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Ukaine: Deaths reported in 'massive' shelling of Sloviansk — live updates

Deutsche Welle 7/5/2022 Deutsche Welle

The mayor of Sloviansk has urged residents to take shelter as his city faced "massive shelling." Elsewhere, more than 40 nations have vowed to support Ukraine's recovery. Follow DW for the latest. Sloviansk pounded with 'massive shelling' Lugano Declaration signed supporting Ukraine's recovery NATO members sign accession protocols for Finland and Sweden Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces 'undeterred' in stopping Russia offensive

The article was last updated 15:03 UTC/GMT

At least two dead and seven injured in Sloviansk

Regional authorities in Donetsk said two were killed and seven more were injured during heavy shelling on the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Tuesday.

Local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko made the announcement on Telegram and said Russian shells had targeted the city's market. AFP journalists in Sloviansk reportedly saw the marketplace hit as firefighters worked to put out the fire while three shells hit nearby streets.

"Once again the Russians are intentionally targeting places where civilians assemble," Kyrylenko wrote.

In 2014, Sloviansk was briefly controlled by Russian-backed forces before Ukraine could retake the city.

Pizza Hut operator in Russia announces sale of business

Yum Brands, which owns the Pizza Hut and KFC brands in Russia, said it had nearly completed the sale of its Pizza Hut business in the country to a local operator who would rebrand the American chain. Yum Brands also said it was quite close to closing on a deal to sell the KFC business, which would face a rebrand as well.

In the 1990s, Pizza Hut featured an iconic tongue and cheek ad with Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, where customers at a location off Red Square argue over his legacy but unite around the fact that he brought them Pizza Hut.

UK's Boris Johnson holds call with Zelenskyy

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and told him that Ukraine's military could retake territory that had recently fallen to Russian forces.

Additionally, Johnson updated Zelenskyy on the latest British military equipment that will be delivered to Ukraine in the coming days and weeks. That materiel includes 10 self-propelled artillery systems.

Poles crowdfund purchase of drones for Ukraine

Polish citizens are crowdfunding for the purchase of drones for Ukraine following a similar successful initiative in neighboring Lithuania.

Roughly a quarter of the amount needed to purchase one drone had been raised by Tuesday, with the campaign set to run until the end of July.

Last month, Lithuania raised enough money to buy a Bayraktar drone for Ukraine. Bayrak, the Turkish company behind the unmanned aerial vehicle offered instead to gift a drone to Ukraine so that the funds raised could be used for other purposes.

UN: Food agency receives $17 million for Ukraine grain storage

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced a donation of $17 million (E16.5 million) to address the problem of grain storage in Ukraine and to increase exports. The funds will be used to help Ukraine store food from the summer harvest.

Global food prices are at record levels due to the war in Ukraine, triggering protests in the developing world as well as record inflation worldwide. Black Sea ports have been shut since Russia invaded on February 24 which has put an end to maritime exports of grain from the world's fourth largest producer.

Eighteen million tons of grain and oilseeds harvested in 2021 remain stuck in storage. An additional 60 million tons are anticipated this year in the harvest but 30% of grain storage in Ukraine is still taken by last year's output.

Sloviansk mayor urges residents to seek shelter during 'massive shelling'

Vadim Lyakh, the mayor of Sloviansk, urged residents of his city to take shelter as his city faced "massive shelling."

On Facebook, Lyakh wrote his city was being hit in "the center, the north," and called on, "Everyone, take shelter!"

Since Sunday, at least six people have died and an additional 19 have been injured due to Russian shelling of the city.

On several occasions, residents have been urged to evacuate as the frontline closes in on the city that had a prewar population of around 100,000. Along with Kramatorsk, Russian forces have turned their attention to Sloviansk following the fall of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in the neighboring region of Luhansk.

Russian bills move country towards war economy

The lower house of the Russian parliament, the Duma, approved the first reading of two bills obliging Russian businesses to supply the military with goods and services in support of what Moscow acknowledges only as a "special military operation" in Ukraine.

One bill focuses on cooperation from industry while the other can force companies to make workers submit to overtime, potentially at night, on weekends or bank holidays, and forego annual leave, to meet the needs of the country's defense industries.

Yuri Borisov, the deputy prime minister, said the push towards a war economy was needed as Russia faces "colossal sanctions pressure" and has already defaulted once on its foreign debt payments since launching an invasion of Ukraine.

"In order to guarantee the supply of weapons and ammunition, it is necessary to optimize the work of the military-industrial complex and enterprises that are part of cooperation chains," Borisov said.

The bills still require additional readings, the approval of the upper house of parliament and the signature of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to come into effect.

Russian cosmonauts on ISS shown with separatist flags

The Russian space agency Roscosmos posted a photograph on the messaging app Telegram of cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergei Korsakov with the flag of Russian forces occupying Luhansk onboard the International Space Station.

A second photograph featured the Cosmonauts with the flag of Russian occupying forces in Donetsk.

In a statement, Roscosmos said, "We celebrate on earth and in space."

Lugano Declaration supporting Ukraine recovery signed by over 40 nations

Representatives of over 40 countries along with multilateral organizations such as the European Investment Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) signed onto the Lugano Declaration outlining a roadmap for Ukraine's recovery.

