Russia claims Ukrainian generals killed in missile strike — live updates

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Russian officials claim dozens of Ukrainian officers, including generals and members of Ukraine’s high command, were killed in a missile strike. NATO chief Stoltenberg said the war “could take years.” DW has the latest.
  • Western leaders prepare for long war
  • Luhansk governor demands more long-range weapons
  • G7 will support Ukraine ‘for as long as necessary,’ says Scholz
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry claims senior Ukrainian officers eliminated in missile strike

This story was last updated at 16:00 UTC/GMT

UK must have military capable of fighting in Europe — army head

Britain must have a military capable of fighting in Europe and defeating Russia, the new head of the British army Patrick Sanders was quoted as telling troops by local media.

According to the i newspaper, Sanders, who took command of the British army this month, told British troops: “I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power.”

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose — to protect the UK by being ready to fight and win wars on land,” Sanders said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out sending British troops to help Kyiv but warned that London would have to show support for the long haul.

In an editorial for The Sunday Times, Johnson called on Ukraine’s allies to have “the strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail.”

EU official for human rights arrived in Kyiv

EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore arrived in Kyiv on Sunday to show his solidarity with Ukraine.

In a video on Twitter, Gilmore said that four months ago he was at a train station in the Polish town of Przemysl and spoke to Ukrainian refugees as they fled Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

“Today I am doing a returning journey retracing their steps to see how the war of aggression violated the human rights, to hear from people on the ground, and to talk with the authorities,” Gilmore said.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 causing Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

According to data sourced from national authorities and collated by UNHCR, at least 5.1 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe.

Ukraine bans Russian music in media and public spaces

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada parliament passed the law banning music created by Russian citizens from the radio, TV, and public spaces.

However, a separate list will be drawn up of artists condemning Russian aggression — their compositions will be exempted from the ban.

Restrictions will apply until the liberation of all occupied Ukrainian territories and the cessation of Russian aggression.

Verkhovna Rada also adopted a law banning the import and distribution of books and other publishing products from Russia, Belarus, and the occupied territories of Ukraine.

However, the law does allow for the import of Russian-language books from publishers in other countries once a permit is granted.

Russia says over 50 Ukrainian ‘generals and officers’ killed in missile strike

Russian forces targeted a Ukrainian command post while senior Ukrainian military officers were holding a meeting, Russian Defense Ministry said. Moscow said they used sea-launched “Kalibr” rockets in the attack on the site near Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city.

“Over 50 generals and officers of Ukrainian military were eliminated in the strike” including members of the high command, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

The spokesman also said Russia destroyed a tank repair plant in Kharkiv as well as 10 howitzers and up to 20 military vehicles in Mykolaiv in separate missile strikes.

Moscow calls Kaliningrad rail restrictions ‘illegal’

A leading Russian policy figure has slammed Lithuanian restrictions on rail transport between the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and the rest of Russian territory, calling them an “incipient blockade.”

“As an EU member state, Lithuania is violating a whole series of legally binding international legal acts,” wrote Konstantin Kosachev, who is deputy head of Russia’s Federation Council, in a Telegram post. As an example, he cited the partnership agreement between the European Union and Russia, which includes guarantees of non-interference in each other’s transport networks.

Since Saturday, Lithuania has banned the rail transport of goods subject to Western sanctions through its territory to Kaliningrad, which lies between Lithuania and Poland.

The governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, has said what he called an “illegal” ban affected 40-50% of all transit goods, such as building materials and metals.

In recent weeks, there have been several calls on Russian state television for a “corridor” to be set up to facilitate access between the main territory of Russia and Kaliningrad. Establishing such a zone would, however, imply a Russian attack on Latvia and Lithuania, both NATO states.

Zelenskyy vows to take back southern regions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised to “take back everything that belongs to us” in the south of Ukraine.

“We will not hand over the south to anyone,” he said in an overnight video address made after he returned from a visit to front lines in the region, which has been under attack by invading Russian forces.

He said safe access to the sea would also be restored in the process and that Ukraine would do its utmost to allow safe food exports from its ports with international help when this became possible.

From early on in their invasion, Russian troops have taken large parts of southern Ukraine, including the entire Ukrainian coast on the Sea of Azov and parts of the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.

A Russian commander declared in April that he wanted Russia to take control of southern Ukraine and even the disputed region of Transnistria in neighboring Moldova.

Morale of Russian forces likely to be ‘troubled’: UK military intelligence

Russian troops invading Ukraine are probably suffering from “especially troubled morale” amid high casualties, combat stress, pay problems and perceived poor leadership, according to an intelligence update from the British Ministry of Defence.

“Cases of whole Russian units refusing orders and armed stand-offs between officers and their troops continue to occur,” the update said. It added that Russian authorities could have difficulties in penalizing any dissension in the ranks owing to Moscow’s definition of its invasion as a mere “special military operation” rather than a war.

Artillery bombardments by both sides were ongoing in the contested Donbas region as Russian forces focus on the region around Sievierodonetsk, the update said, adding that there had been little change in the front line.

It said Ukrainian forces are likely experiencing “variable” morale and desertions as well.

Two Azovstal commanders transferred to Russia for investigation: TASS

Two leading commanders in Ukraine’s efforts to defend the Azovstal steel plant in the southeastern port city of Mariupol have been taken to Russia to undergo “investigative activities,” Russia’s state news agency TASS reported.

Svyatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of the Azov battalion, and Serhiy Volynsky, the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, were transferred to Russia from the separatist-held Ukrainian province of Donetsk, the agency said, citing an unnamed Russian law enforcement source.

TASS said other Ukrainian officers were also transferred to Russia.

Hundreds of Ukrainian fighters were captured by Russian forces in May after a monthslong brutal siege of the plant, whose underground bunkers and tunnels became the last stronghold for defenders of the city. The fate of the fighters has been uncertain, with Moscow saying at the time that they had been taken to the self-styled Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

Kyiv wants all the fighters handed over in a prisoner swap with Moscow, but some Russian lawmakers want some of the fighters put on trial.

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