June 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Simone McCarthy, Helen Regan, Jeevan Ravindran, Hafsa Khalil, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 3:12 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022
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7:36 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Nearly 16 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid, says UN

From CNN's Oleksandra Ochman

Volunteers distribute humanitarian aid in the town of Lyubotyn, Ukraine, on June 29.
Volunteers distribute humanitarian aid in the town of Lyubotyn, Ukraine, on June 29. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly 16 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations resident coordinator for Ukraine has said.

“Almost 16 million people in Ukraine today need humanitarian assistance -- water, food, health services, roof over their head and protection,” Osnat Lubrani said in a press conference Thursday.

“These are conservative numbers which United Nations is revising now.”

Lubrani added that at least six million people have so far been displaced internally by the conflict and another 5.3 million have fled abroad since the invasion on February 24.

7:18 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Sweden to supply anti-tank weapons and demining equipment to Ukraine

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown in London

Ukrainian servicemen study the Swedish made the Carl Gustaf M4, a shoulder-launched weapon system, during a training session near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 7.
Ukrainian servicemen study the Swedish made the Carl Gustaf M4, a shoulder-launched weapon system, during a training session near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 7. (Andrew Marienko/AP)

Sweden will donate anti-tank weapons and demining equipment worth 500 million Swedish Krona ($49 million) to Ukraine, a Swedish official has said.

Talking to CNN on Thursday, Swedish defense ministry spokesperson Toni Eriksson said the equipment was requested by the Ukrainian government, and would be delivered “as soon as possible.”

Sweden has already donated military equipment to Ukraine on four previous occasions, he said, adding that they will also be providing further support weapons.

Eriksson did not give any details on further specifics of the equipment Sweden was giving.

7:05 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

People “dream of at least half an hour of silence” in Lysychansk, official says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

The Russian barrage has continued on the eastern city of Lysychansk, according to Serhii Hayday, the head of Luhansk's region military administration.

“People dream of at least half an hour of silence, but the occupiers do not stop firing from all available weapons,” Hayday said, giving a sense of what life is like in the beleaguered city.

In a Thursday morning update on the fate of the city, he said that Russian forces had destroyed the police headquarters and had begun targeting the oil refinery in the city. Russian attacks on the refinery continued on to Thursday morning.

He added that the body of a woman was found in a basement of a house that was also hit.

On Wednesday, Hayday reported that "around 15,000 people" still remained in the besieged city, despite being urged to evacuate over the past few weeks. Now, he says it is harder for people to leave.

“Now the density of fire is so strong. So much that we can only put 30 people on a bus,” he said.

7:02 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Putin says Russia is "open to dialogue" on strategic stability and nuclear non-proliferation

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Russia is open to a dialogue on strategic stability and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as improving the situation with arms control, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in his video address to the participants of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

“Russia is open to dialogue on ensuring strategic stability, maintaining the non-proliferation regimes for weapons of mass destruction, and improving the situation in the field of arms control,” Putin said.

Russia is developing relations with everyone who is interested in this, he added.

The Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said earlier in June it is essential to continue communication between Russia and the US on the “principles of mutual respect, the indivisibility of security, consideration of mutual concerns and mutual benefit.”

8:08 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

UK to provide a further $1.2 billion in military aid to Ukraine

From CNN's Manveena Suri and Chris Liakos

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Session at the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Session at the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The United Kingdom will provide a further £1 billion ($1.2 billion) of military support to Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at the NATO summit on Thursday.

“This uplift to funding will herald a new phase in the international community’s support to Ukraine,” a statement issued by No. 10 Downing Street said, adding it will support “sophisticated air defence systems, uncrewed aerial vehicles, innovative new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces of vital kit for Ukrainian soldiers.”

“Putin’s brutality continues to take Ukrainian lives and threaten peace and security across Europe,” said Johnson.

“UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine,” he added. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Johnson on Twitter for announcing additional assistance to Ukraine.

“I’m grateful to 🇬🇧 Prime Minister @BorisJohnson for allocating an additional £1 billion for security assistance to Ukraine. 🇬🇧 is our true friend and strategic partner. We appreciate the consistent, leadership support for 🇺🇦 in countering Russian aggression,” Zelensky wrote.

Thursday’s announcement brings the total UK military support since the outbreak of war to £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) — more than any country other than the United States, according to the statement.

6:49 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

UK to send military experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina to "counter Russian malign influence"

 From CNN's Benjamin Brown in London

The United Kingdom said Thursday it would send two counter-disinformation and defense reform military experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina to "counter Russian malign influence" in the country.

British experts, the UK government said, will reinforce the local NATO mission and "promote stability and security."

