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Ukraine war in the live ticker: Von der Leyen is counting on EU candidate status for Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier looks through binoculars during heavy fighting on the front line in Sieverodonetsk, Luhansk region.

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Ukraine war in the live ticker: Von der Leyen is counting on EU candidate status for Ukraine

Ukraine – It is now the 117th day since Russia his war of aggression against them Ukraine has begun. Heavy fighting is still raging in the east of the country. All current developments can be found here in the TAG24 live ticker.

A Ukrainian soldier looks through binoculars during heavy fighting on the front line in Severodonetsk, Luhansk region. © Oleksandr Ratushniak/AP/dpa

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj sees his country facing the historic possibility of becoming a candidate for EU membership.

“A truly historic week begins tomorrow when we hear the European Union’s answer on Ukraine’s candidate status,” Zelensky said in his video speech on Monday night.

However, he warned that a targeted intensification of Russian aggression is to be expected for this reason.

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Russia will demonstratively intensify its “hostile actions this week, not only towards us, but also towards other European countries,” Zelensky said. Ukraine is prepared and is warning its partners.

According to the Ukrainian President, Russia is gathering forces in the direction of Kharkiv and Zaporizhia. Both cities are located in the predominantly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine. Parts of the areas are already occupied by Russian troops.

You can see the events of yesterday im TAG24 ticker from Sunday readn. All current developments on Monday, June 20th, are available here in the live ticker.

10 a.m.: Ukraine admits loss of Sievarodonetsk suburb

The Ukrainian authorities have acknowledged the loss of the village of Metyolkine, south-east of the administrative center of Sieverodonetsk in the east of the country. “Control of Metyolkine near Sieverodonetsk has been lost,” said the military governor of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Serhiy Hajday, on his Telegram channel on Monday.

The Russian Ministry of Defense had already reported the capture of the town adjacent to Sievjerodonetsk on Sunday. At the time, the Ukrainian general staff was still talking about a partial Russian success. According to Hajday, Russian forces have stepped up artillery and air strikes on the city itself, which is the last center of Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk region on the east side of the Seversky Donets River.

9.17 a.m .: Weaknesses of the Russian air force decisive for the course of the war

According to British intelligence experts, Russia’s difficulties with its advance in Ukraine are also due to the weaknesses of its air force.

It is very likely that these are one of the most important factors behind the very limited Russian successes, said a British Ministry of Defense update on Monday. So far, the air forces have tended to avoid risks in their maneuvers and have not been able to achieve air supremacy. This has increased the pressure on the Russian ground forces, which are now increasingly exhausted.

According to British estimates, the Russians have combat-capable aircraft, but are not properly trained for modern air force operations. For years, Russian air force training was said to have focused more on impressing high-ranking military officials than on training dynamic deployment scenarios for different troops.

7.58 a.m .: One injured in renewed shelling of the Russian border region

According to official information, a man was injured by artillery fire in the western Russian region of Bryansk on the border with Ukraine.

“This morning the village of Susemka was shelled by Ukrainian forces,” said the governor of the Bryansk region, Alexander Bogomas, in his Telegram channel. One person was “harmed” and several “objects” were damaged.

The injured person is said to be an employee of the local energy supplier. He received minor skin injuries from splinters. One single-family home and two apartment buildings were damaged. In addition, the power supply of the village was partially paralysed.

Russia, which launched a war of aggression against Ukraine in February, has been lamenting the shelling of its own border regions for weeks. In this context, Bogomas’ formulation is piquant. “The shelling was in retaliation,” but the source of the fire was quickly neutralized, the governor wrote. It follows that previously Ukraine was shelled from Russian territory.

6.36 a.m .: According to military experts, Moscow’s artillery strength is insufficient for the offensive

According to military experts, Russia’s artillery superiority is not enough to capture the administrative center of Sievarodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.

“Russia’s concentrated artillery capability, coupled with arguably weakened infantry units, remains insufficient to make Russian advances in Sieverodonetsk,” read the latest analysis by the Institute for the Study of the War (ISW) on Sunday evening. Russian troops continued to fight for control of the city but made little progress on Sunday.

According to the experts, Russia is likely to continue trying to encircle the former city and to cut off supplies for the remaining Ukrainian forces, who are largely holed up in the Azot chemical plant. However, there is currently little progress on this project. In addition, Moscow is preparing an offensive on Sloviansk. The Sloviansk-Kramatorsk area is considered the center of the Ukrainian defense forces in the Donbass region.

6 a.m.: Von der Leyen is counting on EU candidate status for Ukraine

Shortly before the EU summit in Brussels, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her conviction that Ukraine would be granted candidate status.

“I firmly assume that we will get a positive decision, get support, the course has now been set,” von der Leyen said on Sunday evening on the ARD talk show “Anne Will”. “Of course, this is a historic decision that the European Council must now make, but the preparations are good,” she said, adding: “I’m confident.”

On Friday, the EU Commission spoke out in favor of officially nominating Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for accession to the European Union. On Thursday and Friday, the 27 EU states will discuss this recommendation in Brussels – and also Georgia’s application for membership, which the EU Commission believes still has to meet conditions for status. The member countries have not yet had a uniform line on this. Austria’s government, for example, wants Bosnia-Herzegovina to have candidate status. Romania wants to get Georgia on board.

Von der Leyen emphasized that her authority’s decision on Ukraine’s candidate status was based on the data, facts and preparatory work that the country had done over the past eight years. “Ukraine has made enormous strides forward in recent years.” However: “We want to see more reforms.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen assumes that Ukraine will become a candidate for EU membership. © Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/dpa

5.20 a.m .: Selenskyj speaks of the upcoming “historic week”

Volodymyr Zelenskyj sees his country facing the historic possibility of becoming a candidate for EU membership, but at the same time warns of serious fighting.

“A truly historic week begins tomorrow when we hear the European Union’s answer on Ukraine’s candidate status,” Zelensky said in his video speech on Monday night. However, he warned that a targeted intensification of Russian aggression is to be expected for this reason.

On Friday, the EU Commission recommended granting Ukraine candidate status. However, all 27 member states still have to agree to this. The final decision is to be made at the EU summit on 23/24. June fall.

Cover photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/dpa

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