After a long struggle, the EU finally agrees on a compromise on the oil embargo. Meanwhile, a major attack is expected in eastern Ukraine. And millions of tons of grain are stuck. An overview of the development during the night and an outlook for the day.
According to the President of Ukraine, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains extremely difficult. The “maximum combat capability of the Russian army” is now gathered there, said Volodymyr Zelenskyj in a video message on Tuesday night. She is trying to put more and more pressure on Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbass.
Selenskyj named the cities and towns of Sievjerodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut, Slovjansk and Avdiivka as important targets of the Russian army. There was also shelling on Monday in Kharkiv and in the Sumy region in north-eastern Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian information, Russian troops have advanced into the heavily contested city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. There is a street fight, the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, wrote on Telegram on Monday evening. He recommended residents of the city to stay in temporary shelters.
Sievjerodonetsk has been the target of Russian attacks for months. The city is considered the last point that the Ukrainian military still controls in the Luhansk region. According to the General Staff, Russian troops were still fighting on the outskirts of the city and in the outskirts on Monday morning.
The EU countries have agreed on a compromise in the dispute over the planned oil embargo against Russia. At Hungary’s insistence, only Russian oil deliveries by sea are to be stopped for the time being, as confirmed by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the night after consultations with the heads of state and government in Brussels. Pipeline transports will continue to be possible for the time being.
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) nevertheless spoke of “drastic sanctions against Russia”. In addition to the compromise on the oil embargo, the heads of state and government agreed to provide Ukraine with further financial aid of up to nine billion euros by the end of the year. Ukraine should be able to use the money to cover running costs such as pension payments and the operation of hospitals.
According to Zelenskyy, 22 million tons of grain already stored in Ukraine for export cannot leave the country because of the Russian port blockade. He warned that this would mean starvation in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, which in turn could trigger migration.
Selenskyj sees this as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention to destabilize the West. Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. Western politicians also accuse Russia of speculating on a hunger crisis and using it as a means of pressure so that the West weakens sanctions. Moscow denies these allegations.
In eastern Ukraine, both warring parties reported further civilian deaths. Three people were killed by Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. According to the online newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda, a man was killed by Russian shells in the Kharkiv region. According to the Tass agency, the Russian side spoke of two civilians killed by Ukrainian attacks in the Donetsk region and two women killed in the Luhansk region. The information is not independently verifiable. The two self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine are recognized by Moscow as independent states. Their capture is one of Russia’s war aims.
After the death of a French war reporter in Ukraine, the anti-terror prosecutor’s office is investigating possible war crimes. The investigations were started, among other things, because of an intentional attack on the life of a person protected by international law, as reported by the French news agency AFP.
TV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff died near Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday while accompanying a humanitarian evacuation. The 32-year-old reporter was hit by shrapnel. It was his second mission to Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
The Georgian separatist region of South Ossetia has canceled a referendum planned for mid-July on joining Russia. The new president of the pro-Russian enclave, Alan Gagloyev, canceled his predecessor’s referendum plans on Monday. In a decree, he stressed that it was not permissible to unilaterally decide by referendum on issues affecting the “legitimate rights and interests of the Russian Federation”.
International investigators will comment on the status of investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine on Tuesday (2 p.m.) in The Hague. Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of the neighboring country in February, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania set up a joint team of investigators, and the International Criminal Court joined just over a month later.
The EU special summit continues in Brussels. Topics include the situation in Ukraine, efforts to strengthen defense and energy and food security.
More on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine: