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Ukraine Latest: Ukraine Seeks Artillery, Russia Pounds Luhansk

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·8-min read
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(Bloomberg) --

Most Read from Bloomberg

Ukraine’s top military commander said Russian troops have focused shelling on the north of its Luhansk region and pleaded with his US counterpart to send more artillery.

At least 22 people were injured in Russian missile attacks in western Ukraine that also damaged part of a military facility and four apartment buildings. The last bridge connecting Sievierodonetsk to the rest of Ukraine came under heavy artillery fire from Russian forces.

Iran seized an opportunity presented by western sanctions on Moscow and revived a goods-transit corridor linking Russia with Asian markets. The Iranian state-run shipping company began its first transfer of Russian goods to India.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • US Sees Signs of Asian Nations Examining Future Of Russian Ties

  • ‘Party Like a Russian’ Turns Toxic at Putin’s Flagship Forum

  • Von der Leyen Says Ukraine’s EU Bid Advancing During Kyiv Visit

  • Biden Says Zelenskiy Brushed Off Warnings of Russia’s Invasion

  • US Gasoline Tops $5 a Gallon on Average in New Inflation Marker

  • Hungary Releases Fuel From Reserves to Help Austrian Refiner OMV

(All times CET)

IAEA, Ukraine Restore Safeguard Data Link (12:01 a.m.)

The International Atomic Energy Agency and the Ukrainian operator of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant have restored a remote transmission system for safeguarding data sent to the United Nations atomic watchdog. That process had been halted for nearly two weeks due to technical problems, the IAEA said.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi welcomed the step as a positive for safety but said in a statement the agency’s inspectors must still go to the facility as soon as possible for essential nuclear material verification activities that can’t be done remotely.

Russia wrested control over the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant -- Europe’s biggest such facility -- in the early days of the war and has maintained control ever since. It has also demanded that Ukraine begin paying for electricity generated at the occupied atomic plant.

Ukraine Pleads With US for Artillery (8:00 p.m.)

Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Facebook that he asked General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, “to help us get more 155 mm caliber artillery systems in the shortest possible time.”

Russia has deployed as many as seven battalion tactical groups in the assault on the city of Sievierodonetsk and its forces have resumed shelling residential areas of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, Zaluzhnyi said. The front line stretches across 2,450 kilometers (1,530 miles) of Ukrainian territory, with active hostilities along 1,105 kilometers, he said.

Blinken Says War Robbing Russians of Better Future (4:00 p.m.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a message on Russia’s National Day that President Vladimir Putin’s war “is robbing Russian citizens of the possibility of building a better future in harmony with their neighbors.”

He said the US is looking for a more peaceful and open future for the people of Russia as it marks its national day, and criticized the Kremlin for “its crackdown against civil society and independent media.”

NATO Seeks to Address Turkish Concerns (3:08 p.m.)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is in close contact with Finland, Sweden and Turkey to address “legitimate Turkish concerns” about terrorism and to move forward with the accession of the two Nordic countries into the alliance, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters. NATO’s summit in Madrid at the end of June “was never a deadline,” he said, but added “I would like to see this solved as soon as possible.”

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto rebuffed suggestions his country could proceed with its application faster than Sweden, saying the nations “move ahead hand in hand.”

Iran Tests Russia-to-India Trade Corridor (1:30 p.m.)

Iran’s state-run shipping company began its first transfer of Russian goods to India using a new trade corridor that transits the Islamic Republic, a port official said.

Two containers carrying wood laminate sheets departed St. Petersburg for the Caspian Sea port city of Astrakhan, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing Dariush Jamali, director of a joint-owned Iranian-Russian terminal in Astrakhan.

Since Russia was sanctioned, Iranian officials have been keen to revive a stalled project to develop the so-called North-South Transit Corridor that uses Iran to link Russia to Asian export markets.

Russia Trying to Cut Off Sievierodonetsk by Shelling Last Bridge (12:44 p.m.)

