Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
– Ukraine forces driven from central Severodonetsk –
The governor of the eastern Lugansk, Sergiy Gaiday, says Ukraine’s forces have been driven from the centre of the key eastern city of Severodonetsk, after a weeks-long Russian offensive for the industrial hub.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his forces are fighting for “literally every meter” of one of the last cities in Lugansk that had yet to fall to Russian forces.
Gaiday says that the Russians have destroyed a second bridge into the city on the Donets river and that the Azot chemical plant, where hundreds of civilians are taking shelter, is being “heavily shelled”.
Britain’s defence intelligence says that “river crossing operations are likely to be amongst the most important determining factors in the course of the war” in the coming months.
Ukraine has regularly blown up bridges to halt the Russians’ advance.
– Baltic states could be next, says ex-PM –
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former prime ministers warns that the war could last up to two years and says it is imperative that Ukraine wins.
“If Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next,” says Mikhail Kasyanov, who was Putin’s first prime minister before being sacked in 2004 and is now one of the Kremlin’s chief critics.
In an interview with AFP, Kasyanov, who has left Russia, disagrees with French President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion that Putin should not be humiliated and also rejects calls for Ukraine to cede territory to end the war.
“I believe this is wrong and hope that the West won’t go down that path,” he says.
– ‘Shocking’ use of cluster bombs: Amnesty –
Amnesty International accuses Russia of the repeated use of cluster bombs in attacks on residential neighbourhoods of Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv.
The London-based NGO says it has uncovered proof of the use of 9N210 and 9N235 cluster bombs and scatterable land mines, all of which are banned under international conventions.
“The repeated use of widely banned cluster munitions is shocking, and a further indication of utter disregard for civilian lives,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, says.
– Russian oil revenues soar –
A report shows Russia’s revenues from exports of oil and gas reaching record highs during the first 100 days of the war, with Moscow taking in 93 billion euros ($98 billion), most of it from European Union customers
The report from the independent, Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) shows the top clients for Russian oil, gas and coal being China with 12.6 billion euros, followed by Germany (12.1 billion) and Italy (7.8 billion).
The EU last month agreed to halt most Russian oil imports but an embargo on Russian gas is not on the cards at present.
Russia’s exports have plummeted but high global fossil fuel prices have helped offset the declines, the report showed.
– WTO walkout –
The war spills over into a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, where dozens of delegates walk out during a speech by Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov. Ukraine’s envoy, by contrast, receives a standing ovation.
The food crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain producers, is top of the agenda of the four-day session.
– Long queues for Russian McDonald’s –
Long queues form outside a former McDonald’s restaurant in central Moscow that reopened Sunday a month after the US fast-food giant pulled out of Russia.
Russia’s answer to McDonald’s is called “Vkusno i tochka” (“Delicious. Full Stop”). A new logo depicting a burger and two fries has replaced McDonald’s iconic Golden Arches.
The queues at the restaurant on Pushkin Square draw comparisons with the excitement generated by the opening of the first McDonald’s in Russia in January 1990, which was hailed as a sign of Soviet detente with the West.
Fifty more of the burger joints are to be opened on Monday, the chain’s management says.