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Ukraine war briefing: Moscow warns of retaliation after blaming US for deadly Ukrainian attack



Ukraine war briefing: Moscow warns of retaliation after blaming US for deadly Ukrainian attack

  • The Kremlin on Monday blamed Washington for an attack on Crimea with US-supplied Atacms missiles that killed at least four people and injured 151 a day earlier, and formally warned the US ambassador that retaliation would follow. Russia’s foreign ministry summoned US ambassador Lynne Tracy and told her Washington was “waging a hybrid war against Russia and has actually become a party to the conflict”. It added: “Retaliatory measures will definitely follow.”

  • In response Maj Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesperson, said Ukraine “makes its own targeting decisions and conducts its own military operations”. A White House national security council spokesperson said any loss of civilian life was a tragedy: “That certainly includes the thousands of innocent Ukrainians who have been killed by Russian forces since this Russian war of aggression began.”

  • The EU will open membership talks with Ukraine on Tuesday, giving the country a political boost in the midst of its war against Russia’s invasion, although a long and tough road still lies ahead before it could join the bloc. The ceremony in Luxembourg will be more about symbolism than the nitty-gritty of negotiations, which will start in earnest only after the EU has screened reams of Ukrainian legislation to assess all the reforms needed to meet the bloc’s standards.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has replaced the commander of the Joint Forces Command of Ukraine’s military, after a well-known soldier accused the commander of causing mass casualties in the war with Russia. In his nightly video address on Monday, Zelenskiy said Lt Gen Yuriy Sodol had been replaced by Brig Gen Andriy Hnatov, without giving a reason for the shake up.

  • Sodol was removed shortly after Bohdan Krotevych, the leader of Ukraine’s revered Azov regiment, accused the general of causing significant military setbacks and major losses in personnel. In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Krotevych did not identify Sodol by name, but said an unnamed general “has killed more Ukrainian soldiers than any Russian general”.

  • Zelenskiy also said on Monday that Ukraine has hit more than 30 Russian oil processing and storage facilities. More than 30 oil refineries, terminals, and oil depots of the terrorist state have been hit,” Zelenskiy told officers of Special Operations Centre “A” of the State Security Service (SBU) involved in attacks, without providing any additional details or giving a time period.

  • A Russian double-tap missile attack – in which two missiles hit the same spot half an hour apart – killed at least five people and wounded 41 others, including four children, in the eastern Ukrainian town of Pokrovsk on Monday, regional officials said. Regional governor Vadym Filashkin said it was one of the largest enemy attacks on civilians recently” while Zelenskiy said Ukraine would respond to the attack “in an absolutely fair manner”.

  • The EU on Monday imposed sanctions on 19 Chinese companies aimed at punishing what the west believes is Beijing’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. A list published in the EU’s Official Journal includes several companies located in Hong Kong as well as two global satellite giants. The 14th package of sanctions against Russia added 61 new companies to the list of entities accused of directly “supporting Russia’s military-industrial complex” in the war in Ukraine, bringing the total to 675 firms.

  • EU governments also agreed to use 1.4bn euros ($1.50bn) in profits from Russian frozen assets for arms and other aid to Ukraine, prompting Hungary to accuse fellow EU members of a “shameless” rule breach to bypass its objections. EU members had already decided in May to use profits from the assets frozen in the EU to help Ukraine, with 90% of funds earmarked for military aid. But Hungary has been holding up approval of the necessary legal measures, diplomats say. Hungary maintains warmer relations with Moscow than any other EU country.

  • The US is expected to announce Tuesday it is sending an additional $150m in critically needed munitions to Ukraine, according to two US officials. The upcoming shipment is expected to include munitions for the high mobility artillery rocket systems, or Himars. That system is also capable of firing the longer-range missiles from the Army Tactical Missile System, or Atacms, used by Ukraine in a Sunday attack on Ukraine which Russia has said would prompt retaliation.

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