Uncertainty swirled meanwhile over the planned restart on Thursday of a huge Russian gas pipeline to Europe, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that its capacity could be further reduced due to slow progress in equipment maintenance.
Ukraine’s military and politicians reported heavy and sometimes fatal Russian shelling amid what they said were largely unsuccessful attempts by Russian ground forces to advance.
More than two weeks have passed since Russia’s last major territorial gain, the city of Lysychansk.
Search and rescue workers and local residents take a dead body from under the debris of a building after the Russian air raid in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, on Thursday, 16 June 2022. Source: AAP / AP
The Kremlin has said there is no time limit to what it calls a “special military operation” to ensure its own security in the face of NATO’s expansion and that it will do whatever it takes to achieve its aims.
Five civilians were killed and 16 wounded by Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, while two civilians were killed by shelling in the city of Nikopol in the south, the respective Ukrainian regional governors said on Telegram.
Laying the groundwork
Reuters could not immediately verify the Ukrainian or Russian accounts.
The embassy cast what Ukraine and the West regard as a naked land grab as “returning peace to liberated territories” in order to protect the rights of people regardless of their ethnicity or language — a reference to Russian speakers or ethnic Russians in Ukraine who Russia says it is saving from persecution at the hands of what it has cast as dangerous Ukrainian nationalists.
Ukrainian servicemen shoot with 82mm mortar during training in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on Tuesday, 19 July 2022. Source: AAP / AP
Pipeline to Germany
Sources have told Reuters that Nord Stream, the single largest link for Russian gas supplies to Europe, is expected to resume as scheduled but at reduced capacity.
Gazprom cut exports through the route to 40 per cent capacity last month, citing delays in the return of a turbine Siemens Energy was servicing in Canada, which had initially banned the equipment’s return, citing sanctions.
Russia to punish Wikimedia over Ukraine conflict ‘fakes’
In a statement, Roskomnadzor said that Wikipedia still hosted “prohibited materials, including fakes about the course of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine”, and that search engines would be used to inform users that Wikimedia violated Russian law.
The Wikimedia Foundation on 13 June appealed a Moscow court ruling, fining it U$91,000 ($132,000) for refusing to remove what it termed disinformation from Russian-language Wikipedia articles on the Ukraine conflict, including “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, “War Crimes during the Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, and “Massacre in Bucha”.
Ukraine and the West say that Russia’s framing is a figleaf aimed at justifying an imperial-style war of aggression.
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