Russia-Ukraine war latest: EU agrees ‘landmark’ Russian oil ban; Moscow claims a third of Sievierodonetsk under its control – live | Ukraine


A ship loaded with metal has left the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, becoming the first to do so since the besieged Ukrainian city was taken by Russian forces.

Reuters reports a spokesperson for the port said last week that the ship would be loading 2,700 tonnes of metal before travelling east to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

Ukraine said the shipment amounted to looting.

Russian troops are slowly advancing towards the centre of the city of Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, regional governor Serhiy Haidai has told Ukrainian state television.

Reuters reports Gaidai said Ukrainian troops defending Sievierodonetsk were not at risk of being encircled, as they could retreat to Lysychansk across the river.

Here are some of the latest images from Ukraine to drop on our newswires today.

Two Ukrainian soldiers enjoy a tender off-duty moment near the village of Stoyanka in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Two Ukrainian soldiers enjoy a tender off-duty moment near the village of Stoyanka in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
A child standing next to a damaged car looks up at a building destroyed during attacks in Irpin, on the outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine.
A child standing next to a damaged car looks up at a building destroyed during attacks in Irpin, on the outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP
A view of a sleeping area in the basement of a house where people live to protect themselves from Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A view of a sleeping area in the basement of a house where people live to protect themselves from Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images
Irpin resident Kycherenko Valentyna emerges from the temporary tented accommodation she is now living in after losing her home in Irpin, Ukraine.
Irpin resident Kycherenko Valentyna emerges from the temporary tented accommodation she is now living in after losing her home in Irpin, Ukraine. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Dmytro Mosur, 32, who lost his wife during shelling in Severodonetsk on May 17, holds his 2-year-old twin daughters as they wait to be evacuated from the city of Lysychansk, eastern Ukraine.
Dmytro Mosur, 32, who lost his wife during shelling in Severodonetsk on May 17, holds his 2-year-old twin daughters as they wait to be evacuated from the city of Lysychansk, eastern Ukraine. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
An orthodox church damaged by a military strike in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine.
An orthodox church damaged by a military strike in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine. Photograph: Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters
A man holds his baby inside Azot chemical plant’s bomb shelter, where people have been hiding from from shelling since the beginning of the war, in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine.
A man holds his baby inside Azot chemical plant’s bomb shelter, where people have been hiding from from shelling since the beginning of the war, in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters
Yarik plays at a playground in front a building destroyed during attacks in Irpin, Ukraine,.
Yarik plays at a playground in front a building destroyed during attacks in Irpin, Ukraine,. Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Russia has hit back at the EU’s latest round of sanctions on oil imports, saying Moscow will find other importers for its oil.

Russian permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov took to Twitter in president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

As she rightly said yesterday, Russia will find other importers.

Noteworthy that now she contradicts her own yesterday’s statement. Very quick change of the mindset indicates that the EU is not in a good shape.”

As she rightly said yesterday, #Russia will find other importers. Noteworthy that now she contradicts her own yesterday’s statement. Very quick change of the mindset indicates that the #EU is not in a good shape. https://t.co/MEtjlphv2U

— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) May 30, 2022

European Council to grant Ukraine €9bn for reconstruction

The European Council has said it is ready to grant Ukraine €9bn to aid in its post-war reconstruction.

The Council will “continue helping Ukraine with its immediate liquidity needs, together with G7” European Council President Charles Michel said late on Monday night.

EUCO is ready to grant Ukraine EUR 9 billion. Strong and concrete support to Ukraine’s reconstruction,” he added.

#EUCO will continue helping #Ukraine with its immediate liquidity needs, together with @G7

EUCO is ready to grant #Ukraine EUR 9 billion.

Strong and concrete support to #Ukraine’s reconstruction.

— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) May 30, 2022

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “I am glad that tonight leaders agreed in principle on the sixth sanctions package. This is an important step forward.

We also agreed to work on a mechanism to provide Ukraine with a new, exceptional macro-financial assistance package of up to €9 billion.”

I am glad that tonight leaders agreed in principle on the sixth sanctions package. This is an important step forward.

We also agreed to work on a mechanism to provide Ukraine with a new, exceptional macro-financial assistance package of up to €9 billion. https://t.co/La3bZl6JNp

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 30, 2022

Russia claims a third of Sievierodonetsk under its control

Russian forces claim to have seized control of about a third of the key eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, but their assault is reportedly taking longer than they had hoped.

On Monday, Russian tanks and troops begun advancing into the city, the largest in Donbas still held by Ukraine, bringing fighting to the streets.

We can state it already that one third of the city is under our control already,” Leonid Pasechnik, head of the Russian-backed Luhansk People’s Republic, told Russian state media agency TASS on Tuesday morning.

Pasechnik said fighting is still raging across the city, but Russian forces were not advancing as rapidly as they might have hoped.

“But we want, above all, to maintain the city’s infrastructure,” he added.

However, Ukrainian officials say critical infrastructure in the city has been destroyed by Russian shelling, reducing much of Sievierodonetsk to ruins with 90% of buildings damaged.

Footage released by Russia purports to show separatist soldiers in Sievierodonetsk – video

EU backs ‘landmark’ Russian oil embargo

EU leaders have backed a partial embargo on Russian oil after talks stretched late into Monday night at a summit in Brussels.

The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, hailed the deal as a “remarkable achievement” that would place “maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”.

The sanctions will immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports. And by the end of the year, 90% of the Russian oil imported in Europe will be banned,” Michel said.

Tonight #EUCO agreed a sixth package of sanctions.

