Region

Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Ukraine and Eastern Europe. 

Editor's choice
News
G7 explores ways to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine 

G7 explores ways to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine 

The G7 will explore ways to use future revenues from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the G7 and its allies froze around $300 billion in Russian assets. "We are making progress in our discussions on potential avenues to bring forward the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine," the draft statement said. G7 negotiators have been discussing for weeks how best to use these assets, which include major currencies and government bonds held mainly in European vaults. The United States (US) has been urging its G7 partners - Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada - to support a loan that could provide Kyiv with up to $50 billion in the near term. The cautious language of the statement, lacking figures or specifics, underlines the many legal and technical issues that would need to be resolved before such a loan could be issued. A G7 source indicated that there would be no significant changes to the statement before the final version is released later on Saturday (25 May).
Editor's choice
News
More than 3,000 Ukrainian prisoners join army to fight against Russia

More than 3,000 Ukrainian prisoners join army to fight against Russia

Thousands of Ukrainian prisoners have expressed interest in a new initiative that offers them the opportunity to exchange their prison sentence for military service. According to Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Olena Vysotska, more than 3,000 prisoners have already signed up to contribute to strengthening Ukraine's armed forces. "This response is in line with our expectations when introducing this legislation," Vysotska stated. Furthermore, she noted that up to 20,000 prisoners could potentially be eligible to participate in the programme, with approximately 4,500 having expressed interest thus far. It is important to stress that prisoners convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, other sexual violence, and crimes against national security are excluded from this scheme. This development coincides with Ukraine's urgent need for additional troops in its ongoing conflict with Russia. Russia has similarly implemented analogous arrangements for prisoners of war in the context of this conflict.

Filter archive

Publication date
Editor's choice
News
Russia blows up Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine causing widespread flooding

Russia blows up Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine causing widespread flooding

Russia has blown up a dam in southern Ukraine's Kherson region. This was reported by Ukraine's Southern Operational Command early in the morning on Tuesday (6 June). The Soviet-era hydroelectric plant lies on the Dnipro river, next to the city of Nova Kakhovka and approximately 50km east of the city of Kherson. Videos have emerged online of a major breach towards the Russian-occupied side of the river, and there are already reports of flooding in dozens of towns and villages downstream. Ukrainska Pravda, citing a nearby resident, said there was a single explosion, after which the dam "collapsed like a house of cards." Ukrainian authorities say that approximately 16,000 people are in the critical zone, and evacuations have already begun. It is expected that flooding down stream will reach critical levels at around 11am local time. At 9am, Kherson Oblast governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported that the villages of Tyaginka, Lvove, Odradokamyanka, Ivanivka, Mykilske Tokarivka, Ponyativka, Bilozerka, and the Ostriv district in Kherson were "fully or partially flooded." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, according to the council's head, Oleksii Danilov. 
Editor's choice
News
Reports of increased fighting along Ukraine front line, Russia claims large attack thwarted

Reports of increased fighting along Ukraine front line, Russia claims large attack thwarted

Reports have emerged online during Sunday (4 June) and early Monday morning (5 June) of increased fighting along the front line in Ukraine. Various social media sources that have regularly provided updates on the current situation on the ground in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022 reported forward Ukrainian troop movements in a number of locations along the front line over the last 24 hours. On Monday morning, the commander of Ukraine's ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said troops were "moving forward" towards the eastern city of Bakhmut, and had destroyed a Russian position near the city. As of 09.30 CET on Monday (4 June), nothing else regarding the ostensible counteroffensive has been officially stated by Ukrainian authorities. Yesterday, Ukrainian authorities published a video asking for people to withhold any precise information they may have on Ukrainian troop movements, saying "Plans love silence. There will be no announcement of the start [of the counteroffensive]." The footage featured masked and well-armed troops holding their fingers to their lips, stressing the importance of operational security.
Editor's choice
News
Drones fly above Kyiv and Moscow, Russia attacks three times in 24 hours

