- Russian President Vladimir Putin told an event in Saint Petersburg that the country has weathered economic sanctions imposed as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
- The executive branch of the European Union has backed Ukraine’s bid for EU candidacy.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kiev and offered to train Ukrainian troops.
These are the latest updates:
China’s Xi addressed economic forum in St Petersburg
Russia invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to address the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.
Xi said via video link to the forum that it was necessary to “build an open global economy and reject attempts at disconnection, supply disruption, unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure,” state media reported on Saturday.
China has pushed for talks to end the war in Ukraine and has not condemned Russia for the invasion.
Ukrainian defense remains ‘strong’ around Severodonestsk, Lysychansk: ISW
Russia is deploying more troops to support its offensive in the Severodonetsk and Lysychansk areas, but Ukraine’s defenses remain “strong,” according to the latest update from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
“The Russian military has concentrated the vast majority of its available combat power to capture Severodonetsk and Lysychansk at the expense of other adversaries and suffer heavy casualties,” the US-based think tank said.
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) June 18, 2022
‘Milestone Achievement’: Save the Children Welcomes Statement on Urban Attacks
Save the Children welcomes a political statement designed to protect civilians in cities and towns with a commitment to prevent explosive attacks on urban areas.
After three years of negotiations, Ireland presented the final draft of the declaration in Geneva on Friday.
“This is a milestone in recognizing a trend in modern conflict that is having a devastating impact on children’s lives,” James Denselow, head of the conflict team at Save the Children UK, said in a statement. “It recognizes the unique vulnerabilities children have to the weapons of modern war and their proximity to too many front lines. It could be an important step forward in the fight to end the war against children.”
The hammer falls on the final negotiations!
This political declaration is an important milestone in strengthening the protection of civilians against the devastating effects of explosive weapons in populated areas #EWIPA
🇮🇪 thanks all delegates for their strong involvement in the process pic.twitter.com/N5KTbROYma
— Ireland UN Geneva (@IrelandUNGeneva) June 17, 2022
Russia releases medic who filmed horror of Mariupol . siege
Russia has freed a Ukrainian medic whose footage was smuggled out of the besieged city of Mariupol by an Associated Press team, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has announced.
Yuliia Paievska, known in Ukraine as Taira, filmed her team’s efforts to rescue the wounded, including both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, over two weeks using a body camera.
She turned over the clips to the AP journalists, one of whom fled with the tampon in a tampon on March 15. Taira and a colleague were captured by Russian troops the next day.
US sales of high-tech drones to Ukraine hit a problem: Reuters
The Reuters news agency reports that the United States’ plans to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine have been shelved amid concerns that the sophisticated surveillance equipment could fall into enemy hands.
The technical objection to the sale of the weaponized drones was raised during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration, which is tasked with protecting high-value technology from enemy hands, Reuters said, citing two people who were familiar with the plan.
TikTok asked if it allows ‘pro-war’ propaganda
Republican senators in the United States wrote to TikTok chief Shou Zi Chew about reports that the social media site had allowed state-approved media content but excluded other videos.
“Recent reports indicate that TikTok… has allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda. No company should be in a position to amplify the Kremlin’s lies that fuel public support for Russia’s favored war in Ukraine,” the letter said.
The senators wrote that they were “deeply concerned” that TikTok is “facilitating the spread of pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, which could add to an already devastating human toll on Ukrainians and Russians alike.”
UN says civilian casualties more than 10,000
The United Nations says more than 10,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, have now been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.
As of midnight on June 16 in Kiev (21:00 GMT), about 4,509 people had been killed and 5,585 injured, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in its daily update. The dead include 294 children, the OHCHR said.
“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of high-impact explosive weapons, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple missile launchers, and missiles and air strikes,” the statement said, adding that the actual numbers were likely. much higher.
Read all updates from June 17 here.