- The UK government will provide an additional £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in military assistance to Ukraine, as NATO considers Russia the biggest “direct threat” to Western security.
- Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv to help revive peace talks with Russia and seek to free up grain exports to global markets.
- Kyiv said 144 Ukrainian soldiers, including many guarding the Azovstal steel mills in the southern port city of Mariupol, had been freed in a prisoner swap with Moscow.
- NATO has agreed to put more than 300,000 troops on combat readiness from 2023, up from the previous 40,000, a new military formation that resembles the alliance’s Cold War posture.
Here are the latest updates:
Five people killed in Mykolaiv strike on Wednesday: Zelenskyy
Russia continued to attack cities and settlements across Ukraine on Wednesday, stepping up attacks beyond the Donbas region.
Zelenskyy said Russian forces attacked the town of Ochakiv in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the port city of Mykolaiv, and throughout the Kharkiv region as well as the Sumy regions.
He said 10 missiles fell on Mykolaiv on Wednesday, “all of them aimed at civilian targets”.
“One of these missiles, the supersonic anti-ship missile ‘Onyx’, destroyed an ordinary five-story building. Debris dismantling continued throughout the day. As of now, 5 people are known to have been killed,” Zelenskyy said.
UK provides extra £1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine
The UK government says the UK will provide an additional £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in military assistance to Ukraine, as NATO considers Russia the biggest “direct threat” to Western security. West.
This funding will go towards enhancing Ukraine’s defense capabilities, including air defense systems, drones, new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces for Ukrainian troops.
“UK weapons, equipment and training are changing Ukraine’s defenses against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
The latest funding comes after Britain said in May it would provide an additional 1.3 billion pounds ($1.58 billion) in military assistance and aid to Ukraine, bringing its total assistance to Ukraine. UK military and economic aid to £3.8 billion ($4.61 billion) this year.
NATO expands its military to a high level of readiness in the face of a long-term threat from Russia
NATO has agreed to place more than 300,000 troops on combat readiness from 2023, up from the previous 40,000, a new military formation designed to better counter Russia, the country with which the alliance This designation is the biggest threat.
The move replaces the NATO Response Force, the first to respond in years to any Russian attack or other crises. The new model is similar to how NATO forces were organized during the Cold War. At that time, specific Allies were tasked with protecting specific areas of the border between West and East Germany.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters: “Today, NATO leaders decided on a fundamental shift in our defense and deterrence capabilities in response to a security reality. new,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, adding that NATO would increase “fighting groups in the east of the alliance to brigade level. “
A brigade has between 3,000 and 5,000 men, while a battalion – which has formed a fighting group in the past – typically has between 300 and 1,000 men.
Biden thanks Erdogan for NATO deal on Finland, Sweden
US President Joe Biden thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for reach an agreement with Finland and Sweden paved the way for the two Nordic countries to soon become NATO candidates.
Biden, in brief remarks ahead of the meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, also thanked Erdogan for Ankara’s efforts in helping to get grain out of Ukraine. Erdogan said he hoped diplomacy would help resolve issues surrounding Ukraine’s grain exports.
Canada leads efforts to create ‘combat-capable’ brigade in Latvia: Minister
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canada has signed an agreement to work with Latvia and NATO partners to lead efforts to create a “combat capable” brigade.
“This is the commitment the Canadian government is making with Latvia to work with our allies to move towards and strengthen into a brigade-level force in Latvia,” Anand told reporters. .
“We will commit to adding more troops with our allies in the future, but we need to discuss whether each of the 10 member states of the Enhanced Presence battle group,” Anand said. forward will commit how many additional troops.
Indonesian President offers to ‘transmit a message’ to Putin from Ukraine
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has offered to “transmit a message” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to try to promote hopes of peace.
“Although that is very difficult to achieve, I express the importance of a peaceful resolution. I propose to deliver a message from President Zelenskyy to President Putin that I will meet soon,” said Widodo – better known as Jokowi.
He also confirmed Indonesia’s contribution in medical and infrastructure aid to Kyiv.
Jokowi arrived in Kyiv from Poland by train on Wednesday morning. He also visited the town of Irpin, where Ukraine suspects Russian soldiers of atrocities. Moscow denies the allegations.
IAEA loses transmission from Russian-held nuclear power plant in Ukraine
The United Nations atomic watchdog says it has again lost connection to a monitoring system that tracks nuclear material at Russia’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Europe’s largest that the watchdog wanted to check.
“The fact that our tele-protection data transmissions were again disrupted – for the second time in the past month – only adds to the urgency of the situation,” said the International Atomic Energy Agency. dispatch of this mission (to Zaporizhzhia),” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on Wednesday. The connection was lost on Saturday “due to a disruption in the facility’s communications system,” it added.
Read all updates from June 29 here.