War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Published: 05:13 PM, 18 Jul, 2022
War in Ukraine: Latest developments
Caption: Police experts check a place of explosion outside a building partialy destroyed after shelling in the outskirts of the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Erdogan renews threat to block Nordic NATO bids 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renews his threat to block the NATO membership bids of Sweden and Finland, less than a month after dropping his opposition to them joining the US-led defence alliance of which Turkey is a member.

On the eve of a summit with Russia and Iran, Erdogan said Turkey was still prepared to "freeze the process" of the two Nordic countries joining NATO if they did not meet Ankara's conditions to act against Kurdish militants living within their borders.

The Turkish leader warned Sweden particularly that it "does not have a good image".

Erdogan, who has attempted to play peacemaker between Russia and the West, has blown hot and cold on the Nordic states NATO ambitions which Russia fiercely opposes.

On Tuesday, he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran to discuss ways of resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports that have been blockaded by Russian forces.

Russian shells kill six in Donbas 

Russian shelling destroys a two-storey building, killing six people in the town of Toretsk in the eastern region of Donetsk, Ukrainian emergency services say.

Toretsk lies some 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Kramatorsk, one of the last Ukrainian-controlled towns in the industrial heartland of Donbas.

After failing to capture the capital Kyiv early in the invasion Russian forces turned their attention to the Donbas, recently capturing the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

Zelensky fires top prosecutor, security chief 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fires prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova and security chief Ivan Bakanov 

over what he calls the treasonous acts of scores of security officials.

He tells the nation that 60 officials who remained in territories now occupied by Russia are "working against our state", for Moscow. 

He says the authorities are investigating over 650 cases of suspected treason and aiding and abetting the enemy in total.

EU meets on new Russia sanctions 

EU foreign ministers meet to discuss imposing more sanctions on Russia, including the possibility of banning gold purchases from the country.

The EU has so far approved six packages of sanctions on Russia.

Putin admitted Monday that the country's tech companies faced "colossal" problems in accessing financing due to Western sanctions.

EU eyes double gas imports from Azerbaijan 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the EU is looking to double gas imports from Azerbaijan as it seeks non-Russian suppliers after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"Our goal: double the gas delivery from Azerbaijan to the EU in a few years. Azerbaijan will be a crucial partner for our security of supply and on our way to climate neutrality," she says on Twitter.

In May, EU leaders agreed to stop most Russian oil imports by the end of the year, but put off an outright ban on Russian gas, which in 2021 amounted to 155 billion cubic metre -- nearly 40 percent of EU's needs.

Russia fines Google over Ukraine 

A Moscow court fines Google 21 billion rubles ($360 million) for failing to remove content concerning Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, the telecommunications regulator says.

It says the Google-owned video platform YouTube failed to block "false information" on the offensive in Ukraine, as well as "extremist and terrorist propaganda" and content "calling on minors to participate in unauthorised demonstrations".


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.