- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
 U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the commencement address during the graduation and commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy Memorial Stadium on May 27, 2022 in Annapolis, Maryland. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Biden Says It's 'Unlikely' He Will Visit Ukraine During His Europe Trip

At the end of February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations.
Russian armed forces and Donbass troops are advancing amid the special operation, after having liberated several settlements in the DPR and LPR over the past weeks.
However, Kiev's forces are still firing on the Donbass cities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kiev's actions in the region amount to genocide and stressed that Ukraine should be demilitarised and de-Nazified.
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02:16 GMT 21.06.2022
Over 21,000 People Evacuated From Ukraine, Donbas to Russia in Past Day - Defense Ministry
More than 21,000 people have been evacuated to Russia over the past 24 hours from dangerous areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) and Ukraine, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said.

"Over the past day, without participation of the Ukrainian side, 21,662 people, including 3,312 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from dangerous areas of Ukraine and the Donbas republics," Col. Gen. Mizintsev said at a briefing.

He added that since the start of Russia's special military operation, more than 1.9 million people, including over 310,000 children, have been evacuated to Russia.
01:15 GMT 21.06.2022
A Russian soldier patrols at the Mariupol drama theatre, bombed last March 16, on April 12, 2022 in Mariupol,  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.06.2022
Situation in Ukraine
Peskov: Ukraine Conflict Will Be Long Crisis, Russia Will Not Trust West Anymore
00:06 GMT 21.06.2022
Authorities: Referendum on Kherson Region Becoming Part of Russia to be Held This Fall
A referendum on the Kherson Region becoming part of Russia is to be held this fall, Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the regional military-civilian administration, told Sputnik.

"The referendum will be held this year. It is planned for the fall," Stremousov said. "We are preparing for the referendum. Organizational issues are under way. After the referendum, we will become a full-fledged constituent member of the Russian Federation. After a very short period, we will feel that we are full-fledged citizens of the great country of Russia. We are following the path of Crimea."
21:49 GMT 20.06.2022
About 20 Civilians Left Azot Plant in Severodonetsk, They Are Safe - LPR Ambassador
About 20 civilians left the territory of the Azot plant in Severodonetsk in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), they are safe, LPR Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik said.

"As the allied forces are moving across the territory of Azot, civilians who have remained in the shelters of the plant for the last weeks are starting to leave them. Today, about two dozen civilians went out on their own to the second gate of the plant, which is not controlled by militants," Miroshnik said.

"Now they are already safe. Exit of civilians and the laying down of arms by militants is held back by constant Ukrainian artillery shelling of Severodonetsk from the suburbs of Lisichansk," he wrote on Telegram.
21:07 GMT 20.06.2022
Gas storage facility belonging to Chernomorneftegaz company, Crimea - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.06.2022
Third-Party Missiles Possibly Used in Attack on Crimean Drilling Platforms - Lawmaker
18:23 GMT 20.06.2022
Peskov Says Two Americans Captured in Ukraine ‘Committed Crimes’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with MSNBC on Monday that the two Americans captured in Ukraine have committed crimes and are not subject to the Geneva Conventions.

When asked whether the two captured Americans are the prisoners of war," Peskov said. "I wouldn’t start explaining the juridical side of their capture. So, they have committed crimes. They are not a Ukrainian army. They are not a subject to the Geneva conventions."

Peskov emphasized that the actions of the captured Americans will be investigated, but also pointed out that they are "soldiers of fortune" and have been involved in illegal activities such as firing and shelling Russia’s military personnel and endangering their life.

"They should be held responsible for those crimes that they have committed and those crimes have to be investigated. They are being held in due place to ensure that the investigation of their crimes is being completed," he said.

When asked whether the two captured Americans are being held by the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic or Russia’s authorities, Peskov said, "By [the] due authorities."
16:22 GMT 20.06.2022
UN Ready to Expand Presence in Ukraine, Spokesperson Says
16:00 GMT 20.06.2022
Ukraine Very Likely to Become EU Member, Biden Says
US President Joe Biden said on Monday he believes Ukraine is very likely to join the European Union.
"I think that’s very likely to happen," Biden told reporters, when asked whether he is confident that Ukraine will become a member of the European Union.
15:50 GMT 20.06.2022
Biden Says Won't Visit Ukraine During Upcoming Trip to Europe
US President Joe Biden told reporters on Monday that it is not likely he visit Ukraine during his upcoming trip to Europe.

