Ukraine war live updates: Sweden set to join NATO with Turkey’s approval; Putin met with Prigozhin days after mutiny


Turkey agrees to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership, NATO chief says

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson agreed to move forward with Sweden’s ascension to the NATO alliance.

“This is an historic step which makes all NATO allies stronger and safer,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

Sweden formally applied for NATO membership a year ago alongside its Nordic neighbor, Finland.

Both Finland and Sweden already meet many of the requirements to be NATO allies. Some of the requirements include having a functioning democratic political system, a willingness to provide economic transparency and the ability to make military contributions to NATO missions.

Despite some initial sticking points with Turkey, Finland joined the military alliance in April.

— Amanda Macias

John Kerry raises concerns about environmental fallout

US envoy for climate John Kerry speaks during a press briefing at the White House on April 22, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry raised concerns about the environmental fallout from Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Lots of parts of the world are exacerbating the problem right now. But when you have bombs going off and you have damage to septic tanks, or to power centers, etcetera, you have an enormous release of greenhouse gas, methane, all of the family and greenhouse gases, and the result is it’s adding to the problem,” Kerry told MSNBC’s “Ana Cabrera Reports.”

A resident walks at the town of Hola Prystan after flood waters receded following the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam in the Kherson Oblast, Ukraine on June 16, 2023. 

Stringer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“Believe me, the fight in Ukraine is a fight that we have to make, that the world has to make. The values at stake are enormously important to all of us,” Kerry added.

Kerry also raised concerns about the ongoing energy crisis.

“With the loss of the gas that was coming into Europe, from Russia, a lot of countries have to either reopen coal or keep some other form of dirty fuel available to them just as an emergency to prevent the collapse of their economy,” Kerry said.

— Amanda Macias

GOP presidential nominee Mike Pence welcomes Biden administration to equip Kyiv with cluster munitions

Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that he supports the Biden administration’s decision to equip Ukraine with cluster munitions, a controversial weapon that is banned by more than 100 countries.

“I welcome the cluster munitions,” Pence said during an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”

Pence, who’s running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, added that the U.S. needed to give “the Ukrainians what they need to win.”

Last week, the Pentagon announced that it will provide Ukraine with cluster munitions in its latest security package worth $800 million.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. last used the weapon, which is an unguided bomb that releases smaller bombs over a large area, during the Iraq War in 2003.

A photograph taken on July 3, 2022 shows an tail section of a 300mm rocket which appear to contained cluster bombs launched from a BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launcher embedded in the ground after shelling in Kramatorsk, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

National security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House on Friday that Ukraine has provided written assurances to the Biden administration that it will minimize risk to civilians.

Sullivan said that Ukraine had been asking for the weapons for months and the U.S. has weighed the risk of providing Kyiv with cluster bombs.

The Pentagon said that the decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions was discussed with U.S. lawmakers and allies.

— Amanda Macias

Independent statistical analysis claims 47,000 Russian men killed in Ukraine war

A freshly dug grave sits near tombs of Russian soldiers at a cemetery in the town of Yefremov in the Tula region on March 24, 2023. 

Natalia Kolesnikova | Afp | Getty Images

At least 47,000 Russian men under the age of 50 years have died so far in the Ukraine invasion, according to a joint study by journalists at Meduza and Mediazona and a data scientist from Germany’s Tübingen University.

The publications said they analyzed existing reports about published obituaries, mortality data from the Federal State Statistics Service, and extensive records from the National Probate Registry.

Meduza reported at least 125,000 men were wounded so seriously that they could not return to military service. This estimate excludes missing or captured soldiers or Ukrainian nationals fighting with Russian proxy forces based in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he wasn’t aware of the study when asked by the Associated Press during a conference call with reporters on Monday, as the Kremlin had “stopped monitoring” Meduza. Peskov also refused to comment on the number of deaths mentioned in the study, saying only that “the Defense Ministry gives the numbers, and they’re the only ones who have that prerogative.”

Russia has publicly acknowledged the deaths of just over 6,000 soldiers, according to the AP.

— Melodie Warner

Blinken holds separate calls with Ukrainian and Turkish counterparts

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference at the State Department on December 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke in separate calls with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan over the weekend ahead of the NATO leader’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Kuleba shared an update on Ukraine’s counteroffensive and thanked Blinken for U.S. security assistance, according to a readout of the call provided by State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

In a separate conversation with Fidan, Biden’s top diplomat “emphasized that now is the time for Sweden to formally join the NATO alliance,” according to the State Department.

Turkey has expressed concerns with Sweden’s application for NATO membership, which was filed more than a year ago.

