Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 117 of the invasion
Zelenskiy says he expects Russia will intensify attacks on Ukraine and possibly strike other European countries this weekSee all our Ukraine coverage
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he expected Russia would intensify attacks on Ukraine and possibly hit other European countries after the European Commission proposed it as a candidate for EU membership. “Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities,” he said in a nightly video address. “And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.”
Ukraine’s forces remain on the defensive in the eastern Donbas region, where fighting continues in Sievierodonestsk. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said Russia was massing forces in an attempt to take full control of the city after weeks of fighting but maintained that “all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie”. “They control the main part of the town but not the whole town,” he told Ukrainian television.
EU foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. It is hoped a deal can be struck to resume Ukraine’s sea exports in return for facilitating Russian food and fertiliser exports but remains unclear if the EU would get involved in militarily securing such a deal. “Whether there will be a need in the future for escorting these commercial ships, that’s a question mark and I don’t think we are there yet,” an EU official said.
The war in Ukraine could last for years and will require long-term military support, according to Nato and other western leaders. “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years,” Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Sunday. The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, added: “I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war.”
Ukraine’s parliament voted through two laws on Sunday that will place severe restrictions on Russian books and music. Proposed laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian citizens, banning the commercial import of books printed in Russia and prohibiting the playing of music by post-1991 Russian citizens on media and on public transport in the latest attempt to break cultural ties between the two countries.
The New York Times identified more than 2,000 munitions used by Russian forces in Ukraine, “a vast majority of which were unguided”. According to the newspaper, over 210 weapons that were identified were types that have been widely banned under a variety of international treaties.
Austria’s government announced it will reopen a mothballed coal power station because of power shortages arising from reduced deliveries of gas from Russia. The authorities would work with the Verbund group, the country’s main electricity supplier, to get the station in the southern city of Mellach back in action, the chancellery said on Sunday.
Morocco’s national human rights body has urged Russian authorities to guarantee a “fair trial” for a young national appealing a death sentence imposed by a pro-Russian court in Ukraine. Amina Bouayach, president of the National Council of Human Rights, has contacted the high commissioner for human rights in the Russian Federation and urged the Russian body to take “the necessary steps to ensure Brahim Saadoun receives a fair trial during his appeal”.