- One person has been killed after Russian attacks hit a residential building and a kindergarten compound in the centre of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv – the first time the city has been targeted since early June.
- Leaders from the G7 gather in Germany where they are expected to announce a ban on Russian gold imports, US President Joe Biden says.
- Russia’s defence ministry claims it had used high-precision weapons to hit Ukrainian army training centres in the Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv regions.
- Indonesian President Joko Widodo states he will call for a ceasefire during a peace-building visit to Russia and Ukraine.
- Severodonetsk’s mayor confirms the city in the eastern region of Luhansk is now under the “full occupation of Russia”.
This live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. These were the updates on Sunday, June 26:
Ukraine war pushes France to rethink coal power station closure
France has become the latest country to reconsider its energy options because of the war in Ukraine.
The energy transition ministry announced it was considering reopening the station at Saint-Avold in eastern France during the northern winter, “given the situation in Ukraine” and its effect on the energy markets.
“We are keeping open the possibility of being able to put the Saint-Avold station back in action for a few hours more if we need it next winter,” said a ministry statement, confirming a report on RTL radio.
But France would still be producing less than one percent of its electricity through coal power, and no Russian coal would be used, the statement added.
Body recovered after strike hits Kyiv building
Ukrainian rescuers have found the body of a man in the rubble of an apartment building in Kyiv after the first Russian air attacks on the capital city in weeks.
The general prosecutor’s office said preliminary information indicated one person was killed and four injured.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said six people were hospitalised with injuries, and a 7-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble.
Vladimir Putin to make first foreign trip since Ukraine invasion
Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet states in central Asia this week in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.
Pavel Zarubin, the Kremlin correspondent of the Rossiya 1 state television station, said Putin would visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and then meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo for talks in Moscow.
Read more here.
Ukraine attacks Crimean oil-drilling platform for second time in a week
Ukrainian forces have attacked a drilling platform in the Black Sea owned by a Crimean oil and gas company, the Russian state-owned Tass news agency cited local officials as saying, the second attack in a week.
The platform is operated by Chernomorneftegaz, which Russian-backed officials seized from Ukraine’s national gas operator Naftogaz as part of Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014.
“It’s shelling by the armed forces of Ukraine, there are no casualties,” Tass cited a member of Crimea’s emergency services as saying. It gave no further details.
Separatists say 250 more people brought out of Severodonetsk shelter
Pro-Russian separatists said they have evacuated 250 more people from the air raid shelters of the Azot chemical factory in Severodonetsk after Ukraine gave up the city.
Some 200 civilians, including young children, had been brought out of the plant on Saturday, the Luhansk separatist representative in Moscow, Rodion Miroschnikon, said on Telegram.
However, it was unclear where they had been taken. There had also been mention of a far greater number of evacuees, but no clearer information was available.
Kyiv mayor says attack on capital not a coincidence
Vitali Klitschko said Sunday’s Russian hit on Kyiv was a “symbolic attack” in the run-up to the NATO summit due to take place on Tuesday.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Klitschko said the attack on Kyiv was reminiscent of the ones that took place during the visit of the United Nations secretary-general in late April, who went on to describe the conflict as a “senseless war”.
Russia hit a missile factory in Kyiv: defence ministry
Russia said its early-morning raid on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, had hit a missile factory.
The Artyom factory “was the target, as military infrastructure” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement, adding that damage to a nearby residential building was caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile.
Scholz highlights G7 unity after condemning ‘brutal’ Kyiv attack
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned Russia’s “brutal” missile attack on Kyiv, saying that it reinforced the need for G7 leaders to “stand together and support the Ukrainians in defending their country”.
Speaking after the first working session of a three-day summit of G7 leaders, Scholz said that “all G7 countries are concerned about the crises we are currently facing”.
“There are falling growth rates in some countries, rising inflation, shortages of raw materials and disruption of supply chains,” he said. “I am very, very, very confident that we will succeed in sending a very clear signal of unity and decisive action from this summit.”
Protest kicks off against G7 summit in southern Germany
About 1,000 people began a protest in the southern German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen against the G7 summit being held nearby in Elmau, Bavaria.
The rally was accompanied by a significant police contingent. In total, some 18,000 police officers are deployed in the region for the summit.
The demonstration focused on the climate and fears that the Ukraine war will escalate. “We will not let them destroy our planet and our future,” a rally spokesperson said in comments directed at the politicians meeting nearby.