Russian troops destroyed one more bridge across the Sieverskyi Donets river west of Sievierodonetsk last night and are now trying to cut off the city completely, Ukrayinska Pravda reported, citing Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haiday. Two of the three crossings have now been demolished and the last one is under fire.

Putin Awards Loyal Cultural Figures, Scientists (11:51 a.m.)

Putin pinned awards on a pantheon of Russian scientific and cultural figures during a televised ceremony Sunday.

The laureates included an engineer in the country’s nuclear weapons complex, conductor Yuri Bashmet, a columnist for a state newspaper, and Academy award-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov.

Russian Missiles Strike Military Facility, Apartments (10:51 a.m.)

Four missiles that hit Chortkiv in the Ternopil region in western Ukraine on Saturday night were launched from the Black Sea, Volodymyr Trush, the region’s governor, said. Part of a military facility and four apartment buildings were damaged, and at least 22 people were injured.

Russian missiles destroyed a Ternopil storage facility for US and European weapons, Tass reported, citing Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

German Arms Maker Says Modernized Tanks Ready for Delivery (10:39 a.m.)

Rheinmetall AG’s first modernized Marder tanks are ready for delivery, Chief Executive Officer Armin Papperger told Bild am Sonntag. “When and where the Marder are being delivered is the decision of the German government,” he said.

It was unclear if the tanks would be sent to Ukraine or to other countries to replace vehicles being delivered there. Germany has faced criticism for being tepid in helping Ukraine with military equipment.

EU Must Keep Talking to Russia, Borrell Says (10:12 a.m.)

Dialogue with Russia must continue and the European Union will have to find a way to co-exist with it on the same continent, the EU’s foreign-policy chief said in an interview published Sunday.

European military aid to Ukraine is designed to bolster the embattled nation’s position so that Russia won’t be able to occupy land taken since the Feb. 24 invasion, Josep Borrell was quoted as saying in Le Journal du Dimanche.

Von der Leyen Hopes EU Does ‘Right Thing’ for Ukraine (10:00 a.m.)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the executive arm’s opinion on Ukraine’s candidate status to join the EU will reflect “carefully” a lot progress made by the country over the past decade, but also that “much still needs to be done.”

“I hope in 20 years when we are looking back we can say we did the right thing,” Von der Leyen told a group of journalists on her way back from Kyiv late on Saturday. “The challenge will be to come out of the council with a united position, which reflects the enormity of these historic decisions.”

Ex-McDonald’s Chain Gets New Name (9:15 a.m.)

The company that took over McDonald’s former restaurants in Russia unveiled its new brand, Vkusno i Tochka, as the chain’s flagship restaurant in central Moscow prepares to open Sunday on a national holiday, Tass news agency reported. The new name translates to Delicious Full Stop.

The US fast-food chain last month sold its network of 850 restaurants in Russia to Alexander Govor, a McDonald’s franchisee, after closing them in March in response to the invasion.

Tycoons, Companies Wary to be Seen at Putin’s Flagship Forum (8 a.m.)

The annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum had always been a hot ticket for Russian and foreign business tycoons eager to curry favor with the Kremlin by hosting glitzy parties or announcing major investments.

At least two executives said they plan to leave early to avoid attending Putin’s speech at the event, which in past years was the highlight for the well-connected. Some have asked the organizers, Roscongress, not to identify them on their badges at the June 15-18 SPIEF forum, people familiar with the situation said.

Putin won’t meet executives of foreign companies and international investors during the forum as he traditionally did in the past, his spokesman said in an interview with Tass on Sunday.

Sri Lanka Open to More Russian Oil, AP Says (5 a.m.)

Sri Lanka may be forced to purchase more oil from Russia as the island struggles with a severe shortage of fuel amid an economic crisis, the Associated Press reported, citing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Authorities are attempting to get oil and coal from suppliers in the Middle East, but “may have to go to Russia again,” he said.

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