Russia-Ukraine war live: Zelenskiy to attend G7 in person as leaders prepare new sanctions against Moscow | Ukraine


Ukrainian official confirms Zelenskiy’s in-person appearance at G7

We now have official confirmation of Zelenskiy’s planned in-person visit to the G7.

Zelenskiy will travel to Japan for a G7 summit in Hiroshima, a top Ukrainian security official told state television on Friday.

“Very important things will be decided there and it is therefore the presence of our president that is absolutely essential in order to defend our interests,” Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said.

Key events

UK formally announces new sanctions against Russia

In a statement the UK government has said it has introduced “a new wave of sanctions against Russia, targeting businesses and individuals connected to Russia’s capacity to fund and wage the war.”

The announcement encompasses 86 individuals and organisations ehich the government says are “connected to Russia’s energy, metals, defence, transport, and financial sector”. It claims this will ramp up “pressure on Putin’s remaining revenue and attempts to use these sectors to support the military machine.”

Russian military forces have been enhancing defensive positions in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in recent weeks, four witnesses have told Reuters.

New trenches have been dug around the city and more mines have been laid. Surveillance cameras at the plant are pointing north across a wide reservoir towards Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The Russians have had firing positions set up atop some of the plant’s buildings for several months. Nets have also been erected in a possible deterrent to drones, according to the reports.

The measures were described by two Ukrainians who work at the power plant and two other residents in the city of Enerhodar who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for their safety in a city under Russian occupation.

Petro Kotin, chief of Ukraine’s Energoatom nuclear agency, told Reuters he did not believe Ukrainian forces would stage an attack directly on the site, but could instead try to force the Russians to retreat by cutting off supply lines.

Russia seized the power plant in the first few days of their full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and have held it ever since.

That’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, for today. My colleague Martin Belam will bring you the latest from Ukraine (and the G7 in Japan) for the next while.

The British Ministry of Defence has some analysis of what yesterday’s train derailment near Simferopol means for Russia.

Rail traffic was suspended between Simferopol, capital of the Crimean peninsula, and the city of Sevastopol after a freight train carrying grain derailed, the region’s Russian-installed leader said on Thursday. The derailment was caused by “interference by outsiders”, Crimean railways said.

The defence ministry says that Russia “will move to repair the line quickly, but the incident will disrupt deliveries of supplies and potentially also weaponry, such as Kalibr cruise missiles, to the BSF [Black Sea fleet].”

And that: “Any sabotage in this sensitive area will further increase the Kremlin’s concerns about its ability to protect other key infrastructure in Crimea. The peninsula retains a vital psychological and logistical role in enabling Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian air defence destroyed 19 drones and missiles out of 28 launched on Friday morning, Ukrainian military said.

“Three Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea and 16 drones were shot down. Shelling continues on an almost daily basis,” Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat told Ukrainian television.

“Not all targets were hit,” he added.

European Council president Charles Michel said on Friday that the EU would call on China to step up pressure on Russia to stop its military aggression in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 in Hiroshima, Michel also said that it was in the EU’s interest to maintain a “stable and constructive” cooperation with China.

Ukrainian official confirms Zelenskiy’s in-person appearance at G7

We now have official confirmation of Zelenskiy’s planned in-person visit to the G7.

Zelenskiy will travel to Japan for a G7 summit in Hiroshima, a top Ukrainian security official told state television on Friday.

“Very important things will be decided there and it is therefore the presence of our president that is absolutely essential in order to defend our interests,” Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said.

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

G7 leaders have laid flowers at a memorial to the victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in a sombre opening to a summit overshadowed by fears of a potential nuclear conflict in Ukraine.

As the heavy early morning rain began to ease, the summit’s host, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, and his wife, Yuko, welcomed leaders and their spouses at the entrance to the city’s Peace Memorial Museum, where they viewed graphic reminders of the attack on the city on 6 August 1945 and its gruesome aftermath.

The Japanese leader – whose wife wore a gold pin shaped like an origami crane, a symbol of the city’s nuclear legacy – has said that achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is his “life’s work”.