One killed, five wounded in Cherkasy attack
Two Russian missiles hit near the central Ukrainian city of Cherkasy, killing one person and wounding five others, the regional authorities said.
“Today, the enemy launched missile attacks on the Cherkasy region. There are 2 strikes near the regional center. One dead and five wounded. Infrastructure damaged,” Governor Ihor Taburets said on Telegram.
EU sanctions should include Russian gas embargo: Ukraine official
The latest missile attacks by Russia on Kyiv show that international sanctions should be more aggressive and include an EU embargo on Russian gas, the Ukraine president’s chief of staff has said.
“The G7 summit should respond to Russian strikes on Kyiv,” said Andriy Yermak, head of President Volvodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.
“The sanctions should be more aggressive. An embargo on gold exports is good, but a gas embargo is needed in the new EU sanctions package,” he said on the Telegram app.
France urges producers to cap oil price over Ukraine: Macron office
France has urged oil producers to cap the price of the commodity in order to put the squeeze on Russia, which is benefiting from soaring energy prices.
Paris backs a US proposal for a maximum oil price but said “it would be much more powerful if it came from the producing countries”, according to the French presidency.
UK and France agree to more support for Ukraine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to provide more support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, Johnson’s office said as the leaders met on the sidelines of the G7.
“They agreed this is a critical moment for the course of the conflict, and there is an opportunity to turn the tide in the war,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement.
President Macron praised the prime minister’s ongoing military support to Ukraine and the leaders agreed to step up this work,” the spokesperson said.
‘More of their barbarism’: Biden
Strikes by Russian missiles in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv overnight and early this morning were another case of Russian barbarism, Biden said at the G7 summit.
Russia attacks training centres in three Ukrainian regions
Russia’s defence ministry has said it had used high-precision weapons to attack Ukrainian army training centres in the Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv regions of Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.
Earlier Ukraine had said that Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
The ‘hunger game’
European Council President Charles Michel has condemned Russia’s “hunger games”, saying the Kremlin is “solely responsible for the global food crisis causing suffering in the poorest countries and low-income households”.
Speaking shortly before the start of a G7 summit in Germany, Michel said the Kremlin “is using food as a silent weapon of war, and we must vigorously counter Russia’s propaganda about food and fertiliser prices.”
Russia was “blockading ports, attacking agricultural infrastructure, turning fields of wheat into fields of war”, he said.
G7 must respond to missile attacks with more sanctions on Russia: Kuleba
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said G7 countries must respond to new missile attacks against Ukraine by imposing further sanctions on Russia and providing it with more heavy weapons.
“This 7 y.o. Ukrainian kid was sleeping peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile blasted her home. Many more around Ukraine are under strikes. G7 summit must respond with more sanctions on Russia and more heavy arms for Ukraine,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
This 7 y.o. Ukrainian kid was sleeping peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile blasted her home. Many more around Ukraine are under strikes. G7 summit must respond with more sanctions on Russia and more heavy arms for Ukraine. Russia’s sick imperialism must be defeated. pic.twitter.com/0kn2hl7A4x
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) June 26, 2022
Biden says G7, NATO must ‘stay together’ against Russia’s war
US President Joe Biden told Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the West must stay united against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We have to stay together,” Biden told Scholz at a meeting ahead of the G7 summit in Germany. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been hoping “that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter”, Biden said.
“But we haven’t and we’re not going to.”
Explosions heard in Cherkasy: Governor
Explosions were heard in the central Ukrainian city of Cherkasy, Governor Oleksandr Skichko said on the Telegram app.
He did not give further details. Cherkasy has been largely untouched by bombardment since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
25 rescued from Kyiv attack, at least four wounded
So far, 25 residents have been pulled out of the rubble after a Russian missile hit a residential building in central Kyiv, its mayor said. Vitali Klitschko said that four people were hospitalised, including a seven-year old girl.
Ukraine’s police Chief Ihor Klymenko said on national television that five people had been wounded, adding that a kindergarten was also targeted.
No good Sunday morning in #Kyiv. 12 missiles were fired against the city.
A 7yo girl was rescued from the rubble of a residential building. She is alive. Now her mother is being rescued.
Russian missiles hit a high-rise building. The number of victims is being clarified. pic.twitter.com/k70KR5iflo
— Rustem Umerov (@rustem_umerov) June 26, 2022
Air raid sirens regularly disrupt life in Kyiv, but there have been no major attacks on the city since June 5 when a rail car repair facility was hit on the outskirts and a late April shelling when a Radio Liberty producer was killed in an attack on the building she lived in.
