UK pledges an extra £1bn in military support to Ukraine

The UK will provide an additional £1 billion in military aid for Ukraine, a near-doubling in its support for the fight against the Russian invasion. The new funding takes the military aid given to Kyiv to £2.3bn – and the UK has also spent £1.5bn in humanitarian and economic support for Ukraine. Boris Johnson said British spending was “transforming Ukraine’s defences”. The pledge came after President Zelensky urged Nato leaders to do more to help Ukraine’s war effort. Mr Zelensky told Nato leaders the monthly cost of defence for Ukraine was around $5bn (£4.12bn). The UK is second only to … Continue reading UK pledges an extra £1bn in military support to Ukraine

Russian strike on shopping centre a war crime – G7 leaders

At least 16 people have died in a missile strike on a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk. Some 1,000 civilians were estimated to be inside the busy mall at the time of the attack at around 15:50 local time, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The leaders of the G7 group of richest nations, who are meeting in Germany condemned the attack as “abominable”. “Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” they said in a joint statement. Russia has been blamed for the attack, which also injured at least 59 people, and there are fears the death … Continue reading Russian strike on shopping centre a war crime – G7 leaders

Russia in historic foreign debt default, report says

Russia has defaulted on its overseas debt for the first time in more than a century after missing a Sunday deadline, according to Bloomberg. Russia has the money to make a $100m payment and is willing to pay, but sanctions made it impossible to get the payments to international creditors. The Kremlin had been determined to avoid the default, which is a major blow to the nation’s prestige. The Russian finance minister branded the situation “a farce”. The last time Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918, during the Bolshevik Revolution when the new communist leader Vladimir Lenin … Continue reading Russia in historic foreign debt default, report says

Ukrainian forces told to retreat from key eastern city of Severodonetsk

Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk have been ordered to withdraw, according to the top regional official. The city is the focus of Russia’s invasion as it tries to take control of large parts of eastern Ukraine. “Remaining in positions that have been relentlessly shelled for months just doesn’t make sense,” Luhansk regional head Serhiy Haidai said. Russian forces have nearly encircled Severodonetsk in recent days, and are now targeting its twin city Lysychansk. “They have received orders to retreat to new positions… and from there continue their operations,” Mr Haidai told Ukrainian television on Friday morning. The city’s entire infrastructure has … Continue reading Ukrainian forces told to retreat from key eastern city of Severodonetsk

Europe told to prepare for Russia turning off gas

The head of the International Energy Agency has warned that Russia may stop supplying gas to Europe this winter. Fatih Birol says he believes a complete shutdown is not the most likely scenario but that Europe needs to work on contingency plans just in case. In recent weeks, several European countries said they received significantly less Russian gas than they expected. Russian officials deny it’s deliberate and have blamed technical issues. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Europe imported about 40% of its natural gas from Russia but that figure has now fallen to about 20%. Mr Birol says he believes … Continue reading Europe told to prepare for Russia turning off gas

Ukraine to ban music by Russians in media and public spaces

Ukraine’s parliament has voted in favour of banning some Russian music in media and public spaces. The ban will not apply to all Russian music, but rather relates to music created or performed by those who are or were Russian citizens after 1991. Artists who have condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine can apply for an exemption from the ban. The import of books from Russia and Belarus will also be prohibited under the legislation. Many of those living in areas of east and south Ukraine have historically felt a strong connection to Russia, often speaking Russian as their first language. … Continue reading Ukraine to ban music by Russians in media and public spaces

Germany accuses Russian gas company of pushing energy prices up

Germany has accused Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom of attempting to push up energy prices by sharply reducing supplies. Gazprom said it was limiting the amount of gas to Germany to under 70m cubic metres per day – well under half the current rate. The reason it gave was to service equipment in the Nord Stream pipeline. But German economy minister Robert Habeck said it was “a political decision” and not a technical one. “It is obviously a strategy to unsettle and drive up prices.” Gazprom said initially on Tuesday it was cutting the Nord Stream 1 gas flow from … Continue reading Germany accuses Russian gas company of pushing energy prices up

US wins case to seize Russian super-yacht in Fiji

The United States won a legal battle on Tuesday to seize a Russian-owned super-yacht in Fiji and wasted no time in taking command of the $325 million vessel and sailing it away from the South Pacific nation. The court ruling represented a significant victory for the U.S. as it encounters obstacles in its attempts to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs around the world. While those efforts are welcomed by many who oppose the war in Ukraine, some actions have tested the limits of American jurisdiction abroad. In Fiji, the nation’s Supreme Court lifted a stay order which had prevented … Continue reading US wins case to seize Russian super-yacht in Fiji

Russian foreign minister’s visit to Serbia cancelled over flight ban

A visit to Serbia by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been cancelled because three of Serbia’s neighbours have refused to let his plane use their airspace. EU member Bulgaria imposed the flight ban, along with North Macedonia and Montenegro – countries hoping, like Serbia, to join the EU. Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed the cancellation. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered an EU airspace ban. Serbia remains friendly with Russia. Serbia has not joined the EU’s wide-ranging sanctions against Russia. The EU and UK imposed a blanket flight ban on Russian planes – including the private jets of oligarchs – days … Continue reading Russian foreign minister’s visit to Serbia cancelled over flight ban

US to send longer-range rockets to Ukraine in latest aid package

The US will send Ukraine more advanced rocket systems to help it defend itself, President Biden has announced. The weapons, long requested by Ukraine, are to help it strike enemy forces more precisely from a longer distance. Until now, the US had refused the request out of fear the weapons could be used against targets in Russia. But on Wednesday, Mr Biden said the lethal aid would strengthen Kyiv’s negotiating position against Russia and make a diplomatic solution more likely. Writing in the New York Times, he said: “That is why I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with … Continue reading US to send longer-range rockets to Ukraine in latest aid package

Eurovision trophy sold to buy drones for Ukraine

Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian band which won this year’s Eurovision song contest, have sold their trophy for $900,000 (£712,000; €838,000) to raise money for the war in Ukraine. The crystal microphone was auctioned on Facebook, with the aim of buying drones for Ukraine’s military. The sale coincided with the band’s appearance at a charity concert at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. It aimed to raise money for medical care and supplies. Speaking at the concert, band member Oleh Psiuk appealed for people not to get used to the war, which has left at least 4,031 civilians dead and 4,735 injured, according to the UN, … Continue reading Eurovision trophy sold to buy drones for Ukraine

World Bank boss warns over global recession

The head of the World Bank has warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could cause a global recession as the price of food, energy and fertilizer jump. David Malpass told a US business event on Wednesday that it is difficult to “see how we avoid a recession”. He also said a series of coronavirus lockdowns in China are adding to concerns about a slowdown. His comments are the latest warning over the rising risk that the world economy may be set to contract. “As we look at the global GDP… it’s hard right now to see how we avoid a … Continue reading World Bank boss warns over global recession