A judge is poised to decide whether a Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents, including sensitive information about the war in Ukraine, will remain behind bars while he awaits trial, AP reports.

Jack Teixeira is due back in federal court today in Worcester, Massachusetts, where a magistrate judge is expected to hear arguments on prosecutors’ request to keep the 21-year-old locked up before issuing a ruling.

Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, right, appears ina US District Court in Boston, on 14 April 2023. A judge is poised to decide whether the Massachusetts Air National Guard members accused of leaking highly classified military documents will remain behind bars while he awaits trial.
Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, right, appears ina US District Court in Boston, on 14 April 2023. A judge is poised to decide whether the Massachusetts Air National Guard members accused of leaking highly classified military documents will remain behind bars while he awaits trial. Photograph: Margaret Small/AP

Prosecutors said in court papers filed this week that Teixeira was caught by superiors months before his April arrest taking notes on classified information or viewing intelligence not related to his job.

Teixeira, who faces charges under the Espionage Act, is accused of sharing secret military documents about Russia’s war in Ukraine and other top national security issues in a chat room on Discord, a social media platform that started as a hangout for gamers.

Explosions were reported this morning in widely separated regions, Reuters reports, including Kriviy Rih in central Ukraine and Rivne and Lutsk in the west.

Ukraine’s military had said on Telegram that Russian aircraft were in the air and there was a threat of strikes from hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. An earlier military statement said some airborne targets had been downed, but gave no details.

The military had warned that central regions and Kyiv were at risk from drones.

Russia’s Tass news agency, quoting Russian-installed officials in the Moscow-controlled area of Donetsk region, said Ukrainian forces had fired eight grad missiles into the Russian-held city of Donetsk after midnight.

There were no details of damage or casualties.

Reuters was unable to verify details of any of the reported military activity.

Russia launched 10th widespread attacks this month, early Friday morning

Air raid alerts sounded throughout Ukraine early on Friday, with some areas later reporting explosions and officials saying anti-aircraft units were in action in several regions.

The alerts extended to all regions of the country for about an hour from 2am local time, Reuters reports.

But there were no reports of strikes on infrastructure or civilian targets and no indications of casualties as the alerts were withdrawn in Kyiv and in central and southern regions.

The head of Kyiv’s military administration said Russian forces had sent successive waves of drones towards the capital, the 10th attack this month and the second in less than 24 hours.

“This Kremlin tactic is an attempt to overwhelm our anti-aircraft forces and put psychological pressure on civilians. It won’t happen!” Serhiy Popko wrote on Telegram.

“All air targets sent toward Kyiv were destroyed by our anti-aircraft defences.”

Several regions reported anti-aircraft units in operation.

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

Japanese media say that the G7 leaders’ communique is expected to include a call for countries to stop providing weapons to Russia to prosecute its war in Ukraine.

Citing unnamed Japanese government officials, the Asahi Shimbun said discussions would focus on how G7 countries could close loopholes to strengthen sanctions against the Kremlin.

The communique is expected to resemble a statement issued by G7 foreign ministers last month that urged countries to stop providing Russia with products that could be converted for military use “or face severe costs”, the newspaper said.

US sanctions would “cut off roughly 70 entities from Russia, and other countries, from receiving US exports by adding them to the commerce blacklist. And there will be upwards of 300 new sanctions against individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft” an American officials said.

The US and its allies, including the EU and Britain, have continued to ratchet up sanctions and export-control pressure on Russia since the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

G7 leaders to unveil new sanctions

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

At the G7 today and over the weekend, leaders of the group of major economies will unveil further sanctions and export controls targeting Russia over its war against Ukraine, as it was reported that the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, would attend the Hiroshima summit in person.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its second year, will be high on the agenda as G7 leaders gathered in Hiroshima on Friday. The US has spearheaded tough sanctions on Russian companies, banks and individuals; the forthcoming announcements are designed to reaffirm world powers’ resolve to support Ukraine and squeeze Moscow.