It will allow a ban on oil imports from #Russia.

The sanctions will immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports. And by the end of the year, 90% of the Russian oil imported in Europe will be banned. pic.twitter.com/uVoVI519v8

— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) May 30, 2022

Speaking to the media late on Monday night, Michel said:

This is a remarkable achievement by the European Council.

We do not underestimate all the difficulties. We know that we needed a few weeks before we were able to take a decision.

In the recent hours and recent days there was speculation about a lack of European unity and I think that more than ever it is important to show that we are able to be strong, that we are able to be firm, that we are able to be tough in order to defend our values and our interests.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added that the decision “expresses a united message”.

“Council should be able to now finalise a ban on almost 90% of all Russian oil imports by the end of the year,” she added. “This is an important step forward.”

Officials compromised to exclude the Druzhba pipeline from the oil embargo and exempt deliveries arriving in Europe by pipeline for Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned halting supplies would wreck his country’s economy.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, later tweeted:

A landmark decision to cripple Putin’s war machine.

Our unity is our strength.”

The latest sanctions package also includes removing access to Swift payments for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank; banning three more Russian state-owned broadcasters; and further sanctions against “individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine”.

Summary and welcome

Hello. I’m Samantha Lock back with you on the blog as we continue to cover all the latest news from Ukraine.

  • EU leaders have backed a partial embargo on Russian oil after late-night talks at a summit in Brussels. The sanctions will immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports with the aim to ban 90% of all Russian oil imported to Europe by the end of the year, officials said. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, hailed the deal as a “remarkable achievement” that would place “maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”. The compromise excludes the Druzhba pipeline from the oil embargo and exempts deliveries arriving in Europe by pipeline, after Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán warned halting supplies would wreck his country’s economy.
  • The latest sanctions package also includes removing access to Swift payments for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank; banning three more Russian state-owned broadcasters; and further sanctions against “individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine”.
  • European Council president Charles Michel addressed speculation of disunity within the EU in the days leading up to the agreement. “In the recent hours and recent days there was speculation about a lack of European unity,” he told reporters. “We do not underestimate all the difficulties. We know that we needed a few weeks before we were able to take a decision.”
  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier lamented the delay in EU leaders imposing heavier sanctions against Vladimir Putin. “The pause in agreeing on new sanctions in Europe has been too long,” he said.
  • The European Council added it is ready to grant Ukraine €9bn to aid in its postwar reconstruction. The Council will “continue helping Ukraine with its immediate liquidity needs, together with the G7” European Council President Charles Michel said late on Monday night. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned that Ukraine needed €5bn a month just to maintain basic services and “ … to give Ukraine a fair chance to rise from the ashes”.
  • Zelenskiy claims that Russia is blocking the export of 22m tons of grain from Ukraine’s ports and warned it posed a threat of famine. Russia’s blockade of our exports is destabilising the situation on a global scale,” he said in his latest national address. Zelenskiy added that Russian forces “have already stolen at least half a million tons of grain” and “are now looking for ways to illegally sell it somewhere”.
  • The situation in Donbas remains “extremely difficult”, Zelenskiy said, adding that Russian troops shelled Kharkiv again on Monday. “The territory of our Sumy region was also shelled across the border between Ukraine and Russia,” he said.
  • Russian tanks and troops begun advancing into Sievierodonetsk, the largest city in Donbas still held by Ukraine, bringing fighting to the streets on Monday. The regional governor, Serhiy Gaidai, described “heavy battles” and said the fighting was “very fierce”.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying if sanctions were lifted, then Russia could “export significant volumes of fertilisers and agricultural products”.
  • Joe Biden has said the US will not supply Ukraine with long-range rockets capable of reaching Russia. Ukraine has asked for multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) with a range of about 300km (185 miles) to offset Moscow’s increasingly effective use of long-range artillery.
  • France is set to boost military aid to Ukraine. Foreign minister Catherine Colonna said France will “continue to reinforce arms deliveries” while visiting Kyiv on Monday.
  • Belarus will conduct military mobilisation exercises in June and July in the Gomel region, state news agency BelTA reports.
  • Russia will stop supplying gas to the Netherlands as of tomorrow after the government-backed trader GasTerra refused to pay supplier Gazprom in roubles. About 44% of Dutch energy usage is based on gas, but only about 15% of Dutch gas comes from Russia, according to government figures.
  • The Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia has scrapped plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia which had been scheduled for 17 July. The Moscow-controlled enclave’s president Alan Gagloev warned of the “uncertainty of the legal consequences of the issue submitted to a referendum,” according to a report from Agence France-Presse.
  • French journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, has been killed after an armoured evacuation vehicle in which he was travelling was hit by shrapnel from a Russian shell in the city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian and French authorities have said. France has called for an investigation into the reporter’s death as Zelenskiy offered his “sincere condolences” to his colleagues and family.
  • The first alleged case of rape by a Russian soldier has been sent to court, the prosecutor general of Ukraine said. The serviceman will be tried for the alleged murder of the victim’s husband and “sexual violence against his wife”, Iryna Venediktova said.
  • The Eurovision song contest winners Kalush Orchestra auctioned off their trophy to raise money for the Ukrainian army.The band, whose song Stefania was triumphant in Turin earlier this month, said they raised $900,000 (£713,000) by auctioning off the glass microphone and a further $370,000 by raffling off the pink bucket hat frontman Oleh Psiuk wore during the performance.
A child stands next to a damaged car riddled with bullet holes on the outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine.
A child stands next to a damaged car riddled with bullet holes on the outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP





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