Ukraine-Russia war latest: Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer (2024)

Key points
  • Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer
  • Long-awaited fighter jets to take off in Ukraine 'this summer'
  • Zelenskyy appears to admit concern over what US election means for war
  • NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine
  • Ivor Bennett analysis:Deep concern indicated by Russian coverage of NATO summit
  • Nicole Johnston analysis:Alliance to focus on 'Ukraine of East Asia' as China mimics Russian rhetoric
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?
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  • Live reporting by Brad Young


Poland must prepare army for all-out war, says chief of staff

Poland must prepare itssoldiers for a "full-scale conflict", says its armed forces chief of staff.

General Wieslaw Kukula said the country must find a balance between army training and border security.

The number of troops on the country's eastern border will increase from 6,000 to 8,000 by August, he said.

"Today, we need to prepare our forces for full-scaleconflict, not an asymmetric-type conflict," said General Kukula.

In May, Poland announced details of "East Shield", a $2.5bn programme to beef up defences along its border with Belarus and Russia.

Belarus and China held military drills near the Polish border yesterday.

The border with Belarus has also been a flashpoint since migrants started arriving there in 2021.

Belarus had opened travel agencies in the Middle East offering a new unofficial route into Europe - a move the European Union said was designed to create a crisis.

The size of the Polish armed forces stood at about 190,000 personnel at the end of last year.

Poland plans to increase this to 300,000 troops within a few years.


F-16 fighter jets will fly in Ukrainian skies this summer, says US

F-16 fighter jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer, says US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

The planes are en routeto Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands right now, he said at the NATO summit in Washington.

An incredibly robust package forUkraine will be unveiled over the next couple of days, added Mr Blinken.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy saidhe expected decisions on more F-16 jet deliveries will be made today.

"We are increasing thenumber of aircraft available to Ukraine," he said.

Norway has already announced at the summit that it will donate six F-16s.


'Too early' to say when Ukraine will join NATO - but path 'irreversible'

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says it is too early to say when Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.

Speaking at the summit in Washington, he said Russia does not pose any military threat against NATO allies, being preoccupied with Ukraine.

The summit will lead to a substantial package for Ukraine, the secretary general said.

Sources have told Reuters that the latest draft of the summit's declaration says NATO will continue to support Ukraine on its "irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership".


Analysis: Deep concern indicated by Russian coverage of NATO summit

By Ivor Bennett,Moscow correspondent

The Russian media has generally sought to shrug off the NATO summit, playing down signs of unity within the alliance and talking up signs of division.

Much of the focus is on President Biden and the questions he faces over his suitability for office.

His pledge to defend Ukraine and defeat Russia was covered, but in the context that this is a man who is "out of touch with reality", according to the state-run tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The news outlet describes the US leader as "close to senility", claiming he is trying to salvage his "failed presidential campaign".

As for Ukraine's potential path to NATO membership, coverage has emphasised the hurdles Kyiv must overcome.

Comments by Poland's President Andrzej Duda, in particular, that accession can't happen until the conflict ends, were seized upon by the TV talk show 60 Minutes. It described them as a "cold shower" for Zelenskyy.

But the fact there is all this coverage here, I think, betrays a deep concern.

The Kremlin knows President Zelenskyy will come away from this summit with more military aid. The question is how much?

According to an anonymous NATO official quoted by the Reuters news agency yesterday, Russia is suffering "very high" losses, and lacks the munitions and troops for a major offensive.

If true, more weapons to Ukraine could create problems.

On the surface, though, there is little sign of alarm. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov merely said that Moscow will "closely monitor" what comes out of the summit.


Russia scrambles fighter jet to escort Norwegian plane

Russia sent a fighter jet to escort a Norwegian patrol plane awayfrom Russian airspace over the Barents Sea, the Russian defenceministry says.

There was no violation of the air border by the Norwegianpatrol plane, the ministry said.

Russia has reported similar incidents before when its planeshave confronted military aircraft from NATO countries.

Interfax reported this morning that Russian jet fighters also conducted drills over the sea and the Kola Peninsula.

It is unclear exactly when each of these incidents occurred.


NATO to pledge £33bn minimum spend on Ukraine

NATO allies will announce at its summit today a minimum baseline of €40bn (£33.8bn) in funding for Ukraine within the next year, the White House says.

A senior civilian NATO representative will be stationed in Kyiv as part of its bridge to membership, it added.

Meanwhile, Norway has said it will donate six F-16fighter jets to Ukraine, daily newspaper Verdens Gang reported, citing the Norwegian prime minister at the summit.

