First grain ship out of Ukraine reaches Turkish waters

The first grain ship to depart Ukraine since Russia invaded has arrived at Turkey’s Bosphorus strait. The Razoni, which is carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, will be inspected on Wednesday morning before continuing its journey to Lebanon. Russia has been blockading Ukraine’s ports since it invaded in February, intensifying global food shortages. Under the terms of a deal brokered by Turkey and the UN last month, both sides have agreed shipments can resume. Ukraine said its naval vessels will guide cargo ships through waters which have been mined. In his usual evening address on Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he … Continue reading First grain ship out of Ukraine reaches Turkish waters

Ukraine grain tycoon killed in Russian shelling of Mykolaiv

One of Ukraine’s richest businessmen has been killed with his wife in “massive” Russian shelling of the southern city of Mykolaiv. Oleksiy Vadatursky, 74, and his wife Raisa died when a missile hit their home overnight, local officials said. Mr Vadatursky owned Nibulon, a company involved in grain exports. He had also received the “Hero of Ukraine” award. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky described Mr Vadatursky’s death as a great loss. Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said it was probably the heaviest Russian bombardment of the city so far. There was damage to a hotel, a sports complex, two schools and a … Continue reading Ukraine grain tycoon killed in Russian shelling of Mykolaiv

Spain and Portugal reject EU plan to limit natural gas use

The European Union’s plan to reduce the bloc’s natural gas use by 15% to prepare for a potential cut-off by Russia this winter has received sharp scepticism from Spain and Portugal. On Thursday the governments in Madrid and Lisbon said they would not support the initiative announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday. The proposal would start with voluntary reductions, but the EU’s head office also wants the power to make 15% savings mandatory in the event of an EU-wide energy emergency. Spain and Portugal said making reductions obligatory was a non-starter. They noted that there … Continue reading Spain and Portugal reject EU plan to limit natural gas use

Ukraine’s head of security services and Prosecutor-General fired over treason allegations

The Ukrainian head of security services has been fired due to alleged “treason”.Ivan Bakanov President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also sacked prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova amid claims dozens of employees in her office have “worked against our state”.President Zelenskky Mr Zelenskyy said: “Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the state’s national security, and the links recorded between Ukrainian security forces and Russian special services, raise very serious questions about their respective leaders.” Ivan Bakanov, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (known as the SBU), was a long-time friend of Mr Zelenskyy, according to Ukrainian news agencies. The news comes … Continue reading Ukraine’s head of security services and Prosecutor-General fired over treason allegations

Ukraine confirms Russia captured eastern city Lysychansk

Ukraine’s military has confirmed that the eastern city of Lysychansk has fallen to Russian forces. “After heavy fighting for Lysychansk, the defence forces of Ukraine were forced to withdraw from their occupied positions and lines,” the army general staff said. Earlier Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said his forces had captured Lysychansk and taken full control of Luhansk region. Its general staff said that “in order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, a decision was made to withdraw”. It said the Russians had multiple advantages in artillery, aircraft, manpower and other forces. President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged that Ukrainian forces … Continue reading Ukraine confirms Russia captured eastern city Lysychansk

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