War in Ukraine: Latest developments
KYIV—Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
Finland and Sweden set to make Nato bids
The Finnish government officially announces its intention to join Nato while Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party says it is in favor of membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Less than three months after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, it is a stunning reversal of Finland and Sweden’s policy on military non-alignment.
“This is a historic day. A new era is opening”, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto tells reporters at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Sunday.
Nato chief says Turkey not blocking bids…
Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says that Turkey is not blocking potential membership bids by Sweden and Finland and voiced confidence at resolving Ankara’s stated concerns.
“Turkey made it clear that its intention is not to block membership,” Stoltenberg tells reporters virtually after alliance foreign ministers met in Berlin.
…says Ukraine can win war
Stoltenberg says Ukraine can defeat Russia’s invasion, urging the alliance to keep sending military aid to Kyiv.
“Ukraine can win this war. Ukrainians are bravely defending their homeland,” says the defence chief, adding that “we must continue to step up and sustain our… support to Ukraine”.
Eurovision win lifts spirits
Ukrainians receive a much-needed boost as a folk rap lullaby wins the Eurovision song contest.
“Stefania”, which beat out a host of over-the-top acts at the quirky annual musical event, was written by frontman Oleh Psiuk as a tribute to his mother before the war — but its nostalgic lyrics have taken on wider meaning because of the conflict.
“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol! Help Azоvstal right now,” Psiuk says in English from the stage, referring to the port city’s underground steelworks where Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded by Russian forces.
‘Very difficult’ situation in east Ukraine
Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky warns that the military situation in Ukraine’s southeastern Donbas region is “very difficult”.
Russia has increasingly turned its attention to the country’s south and east since the end of March, after failing to take the capital Kyiv.
Western analysts believe President Vladimir Putin has his sights on annexing southern and eastern Ukraine in the months ahead but his troops appear to be encountering stiff resistance.
Zelensky urges support to prevent world famine
President Zelensky warns that the war in his country risks triggering global food shortages as he calls for more international backing.
“Now support for Ukraine — and especially with weapons — means working to prevent global famine,” Zelensky says.
“The sooner we liberate our land and guarantee Ukraine’s security, the sooner the normal state of the food market can be restored,” he adds.
Before the invasion, Ukraine exported 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports -– 12 percent of the planet’s wheat, 15 percent of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.
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