- The United Kingdom, United States and European Union have pledged billions of dollars more help to Kyiv as a London conference focused on rebuilding efforts gets under way.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has welcomed the support, but cautions Western nations should move “from agreement to real projects”.
- Russia has accused Ukraine of an attempted attack in the Moscow region, saying it intercepted three drones on their approach to military warehouses.
- Ukraine says its forces are gaining some ground towards Melitopol and Berdyansk, as fighting continues in the Zaporizhia region.
‘Hugely important’ summit of global leaders: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba, reporting at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, says the event is a “hugely important” summit of global leaders.
“Prime Minister Sunak started [the conference] by mentioning the damage caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion over a year ago … he pointed out that previously Ukraine was what he called the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ and highlighted Ukraine’s success in alternative energy sources. President Zelenskyy has just picked up on [that], saying that when he tries to lead the efforts to rebuild his country, he wants to build back better and greener, highlighting the role of Ukraine in Europe’s energy supplies,” he said.
Baba explained that “huge promises” will be made at the summit; the figure for Ukraine’s recovery is estimated at about $400bn.
Ukraine represents an investment opportunity: Sunak
Opening a conference in London on Ukraine’s recovery, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Ukraine represents an investment opportunity.
Sunak said: “Before this terrible war … it was the breadbasket of Europe, exporting millions of tonnes of food and grain each month, a top-five exporter of iron ore and steel, a leader in energy – pushing forward renewables, hydrogen and electric vehicles – and a start-up nation which helped spark names like PayPal, WhatsApp and Revolut, with a thriving tech sector which actually had a record year in 2022.
“The truth is, that opportunity is still there today – in fact, the war has only proved how much Ukraine has to offer.”
He also announced a new framework for war risk insurance aimed at helping businesses invest in the war-torn country.
UK’s Johnson calls on Western nations to focus on sending F16s
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for the West to focus on “ensuring a Ukrainian victory” and equip Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets.
In a video posted on Twitter, Johnson said, “We need to focus on the Ukrainian counteroffensive and make sure that the Ukrainians had everything that they could possibly need.
“For months and months, I have been saying that what they need is the deep fires, the long-range … missiles that they’re going to need to take out the Russian command and control positions.
“It’s also increasingly clear that it’s no good just giving the Ukrainians help with armour from the West, armoured vehicles, Bradleys, Challenger tanks, Leopards, and so forth unless the Ukrainians also have air superiority,” he said.
On Wednesday, diplomats from dozens of countries are meeting in London to attend a two-day conference on aiding Ukraine’s recovery.
Russia detains man who attempted to send money to Ukraine’s army
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested one person in the eastern Khabarovsk region after they attempted to send money to the Ukrainian military, the Russian TASS news agency reports.
TASS quoted the FSB as saying the detainee had attempted to send money to Ukraine for drones, thermal imaging cameras, munitions and medical supplies “by way of cryptocurrency instruments”.
Another Russian news agency, RIA, also published footage of the FSB detaining a man and searching his house.
Separately, TASS reported that the FSB had arrested a group of “saboteurs” in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Melitopol who were preparing an assassination attempt against officials.
Russia building ‘elaborate defences’ to maintain positions: UK
Russia is continuing its efforts to build defensive lines to maintain its positions in Ukraine, especially occupied Crimea, the United Kingdom’s defence ministry has said in its latest update.
“These elaborate defences highlight the Russian command’s assessment that Ukrainian forces are capable of directly assaulting Crimea,” it said on Twitter.
Three drones downed in Moscow region, says Russian defence ministry
Russian air defences have downed three drones in the Moscow region, the defence ministry says, in what it calls an attempted Ukrainian attack.
The ministry said Russian defences had used electronic jamming to cause the drones to lose control and crash, without causing any casualties or damage.
Moscow regional governor Andrei Vorobyov had previously said two drones were intercepted as they approached military warehouses.
UK to unveil $3bn backing for Ukraine reconstruction
The UK is set to unveil a new $3bn aid package for Ukraine to be rolled out over the next three years while it fights back against Russian forces.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also announced he would launch a separate framework to improve investor confidence, working with commercial insurance markets on risks to help meet Ukraine’s future needs.
More than 1,000 foreign dignitaries from 61 countries along with captains of industry and global investors are expected in London for the international Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023.
The two-day conference starting Wednesday is looking for more help from private sector investors to strengthen the war-torn nation’s battered finances.
Pentagon’s Ukraine accounting error revised up to $6.2bn
The Pentagon has found it overestimated the amount of funding for ammunition, missiles and other equipment it sent to Ukraine by $6.2bn due to an accounting error, more than double the amount previously disclosed.
Pentagon’s deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said additional funding was uncovered as Pentagon officials researched the situation more thoroughly and clarified protocols for valuing equipment.
She added the errors did not impact the size of presidential drawdown authority or support for Ukraine
Death toll rises to 41 in Russia-controlled area after dam breach
The death toll from flooding caused by a breach of a huge Ukrainian dam has risen to 41 in areas under Russian control, an official has said.
“Unfortunately the number of dead has risen to 41,” said Andrei Alekseyenko, a senior official with Russian occupation authorities.
The June 6 breach of the Russia-controlled Kakhovka dam inundated vast swathes of the Kherson region, forcing thousands to flee and sparking fears of an environmental disaster.
In areas under Ukrainian control, at least 16 people have died and 31 are missing, according to the latest figures from Kyiv.
Stoltenberg says new aid package to bring Ukraine military up to NATO standards
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has promised to pledge further help to modernise Ukraine’s military at the defence alliance’s summit on July 11 and 12 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Stoltenberg told German newspaper Tagesspiegel that the allies will adopt a multiyear aid package that will help the Ukrainian military make the transition from an army based on the old Soviet model to a modern force operating in accordance with NATO standards.
The NATO chief said that, after months of military training on NATO equipment, Ukraine was regaining territory from the Russian invaders, and underscored the importance of continued support for the country.
Ukraine says military ‘gaining ground’ near Melitopol, Berdyansk
Ukrainian forces are gaining some ground towards Melitopol and Berdyansk in the Zaporizhzhia region, Andriy Kovalev, spokesperson for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, has said.
“They had partial success, they are gaining ground,” Kovalev was quoted as saying in a post on Ukraine’s Military Media Center’s Telegram channel, adding that the gains were near the settlements of Mala Tokmachka and Robotyne, among others.
Ukraine continues to hold back the advance of Russian troops in the east of the country, with “especially heavy fighting” taking place near the city of Lyman in the Donetsk region, he added.
Drones shot down near military base in Moscow region: Governor
Drones have been shot down near a military base in the Moscow region without causing damage or victims, the regional governor said.
“Two drones crashed today at 5:30 and 5:50 in the morning [02:30 GMT and 02:50 GMT] on approach to storage units of a military base” in the Naro-Fominsk district, some 50km (31 miles) southwest of the city of Moscow, Andrei Vorobyov wrote on Telegram.
The Russian defence ministry later said three drones were downed.
Attacks, mostly by drones, on Russian territory bordering Ukraine have increased over the past few weeks, as Ukraine wages a counteroffensive to recapture land seized by Russian troops.
Ukraine almost never comments on military operations outside its own borders.