Ukraine Latest: Russia, Ukraine Make First Swap of Dead Soldiers

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Russia and Ukraine made the first public exchange of the bodies of dead soldiers, as the war moves past the 100-day mark.

Ukraine warned that alternative routes for grain exports would not suffice to avert a global food crisis as Russia continues to blockade the Black Sea ports.

Amid heavy street fighting, Ukraine said its forces had reclaimed territory in a major city in the Luhansk region where Russia has recently made advances.

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Several Explosions in Kyiv on Sunday Morning (5:40 a.m.)

Several explosions occurred in Darnytskyi and Dniprovskyi districts in Kyiv, the capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on his Telegram channel on Sunday morning. There are currently no casualties as a result of “missile strikes on infrastructure” targets, he said, adding one person was sent to hospital and rescue services are still working in the affected areas, .

N. Korea Fires 8 Missiles, Testing Biden With Launch Record (2:30 a.m.)

North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles Sunday, pushing it to a record number of launches in a single year under Kim Jong Un. US President Joe Biden and allies might not have much leverage in trying to slow down the tests or ratchet up global sanctions to punish Pyongyang for its provocations.

The US push to isolate Russia over Putin’s war in Ukraine, coupled with increasing animosity toward China, has allowed Kim to strengthen his nuclear deterrent without fear of facing more sanctions at the UN Security Council.

US General Milley Holds Press Briefing With Swedish Leader (11:50 p.m.)

US General Mark Milley reiterated the US’s support for Sweden and Finland for NATO membership during a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in Stockholm, AFP reported.

Milley also visited the USS Kearsarge, the largest US warship ever to dock in Stockholm and which houses Osprey transport aircraft, Harrier attack helicopters and more than 1,200 Marines, the report said.

Ukraine, Russia Exchange Bodies of Deceased Soldiers (4:46 p.m.)

Ukraine and Russia exchanged the bodies of 160 soldiers each, in the first such public move since the start of war.

The exchange took place at the contact line in Zaporizhzhia region on June 2, according to Ukraine’s Ministry on Issues of Reintegration of Temporary Occupied Territories.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Criticizes Macron Call Not to Humiliate Russia (4:20 p.m.)

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, criticizes comments made by President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with the French regional press in which he said Russia mustn’t be humiliated in the conflict.

“We mustn’t humiliate Russia, so that when the day comes when fighting stops, we can build a way out through diplomatic means,” Macron told newspapers including Le Parisien in the interview published on Friday. “I’m convinced that France’s role is to be a force of mediation.”

Kuleba responded on Twitter on Saturday, saying: “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it. Because it is Russia that humiliates itself. We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives.”

Ukraine Expands Forex Interventions to Cover Imports (3:18 p.m.)

Ukraine’s central bank increased interventions on the foreign exchange market last month, raising pressure on the country’s international reserves that are shrinking amid robust imports and low export revenues, according to data published on its website.

Net sales of foreign currency jumped by 52% from the previous month to almost $3.4 billion in May, the highest level since the start of the war. The central bank lifted its key policy rate to 25% from 10% in an emergency hike last week to support the hryvnia and ease pressure on its international reserves.

Russia Acting Like ‘Pirates’ on Black Sea Ports (11:37 a.m.)

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said alternative routes for exporting grain from the country would not suffice to replace the Black Sea ports that Russia is blockading, and warned of a critical global food shortage.

“All of our activity won’t cover even 20% of what we could do through the Black Sea ports,” Oleksandr Kubrakov told the Financial Times.

Ukraine Claims Recapture of 20% Of Luhansk City (11:25 a.m.)

Ukraine’s troops counterattacked in Sievierodonetsk, having taken back about one fifth of the area of the city in the Luhansk region. Heavy street fighting is ongoing in the area, which is the main target for Russia’s advance, according to the head of the region’s government.

Russia to Facilitate Citizenship Applications in Kherson Region (8:35 a.m.)

Russia will open facilities for people wanting to obtain Russian citizenship in areas of the Kherson region.

The first will appear in Novaya Kakhovka and the surrounding area, Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the region’s military and civil administration, told TASS on Saturday.

Ukraine’s Leader Calls on US Cities to Stop Russia City Cooperation (8:30 a.m.)

US cities should stop cooperation with Russian sister-city counterparts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message. Zelenskiy cited Portland, Oregon linked with Khabarovsk and San Jose, California paired with Yeketerinburg as examples.

Oil Sands Crude Prices Nosedive as Russian Bans Upend Market (11 p.m.)

Canadian heavy crude prices have collapsed as the European war upends global market flows and makes oil sands crude less valuable. Western Canadian Select’s discount to benchmark West Texas Intermediate grew $1.70 to $20.80 a barrel in Alberta on Friday, the widest in almost seven months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Soaring energy costs prompted the Biden administration to tap US strategic petroleum reserves, nearly all of which is similar in grade to oil sands crude. As many as 39 million barrels of these sour barrels will be released this summer, just as oil sands sites come out of maintenance. A glut of ultra-light oil is also contributing to the collapse.

US Must Sanction Enablers of Russia’s War: Senators (7:45 p.m.)

A bipartisan group of US senators, including Mark Warner, Marco Rubio, Ron Wyden and John Cornyn wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to ask for sanctions against “lower-tier enablers” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The senators asked Yellen to take into account a list of 6,000 Russian officials and regime enablers compiled by Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Putin Says Russia Will Allow Ukraine Grain Exports (7:43 p.m.)

Putin said Russia is ready to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain and can guarantee the safety of shipments from ports it controls. In an interview with Russian state television, he urged Ukraine to clear its waters of mines and vowed Russia “will not take advantage of the clearance situation in order to launch any attacks from the sea.”

More broadly, the Russian president sought to deflect Russia’s responsibility for contributing to the global run-up in food and energy costs, blaming foreign governments and saying Europe’s “short-sighted policies” drove up gas prices on the continent.

He also slammed the EU for its sixth package of sanctions, warning it will make worse the situation on the fertilizer market. Russia is able to boost its grain exports in the next season to 50 million tons from 37 million tons, Putin said.

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