Connect with us

World

Ukraine defies Russian ultimatum for eastern city, U.S. sends more weapons to Kyiv

Published

on

6/6

© Reuters. Ukrainian servicemen ride BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

2/6

By Pavel Polityuk and Abdelaziz Boumzar

KYIV/NIU-YORK, Ukraine (Reuters) -Ukraine ignored a Russian ultimatum to surrender the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk on Wednesday as the United States announced more weapons for Kyiv and urged its allies also not to “lose steam” in providing military support.

Sievierodonetsk, now largely in ruins, has for weeks been the main focal point of the war. Russia had told Ukrainian forces holed up in a chemical plant there to stop “senseless resistance and lay down arms” from Wednesday morning, pressing its advantage in the battle for control of eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine says more than 500 civilians, including 40 children, remain alongside soldiers inside the Azot chemical factory, sheltering from weeks of almost constant Russian bombardment.

The mayor of Sievierodonetsk, Oleksandr Stryuk, said Russian forces were trying to storm the city from several directions but the Ukrainians continued to defend it and were not totally cut off, even though all its river bridges had been destroyed.

“The situation is difficult but stable,” he told Ukrainian television. “The escape routes are dangerous, but there are some.” He made no reference to Russia’s ultimatum.

Moscow had said it would let civilians evacuate from the plant on Wednesday but Russian-backed separatists said Ukrainian shelling had scuppered the plan, which would have involved taking people out towards territory they control.

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region containing Sievierodonetsk, said Ukraine’s army continued to defend the city and to stop Russian forces from taking its twin city Lysychansk on the opposite bank of the Siverskyi Donets river.

Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield accounts.

Luhansk is one of two eastern provinces Moscow claims on behalf of separatist proxies. Together they make up the Donbas, an industrial region where Russia has focused its assault after failing to take Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in March.

‘PIVOTAL MOMENT’

Addressing dozens of NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels to debate their next moves, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the invasion was at a “pivotal moment”.

“We can’t afford to let up and we can’t lose steam. The stakes are too high,” he said at the start of the talks.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was “extremely focused on stepping up support” for Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden later announced $1 billion worth of new weapons aid for Ukraine that sources familiar with the package said included anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets and rounds for howitzers.

Biden, who spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy by phone on Wednesday, also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The bombardment of Sievierodonetsk’s Azot ammonia factory echoes the earlier siege of the Azovstal steelworks in the southern port of Mariupol, where hundreds of fighters and civilians took shelter from Russian shelling. Those inside surrendered in mid-May and were taken into Russian custody.

Those inside Azot are surviving on water from wells and supplies of food brought in, the mayor said.

British intelligence said the fighters could survive underground, and Russian forces would likely remain focused on them, keeping them from attacking elsewhere.

But Ukrainian forces on the eastern front are exhausted and outnumbered, British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said.

Kyiv has said 100-200 of its soldiers are being killed every day, with hundreds more wounded in some of the bloodiest fighting since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

Russia gives no regular figures of its own losses but Western countries say they have been massive as President Vladimir Putin seeks full control of the Donbas and a swathe of southern Ukraine. Putin calls the war a special military operation against Ukrainian nationalists.

On Wednesday Zelenskiy urged more European sanctions against Russia. He also said Moscow’s territorial ambitions stretched beyond Ukraine to a swathe of eastern Europe from Poland to Bulgaria, without providing evidence for his claim.

‘BRUSSELS, WE ARE WAITING’

The conflict has sent grain prices soaring and Western sanctions against Russia have driven up oil prices. Ukraine’s agriculture minister told Reuters the invasion would create a global wheat shortage for at least three seasons by keeping much of the Ukrainian crop from markets.

Russia said it had offered “safe passage” for Ukraine grain shipments from the country’s Black Sea ports but said it was not responsible for establishing the corridors, as Turkey suggested ships could be guided around sea mines.

Western nations have promised Ukraine NATO-standard weapons but deploying them is taking time. Zelenskiy said there was no justification for delays.

His adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the defenders of Sievierodonetsk wanted to know when the weapons would arrive. “Brussels, we are waiting for a decision,” he wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Russian forces are also trying to move south towards Sloviansk, local councillor Maksym Strelnik told television, adding that Ukraine’s military are “holding the line and are launching counterattacks on the enemy’s flanks”.

In the Donbas, the sound of shelling could be heard near the town of Niu-York, where Ukrainian forces said Russia was throwing everything into the battle.

