20% Of Ukraine Is Under Russian Control, Zelensky Says

20% Of Ukraine Is Under Russian Control, Zelensky Says

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4 hr 32 min ago20% of Ukraine is under Russian control, President Zelensky saysFrom CNN’s Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

One-fifth of Ukrainian territory is under Russia’s control, with Donbas “almost entirely destroyed,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said while addressing Luxembourg’s lawmakers on Thursday.

“As of today, about 20% of our territory is under the control of the occupiers, almost 125 thousand square kilometers. This is much larger than the area of all the Benelux countries combined,” Zelensky said to the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg via video link.   Zelensky also said fighting continues along the front line that is stretched over “more than a thousand kilometers” along the territories of Kharkiv region to Mykolaiv in the country’s south. He added Ukraine’s Donbas region is “simply devastated,” calling it “once one of the most powerful industrial centers in Europe.” 

Zelensky claimed that more than 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the war began over three months ago. CNN cannot verify those numbers. “That’s greater than the death toll of the Soviet Union in 10 years of war in Afghanistan, greater than Russia’s death toll in two Chechen wars,” according to Zelensky.

In his remarks to the lawmakers, the Ukrainian president urged additional sanctions on Russia, asking for more weapons to support Ukraine’s fight along the front line. The Ukrainian president also invited Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel to visit Kyiv and asked for the deputies to support Ukraine’s ambition to join the EU, calling Ukraine a “de facto part of the European Union.” 

Zelensky spoke to chamber on the 99th day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since February, the Ukrainian president has addressed dozens of parliament assemblies and institutions around the world, gathering support for Ukraine.

4 hr 19 min agoFormer Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s son-in-law quit as Putin adviser, Kremlin confirmsFrom CNN’s Anna Chernova and Radina Gigova in London

Valentin Yumashev, right, is seen with his wife Tatyana Yumasheva in Moscow in 2019. (Irina Bujor/Kommersant/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP)The son-in-law of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin has quit his role as an unpaid adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. 

When asked to comment on reports that Valentin Yumashev, who is married to Yeltsin’s younger daughter Tatyana Borisovna Yumasheva, no longer serves as an adviser to Putin, Peskov said during a daily call with journalists that “indeed, yes, I can confirm that about a month ago he stopped being a pro bono adviser.”

“In terms of staff, this has been formalized,” Peskov added. He also said “it was decided not to publish the document” on the Kremlin’s website, which is not required. 

Peskov didn’t say why Yumashev has left the post. 

Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin as prime minister in August 1999. When Yeltsin stepped down amid scandal on December 31, 1999, Putin became acting president.

In the intervening years, Putin has remained close to Yeltsin’s family. 

Yumashev’s daughter, Maria, posted a picture of the Ukrainian flag on February 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine with the caption “no to war” and a broken-heart emoji. 

5 hr 25 min agoAreas of Donetsk region “under constant rocket fire,” says Ukrainian officialFrom CNN’s Anastasia Graham-Yooll and Bex Wright

Several areas of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine are “under constant rocket fire,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk military administration, on Thursday.

The cities of Bakhmut and Slovyansk are among the areas under bombardment, Kyrylenko said via videolink at a press briefing in Kyiv.

Russian troops are also “moving along Lyman-Izyum direction to capture Sloviansk and Kramatorsk territories,” and the highway from Bakhmut to Lysychansk “remains under enemy fire,” he said.

At least seven people have been killed and 10 more wounded in the last 24 hours in the Donetsk region, Kyrylenko said.

Just 340,000 of the 1.6 million people that used to live in the region remain.

5 hr 35 min agoAngela Merkel calls Russia’s invasion “barbaric” in first public speech since leaving officeFrom CNN’s Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen at the farewell to German Trade Union Confederation Chairman Reiner Hoffmann in Berlin on June 1. (Basil Wegener/picture alliance via Getty Images)In her first public speech since leaving office in December, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Russia is waging a “barbaric war of aggression” in Ukraine.

Speaking to 200 people at the farewell ceremony for the outgoing head of a prominent trade union, Merkel said the invasion constitutes blatant breach of international law and ”a profound break” in the history of Europe after the end of World War II.

”My solidarity is with Ukraine, which was attacked and invaded by Russia, and with supporting its right to self-defense,” Merkel said. “Never should we take peace and freedom for granted.”Merkel said that now that she no longer holds office, she will not make political assessments from “the sidelines.” She did, however, say that she supports the current efforts by the West — including her successor, Olaf Scholz — to find an end to the conflict.

Merkel said that the consequences of the war would be far-reaching, including in terms of human rights.

”Bucha is representative of this horror,” she said, referring to the atrocities committed against civilians in the Kyiv suburb.

Merkel said she found a small ray of hope in the tremendous support being given to Ukrainians in neighboring countries such as Poland and Moldova.

5 hr 58 min agoIt’s just past 2 p.m in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to know.A woman inspects damage from an overnight missile strike in Sloviansk, Ukraine, on June 1. (Andriy Andriyenko/AP)Russia has taken control of most of the eastern city of Severodonetsk despite a series of counterattacks by Ukrainian forces, while at least seven people have been killed in Russian strikes on targets across Ukraine in the past 24 hours.

Here are the latest updates on Russia’s war in Ukraine:

Severedonetsk holding out: Ukraine’s army has carried a series of counterattacks in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, but Russian forces still control “most” of the city, said Serhiy Hayday, head of Luhansk regional military administration. Severodonetsk is one of the last remaining strongholds held by Ukraine in Luhansk.Hundreds sheltering in chemical factory: Around 800 people are hiding in several Soviet-era bomb shelters underneath the Azot chemical factory in Severodonetsk, which has been targeted by Russian missile attacks, Hayday told CNN on Thursday. Russian strikes across Ukraine: At least seven people have been killed and 26 more injured in the past 24 hours, Ukrainian officials said Thursday. In addition to attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces fired on targets in Mykolaiv in the south, Sumy in the northeast and Lviv in the west.Ukrainian children sent to Russia: Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky says more than 200,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly taken to Russia since the start of the war. The aim is “to steal people” and “make deportees forget about Ukraine and not be able to return,” he said. Meanwhile, Russian state news agency TASS reported that 1.6 million people from Ukraine and breakaway republics in the Donbas region have crossed into Russia since the start of the Kremlin’s invasion.Ukrainian first lady rules out giving

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