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Putin says West can ′try′ beating Russia on the battlefield — as it happened | News | DW


  • Ukraine says raised its flag on Snake Island
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praises Western artillery
  • Russian foreign minister faces biggest critics of Ukraine war at a G20 meeting
  • 3 injured after Russian forces fire on Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukrainian officials say
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says West can ‘try’ defeat his forces on the battlefield

The article was last updated at 22:43 UTC/GMT

This live updates article has been closed. Please click here for the latest on events on the war in Ukraine. 

Ukraine against Canada giving Gazprom gas turbine

Kyiv opposes Canada handing over a turbine to Russia’s state-run energy giant Gazprom, Reuters cited a Ukrainian Energy Ministry source as saying.

The ministry source told the news agency that Canada’s sanctions on Moscow forbid the transfer of gas-related equipment.

Gazprom cut the capacity along the Nord Stream 1 to 40% of usual levels last month, saying that there was a delay in the return of equipment being serviced by German company Siemens Energy in Canada.

Germany’s Scholz reiterates support for Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Berlin’s support for Ukraine while appearing on a talks show on German broadcaster ZDF.

“I believe that you can only ever act with the support of citizens. But I think that it will be possible for a long time, and necessary for a long time, to maintain solidarity with Ukraine through Germany’s efforts,” Scholz said.

Germany’s chancellor said the country had a duty to support Ukraine as Kyiv is fighting for democracy and the rule of law.

“We cannot accept that one country invades its neighbor and says, ‘I’m taking a piece of the territory, this is mine now’,” Scholz said.

Scholz defended the sanctions imposed on Russia. Politicians from the opposition Left party and far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) recently called for sanctions to be lifted and for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to become operational.

If West wants to defeat Russia, ‘let them try’ — Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told senior politicians that if the West wanted to challenge Russia in combat, they were welcome to try.

“Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can you say here? Let them try,” Putin said during a televised address.

The Russian president also accused the West of attempting to impose  “its new world order” with Putin saying “these attempts are doomed to failure,” according to Russian media agency Interfax.

Putin went on to say that Russia’s “special operation” — Moscow’s terms for its invasion of Ukraine — was the beginning of a shift towards a “multi-polar world.”

Putin also mentioned peace negotiations, but said they would be harder to come by the longer conflict continued.

“Everyone should know that, by and large, we haven’t started anything yet in earnest,” he added. “At the same time, we don’t reject peace talks. But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”

Zelenskyy responds ‘with sadness’ after UK’s Johnson steps down

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has telephoned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to express his sadness at the news of his resignation.

“We all heard this news with sadness. Not only me, but also the entire Ukrainian society, which is very sympathetic to you,” Zelenskyy said in a statement issued by Ukraine’s presidency.

“My entire Office and all Ukrainians are grateful to you for your help. We have no doubt that Great Britain’s support will be preserved, but your personal leadership and charisma made it special,” Zelenskyy said.

Johnson has made two trips to Kyiv since the Russian invasion, and was the first leader of a G7 country to visit Kyiv on April 9, two weeks after Russian troops were driven back from the suburbs of the capital. 

UK’s Boris Johnson says Zelenskyy ‘a hero’ beloved by everyone

The UK’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he will continue to work with partners to end the grain blockade in the coming weeks, a spokesperson for Johnson said.

“President Zelenskyy thanked the Prime Minister for his decisive action on Ukraine, and said the Ukrainian people were grateful for the UK’s efforts,” the spokesperson said following a call between the pair.

“The Prime Minister finished the call by praising President Zelenskyy, saying: ‘You’re a hero, everybody loves you’,” spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has thanked Boris Johnson for his support of the country after Russia’s invasion.

In a tweet, Podolyak thanked Johnson for being “the first to arrive in Kyiv, despite missile attacks.”

He thanked Johnson for “realizing the threat of the RF [Russian Federation] monster and always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine.”

G20: Baerbock vows to protect smaller and medium-sized countries

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock promised the international community would help stop the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine from destabilising other countries.

Speaking from Bali, the Indonesian island where foreign ministers of the G20 group are meeting, she said that if countries were allowed to invade their neighbours, no small country would feel safe.

“It’s not just a question for us, as Europeans, about how to deal with the brutal war in Ukraine, but it is also about
defending international rights, the protection of smaller, medium-sized countries,” she told reporters.

“Small nations are watching very closely to see whether the international community will accept a stronger, more powerful country taking over its neighbour,” she said. “If we allow that then no small country will be able to sleep peacefully.”

Kazakhstan is looking for oil export routes bypassing Russia

Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered officials to find oil export routes that don’t go through Russian territory in a move that risks deepening tensions that have emerged between the two countries over Ukraine.

