Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai disputed claims that the region is entirely in Russian hands, saying Ukraine still has two villages in its control and is inflicting losses on Russian soldiers and weapons in the area. The Russian military said it destroyed numerous weapons supplied by the United States and other NATO countries, including an advanced rocket system, during new attacks on Ukrainian positions on Sunday .A senior aide to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday the head of the powerful domestic security agency, Security Service of Ukraine (Sluzhba Bespeky Ukrayiny, or SBU), and the state prosecutor have been suspended pending investigations but have not been formally dismissed. The suspensions come amid mounting public anger over alleged corruption within the Ukrainian government. In a statement, Zelenskyy’s office said the move was necessary to ensure “a full and unbiased investigation” into the activities of the SBU and Prosecutor General’s Office. It is unclear who will replace SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak and Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka. Both men have been widely praised for their work in fighting corruption.
on Sunday, Zelenskyy had said Ivan Bakanov had been removed as head of the SBU and Iryna Venediktova had been removed as prosecutor general, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies. At least one person has been wounded in the overnight shelling on the southern Ukrainian town of Nikopol, the head of the district military administration, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, said. The situation in Ukraine remains unstable, with continued fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. This latest round of violence began after a period of relative calm and has raised concerns that the conflict could escalate further.
It seems that Russia is not too pleased with France’s recent proposal for a “European political community.” According to state news agency TASS, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the proposal deliberately confrontational and said that it had anti-Russian intentions. This comes after former President Dmitry Medvedev said that the refusal of Ukraine and Western powers to recognise Moscow’s control of Crimea poses a systemic threat for Russia. Medvedev went on to say that any outside attack on the region would prompt a “Judgement Day” response. Finally, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the Ukraine war shows that the West’s dominance is coming to an end as China rises to superpower status in partnership with Russia at one of the most significant inflexion points in centuries. It will be interesting to see how these developments play out in the coming months and years.
The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, is traveling to Baku on Monday for talks with Azerbaijani officials on energy cooperation, the European Commission said. The EU is seeking to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and is looking to Azerbaijan as a possible source of natural gas. Azerbaijan has the potential to become a major supplier of gas to the EU, and the Commission is interested in deepening energy ties with the country. Gazprom’s gas transit to Europe via Ukraine was stable on Sunday, despite recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The EU is working to diversify its sources of energy in order to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies.