Russians in Mariupol killed by “Russian world”
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that the bombed-out city is “on the verge of an epidemiological catastrophe” where infectious diseases are already spreading, and deadly infections such as cholera and dysentery could be among them. Mariupol City Council reported that 9,000 tons of garbage flooded the streets, and Mariupol is now "a real ghetto" where unsanitary conditions are jeopardizing the lives of its remaining residents.
Severodonetsk conceding, fighting continues
Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attack on the southern outskirts of Lysychansk, the last fully Ukrainian-controlled city in the region of Luhansk, the area's governor said on Friday.
Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram that Russia had, however, taken control of the village of Mykolaivka, located near a key highway to Lysychansk, which has been the focus of heavy fighting.
Fighting continues, he added, in the battleground twin city of Sievierodonetsk, where Russia has advanced slowly over several weeks.
More states involved in hybrid war
The rising tension between Russia and Lithuania over the Russian exclave Kaliningrad is fuelling fears over the Suwałki Gap, an 80km (50-mile) land corridor crossing southeastern Poland and Lithuania, which is critical to the security of the Baltic states as it could connect Kaliningrad and Belarus.
The European Union (EU) must address the situation with the blockade of Kaliningrad, or Russia will be free to settle the transit issue by any means, according to the Russian Chairman of the Council Commission. “The European Union needs to correct the situation with the blockade of Kaliningrad, or Russia will have its hands free to solve the issue of transit by any means,” stated Andrei Klimov.
“London will become the first city to be bombed in the event of another world war,” said General Andrei Gurulev, a deputy of the Duma and an associate of Putin. According to him, if the blockade of Russian Kaliningrad leads to war, the capital of Great Britain will be the first to suffer.
NATO needs a more “visible” presence in the Baltics to counter the threat Russia poses from Belarus, Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausėda warned on Friday. The Lithuanian leader said he would describe today’s Belarus as an “additional province” of Moscow, adding that the “Russian army can do what they want to move the forces, to deploy the equipment.”
World needs global solidarity
The G7 leaders at the Bavarian summit will consider the US idea of introducing a global “ceiling” on oil prices. This was announced at a press conference on Friday, June 24, by European Council President Charles Michel.
“We will take part in the G7 meeting next weekend, I can confirm that this will be the topic of the G7 agenda, and we will see what the positive benefits of such a possible proposal are,” Michel said, noting G7 leaders should take everything into account to make sure they have a clear idea of the possible consequences.
Russia “weaponising" energy
EU leaders on Friday warned that “cheap energy is gone” and agreed to boost preparations for further cuts in Russian gas, accusing Moscow of “weaponising” energy via a supply squeeze which Germany warned could partly shut its industry.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the search for alternative supplies was already in progress, with U.S. LNG deliveries up 75% this year from last year, and Norway pipeline gas deliveries up 15%.
Besides, the EU executive will present a plan on preparedness for more gas cuts from Russia to leaders in July she said, adding: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That’s what we are doing right now.”
War between apocalyptic consequences and diplomatic solutions
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war in Ukraine has added to the disruptions caused by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and inequality to produce an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” already affecting hundreds of millions of people.
“This year’s food access issues could become next year’s global food shortage,” he said. “No country will be immune to the social and economic repercussions of such a catastrophe.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States stands ready to support any diplomatic solution. “And yet, Russia has shown no interest. We’ll keep discussing diplomatic strategies with Ukraine, with our allies and partners. We’ll keep strengthening Ukraine’s position on the battlefield so it has the strongest possible position at any negotiating table that emerges,” he said, noting sanctions against Russia should be made harsher so as to bring the war to an end as swiftly as possible.