The declaration's focus is on providing Ukraine with political, financial and technical support. Part of the document known as the Lugano Principals will guide reconstruction, which Kyiv pegs currently at an estimated E750 billion ($773 billion), and also features a plan for domestic reforms in Ukraine.

The declaration follows a two-day conference in the Swiss city focused on the country's recovery.

'We need the whole world,' German minister says at Ukraine conference

Svenja Schulze, Germany's Minister for Development, told German news agency DPA that Ukraine's recovery effort "is not a project for one year or two," at an international donor conference in Lugano, Switzerland. Schulze also noted the opportunity the task presents for German industries.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said it would cost E750 billion ($773 billion) to rebuild infrastructure in his country.

He also thanked Swiss President Ignazio Cassis and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for organizing the conference dedicated to Ukraine's rebuilding efforts.

The two day summit in the Swiss Alps wraps up later Tuesday.

FSB official to lead Kherson region following occupation

Sergei Yeliseyev, the deputy head of Russia's Kaliningrad region, "became the head of the government in the Kherson region." The news was announced by Vladimir Saldo, the head of the Russian occupation administration.

Yeliseyev, 51, is a graduate of the FSB Academy and has served in the FSB in unknown roles. Alexei Kovalev, a former Ukrainian lawmaker who joined Russia's side in the conflict and faced an assassination attempt last month, was named Yeliseyev's deputy in the Kherson region.

In recent weeks, Moscow's occupation forces in Kherson have faced repeated attacks. Kherson is located near Crimea and was the first major city to fall following Russia's invasion.

NATO begins ratification process for Finland and Sweden

The procedure for ratifying Finland and Sweden's membership in NATO formally launched, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

The two countries' bid to join the military alliance comes after Russia's decision to invade Ukraine despite decades of official neutrality, including during the Cold War, and years of working officially and exercising with NATO, despite not being covered by the mutual defense pact known as Article 5.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that his country faces invasion by Russian forces now due to the fact that Ukraine is not covered by Article 5 protections and has not been granted permission to join NATO, despite years of wishing for the door to membership to be open.

After the 30 ambassadors and permanent representatives of the North Atlantic Council sign off on Finland and Sweden's bid for membership, the member states' legislatures must formally approve the move as well.

Report: Ukraine's German ambassador to return to Kyiv

According to the Bild and Süddeutsche Zeitung newspapers in Germany, citing unnamed sources in Ukraine's presidential office, Ambassador Andriy Melnyk is set to leave the embassy in Berlin to take up another role within the Foreign Ministry in Kyiv.

Bild reported that the change could take place during the summer months, but also cited a government official as saying that this should not be understood as his being recalled, rather as a recognition of his work.

Melnyk has been a prominent voice in the German media debate since the outbreak of the conflict late in February. His impassioned appeals for more assistance, particularly in the form of weapons exports from Germany, repeatedly grabbed the headlines.

The government in Berlin has since gone against several of its longstanding foreign policy principles to provide more weaponry, including heavy weaponry, to a hot conflict than it typically would.

However, Melnyk's often frank tone has sometimes caused controversy, as have some isolated comments. Most recently, his defense of World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera prompted criticism from both the Polish and Israeli governments, as well as the German government's official charged with combating anti-Semitism.

Bandera is a contentious figure, closely tied to western Ukrainian nationalist efforts to break free of control from the Soviet Union and or Poland, and revered in parts of Ukraine. He's also accused of complicity with Nazi Germany and of thus helping facilitate massacres of Jewish and Polish citizens.

Ukraine regroups defenses in Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that Ukrainian forces are resisting Russia's continued advances following the capture of Lysychansk.

"There have been no significant changes on the battlefield in the past 24 hours," Zelenskyy said.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine respond, push back and destroy the offensive potential of the occupiers day after day. We need to break them. It is a difficult task. It requires time and superhuman efforts. But we have no alternative," he said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian General Staff said that the focus of fighting had shifted further west into Donetsk province from the neighboring Luhansk province, which is effectively under Russian control after the Ukrainian withdrawal from Lysychansk.

Russian forces are now focusing on pushing toward the towns of Siversk, Feroivka and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, the general staff said.

Serhiy Gaidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, said Ukrainian forces were now focused on holding a defensive line from their stronghold in Sloviansk to Bakhmut, some 45 kilometers to the south.

Russia has also intensified its shelling of Sloviansk and the neighboring city of Kramatorsk.

Recap of Monday's events

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that was holding talks with Turkey and the United Nations on securing guarantees for grain exports.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union will set up a reconstruction platform to coordinate the rebuilding of Ukraine after its war with Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the country needs $750 billion (E718 billion) for a three-stage recovery plan in the wake of Russia's invasion.

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

President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian troops on "liberating" the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk. Yuriy Sak, advisor to the Ukrainian defense minister, told DW that the loss of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region is "temporary."

Ukraine's general staff said it expects Russian forces to focus on the city of Slovyansk in the Donetsk region following the capture of Lysychansk.Click here for all updates from Monday.

ar, sdi/msh, wmr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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