Ukraine recovers parts of Severodonetsk amid brutal street fights; The World Bank cuts global growth forecasts

German Merkel defends her approach to Ukraine

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a talk on “the challenging problems of our time” with author Alexander Osang (not pictured) at the Berliner Ensemble in Berlin, Germany, on June 7, 2022.

Annegret Greetings Reuters

Angela Merkel defended her focus on Ukraine and Russia during her 16 years as Germany’s leader, saying that a much-criticized 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine bought Kyiv a precious time and that he will not apologize for his diplomatic efforts.

In her first substantial comments since leaving office six months ago, Merkel said “there was no excuse” for Russia’s “brutal” attack on Ukraine and that it was “a big mistake on the part of Russia “.

Merkel, who dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout her chancellery, rejected a suggestion that she and others were engaged in appeasement that eventually allowed the invasion.

“I tried to work to avoid the calamity, and diplomacy was not wrong if it was not successful,” he said in an interview on stage at a Berlin theater that was broadcast live. “I don’t see what I should say now that I was wrong, so I won’t apologize.”

“It’s a great pity I didn’t succeed, but now I don’t blame myself for trying,” Merkel said.

– Associated press

Chornobyl radiation detectors are back in line, normal levels

A satellite image shows a closer look at a sarcophagus at the Chornobil nuclear power plant in the middle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022.

Maxar Technologies | Reuters

Radiation detectors in the exclusion zone around the defunct Chornobil nuclear power plant are back online for the first time since Russia seized the area on February 24, and radiation levels are normal, he said. say the UN nuclear control body.

“Most of the 39 detectors that send data from the exclusion zone … are now visible on the International Radiation Monitoring Information System (IRMIS) map,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement. “The measurements received so far indicated radiation levels in line with those measured before the conflict.”

– Reuters

The US is beginning to train Ukrainian troops to use rocket systems

The U.S. military has begun training Ukrainian forces in the sophisticated rocket systems that the Biden administration agreed to provide last week, but which Russia has said could trigger broader airstrikes in Ukraine.

Navy Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman, said Ukrainian troops are training with the high-mobility artillery rocket system, or HIMARS, at Grafenwoehr’s training base in Germany. other places in Europe.

The United States has agreed to send four of the medium-range precision rocket systems to Ukraine as part of a $ 700 million package approved last week, and officials said it would take about three weeks of training before they could go to the battlefront.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that any Western delivery of long-range rocket systems would lead to Moscow hitting “objects we have not yet hit.”

– Associated press

Fiji is suing the US forfeiture of a Russian-owned mega yacht by OK

The 106 m long and 18 m high super luxury motor yacht Amadea is seen after anchoring at the Pasatarlasi dock for 9 fuel trucks on February 18, 2020 in the Bodrum district of the Mugla province in Turkey. .

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Fiji High Court allowed U.S. authorities to take possession of a $ 235 million, 350-foot yacht that is said to be owned by Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov.

Superhero Amadea quickly left a port in Fiji bound for the United States, the Justice Department said.

The confiscation is the latest in a series of actions taken against Russian elite property as punishment for their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The United States has argued in Fiji’s courts that Kerimov, who is under US sanctions, is the real owner of the Amadea, despite documentation proving that it was owned by Eduard Khudainatov, the company’s former CEO. Russian oil and gas company Rosneft.

The Fiji Supreme Court said it was in the public interest for Amadea to be left in the possession of the United States, saying her berth there “was costing the Fiji government a lot.”

– And manganese

US Navy warship USS Gravely docks in Poland in support of Ukraine

The U.S. Navy warship USS Gravely docked in the Baltic port city of Gdynia, Poland, in what officials described as a show of support for Ukraine.

A machine gun is seen on the deck of the US Navy’s warship USS Gravely, which docked in the port city of Gdynia on the Baltic Sea in what officials described as a show of support for the country as war breaks out. neighboring Ukraine, Poland, June 7, 2022..

