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Explosions rock Kyiv as Russia takes control of Sievierodonetsk

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Explosions hit Kiev Sunday morning, a day after a flurry of missiles hit targets across Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian troops “occupied” the main industrial center of Sievierodonetsk, thus controlling the entire city. Follow our live updates for the latest developments. All times are Paris time, GMT+2.

9:38 a.m.: Five people injured in rocket attack in central Kiev, police chief says

At least five people were injured when a rocket hit a building in central Kiev on Sunday, Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klymenko said on national television.

09:14: Russian Defense Minister Shoigu visits troops in Ukraine

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has inspected Russian troop units in Ukraine, the defense ministry said on Sunday. “At the command posts of Russian units, Army General Sergei Shoigu heard reports from the commanders on the current situation and actions of the Russian armed forces in key operational areas,” the ministry said in a statement.

9:12 AM: Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe via Ukraine stable

Russian gas producer Gazprom said its gas supply to Europe via Ukraine through the entrance to Sudzha was seen on Sunday at 42.1 million cubic meters (mcm), the same as on Saturday, Russian news agencies citing the company reported.

An application to supply gas through another major access point, Sokhranovka, was again rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said.

8:23 a.m.: Russia’s strike in Kiev aims to intimidate Ukrainians ahead of NATO summit, says mayor

A Russian missile strike that hit Kiev on Sunday was intended to intimidate Ukrainians in the days leading up to a NATO summit, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

The first Russian attack on the capital in nearly three weeks was intended to “intimidate Ukrainians… as they approach the NATO summit” to be held in Madrid from June 28-30, said Klitschko, who replaced the visited explosion.

7:04 a.m.: Four explosions heard in the Ukrainian capital Kiev

Early Sunday, four explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, with AFP journalists reporting that a residential complex near the center of the city had been hit, causing a fire and a gray cloud of smoke. The blast happened around 6:30 am (0330 GMT), half an hour after airstrikes sirens went off in the capital, which has not been under Russian bombardment for nearly three weeks.

“Ambulances and rescue workers are on the scene. Rescue and evacuation of residents is underway in two buildings,” he added. Thick smoke was seen in the affected residential area, which was cordoned off by the police. In late April, a Ukrainian Radio Liberty journalist was killed in her apartment by a Russian attack on Kiev during a visit by UN chief Antonio Guterres.

06:05 AM: Several explosions heard in Kiev’s Shevchenkivskiy district

Several explosions took place early Sunday in the Shevchenkivskiy district of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app. “Ambulance and rescue workers have been sent to the scene. More detailed information – later,” Klitschko said.

5:50 am: Indonesian president visits Ukraine, Russia for peacebuilding mission

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Sunday that he will urge his Russian and Ukrainian colleagues to create space for dialogue during a peace-building mission to the countries, as “war must stop and global food chains must be reactivated”.

Before leaving for Germany to attend Monday’s G7 summit, he said he will also urge Russia’s Vladimir Putin to order an immediate ceasefire.

1:20 am: Ukrainian shelling forces Russian army to halt evacuation of Sievierodonetsk factory

Ukrainian shelling on Saturday forced Russian troops to suspend the evacuation of people from a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk just hours after Moscow’s troops took the city, Tass news agency quoted local police as saying.

Separately, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said special forces were still in Sievierodonetsk, directing artillery fire on the Russians. The adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, spoke in a video speech.

01:00: G7 summit begins in the shadow of war in Ukraine, risk of stagflation

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday welcomed leaders of the Group of Seven Rich Democracies to a three-day summit in the Bavarian Alps that has been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine and its far-reaching consequences, from energy shortages to a food crisis.

The summit takes place against a darker backdrop than last year, when British, Canadian, French, German, Italian, Japanese and American leaders met for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic and pledged to better rebuild. Rising global energy and food prices are hitting economic growth in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The United Nations warned Friday of an “unprecedented global hunger crisis”.

Climate change, an increasingly assertive China and the rise of authoritarianism are also on the agenda. The G7 leaders are expected to show a united front to support Ukraine for as long as necessary and to increase pressure on the Kremlin – though they want to avoid sanctions that could fuel inflation and the crisis of the cost of livelihood that their own people.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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