irreconcilable positions. The Russian side wants the IOC to ignore the war. The Ukrainian side wants the IOC to totally isolate anyone with Russian and Belarusian passports,” the IOC wrote in a statement, adding that it was still deciding whether to extend invitations.
Matytsin described the IOC’s “regulations for the admission of Russian athletes” as “discriminatory”.
“Of course, for athletes for whom participation in the Olympic Games is a dream, this is difficult, it is a serious violation, from my point of view, of both the Olympic Charter and the principles of a unified approach of all state”. Matytsin added.
Putin says Moscow is considering withdrawing from Black Sea grain deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Strong Ideas Forum for New Times June 29, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. President Putin visited an annual forum, organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI).
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow may withdraw from the Black Sea grains deal saying the agricultural deal has only benefited Ukraine so far.
Moscow maintains that the current agreement does not support Russian fertilizer exports while Ukrainian agricultural products travel freely through the humanitarian maritime corridor.
Putin, speaking on state television, also said he had not received a letter from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about possible ways to save and renew the deal, according to a Reuters report.