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Russia-Ukraine: Putin Claims Russia Is Not Blocking Ukrainian Grain Shipments

It is day 100 of Russia's war in Ukraine, which the Kremlin continues to refer to as a "special military operation." Russian forces have gained substantial ground in Ukraine's eastern Donbas in recent days, and they now control more than 90% of the Luhansk region, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

Russia Ukraine war

Image: AP

05:44 IST, June 4th 2022
As the war enters 100th day, Combat erupts in two important eastern Ukrainian cities

On the 100th day of Russia-Ukraine war, block-by-block battle raged in two key eastern Ukrainian cities, steadily reducing them to ruins. Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk, said violent combat continued in Sievierodonetsk, where roughly 13,000 remaining civilians sought refuge in basements to avoid Russian airstrikes. He later stated that Ukrainian forces recaptured 20% of the city ground that Russian troops had taken.

05:34 IST, June 4th 2022
French President Macron says Putin committed a "Historic Error" by invading Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a "historic and fundamental error" by invading Ukraine and was now "isolated."

"I think, and I told him, that he made a historic and fundamental error for his people, for himself and for history. I think he has isolated himself. Isolating oneself is one thing, but being able to get out of it is a difficult path," Macron stated in an interview with French regional media.


05:20 IST, June 4th 2022
Putin claims Russia is not blocking Ukrainian grain shipments

In an interview with the Russian television channel "Russia-1," President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia is not impeding Ukrainian grain shipments, calling such charges "bluff." Notably, leaders around the world have issued warnings as Russia's months-long blockade of Ukrainian ports raises the danger of a worldwide food catastrophe and hunger in some parts of the world.

Putin stated, "This is a bluff. And I will explain why. The world produces about 800 million tons of wheat per year. We are told that Ukraine is ready to export 20 million tons. It's only 2.5%,"

Prices for important agricultural items produced in the region have risen two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Wheat, a pantry staple, is the most problematic. Supplies from Russia and Ukraine, which account for over 30% of world wheat commerce, are now jeopardised. Earlier this week, global wheat prices reached an all-time high.

05:01 IST, June 4th 2022
UN chief reiterates his plea for a "immediate halt to violence"

As Ukraine observed the 100th day of Russia's conflict, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement renewing his appeal for an end to hostilities. According to him, the conflict has already killed thousands of people and displaced millions more, and it has "resulted in unacceptable violations of human rights and is inflaming a three-dimensional global crisis – food, energy and finance – that is pummeling the most vulnerable people, countries and economies."

He added, "I renew my call for an immediate halt to violence, for unfettered humanitarian access to all those in need, for safe evacuation of civilians trapped in areas of fighting and for urgent protection of civilians and respect for human rights in accordance with international norms."


04:39 IST, June 4th 2022
UN claims 14 million Ukrainians compelled to flee since the Russian invasion began

According to Amin Awad, the United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, 14 million Ukrainians have been forced to evacuate their homes, the bulk of whom are women and children. Awad talked about displaced Ukrainians in a statement issued on the 100th day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, citing the "size and pace of [their] relocation unseen witnessed in history."

03:08 IST, June 4th 2022
Zelenskyy claims, Ukraine accomplished the impossible by stopping Russia

Ukraine has achieved "what seemed impossible" by resisting Russia's invasion, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. On June 3, he stated that Russia controlled roughly 20% of Ukrainian land. Meanwhile, a regional governor reported that Ukrainian forces have retaken 20% of the city of Severodonetsk from Russian troops, implying that about half of the city is now under Ukrainian control.

01:44 IST, June 4th 2022
Ukraine claims its soldiers have reclaimed 20% of the ground lost in Sievierodonetsk

According to Ukrainian officials, Ukrainian soldiers have reclaimed roughly 20% of the terrain lost in Sievierodonetsk during Russia's incursion. According to Serhiy Haidai, the leader of Luhansk's eastern region, Russian forces had been attacking and gaining on Ukrainian lines for hours, only to be forced back by uninjured defenders.

"Whereas before the situation was difficult, the percentage (held by Russia) was somewhere around 70%, now we have already pushed them back by approximately 20%," Haidai declared on national television on June 3.


00:39 IST, June 4th 2022
African Union's chief claims Putin has signalled "willingness" to allow Black Sea grain exports

Senegalese President and African Union Chairman Macky Sall stated in a tweet after meeting Vladimir Putin in the coastal Russian city of Sochi that Putin appeared inclined to release grain exports that had been stopped for months at Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

"President #Putin expressed to us his readiness to facilitate Ukrainian what exports. Russia is ready to ensure the export of its wheat and fertilisers. I call on all partners to lift sanctions targeting wheat and fertilisers," Sall wrote on Twitter. However, he did not mention whether Putin's offer was subject to any conditions.


