It is Friday, June 17, day 113 of the war in Ukraine. Follow all about the war and its consequences in this liveblog.
Factory site with civilian Severodonetsk almost completely destroyed
10:13 | The Azot plant in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, has been almost completely destroyed, according to the governor of the Luhansk region. He writes in Telegram that there are no longer any administrative buildings on the factory site, where many Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are hiding.
Because Russian troops have now conquered all the residential areas of Severodonetsk, the Ukrainian warriors have gathered in the industrial area around the Azot factory. Under the site of the chemical plant are tunnels and bunkers for shelter. The Russians are shelling the factory buildings with, among other things, missiles.
The Russian army said on Wednesday it would open a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians but to territory controlled by Russia. According to the Russians, the Ukrainian army has prevented that evacuation by continuing to carry out shelling. The governor says a complete ceasefire is needed before civilians can leave the area. Pro-Russian separatists estimate that there are about 2,000 people in the chemical plant, including 1,200 civilians. Kiev estimates that there are 540 to 560 citizens.
The UN calls the situation in eastern Ukraine “extremely alarming”, especially in and around Severodonetsk. In the besieged city there would be less and less access to clean water, food and electricity.
German producer warns of even higher sugar prices
08:44 | European sugar prices will continue to rise due to tight stocks, and as producers continue to pass on the higher costs to their customers. It warns German Südzucker, one of the largest sugar producers in the world, against.
Farmers and sugar processors, like many other producers, face higher energy bills and higher costs for important raw materials such as fertilizers. At the same time, sugar production is threatened by many beet growers switching to other crops such as cereals and oilseeds, which have become more profitable due to the war in Ukraine.
This has contributed to the European sugar price rising to the highest level in four years. According to Südzucker, the higher costs are likely to be passed on to food suppliers and industrial food producers. It could push food prices, which are approaching record highs, and inflation further.
Due to the “continued shortage of sugar markets, we expect a new price increase for the coming contract season,” said a spokesman for Südzucker. Demand for sugar is also expected to increase due to the recovery from the corona pandemic, he said. The European price for white sugar was 446 EUR per liter. tonnes in April, according to the latest data from the European Commission. That’s about 13 percent more than the year before.
Zelenski speaks at seven tech fairs at once as a hologram
00:28 | Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky spoke on Thursday at seven conferences simultaneously. He did this as a hologram, projected on stage by meetings in Paris, London, Stockholm and Zaandam. This projection could also be followed via a livestream at trade fairs in Dublin, Berlin and London. About 200,000 people heard his message in the halls.
Zelenski urged total tech entrepreneurs to invest in his country. Digital transformation is the foundation of Ukraine’s reconstruction, the president said. ‘Our goal is to make Ukraine the freest digital country in the world.’ According to Zelensky, Ukraine represents “an opportunity for a global digital revolution, an opportunity for any technology company and any visionary to showcase its value, skills, technologies and ambitions.”
The speech can be seen online thanks to augmented reality. By scanning a QR code, people can project Zelenski onto the kitchen table, for example, to hear him speak.
Macron ready to travel to Moscow ‘if Putin makes a gesture’
00:11 | French President Macron is ready to travel to Moscow to negotiate with Vladimir Putin. However, under a number of conditions. Putin must first make a gesture of his that the consultation actually makes sense. “I’m not going there on spec at the moment,” Macron told TF1. The French president gave the interview from Kiev, where he yesterday met the Ukrainian president Zelensky. He traveled to the Ukrainian capital with German Chancellor Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Draghi.
Earlier, Macron said he wanted to keep communications with the Kremlin open to discuss, for example, humanitarian issues, prisoner protection or food security.
“That is why I do not rule anything out. However, I will always do so in full openness with Ukrainian President Zelensky and only when it makes sense. It is not our job to determine the conditions for ending the war instead of Ukraine, “said the French president.