Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know

·2-min read

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Kyiv and its Western supporters could make a Russian defeat in the war in Ukraine "irreversible" as early as this year and thanked Germany for being a "true friend" during a visit to Berlin. On Saturday, Zelenskiy met Italian leaders, and Pope Francis, in Rome.


* Russia's Defence Ministry said on Sunday that two of its military commanders were killed in eastern Ukraine, as Kyiv's forces renewed efforts to break through Russian defences in the embattled city of Bakhmut.

* Ukrainian troops are advancing in two directions in Bakhmut, but the situation in the city centre is more complicated, deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar said on Saturday.

* Ukrainian forces intercepted and destroyed three missiles and 25 drones overnight in the latest aerial attack on the country since the beginning of May, Ukraine's air force said on Sunday.

* The Russian news outlet Kommersant reported that two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters had been shot down on Saturday close to the Ukrainian border, in what would be a spectacular coup for Kyiv if confirmed.

* As the Eurovision song contest was underway in Britain late on Saturday, Russian missiles hit the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil, which is home to the electro-pop duo Tvorchi, this year's contestants from Ukraine, local authorities said.

* Russia's Defence Ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian aircraft had struck two industrial sites in the Russian-held city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles supplied by Britain.

* Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.


* The Group of Seven (G7) industrial powers and the EU will ban Russian gas imports on routes where Moscow has cut supplies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

* British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will push other global leaders to pledge more support for Ukraine when he attends international summits next week, his office said on Saturday.

* Germany announced 2.7 billion euro ($A4.4 billion) of military aid to Ukraine on Saturday, its biggest such package since Russia's invasion, and pledged further support for Kyiv for as long as necessary.

* The EU must speed up the supply of ammunition to Ukraine as the country's forces need 1000 artillery shells every day in the Bakhmut area alone, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Saturday.

* South Africa is "actively non-aligned" in Russia's war against Ukraine, the country's presidential security adviser said on Saturday, after U.S. allegations that it had supplied weapons to Moscow led to a diplomatic crisis this week.