Kacper Pempel | Reuters

The U.S. Navy is on the deck of the US Navy’s warship USS Gravely, which docked in the port city of Gdynia on the Baltic Sea in what officials described as a show of support for the country. war broke out in neighboring Ukraine, Poland, on June 7, 2022.

Kacper Pempel | Reuters

U.S. Marines are near the radar aboard the US Navy’s warship USS Gravely, which docked in the Baltic Sea port city of Gdynia in what officials described as a show of support for the country. while war breaks out in neighboring Ukraine, Poland, on June 7, 2022.

Kacper Pempel | Reuters

A U.S. Navy holds U.S. and Polish flags after a conference in front of the US Navy’s warship USS Gravely that docked in the port city of Gdynia on the Baltic Sea, in which officials they described it as a show of support for the country as war broke out in neighboring Ukraine. Poland, June 7, 2022.

Kacper Pempel | Reuters

Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink by 45% and Russia’s economy by 8.9%: World Bank

The World Bank expects Ukraine’s economy to shrink by almost half this year as the invasion of Russia has paralyzed its industries, infrastructure, investment and population.

Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink by 45.1% in 2022, the Bank wrote in its Global Economic Prospects report. In 2021, Ukraine’s gross domestic product reached nearly $ 200 billion, the highest level since independence in 1991, its economy ministry said in February this year.

Aerial view of the mall completely destroyed after a Russian bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 21, 2022.

Emin Sansar | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Before the invasion its population was 44 million; 7 million Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees and another 7 million are internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

Russia’s economy is expected to shrink by 8.9%, according to the World Bank. Its economy has been hit hard by international sanctions and a mass exodus of foreign companies, but high oil and gas prices, of which Russia is a major exporter, keep the current account balance in good shape. surplus and its relatively strong currency.

– Natasha Turak

Russian forces control 97% of Luhansk, according to the defense minister

Members of the pro-Russian troop service drive an infantry fighting vehicle during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the city of Popasna in the Luhansk region of Ukraine on June 2, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

Russian forces now control 97 percent of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to the Associated Press.

The assessment comes after weeks of brutal fighting and Russian artillery bombardment over much of eastern Donbas, of which Luhansk is a part. Moscow says full control over the Donbas is an “unconditional priority.”

Much of the fiercest fighting, including street fighting, is currently taking place in Luhansk, in the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, where Russian forces have gained significant ground despite some successful recent efforts by Ukrainian troops to retake territories.

Officials and experts from other countries have suggested that Ukraine should cede the Donbas to Russia in exchange for peace, an idea Ukraine strongly rejects. Kyiv and many of its Western allies warn that if they cede land to Russia, Moscow will only be encouraged to expand its profits and try to capture more Ukrainian territory. Russia has been ambiguous about whether to try to capture more land.

– Natasha Turak

The UN says at least 4,253 people have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war

Ivan Sosnin, 19, is walking next to his destroyed house in the city of Lysychansk in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on June 7, 2022.

Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 4,253 civilian deaths and 5,141 wounded in Ukraine since Russia invaded its Soviet counterpart on February 24.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely to be higher, as armed conflict could delay reports of fatalities.

The international organization said most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide range of impact, including heavy artillery bombardment and multiple rocket launch systems, as well as missiles. and airstrikes.

– Amanda Macias

World Bank cuts global growth forecast says Russian invasion of Ukraine worsens economic slowdown

The World Bank cut its global growth projection by 1.2 percentage points to 2.9% for this year, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as once again worsening an economy that is already far behind. affected, is still recovering from the Covid pandemic and facing rising inflation.

The world is entering a “prolonged period of weak growth and high inflation,” the organization wrote in its latest Global Economic Prospects report.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has affected global food exports, especially cereals and cooking oils, a large proportion of which are exported by the two warring countries because Russian forces are blocking Ukraine’s vital ports in the Black Sea. .

A driver unloads a truck at a grain store during the barley harvest in the village of Zhovtneve, Ukraine, on July 14, 2016.

Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters

The disruption of agricultural supplies has especially affected the economies of the Middle East and Africa, as these regions are heavily dependent on food exports from the Black Sea …

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