“This is an indication that … the capital remains as vulnerable as anywhere else in the country,” said Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting in front of the damaged building in the Shevchenkivskiy district.
‘The world has changed’: AJ Correspondent
Leaders of the G7 are meeting in Germany to discuss topics beyond the Ukrainian crisis, Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays reported.
“The world has changed a great deal since leaders have met last time,” Bays said, noting that a G7 emergency meeting took place in the Belgian capital Brussels within the first month of the war.
“There are many other problems now … caused by the war but having a global effect, such as global energy prices, the global food crisis and the inflation which in many of the G7 countries is reaching worrying levels,” he said.
Russian defence ministry inspects troops in Ukraine
Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu has inspected Russian troops stationed in Ukraine, TASS news agency reported, citing the ministry.
The ministry in Moscow released a video showing the commander stepping off a plane in dark green military fatigues and then conferring with military officials.
On month five of the war, Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu visits Ukraine for the first time. pic.twitter.com/h3dNr0LuuX
— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) June 26, 2022
During the visit “Shoigu heard reports from the commanders on the current situation and the actions of the Russian armed forces in the main operational areas,” read the report, adding that he awarded medals to soldiers for their efforts in the “special military operation”, as Russia calls the war against Ukraine.
Canada, Japan, the UK and US to ban Russian gold
The United States along the G7 leaders will announce a ban on gold imports from Russia, US President Joe Biden has said, in the latest round of restrictions against Moscow.
“Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,” Biden said on Twitter.
The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine.
Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 26, 2022
In a separate statement, the British government said the restriction will apply to newly mined or refined gold, and it will not affect Russian-origin gold that has been previously exported from Russia.
Emergency service’s update on Kyiv blast
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine gave an update on explosions heard in the early morning in Kyiv:
- A nine-story residential building was damaged from the first to the ninth floor;
- The blast occurred at around 6:30am (03.30 GMT);
- Rescue operations are under way and preliminary data suggest there are victims;
- About 19 emergency units are currently working on the site.
Russia’s Kyiv attack aims to ‘intimidate Ukrainians’ before NATO summit: mayor
A Russian missile attack that hit Kyiv was intended to “intimidate Ukrainians” in the days leading up to a NATO summit, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
The first Russian attack in the capital in nearly three weeks was aimed to “intimidate Ukrainians… at the approach of the NATO summit” to be held in Madrid from June 28-30, said Klitschko, who visited the scene of the explosion.
AFP reporters said a residential complex was hit, causing a fire and cloud of grey smoke.
Some 45 missiles hit Ukraine in past 24 hours: Zelenskyy
In a late-night video address, Zelenskyy said that in the previous day, 45 Russian missiles hit wide areas, including the northern, southern and western parts of the country.
He described the strikes as intended for “not just the destruction of our infrastructure,” but also as “very cynical, calculated pressure on the emotions of our people.”
He also vowed to win back all the cities in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, including Severodonetsk, that have been taken by Russian forces.
Explosions rock Kyiv central district
Several explosions were heard in the Shevchenkivskiy district of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko has said on the Telegram messaging app.
There was no immediate information on the cause of the explosions.
“Ambulance crews and rescuers dispatched to the scene,” Klitschko said. “There are people under the rubble. Some residents were evacuated, two victims were hospitalized,” he added.
Indonesia’s president to visit Ukraine, Russia on peace mission
Indonesian President Joko Widodo says he will urge his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to open dialogue during a peace-building mission and ask Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to order an immediate ceasefire.
“War has to be stopped and global food supply chains need to be reactivated,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said before leaving for Germany to attend the G7 summit.
The president also said he will encourage the G7 to seek peace in Ukraine, and find an immediate solution to global food and energy crises. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.
G7 leaders to discuss Ukraine war, food and energy crises
The G7 leaders are in Germany, looking to back Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and deal with the intensifying global fallout of the war, trying to increase pressure on Putin while avoiding sanctions that could stoke inflation and exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis affecting their countries.
They are set to agree to ban imports of gold from Russia, a source familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency. A German government source said leaders were discussing a possible price cap on Russian oil imports.
The summit is also expected to discuss options for tackling rising energy prices and replacing Russian oil and gas imports.
The summit is at the resort of Schloss Elmau at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain – where Germany last hosted the G7 in 2015. Then too, Russian aggression against Ukraine dominated the agenda a year after Moscow’s invasion of Crimea.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Read all the key developments from yesterday, June 25, here.