"Not on this trip, not likely," Biden said when asked whether he will visit Ukraine during the upcoming trip to Europe.
15:30 GMT 20.06.2022
Over 90 People Evacuated From Chernomorneftegaz Drilling Platforms, Security Guards Remain at Facilities, Crimea Head Says
Crimea head Sergey Aksyonov said on Monday that 94 people had been evacuated from drilling platforms after an attack by Ukrainian troops.

On Monday morning, the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered three strikes on three Chernomorneftegaz drilling platforms installed at the Odessa field in the Black Sea.

"At the moment, 94 people have been evacuated, 15 servicemen remain guarding the operating drilling platforms," ​​Aksyonov said on Telegram.

Seven people went missing after the attack of Ukrainian troops on the towers of Chernomorneftegaz, he added.

"Unfortunately, information about 3 wounded and 7 missing is confirmed. I guarantee that their search will continue. The Government of the Republic of Crimea will soon contact the families and friends of those missing and injured," Aksyonov said.
14:21 GMT 20.06.2022
Army Frame Dollars Template  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.06.2022
Draft of House Defense Bill Includes $450 Million for 'Ukraine Security Assistance'
13:57 GMT 20.06.2022
Stoltenberg: NATO, EU Pledge Long-Term Support for Ukraine
The European Union and NATO will continue to provide long-term support to Ukraine against the backdrop of hostilities, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

"Great to welcome [European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen] before the #NATOSummit in Madrid next week. #NATO & the #EU stand together with the Ukrainians, as they continue to defend themselves ... We will continue supporting our close partner #Ukraine for the long haul," Stoltenberg said on Twitter.

The two officials met at NATO headquarters in Brussels, without making a press appearance after the meeting.

The meeting is the latest in a series of consultations held by NATO ahead of the leaders' summit in Madrid from June 29-30, where the alliance is expected to adopt a new Strategic Concept outlining its core security policies and challenges for the next decade.
13:55 GMT 20.06.2022
Russian Charge d'Affaires Holds Meeting at Lithuanian Foreign Ministry
Russian Charge d'Affaires in Vilnius Sergey Ryabokon said that he held a meeting at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Last Friday, state-owned Lithuanian Railways stopped the transit of goods between Russia and its Baltic Sea territory, the Kaliningrad region, citing EU restrictions. According to the Russian diplomat, Lithuania’s ban on transit will ban the Baltic country itself and its citizens.

"We went to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry today, we asked them a lot of questions. We talked about railway conventions, we said that you can't do this in a day, that you need to warn [us in advance]. It was simply read to us from a piece of paper that Lithuania, they say, has nothing to do with it, this is all the European Union, and what we are doing, we are simply doing what the European Union tells us," Ryabokon told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
12:57 GMT 20.06.2022
Donetsk Mayor Says Shelling of the City Continues, Smoke Seen Near TV Tower
12:30 GMT 20.06.2022
Borrell: One Can't Compare Lithuania's Blockade of Kaliningrad to Ukraine Conflict
Lithuania's decision to ban the transit of some goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which goes contrary to a 2002 agreement between the EU and Moscow, "cannot compare" to the conflict in Ukraine as its consequences have no global effect, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.

Last Friday, state-owned Lithuanian Railways stopped transit of goods between Russia and its Baltic Sea territory, citing EU restrictions. Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov said that oil products were not subject to limitations and the transit will continue unhindered through August 10. Earlier on Monday, Andrey Klimov, the chair of the Russian upper house commission for the protection of state sovereignty, said that NATO is using Lithuania to begin the blockade of the Russian region, forcing the country to defend itself in the face of the direct aggression.

"I do not know exactly, but you cannot compare the situation of Kaliningrad with the situation in Ukraine with respect to the war. The rest of the world will not be affected by what is happening in Kaliningrad, but the rest of the world is very much affected by what is happening in Ukraine," Borrell said upon his arrival to the EU Foreign Affair Council, when asked whether Lithuania's blockade of Kaliningrad could exacerbate tensions with Russia.

