June 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Jeevan Ravindran and Hannah Strange, CNN

Updated 0001 GMT (0801 HKT) June 11, 2022
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7:59 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Follow the latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine here and read more about today's developments in the posts below. 

7:23 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Ukrainian officials strongly condemn "sham trial" of foreign combatants in pro-Russian Donetsk

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday strongly condemned the "sham trial" of the three foreign prisoners of war who have been accused of being mercenaries and sentenced to death by a court in the pro-Russian so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).

DPR authorities have said the three individuals — British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, and Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune — were foreign fighters who had been captured in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by Russian forces in April. 

Russian state media said the three prisoners have a month to appeal their convictions before being executed.

Kuleba tweeted on Friday, "As combatants, they are protected by international humanitarian law and must be treated accordingly," adding that Ukraine will keep working with the UK to ensure their release.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova also commented on the plight of the men Friday, saying, "these people are the military who have the status of combatants. They took part in the theatre of war quite legally. We call them combatants. The Geneva Convention fully covers them." 

Condemning the trial of the men as "showing the faces of very wild, dark tribes," Venediktova said, "civilized people do not do that." 

Venediktova said she cannot report all the information regarding what is being done to save the lives of the three men and bring them back safely to Ukraine, but she said the Ukrainian government is doing everything under its authority to free them.

6:34 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Mariupol mayor: Russia demolished 1,300 high-rise buildings in city without removing dead bodies of residents 

From CNN's Kostan Nechyporenko and Jonny Hallam

(Mariupol CIty Council)
(Mariupol CIty Council)

Russian forces occupying the ruined Ukrainian city of Mariupol have demolished 1,300 high-rise apartment buildings without carefully removing hundreds of dead bodies buried under the rubble, Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol Vadym Boychenko said on Friday.

Speaking on the city council's Telegram, Boychenko — who has fled Mariupol for Ukrainian controlled territory — said people remaining inside the city have told him, "Initially, the occupiers involved Mariupol residents in dismantling the rubble carefully."

But Boychenko said when the Russians saw the actual number of bodies found under the rubble, they immediately moved the local residents away from the area.

"The real number of bodies under the rubble of destroyed houses is frightening. Almost 50 to 100 people were killed under almost every destroyed house, and 1,300 high-rise buildings were destroyed in Mariupol," Boychenko said

Boychenko said that because demolition of buildings has been carried out indiscriminately, the bodies of Mariupol residents killed in the fighting have been removed to landfill together with the concrete rubble.

On May 25, an adviser to the mayor, Petro Andriushchenko — who has also moved to Ukrainian-held territory — told CNN that Mariupol town hall officials believe at least 22,000 residents of the city were killed during three months of war. 

Mayor Boychenko on Friday said "Unfortunately, the real numbers of those killed in the city may be much higher than we reported.

CNN is unable to independently verify the number of people killed in Mariupol, with the free press now unable to access the city and those still inside too scared to speak openly.

The Ukrainian presidency has described the number of civilians killed in the city as being in the "tens of thousands."

5:46 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

France: 3 foreigners sentenced to death "must be treated under the respect of international humanitarian law" 

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Two British citizens Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Brahim Saadoune, center, sit behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, in the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, on June 9.
Two British citizens Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Brahim Saadoune, center, sit behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, in the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, on June 9. (AP)

France said late Friday it was "extremely concerned" by the death sentences of three men — two Britons and one Moroccan — who were volunteer fighters for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry described their trial as a "sham" and that the three foreigners "must be treated under the respect of international humanitarian law."

France also called "on Russia and its proxies in Ukraine to respect their obligations in that regard."

A court in the pro-Russian, self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) sentenced Moroccan citizen Brahim Saadoune and British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner to death on Thursday after accusing them of being "mercenaries" for Ukraine.

2:33 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Biden blames Russia's war in Ukraine for continued high inflation

From CNN's Sam Fossum and Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden reacted to Friday's Consumer Price Index report revealing continued high inflation, promising that fighting inflation is his "top economic priority" while also blaming the continued high prices on Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

"Even as we continue our work to defend freedom in Ukraine, we must do more—and quickly—to get prices down here in the United States," Biden said in a statement. 

After releasing the statement, Biden made remarks at the Port of Los Angeles, where he was pausing from a regional summit to address inflation.

"Even as we continue our work to defend freedom in Ukraine, we must do more — and quickly — to get prices down here in the United States," Biden said in a statement. 

"Today's inflation report confirms what Americans already know. Putin's price hike is hitting Americans hard," he said.

Biden used similar language in a released statement:

"Putin’s Price Hike hit hard in May here and around the world: high gas prices at the pump, energy, and food prices accounted for around half of the monthly price increases, and gas pump prices are up by $2 a gallon in many places since Russian troops began to threaten Ukraine," according to the statement.  

He also called out oil and gas companies in the statement and urged them not to take "excessive profit."

"Prices at the pump are a major part of inflation, and the war in Ukraine is a major cause of that. The United States is on track to produce a record amount of oil next year, and I am working with the industry to accelerate this output. But it is also important that the oil and gas and refining industries in this country not use the challenge created by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit taking or price hikes," Biden said in the statement. 

And after he concluded his speech in Los Angeles, Biden went after major US oil companies for not helping bring down the price of gas.

"We're going to make sure everyone knows Exxon's profits," he said. "Exxon made more money than God last year," he said. 

He criticized the companies for not using the thousands of acres of land where they already have leases to drill more oil.

"They're not drilling," he said. "Why aren't [they] drilling? Because they make more money not producing more oil. The price goes up, number one. And number two, the reason they're not drilling is they're buying back their own stock, buying back their own stock, and making no new investments."

Biden also asked Congress to pass legislation to help Americans struggling with higher prices. 