“For three and a half months we have been standing against the biggest country in the world,” a 22-year-old Ukrainian serviceman nicknamed “Viking” said. “They have taken heavy casualties in vehicles and personnel, but they don’t retreat.”

World

West pledges support for Ukraine as missiles strike shopping centre

Published

on

6/6

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smoke rises over remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

2/6

By Simon Lewis

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (Reuters) -Western nations on Monday pledged unwavering support for Ukraine in the war with Russia and Ukrainian officials said 28 civilians were killed in Russian attacks, including a missile strike on a crowded shopping centre.

Leaders of the Group of Seven major democracies, meeting in Germany, said they would keep sanctions on Russia for as long as necessary and intensify international pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.

“Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, sovereign, independent territory,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC.

The United States said it was finalising another weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air-defence systems – arms that Zelenskiy specifically requested when he addressed the leaders by video link on Monday.

Ukraine endured another difficult day on the battlefront following the loss of the now-ruined city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of bombardment and street fighting.

Russian artillery was pounding Lysychansk, its twin across the Siverskyi Donets River. A Russian missile strike killed eight and wounded 21 others in the city on Monday, the area’s regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. There was no immediate Russian comment.

Lysychansk is the last big city still held by Ukraine in the eastern Luhansk province, a main target for the Kremlin after Russian troops failed to take the capital Kyiv early in the war, now in its fifth month.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said the Russian forces were trying to cut off Lysychansk from the south. Reuters could not confirm Russian reports that Moscow’s troops had already entered the city.

Southeast of Kyiv in the city of Kremenchuk, firefighters and soldiers were searching through debris for survivors after two missiles struck a shopping centre, killing at least 13 and wounding 40, Ukrainian officials said.

“This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike exactly onto this shopping centre,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an evening video address. He earlier said more than 1,000 people had been inside.

Russia has not commented on the Ukrainian accusations. Its deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, accused Ukraine of using the incident to gain Western sympathy ahead of a planned summit of the NATO military alliance.

“One should wait for what our Ministry of Defence will say, but there are too many striking discrepancies already,” Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the attack was “deplorable”. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called it the “latest in a string of atrocities”.

Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling had killed five in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and at least two in the eastern Donetsk province.

‘WE SENT HIM MESSAGES’

As night began to fall in Kremenchuk, rescuers brought lights and generators to continue the search. Family members, some close to tears and with hands over their mouths, lined up at a hotel across the street where rescue workers had set up a base.

Kiril Zhebolovsky, 24, was looking for his friend, Ruslan, 22, who worked at the Comfy electronics store and had not been heard from since the blast.

“We sent him messages, called, but nothing,” he said. He left his name and phone number with the rescue workers in case his friend is found.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” to rid the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security. It denies targeting civilians in a conflict that has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing and laid waste to cities.

Russian forces also control territory in the south, including the port city of Mariupol, which fell after a long and devastating siege.

A senior U.S. defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Russia had carried out about 60 strikes against Ukraine over the weekend.

The official said a weekend strike in Kyiv that hit apartments was close to a factory that made munitions for Ukrainian forces.

In his address to the G7 leaders, Zelenskiy asked again for more arms, U.S. and European officials said. He requested help to export grain from Ukraine and for more sanctions on Russia.

The G7 nations promised to squeeze Russia’s finances further – including a deal to cap the price of Russian oil that a U.S. official said was “close” – and promised up to $29.5 billion more for Ukraine.

“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” a G7 statement said.

The White House said Russia had defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century as sweeping sanctions have effectively cut the country off from the global financial system.

Russia rejected the claims, telling investors to go to Western financial agents for the cash which was sent but bondholders did not receive.

The war has created difficulties for countries way beyond Europe’s borders, with disruptions to food and energy exports hitting the global economy.

Continue Reading

World

U.S. abortion ruling ignites legal battles over state bans

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights campaigners participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, at Duncan Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

2/2

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) – Battles over abortion shifted to state courts on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure nationwide, as a judge blocked a statewide ban in Louisiana and clinics in Idaho, Kentucky and Texas sued seeking similar relief.

The four are among the 13 states with “trigger laws” designed to ban or severely restrict abortions once the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a right to the procedure, as it was on Friday.

In Louisiana, abortion services that had been halted since Friday began resuming after Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday issued a temporary restraining order https://tmsnrt.rs/3OEBEbG blocking the state from carrying out its ban.

