- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to recover lost territories, including the city of Lyschansk, after Russia claimed full control of the eastern Luhansk region.
- Officials said at least six people were killed and 20 wounded in the city of Slovensk after the eastern city came under Russian shelling from several rocket launchers.
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Kyiv and said Canberra would send to Ukraine 14 more armored personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster vehicles.
- Delegates from Ukraine, donor countries and civil society groups gather in Lugano, Switzerland for the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022) where discussions will focus on how to rebuild the war-torn country.
Here are the latest updates:
The EU’s lending arm aims to raise €100 billion to help rebuild Ukraine
The European Investment Bank is proposing a financing structure previously used during the COVID-19 pandemic to help rebuild Ukraine with investments of up to 100 billion euros ($104.3 billion), Reuters news agency said.
Citing an official document, Reuters said the EU-Ukraine Gateway Trust Fund (EU GTF) will seek initial contributions of €20 billion from EU countries and the EU budget in the form of grants, loans and guarantees.
The document said the guarantees in particular would have a multiplier effect, leading to infrastructure projects totaling around 100 billion euros, about half of Ukraine’s immediate needs.
Zelenskyy vows to restore Lysychansk
Ukraine’s president acknowledged that his forces had withdrawn from the bombed city of Lysekhansk, but vowed belatedly to regain control of the lost territory with the help of Western long-range weapons.
“If the commanders of our army withdraw people from certain points at the front, where the enemy has the greatest advantage in firepower, and this also applies to Lysechansk, then this means only one thing,” Zelensky said in his video night speech.
“We will return thanks to our tactics, thanks to the increased supply of modern weapons.”
Read more here
Sloviansk in Donetsk prepares for battle
As the front line approaches the eastern city of Sloviansk, residents and soldiers are preparing for an imminent Russian invasion, the Associated Press reports.
“Everyone knows there will be a huge battle in Sloviansk,” a soldier, who has not been named for security reasons, told the Associated Press.
Another soldier, a 23-year-old accountant, who joined the army when the invasion began, said that Ukrainian forces simply do not have the weapons to fight the superior arsenal of the approaching Russian army. “We know what’s coming,” he said with a sad smile.
Pro-Russian separatists captured and held the city for three months in 2014. The brief occupation terrorized Sloviansk, with dozens of officials and journalists held hostage, and several killings taking place. Attacks on the city escalate. The mayor told the AP that the bombing now happens at least four or five times a day, and the use of cluster munitions has increased in the past week.
Report: UK backs confiscation of frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK wants to follow Canada’s lead and seize the assets of Russians in the country and redistribute them to the victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to The Guardian.
“I support that concept,” Truss told lawmakers last week. “We are looking at it closely. Canadians have just passed legislation. This is an issue that we are working on jointly with the Home Office and the Treasury, but I definitely agree with the concept. We just need to get the details right.”
Zelensky praises Israel’s decision to cancel refugee quota
Ukraine’s president has praised Israel’s Supreme Court after it rejected a government cap on the number of Ukrainian refugees allowed into the country.
Under current regulations, Ukrainians do not need a visa to visit Israel for up to three months. The interior minister said in March that Israel would grant visas to an additional 5,000 refugees who do not automatically qualify for immigration under the Law of Return, which allows anyone with a Jewish parent or grandfather to obtain Israeli citizenship.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Sunday in favor of a petition against the 5,000 stake, The Times of Israel reported.
Zelensky said he “commends” the court’s decision, “which obligates the government of Israel to remove any additional entry restrictions for citizens of Ukraine.”
“The rule of law and respect for human rights is exactly what characterizes a true, developed democracy!” wrote on Twitter.
I commend the decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Israel, which obligates the government of 🇮🇱 to repeal any additional restrictions on the entry of my citizens. The rule of law and respect for human rights are exactly what distinguishes a true, developed democracy!
– Володимир Зеленський (ZelenskyyUa) 3 July 2022
Ukraine will be helped but not as if it were a member of NATO: Schulz
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said his government was discussing security guarantees for Ukraine in preparation for the post-war period, but said these would not be the same for a member of the transatlantic alliance.
