Ukraine news – live: EU agrees on partial Russian oil ban as Belarus plans war exercises

President Zelensky meets with US officials

Belarus is preparing to hold military mobilization exercises in June and July, reports say.

According to the state news agency BelTA, the exercises will be held in the Gomel region, which borders Ukraine to the south and Russia to the east.

From June 22 to July 1, planned exercises with military commissariats – military administrative bodies – and armed forces.

“These types of events are traditionally held to increase the combat and mobilization readiness of military commissariats and to improve the military knowledge and practical skills of those responsible for military service,” Andrey Krivonosov, military commissioner of the Gomel region, said. .

Meanwhile, EU leaders have agreed to ban Russian oil exports to the 27-nation bloc, the president has announced

“This immediately covers more than two-thirds of Russia’s oil imports, cutting out a huge source of funding for its war machine,” EU Council president Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.

It was also agreed that the largest Russian bank Sberbank would be cut from the Swift system, while three more Russian state channels would be outlawed.

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Germany extends the duration of some visas

Germany has announced that it will remove some of the red tape in visa processing.

This will make it easier for critics of the Russian government to move to the country.

People who may qualify for extended stays include human rights activists, employees of NGOs and civil society organizations, and journalists who have taken a stand against the war, Reuters reports.

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior announced this on Monday.

It guarantees a longer stay than the current 90 days allowed under the Schengen tourist visa.

Emily AtkinsonMay 31, 2022 03:00

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Watch: Russian Foreign Minister Denies Claim Putin Has Any Form of Illness

Russian foreign minister denies allegation that Putin has any form of illness

Emily AtkinsonMay 31, 2022 02:00

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Putin loses two more colonels in war in Ukraine, including ‘best’ paratrooper commander

Two more Russian colonels have been killed in Ukraine – including the country’s “best paratrooper commander” who deals another blow to Vladimir Putin’s war.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dosyagayev, 34, was a commander of an airborne battalion of the 104th paratrooper regiment.

Troops from his 104th air raid regiment were reportedly in Bucha, which was the scene of alleged rapes and torture by Vladimir Putin’s forces earlier in the war.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more:

Emily AtkinsonMay 31, 2022 01:00

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EU leaders agree to ban Russian oil exports, president says

EU leaders have agreed to ban Russian oil exports to 27-nation bloc, president has announced

“This immediately covers more than two-thirds of Russia’s oil imports, cutting out a huge source of funding for its war machine,” EU Council president Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.

The leaders also agreed to shut down Russia’s largest bank Sberbank from the SWIFT system and to ban three more Russian state-owned channels.

Emily AtkinsonMay 31, 2022 00:00

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Belarus conducts military mobilization exercises near border with Ukraine

Belarus is preparing to hold military mobilization exercises in June and July, reports say.

According to the tate news agency BelTA, the exercises will be held in the Gomel region, which borders Ukraine to the south and Russia to the east.

Planned exercises with military commissariats – military administrative agencies – and armed forces will be conducted from June 22 to July 1, BelTA reported, citing Andrey Krivonosov, military commissar of the Gomel region.

“These types of events are traditionally held to increase the combat and mobilization readiness of military commissioners and improve the military knowledge and practical skills of those responsible for military service,” he reportedly said.

From June 28 to July 16, military training will take place with those conscripted into territorial defense formations, Krivonosov said.

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 23:09

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Watch: Zelensky visits Kharkov’s frontline on rare trip outside Kiev

Zelensky visits Kharkov’s frontline on a rare trip outside Kiev

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 22:51

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Zelensky says Russia hopes for famine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian seaports is preventing Kiev from exporting 22 million tons of grain.

In his late night speech Tuesday, Zelensky said the result is the threat of famine in countries dependent on the grain and could spark another migration crisis.

He states that “this is something that the Russian leadership is clearly striving for”.

Zelensky accuses Moscow of “deliberately creating this problem so that all of Europe struggles and so Ukraine does not make billions of dollars from its exports.”

He calls Russia’s claims that sanctions prevent the country from exporting its food “cynical” and a lie.

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 22:29

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French journalist hit by shrapnel dies in Ukraine

A 32-year-old French journalist has died after being hit by shrapnel while documenting an evacuation operation in eastern Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron said.

Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, who worked for the news channel BFMTV, was killed on Monday on a road near the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk.

The French president said his thoughts were with the victim’s family and friends.

“Aboard a humanitarian bus, next to civilians fleeing Russian bombs, he was fatally shot,” Macron said.

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 22:10

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Protesters gathered outside EU buildings today for a summit in Brussels, bearing placards reading “No to Russian oil and gas”.

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(EPA)

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 21:50

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‘Not a sensible person’ thinks Putin is sick, says Russian foreign minister

In recent weeks, it has been reported that Mr Putin has had cancer, lost his sight and was given three years to live.

“I don’t think sensible people can see in this person any signs of some disease or ailment,” Mr Lavrov told TF1 channel. “You can watch him on screens, read and listen to his speeches.

Emily AtkinsonMay 30, 2022 21:30

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