War in Ukraine: Latest developments 12:15 PM EST

Jul. 4, 2022

Fight on, Putin urges troops/750 bn needed to rebuild Ukraine/Britons, Moroccan appeal death sentences/Deaths in Donetsk/Ukraine receives 2024 Olympics boost

War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine: Map at the Bottom


- Fight on, Putin urges troops -

Russian President Vladimir Putin orders the military to fight on after Moscow's troops won control of the last city held by Ukrainian forces in the eastern Lugansk area on their rapid advance through the Donbas region. Russia claimed full control of Lugansk, one of two areas making up the industrial Donbas along with neighbouring Donetsk, after capturing the city of Lysychansk at the weekend. The Ukrainian army said it withdrew from the city to minimise its losses in the face of superior Russian firepower. Putin says Russian forces "must carry out their tasks according to previously approved plans" and says he hopes they will continue to advance "as has happened in Lugansk".


- $750 bn needed to rebuild Ukraine: PM -

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal estimates it will take $750 billion to rebuild his war-torn country and says confiscated Russian assets should be sold off to help offset the cost. Shmygal announces the figure during a donor conference in Switzerland which is discussing a "Marshall Plan" for Ukraine -- a huge package of aid to help it rebuild like Europe received from the United States after World War II.


Leaders from dozens of countries, international organisations and the private sector are attending the meeting in the Swiss city of Lugano. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the reconstruction of Ukraine is a job for "the whole democratic world", not just Ukrainians.


- Britons, Moroccan appeal death sentences


Two British nationals and a Moroccan man who were sentenced to death last month by Russian-backed separatists after being captured while fighting for Ukraine have appealed their convictions, a court in the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic says. The cases of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner of Britain and Brahim Saadun of Morocco have caused an international outcry. The two Britons surrendered in April in Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine captured by Russian troops after a weeks-long siege. Russia accuses them of acting as mercenaries. They argue they were serving members of the Ukrainian military and should be treated as prisoners of war.


- Deaths in Donetsk -

As the battle for the Donbas moves west to Donetsk, the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk come under sustained Russian shelling. Zelensky says six people were killed on Sunday in Sloviansk, including a nine-year-old girl and local authorities said two more people were killed in the nearby town of Dobropillia. On Sunday night the city of Siversk, 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of Lysychansk, was also targeted in artillery strikes, residents and an official told AFP. Tetyana Ignachenko, a spokeswoman for the Donetsk region, urges residents to flee.


- Ukraine receives 2024 Olympics boost -

International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach vows the Ukrainian flag will "fly high" at the 2024 Games in Paris. Speaking during a visit to Kyiv, Bach pledges to triple IOC funding for Ukrainian athletes to ensure they can compete. Zelensky says 89 athletes and coaches have died in the war and 13 more are being held prisoner by Russian forces. The IOC has recommended that international sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes but Russia is not currently banned from competing at the 2024 Olympics.







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