23:39 IST, June 3rd 2022
In stats, 100 days of Russia-Ukraine war

On the 100th day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, UN relief agencies have released numbers demonstrating the extent of the damage. According to World Food Programme data, 1.7 billion people worldwide are experiencing greater poverty as a result of the grain blockade and rising food costs, while the number of people facing "acute hunger" is expected to rise by 47 million.

According to Amin Awad, the UN's crisis coordinator for Ukraine, at least 15.7 million people in the country require immediate humanitarian assistance and safety. Nearly 14 million people (almost one-third of Ukraine's population) have been forced to evacuate, and nearly five million children's education has been halted.

Further, UN Human Rights reports 9,197 civilian casualties - 4,183 killed and 5,014 injured - however these only include those who can be validated after a rigorous verification process. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, there have been 269 attacks on healthcare facilities, with at least 76 people killed.

19:10 IST, June 3rd 2022
Putin hosts Chairman of African Union, President of Senegal Macky Sall

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with the Chairman of the African Union and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, in the Sochi. Putin said that Russia has always stood by Africa and supported it in its struggle against colonialism. He also highlighted the increasing role of Africa in today's international arena.

Sall on the other hand was quick to highlight the issues confronting Africa because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War. He pointed out that countries which are far from the main conflict zone were still experiencing its consequences. He added that Sanctions against Russia further escalated the crisis of food security in Africa.

(Image: Kremlin)

17:34 IST, June 3rd 2022
Belarus' Lukashenko talks to UN chief Guterres, expresses readiness to provide transit for Ukrainian grain

Belarus' president Alexander Lukashenko in a telephonic conversation with UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed readiness to supply Ukrainian grain to the Baltic ports through the Belarusian territory. Lukashenko also guaranteed Belarusian railways' support for any related cause.

Lukashenko in return also indicated that ports of countries including Germany, Poland & other Baltic countries must remain open for the Belarusian goods as well. UN Chief Guterres in return asked for some time to bring leaders across the discussed countries on the same page.

16:37 IST, June 3rd 2022
Kyiv claims Russian forces destroyed 24,000 km of roads since inception of war on Feb 24

According to Ukraine’s state-owned road construction agency Ukravtodor, Russian troops have destroyed 24,000 km of roads since the inception of the war. The agency also claimed that in addition to the roads, Russians also destroyed 300 bridges in Ukraine since February 24.


15:31 IST, June 3rd 2022
Ukraine says 'not interested' in using foreign-supplied weapons on Russian territory

Ukraine is “not interested” in attacking the Russian territory and would only use the foreign-supplied weapons to drive out the forces invading the country, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Newsmax in an interview. His remarks follow the United States announcing that it would send “more advanced” weapons and ammunition to Ukraine to help the country fight the Russian military army. However, US’ military assistance to Ukraine triggered criticism from Russia which said that Washington was “adding fuel to fire”.

Additionally, Zelenskyy’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak also echoed similar remarks and said on Twitter, “Ukraine is waging a defensive war and does not plan to use the MLRS to attack facilities in Russia. Our partners know where their weapons are used.”


15:02 IST, June 3rd 2022
SBU exposes 5 supporters of Russian invasion in Odesa Oblast

According to Kyiv Independent, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that the suspects had been “publicly justifying”  Russia’s war, supporting and glorifying Russian troops on social media, and encouraging Ukrainians to cooperate with Russia.

14:44 IST, June 3rd 2022
Video: Chronicle of 100 days of Russia-Ukraine war


14:32 IST, June 3rd 2022
Russia-Ukraine war is a 'major concern' for India's population, says EAM Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that the Russia-Ukraine war is a 'great concern' for India's population. While attending  GLOBSEC 2022 Forum and speaking on the topic "Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific Region", EAM Jaishankar said, "Russia's war in Ukraine is a major concern for India's population for 2 reasons; everyone is interconnected, India is a very digital society & has much awareness, it is impacting people's daily lives through the rising prices of petrol, wheat, and more".


14:26 IST, June 3rd 2022
Russian media outlets ordered not to talk about 100 days of war

Russian state media outlets have been ordered to not discuss the fact that Friday, June 3 marks the 100 days since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special” military operation in Ukraine, according to a report by Latvia-based outlet, Medusa which cited a source in Russian presidential administration among others. As Russia failed to achieve most of its goals in Ukraine since February 24, when the conflict started, Kremlin is concerned that highlighting how long Putin’s war has lasted will show the country in an unpleasant light.

The media outlet’s unnamed source was quoted as saying, “Focusing on dates related to the war can make Russians think about the goals and success of the invasion."

“When talking about a round date, questions always arise: what has been achieved by this date?" they added. 

