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Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Ukraine and Eastern Europe. 

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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).

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Russia launches strikes on Ukrainian ports 200m from Romanian border

Russia launches strikes on Ukrainian ports 200m from Romanian border

On the night of Monday (24 July), Russia launched a wave of drone strikes on Ukrainian grain silos at the Danube river ports of Izmail and Reni, located only 200m from the Ukraine's border with NATO member state Romania. The airstrikes injured six people and damaged grain storage units. Ukraine's Southern Military Command said they shot down three drones out of a total of 15 launched at the facility.
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Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Alarm is growing in Ukraine over the fate of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which has been under Russian control since the opening weeks of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. In his nightly address on Tuesday (4 July), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is "preparing a provocation" at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Citing Ukrainian intelligence, President Zelensky said that Russia has placed explosives on the roof of two power units, raising concerns that Russia could deliberately damage the power plant under their control to hinder Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive. The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces also reported that Russia is preparing a strike "in the near future", adding that "their detonation should not damage power units but may create a picture of shelling by Ukraine's military". Zelensky also said that "now the whole world must realise that common security depends entirely on global attention to the occupiers' actions at the station". Earlier on 20 June, citing intelligence, President Zelensky also warned that Russia was considering attacking the NPP through radiation leakage.
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Ukraine continues counteroffensive with small but steady gains, US to send $500m in military aid

Ukraine continues counteroffensive with small but steady gains, US to send $500m in military aid

Ukraine's counteroffensive against occupied Russian positions in the east and south of the country have continued in recent days, with Ukraine making small but steady gains in all directions, according to Ukrainian authorities. On Monday (26 June), Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed that Ukrainian forces had liberated one of two settlements in Donetsk Oblast called Rivnopil, with the liberated one being located close to the border with the neighbouring Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The Kyiv Independent writes that Rivnopil is the ninth settlement liberated by Ukrainian forces, in what has been a slow but steady counteroffensive that began in the early days of June. The other settlements recaptured by Ukraine include Lobkove, Levadne, Piatykhatky, and Novodarivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Donetsk Oblast's villages of Neskuchne, Storozheve, Makarivka, and Blahodatne. Elsewhere, on the Bakhmut axis in the eastern Donetsk Oblast, both the U.K. Ministry of Defense and Maliar reported Ukrainian advances.
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Kyiv under Russian attack as African leaders arrive on peace mission

Kyiv under Russian attack as African leaders arrive on peace mission

Leaders and representatives of seven African countries - South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo, Comoros and Egypt - as well as the African Union chief Azali Assoumani, have arrived in Kyiv on Friday (16 June) to promote an African peace plan aimed at ending the ongoing war in Ukraine. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is among the African delegation, and arrived at Kyiv's Nemishaeve railway station where he was greeted by Ukraine's special envoy for Africa and the Middle East, Maksym Subkh, as well as the South African ambassador to Ukraine, Andre Groenewald. According the Reuters news agency, the full peace proposal, which has not yet been made public, includes suggestions of a full withdrawal of Russian troops, the removal of all tactical nuclear weapons from the territory Belarus, the suspension of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, and broad sanctions relief. After arriving in Kyiv, African leaders headed to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha to pay there respects to the some 458 people who were killed during a brief Russian occupation in the opening weeks of the full-scale invasion last year, and are buried in a mass grave there.
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Russian attacks on Ukraine's Kryvyi Rih, Odesa and Donetsk Oblast kill 18, injure many more

Russian attacks on Ukraine's Kryvyi Rih, Odesa and Donetsk Oblast kill 18, injure many more

The past two days have seen Russian missile and drone strikes targeting the Ukrainian cities of Kryvyi Rih, Odesa, and Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka in Donetsk Oblast, in total killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 50. At approximately 3.20am on Tuesday morning (13 June), only one of six missiles fired by Russian forces at the home town of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky breached air defenses, striking an appartment block and a food warehouse. As of 9am CET on Wednesday (14 June), Ukrainian authorities have said the strike has killed 12 people, and injured at least 35. More than 70 residential buildings were also damaged as a result of the missile strike, as well as three schools, three buildings of two other educational institutions, and a dormitory. Then, at approximately 2.30am on Wednesday morning, reports emerged of another Russian overnight attack on the southern city of Odesa. Ukraine's Southern Command has reported that at least 3 people were killed by a strike on the warehouse of a retail chain, which caused a large fire.