Drones fly above Kyiv and Moscow, Russia attacks three times in 24 hours

Russia has launched three mass aerial assaults on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 24 hours, with the latest coming in the early hours of Tuesday (30 May).  It was the 17th such attack just this month, with the Kyiv City Military Administration reporting that Iranian-made Shahed drones approached the city from different directions, and in several waves. According to Ukrainian authorities, the country's Air Defense shot down 29 out of 31 drones mostly fired at Kyiv. There are reports of one woman being killed and three others being injured after debris from a destroyed drone fell on a tower block, causing a fire. Drones shot down over other parts of Kyiv did not cause any other casualties, Kyiv City Military Administration reported. Between midnight and 5am yesterday, on Monday (29 May), Ukrainian Air Defenses had also fought off yet another aerial attack from Russia, shooting down 37 out of 40 cruise missiles, and 29 out of 35 Shahed drones. No casualties were reported on that occasion, although a second attack that came late morning yesterday reportedly injured one. Meanwhile, also on Tuesday morning, Muscovites awoke to the sound of explosions as alleged Ukrainian drones were shot down over Moscow. Although Russia's state-run RIA Novosti reports that eight drones were shot down over Moscow, reports on social media suggest that as many as two dozen drones flew over Moscow. Russian authorities have reported that falling debris damaged a tower block, injuring two people, although they were not hospitalised. Ukraine has not commented on the claims.
Editor's choice
News
Moscow and Minsk to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, use remains “extraordinarily unlikely”

Moscow and Minsk to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, use remains “extraordinarily unlikely”

Yesterday on Thursday (25 May), the Russian and Belarusian defence ministers Sergei Shoigu and Viktor Khrenin signed documents on placing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. According to the Russian state-controlled news agency Interfax, Shoigu said at the meeting that decisions over the control and use of the nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus would remain under the control of Russia.  Shoigu added that Russia may take "additional measures" in the future "to ensure the security of the Union State [of Russia and Belarus] and respond to the military-political situation". Russian President Vladimir Putin, and especially TV propagandists, have consistently threatened the West with nuclear weapons as Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched on 24 February last year has foundered. On 25 March this year, President Putin threatened to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus "for training", although Belarus has worked towards this development for some time.In their daily assessment of the Russian offensive campaign against Ukraine, the Washington DC-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the chance of Russia using the nuclear weapons in Ukraine or elsewhere is "extraordinarily unlikely".
Editor's choice
News
US announces $375m military aid for Ukraine at G7 in Japan

US announces $375m military aid for Ukraine at G7 in Japan

The US Department of Defense has announced another package of military aid to Ukraine, this time totalling $375m. It is the 38th round of equipment sent to Ukraine by the US since August 2021. The statement released by the US Department of Defense on Sunday (21 May) following President Joe Biden's meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 meeting in Japan details the capabilities included in the latest package. It will include further ammunition with HIMARS rocket systems that have wrought havoc on Russian troop and equipment concentrations since they were first supplied to Ukraine in June 2022. It will also supply Javelin anti-tank missiles and AT-4 anti-armour systems, as well as armoured bridging systems, logistics support, and thermal imagery systems. This latest package comes after Joe Biden signaled that he would authorise the third-party transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, something that Ukraine has pressured allies over for months. He would also support an international intiative to train Ukrainian pilots on the jets, he added while at the G7 summit in Japan.
Editor's choice
News
UK and The Netherlands join forces to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 jets

UK and The Netherlands join forces to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 jets

The UK and The Netherlands have agreed to form an "international coalition" to assist Ukraine in acquiring F-16 fighter jets, the UK Government announced in a statement released on Tuesday (16 May). Meeting on the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik, prime ministers Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte "agreed they would work to build international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F16 jets", the statement said. "The [British] Prime Minister reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO and the leaders agreed on the importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine to guarantee they can deter against future attacks," the statement added. This development followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's suggestion that Kyiv could expect to receive F-16 fighter jets soon, expressing optimism about crucial decisions being made with the support of the UK. On 15 May in London, Zelensky and Sunak engaged in a two-hour discussion during the former's second visit to the UK since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.