Leaders from NATO's 32 member states are meeting in Washington until tomorrow to mark the 75th anniversary of the alliance, with support for Ukraine at the top of the agenda.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to attend and discuss further support.


Analysis: NATO's focus also on 'Ukraine of East Asia' as China mimics Russian rhetoric

By Nicole Johnston, Asia correspondent in Beijing

NATO will appear focused on the Russia-Ukraine war this week, but there is another potential theatre of conflict in its sight - the Indo-Pacific.

NATO leaders understand that stability in the Indo-Pacific is essential to security in Europe and beyond: A war here would ripple across the world.

For that reason, representatives from Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand (called the IP4) are also at the NATO summit.

Secretary-general of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg wrote inForeign Affairsthis week that NATO had entered an era of "enduring competition with China".

The Indo-Pacific is being carved up by alliances and partnerships.

There is the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal between Australia, the UK and the US to counter China's military expansion.

The "Quad" is a security forum between India, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

This year the US held military training exercises with Japan and South Korea.

China's Communist Party feels hemmed in by these blocs. These alliances are taking shape in a region China regards as its own backyard. US influence here is not welcome.

The naval ships of Western countries are sailing through the East China Sea and South China Sea, off the coast of Taiwan and across the Pacific. China claims most of the South China Sea as its own.

The Chinese military is operating on the sea and in the skies close to forces from the US and Australia. There have been close calls. The risk of miscalculation is high.

China is alarmed by the strengthening ties between the IP4 and NATO.

On Monday, Lin Jian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, accused NATO of "breaching its boundary, expanding its mandate, reaching beyond its defence zone and stoking confrontation".

China's argument has overtones of the rhetoric used by Russia in its justification for launching a war on Ukraine.

Russia blamed NATO's eastward expansion. China compares US alliances in this region as being akin to a "NATO" in Asia.

China is also entangled in the Russia-Ukraine war. Officially it is neutral and calls for peace. But its ongoing trade with Russia allows President Vladimir Putin to continue the war.

The Chinese military has started 11 days of joint drills with Belarus close to the Polish and Ukrainian border, only a fortnight after the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, was in Beijing.

The big question here is what happens in Taiwan. Japan has said the "Ukraine of today may be East Asia of tomorrow".

China is adamant Taiwan will unite with the mainland eventually.

What's unclear is how the myriad of US-led alliances in the Indo-Pacific would respond.


Lammy demands British national's release from Russian prison after hospital transfer

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has demanded the immediate release of a British national being held in "deplorable" conditions in Russia.

He branded the sentencing of opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison "absurd".

Mr Kara-Murza, 42, was convicted of treason last year over public remarks critical of the Kremlin.

News broke last week that he was being transferred to a prison hospital and his lawyers had been unable to visit him there since Thursday.

"I am extremely concerned that Vladimir's lawyers are being denied access to him in prison hospital, and that the Russian authorities continue to refuse him consular assistance from the British Embassy," said Mr Lammy.

"Vladimir is being held in deplorable conditions in prison for having the courage to tell the truth about the war in Ukraine.

"His absurd 25-year sentence shows the Kremlin's deep fear that more Russians will know the reality of Putin's illegal war – and is further evidence of the targeted repression of the opposition."

Mr Kara-Murza has rejected the charges against him and likened the proceedings to the show trials under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.


One dead and seven wounded after attack on Russian region

A man has been killed and seven people wounded in a Ukrainian attack on the Russian region of Belgorod, according to its governor.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said three apartment buildings were damaged inShebekino as well as five commercial facilities and 20 cars.

Three civilians were killed and several others wounded on Monday, he said, when Ukrainian shells hit a village in the region called Nikolskoye.

Earlier today, the Kremlin said Russia's military was still working to create a"buffer zone" in Ukraine's Kharkiv region but this would taketime.

Vladimir Putin said in May that Russia wascreating such a zone in order to protect its border regions fromUkrainian attacks - while continuing to launch rockets and missiles into Ukraine.


Ukrainian cyclist killed while serving in armed forces

A Ukrainian cyclist who competed in international competitions has been killed while serving in Ukraine's armed forces, authorities have said.

Andriy Kutsenko was killed in battle with Russian forces on 3 July, the local administration of Ukraine's western Lviv region confirmed.

Mr Kutsenko spent a decade in the national track cycling team and later moved to Italy.

When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, he returned as a volunteer fighter, the administration said. He reportedly died during a combat mission.

