Live Updates | German official: Time is working against Russia


FILE – British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace speaks at a press conference following his meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the British Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Friday, February 11, 2022. Wallace said in a statement Thursday, June 2, 2022, that Britain will send advanced medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine, in a coordinated move with the United States . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)


BERLIN — Germany’s vice chancellor said Russia’s continued revenue from high fuel prices “hurts”, but the Russian economy is collapsing and “time is working against Russia”.

Robert Habeck, who is also Germany’s economy minister and responsible for energy, told parliament on Thursday that “the income that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has gotten in recent months due to high prices hurts, and we can only be ashamed that we have not succeeded in reducing this dependence in a more significant way.

But he argued that looking at Russia’s gas and oil revenues doesn’t tell the whole story. Habeck said that “Putin still gets money, but he can hardly spend it anymore” because of Western sanctions. He pointed to sharp declines in exports to Russia, including from Germany.

Habeck said that “time is not working for Russia. He is working against Russia, he is working against the Russian economy. He added that “nobody wants to invest in Russia anymore.”



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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Thursday he expects Denmark to join the European Union’s common defense on July 1.

In a referendum on Wednesday, two-thirds of voters decided to drop a 30-year-old waiver that barred the Scandinavian EU country from entering. With 100% of votes counted, 66.9% voted in favor of dropping the 30-year opt-out and 33.1% against.

The move is the latest example of a country in Europe seeking closer defense ties with allies after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The referendum follows historic offers from fellow Nordic countries Sweden and Finland to join NATO.


LONDON — Britain says it will send sophisticated medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine, in a coordinated move with the United States.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK would send an unspecified number of M270 launchers, which can send precision-guided rockets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles).

Britain says the decision was closely coordinated with a US decision to send high-mobility artillery rocket systems to Ukraine. The two missile systems are similar, although the American system has wheels while the British system – also built in the United States – runs on tracks.

Britain says Ukrainian troops will be trained in the UK to use the equipment.

Ukraine has pleaded with its Western allies to send longer-range missiles to help it counter Russian artillery assaults in the eastern Donbass region, at the center of Moscow’s offensive.

The United States said Ukraine had promised not to launch weapons into Russia. But Russia has accused Washington of “throwing oil on the fire” of the conflict.


KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian emergency officials say Russian shelling set fire to a school in the city of Kharkiv and a woman died in the blaze.

Another man was injured, Ukrainian officials said Thursday. Shell fires also occurred in other areas of the Kharkiv region.

During the night, Russian forces also shelled the Dnipropetrovsk region, its governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, said on Telegram. He said the shelling took place on the border with the Kherson region, much of which is under Moscow’s control.

In the Sumy region that borders Russia, three people were injured as a result of missile fire overnight, Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyi said.

In the east, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian troops continued to storm the key city of Sievierodonetsk. Moscow forces also stormed the town of Komyshuvakha in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, much of which is under Russian control, the General Staff’s morning update said.


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Slovakia has signed an agreement to deliver eight Slovak-made Zuzana howitzers to Ukraine.

The Slovak Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday the agreement between the state company Konstrukta Defense and the Ukrainian side.

Unlike previous arms deliveries from Slovakia to Ukraine, this is a commercial agreement. Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said he was worth more than 40 million euros ($43 million).

Among other weapons, Slovakia previously donated a Soviet-era S-300 air defense system at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


LVIV, Ukraine — A Russian missile hit train tracks in the western Lviv region, a key conduit for Western weapons and other supplies, officials said.

Lviv Region Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said five people were injured in the strike, adding that more information would be available on Thursday.

Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the country’s interior minister, said the Russians struck the Beskydy rail tunnel in the Carpathians with the apparent aim of cutting off a key rail link and disrupting arms and fuel shipments.

However, the Ukrainian Railways official said the damage to the railway was still being assessed but the tunnel had been spared.

The strike reportedly delayed three passenger trains, but all then resumed their journey.

Lynn A. Saleh