The deployment comes following a request by NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, with British experts set to train Bosnian troops.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently facing the greatest existential threat in its post-war period, with secessionist leaders actively working to create further division and conflict. These plans are backed by Moscow as part of Putin's drive to undermine both Bosnia's Euro-Atlantic integration and its stability," a UK government statement read.

The counter-disinformation expert would be tasked with strengthening NATO HQ's ability to "block Russian and other efforts to sow mistrust and undermine democracy in the country and region," while the defense reform adviser would help bring the Bosnian Armed Forces up to NATO standard.

In Thursday's announcement, the UK government said it would provide £750,000 ($909,213) for the establishment of a cyber-security center of excellence at the University of Sarajevo.

"We cannot allow the Western Balkans to become another playground for Putin's pernicious pursuits," Johnson said.

"By fanning the flames of secessionism and sectarianism Russia seeks to reverse the gains of the last three decades in Bosnia and Herzegovina, gains that have brought more stability to our whole continent."

6:17 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

European Court of Human Rights grants "interim measures" to death penalty sentencing for two British nationals

From CNN's Benjamin Brown and Chris Liakos

Two British citizens Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim, center, sit behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on June 9.
Two British citizens Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right, and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim, center, sit behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on June 9. (AP)

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has urged Russia to ensure that the death penalty imposed on two British nationals by a pro-Russian court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) is not carried out.

The ECHR on Thursday announced it had decided to grant interim measures in the cases of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, calling on Russia to ensure "appropriate conditions of their detention" and to provide them with any necessary medical assistance.

“The European Court of Human Rights has decided to grant interim measures in the cases of Pinner v. Russia and Ukraine, and Aslin v. Russia and Ukraine (application nos. 31217/22 and 31233/22) concerning two British nationals who are members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the ECHR said in a press release.

The two nationals had surrendered to Russian forces, and have since been sentenced to death.

“The Court indicated in particular to the Government of the Russian Federation, under Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Rules of Court, that they should ensure that the death penalty imposed on the applicants was not carried out,” the ECHR added.

The ECHR can grant interim measures in cases in which the court believes there is an “imminent risk of irreparable harm.” Such measures are only passed on an “exceptional basis,” according to the court.

Russia remains party to the European Convention on Human Rights until September 16, the Council of Europe said. Its membership gives the court jurisdiction in cases involving the Russian Federation.

The court also said on Thursday that the issue of jurisdiction in the so-called DPR is under “active consideration.”

Thursday's decision followed an application by Pinner and Aslin on Monday.

The two British citizens and Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune were sentenced to death on June 9, accused of being "mercenaries" for Ukraine, according to Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.

The ECHR granted interim measures in Saadoune's case on June 16.

8:09 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden set for final day of highly consequential NATO summit

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a round table meeting at a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a round table meeting at a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

US President Joe Biden and his fellow NATO leaders depart a highly consequential summit on Thursday that rendered the defense alliance larger, more muscular and more focused.

What's unclear is whether any of the steps taken to respond to the war in Ukraine at this week's meetings in Europe -- new sanctions, more military aid and a reinvigorated NATO -- can change the battlefield momentum that currently favors Russia.

Before returning to Washington, Biden will convene a news conference Thursday where he's certain to address the state of the war. His top spy on Wednesday said the US assessment of the conflict remained "grim."

The alliance is poised to grow larger after formally inviting Finland and Sweden to join. The path was cleared for the two countries, each with long histories of military non-alignment, after Turkey dropped its objections, giving this summit a somewhat unexpected boost as it commenced.

Leaders made major enhancements of NATO's force posture along its eastern edge, increasing the number of high-alert troops by sevenfold. Biden announced new rotational deployments of US troops in the Baltics and Romania, new ships to Spain and planes to the United Kingdom, and for the first time a permanent Army garrison headquarters in Poland.

After dancing around the issue for years, NATO made clear in its updated mission statement that Russia now poses the "most significant threat to Allied security." And it mentioned China for the first time, saying the budding partnership between Moscow and Beijing "runs counter to our values."

Read more here.

5:44 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Death toll increases to six in Mykolaiv apartment strike

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva

The number of people who have died as a result of a bombing on a five-storey apartment building in the southern city of Mykolaiv has increased to six, according to the emergency services.

Eight missiles hit the city early on Wednesday, according to regional officials.

“The bodies of 6 people have been pulled from the building. A further 6 have been injured,” they said in a short post on Telegram.

The apartment was struck on Wednesday, and Mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych earlier said the number of dead had risen to four. He said there had been a total of eight strikes, and the Russians had used a modified KH-55 missile in the attacks. He said he was not sure whether the apartment building that was hit was the intended target.

A total of 114 people have died in Mykolaiv since the war began.