13:46 IST, June 3rd 2022
EU president expresses solidarity with Ukraine as war marks 100 days

European Union President Ursula von der Leyen in her latest tweet marking the 100th day of the Russian war expressed solidarity with Ukraine. 

"100 days ago Russia unleashed its unjustifiable war on Ukraine. The bravery of Ukrainians commands our respect and our admiration. The EU stands with Ukraine. Today in Paris, I will discuss with Emmanuel Macron the EU’s current & future support to the country," she wrote. 


13:19 IST, June 3rd 2022
Luhansk governor shares images of devastation in Luhansk as war enters day 100

Head of the Luhansk military region, Sergei Haidai on Friday shared images of the devastation in the region as the Russian war gained momentum in the eastern part of the embattled country. 


13:00 IST, June 3rd 2022
Ukraine Armed Forces claim to have killed over 30,900 Russian troops since Feb 24

Ukraine Armed Forces in their latest war briefing updated that the defenders have "liquidated" at least 30,950 Russian soldiers since the war began on February 24. In addition, they destroyed 1,367 tanks, 3,366 armoured vessels, and 675 artillery systems. 


12:37 IST, June 3rd 2022
UK MoD says nearly 90% of Luhansk region is under Russian control

In their latest war update, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday informed that at least 90% of the regional territory of Luhansk is under Russian control. The intelligence briefing predicted that the invading troops may capture the whole region in the coming two weeks. 


12:02 IST, June 3rd 2022
Moscow-appointed head of Zaporizhzhia region prepares pseudo-referendum in seized districts


11:51 IST, June 3rd 2022
US envoy to Ukraine says her 'No.1 mission is to help Ukraine prevail against Russia'

The new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, on Thursday said that her primary mission in Kyiv is to "is to help Ukraine prevail against Russian aggression" and to ensure military aid from the US reaches Kyiv. “There is no place on the planet I would rather be,” she said. “President Biden has said that we’re going to be here, helping Ukraine, for as long as it takes. And that’s what we’ll do," she told reporters, as quoted by the Associated Press. 



11:27 IST, June 3rd 2022
Belarus rotating its special forces unit near Ukraine border: Report

According to a report by UNIAN, Minsk is rotating the Belarusian Special Armed Forces in areas bordering Ukraine. 


10:57 IST, June 3rd 2022
Zelenskyy concedes that Russian attack is 'powerful in many cities'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his late-night address admitted that “there are many cities where the Russian attack is powerful.” He added that the fighting was brutal in the eastern Donbas but there has been “some progress” in the city of Sievierodonetsk, where Russian forces have been tightening their grip. Citing military intelligence information, he said it was too early to give specifics. He further informed that the Russian troops were regrouping away from Donbass. "The longer the war goes on, the more vile, shameful, and cynical things Russia is forever inscribing in its history,” he added.  


10:57 IST, June 3rd 2022
Zelenskyy concedes that Russian attack is 'powerful in many cities'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his late-night address admitted that “there are many cities where the Russian attack is powerful.” He added that the fighting was brutal in the eastern Donbas but there has been “some progress” in the city of Sievierodonetsk, where Russian forces have been tightening their grip. Citing military intelligence information, he said it was too early to give specifics. He further informed that the Russian troops were regrouping away from Donbass. "The longer the war goes on, the more vile, shameful, and cynical things Russia is forever inscribing in its history,” he added.  


10:43 IST, June 3rd 2022
Reports suggest Russia appealed to China for economic support since beginning of war

According to a Washington Post report, citing two anonymous Chinese and Russian officials, Moscow had urged Beijing to provide economic support since the beginning of the war on February 24. However, China hesitated initially fearing running afoul of western sanctions. Thus, the leaders in Beijing set limits on the help they can extend to Moscow. 



10:37 IST, June 3rd 2022
Russian billboard promotes war propaganda and advertises funeral homes; Watch


10:16 IST, June 3rd 2022
US vows to hold Russia accountable for war crimes committed by its forces in Ukraine

US Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya on Thursday expedited calls for strengthening accountability and justice for war crimes committed by Russian troops. Speaking at the United Nations, Zeya said, the US and its allies are vowing to hold Russia accountable for crimes and are ready to support a broad range of international investigations into atrocities in Ukraine.

09:44 IST, June 3rd 2022
Ukraine doubles interest rates to 25% to prevent fall of currency

Tightening its monetary policy for the first time since war, Ukraine increased its key rate of interest to 25% to prevent double-digit inflation. As economic experts predicted a massive shrink in the Ukrainian economy as 40% of businesses shut down amid war, the move was deemed necessary by Kyiv, The Guardian reported. As per the National Bank of Ukraine, inflation is currently at 17% in May, up from 16.4% in April.