June 29, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Jack Guy, Hafsa Khalil, Aditi Sangal, Laura Smith-Spark and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 2:04 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022
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9:51 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Biden officials privately doubt that Ukraine can win back all of its territory

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand

White House officials are losing confidence that Ukraine will ever be able to take back all of the land it has lost to Russia over the past four months of war, US officials told CNN, even with the heavier and more sophisticated weaponry the US and its allies plan to send.

Advisers to President Joe Biden have begun debating internally how and whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should shift his definition of a Ukrainian "victory" — adjusting for the possibility that his country has shrunk irreversibly.

US officials emphasized to CNN that this more pessimistic assessment does not mean the US plans to pressure Ukraine into making any formal territorial concessions to Russia in order to end the war. There is also hope that Ukrainian forces will be able to take back significant chunks of territory in a likely counteroffensive later this year.

A congressional aide familiar with the deliberations told CNN that a smaller Ukrainian state is not inevitable.

"Whether Ukraine can take back these territories is in large part, if not entirely, a function of how much support we give them," the aide said.

He noted that Ukraine has formally asked the US for a minimum of 48 multiple launch rocket systems, but to date has only been promised eight from the Pentagon.

Read more here.

9:51 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Bulgaria expels 70 Russian Embassy employees, Foreign Ministry says

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad in London

Bulgaria said Tuesday it had asked Russia to withdraw 70 staff members from its embassy in Sofia by July 3, saying Russia should decrease the size of its embassy to match the Bulgarian diplomatic footprint in Moscow.

"[Russian] Ambassador Eleanora Mitrofanova was informed of the Bulgarian decision to reduce the number of staff of Russian delegations in the Republic of Bulgaria within borders not exceeding the number of Bulgarian delegations" in Russia, a statement from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry read.

The ministry said its request was based on "reciprocity" and activities that are "a threat to national security," and incompatible with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.