June 27, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Andrew Raine, Sana Noor Haq, Hafsa Khalil, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022
21 Posts
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7:15 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

G7 leaders pledge support for Ukraine "as long as it takes"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Summit participants (front, clockwise) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), U.S. President Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom (obscured), Fumio Kishida, prime minister of Japan, Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, Charles Michel, EU Council President, Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, sit at the working session, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj is connected via video conference in Elmau, Germany on June 27.
Summit participants (front, clockwise) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), U.S. President Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom (obscured), Fumio Kishida, prime minister of Japan, Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, Charles Michel, EU Council President, Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, sit at the working session, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj is connected via video conference in Elmau, Germany on June 27. (Michael Kappeler/picture alliance/Getty Images)

The G7 is vowing to continue providing support for Ukraine "for as long as it takes" in a joint statement at their summit in Germany.

"We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," the G7 statement on support for Ukraine read.

The leaders also said it would be up to Ukraine to determine a diplomatic path ahead.

"We are committed to helping Ukraine to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to defend itself, and to choose its own future. It is up to Ukraine to decide on a future peace settlement, free from external pressure or influence," the statement read.

The leaders said they would work together to help Ukraine defend itself once the war ends.

 "With a view to a viable post-war peace settlement, we are ready to reach arrangements together with interested countries and institutions and Ukraine on sustained security commitments to help Ukraine defend itself, secure its free and democratic future, and deter future Russian aggression," the statement read.

7:01 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Zelensky tells G7 leaders he wants the war to finish by the end of 2022

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders he wants the war in Ukraine to finish by the end of 2022, according to a source familiar with his remarks.

Zelensky delivered the message virtually at the Group of 7 summit on Monday, which is taking place at the Schloss Elmau castle in the Bavarian Alps.

He called for a major push to end the war before the winter sets in in several months' time, the source said.

The message was as clear a sign as Zelensky has given about how he sees the trajectory of the war.

Some background: Zelensky, who is also planning to address this week's NATO summit in Madrid, has pressed the West for accelerated sanctions on Moscow and heavy artillery to beat back the Russian invaders.

So far, leaders have decided on new steps to isolate Russia's economy, including a ban on new imports of Russian gold, and are discussing ways to further limit Moscow's energy profits by applying a cap on the price of Russian oil.

G7 leaders also plan to announce a lengthy set of new sanctions, including on Russian defense supply chains, Russians responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, private military companies and new visa restrictions on 500 officials. 

Yet how much further leaders will be willing to go in applying new sanctions on Russia remains to be seen.

6:34 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Putin to go on first foreign trip since Russia's invasion of Ukraine

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel on an international visit for the first time since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin's spokesman has announced.

Putin is scheduled to travel to Tajikistan on Tuesday, where he will meet Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Dmitry Peskov said.

Further details of the trip have not been released by the Kremlin.

6:28 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Gas shortages could lead to "severe economic crisis in Europe," says German vice chancellor

From CNN's Inke Kappeler

Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL (Ostsee-Pipeline-Anbindungsleitung - Baltic Sea Pipeline Link) long-distance gas pipeline at Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lubmin, Germany, on June 21
Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL (Ostsee-Pipeline-Anbindungsleitung - Baltic Sea Pipeline Link) long-distance gas pipeline at Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lubmin, Germany, on June 21 (Stefan Sauer/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Gas shortages this winter could lead to a "severe economic crisis in Europe," the German vice chancellor and economy minister has warned.

"Over the winter, there is a threat of a scenario where reductions actually have to be imposed. In my opinion, that would lead to a severe economic crisis in Europe and in Germany, and that must be avoided at all costs," Robert Habeck said Monday.

"We are not there yet, but in order not to get there, we need decisive, joint, solidarity-based and, above all, very rapid action."

"A supply crisis in one country leads to an economic crisis in another. We are committed and dependent on solidarity in this case."

