It’s day 118 of the war in Ukraine. Follow the latest news about the war in Ukraine and all its consequences in this liveblog.
Fire in Russian oil refinery after Ukrainian drone attack
10:55 | A fire broke out in an oil refinery on Russian territory on Wednesday. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, two Ukrainian drones have attacked the factory in the Rostov region.
An anonymous source within the local authorities reports to TASS that one of the two unmanned aircraft flew into a building in the company complex and that the fire started. The other drone then flew away. The fire is now said to have been extinguished.
The drones had to fly far to reach the Russian oil refinery. It is at least 150 kilometers from the area that is currently under Ukrainian control. The oil refinery is located in the Russian region of Rostov, just across the border from the Ukrainian region of Luhansk. This region is almost exclusively in Russian hands. The Ukrainian army defends only the cities of Severodonetsk and Lisichiansk, where fierce fighting has been going on for weeks.
The President of Indonesia is visiting Ukraine and Russia
09:10 | Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit Russia and Ukraine next week and will hold talks with the leaders of both countries, his foreign minister said on Wednesday. According to Retno Marsudi, Widodo is the first Asian head of state to visit both countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The president travels to Kiev and Moscow after attending the G7 summit in Berlin, which is being held on Sunday and Monday. Seven rich industrialized nations, namely Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Great Britain and the United States meet there. The European Union is also part of the G7, but is not included among the seven independent states.
“President Widodo has chosen to try to contribute to peace in Ukraine, not to sit still,” Marsudi said at a news conference. She described the conflict as “extremely complicated”. “The visit is a demonstration of the president’s humanitarian concerns and part of efforts to tackle the food crisis caused by the war, which has an impact across countries.”
Indonesia is the current chair of the G20, which is made up of twenty major economies. The country voted in March for a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow’s military attack on Ukraine but not directly criticizing Russia.
The United States and other Western countries have called for Russia’s expulsion of the G20, but Indonesia has insisted that all member states be invited. Widodo has invited Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky to an upcoming G20 summit in Bali, although Ukraine is not a member
UK: Half of Donetsk People’s Republic of Armed Forces eliminated
08:23 | About 55 percent of the armed forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR), the separatist part of eastern Ukraine backed by Russia, have been ousted, according to the United Kingdom.
According to figures released by the DPR on June 16, 2128 soldiers have been killed and 8897 wounded since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Defense said on Twitter. Since March 25, the Russians have not provided an update on the number of military casualties in Ukraine. Then Moscow reported that 1,351 Russian troops had been killed and 3,825 wounded since the 24 February invasion.
The Dutch law firm made millions on sanctioned Russians
07:26 | The law firm Houthoff was working on a major agreement for the Russian Sberbank and VTB Bank, which has been subject to sanctions since 2014. Houthoff denies this, but the state banks were in fact customers. In addition, the law firm worked for the Russians without first conducting the statutory client pigeon diligence – possibly a financial misdemeanor. Follow the Money reports this after a survey.
It is no secret that the law firm and notary Houthoff in Amsterdam traded with Russian clients of dubious caliber. It has been known for years as the ‘Kremlin at Zuidas’.
Moscow accuses Ukraine of blocking ships
03:30 | Ukraine is blocking a total of 70 ships from 16 countries in its ports, says Russia’s Defense Ministry. The ships would not be able to leave the ports because they would be shelled by the Ukrainian navy, which is also said to have located naval mines in the Black Sea.
At the same time, Ukraine accuses Russia of hindering grain exports with a naval blockade of Ukrainian ports, which triggered a global food crisis. Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest grain exporters and play a crucial role in ensuring global food security.
The southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol, now in Russian hands, became operational again on Tuesday, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. A Turkish ship became the first foreign ship to leave the port on Tuesday, Russia’s state news agency TASS reports. Russia is also said to have opened safe maritime corridors giving access to the ports of Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odessa, among others.