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Ukraine war: Kyiv reports 'difficult' situation east, NATO won't invite Ukraine to join alliance

A Ukrainian serviceman of the 68th Oleksa Dovbush hunting brigade runs to his position in the recently retaken village of Blahodatne,
A Ukrainian serviceman of the 68th Oleksa Dovbush hunting brigade runs to his position in the recently retaken village of Blahodatne, Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP/AFP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

No invitation to join NATO next month for Ukraine

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After a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, in Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed his country's support for Ukraine in the war against Russia, expecting this could "last for a long time." 

The two confirmed that Ukraine won't be asked to join the alliance at its summit next month in Vilnius, Lithuania, for which the one in Berlin was a preparatory meeting, according to the leaders.

"We are not discussing to issue a formal invitation -- what we are discussing is how to move Ukraine closer to NATO," Stoltenberg said at a news conference following the meeting with Scholz. But he added that "NATO's door is open."

Scholz stressed that, despite this, Germany is ready to stand by Ukraine "for as long as it takes."

"We should be prepared that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine can still last for a long time," he said.

'Difficult' situation in eastern Ukraine

The situation in eastern Ukraine remains "difficult" as Russia has not given up its ambition to occupy the entire region of Donbas, the country's deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, said.

"The situation in the east is now difficult," Maliar wrote on Telegram. "The enemy has raised its forces and is conducting an active offensive in the Lyman and Kupyan directions, trying to seize the initiative from us. High activity of enemy shelling is recorded. Intense battles continue."

According to Maliar, the Russian military has not abandoned plans to reach the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. "Currently, this is the enemy's main offensive line," she wrote. "Therefore, it has concentrated a significant number of units in the east, in particular the airborne assault units. Our troops act courageously in the face of the enemy’s superiority in forces and means, and do not allow the enemy to advance."

UK to maintain sanctions on Russia until Ukraine is compensated

The UK government has announced new legislation which, if passed, would ensure the country maintains sanctions against Russia until Moscow pays compensation to Kyiv for all damages caused by the invasion.

The new legislation, which was announced by the UK foreign secretary James Cleverly, means that sovereign assets seized by authorities since the beginning of the war in Ukraine will remain immobilised until compensation is paid.

Ukraine claims another village on southern front

The Ukrainian army said on Monday it had recaptured Pyatykhatky, a village in the south. 

A total of eight localities have been liberated from Russian forces since Ukraine's counteroffensive began in June, Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar said on social media.

She added 113 square kilometres had been "liberated".

Euronews cannot independently verify these claims. 

Both sides suffering heavy losses - UK MoD

Russia and Ukraine are experiencing high casualties as Kyiv attempts to dislodge Moscow from occupied areas in its counteroffensive, British officials said on Sunday. 

Russian losses are probably at their highest level since the peak of the battle for Bakhmut in March, the UK Ministry of Defence said in its daily assessment. 

The most intense fighting was centred on the southeastern Zaporizhzhia province and Bakhmut in the east, according to British intelligence. 

While the update reported Ukraine had “made small advances” in these areas, it said Russian troops were conducting “relatively effective defensive operations”. 

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Regional Russia-Iran trade pact possible by year-end

A free trade zone agreement between Iran, Russia and several Eurasian countries is possible by the end of the year, Russia's TASS news agency reported on Monday.

Talks between the Eurasian Economic Union - comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Iran - are in their final stages, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk was quoted as saying by the state-owned media outlet. 

Both Iran and the wider region have taken on extra significance for the Kremlin after Western sanctions over the Ukraine invasion limited its trade, forcing it to look for markets outside of Europe. 

However, despite tighter ties between Moscow and Tehran - centred on large purchases of Iranian-made drones to attack Ukraine - their trade has grown only moderately.

Russia blocks aid to dam victims, claims UN

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine accused Russia on Sunday of obstructing aid deliveries to victims of the Kakhovka dam blast.

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The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, located in an area under Russian control in the Kherson region, was destroyed on 6 June. 

Hundreds of square kilometres were flooded, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and raising fears of both a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe.

UN coordinator Denise Brown claimed Russia was refusing their request to access affected areas, and urged Moscow to honour its obligations under international humanitarian law. 

Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of blowing up the dam.

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