(Bloomberg) — Russia started the fifth month of its invasion with widespread bombing of Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets, including in far western areas some 800 miles from major fighting in the Donbas. Airstrikes were launched from Belarusian territory for the first time, Ukrainian officials said.
At the Group of Seven summit that starts in Bavaria on Sunday, Germany’s expected to propose reversing a commitment to end certain fossil fuel financing as a response to the energy crisis triggered by the Ukraine war.
Ukrainian troops have started a controlled withdrawal from Sievierodonetsk in the east. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that Russia is taking control “cities and towns that its own artillery have turned to rubble.”
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On the Ground
Missile attacks on Ukraine’s north and west overnight were the heaviest in months, including airstrikes launched from Belarus for the first time in the four-month-old conflict, according to Ukrainian intelligence officials. Russia used six planes to fire a dozen X-22 cruise missiles from near the town of Mozyr, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Ukrainian border, targeting the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions. Ukrainian troops are withdrawing from Sievierodonetsk, while Russian forces made some progress in their push toward Lysychansk, the last major holdout in the Luhansk region, local governor Serhiy Haiday said. Ukraine “is likely reconfiguring its defense” of the Sievierodonetsk-Lysychansk sector,” the UK defense ministry said.
(All times CET)
Germany Wants G-7 Fossil Fuels Reversal (10:20 a.m.)
Berlin is pushing for G-7 nations to walk back a commitment that would halt the financing of overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of the year.
A draft text shared with Bloomberg would see the G-7 “acknowledge that publicly supported investment in the gas sector is necessary as a temporary response to the current energy crisis.”
Read more: Putin Is Pushing Germany’s Economy to the Breaking Point
Russia Launches Widespread Missile Attacks (8:42 a.m.)
Overnight missile attacks from Russia increased noticeably as Moscow’s invasion entered its fifth month.
Among the sites targeted was the massive combat training center in Yavoriv, northwest of Lviv and close to the Polish border, the head of the Lviv region said.
Zhytomyr, an important rail hub west of Kyiv, and Chernihiv in Ukraine’s north were struck with missiles launched from Belarusian territory, Ukraine’s military said. Around 30 missiles were fired at military infrastructure around Zhytomyr, killing at least one soldier and injuring another; 20 missiles were fired at the Chernihiv region, regional head Vitaliy Bunechnko said on his Telegram channel.
Zelenskiy Pledges Solidarity at Georgian Pro-EU Rally (8:30 a.m.)
Ukraine’s president addressed a pro-European rally in Tbilisi on Friday, a day after Ukraine won the European Union’s candidacy status. Tens of thousands of people assembled in the Georgian capital.
“We will never give up, because Donbas and Crimea are our land, just as Abkhazia and South Ossetia are your land,” Zelenskiy said in a reference to breakaway areas of Georgia also occupied by Russia. “And even if someone wants to forget about it, if someone wants to erase it, we will definitely remind them of it. We will stand by you!”
Georgia has been offered a roadmap to obtain EU candidacy status that’s subject to carrying out a series of reforms that would tackle corruption and boost judicial independence.
Wimbledon CEO Says Russian Player Ban Is For This Year Only (7 a.m.)
Wimbledon’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus may not last beyond this year, according to All England Lawns Tennis Club CEO Sally Bolton. In April, Wimbledon announced the ban, citing Russia’s “unjustified and unprecedented military aggression.”
The ban extends to several highly ranked players including world’s number one Daniil Medvedev.
“The decision we’ve made is for this year’s championships only,” Bolton told Bloomberg. “But we still believe it was the right decision for us to take. It’s impossible to call where we’ll be this time next year.”
Zelenskiy Tells NBC He’ll Fight for Release of US Vets (12:30 a.m.)
Zelenskiy said the two Americans who were captured while fighting in Ukraine are heroes and he will fight for their release, according to an interview with NBC News.
The families of veterans Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh reported them missing this month. Some 20,000 people from around the world have responded to Kyiv’s call to join the International Legion of Ukraine’s effort against Russian forces, the Ukrainian government said in March.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said this week the two men could face the death penalty, adding that the Geneva Conventions likely don’t apply as Moscow doesn’t consider them part of Kyiv’s national army.
US Hits Three More Russian Airlines With Penalties (7:53 p.m.)
The US issued orders suspending three Russian airlines — including the discount arm of state-owned Aeroflot — from receiving US parts and services for their planes.
Aeroflot unit Pobeda, Nordwind Airlines and S7 Airlines — the biggest carrier after Aeroflot — are the latest companies to receive enforcement actions from the Commerce Department for violation of US export controls imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Friday’s actions raise the number of Russian airlines that are now cut off from the parts, components, and maintenance services they need to sustain operations to eight, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod said in a statement.
Poland Gets EU450 Million Loan to Finance Refugee Aide (5:20 p.m.)
A loan provided by the Council of Europe Development Bank will be used to finance aid to Ukrainian refugees, Poland’s Finance Ministry said in a statement.
It’s the largest loan ever approved by the lending arm of the Council of Europe, a multinational human-rights organization, the bank said in a separate statement.
Ukraine’s Biggest Bond Buyer is Getting Antsy (3:43 p.m.)
Ukraine’s war-battered budget is coming under more strain as the central bank increasingly raises the alarm about the limits of its ability to provide cash through sovereign debt buying.
The economic fallout from Russia’s invasion, which just reached the four-month mark, has brought budget funding for everything from pensions to military operations to breaking point.