Habeck backed the US-led advance to introduce a price cap on Russian energy imports, provided that enough countries participate. 

Soaring prices for energy were a "hard burden for consumers and industry," Habeck said, and he asked industry and consumers to save gas in order to prepare for winter. "We need to have full storage, we need to bring down consumption and we need more capacity."

"That it will become more expensive is inevitable," he added. "The expansion of renewable energies must now proceed swiftly."

Some background: Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Western sanctions on Russian oil and gas have contributed to a surge in energy prices, leading to pain at the gas pumps.

The race to get off Russian natural gas in Europe and to ease gasoline prices in the US has thrown a wrench in these countries' climate commitments -- and they are quickly running out of time to meet their targets.

After the EU touted a sped-up clean energy transition in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, individual European countries -- including Germany and the United Kingdom -- are moving back to coal to replace the lost gas. And Germany is also looking to Africa for new gas supply.

Similarly, US President Joe Biden and his administration have made bringing down gas prices their top priority at home, with Biden recently backing a gas tax holiday opposed by many members of his own party. 

CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Ella Nilsen contributed reporting to this post.

6:12 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Evacuations from Severodonetsk limited "towards Russia or occupied territories," says military official

From CNN's Yulia Kesavia

Evacuees from Severodonetsk are only able to travel "towards Russia or occupied" territories in Ukraine, according to a military administration chief.

The healthcare situation in the eastern Ukrainian city is fragile and just a few doctors remain, Oleksandr Striuk said Monday. He described the water and food situation in Severodonetsk as "critical."

The only way for Ukrainian troops to leave the city is across the river by raft, Striuk added. He said "almost all units have withdrawn and taken as much equipment as they could."

Striuk said Russian forces who have control of the city are "trying to establish their occupational authority" and that many units have billeted themselves in evacuated residents' houses.

The city of Lysychansk, which lies to the south of Severodonetsk, is "being shelled with artillery non-stop and the city is being leveled to the ground," Striuk added.

"I would say that since they have captured Severodonetsk they focus all their efforts on Lysychansk."

Some background: Severodonetsk was one of the last major Ukrainian strongholds in the area. However, Striuk announced Saturday that the city was "completely under Russian occupation" following months of fighting.

CNN's Tim Lister, Oleksandra Ochman, Olga Voitovych and Jeevan Ravindran contributed reporting to this post.

5:47 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Brittney Griner to attend preliminary court hearing in Moscow region

From CNN’s Anna Chernova

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket as Natasha Howard #6 of the New York Liberty defends, at the Barclays Center, New York, on August 25.
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket as Natasha Howard #6 of the New York Liberty defends, at the Barclays Center, New York, on August 25. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

WNBA star Brittney Griner will attend a preliminary court hearing in the Moscow region Monday, her lawyer has told CNN.

The court hearing will be held behind closed doors at the Khimki city court just outside Moscow at 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), according to Alexander Boykov. 

Griner is expected to go to court in person.

Some background: The WNBA star was arrested at a Moscow airport in February, when Russian authorities claimed she had cannabis oil in her luggage and accused her of smuggling significant amounts of a narcotic substance, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Dozens of organizations have called on US President Joe Biden to strike an exchange deal with the Russian authorities to release Griner.

The House on Friday passed a bipartisan resolution demanding the Russian government immediately release Griner, who has been officially classified as "wrongfully detained," a US State Department official told CNN in May.

As a result, her case is being handled by the Office of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

CNN's Homero De la Fuente contributed reporting to this post.

5:09 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Civilians in Lysychansk urged to evacuate as Russian forces close in

From CNN's Tim Lister and Oleksandra Ochman

Civilians in Lysychansk have been urged to leave immediately, as Russian forces gain ground in the last remaining city Ukraine holds in the eastern Luhansk region.

"Due to the real threat to life and health, we call for an evacuation immediately. The situation in the city is very difficult," Serhiy Hayday, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said on Telegram.