— Amanda Macias

Black Sea grain deal faces expiry in one week

Grain corridor traffic seen from Istanbul on April 18, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Cemal Yurttas | Getty Images

One ship left Ukraine’s port of Odesa carrying agricultural products over the weekend, according to the U.N.-backed organization that tracks export data related to the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The ship is destined for Tunisia and sails with 27,000 metric tons of corn.

Since the inception of the Black Sea grain deal, more than 32 million metric tons of foodstuffs and agricultural products have left Ukrainian ports. The agreement, which was brokered between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, faces expiry next week.

— Amanda Macias

Israel-style security guarantees one option for Ukraine, Germany’s Scholz says

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) holds a press conference at the Chancellor’s Office.

Kay Nietfeld | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Germany on Monday backed a suggested by the United States that Ukraine could benefit from Israel-style security guarantees.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that such guarantees were one option under discussion by Western allies as they consider ways to safeguard the non-NATO country, which remains under Russian attack.

It comes after U.S. President Joe Biden told CNN Sunday that Washington was ready to provide security to Ukraine in a similar way as it does to Israel, offering “the weaponry they need, the capacity to defend themselves.”

— Karen Gilchrist

Biden touts ‘rock solid’ U.S.-UK relationship

U.S. President Joe Biden touted the strength of ties between Washington and London during a short visit to the U.K that includes meetings with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and with recently crowned monarch, King Charles.

U.S. President Joe Biden (Left) with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Right) at 10 Downing Street on July 10, 2023.

Wpa Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“Our relationship is rock solid,” Biden told reporters alongside Sunak on Monday.

The U.S. head of state will attend the NATO summit of July 11-12 in Vilnius, Lithuania, where allies are expected to discuss help to Ukraine and Sweden’s accession bid into the military coalition.

Ruxandra Iordache

Putin met with Prigozhin days after mutiny, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during The Strong Ideas For The New Times Forum on June 29, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. President Putin visited an annual forum, hosted by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI). 

Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with disgraced Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin five days after the attempted mutiny by his mercenary forces, press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Speaking during a daily media briefing, Peskov said the meeting lasted about three hours and was attended by around 35 people, including Wagner fighters, according to NBC News.

Further details of the discussion were not immediately reported.

Prigozhin was seemingly exiled to Belarus following the failed insurrection, but was later reported to be in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. He has not been seen in public for more than two weeks.

— Karen Gilchrist

Kremlin says there will be negative consequences if Ukraine joins NATO

The Kremlin said Monday that Europe would face negative consequences if Ukraine was permitted to join the NATO military alliance.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting of Russian President and Armenian Prime Minister at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 25, 2023. 

Ilya Pitalev | AFP | Getty Images

Speaking ahead of NATO’s annual summit in Lithuania this week, the Kremlin said it would consider Ukraine’s accession — which has long been one of Russia’s red lines — a threat, and that there will be repercussions for Europe’s security architecture, according to Reuters reports.

“You know the absolutely clear and consistent position of the Russian Federation that Ukraine’s membership in NATO will have very, very negative consequences for the security architecture, the already half-destroyed security architecture in Europe. And it will be an absolute danger, a threat to our country, which will require from us a sufficiently clear and firm reaction,” Peskov said.

— Karen Gilchrist

NATO removes key hurdle to Ukraine’s membership, foreign minister Kuleba says

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a news conference, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 7, 2022. 

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said Monday that NATO has removed a key requirement which would have slowed its path to joining the military alliance.

Dmytro Kuleba was referring to NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP), which involves advice, assistance and support for prospective members.

“Following intensive talks, NATO allies have reached consensus on removing MAP from Ukraine’s path to membership. I welcome this long-awaited decision that shortens our path to NATO,” Kuleba said on Twitter ahead of a NATO summit in Lithuania this week.

“It is also the best moment to offer clarity on the invitation to Ukraine to become member,” he added.

— Karen Gilchrist

Questions linger over Turkey’s opposition to Sweden’s NATO accession

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his party’s group meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, Turkiye on June 21, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

NATO allies will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, from July 11-12 for discussions set to focus on ongoing Russian hostilities in Ukraine and Sweden’s bid to enter the coalition.

Turkey, which provides NATO’s second-largest military force, has opposed the accession, repeatedly citing security concerns over Stockholm’s support of Kurdish groups that Ankara designates as terrorist.

It remains unclear if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration will continue its objections.

Read the full story here.

Russia struggling with combat medical provision, UK defense ministry says

Russia suffered an average 400 casualties per day for 17 months and is “almost certainly struggling with a crisis of combat medical provision,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Monday in its latest intelligence update.