At a government meeting, Tokayev said that a new route crossing the Caspian Sea was “a priority direction” and asked officials to “take measures to increase capacity” of sections of a pipeline taking crude to China, his office said.  

Kazakhstan has already seen two notable interruptions to its crude exports via a pipeline that unloads at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in the months since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February.

The route accounts for around three quarters of Kazakhstan’s total oil exports and the stoppages have triggered speculation that the Kremlin might be punishing its Central Asian ally for its neutral stance on Ukraine.

Russia greets resignations of Johnson, ‘best friend’ of Ukraine

Russian officials greeted the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is one of the most ardent supporters of the Ukrainian government in its fight against the ongoing Russian invasion. 

The deputy chief of the Russian security council, Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Telegram that “the ‘best friends’ of Ukraine are leaving.”

He added that Johnson’s resignation was the “rightful result of British impudence and politics from the gutter. Especially on an international level.”

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that “as far as Mr Johnson goes, he does not like us. And we do not like him either.”

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said that “the clown is going.” 

He called Johnson “one of the main ideologues of the war against Russia until the last Ukrainian,” and urged European leaders to think about “where such a policy leads.”

Several killed in Ukraine’s war-torn Donetsk region

At least eight civilians have been killed and several others injured in Russian strikes in the war-torn Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian officials said.

The region is next in Russian troops’ line of fire as they step up their offensive after capturing Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in the neighbouring region of Luhansk. 

“The Russians killed seven civilians: three in the city of Toretsk, two in Avdiivka, one in Kodema and one in Siversk,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram, providing the region’s toll for the past 24 hours. 

In a separate statement, the Kramatorsk mayor said that Russian forces fired missiles at the centre of his city on Thursday, and there were casualties, but did not provide details.

According to AFP, at least one person was killed and several wounded in a strike on Kramatorsk, an administrative centre of Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

EU says it won’t let Russia use G20 for propaganda

The European Union is not going to let Russia use a G20 meeting of top diplomats in Bali for political propaganda, EU foreign affairs spokesperson Nabila Massrali said.

The EU is committed to the success of the summit and will not allow “Moscow to abuse the G20 as its own propaganda platform,” Massarali said. 

“Russia’s high level political participation at the G20 meeting may pose a threat to the G20’s credibility, efficiency and relevance,” Massarali added. 

Massarali said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “excludes any business as usual” but the commission did not want to the G20 paralysed as a result of a boycott.

ISW says Russia is taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine

Foreign analysts say Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in Ukraine as the Russian military attempts to reassemble its forces for a renewed assault.

On Wednesday, Russian forces made no claimed or assessed territorial gains in Ukraine “for the first time in 133 days of war,” according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

The think tank based in Washington, DC, suggested that Moscow may be taking an “operational pause” that does not entail “the complete cessation of active hostilities.”

A Thursday statement from Russia’s Defense Ministry seemed to confirm that assessment. It said Russian military units involved in combat in Ukraine were given time to rest.

Ukraine says raised its flag on Snake Island

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian President’s chief of staff, posted a video on Telegram of three soldiers raising a large Ukrainian flag on the island, from which Russian forces withdrew on June 30.

“The flag of Ukraine on Snake Island. Ahead of us are many more such videos from Ukrainian cities that are currently temporarily occupied,” Yermak wrote.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defence Ministry said that a Russian warplane struck Ukraine’s Snake Island in the Black Sea overnight, shortly after Ukrainian troops claimed to have raised their flag over the island.

Ukraine summons Turkish envoy after Russian grain ship’s departure

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said a Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain had been allowed to leave the Turkish port of Karasu, calling it an “unacceptable situation” and summoning Turkey’s ambassador.

“We regret that Russia’s ship Zhibek Zholy, which was full of stolen Ukrainian grain, was allowed to leave Karasu port despite criminal evidence presented to the Turkish authorities,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Twitter.

“Türkiye’s Ambassador in Kyiv will be invited to Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clarify this unacceptable situation,” Nikolenko wrote.

Meanwhile, a disputed ship has returned to Russian territorial waters, a Turkish source told AFP.

The Zhibek Zholy appeared to still be loaded, said the official, refuting a Russian media report suggesting that the ship’s crew intended to offload the grain to another vessel before returning.

Turkey has halted a Russian-flagged cargo ship off its Black Sea coast on Sunday and started investigating a Ukrainian claim that it was carrying stolen grain.

Finland to strengthen security on Russia’s border

Finland’s parliament on Thursday voted in favor of legislation that would allow barriers on the country’s border with Russia and enable the closure of the 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) frontier to asylum seekers in case of exceptional circumstances.

The bill on preparedness, while contested in terms of European Union asylum rules, was passed by a supermajority that allows parliament to fast-track laws.

