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Ukraine war news latest: Zelensky ‘didn’t want to hear’ US intel on Russia’s invasion plans, Biden claims


Ukrainian soldiers describe what life is like in the trenches

US president Joe Biden has claimed that Volodymyr Zelensky “didn’t want to hear it” when US intelligence gathered information about Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine.

Mr Biden said on Friday that “nothing like this has happened since World War Two. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating. But I knew we had data to sustain (Russian President Vladimir Putin) was going to go in, off the border.” He added: “There was no doubt. And Zelensky didn’t want to hear it.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure the release of two Britons who were sentenced to death in a “sham sentencing”.

Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, who were captured by Russian troops in Mariupol, have been charged with being mercenaries – but their families say they were both already living in Ukraine at the time of the Russian invasion, and are long-serving members of the Ukrainian military.

The Ukrainian president later said he “would not give up” in the fight against Russia, as he addressed student societies across universities in the UK in a live broadcast.

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Official promises Russian passports to citizens of occupied Zaporizhzhia region

A Russian official reportedly promised Russian passports to citizens of occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia region, Kyiv Independent reported.

Vladimir Rogov announced on air that residents of the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast can receive Russian passports as soon as 11 June.

He was quoted as saying by RBC.ru as saying “residents of the liberated territory of Zaporozhye region will begin to receive passports of Russian citizens, i.e. will become full citizens of our great single homeland.”

Earlier, Mr Rogov told Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti that he called on international observers to visit the occupied territories [in Ukraine] before the referendum on joining Russia.

Maroosha Muzaffar11 June 2022 05:00

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Russia claims its able to pay its foreign debt

Governor of the Bank of Russia has claimed that the country is able to pay its foreign debts.

Elvira Nabiullina told a press conference on Friday that “from the point of view of financial resources, we have the possibility and the ability. We also have the desire to pay, and the Finance Ministry has shown all options. Typically, problems with paying sovereign obligations are caused by budgetary issues. We don’t have such issues. Once again, we have all of the resources we need to pay off our debts.”

Maroosha Muzaffar11 June 2022 04:30

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How might the Government free the two captured Britons?

A relative of one of the Britons sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces has begged the government to “do everything in their power to have them returned to us safely”,

Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to do so, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss launching discussions with her Ukrainian counterpart to ensure efforts are made.

But why are Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner being treated as criminals, and what can be done to help them?

My colleague Laura Parnaby reports:

Zaina Alibhai11 June 2022 04:11

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Who are the Britons sentenced to death in Russian-occupied Ukraine?

Two British soldiers who were captured by Russian forces while fighting for Ukraine have been sentenced to death after being charged with being mercenaries.

Aiden Aslin, 28 and Shaun Pinner, 48, were found guilty of taking action towards violent seizure of power at a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Their families deny the accusation, insisting they were both already living in Ukraine at the time of the Russian invasion, and are long-serving members of the Ukrainian military.

My colleague Tom Batchelor explains:

Zaina Alibhai11 June 2022 02:27

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ICYMI: The oligarch who could hold key to fate of Britons facing death sentence

Captured Britons Aiden Aislin and Shaun Pinner are likely to be freed as part of a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine, with talks reportedly underway.

But rather than a soldier, Vladimir Putin may have someone else in mind for the exchange; oligarch and close friend Viktor Medvedchuk who is being detained by Ukrainian authorities.

After Mr Medvedchuk was accused of treason and placed under house arrest, the Russian president delivered one of his most aggressive condemnations of Ukraine, accusing it of turning “slowly but steadily, into an antipode of Russia, an anti-Russia”.

Read the analysis by Kim Sengupta:

Zaina Alibhai11 June 2022 00:32

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‘I will not give up territory to Russia’, Zelensky vows

Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed he “would not give up” territory to Russian forces, though he understood “diplomacy can save lives”.

During a live address to student societies across UK universities, he was asked whether there was a stage of the invasion where he may need to make concessions, given the loss of life in the eastern Donbas region.

“I clearly understand that every war has to finish at the table of negotiations, and I understand that diplomacy can save lives. But unfortunately the president of the Russian Federation doesn’t understand this,” the Ukrainian president responded.

“You need both parties willing to stop the war between their countries otherwise it’s not going to work.

“I’d like to say that there’s this independence of our country, and there’s not anything that we can concede.”

Read the full story by Catherine Lough:

Zaina Alibhai10 June 2022 22:58

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Estonia demands condemnation of Putin’s ‘completely unacceptable’ praise for Peter the Great

Estonia has demanded the Russian ambassador condemn Vladimir Putin’s “completely unacceptable” praise for Peter the Great.

The Russian president’s comments came on the 350th anniversary of the Tsar’s birth, in which he likened his own war in Ukraine to Peter the Great’s conquests – specifically mentioning the Estonian city of Narva.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Vladimir Lipaev, ambassador of the Russian Federation in Estonia, to condemn recent statements by President Putin,” Estonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“At a time when Russia is implementing its revanchist policy informed by the Russkyi Mir ideology by trying to destroy the statehood and people of Ukraine, it is also completely unacceptable.”

Zaina Alibhai10 June 2022 21:26

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ICYMI: Putin compares Ukraine invasion to Peter the Great’s conquests

Vladimir Putin has compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Peter the Great’s imperial war against Sweden three centuries ago.

Speaking on the 350th anniversary of the Tsar’s birth, the Russian president claimed the conflict waged by Peter the Great had “returned” territory to Russia – despite the feeling at the time that it had instead been stolen from Sweden.

“Apparently, it also fell to us to return (what is Russia’s) and strengthen (the country). And if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face,” Mr Putin said, alluding to his war in Ukraine.

My colleague Rory Sullivan reports:

Zaina Alibhai10 June 2022 20:29

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Ukraine condemns ‘sham trial’ against captured Britons

Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister has condemned the “sham trial” against Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, insisting he is working with his British counterpart Liz Truss to ensure their release.

Dmytro Kuleba added he looked forward to further UK sanctions on Russia, as part of “coordinated effort” to put pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

“In our today’s call, @TrussLiz and I coordinated efforts to step up pressure on Russia. I look forward to the next round of UK sanctions. We both agreed that no one in the world has a right to get weary of this war until Ukraine prevails,” he tweeted.

“@TrussLiz and I strongly condemned the sham trial against prisoners of war in the Russian-occupied Donetsk. As combatants, they are protected by international humanitarian law and must be treated accordingly. We keep working together to ensure their release.

Zaina Alibhai10 June 2022 19:35

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Cholera could kill thousands in Mariupol as corpses contaminate water, mayor warns

Cholera and other deadly diseases could kill thousands of people in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, its mayor has warned.

Water wells have become contaminated by the unretrieved corpses of people killed in Russian attacks, with the collection of bodies by Russian occupiers proceeding slowly and warm weather accelerating decomposition.

“There is an outbreak of dysentery and cholera. This is unfortunately the assessment of our doctors: that the war which took over 20,000 residents … unfortunately, with these infection outbreaks, will claim thousands more Mariupolites,” Mayor Vadym Boichenko said.

Residents in the city – which he last month said had been turned into a “medieval ghetto” – are being forced to drink water from the wells because of the lack of running water or functioning sewer system.

Zaina Alibhai10 June 2022 18:51

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