Russia Ukraine war update: Leaders in Switzerland for major peace summit as Zelensky rejects Putin ‘ultimatum’

Zelensky says China trying to undermine Ukraine peace summit

Almost 100 nations are gathering in Switzerland this weekend to participate in peace talks led by president Volodymyr Zelensky, as he seeks to drum up support for a plan to end the Ukraine conflict.

US vice president Kamala Harris, French president Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and Japan are among those set to attend the 15-16 June meeting at the Swiss mountaintop resort of Buergenstock.

Russia was not invited to the talks, while China – its most important ally – has refused to attend.

Seeking to distract from the Swiss government-hosted talks near Lucerne, Vladimir Putin set out yesterday the terms under which Russia would agree to a ceasefire in Ukraine.

They follow a similar pattern to previous statements by Russian officials and include conditions Ukraine has already rejected outright, including the permanent transfer of four eastern Ukrainian provinces Russia is currently occupying parts of, and a formal commitment that Kyiv will never join Nato.

Zelensky dismissed it as an unacceptable “ultimatum” while the US said Putin could “end [the war] today if he chose”.


Putin treats international law like ‘toilet paper’, says Kyiv’s top official as peace summit meets

Another exclusive by Tom Watling reporting on the peace summit in Switzerland focussing and the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russia.

Barney Davis15 June 2024 23:30


Freezing Ukraine’s conflict is a recipe for further war, EU’s Von der Leyen

Freezing the conflict in Ukraine is not an answer but a recipe for future wars of aggression, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a Ukraine summit in the Swiss resort of Buergenstock.

“Freezing the conflict today, with foreign troops occupying Ukrainian land, is not the answer. It is a recipe for future wars of aggression,” she said in her speech.

“Instead we need to support a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace for Ukraine. One that restores Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity.”

Barney Davis15 June 2024 21:30


Kamala Harris announces $1.5 billion in Ukraine aid at Switzerland peace summit

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris pledged America’s unwavering support for Ukraine and announced more than $1.5 billion in aid for the country’s energy sector and its humanitarian situation as a result of Russia’s 27-month invasion.

“This war remains an utter failure for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Harris said during a bilateral meeting with Zelenskiy. “It is in our interest to uphold international norms,” she added, pledging U.S. support for the country.

The $1.5 billion includes $500 million in new funding for energy assistance and the redirecting of $324 million in previously announced funds toward emergency energy infrastructure repair and other needs in Ukraine, the vice president’s office said.

“These efforts will help Ukraine respond to Russia’s latest attacks on Ukraine energy infrastructure by supporting repair and recovery, improving Ukraine’s resilience to energy supply disruptions, and laying the groundwork to repair and expand Ukraine’s energy system,” Harris’ office said.

Barney Davis15 June 2024 19:30


Kidnapped, abused, humiliated – the Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

In a special investigation, Tom Watling tells the story of five teenagers who were taken into Russia or Russian-occupied territory before eventually being rescued. Many others are still believed to be trapped

Barney Davis15 June 2024 16:50


Zelensky believes history will be made at Swiss peace summiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday predicted “history being made” at the Swiss-hosted conference that aims to plot the first steps toward peace in Ukraine even though experts and critics don’t expect any major breakthroughs because Russia isn’t attending.

The presidents of Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Somalia joined dozens of Western heads of state, other senior government leaders and high-level envoys at the meeting, in the hopes that Russia could join in one day.

In a brief statement to reporters alongside Swiss President Viola Amherd at the outset of the summit, Zelensky cast the gathering as a success, saying: “We have succeeded in bringing back to the world the idea that joint efforts can stop war and establish a just peace.”

“I believe that we will witness history being made here at the summit,” he said.

Barney Davis15 June 2024 15:47


Russian plane violated Swedish airspace on Friday, military says

A Russian military aircraft briefly violated Swedish airspace east of the Baltic island of Gotland on Friday and was met by Swedish fighter jets, the Nordic country’s armed forces said on Saturday.

The Swedish armed forces said in a statement that the Russian military aircraft, a SU-24, had been hailed with a warning but failed to respond after which two Swedish Gripen fighters were sent up to meet it.

Sweden’s military said the airspace violation had been brief.

“The Russian actions are not acceptable and show a lack of respect for our territorial integrity,” Swedish air force chief Jonas Wikman said. “We followed the entire chain of events and were in place to intervene.”

Russia Black Sea
Russia Black Sea (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Barney Davis15 June 2024 14:12


Fire as Russian rocket nearly strikes Mykolayiv settlement

The Russian army continues to put pressure on Ukrainian frontlines with artillery shelling, airstrikes, and a large number of attack drones.

In an update on Saturday, the Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine said on Telegram: “The enemy launched a rocket attack on the Mykolayiv region.

“As a result of the impact, a fire broke out in an open area outside the settlement, which was promptly extinguished.

“The occupiers continue to press with artillery fire, carry out airstrikes, use a large number of strike drones of various types, and actively conduct aerial reconnaissance. Over the past day, the flight of 213 reconnaissance UAVs was recorded in the operational zone.”

Barney Davis15 June 2024 13:06


Zelensky said ‘we are dealing with terrorists’ on eve of peace summitt

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to SkyTG24 on the eve of the opening of the inaugural Peace Summit in Switzerland.

“The road to peace is a long one because we are dealing with terrorists, and we must follow the right path, based on the UN Charter and international law.

“We must have the same basis. And we are doing this without breaking the law, without violating people’s rights,” he said.

Ukraine dismissed ceasefire conditions announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday as “absurd”, saying he was trying to mislead world powers and undermine genuine peace efforts.

Putin said in a speech Russia would end the war in Ukraine only if Kyiv agreed to drop its NATO ambitions and hand over the entirety of four provinces claimed by Moscow.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry described his words as “manipulative statements aimed at misleading the international community (and) undermining diplomatic efforts to achieve a just peace”.


Andre Langlois15 June 2024 12:12


Ukraine ‘repels seven Russian attacks’ in past 24 hours

Ukrainian forces said they had repelled seven enemy attacks in Orikhiv and one on the bank of the Dnipro River.

The Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine said on Telegram: “In the operational zone of the Southern Defence Forces, daily counter-battery confrontation and repelling enemy assaults continues.

“The enemy does not abandon his intention to knock out our units from their occupied positions.

“Over the past day, the occupiers have carried out 7 assaults in the Orihiv direction. They had no success.

“On the left bank of the Dnipro, in the temporarily occupied Kherson Oblast, the enemy launched 1 assault. Having suffered losses, he retreated to his original positions. The defence forces continue to carry out comprehensive measures to maintain positions.”

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Barney Davis15 June 2024 09:59


Putin’s peace proposals aren’t serious, says German chancellor

The G7 leaders did not discuss Russian president Vladimir Putin’s purported proposal for peace on Friday “since everyone knew they were not serious”, German chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

“Everyone knows that this was proposal wasn’t meant seriously, but had something to do with the peace conference in Switzerland,” he told ZDF television in an interview.

Speaking from Italy shortly before leaving for Switzerland, where the Ukraine peace conference opens today, Scholz said Putin’s proposals – for Ukraine to fully abandon four provinces Russia has occupied in part, stop fighting and drop its ambition of Nato membership – were aimed only at distracting from the summit.

World leaders are gathering in Switzerland for talks aimed at pressuring Russia to end its war in Ukraine.

Arpan Rai15 June 2024 08:52

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