Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
An update on the major developments:
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has told an event in St Petersburg that the country has weathered economic sanctions imposed as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. The European Union’s executive arm has backed Ukraine’s bid for EU candidacy status. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv and offered to provide training to Ukrainian troops.
Here are the latest updates:
20 mins ago (00:47 GMT)
Russia frees medic who filmed horror of Mariupol siege
Russia has freed a Ukrainian medic whose footage was smuggled out of the besieged city of Mariupol by an Associated Press team, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has announced.
Yuliia Paievska, known in Ukraine as Taira, used a body camera to film her team’s efforts over two weeks to save the wounded, including both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.
She transferred the clips to the AP journalists, one of whom fled with it embedded in a tampon on March 15. Taira and a colleague were taken prisoner by Russian forces the next day.
1 hour ago (00:07 GMT)
US high-tech drone sale to Ukraine hits snag: Reuters
The Reuters news agency is reporting that the United States’ plans to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine have been put on hold because of concerns the sophisticated surveillance equipment could fall into enemy hands.
The technical objection to the sale of the armable drones was raised during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration, which is charged with keeping high-value technology safe from enemy hands, Reuters said, citing two people familiar with the plan.
1 hour ago (00:04 GMT)
TikTok pressed on whether it allows ‘pro-war’ propaganda
Republican senators in the United States have written to TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew about reports the social media site had allowed Russian state-approved media content but barred other videos.
“Recent reports indicate TikTok… has allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda. No company should find itself in the position of amplifying the Kremlin’s lies, which fuel public support for Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine,” the letter said.
The senators wrote they were “deeply concerned” that TikTok “is enabling the spread of pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, which risks adding to an already devastating human toll for both Ukrainians and Russians.”
1 hour ago (00:01 GMT)
UN says civilian casualties exceed 10,000
The United Nations says more than 10,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, have now been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.
Some 4,509 people had been killed and 5,585 injured as of midnight in Kyiv (21:00 GMT) on June 16, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in its daily update. The dead include 294 children, the OHCHR said.
“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the statement said, adding that the actual figures were probably much higher.
Read all the updates from June 17, here.