UNESCO lists 152 destroyed or damaged sites in Ukraine

Seventy religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums and seven libraries: that is the number of buildings of cultural interest that have been destroyed or damaged in Ukraine so far in the war, according to UNESCO.

“These repeated attacks on cultural sites in Ukraine must stop,” Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO (a specialized agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education) said on Thursday. , arts, sciences and culture).

Museum workers carry the sculpture of Ukrainian philosopher Hryhorri Skovoroda from the destroyed building of the Hryhoriy Skovoroda National Literary Memorial Museum in the village of Skovorodynivka in the Kharkiv region on May 7, 2022, on the 73rd day of the Russian invasion from Ukraine.

Sergei Bobok | AFP | fake images

“Cultural heritage, in all its forms, must never be the object of attack. I reiterate my call for respect for international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict,” he said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian forces show ‘improved performance’ in assaulting Donbas, UK says

Russian forces have very likely advanced more than 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) into the southern approaches to the city of Lysychansk in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine in recent days, the Ministry of Defense said on Thursday. British defense.

The ministry said the progress, made since June 19, probably reflects the fact that some Ukrainian units have withdrawn to avoid being encircled.

Black smoke and dirt rise from the city of Severodonetsk during the battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on June 9, 2022.

Aris Messinis | AFP | fake images

In addition, the ministry noted that “Russia’s better performance in this sector is probably the result of the recent reinforcement of units and the heavy concentration of fire.”

Russian forces are putting the Lysychansk-Severodonetsk bourse under increasing pressure, the ministry said on Twitter, “with this stealthy advance around the borders of the built-up area.”

However, their efforts for a deeper encirclement to take over western Donetsk oblast (or province) remain stalled, he added.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian forces show ‘improved performance’ in assaulting Donbas, UK says

Russian forces have very likely advanced more than 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) into the southern approaches to the city of Lysychansk in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine in recent days, the Ministry of Defense said on Thursday. British defense.

The ministry said the progress, made since June 19, probably reflects the fact that some Ukrainian units have withdrawn to avoid being encircled.

Black smoke and dirt rise from the city of Severodonetsk during the battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on June 9, 2022.

Aris Messinis | AFP | fake images

In addition, the ministry noted that “Russia’s better performance in this sector is probably the result of the recent reinforcement of units and the heavy concentration of fire.”

Russian forces are putting the Lysychansk-Severodonetsk bourse under increasing pressure, the ministry said on Twitter, “with this stealthy advance around the borders of the built-up area.”

However, their efforts for a deeper encirclement to take over western Donetsk oblast (or province) remain stalled, he added.

— Holly Ellyatt

EU prepares to issue decision on Ukraine’s candidate status

Fighting corruption and reforming the judicial system are key changes the EU will want to see if Ukraine’s request goes ahead.

Nurfoto | Nurfoto | fake images

The European Union is expected to deliver its decision later today on whether Ukraine will be granted the status of a candidate country to join the bloc. EU leaders will meet on Thursday and the issue will be high on the agenda.

The granting of EU candidacy is seen as a great act of solidarity with Ukraine but, if granted as expected, the process of joining the political and economic union could take years and Ukraine is expected to carry out deep reforms.

Fighting corruption and reforming the judicial system are key changes the EU will want to see if Ukraine’s request goes ahead.

Two other states from the former Soviet Union, Georgia and Moldova, have also submitted applications to join the EU. Kosovo and North Macedonia, among others, have been waiting years for their membership applications to progress.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia wants to ‘destroy the entire Donbas step by step’, says Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine continues to see what he called “massive air and artillery attacks.”

“The goal of the occupiers in this direction remains the same: they want to destroy the entire Donbas step by step,” he said.

“Lysychansk, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk – their goal is to turn any city into Mariupol. Completely bankrupt.” He said the southern port of Mykolaiv and the northeastern city of Kharkiv were hit yesterday by missile strikes.

Zelenskyy said he continues to push for arms supplies to Ukraine, noting that “battlefield parity is needed as soon as possible to stop this diabolical armada and push it beyond Ukraine’s borders.”

