Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 842

As the war enters its 842nd day, these are the main developments.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (C), Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd (C-L), Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis (C-R) and other heads of states and country representatives leave after posing for a family photograph during the Summit on peace in Ukraine, at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne, on June 15, 2024. World leaders from countries around the world gather in Switzerland this weekend to try to work out a way towards a peace process for Ukraine -- albeit without Russia. (Photo by URS FLUEELER / POOL / AFP)
Ukraine's Zelenskyy, centre, has vowed to present Moscow with a proposal for ending the war once it has been agreed by the international community [Urs Flueeler/AFP]

Here is the situation on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Politics and diplomacy

  • World leaders are gathering in Switzerland for the second day of a major peace conference to pursue a consensus on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and underscoring concerns about the war’s human cost.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has voiced hope of garnering international agreement around a proposal to end the war that he could present to Moscow.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is not ruling out talks with Ukraine, but guarantees will be needed to ensure the credibility of any negotiations, Russian news agencies cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. Russia was not invited to the talks in Switzerland.
  • Norway has announced that it would provide 1.1 billion kroner ($103 million) to Ukraine to help repair its energy infrastructure and secure the country’s electricity supply before next winter. In a statement, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store accused Russia of carrying out “massive, systematic attacks to paralyse the power grid” of Ukraine.
  • The circle of countries participating in the process of working towards a peace plan for Ukraine should be widened, French President Emmanuel Macron said during the opening of the peace summit.
  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni described as “propaganda” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that Ukraine effectively surrender before any peace talks.
  • United States Vice President Kamala Harris announced another $1.5bn in assistance to Ukraine, as she pledged the US’s full support in backing Kyiv’s efforts to achieve “a just and lasting peace” in the face of the war with Russia.
  • A draft of the final summit declaration reportedly refers to Russia’s invasion as a “war” – a label Moscow rejects – and calls for Ukraine’s control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and its Azov Sea ports to be restored, the Reuters news agency reported.
  • White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that Qatar had helped to mediate the return from Russia of 30 or more Ukrainian children to their families. Kyiv claims that as many as 20,000 children have been taken to Russia or Russian-occupied territory without the consent of family or guardians since the war began.
  • More than 90 countries are taking part in the summit, but China said it would boycott the event after Russia was frozen out of the process.

Fighting

  • The peace summit comes at a perilous moment for Ukraine on the battlefield, with Russian forces advancing against outmanned and outgunned Ukrainian units.
  • Russian forces have taken control of the village of Zahirne in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Sunday.

  • Near Ukraine’s embattled eastern front, hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough are nearly nil. “I’d like to hope that it will bring some changes in the future. But, as experience shows, nothing comes of it,” Maksym, a tank commander in the Donetsk region, told the AFP news agency.

  • Outside the peace summit venue in Switzerland, the wife of a Ukrainian soldier captured by Russia said she hoped the leaders could agree to “some exchange process for the prisoners of war”. “I want to see my husband,” Hanna, who fled her home in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol and now lives in Sweden, told AFP.

  • Meanwhile, a Russian journalist has been killed in a drone attack in eastern Ukraine, his news organisation, News.RU, announced on Telegram, two days after the death of another correspondent near the front line. The company said Nikita Tsitsagi was killed during an attack near the Saint-Nicolas monastery in the town of Vugledar. President Putin said earlier this month that “at least 30” Russian journalists had been killed since the start of the conflict, but the number could not be independently verified.

  • Elsewhere, Russian army defectors live in fear of reprisal from Moscow after abandoning their posts in the ongoing war with Ukraine. Many also feel abandoned by the West, as they do not have the necessary passports and only have documents allowing them to reach neighbouring Kazakhstan or Armenia.

Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Czech President Petr Pavel, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Argentinian President Javier Milei, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Polish President Andrzej Duda and other leaders pose for a family photo, on the day of the opening ceremony of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the Buergenstock Resort in Stansstad near Lucerne, Switzerland, June 15, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
World leaders pose for a photo at the opening ceremony of the summit on peace in Ukraine held in Stansstad near Lucerne, Switzerland [Denis Balibouse/Reuters]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies