Latest war news in Ukraine: Russia ‘not chasing US’ for talks, says Lavrov at G20


Jacinda Ardern says the UN has failed in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov says Russia will not chase the US for talks after Antony Blinken rejected the Kremlin’s top diplomat at a G20 summit in Indonesia.

The Bali meeting marked the first time the top Russian diplomat had met some of the country’s toughest critics since it invaded Ukraine in February.

Earlier, the Kremlin warned that Ukraine must sign a peace deal with Russia or risk “sliding down this hill” into ruin.

Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to London, threatened in an interview with Reuters at his London residence, where Winston Churchill discussed World War II strategy with Josef Stalin’s ambassador.

“Of course it is difficult to predict the withdrawal of our troops from the southern part of Ukraine because we have already experienced that after the withdrawal provocations start and all people are shot and everything,” he said.

Sooner or later, Kelin said, Ukraine would have to decide: sign a peace deal with Russia or “keep sliding down this hill” to destruction.

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Russia will not chase talks with US, Lavrov says at G20

Sergei Lavrov says Russia will not chase the US for talks after Antony Blinken rejected the Kremlin’s top diplomat at a G20 summit in Indonesia.

The Bali meeting marked the first time the top Russian diplomat had met some of the country’s toughest critics since it invaded Ukraine in February. The G20 includes Western countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow for its war against Ukraine, as well as countries like China and India, which have responded much more moderately.

My colleague Shweta Sharma reports:

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Germany ratifies NATO membership for Finland and Sweden

Germany on Friday ratified Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO, three days after the 30 members signed the alliance’s main expansion on Tuesday.

The parliament in Berlin and the Bundesrat, which groups the states together, approved the accession protocols for both Nordic countries.

“This will provide greater security – for all NATO members and for Europe,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Twitter.

The documents must be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization before Finland and Sweden can be protected by the NATO defense clause which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

Ratification is likely to take a year, but in the meantime Helsinki and Stockholm can already participate in NATO meetings and have greater access to intelligence.

Moscow has repeatedly warned both countries against joining NATO. On March 12, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “there will be serious military and political consequences”.

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Moscow man gets seven years in prison for claiming Ukrainian ‘children died’ in war

Alexei Gorinov is the first person to be imprisoned under new strict rules imposed by Vladimir Putin.

Our international editor David Harding reports:

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Ukrainians express indifference and disappointment over Johnson’s resignation

Ukrainians have reacted to Boris Johnson’s confirmation that he will step down as prime minister.

A woman said it would make no difference to people’s daily lives, while a man expressed regret and said Mr Johnson had done a lot for this country.

Ukrainians express indifference and disappointment over Johnson’s resignation

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Ukraine official warns of ‘catastrophe’ in conquest city

A Ukrainian regional official has warned of deteriorating living conditions in a city taken by Russian forces two weeks ago, saying Sievierodonetsk is without water, power or a working sewage system, as the bodies of the dead decompose in hot apartment blocks.

Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians are unleashing indiscriminate artillery fire as they try to secure their gains in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province.

Moscow claimed full control of Luhansk this week, but the governor and other Ukrainian officials said their forces retained a small portion of the province.

“Luhansk has not yet been completely conquered, although the Russians have already deployed their arsenal to achieve that goal,” Haidai told The Associated Press.

“Heavy fighting is going on in several villages on the border of the region. The Russians rely on tanks and artillery to advance, leaving scorched earth behind.”

The Russian forces are attacking “any building they think could be a fortified position,” he said.

“They are not stopped by the fact that civilians are left there and they die in their homes and courtyards. They keep firing.”

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ICYMI: Ukrainian MP calls on Boris Johnson successor to ‘do more’ for Kiev in war against Russia

A prominent Ukrainian opposition MP has called on the next British prime minister to do “more” for Kiev than Boris Johnson, as the British leader’s premiership appeared to be on the brink of disgrace and the nomination of a new prime minister was imminent.

Our international correspondent Call Trew reports:

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ICYMI: War in Ukraine helps push 71 million people into poverty due to rising food and oil prices, UN says

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another 71 million people have been dragged into poverty as a result of skyrocketing food and energy prices, according to a new UN report.

My colleague Joe Sommerlad reports:

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Russian troops unlikely to leave southern Ukraine – ambassador says

Russia will defeat Ukrainian forces throughout the eastern Donbas region and is unlikely to withdraw from a huge swath of land along Ukraine’s southern coast, Russia’s ambassador in London told Reuters.

Since the February 24 invasion, Russian forces have taken control of much of the territory on Ukraine’s southern flank above Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and are slowly pushing Ukrainian troops out of two Russian-backed rebel regions in eastern Ukraine. -Ukraine which it has recognized as independent states.

Asked how the conflict might end, Russian ambassador Andrei Kelin said Ukrainian troops would be driven back from all over Donbas and it would be difficult to see Russian and Russian-backed troops withdraw from southern Ukraine.

“We are going to liberate all Donbas,” Kelin told Reuters in an interview at his London residence, where Winston Churchill discussed World War II strategy with Josef Stalin’s ambassador.

“Of course it is difficult to predict the withdrawal of our troops from the southern part of Ukraine because we have already experienced that after the withdrawal provocations start and all people are shot and everything.”

Sooner or later, Kelin said, Ukraine would have to decide: sign a peace deal with Russia or “keep sliding down this hill” to destruction.

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Russian parliament upper house bans British diplomats

The Federation Council, the top chamber of the Russian parliament, on Friday banned British diplomats, including the ambassador, from entering the building.

Senator Grigory Karasin said during a livestream session of the House Rules Committee on Friday that the ban was in response to a British decision to bar Russian diplomats from parliament.

Karasin said: “The decision is quite simple, although unpleasant, but it is necessary for this situation. Our country must be determined in defending its own positions and in upholding its honour.”

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on June 20 that Russian diplomats were not allowed to visit the country’s parliament after Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine, citing a document signed by speakers from the Houses of Commons and Lords.

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Russia uses only a fraction of Ukraine’s potential, Kremlin claims

Russia has used only a small part of its potential in its “special military operation” in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia had barely started in Ukraine and challenged the West to try and defeat it on the battlefield, while insisting that Moscow was still open to the idea of ​​peace talks.

“Russia’s potential is so great that only a small part of it is being used in the special operation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call with reporters.

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