A US official, speaking to reporters ahead of the gathering, said the G7’s latest efforts were aimed at disrupting Russia’s ability to get materials it needs for the battlefield, close loopholes used to evade sanctions, further reduce international reliance on Russian energy, and narrow Moscow’s access to the international financial system.

Zelenskiy to attend G7 in person, reports say

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will travel to Japan to join G7 leaders at the summit in Hiroshima, a European Union source has told Reuters.

Bloomberg is also reporting Zelenskiy’s surprise in-person visit, citing people familiar with the matter.

Zelenskiy had been expected to make a virtual appearance.

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine with me, Helen Sullivan.

Our top stories this morning: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will travel to Japan to join the G7 summit in Hiroshima in person, Reuters and Bloomberg report, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. Zelenskiy had been expected to appear via video link.

G7 leaders are set to announce new sanctions against Russia during the gathering in Hiroshima. The measures are expected to disrupt Russia’s ability to get materials it needs for the battlefield, close loopholes used to evade sanctions, further reduce international reliance on Russian energy, and narrow Moscow’s access to the international financial system.

More on these stories shortly.

In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:

  • The United States and the rest of the Group of Seven major economies will unveil new sanctions and export controls targeting Russia, a US official has said ahead of a G7 summit in Japan. The G7’s latest efforts were aimed at disrupting Russia’s ability to get materials it needed for the battlefield, closing loopholes used to evade sanctions, further reducing international reliance on Russian energy and narrowing Moscow’s access to the international financial system, the official told reporters on Thursday.

  • The UK unveiled a swathe of new sanctions ahead of the meeting. The British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, announced a UK ban on imports of Russian diamonds and Russian-origin copper, nickel and aluminium. Sunak also has a self-declared mission to push India into showing greater support for Ukraine.

  • The Pentagon overestimated the value of the ammunition, missiles and other equipment it sent to Ukraine by about $3bn, a Senate aide and a defence official told Reuters on Thursday, an error that may lead the way for more weapons being sent to Kyiv for its defence against Russian forces.

  • Jack Teixeira, the US air national guard member charged with being behind the so-called Pentagon leaks, was warned repeatedly over his mishandling of classified material, court documents show. The leaked documents appear to detail US and Nato aid to Ukraine and show real-time details from February and March of Ukraine’s and Russia’s battlefield positions and the amounts of battlefield gear flowing into Ukraine from its allies.

  • Ukraine has used the long-range Storm Shadow missiles provided by Britain, the British defence minister, Ben Wallace, said. He also said on Thursday there was no doubt Russia had “the intent and the ability” to target the west’s underwater energy and communication lines.

  • Ukraine said it had repelled a day of Russian attacks in and around the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut on Thursday and made gains of a kilometre in some places while buying time for “certain planned actions”.

  • Russia launched missiles overnight at Kyiv again, with falling debris causing a fire at a business building, authorities reported. It was the ninth time this month that Russian air raids have targeted the capital, a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

  • A person was killed in Russian missile strikes on Odesa, military administration spokesperson Serhiy Bratchuk has said on Telegram. Two people were injured. A person was also killed in Kostyantynivka, in the Donetsk region.

  • The Russian defence ministry has said it struck Ukrainian military targets using high-precision missiles. The claim on Thursday came a day after a major wave of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, the Russian state-owned news agency Tass reported.

  • The Black Sea grain corridor designed to ensure the safe supply of Ukrainian food to world markets has not yet resumed operation despite statements by Turkey and Russia on extending the agreement, a senior Ukrainian official said on Thursday. The deal was extended for two months on Wednesday.

  • Rail traffic was suspended between Simferopol, capital of the Crimean peninsula, and the city of Sevastopol after a freight train carrying grain derailed, the region’s Russian-installed leader said on Thursday. The derailment was caused by “interference by outsiders”, Crimean railways said.

  • The Kremlin has confirmed that a delegation from African countries hoping to present their initiative to end the conflict in Ukraine would visit Moscow. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would be ready to listen to “any proposals” that helped resolve the conflict.



Related Posts

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir