Ukraine: Latest developments

May 30, 2022

Russian forces advance closer to the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, which has been under bombardment for weeks in the battle for Ukraine's industrial heartland.

War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russians advance into eastern city -

Russian forces advance closer to the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, which has been under bombardment for weeks in the battle for Ukraine's industrial heartland.

"The Russians are advancing into the middle of Severodonetsk. The fighting continues. The situation is very difficult," Lugansk governor Sergiy Gaiday says on Telegram.

Severodonetsk is the easternmost city still in Ukrainian hands. Capturing it would give Russia de-facto control over Lugansk, one of two eastern regions that make up the coveted Donbas.

- EU offers compromise oil embargo -

EU leaders gathered in Brussels hoping to persuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to accept a watered-down oil embargo against Russia as part of a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow that has been held up by Budapest.

Hungary, which imports 65 percent of its oil consumption from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline, is seeking an exemption from the import ban.

EU members have proposed to exclude the Druzhba pipeline from the embargo "for the time being" and only impose sanctions on oil shipped to the EU by tanker.

Orban calls it a "good solution" but seeks further safeguards on his country's energy supply.

- French journalist killed -

A 32-year-old French television journalist is killed while covering the evacuation of civilians near Severodonetsk for BFM news channel.

Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff is the eighth journalist killed while covering the war, according to a count by the Reporters without Borders NGO and AFP.

BFM says he was killed by shrapnel from the bombing of a humanitarian bus on which he was travelling with evacuees and that a French colleague of his was wounded.

- Biden's No to long-range rockets -

US President Joe Biden says he will not send Ukraine rocket systems that could hit targets well inside Russian territory, despite urgent requests from Kyiv for long-range weapons.

"We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia," Biden, who has announced billions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine, tells reporters in Washington.

Kyiv asked the United States for rocket launchers with a range of up to 300 kilometres (187 miles).

- First French ministerial visit -

France's new foreign minister Catherine Colonna says on a visit to Kyiv that Paris is ready to boost its military aid to Ukraine.

Colonna is the first French minister to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion. Most major Western countries have already sent their top diplomats.

Colonna is due to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has accused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of pressuring Ukraine to offer territorial concessions to Russia in return for peace.

France rejects the claims.

- Gazprom set to cut Dutch supplies -

Dutch energy firm GasTerra says it will be cut off from Russian gas for refusing to pay in rubles, a key demand of the Kremlin since the invasion began.

GasTerra said Russian gas giant Gazprom had informed the company it would turn off the tap on May 31.

Gazprom has already cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay for gas in rubles, which Moscow is pushing as a way to sidestep Western sanctions on its central bank.

Danish energy company Orsted warns Russia could cut gas supplies to Denmark after it also refused to pay in rubles.

- Netflix quits Russia -

Russians lose access to streaming giant Netflix, which is the latest Western company to pull out of the country over the war in Ukraine.

"This is the fulfilment of the withdrawal from the Russian market," a Netflix spokesperson tells AFP, referring to the company's announcement in March that it would withdraw from Russia.

- Eurovision trophy auctioned for army -

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra, which won the Eurovision song contest this year, auctions off its trophy on Facebook to raise funds for the Ukrainian army.

The trophy -- a large crystal microphone with the song contest's logo -- nets $900,000 (835,000 euros) after a bidding process won by Ukrainian bitcoin company WhiteBIT.


© Agence France-Presse