"I call on Congress to pass a bill to cut shipping costs this month, and get it to my desk, so we can lower the price of goods," Biden said in the statement. 

1:21 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Russia "deliberately using starvation as a weapon," Germany's agriculture minister says

From CNN's Inke Kappeler in Berlin

Cem Özdemir speaks at a press conference in Berlin on June 7.
Cem Özdemir speaks at a press conference in Berlin on June 7. (Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

By blocking Ukrainian ports, Russia is "deliberately using starvation as a weapon," German Agricultural Minister Cem Özdemir said on Friday.

It is "a particularly disgusting kind of warfare that Russia is engaged in,“ Özdemir told CNN's affiliate N-TV during a visit to Kyiv on Friday. "Alternative routes cost an insane amount of money," he added.

Özdemir discussed alternative ways to export grain from Ukraine with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Solskyi.

"It would be kamikaze for Ukraine to rely on Putin's word without credible, effective military guarantees that the security of Ukrainian ports and ships is assured," Özdemir said.

"I would not trust Putin's word in any way; he has proven to be a notorious liar," Özdemir told N-TV. 

Some background: In normal times, Ukraine would export around three-quarters of the grain it produces. According to data from the European Commission, about 90% of these exports were shipped by sea, from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Russia is currently blocking maritime access to the Black Sea ports held by Ukraine, meaning that even the grain that is still under Ukrainian control cannot be exported to the many countries that rely on it.

Russia’s war in Ukraine could push up to 49 million people into famine or famine-like conditions because of its devastating impact on global food supply and prices, according to the United Nations.

Separately, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach participated in a donor conference for the construction of a rehabilitation center for the war-disabled on Friday in Lviv. Germany will support container workshops for the manufacture of prosthetic limbs. 

Lauterbach said about 200 German doctors were ready to help in surgery and trauma therapy in Ukraine.

"It is upsetting to see how much this country is suffering from a war of aggression that borders on barbarism," Lauterbach said. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has not visited Ukraine. After German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was refused a visit to Kyiv by Ukrainian authorities over Germany's hesitance to send military aid to Ukraine, Scholz had rejected to travel to Ukraine so far. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Bucha and Kyiv on May 10.

CNN's Ivana Kottasová contributed reporting to this post.

12:47 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022

EU membership candidate Serbia must support sanctions against Russia, German chancellor says

From CNN's Inke Kappeler in Berlin

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, shakes hands with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic after a joint press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, shakes hands with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic after a joint press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he expects sanctions against Russia to be supported by all countries applying for EU membership, including Serbia. 

"It is a terrible, a senseless war that has been started for an imperialist vision of Russia. That is why it is so important that the European Union, and all of us, stand in solidarity with Ukraine and help it defend itself against this attack,“ Scholz told Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during a joint news conference in Belgrade on Friday.

"The sanctions will not simply disappear when the weapons are silent,“ Scholz said. "Russia must come to an understanding with Ukraine,“ he added.

"It is clear that an agreement must also ultimately clarify the question of Kosovo's recognition, because it is inconceivable that two countries that do not recognize each other will become members of the EU,“ Scholz said during an earlier joint news conference with Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Pristina on Friday. 

"Today I ask both sides once again for a clear commitment to this dialogue. Everyone must approach each other, as difficult as it sometimes is,“ he added. Vucic has rejected "threats“ and "pressure“ against Serbia when it comes to the recognition and dialogue with Kosovo. 

Remember: Kosovo and Serbia are both aspiring EU membership. Scholz said the EU council will make a decision on Ukraine's accelerated EU accession after the recommendation of the EU commission.

11:57 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Macron could visit Ukraine after EU decision on Ukraine candidacy, Élysée source says

From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu and Elias Lemercier in Paris 

French President Emmanuel Macron could make his first visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion after the European Union decides at the end of June on Kyiv's application to join the union, an Élysée Palace source told journalists at a briefing on Friday.

“We are waiting for the commission to give us its opinion. The decision could be to give Ukraine candidate status,” the source said.

“We will define the time of the visit according to these parameters,” the source added.

The Élysée source emphasized that Macron wants to visit Ukraine in a way most useful to the country.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, many Western leaders have visited the country, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. But Macron has yet to visit Kyiv, despite the active role he has played throughout the crisis.

Macron was recently slammed by Ukrainian leaders for remarks in which he said "we must not humiliate Russia" in order to pursue diplomacy.

11:40 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Former US President Barack Obama says "human costs will continue to mount" in Russia-Ukraine war

From CNN’s AJ Davis in Atlanta

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Copenhagen Democracy Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday.
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Copenhagen Democracy Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday. (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images)

Former US President Barack Obama said the human costs in Russia’s war on Ukraine will “continue to mount.”

“Make no mistake: this war is far from over. The human costs will continue to mount," he said at the Copenhagen Democracy Forum on Friday. 

During the town hall event, he said Ukraine needs to remain strong until this conflict comes to an end.

“But we’ve also witnessed the Ukrainian peoples’ heroic resistance to Russian aggression. They’ve united to defend not just their sovereignty, but their democratic identity, and have rallied much of the world behind the values of self-determination and human dignity,” he said. 

He noted that what Putin is doing in Ukraine is not an isolated incident and commented on the parallels of what is happening in Russia, to what is happening within the United States.

“On every continent, we are seeing democratic backsliding … So if we want democracy to flourish, we will have to fight for it, nurture it, and demonstrate its value in improving the lives of ordinary people,” he said.

Obama praised countries for opening their arms to Ukrainian refugees and touched upon Finland and Sweden’s desire to join NATO

“Because of this courage and solidarity, Vladimir Putin is failing to achieve his aims inside of Ukraine and beyond … Russia is cut off from resources and revenue, and many of its best and brightest have left – a blow to its present and future," he added.