Ukraine news – live: Russia says ‘no need’ for nuclear weapons talks yet

Boris Johnson meets President Zelensky in Kyiv

Moscow should not negotiate with Washington on nuclear disarmament until the US “crawls back” to talks, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said.

Russia and the US, the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, have negotiated a series of nuclear arms reduction treaties since Ronald Reagan came to power in 1981.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most serious disruption in Russia-US relations since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

“We don’t have any relations with the United States now,” the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“They are at zero on the Kelvin scale… There is no need to negotiate with them yet. This is bad for Russia. Let them run or crawl back themselves and ask for it.”

The outburst comes after Russian troops were reported to be exhausted four months into their invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s are possibly running low on stocks of advanced cruise missiles, and are forced to fight without much skill, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

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Germany says its working on freeing stuck Ukrainian grain

Germany is “very confident” Nato will reach an agreement with Sweden and Finland over bid for membership of the alliance but it would not be a “catastrophe” if this did not happen by the summit in Madrid next week, a German government source said.

“As nice as it would be to announce concrete steps .. it would not be a catastrophe if it needed a few more weeks,” the source said.

“What is decisive from our point of view is there are no insurmountable problems”.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defence alliance last month, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 13:00

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‘Dozens of Russian spies could be in Britain’ – report

Up to 50 Russian sleeper agents could now be in Britain, according to the Mirror.

MI5 believes Vladimir Putin has ordered the deep cover spies to embed themselves into top public schools, civil service staff, and the House of Commons – the newspaper reported.

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Spies could be in the House of Commons, according to a report

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Spies could be in the House of Commons, according to a report

(PA Archive)

A senior intelligence insider reportedly said: “We have to assume Russia is now active at all levels of British society. They scoop up all forms of intelligence and pass it back to the Kremlin through handlers.

“This could be anything from what sort of weaponry is being sent to the Ukraine – and how much of it – to the sexual antics of the country’s political and military leaders.”

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 12:30

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‘No need’ for nuclear talks until US ‘crawls back,’ official says

Moscow should not negotiate with Washington on nuclear disarmament until the US “crawled” back to talks, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said.

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Vladimir Putin [L] shaking hands with Dmitry Medvedev

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Vladimir Putin [L] shaking hands with Dmitry Medvedev

(Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

“We don’t have any relations with the United States now,” the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“They are at zero on the Kelvin scale… There is no need to negotiate with them yet. This is bad for Russia. Let them run or crawl back themselves and ask for it.”

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 12:00

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Separatist forces take control of village outside Severodonetsk

Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine said they had taken the village Toshkivka, 25km south of the city of Severodonetsk.

Severodonetsk, in the separatist-controlled region of Donetsk, has seen increased conflict for weeks in a battle for its control.

Vitaly Kiselev, an assistant to the self-styled interior minister of the Russian-backed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), was quoted by TASS news agency as saying that Toshkivka had been taken.

The governor of the Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Serhiy Gaidai, told Ukrainian television that pro-Russian forces were trying to break through the lines of Toshkivka.

Reuters news agency said it was unable to independently verify the battlefield claims of either side.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 11:40

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Germany vows to help move blocked Ukrainian grain exports

Germany said it will support Poland and Romania in adapting their railways to enable the export of millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine due to a Russian sea blockade.

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said at a meeting with EU leaders in Luxembourg: “The railway tracks need to be modernised, we need the right cargo wagons – the German government is working on this with many other actors.

“It is clear that, in the end, we will certainly not be able to get out all grain but if we even just manage to free part of it, on various routes, then this will help as we are facing this global challenge.”

It comes after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Russia’s blockade of the export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain is a war crime.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 11:00

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Ukraine to ban Russian books and music to ‘derussify’ country

Ukraine’s parliament has voted through two laws to ban the import and promotion of Russian-language books and music in a bid to break cultural ties with the invading country.

One of the laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian nationals, unless they renounce their Russian passport and take Ukrainian citizenship. This will only apply to those who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of Soviet rule.

It will also ban the commercial import of books printed in Russia, Belarus, and occupied Ukrainian territory, and it will also require special permission for importing Russian-language books from any other country.

Read the full story here

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 10:30

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Ukraine says 200 Russian soldiers killed in one day

Two hundred more Russian troops have reportedly been killed since yesterday during their invasion of Ukraine.

A total of 33,800 of Vladimir Putin’s troops have died since the beginning of the invasion, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This is 200 more than the 33,600 deaths that were reported from 24 February to 19 June.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 10:00

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UK told it must ‘prepare for war’ to deter Russia

General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, former director of Special Forces, said the UK must “prepare for war” as a deterrent against Russia.

It came after General Sir Patrick Sanders told British soldiers over the weekend that they are a generation that must prepare “to fight in Europe once again” as the conflict in Ukraine continues.

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General Sir Adrian Bradshaw

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General Sir Adrian Bradshaw

(Getty)

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Adrian said: “Yeah, he is absolutely right. The point is that, by preparing for war properly, by building really solid deterrence, we will stop war happening.

“You know, Mr [Vladimir] Putin has shown us that he is prepared to take the risk of indulging in open warfare in Europe. He’s doing that in Ukraine, with terrible, terrible consequences.

“What we must absolutely ensure is that he doesn’t see an avenue, an opportunity to launch something against Nato to his advantage.

“We must not give him that opening, and what General Saunders is saying is something that’s been said by military commanders for a thousand years – if you want peace, prepare for war.”

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 09:30

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Blockade of Ukrainian grain exports ‘a war crime’

Russia’s blockade of the export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain is a war crime, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

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File photo of Josep Borrell

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File photo of Josep Borrell

(AP)

“We call on Russia to deblockade the (Ukrainian) ports…It is inconceivable, one cannot imagine that millions of tonnes of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine while in the rest of the world people are suffering hunger.

“This is a real war crime, so I cannot imagine that this will last much longer,” he told reporters on arrival at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

Many developing countries around the world, including some of the poorest – such as Yemen, rely on grain exports from Ukraine for a food source.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 09:00

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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Volodymyr Zelensky predicted Russia will escalate its attacks this week as European Union leaders consider whether to back his country’s bid to join the bloc and Russia presses its campaign to win control of east Ukraine.

* Luhansk’s Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian television that “all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie. They control the main part of the town, but not the whole town”. Fighting made evacuations from the city impossible, he said.

* Britain’s Ministry of Defence said both Russia and Ukraine have continued heavy bombardment around Severodonestk “with little change to the front line”. Analysts at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think tank wrote that “Russian forces will likely be able to seize Severodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area”.

* In Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv, northwest of Luhansk, Russia’s defence ministry said its Iskander missiles had destroyed weaponry recently supplied by Western countries.

* The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region said the border village of Suzemka had been shelled from northern Ukraine, and one person was wounded and a power station was damaged.

* In southern Ukraine, Western weaponry had helped Ukrainian forces advance 10 km (6 miles) towards Russian-occupied Melitopol, its mayor said in a video posted on Telegram from outside the city. * Reuters could not independently verify battlefield reports.

* Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the war in Ukraine “could take years” and the West must continue its support, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

* European Union foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine due to Russia’s Black Sea port blockade at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

* Germany announced its latest steps to boost gas storage levels to prepare for the next winter season, when it fears Russia, which has cut deliveries in recent days, could reduce or even completely halt supplies.

Lamiat Sabin20 June 2022 08:30

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