Ukraine-Russia war latest: Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer (2024)

Key points
  • Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer
  • Zelenskyy appears to admit concern over what US election means for war
  • NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine
  • Doctor recalls 'hell' of attack on children's hospital
  • Deborah Haynes analysis:Russia sending a message to NATO
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?
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'Too early' to say when Ukraine will join NATO - but path 'irreversible'

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says it is too early to say when Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.

Speaking at the summit in Washington, he said Russia does not pose any military threat against NATO allies, being preoccupied with Ukraine.

The summit will lead to a substantial package for Ukraine, the secretary general said.

Sources have told Reuters that the latest draft of the summit's declaration says NATO will continue to support Ukraine on its "irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership".


Analysis: Deep concern indicated by Russian coverage of NATO summit

By Ivor Bennett,Moscow correspondent

The Russian media has generally sought to shrug off the NATO summit, playing down signs of unity within the alliance and talking up signs of division.

Much of the focus is on President Biden and the questions he faces over his suitability for office.

His pledge to defend Ukraine and defeat Russia was covered, but in the context that this is a man who is "out of touch with reality", according to the state-run tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The news outlet describes the US leader as "close to senility", claiming he is trying to salvage his "failed presidential campaign".

As for Ukraine's potential path to NATO membership, coverage has emphasised the hurdles Kyiv must overcome.

Comments by Poland's President Andrzej Duda, in particular, that accession can't happen until the conflict ends, were seized upon by the TV talk show 60 Minutes. It described them as a "cold shower" for Zelenskyy.

But the fact there is all this coverage here, I think, betrays a deep concern.

The Kremlin knows President Zelenskyy will come away from this summit with more military aid. The question is how much?

According to an anonymous NATO official quoted by the Reuters news agency yesterday, Russia is suffering "very high" losses, and lacks the munitions and troops for a major offensive.

If true, more weapons to Ukraine could create problems.

On the surface, though, there is little sign of alarm. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov merely said that Moscow will "closely monitor" what comes out of the summit.


Russia scrambles fighter jet to escort Norwegian plane

Russia sent a fighter jet to escort a Norwegian patrol plane awayfrom Russian airspace over the Barents Sea, the Russian defenceministry says.

There was no violation of the air border by the Norwegianpatrol plane, the ministry said.

Russia has reported similar incidents before when its planeshave confronted military aircraft from NATO countries.

Interfax reported this morning that Russian jet fighters also conducted drills over the sea and the Kola Peninsula.

It is unclear exactly when each of these incidents occurred.


NATO to pledge £33bn minimum spend on Ukraine

NATO allies will announce at its summit today a minimum baseline of €40bn (£33.8bn) in funding for Ukraine within the next year, the White House says.

A senior civilian NATO representative will be stationed in Kyiv as part of its bridge to membership, it added.

Meanwhile, Norway has said it will donate six F-16fighter jets to Ukraine, daily newspaper Verdens Gang reported, citing the Norwegian prime minister at the summit.

Leaders from NATO's 32 member states are meeting in Washington until tomorrow to mark the 75th anniversary of the alliance, with support for Ukraine at the top of the agenda.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to attend and discuss further support.


Analysis: NATO's focus also on 'Ukraine of East Asia' as China mimics Russian rhetoric

By Nicole Johnston, Asia correspondent in Beijing

NATO will appear focused on the Russia-Ukraine war this week, but there is another potential theatre of conflict in its sight - the Indo-Pacific.

NATO leaders understand that stability in the Indo-Pacific is essential to security in Europe and beyond: A war here would ripple across the world.

For that reason, representatives from Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand (called the IP4) are also at the NATO summit.

Secretary-general of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg wrote inForeign Affairsthis week that NATO had entered an era of "enduring competition with China".

The Indo-Pacific is being carved up by alliances and partnerships.

There is the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal between Australia, the UK and the US to counter China's military expansion.

The "Quad" is a security forum between India, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

This year the US held military training exercises with Japan and South Korea.

China's Communist Party feels hemmed in by these blocs. These alliances are taking shape in a region China regards as its own backyard. US influence here is not welcome.

The naval ships of Western countries are sailing through the East China Sea and South China Sea, off the coast of Taiwan and across the Pacific. China claims most of the South China Sea as its own.

The Chinese military is operating on the sea and in the skies close to forces from the US and Australia. There have been close calls. The risk of miscalculation is high.

China is alarmed by the strengthening ties between the IP4 and NATO.

On Monday, Lin Jian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, accused NATO of "breaching its boundary, expanding its mandate, reaching beyond its defence zone and stoking confrontation".

China's argument has overtones of the rhetoric used by Russia in its justification for launching a war on Ukraine.

Russia blamed NATO's eastward expansion. China compares US alliances in this region as being akin to a "NATO" in Asia.

China is also entangled in the Russia-Ukraine war. Officially it is neutral and calls for peace. But its ongoing trade with Russia allows President Vladimir Putin to continue the war.