At the same time, the EU top official stressed the risk of a global food crisis and hunger, especially in Africa, while noting that European sanctions against Russia did not affect the export of food and fertilizers, and therefore could not harm global food security. Moscow, in turn, has insisted that Western sanctions disrupted logistics and created financial barriers for food importers by excluding Russian banks from international payment systems.
In addition, Borrell expressed confidence that efforts of the United Nations to "unblock the Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea for grain exports would eventually be crowned with success."
Western leaders and international organizations have repeatedly accused Russia of allegedly blocking Ukraine's sea ports and hindering grain exports to other countries. Moscow has rejected such allegations, saying that it had been Kiev that had created obstacles to grain supplies by setting fire to grain in the Mariupol port and mining the Black Sea.
Earlier in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there were no barriers to the export of grain from Ukraine. Ships carrying wheat will be able to leave the Black Sea without any problems, if Kiev clears ports of mines it deployed to stall Russia's special operation.
12:27 GMT 20.06.2022
Warsaw Has No Information on Number of Polish Mercenaries in Ukraine
The Polish Foreign Ministry does not know how many Poles are taking part in hostilities in Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said on Monday.

"There are Poles who cross the Polish-Ukrainian border one way and the other, declaring different purposes of their visits, such as business or tourism. Of course, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration has information about the number of Polish citizens. These are thousands of people who go to Ukraine for various purposes. At the same time, I have no information regarding those fighting there," Przydacz told the RMF FM radio.

On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that most of mercenaries in Ukraine came from Poland. As of June17, they counted 1,831, including 378 killed and 272 repatriated.
11:37 GMT 20.06.2022
London Mayor Urges UK Government to Provide More Funding for Ukrainian Refugees
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked the UK government to provide $12,800 for each refugee from Ukraine to improve their living conditions in London and provide them with housing, the mayor’s office said on Monday.

"He [Khan] is calling for Government to provide the support that is needed for local authorities to help refugees — including providing £10,500 [$12,800} to local authorities for each Ukrainian refugee in their area to ensure there is suitable help and support to guard against them becoming homeless," City Hall said in a statement.

The statement was made after new figures from the mayor's office showed that nearly a third of the Ukrainian refugees in London live in unsuitable conditions and that a quarter are at an immediate risk of homelessness. In addition, thousands of Afghan refugees are still in hotel accommodation almost a year after they were evacuated from Kabul when the government promised to resettle them, the statement added.

"That is why today Sadiq has launched the Migrant Londoners Hub to welcome those newly arrived in the city and support those with immigration needs with information about their rights, entitlements, and services available," the statement read, adding that this program "includes announcing more than £1.1m funding earlier this year" to meet the needs of migrants.

Khan also commented on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel's decision to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda, calling for an end to this "callous and inhumane" policy, arguing that it detracts from addressing the current problems with refugees.
10:43 GMT 20.06.2022
Lithuania Says Ban on Rail Cargo Transit From Russia to Kaliningrad Directed by EU
The ban on the railroad transit of a number of sanctioned goods through the Lithuanian territory from Russia to its exclaved region of Kaliningrad was introduced after consultations with the European Commission and under its guidelines, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Monday.

"It is not Lithuania doing anything, it is European sanctions that started working from the 17th of June. The industry that is imposing the sanctions at this point is the railroads. They inform their clients that from the 17th of June, the sanctioned goods, steel and other goods made from iron ore, will no longer be allowed to transit Lithuania. It is done with consultation with the European Commission and under the European Commission guidelines," Landsbergis said upon his arrival to the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

State-owned Lithuanian Railways stopped transit of goods between Russia and its Baltic Sea territory starting at midnight this past Friday, citing EU restrictions. The governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, said that oil products are not subject to transit limitations and the transit will continue unhindered through 10 August.

On Monday, Andrey Klimov, the chair of the Russian upper house commission for the protection of state sovereignty, said that the EU needs to fix the situation with Kaliningrad's blockade, otherwise Russia will have a free hand to resolve the issue by any means deemed necessary.
10:24 GMT 20.06.2022
Charge D'affaires of Lithuania Summoned to Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday
Moscow has lodged a protest to the Lithuanian charge d'affaires in Russia in connection with the decision of Vilnius to ban rail cargo transit to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

The ministry summoned the Lithuanian charge d'affaires earlier in the day.

"The head of the diplomatic mission was strongly protested in connection with the ban on the rail transit of a large range of goods through the territory of Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region, imposed by Vilnius without prior notification of the Russian side. We demanded the immediate lifting of these restrictions," the ministry said in a statement.

Russia regards the actions of Lithuania as openly hostile, the ministry said, adding that such measures violate the international obligations of Vilnius.
10:16 GMT 20.06.2022
Huge Fire Breaks Out in Donetsk - Mayor
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