HomePoliticsLatest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine.

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine.

Turkey, Finland and Sweden to discuss Stockholm’s NATO bid on June 12

Turkey, Finland and Sweden will meet on June 12 to discuss Stockholm’s bid to join the NATO military alliance, which has so far been stalled by Ankara’s objections, according to a NATO statement released on Sunday.

The announcement followed a meeting of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and newly reelected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

Finland and Sweden renounced their long-standing policy of political neutrality following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and jointly applied for NATO membership in June last year. Finland was accepted and joined the military organization in April.

Stockholm’s accession has been delayed by Turkish concerns that Sweden harbors militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara, the United States, the EU and others designated as a terrorist organization.

Belgorod governor says energy facility on fire after drone attack

An energy facility was set on fire following a drone attack in the Russian city of Belgorod, by the Ukrainian border, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram overnight, according to a Google translation.

He added that services were not shut down.  

Belgorod has suffered both Ukrainian and domestic offensives in recent days. Earlier, an anti-Kremlin Russian paramilitary group, the Russian Volunteer Corps, on Sunday offered on Telegram to surrender two captive Russian soldiers to Gladkov, if the governor arrived in person to receive them in the Novaya Tavolzhanka locality.

Reuters reported that Gladkov had said he accepted the offer — but the pro-Ukraine group later said the meeting never took place, according to a Google translation.

Ruxandra Iordache

Ukraine says it destroyed a Russian position near Bakhmut

The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces on Monday said that Kyiv had destroyed a Russian position near the embattled city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

“The defense forces are working. We continue moving forward,” Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

Bakhmut is of both symbolic and strategic importance to Russia, providing a stepping stone for Moscow’s forces to advance into the Kramatorsk and Sloviansk cities in the Donetsk region.

Ruxandra Iordache

Russia says it thwarted large-scale Ukrainian offensive in Donetsk

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Telegram that its forces on Sunday morning fought back a large-scale Ukrainian offensive along five points in the southern direction of the annexed Ukrainian region of Donetsk, according to a Google translation.

Russia said Ukraine deployed six mechanized and two tank battalions as part of the offensive.

The enemy’s goal was to break through our defenses on the most vulnerable, in his opinion, sector of the front,” the Russian ministry said. “The enemy did not achieve his tasks, he had no success.”

CNBC could not independently verify those claims.

The daily report of the Ukrainian General Staff only stated on Monday that 29 clashes took place near the Luhansk and Donetsk regions on Sunday, according to a Google translation.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense published no public statements linked to the alleged attack. Kyiv’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov on Sunday posted on Twitter lyrics of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence,” stating “Words are very unnecessary / They can only do harm,” alongside a GIF of a soldier miming a bid for silence.

Ruxandra Iordache

Zelenskyy presses hard for NATO membership at Moldova conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed NATO to allow Ukraine’s membership of the alliance — a topic of contention that has divided the group of 31 countries.

“This year is for decisions,” Zelenskyy said at the European Political Community summit in Moldova on Thursday. “In summer in Vilnius at the NATO summit, a clear invitation from members of Ukraine is needed, and security guarantees on the way to NATO membership are needed.”

Ukraine and those who support its bid say that NATO membership is needed to deter Russia from attacking the country again, while others warn that the move could further provoke Moscow, which sees Kyiv joining the Western alliance as a major red line.

Zelenskyy also made a push for EU membership, with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressing strong support. Ukraine would still need to meet a set of standards, including weeding out its well-documented corruption, in order to join the economic bloc.

— Natasha Turak

Ukrainian city of Nikopol shelled overnight, regional governor says

The city of Nikopol in the southern Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine came under heavy shelling by Russian forces overnight, regional governor Serhiy Lysak reported.

“The aggressor does not stop. Nikopol region came under attack again. At midnight, the Rashists shelled Nikopol,” Lysak wrote on his Telegram channel, using a term many Ukrainians use to refer to Russian armed forces members.

“Shells from heavy artillery flew into the city,” he wrote. “People are unharmed. Rescuers are examining the area. The enemy is insidious and does not abandon its tactics of terrorizing the civilian population.”

— Natasha Turak

Villages in Russia’s western border region shelled, governor says

Villages in Russia’s western Bryansk region were shelled, regional governor Alexander Bogomaz wrote on his Telegram channel, saying that the attackers were Ukrainian. He identified the two hit villages as Lomakovka and Novaya Pogoshch, saying that one house was set on fire, but that there were no deaths, according to Reuters reporting.

CNBC could not independently verify the claims.

Reported offensives on Russian soil have jumped in recent weeks, with drone attacks taking place in Moscow and shelling and incursions into Russia’s western region that borders Ukraine. The Kremlin blames Ukraine’s government for directing the hostilities, while Kyiv denies involvement.

Most of the recent attacks and attempted incursions into Russian territory have been claimed by the Freedom of Russia Legion and Russian Volunteer Corps, which describe themselves as pro-Ukraine ethnic Russians fighting to combat Russia’s government.

— Natasha Turak

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:



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