The Chinese military has started 11 days of joint drills with Belarus close to the Polish and Ukrainian border, only a fortnight after the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, was in Beijing.

The big question here is what happens in Taiwan. Japan has said the "Ukraine of today may be East Asia of tomorrow".

China is adamant Taiwan will unite with the mainland eventually.

What's unclear is how the myriad of US-led alliances in the Indo-Pacific would respond.


Lammy demands British national's release from Russian prison after hospital transfer

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has demanded the immediate release of a British national being held in "deplorable" conditions in Russia.

He branded the sentencing of opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison "absurd".

Mr Kara-Murza, 42, was convicted of treason last year over public remarks critical of the Kremlin.

News broke last week that he was being transferred to a prison hospital and his lawyers had been unable to visit him there since Thursday.

"I am extremely concerned that Vladimir's lawyers are being denied access to him in prison hospital, and that the Russian authorities continue to refuse him consular assistance from the British Embassy," said Mr Lammy.

"Vladimir is being held in deplorable conditions in prison for having the courage to tell the truth about the war in Ukraine.

"His absurd 25-year sentence shows the Kremlin's deep fear that more Russians will know the reality of Putin's illegal war – and is further evidence of the targeted repression of the opposition."

Mr Kara-Murza has rejected the charges against him and likened the proceedings to the show trials under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.


One dead and seven wounded after attack on Russian region

A man has been killed and seven people wounded in a Ukrainian attack on the Russian region of Belgorod, according to its governor.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said three apartment buildings were damaged inShebekino as well as five commercial facilities and 20 cars.

Three civilians were killed and several others wounded on Monday, he said, when Ukrainian shells hit a village in the region called Nikolskoye.

Earlier today, the Kremlin said Russia's military was still working to create a"buffer zone" in Ukraine's Kharkiv region but this would taketime.

Vladimir Putin said in May that Russia wascreating such a zone in order to protect its border regions fromUkrainian attacks - while continuing to launch rockets and missiles into Ukraine.


Ukrainian cyclist killed while serving in armed forces

A Ukrainian cyclist who competed in international competitions has been killed while serving in Ukraine's armed forces, authorities have said.

Andriy Kutsenko was killed in battle with Russian forces on 3 July, the local administration of Ukraine's western Lviv region confirmed.

Mr Kutsenko spent a decade in the national track cycling team and later moved to Italy.

When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, he returned as a volunteer fighter, the administration said. He reportedly died during a combat mission.


Surgeons recall being hit with shrapnel and rushing to shift debris after hospital strike

Surgeons have recalled scenes of chaos after a missile hit Okhmatdyt children's hospital during one of Russia's heaviest attacks on Kyiv for months.

Oleh Holubchenko, a paediatric surgeon, was preparing to operate on a five-month-old patient on Monday morning when air raid sirens started ringing out.

A missile then struck the hospital in daylight, levelling one of its wings, killing at least two adults and injuring 50 others.

Mr Holubchenko said it took him 15 minutes to realise he was covered in shrapnel wounds as he was focused on evacuating patients.

"I immediately got up and asked if everyone was okay," he said.

"After that, with the anaesthesiologist, we manually ventilated the lungs because the machine was completely punctured and the tubing was disconnected."

Meanwhile, maxillofacial surgeon Ihor Kolodka said he was "hit in the face" with glass shrapnel, which injured "most" people around him.

He said he quickly joined in the emergency operation to look for people under the rubble of the hospital's collapsed toxicology building.

"No one thought about anything else; everyone just wanted to do something useful, to save people," Mr Kolodka said.


Zelenskyy fears Putin-Trump summit where Ukraine 'told what will happen', analyst says

Donald Trump being re-elected to the White House would result in a Putin-Trump summit where Ukraine is "told what is going to happen", a military and security analyst has said.

Professor Michael Clarke said it's clear that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is "worried" about what the outcome of the ballot in November will mean for his country.

In Washington yesterday, the Ukrainian president said "everyone is waiting for November", including Vladimir Putin.

"It is time to step out of the shadows, to make strongdecisions... to act and not to wait for November or any othermonth," Mr Zelenskyy said.

Prof Clarke said the US and the Biden administration "will want to bake in to the American approach" as much as possible before US voters head to the polls.

He said NATO would "take a deep breath" if Mr Biden won again in November - but cautioned that a Trump win could lead to a change in "the whole demeanour of the war in Ukraine".

"If Trump wins in November it won't be a cliff edge, because he won't become president until January 2025 and it will take some time for his policies to work their way through. But undoubtedly, NATO will start to anticipate some changes," he said.

Prof Clarke added: "Clearly Zelenskyy is worried about that - and why wouldn't he be worried?

"If Trump becomes becomes president, then almost certainly there'll be a Putin-Trump summit which will try to impose some sort of negotiated settlement on Ukraine."

Any meeting between the pair could result in Ukraine being "told what is going to happen", Prof Clarke said, adding: "That's the danger that Zelenskyy sees."

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Kremlin responds to 'irresponsible' suggestion made by Starmer (2024)


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