Ukraine repels attack around Blahodatne in Donetsk region
Ukraine’s military said on Sunday its forces had repelled an attack in the area of Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia’s Wagner private military group said it took control of the village. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
07:34am: Ukraine repels attack around Blahodatne while Russia’s Wagner claims control
Ukraine’s military said on Sunday its forces repelled an attack in the area of Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia’s Wagner private military group said it took control of the village.
“Units of Ukraine’s Defence Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of … Blahodatne … in the Donetsk region,” the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its daily morning report, referring to fighting on Saturday.
It added that its forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region.
The Wagner Group, designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organisation, said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday that its units had taken control of Blahodatne.
Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.
03:48am: Ukraine imposes sanctions on 182 Russian, Belarusian firms, three people
Ukraine imposed sanctions against 182 Russian and Belarusian companies, and three individuals, in the latest of a series of steps by President Volodymyr Zelensky to block Moscow’s and Minsk’s connections to his country.
“Their assets in Ukraine are blocked, their properties will be used for our defence,” Zelensky said in a video address.
The sanctioned companies chiefly engage in the transportation of goods, vehicle leasing and chemical production, according to the list published by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.
The list includes Russian potash fertiliser producer and exporter Uralkali, Belarus state-owned potash producer Belaruskali, Belarusian Railways, as well as Russia’s VTB-Leasing and Gazprombank Leasing both dealing with transport leasing.
03:33am: Ukraine’s Zelensky decries neutrality in sports at time of war
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the idea of neutrality in sports at a time when his country’s athletes fight and die in war, while their Russian counterparts might be allowed to compete.
Redoubling his efforts in what he called “a marathon of honesty” to stop Russian athletes from taking part in the 2024 Olympics, Zelensky said their presence would normalise Russia‘s invasion of his country.
“There is no such thing as neutrality when a war like this is going on. And we know how often tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests,” Zelensky said in a Saturday evening video address.
Zelensky said on Friday that Ukraine would launch an international campaign to keep Russia out of the 2024 summer games, which will be held in Paris.
Russia said that any attempt to squeeze it out of international sport was “doomed to fail”.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)