We are discussing with close allies the question of the security guarantees that we can provide. This is an ongoing process. Schultz told ARD.
UK hosts Ukraine 2023 Recovery Conference
The United Kingdom said it will host a conference next year focused on helping Ukraine recover from the damage caused by Russia’s invasion, as countries gather in Switzerland for this year’s event.
“We led support for Ukraine during the war and will continue to lead in support of the Ukrainian government’s plan for reconstruction and development,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a statement.
Belarus leader stands with Russia in Ukraine campaign
The President of Belarus – Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s closest ally – said his ex-Soviet country was fully behind Russia in its military campaign in Ukraine.
Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, said at a ceremony marking the anniversary of Minsk’s liberation in World War II by Soviet forces on Sunday that he threw his weight behind Putin’s campaign against Ukraine “from day one” in late February.
Today, we are criticized for being the only country in the world that supports Russia in its war against Nazism. A video broadcast by the state-run Belta news agency showed Lukashenko telling the crowd on Sunday. “And those who criticize us, do they not know that we have such a close union with the Russian Federation? … That we have a practically united army. But you knew all this. We will remain with our brother Russia. “
Zelensky said that the Belarusian leader’s statement serves as a “signal”, since his actions should be carefully monitored. Some Ukrainian officials suggest that Belarus could soon become directly involved in the conflict.
Turkish customs seize Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain
Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey said Turkish customs authorities had detained a Russian cargo ship carrying grain that Ukraine says was stolen.
“We have full cooperation. Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar told Ukrainian national television on Sunday that the ship is currently at the entrance to the port and has been detained by Turkish customs authorities.
Bodnar said the ship’s fate would be determined by a meeting of investigators on Monday.
Ukraine accused Russia of stealing grain from lands that Russian forces had controlled since beginning their invasion in late February. The Kremlin denied that Russia had stolen any Ukrainian grain.
Using brooms, nail guns and shovels, Kharkiv residents clean up after the attack: Report
On Sunday, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Sinihopov, said residents armed with brooms, nail clippers and shovels gathered to clean up after several Russian missiles landed at 4 a.m. (0100 GMT).
One of the missiles hit a yard between a school and some private homes. Residents were seen dragging dirt into a large crater created by the attack, while others were removing broken window glass from floors inside the school and surrounding homes. On a Sunday morning, locals were busy repairing roofs and removing soot from the facade of the district school.
“It (a missile explosion) happened very early in the morning and within 15 minutes everyone was here.” Vita Kosp, a school principal, told Reuters news agency.
The raids, which began on Tuesday, June 21, were the worst in weeks in a region where normal life has returned since Ukraine pushed Moscow’s forces back in May.
Russia bombed Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Kharkiv: Zelenskyy
On Sunday, the Russian army bombed the eastern cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, as well as the city of Kharkiv, with multiple missile launch systems in addition to the Soviet Samrash, Zelensky said, adding that Russia had enough weapons to destroy every city in Ukraine. .
In Slovensk alone, six people are included in the list of dead, and about 20 wounded. A girl named Yeva died. “She would have turned 10 in August of this year,” Zelensky said in his nightly address.
Russia has enough Smerch, Uragan, and Grad systems to destroy city after city in Ukraine. They have now amassed their greatest firepower in the Donbass.
Fighting continues in the outskirts of Lysekhansk: Zelensky
Kyiv forces are still battling Russian soldiers on the outskirts of Lysechansk “in a very difficult and dangerous situation,” Zelensky said after Ukraine withdrew its forces from Lyschansk and the Russian Defense Ministry claimed its army had captured the Luhansk region.
“We can’t give you the final verdict,” Zelensky told a news conference in Kyiv alongside the visiting Australian Prime Minister, “The fight is still being fought for Lysichansk.” He noted that the Earth could move quickly from side to side.
He acknowledged that Russian forces retain an advantage in the region, calling it the Ukrainian military’s “weak point”.
The capture of Lysichansk would give the Russians more territory from which to intensify attacks on the neighboring Donetsk region. In recent weeks, Russian forces were thought to hold about half of Donetsk, but it is not clear where things stand now.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s ongoing coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Sunday, July 3rd here.
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