Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 491 | Russia-Ukraine war News

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As the war enters it 491st day, these are the main developments.

This is the situation as it stands on Thursday, June 30.

Fighting

  • The death toll from the Kramatorsk missile attack rose to at least 11, including three teenagers, after a Russian missile hit a crowded restaurant in the eastern city on Tuesday evening, according to Ukrainian officials. At least 61 people were wounded.
  • Ukraine arrested a man accused of coordinating the attack. Security officials said he was suspected of filming the restaurant for Russian forces and informing them about its popularity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the man was being charged with treason. “The possible punishment is life imprisonment. Accomplices of a terrorist state must be treated as betrayers of humanity,” he said in his nightly video address.
  • Following the attack, Russia said it only hit targets in Ukraine “linked” to the military.
  • Oleh Syniehubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, said at least three people were killed in Russian shelling.
  • Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defence minister, told the United Kingdom’s Financial Times that Ukraine’s main troop reserves, including most brigades recently trained in the West and equipped with modern tanks and armoured vehicles, had not yet been deployed in its counteroffensive.

Diplomacy

  • Switzerland tightened sanctions against Russian entities and individuals in line with the latest measures from the European Union. Among those included are people, companies and organisations that support the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, a statement said.
  • The Kremlin said the Vatican peace envoy Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, who is in Moscow, would hold talks with President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda arrive for a joint press conference with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The room is ornate and there are two soldiers in ceremonial dress on either side of the door.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said they would do all they could to push forward Ukraine’s proposed NATO membership [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service via Reuters]
  • Zelenskyy said Kyiv understood it could not join NATO while war was raging on its soil but that it wanted a signal that it could join the military alliance after the end of the war.
  • Visiting Kyiv, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said they would do all they could to ensure Ukraine became a NATO member as soon as possible. “We are trying to ensure that the decisions made at the [NATO] summit clearly indicate the perspective of membership, we are conducting talks on this issue with our allies,” Duda said. The alliance’s summit will take place in Vilnius next month.

Weapons

  • The Ukrainian government appointed Herman Smetanin as the new head of the state-owned weapons producer Ukroboronprom as it moves to boost domestic weapons production and increase transparency.
  • President Nauseda said Lithuania had bought two NASAMS air defence systems to be supplied to Ukraine.
  • The Swiss Federal Council said it rejected a request by Swiss defence firm Ruag for the trade of 96 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks for use in Ukraine. Such a sale would contravene the war material act and require an adjustment of Switzerland’s neutrality policy, the cabinet said.
  • Most Americans support providing weaponry to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey. Eighty-one percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents favour supplying US weapons to Ukraine, the poll found.

Wagner fallout

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin had been “weakened” by the mutiny but that the ultimate consequences of the short-lived rebellion remained unclear. “It shows that the autocratic structures, the power structures, have cracks and he in no way sits as firmly in the saddle as he always claims,” the German leader said.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the mutiny was indicative of Putin’s “failure across the board” in Ukraine. “We see it by virtually every metric,” Blinken said. “Russia is worse off economically; it’s worse off militarily; its standing in the world has plummeted.”
  • Russia’s foreign ministry said leaders of African nations should decide for themselves whether they want to continue working with the Wagner Group. The mercenaries operate in countries including Mali and the Central African Republic.

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