Russian shelling of residential areas in Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson left at least three people dead and ten injured, local authorities said. The Kherson regional military administration said on its Telegram channel that Russian forces targeted a hospital, school, bus station, post office, bank and residential buildings in a strike on Sunday.
A missile hit an apartment building in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, killing one person and injuring three others, according to the regional governor. Oleh Synehubov said the missile struck the city center on Sunday, and that an elderly woman’s body was pulled from the rubble. He said 15 residents of the building were evacuated immediately after the explosion, and will be provided with temporary accommodation.
Ukraine’s military and Russia’s Wagner private military group are both claiming to have control in the area of Blahodatne, eastern Donetsk region. “Units of Ukraine’s defense forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of … Blahodatne … in the Donetsk region,” Ukraine’s military reported, adding its forces also repelled attacks in 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region. Wagner, designated by the US as transnational criminal organization, said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday that its units had taken control of Blahodatne.
The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilinhas said that pro-Russian forces are continuing to make advances in Vuhledar.
President Tayyip Erdoğan signaled that Turkey may agree to Finland joining Nato without Sweden, amid growing tensions with Stockholm. “We may deliver Finland has different message [on their Nato application] and Sweden would be shocked when they see our message. But Finland should not make the same mistake Sweden did,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech aired on Sunday. Sweden and Finland applied last year to join Nato and need all member countries’ approval to join. Turkey and Hungary are holding out.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has stepped up his campaign to keep Russian athletes out of the 2024 Paris Games. Ukraine’s president said he had sent a letter to Emmanuel Macron, and that allowing Russia to compete would be tantamount to showing that “terror is somehow acceptable”.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba added to the pressure on Monday, saying “Russia won 71 medals in Tokyo Olympics. 45 of them were won by athletes who are also members of the Central Sports Club of the Russian Army. The army that commits atrocities, kills, rapes, and loots. This is whom the ignorant IOC wants to put under white flag allowing to compete.”
The Kremlin said on Monday that former British prime minister Boris Johnson was lying when he said Putin had threatened him with a missile strike during a phone call in the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that what Johnson said was not true, or “more precisely, a lie”. Johnson, who has repeatedly been accused of dishonesty during his political career, was speaking to the BBC for a documentary, and said the Russian leader had threatened him with a missile strike that would “only take a minute”.
Authorities in Slovenia have apprehended two alleged Russian spies who used an agency dealing in real estate and antiques as a front for their activities, local media reported on Monday.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said it cannot be ruled out that Poland and the Baltic states may break off diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation entirely. Describing them as states where “a Frenzied Russophobic campaign has been unfolding for a long time”, he said “we are not in favor of breaking diplomatic relations. Even in the most difficult situation, it is necessary to maintain channels for dialogue, resolving issues of our fellow citizens and compatriots. If this happens, then the responsibility for this step and its consequences will fall entirely on the leadership of these states. We intend to firmly defend our national interests, and opponents must understand that their actions will have long-term consequences.”
Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhalhas told the Politico website that he wants the country to join the European Union within two years.
Vyacheslav Gladkovthe governor of the Belgorod region in Russiahas said that shelling of Bezliudovka from Ukraine had injured two people.
NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg has urged south korea to increase military support to Ukraine, suggesting it reconsider its policy of not exporting weapons to countries in conflict.
Vladimir Putin was open to contacts with Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, though no phone call was scheduled, a Kremlin spokesperson told the state Ria Novosti news agency. Scholz told the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel: “I will also speak to Putin again – because it is necessary to speak.”
Kyiv and its western allies are engaged in “fast-track” talks on the possibility of equipping Ukraine with long-range missiles and military aircraft, a top aide to Ukraine’s president said. Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine’s supporters in the west “understand how the war is developing” and the need to supply planes capable of providing cover for armored vehicles the US and Germany have pledged.
US military officials are reportedly urging the Pentagon to supply F-16 jets to Ukraine so it is better able to defend itself from Russian missiles and drones.
Scholz reiterated on Sunday that Germany will not send fighter jets. “I can only advise against entering into a constant bidding war when it comes to weapons systems,” Scholz said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper. “If, as soon as a decision [on tanks] has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, that doesn’t come across as serious and undermines citizens’ confidence in government decisions.”
Ukraine has imposed sanctions against 182 Russian and Belarusian companies, and three individuals, in the latest of a series of steps to block Moscow’s and Minsk’s connections to Ukraine. The sanctioned companies chiefly engage in the transportation of goods, vehicle leasing and chemical production, according to the list published by Ukraine’s national security and defense council.