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War in Ukraine: Latest developments

KYIV: Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine: EU agrees ban on most Russian oil EU leaders back a...
Published May 31, 2022

KYIV: Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

EU agrees ban on most Russian oil

EU leaders back a ban on most Russian oil imports, after a compromise deal with Hungary that will exempt deliveries arriving by pipeline.

Ukrainian defenders hold out in Donbas city under heavy fire

"This will effectively cut around 90 percent of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted after agreement on the sixth package of sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

EU bans Russia's biggest bank from SWIFT

EU leaders also agree to ban Russia's biggest lender, Sberbank, from the SWIFT financial messaging system.

SWIFT's messaging system allows banks to communicate rapidly and securely about transactions, and cutting the bank off makes it difficult to receive or make international payments.

Donbas situation 'extremely difficult'

Ukraine's Donbas is in an "extremely difficult" situation, President Volodymyr Zelensky says as Russian forces advance in the eastern region that has been under relentless bombardment.

"The situation in Donbas remains extremely difficult. The Russian army is trying to gather overwhelming forces in certain areas to put more and more pressure on our defenders.

There, in Donbas, the maximum combat power of the Russian army is now gathered," Zelensky says in his nightly address.

Russians advance into eastern city

Russian forces advance closer to the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, which has been under bombardment for weeks in the battle for Ukraine's industrial heartland.

"The Russians are advancing into the middle of Severodonetsk. The fighting continues. The situation is very difficult," Lugansk governor Sergiy Gaiday says on Telegram.

Severodonetsk is the easternmost city still in Ukrainian hands. Capturing it would give Russia de-facto control over Lugansk, one of two eastern regions that make up the coveted Donbas.

French journalist killed

A 32-year-old French television journalist is killed while covering the evacuation of civilians near Severodonetsk for news channel BFM.

Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff is the eighth journalist killed while covering the war, according to a count by the Reporters without Borders NGO and AFP.

BFM says he was killed by shrapnel from the bombing of a humanitarian bus on which he was travelling with evacuees and that a French colleague of his was wounded.

Biden says no to long-range rockets

US President Joe Biden says he will not send Ukraine rocket systems that could hit targets well inside Russian territory, despite urgent requests from Kyiv for long-range weapons.

"We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia," Biden, who has announced billions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine, tells reporters in Washington.

Kyiv has asked the United States for rocket launchers with a range of up to 300 kilometres (187 miles).

Gazprom set to cut Dutch supplies

Dutch energy firm GasTerra says it will be cut off from Russian gas for refusing to pay in rubles, a key demand of the Kremlin since the invasion began.

GasTerra says Russian gas giant Gazprom had informed the company it would turn off the tap on May 31.

Gazprom has already cut off gas to Finland, Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay for gas in rubles, which Moscow is pushing as a way to sidestep Western sanctions on its central bank.

Danish energy company Orsted warns Russia could cut gas supplies to Denmark after it also refused to pay in rubles.


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