The order came shortly after Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport – one of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics – sued, arguing Louisiana’s trigger laws “lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement.”

The judge set a July 8 hearing to decide whether to further block enforcement of the ban, which Hope Medical said violated its due process rights under the state’s constitution.

In Kentucky, two abortion clinics including a Planned Parenthood affiliate filed a state court challenge to an outright abortion ban enacted in 2019 and a separate six-week ban, saying they violated patients’ rights to privacy and self-determination under the state’s constitution.

In Idaho, a Planned Parenthood affiliate asked the state’s highest court to block enforcement of a “trigger” law banning abortion that the Republican-controlled state legislature passed in 2020 that would take effect Aug. 19.

And in Republican-led Texas, where a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect last year, a judge in Harris County will hear arguments on Tuesday on whether to block officials from enforcing pre-Roe v. Wade abortion prohibitions.

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton had said in a Friday advisory that while the state’s 2021 trigger ban would not take effect for 30 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling, prosecutors could immediately pursue cases based on pre-1973 laws.

Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in a statement said his office was “fully prepared to defend these laws in our state courts, just as we have in our federal courts.”

His Republican counterparts in Kentucky and Idaho, Daniel Cameron and Lawrence Wasden, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Paxton.

The cases are among several challenging Republican-backed abortion laws under state constitutions after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

A Utah branch of Planned Parenthood on Saturday sued over that state’s trigger ban, and abortion rights advocates plan to challenge an Ohio ban on abortions after six weeks that took effect on Friday.

In Florida, a group of abortion providers went before a state court judge to argue a challenge to that state’s new Republican-backed ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which they say violates Florida’s constitution.

Continue Reading

World

U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling ignites new legal battles over state bans

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights campaigners participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, at Duncan Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

2/2

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) -Battles over abortion shifted to state courts on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure nationwide, as a judge blocked a statewide ban in Louisiana and clinics sued to obtain similar relief in Kentucky and Idaho.

The three are among the 13 states with “trigger laws” designed to ban or severely restrict abortions once the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a right to the procedure, as it was on Friday.

In Louisiana, abortion services that had been halted since Friday began resuming after Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday issued a temporary restraining order https://tmsnrt.rs/3OEBEbG blocking the state from carrying out its ban.

The order came shortly after Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport – one of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics – sued, arguing Louisiana’s trigger laws “lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement.”

The judge set a July 8 hearing to decide whether to further block enforcement of the ban, which Hope Medical said violated its due process rights under the state’s constitution.

In Kentucky, two abortion clinics including a Planned Parenthood affiliate filed a state court challenge https://tmsnrt.rs/3bxnue9 to an outright abortion ban enacted in 2019 and a separate six-week ban passed that same year.

The lawsuit argued the bans violate patients’ rights to privacy and self-determination under the state’s constitution.

In Idaho, a Planned Parenthood affiliate asked the state’s highest court to block enforcement of a “trigger” law banning abortion that the Republican-controlled state legislature passed in 2020 that would take effect Aug. 19.

Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in a statement said his office was “fully prepared to defend these laws in our state courts, just as we have in our federal courts.”

His Republican counterparts in Kentucky and Idaho, Daniel Cameron and Lawrence Wasden, did not respond to requests for comment.

The cases are among several challenging Republican-backed abortion laws under state constitutions after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

A Utah branch of Planned Parenthood on Saturday sued over that state’s trigger ban, and abortion rights advocates plan to challenge an Ohio ban on abortions after six weeks that took effect on Friday.

In Florida, a group of abortion providers went before a state court judge to argue a challenge to that state’s new Republican-backed ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which they say violates Florida’s constitution.

Continue Reading

News

Stock Markets5 mins ago

Russia in historic default as Ukraine sanctions cut off payments

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The clock on Spasskaya tower showing the time at noon, is pictured next to Moscow?s Kremlin,...

Stock Markets5 mins ago

TSX climbs to 2-week high as resource shares rally

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street...

Cryptocurrency5 mins ago

Grayscale reports 99% of SEC comment letters support spot Bitcoin ETF

Grayscale reports 99% of SEC comment letters support spot Bitcoin ETF Digital asset manager Grayscale reported overwhelming support in public...

Sports & General5 mins ago

Amtrak train hits truck, derails in Missouri, injuries reported

(Reuters) – Several cars on an Amtrak train derailed in northern Missouri on Monday after hitting a dump truck at...