He promised civilians they would be taken care of in other Ukrainian cities.

Videos from Lysychansk suggest that some civilians are reluctant to leave their homes, regardless of who controls the city.

There are about 10,000 to 15,000 people still in Lysychansk, with only around 50 people leaving each day, according to Shybiko Valerii, the head of the Ukrainian Lysychansk Military Administration.

Local residents gather near a shelter during a military strike in Lysychansk, Ukraine, on June 17.
Local residents gather near a shelter during a military strike in Lysychansk, Ukraine, on June 17. (Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters)

Forces from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), which is fighting alongside the Russian military, said Monday they are developing "a successful offensive in the area of Lysychansk with the fire support of the Russian army."

"The enemy suffered heavy losses in manpower and armored vehicles," it said on its Telegram channel.

"The people's militia continues to liberate territory occupied by Kyiv," the LPR added, claiming that the village of Borivske, within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of Lysychansk, is now under its control.

Officers of the LPR militia claimed they had cut off two evacuation routes for Ukrainian troops from Lysychansk, according to a reporter from the Ria Novosti state-owned news agency.

There has been heavy fighting south-west of Lysychansk around Vovchoyarivka, close to the main highway leading west as Russian forces aim to complete the city's encirclement.

4:37 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

US, G7 leaders will try to cap price of Russian oil

From CNN's Kevin Liptak 

The G7 leaders lined up for an informal group photo at the "Merkel - Obama" bench after dinner at the G7 meeting at Schloss Elmau, Germany, on June 26.
The G7 leaders lined up for an informal group photo at the "Merkel - Obama" bench after dinner at the G7 meeting at Schloss Elmau, Germany, on June 26. (Michael Kappeler/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Western leaders gathering at the G7 have decided to try capping the price of Russian oil, officials say.

It's the latest step toward punishing Moscow while attempting to mitigate the economic effects of the war in Ukraine.

How, when and by how much the price of Russian oil will be capped remains to be seen. Officials said the precise mechanism for accomplishing the cap was still being worked out.

Leaders said they will instruct their teams to work toward finding a way to limit the price at which Russia can sell its oil, depriving Moscow of a key revenue source.

"The goal here is to starve Russia, starve (Russian President Vladimir) Putin of his main source of cash and force down the price of Russian oil to help blunt the impact of Putin's war at the pump," said a senior US administration official.

As oil prices have skyrocketed, Russia's oil revenues are actually up despite global import bans. Leaders want to use their collective leverage to cut the revenue Russia receives from the countries still purchasing its oil. 

How, exactly, is not clear. An official suggested the G7 nations have leverage through oil transportation networks that could help toward applying the cap.

More sanctions: G7 leaders also plan to announce a lengthy set of new sanctions, including on Russian defense supply chains, Russians responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, private military companies and new visa restrictions on 500 officials.

New funding: The US will also announce $7.5 billion in new funding for Ukraine, part of a broader commitment from G7 nations to help the country make up its budgetary shortfalls.

3:22 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Analysis: Tide turns in the Ukraine war as Russia makes progress in the east

Analysis from CNN's Tim Lister

Russian forces are arguably having their best spell since the invasion of Ukraine began four months ago.

They have eliminated most Ukrainian defenses in the Luhansk region, consolidated control of a belt of territory in the south, improved their logistics and command structure and blunted the effectiveness of Ukrainian attack drones.

Within the last week, the Russians have been rewarded for their intense – some would say merciless – bombardments of the remaining parts of the Luhansk region held by Ukrainian forces, which have finally given up Severodonetsk and lost territory south of Lysychansk.

The head of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, predicted last Friday that Russian forces would completely encircle Lysychansk within two or three days. So far they haven’t, but the city is in imminent peril.

The Russian hierarchy also been reorganized, with new commanders for the southern and central forces committed to Ukraine under the overall leadership of Deputy Defense Minister Gennady Zhidko.

Read the full analysis here.