The destroyed storage facility of the private company Nika-Tera in the southern city of Mykolaiv on June 12, 2022, which was bombed on June 4, according to the military administration.

Genya Savilov | Afp | fake images

Several cities, towns and villages in the Donbas region, and Luhansk province in particular, have been the focus of heavy fighting for several weeks, with Russian and Ukrainian forces engaged in street battles as Russian artillery fire destroys infrastructure and homes. in the region.

Separately, Zelenskyy said he expects a decision on whether the EU will grant Ukraine candidate status on Thursday night. He said that he has been holding calls with various EU leaders to press the case for Ukraine to join the bloc.

holly ellyatt

Russians push to establish full control over Severodonetsk, says official

The governor of Luhansk, the area that has seen the fiercest fighting in recent weeks, has said Russian forces are continuing to try to establish full control over Severodonetsk, a city he said was under constant shelling, as well as trying to to surround the Ukrainian troops. in the Lysychansk area and to block the route out of the city to nearby Bakhmut.

“The enemy has seized the Loskutívka and Rai-Oleksandrivka settlements,” Serhiy Haidai said on Facebook on Thursday, in his latest update on the military action in his province. He said Russian forces were “raiding” an orphanage in the area.

A Community Art Center destroyed after a strike in the Donbas city of Lysychansk on June 17, 2022.

Aris Messinis | Afp | fake images

He added that Russian forces are also closing in on other villages in the area and “continue to annihilate settlements in the region every day. Yesterday, enemy aircraft hit the regional center, Sirotynom, Verkhnyokamyantsi, Girsky.”

CNBC could not immediately verify the information.

Russia increased propaganda in Ukraine by 216%, says Microsoft

Russia has increased the spread of propaganda through cyber influence operations by 216% in Ukraine and 82% in the United States since the war began, according to a Microsoft report.

Silas Stein | Images Alliance | fake images

Russia has spread of propaganda increased through cyber influence operations by 216% in Ukraine and 82% in the United States since the invasion of Ukraine began in late February, according to a Microsoft report.

The Russian military also launched multiple waves of “destructive” cyberattacks against 48 Ukrainian agencies and companies, the report added.

Outside Ukraine, Russian intelligence agencies have also stepped up espionage and network intrusion activities, targeting 128 organizations in 42 countries, Microsoft said.

Russia prioritized government goals, especially among NATO members, Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith added.

—Chelsea Ong

Germany’s Scholz says G-7 will discuss ‘Marshall plan’ for Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a press statement on the war crimes uncovered the previous day in Bucha, Ukraine, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on April 3, 2022.

Hannibal Hanschke | Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he wants to discuss the outlines of a “Marshall plan for Ukraine” with the leaders of the Group of Seven countries at their upcoming summit in Germany.

Scholz expects a united front in long-term support for Ukraine when it hosts the annual G-7 summit in Bavaria next week. The group of major economic powers in the world is made up of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan.

The chancellor told Germany’s parliament that “rebuilding Ukraine will be a task for generations.” Recalling his visit last week to Irpin, a Kyiv suburb that saw heavy fighting, he said “some things there not only remind me of images of German cities after World War II.”

Like Europe then, “Ukraine today needs a Marshall plan for its reconstruction,” Scholz said, referring to the US-sponsored plan that helped revive European economies after World War II.

-Associated Press

Stoltenberg says Sweden and Finland should join NATO alliance ‘as soon as possible’

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference following a meeting of NATO defense ministers at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on June 16, 2022.

YvesHerman | Reuters

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will address Turkey’s concerns about Finnish and Swedish applications to join NATO next week in Madrid.

“We are now actively working on the next steps in the accession process of Finland and Sweden. And addressing Turkey’s security concerns, including in the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said during a discussion organized by Politico.

“My goal is to find a common path so that both countries can join our alliance as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the addition of Sweden and Finland “will make them more secure, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure. “

In May, both nations began the formal application process for the NATO alliance. President Joe Biden welcomed the leaders of both countries to the White House and pledged to work with Congress, which has to ratify the United States’ approval of NATO offers, and the other 29 members of the most powerful military alliance in the world to quickly bring Sweden and Finland into the group. .

—Amanda Macias

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