Stock Markets5 mins ago

Morgan Stanley Announces 11% Dividend Hike and $20B Buyback Following Stress Test

© Reuters. Morgan Stanley (MS) Announces 11% Dividend Hike and $20B Buyback Following Stress Test By Davit Kirakosyan Following the...

Stock Markets5 mins ago

Nike revenue beats as Europe demand overshadows China sales slump

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex...

Stock Markets35 mins ago

Morgan Stanley will cover U.S. employees’ travel for abortion services -source

© Reuters. The logo for Morgan Stanley is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)...

World35 mins ago

West pledges support for Ukraine as missiles strike shopping centre

6/6 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smoke rises over remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia’s...

Stock Markets35 mins ago

Morgan Stanley Has Continued Conviction on Rockwell Automation’s Capex Cycle

© Reuters. Morgan Stanley Has Continued Conviction On Rockwell Automation’s (ROK) Capex Cycle By Sam Boughedda Speaking about Rockwell Automation...

Stock Markets35 mins ago

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.20%

© Reuters U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.20% Investing.com – U.S. stocks were...

Stock Markets35 mins ago

Nike quarterly revenue beats on athletic wear demand

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex...

Economy35 mins ago

Wall Street ends down, pulled lower by growth stocks

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York...

Stock Markets35 mins ago

Spero Therapeutics Plummets 15% on FDA’s CRL for Tebipenem HBr New Drug Application

© Reuters. Spero Therapeutics (SPRO) Plummets 15% on FDA’s CRL for Tebipenem HBr New Drug Application By Davit Kirakosyan Spero...

Cryptocurrency35 mins ago

SEC Chair Gary Gensler calls Bitcoin a commodity

© Reuters SEC Chair Gary Gensler calls Bitcoin a commodity In an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday, SEC...

Coronavirus35 mins ago

U.S. appeals court vacates federal vaccine mandate pending additional hearing

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A resident over 50 years old and immunocompromised receives a second booster shot of the coronavirus...

World35 mins ago

U.S. abortion ruling ignites legal battles over state bans

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights campaigners participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the...

Economy1 hour ago

Albemarle plans major U.S. lithium processing plant

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign at the approach road leads to Albemarle’s lithium evaporation ponds at its facility in...

Forex1 hour ago

The ‘Big Package’: How Russia was driven to default

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives for the European Union leaders summit, as EU’s...

World1 hour ago

U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling ignites new legal battles over state bans

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abortion rights campaigners participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Bankman-Fried’s FTX internally mulling Robinhood deal – Bloomberg News

© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s...

Economy1 hour ago

Dollar retreats as markets rethink Fed rate bets, eye ECB hikes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar banknotes are displayed in this illustration taken, February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic By Hannah...

Sports & General1 hour ago

Biden swipes at China with memorandum to combat illegal fishing

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden attends a welcoming ceremony on the first day of the G7 summit at Bavaria’s...

Sports & General1 hour ago

Amtrak train derails in Missouri after hitting truck, injuries reported

(Reuters) -Several cars on an Amtrak train derailed in Mendon, Missouri, on Monday after hitting a dump truck at a...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

FTX Said Exploring Potential Robinhood Acquisition, News Seen as ‘Positive’

FTX Said Exploring Potential Robinhood (HOOD) Acquisition, News Seen as ‘Positive’ By Sam Boughedda FTX, the crypto exchange founded by...

World1 hour ago

At least 13 killed in Russian missile strike on shopping mall, Ukraine says

2/2 © Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack...

Commodities2 hours ago

Oil up 2% on Bets G7 Move Versus Russia Will Further Tighten Supply 

© Reuters. By Barani Krishnan Investing.com — Crude markets rallied on Monday on speculation that the predominantly-Western Group of Seven...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Bankman-Fried’s FTX seeking path to buy Robinhood – Bloomberg News

© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Refining Tightness to Persist, Even in a Recession – Piper Sandler

© Reuters. Refining Tightness to Persist, Even in a Recession – Piper Sandler By Sam Boughedda Piper Sandler Senior analyst...

World2 hours ago

U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ends constitutional right to abortion

9/9 © Reuters. Demonstrators gather in front of Planned Parenthood after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Ethereum liquidity provider XCarnival negotiates return of 50% stolen ETH

Ethereum liquidity provider XCarnival negotiates return of 50% stolen ETH XCarnival, a liquidity provider for the Ethereum ecosystem, recovered 1,467...

Trending