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Ukraine news – live: Russia refuses to rule out Putin attending G20 summit

The summit is set to start in November in Indonesia

Arpan Rai,Aisha Rimi,Thomas Kingsley
Thursday 30 June 2022 15:20
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Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

Russia has not yet decided whether president Vladimir Putin will attend November's G20 summit in Indonesia.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia had an invitation to attend and would decide “at the necessary time” whether Mr Putin will go in person.

Western leaders are weighing up how to approach the summit should Mr Putin go, with British prime minister Boris Johnson calling on leaders not to boycott if the Russian president does decide to attend

Indonesia is hosting the summit in November and the Russian President, as a member of the Group of 20 leading economies, is invited.

The prime minister said that boycotting the event in protest at the invitation extended to Mr Putin would hand a “propaganda opportunity” to the Russian leader.

It comes as Russian forces withdrew from Snake Island off Ukraine's coast in the Black Sea as a “gesture of goodwill”, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

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Watch: Biden says drivers to pay higher gas prices for ‘as long as it takes’ Ukraine to win

Biden says drivers to pay higher gas prices for ‘as long as it takes’ Ukraine to win
Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 15:20
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ICYMI: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky meets Sir Richard Branson in Kyiv

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson travelled to Ukraine to meet president Volodymyr Zelensky and see some of the devastation wrought by Vladimir Putin’s “appalling invasion”.

Following an invitation from the Ukrainian leader, the entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group met with Mr Zelensky, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and a group of Ukrainian business leaders on Wednesday.

Sir Richard said the purpose of the meeting was to “learn what business, in partnership with civil society and governments, can do to support Ukraine most effectively”.

Read the full story below:

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky meets Sir Richard Branson in Kyiv

The meeting in the war-torn country came after an invitation from Mr Zelensky to the billionaire.

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 15:05
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US president Joe Biden on Thursday said Washington will announce $800 million (£658 million) of additional weapons aid to Ukraine in the coming days.

“We are going to support Ukraine as long as it takes,” Mr Biden said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Madrid. He suggests it will cover air defence, artillery, counter-battery systems and other weaponry.

It's the latest in a series of announcements of support the US has given Ukraine since Russians' invasion began. The US has sent more than $50bn of aid to Ukraine so far.

It comes after the UK pledged an additional £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 14:50
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New 'iron curtain' is descending between Russia and West, Moscow says

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that a new “iron curtain” was descending between Russia and the West.

“It's practically already coming into place. Let them just behave carefully,” Mr Lavrov said of Western countries during a press conference.

The UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace, also feared that an Iron Curtain could descend in Europe. The comments come as Nato members gather in Madrid to discuss the conflict in Ukraine with the UK and USA pledging new military aid packages to Kyiv further cementing support for Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 14:45
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Watch: 'Third World War has already started', Ukraine defence minister claims

'Third World War has already started', Ukraine defence minister claims
Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 14:27
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Britain to boost defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by end of decade

Britain will boost defence spending to 2.5 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this decade, prime minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, making a new commitment to bolster the military budget after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“We need to invest for the long term in vital capabilities like future combat air, whilst simultaneously adapting to a more dangerous and more competitive world,” Mr Johnson told a news conference at a Nato summit in Madrid dominated by the Ukraine conflict.

“The logical conclusion of the investments on which we propose to embark, these decisions, is that we'll reach 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence by the end of the decade.”

His comments came after Nato on Wednesday branded Russia the biggest “direct threat” to Western security and agreed plans to modernise Ukraine's beleaguered armed forces.

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 14:05
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Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone condemned for ‘extraordinary’ Putin comments

Former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone drew condemnation on Thursday after the 91-year-old defended Russian President Vladimir Putin in a television interview as a "first class person" he would "take a bullet" for.

The Briton, who is no longer involved in Formula One, also told ITV's Good Morning Britain that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy could have ended the Russian invasion of his country by talking to Putin.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the comments were "absolutely extraordinary".

Formula One said in a statement they were "his personal views and are in very stark contrast to the position of the modern values of our sport".

Ecclestone had warm relations with Putin, establishing the now-cancelled Russian Grand Prix.

"He's a first-class person and what he's doing is something that he believes is the right thing he was doing for Russia," said Ecclestone, who has a history of controversial statements.

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 13:50
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Kremlin will decide later if Putin to attend G20 in Indonesia

The Kremlin said on Thursday it has not yet decided whether President Vladimir Putin will attend November's G20 summit in Indonesia.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia had an invitation to attend and would decide "at the necessary time" whether Putin will go in person.

Western leaders are weighing up how to approach the summit should Putin go, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on leaders not to boycott if the Russian president does decide to attend.

Boris Johnson has indicated he will attend the G20 summit in Bali later this year even if “pariah” Vladimir Putin is at the event.

Indonesia is hosting the summit in November and the Russian President, as a member of the Group of 20 leading economies, is invited.

The prime minister said that boycotting the event in protest at the invitation extended to Mr Putin would hand a “propaganda opportunity” to the Russian leader.

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 13:30
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Some captured Azov fighters will face trial, Putin ally says

Some captured members of Ukraine's Azov Regiment will face trial, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament said on Thursday, a day after Russia's top court postponed a decision on whether to brand the unit as a terrorist entity.

Vyacheslav Volodin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said Russia would carry out a "substantial investigation" into every member of Azov to find out "who was involved in what."

Those who are determined to have "blood on their hands" will face trial, the State Duma speaker said in a post on Telegram.

The Azov Regiment, part of Ukraine's National Guard, was founded in 2014 as one of many volunteer militias to fight pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. Its fighters were feted as national heroes for defying Russian forces who laid seige on the city of Mariupol for weeks.

The militia originally emerged from a political organisation that championed white nationalist far-right ideas.

Kyiv says it has been reformed away from its origins and that it has nothing to do with politics. Russia says it is still made up of dangerous far-right neo-Nazis and made destroying the unit a war aim.

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 13:10
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Russia leaving Snake Island shows Ukraine can fight back, Boris Johnson says

British prime minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Russia’s decision to abandon the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island was evidence of Ukraine‘s ability to fight back.

“If you wanted evidence of the amazing ability of the Ukrainians to fight back to overcome adversity and to repel the Russians then look at what has happened just today on Snake Island, where again Russia has had to cede ground,” Mr Johnson told a news conference at the Nato Summit in Madrid.

“In the end it will prove impossible for Putin to hold down a country that will not accept his rule.”

Thomas Kingsley30 June 2022 12:48

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