Kremenchuk missile attack a ‘defiant terrorist attack’: Zelenskyy

  • The toll from Russia’s missile hit on a crowded shopping centre in Kremenchuk has risen to 16 dead and 59 wounded, the head of Ukraine’s emergency services says.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the strike “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history,” adding that Russia is the largest terrorist organisation in the world.
  • Russian shelling in the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine has killed five people and wounded at least 30, including five children, Zelenskyy adds.
  • A Russian attack has killed at least eight civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk as they were out collecting water, Luhansk’s region governor claims.
  • The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday on Russia’s targeting of civilians, with the Kremenchuk attack being “the main focus”, the UN body states.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Ukraine says more than 40 missing in Kremenchuk attack

More than 40 people have been reported missing after a missile strike on a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s has said.

Family members of the missing lined up at a hotel across the street where rescue workers had set up a base, as firefighters and soldiers searched for survivors in the rubble.

A survivor receiving treatment at Kremenchuk’s public hospital, Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, said she was shopping with her husband when the blast threw her into the air.  “I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing,” she told Reuters.

“It was hell,” added her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage wrapped around his head.

A couple wounded in a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike hold hands in a hospital  in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 27, 2022
A couple wounded in a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike hold hands in a hospital in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 27, 2022 [Anna Voitenko/Reuters]

Basketball star Brittney Griner ordered to trial Friday in Russia

American basketball start Brittney Griner has been ordered to stand trial by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about four and a half months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.

Griner was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial, which is to begin Friday. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs – she was allegedly found in possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.

Her detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already-high tensions with sweeping sanctions by the United States and Russia’s denunciation of U.S. weapon supplies to Ukraine.

Amid the tensions, Griner’s supporters had taken a low profile in hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs — effectively the US government’s chief negotiator.

Read more here.


EC president condemns Kremenchuk attack

The president of the European Council has condemned the “horrendous and indiscriminate” attack on the shopping centre in Kremenchuk.

“Russian scare and intimidation tactics will never work,” Charles Michel wrote on Twitter adding that Ukraine would prevail with the support of G7 partners “and beyond.


Ukraine’s forces starting withdrawal from Lysychansk: Moscow-backed separatists

The self-proclaimed ambassador to Russia from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) says that units of Ukraine’s army have been seen leaving the town of Lysychansk, Russia’s state news agency TASS has reported.

“Local residents report that they are observing the beginning of the withdrawal of the armed Ukrainian formations from Lysychansk. Yesterday they tried to pass through Verkhne-Kamenka towards Siversk, but under the blows of the allied artillery and the Russian Aerospace Forces, they lost several columns,” LPR’s Rodion Miroshnik reportedly said.

The LPR is the territory of Ukraine’s Luhansk region that has been occupied by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Lysychansk is now Ukraine’s last stronghold in the Luhansk region after Russian forces took Severodonetsk over the weekend. If Russia takes Lysychansk, it will occupy the region.


Moscow police detain opposition politician

Moscow police have reportedly detained one of the few politicians openly opposing the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine who remains in Russia.

Ilya Yashin, a municipal deputy, was taken into custody while he walked with a journalist friend in a Moscow park, she said. The journalist, Irina Babloyan, told the TASS news agency he was taken to a detention facility in the Russian capital’s Luzhniki neighbourhood.

After charges of discrediting the Russian army were filed against him last month, Yashin said he wouldn’t run away or retract his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Latvia-based independent Russian news site Meduza reported.

Russian authorities have been cracking down on war critics since adopting a law criminalising spreading false information about its military shortly after its troops rolled into Ukraine in late February. The offence is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Human rights advocates have counted dozens of cases.


Biden to announce extension of US troop presence in Poland: NBC

US President Joe Biden plans to announce an extension of some of the increased US troop presence in Poland and changes to US deployments in several Baltic nations that he authorised ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NBC News has cited officials as saying.

The changes to the US troop footprint could affect countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, NBC reported.

To the extent there could be new troops deploying to the region on a more permanent basis, officials said the number would be minimal, but several hundred could remain in Poland on a more permanent basis, NBC reported.


Harris swears in new US ambassador to Ukraine

The new United States ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, has been officially sworn into office by Vice President Kamala Harris, following her Senate confirmation in May.

The US Senate unanimously approved the veteran diplomat on May 18, filling a critical post that has been vacant for three years, as Washington works to increase support for the government in Kyiv.

Former President Donald Trump in May 2019 abruptly recalled then US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

A Michigan native who speaks Russian, Brink was previously US ambassador to Slovakia. A diplomat for 25 years, she has worked in Uzbekistan and Georgia as well as in several senior positions across the State Department and White House National Security Council.

US Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swears-in Bridget Brink as the Ambassador to Ukraine at the White House in Washington, US June 27, 2022
US Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swears-in Bridget Brink as the Ambassador to Ukraine at the White House in Washington, US June 27, 2022 [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

More than 30 wounded in Kharkiv attack: Zelenskyy

More than 30 people have been wounded in the Kharkiv attack on Monday, which killed five people, Zelenskyy has said.

“Another brutal shelling of Kharkiv, northern Saltivka took place today. At present, we know about 5 people killed and more than 30 wounded, 5 of them children,” he said in his nighttime address.

“All are civilians, no military,” he added.


Any NATO encroachment on Crimea could lead to WW3: Russia’s Medvedev

Any encroachment on the Crimea peninsula by a NATO member state could amount to a declaration of war on Russia which could lead to “World War Three,” Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, has been quoted as saying.

“For us, Crimea is a part of Russia. And that means forever. Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war against our country,” Medvedev told Argumenty i Fakty, a news website owned by the city of Moscow.

“And if this is done by a NATO member-state, this means conflict with the entire North Atlantic alliance; a World War Three. A complete catastrophe.”

Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, also said that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Russia would strengthen its borders and be “ready for retaliatory steps,” including the prospect of installing Iskander hypersonic missiles “on their threshold”.


Kremenchuk toll rises to 16 dead, 59 wounded

The toll from Russia’s missile raid on a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk has risen to 16 dead and 59 wounded, the head of Ukraine’s emergency services has said.
“As of now, we know of 16 dead and 59 wounded, 25 of them hospitalised. The information is being updated,” Serhiy Kruk said on Telegram.


Russia ‘the largest terrorist organisation in the world’: Zelenskyy

Russia’s attack on a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk is “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history,” Zelenskyy has said.
“Only totally insane terrorists, who should have no place on earth, can strike missiles at such an object,” he said, adding that the attack was not “off-target” but “calculated”.

Zelenskyy said he has urged the United States to recognise Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” a measure adopted by the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on Friday.

“The Russian state has become the largest terrorist organisation in the world. And this is a fact. And this must be a legal fact. And everyone in the world must know that buying or transporting Russian oil, maintaining contacts with Russian banks, paying taxes and customs duties to the Russian state means giving money to terrorists,” Zelenskyy said.


Ukraine requests UN Security Council meeting Tuesday: Diplomats

Ukraine has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over recent Russian raids on civilian targets, the presidency of the UN body has said.

The missile attack on a shopping centre in Kremenchuk “is the main focus” of the meeting, set for Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, said a spokesperson for the Albanian mission, which currently holds the rotating Security Council presidency.

The “shelling all over Kyiv” on Sunday, which hit a residential complex, will also be discussed at the meeting, the spokesperson said.

 

Read all updates for June 27 here.

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