It comes amid fears that Russia could retaliate over Finland’s plans to join the NATO military alliance.

The plan would also allow the government to decide to build fences or other barriers near Finnish borders and direct all asylum applications to one or several border crossings, such as an airport.

Lambrecht rejects delivery of armored personnel carriers to Ukraine

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht rejected the delivery of Fuchs armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, citing Germany’s own security interests. 

“We support Ukraine with everything that is possible and responsible. But we have to ensure Germany’s ability to defend itself,” the minister told dpa news agency on Thursday.

According to Lambrecht, it is “irresponsible to want to plunder the Bundeswehr, especially in these times, and to ignore the military advice of the Inspector General.” 

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn – Germany’s highest-ranking soldier – had previously stated that he saw no leeway for delivering the tanks to Ukraine.

Borrell discusses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Chinese counterpart

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during which they discussed bilateral relations and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Borrell wrote on Twitter that he called on China “to play more constructive role in addressing Russia’s war against Ukraine and stopping disinformation on what are the causes and the disastrous global economic consequences of Russia’s attack.”

Borrell and Wang Yi are currently in Bali, where a meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries will take place.

New Zealand’s PM says UN ‘failed’ over Ukraine war

The UN Security Council has failed in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday, describing Moscow’s role as “morally bankrupt.”

Ardern has long argued against the Security Council veto powers held by the five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. She reiterated her call for reform of the body on Thursday.

The UN’s “failure” over Ukraine was caused by Russia’s position with a veto in the Security Council, she said in an address to the Sydney-based Lowy Institute think-tank during a trade visit to Australia.

According to Ardern, Russia had used its place on the council to take a “morally bankrupt position in the wake of a morally bankrupt and illegal war,” and the country must be held to account for its invasion.

New Zealand would seek reforms to the UN Security Council to ensure that its value and relevance does not diminish, Ardern said.

Russian foreign minister to face biggest critics at G20 conference

Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov has flown to the Indonesian resort town of Bali to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the G20 grouping, Russia’s state news agency TASS said Thursday. 

The gathering of the foreign ministers of the biggest 20 economies will be the first time Lavrov — who’s been a long-serving foreign minister of Russian leader Vladimir Putin — will face some of of Moscow’s biggest critics for its war on Ukraine.

Before departing for the conference that ends tomorrow, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement that it was in the “interest of us all to ensure that international law is respected and adhered to. That is the common denominator.”

Even though Lavrov has plans to meet some of his G20 counterparts on the sidelines of the summit, Baerbock and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have ruled out meeting Lavrov.

US officials said earlier this week that Blinken would call on G20 leaders to put pressure on Russia to support the United Nation’s efforts to reopen sea lanes blocked by the war in Ukraine.

Blinken is also set to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, for the first time since October, with the aim to call on China not to aid Russia’s war against Ukraine. 

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy praises Western artillery

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the accuracy of weapons sent by Western allies in his nightly video address.

Zelenskyy said that Ukraine’s military used the artillery to destroy Russian forces’ depots and other logistically important targets.

“This significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army. The losses of the occupiers will only increase every week, as will the difficulty of supplying them,” he said.

Ukraine’s president also said a Russian missile strike had destroyed a university in the northeastern city of Kharkiv. The strike hit the university’s main building, museum and scientific library, he said.

“This characterizes the Russian invasion with 100% accuracy. When it comes to the definition of barbarism, this strike fits the bill the most,” Zelenskyy said.

3 injured after Russian forces fire on Dnipropetrovsk region: local military administration

Three civilians in the Synelnykove district of Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region were injured after Russian forces fired on the district using multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), the head of the regional military administration Valentyn Reznichko said, according to Ukrainian news agencies UKRNews and Interfax-Ukraine.

“Three people were injured, one of them seriously. A fire broke out in a local business. Rescue workers are putting out the fire,” Reznichenko said.

Recap of Wednesday’s events

Donetsk regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko urged civilians to flee as Russian forces bombarded the region.

Russian lawmakers approved legislation to create a state-funded youth movement in a move reminiscent of Soviet-era youth organizations.

The Ukrainian military lifted a restriction on conscripts that required them to obtain permission if they wanted to leave their registered place of residence. The order was rescinded a day after it was announced.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the imminent delivery of more weapons to eastern European allies, who would then send the arms to Ukraine.

Russian businesses will be forced to supply goods and services necessary for the war to the armed forces, and employees at some firms will have to work overtime to produce them, according to two bills approved by the country’s parliament.

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy said that the momentum of financial commitments to Ukraine was “slowing.”

German Left Party lawmaker Klaus Ernst called for an end to Russian sanctions against the gas supply and to start talks on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Click here for all the updates from Wednesday.

rm,dh,sdi/fb (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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