Ukraine latest: Volodymyr Zelensky to address G7 leaders

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At least one person was killed in a series of Russian attacks on the capital over the weekend

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will urge G7 leaders to do more to support his nation’s fight against Russia as rocket attacks have rocked the capital Kyiv.

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At least one person was killed in a series of Russian attacks on the capital over the weekend.

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Mr Zelensky will call for more heavy weapons today (June 27) when he addresses Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and other G7 leaders via video link.

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In his late night address on Sunday, he called on allies to be “partners, not observers” and give his country the ability to defend itself.

Mr Zelenskyy warned that any delay would be an invitation for Russia to strike again.

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PM: Ukraine is on a knife edge

Mr Johnson will use Monday’s session at the G7 summit in Germany to call for urgent action to help get vital grain supplies out of Ukraine’s blocked ports to support the country’s economy and shortages around the world to alleviate.

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Time is running out to prevent stockpiles of grain from rotting away in silos, with July’s harvest set to exacerbate the problem.

As Russian missile attacks continued to hit Ukrainian cities, Mr Johnson warned the country was on “a razor’s edge” as Russian troops advanced in the east.

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The blockade of major Ukrainian ports like Odessa, attacks on farms and warehouses, and the broader impact of the Russian invasion have all contributed to the problems with getting food from the country to the world market.

Ukraine previously provided 10% of the world’s wheat, up to 17% of the world’s corn and half of the world’s sunflower oil.

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Around 25 million tons of corn and wheat are currently at risk of rotting in Ukrainian silos.

Support people fleeing the devastating conflict in Ukraine: donate to the DEC appeal

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Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) charities and their local partners are present in Ukraine and neighboring countries, providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance. Learn more and donate what you can today

Here are the latest updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Last updated: Monday, June 27, 2022 at 08:45

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“Great challenge” to transport grain by rail from Ukraine

Environment Secretary George Eustice has admitted that getting grain out of Ukraine by rail would be a “major challenge”.

Asked about the logistical difficulties of such a move, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s a big challenge. If it were easy, we would have found a way by now.”

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But he said that transporting it across the Black Sea by ship would be fraught with difficulties.

“You have a very dangerous situation for shipping in the Black Sea. It’s dismantled. Ukraine itself has secured this port for defense and security reasons and they don’t allow shipping anyway.

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“So it probably means that a rail route would be the most likely, most successful, but as you say, that’s not easy either.

“That’s something we should focus on to try to find a way to get that wheat out.”

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It could be ’20 years’ before Ukraine joins EU – France

Clement Beaune has dealt a serious blow to Ukraine’s aspirations to join the EU (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

French Europe Minister Clement Beaune has warned that it could take “15 or 20 years” for Ukraine to become a full member of the EU.

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Mr Beaune told Radio J in Paris: “We have to be honest. If you say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months or a year or two, you are lying.

“That’s probably in 15 or 20 years, that takes a long time.”

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The French minister’s comments will come as a blow to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was hoping to secure quick entry into the bloc after the Russian invasion.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has offered a compromise to create a “European political community” – a middle ground on EU membership – but Mr Zelensky has rejected the proposals.

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Ukrainian soldiers have said to stop defending Mariupol

The Ukrainian military command has ordered soldiers to “save the lives of soldiers” and stop defending the city of Mariupol.

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The city, heavily besieged since the beginning of the war, was at the center of a bloody struggle for control of the Azovstal Steel Works.

The complex housed civilians who are now being evacuated and was the last base of Ukrainian forces in the city. However, Russia’s top military official said the steel mill has now been “completely liberated”.

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The US announces a record-breaking aid package for Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has announced the country’s largest-ever aid package for Ukraine.

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The US will hand over $40 billion in aid to the country, the largest sum sent to Ukraine since the war began.

President Biden said the newly announced aid package was “a clear bipartisan message to the world” that the US would support Ukraine in defending “her democracy and freedom.”

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The package includes $6 billion for security assistance, $8.7 billion for US equipment to be sent to Ukraine and $5 billion to address global food insecurity as a result of the war.

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Crushing footage shows Russian soldiers shooting unarmed Ukrainian civilians

Newly released CCTV footage allegedly shows Russian soldiers shooting dead two unarmed Ukrainian civilians.

It is believed to have been filmed during the height of the conflict as it was centered around Kyiv. Footage shows two Russian guards approaching a commercial area in the city.

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Two Ukrainian men approach the soldiers with raised arms.

After moving away from the encounter, the Russian guards are seen returning and shooting the two men in the back.

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Now the US has urged social media platforms not to remove such footage from their sites, even if it violates their posting policy.

US Democratic lawmakers said, “If this content is verified as authentic, it could help support allegations of war crimes and other atrocities committed by Russian forces against the people of Ukraine.”

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Russia: Finland joining NATO will not help security in Europe

The Kremlin has said that Finland’s move to join NATO will not help stability and security in Europe.

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Putin: Russia’s military action in Ukraine a ‘necessary response to Western policies’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as a forced response to Western policy.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to watch the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in central Moscow (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking about the Nazis at a military parade marking the former Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, Putin drew parallels between the Red Army’s fight against Nazi troops and the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.

He said the campaign in Ukraine is a timely and necessary step to ward off potential aggression.

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The Russian leader added that troops are fighting for the country’s security in Ukraine and observed a minute’s silence to honor those who fell in battle.

The Russian President addressed a victory parade in Moscow celebrating their victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

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US First Lady on surprise trip to Ukraine

US First Lady Jill Biden has met with her Ukrainian counterpart during a surprise visit to western Ukraine.

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She later wrote on Twitter: “This Mother’s Day I wanted to be with Ukrainian mothers and their children. Far too many Ukrainians have had to flee their homes in recent months – forcing them to leave their loved ones behind.

“As a mother, I can only imagine the sorrow and fear they must feel every day at the unprovoked attack by Russia. I have seen firsthand how people in Slovakia and Romania have opened their homes, their schools, their hospitals and their hearts.

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“Together we are united for Ukraine.

“I hope that by being here I can convey how much their strength and resilience inspires the world and remind them that they are not alone.”

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Russia’s Victory Day explained

Victory Day is Russia’s central national holiday and has an enduring meaning for ordinary Russians, many of whom carry portraits of their relatives who fought in the war.

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While the annual event is always a mix of pride and patriotism for the Kremlin, this year there are also concerns about what President Vladimir Putin might say given his desire to make military advances as his brutal invasion of Ukraine falters .

Russian soldiers march in Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2017 (AFP via Getty Images)

Victory Day, May 9, was set as a priority for Russia early in the conflict, although Moscow has realized that a quick victory was impossible given Ukraine’s tight defenses.

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Battle rages at the Mariupol Steel Plant

The Ukrainian military said it has retaken territory in the south and repulsed Russian attacks in the east, amid a battle raging at a steelworks in Mariupol – where Ukrainian troops have holed up in tunnels and bunkers to repel a Russian attack.

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Ukrainian militants have been holding out at the sprawling Azovstal Steel Plant — the last pocket of resistance in a city otherwise controlled by Moscow’s forces.

“The enemy, with the support of planes, has resumed the offensive to take control of the plant,” Ukraine’s military general staff said on Thursday.

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Video posted on social media on Wednesday evening showed Russian airstrikes on the steel mill.

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