“It is likely that up to 50 per cent of Russian combat fatalities could have been prevented with proper first aid,” the ministry said. “Very slow casualty evacuation, combined with the inappropriate use of the crude in-service Russian combat tourniquet, is reportedly a leading cause of preventable fatalities and amputations.”

The ministry estimates that Russian civilian medical services have likely been affected, with many dedicated military hospitals slated to attend officer casualties.

Ruxandra Iordache

Ukraine commemorates 500 days of war

Over the weekend, Ukraine marked 500 days of battle since Russia’s devastating full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s presidential office commemorated the occasion with the release of a video shot at Snake Island on the Black Sea — a minor outpost that entered the war’s turbulent history as a sign of defiance against the Kremlin, when it refused to surrender to Russian forces at the start of the invasion.

Snake Island was captured by Moscow’s troops shortly after, then reclaimed by Ukraine in June last year.

“Although this is a small piece of land in the middle of our Black Sea, it is a great proof that Ukraine will regain every bit of its territory,” Zelenskyy said, remembering the sacrifice of fallen Ukrainian forces.

“I want to thank – from here, from this place of victory – each of our soldiers for these 500 days.”

Ruxandra Iordache

Biden arrives in the U.K., likely to discuss Ukrainian counteroffensive

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the US President Joe Biden arrive for an official meeting at the Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on July 10, 2023. 

Rasid Necati | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in London on Sunday and is set to meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Discussions on the Ukrainian counteroffensive are expected.

The visit is Biden’s fifth with Sunak in as many months and “will be an opportunity for them to compare notes on both of our support for Ukraine and their ongoing efforts on the battlefield,” Amanda Sloat, senior director for the National Security Council, said on Friday.

The meeting comes within days of a controversial U.S. decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine — a type of deadly weaponry that is banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to which the U.K. is a signatory.

Biden will attend the NATO summit in Vilnius after his London stop.

— Ruxandra Iordache

NATO summit begins in Vilnius this week

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda speak to the media prior to the 2023 NATO Summit on July 10, 2023 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images

CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick reports from Vilnius, Lithuania, where the Ukraine war and Sweden’s accession will be key topics at a NATO summit that starts Tuesday.

Discussions will reportedly touch on whether Ukraine could adopt a security assistance model based on the United States’ relationship with Israel.

Ukraine claims advances in embattled Bakhmut

Ukrainian soldiers from the 60th Battalion of Territorial Defense, are shooting rounds into Russian positions with an S60 anti-aircraft canon placed on a truck, outside Bakhmut, Ukraine on June 19, 2023. 

Wojciech Grzedzinski | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian forces made a “definite advance” in the southern flank of the long embattled and strategic eastern city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Sunday on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

She added that Russian troops locally were “on the defensive,” with no changes in position noted in the north of the city.

“Bakhmut direction. We are making progress, the Defense Forces continue to advance, and the enemy is trapped in places,” Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who commands Ukraine’s ground forces, said on Sunday on Telegram, according to Google-translated comments.

A Ukrainian soldier of the 28th Separate Mechanized Brigade fires towards Russian positions at the front line near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on June 17, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s military was engaging in a “fierce battle” in the areas of Melitopol and Berdyansk, both in the Zaporizhzhia region in the southeast of Ukraine, Maliar said.

Russian paramilitary group Wagner claimed control of Bakhmut at the end of May.

CNBC could not independently verify the situation on the ground.

Ruxandra Iordache

Majority of deaths and injuries in Ukraine due to explosive weapons, U.N. says

Firefighters conduct work after the Russian drone attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 17, 2022. At least 4 separate explosions were heard in Kyiv, while authorities reported that the attacks were carried out with kamikaze drones.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the majority of deaths and injuries in Ukraine were caused by explosive weapons with wide impact areas.

The OHCHR said that an estimated 7,653 people have died due to explosive weapons and another 15,131 have been injured.

About 300 people have died due to mines and other explosive remnants from the war and about 600 have been injured from this type of weapon.

Since the start of the war, the U.N. agency estimates that more than 9,000 civilians have died and nearly 16,000 have been injured.

— Amanda Macias

Gaps to bridge with Turkey before granting Sweden NATO accession, Stoltenberg says

NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg is talking to media prior the start of the first day of an EU Summit, in the Europa, the EU Council headquarter on June 29, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday said that there remain “gaps” to bridge before Turkey will agree to grant Sweden accession to the military alliance, according to Reuters.

Speaking at a press conference, Stoltenberg — whose term was extended by a further year earlier this week — said he would meet with leaders of the two countries on Monday, ahead of a planned NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next week.

— Karen Gilchrist

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:





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