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer (2024)


Who owns Crimea? ›

The Soviet fleet in Crimea was also in contention, but a 1997 treaty allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Sevastopol. In 2014, the peninsula was occupied by Russian forces and annexed by Russia, but most countries recognise Crimea as Ukrainian territory.

What lands did Russia annex? ›

As such, these lands are commonly described as Russian-occupied territories, regardless of what their status is in Russian law. The term is applied to Georgia (in Abkhazia and South Ossetia), Moldova (in Transnistria), and Ukraine (in Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia).

What made Ukraine and Russia go to war? ›

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas war.

What is the result of the war between Russia and Ukraine? ›

"Ukraine has retaken more than half of the sovereign territory that was grabbed by the Kremlin's forces in 2022," he continued. "And as a result of Putin's unprovoked war, Russia has suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties, lost significant equipment, and severely set back its military modernization program."

Do people of Crimea want to be part of Russia? ›

The survey aimed to repeat the questions of their 2014 survey. The 2019 survey found that 82% of Crimea's population supported Crimea's accession to Russia, as opposed to 86% in 2014. The survey also found that 58% of Crimean Tatars now supported Crimea's accession to Russia, as opposed to 39% in 2014.

Why did Russia give Crimea to Ukraine? ›

In 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union transferred the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. The territory had been recognized within the Soviet Union as having "close ties" to the Ukrainian SSR, and the transfer commemorated the Union of Russia and Ukraine Tercentenary.

Why is Ukraine losing the war? ›

Western delays over sending aid mean the country is dangerously short of something even harder to supply than shells: the fighting spirit required to win. Morale among troops is grim, ground down by relentless bombardment, a lack of advanced weapons, and losses on the battlefield.

How much territory has Ukraine lost? ›

By 11 November 2022, the Institute for the Study of War calculated that Ukrainian forces had liberated an area of 74,443 km2 (28,743 sq mi) from Russian occupation, leaving Russia with control of about 18% of Ukraine's territory.

How did Russia get so big? ›

Over the course of five centuries the tsars made Russia the world's largest country. They created a state defined by its physical geography, with a national identity rooted in territorial expansion, culminating in the conquest of Siberia. But it was the Soviets who shaped modern Russia's economic geography.

Why did Russia sell Alaska? ›

Defeat in the Crimean War further reduced Russian interest in this region. Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859, believing the United States would off-set the designs of Russia's greatest rival in the Pacific, Great Britain.

Why is Ukraine so important to Russia? ›

Russia has deep cultural, economic, and political bonds with Ukraine, and in many ways Ukraine is central to Russia's identity and vision for itself in the world. Family ties. Russia and Ukraine have strong familial bonds that go back centuries.

How long can Russia keep fighting? ›

Russia can sustain war effort 'for another two or three years,' say analysts. A report estimates Russia has lost more tanks fighting in Ukraine than it had before February 2022.

How much money has the US sent to Ukraine? ›

To date, we have provided approximately $53.7 billion in military assistance since Russia launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and approximately $54.4 billion in military assistance since Russia's initial invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

What language is spoken in Ukraine? ›

The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian, a Slavic language, which is spoken regularly by 88% of Ukraine's population at home in their personal life, and as high as 87% at work or study. It is followed by Russian which is spoken by 34% in their personal life.

What are the consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine? ›

The continued war in Ukraine is causing extreme civilian harm and leaving millions without access to food, water and other essential supplies. Innocent civilians have been cruelly caught up in the conflict, with almost 23,000 casualties since February 24th 2022.

Is Sevastopol Russian or Ukraine? ›

Sevastopol Севастополь (Ukrainian) Акъяр / Aqyar (Crimean Tatar) Севастополь (Russian)
Economic Region (de facto)North Caucasus
Country (de jure)Ukraine
City with special status (de jure)Sevastopol
Founded1783 (241 years ago)
23 more rows

Who started the Crimean War and why? ›

The official cause of the war was a dispute between the Russian Czar, Nicholas I and the Ottoman Emperor, Abdulmejid I, over which empire would have authority over Orthodox Christians living in Ottoman territory. This religious dispute was a pretext for European powers to project power against each other.

What percentage of Ukraine is Russian? ›

Demographics of Ukraine
Major ethnicUkrainians (77.8%) 2001
Minor ethnicRussians (17.3%) 2001, Other (4.9%) 2001
23 more rows

How much of Ukraine does Russia control? ›

By 11 November 2022, the Institute for the Study of War calculated that Ukrainian forces had liberated an area of 74,443 km2 (28,743 sq mi) from Russian occupation, leaving Russia with control of about 18% of Ukraine's territory.

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