Pope Francis has said the United Nations is powerless to end the war in
In an interview in Spanish with Argentina's national news agency Télam,
the pontiff said the UN's constitution "doesn't give the organisation that
kind of power".
The Pope said that while the UN was able to help prevent wars, it had
"no power to assert its authority" over the Ukraine war and other
conflicts around the world.
He also called for
"courage and creativity" from international institutions, saying that
both are needed to help resolve very serious conflicts.
Russia threatens to close embassy in Bulgaria
Russia has threatened to close its embassy in Bulgaria and shut down the EU country's mission in Moscow.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov this week said his country would expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the biggest number ordered out from the Balkan nation.
It comes as tensions build over Moscow's offensive in Ukraine and espionage concerns, AFP reports.
Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, says she would petition the Russian government to shut down the mission in Sofia.
In a statement, she says: "Unfortunately, our appeal to the Bulgarian foreign ministry has been ignored."
She says she "immediately" planned to ask the Russian leadership to close the Russian embassy in Bulgaria, which "will inevitably lead to the closure of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Moscow".
Russia's Foreign Ministry will examine Mitrofanova's suggestion and "if necessary" bring it up to President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.
Petkov said on Tuesday that the Russians told to leave had "worked against our interests."
EU membership shouldn't take years or decades - Zelensky
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Earlier we reported on the signing of a declaration of Ukraine's intent to join the European Union.
But President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for a speedier process.
He says membership should not take years or decades.
"We have to
cover this path quickly," he said, adding that the attack on Odesa reinforced the urgency to join the EU.
"I urge all those holding government posts to see their duty, the work towards EU membership, as front-line battle for our state, for Ukraine, for you and me," he said.
"We have to work on preparations to join the EU with the same intensity and responsibility we put into preparing for the candidacy."
Middle Eastern countries already torn apart by war and hunger are facing even worse suffering in the wake of the war in Ukraine, says a charity.
Yemen, the cost of flour has risen by 42%, bread by 25%, cooking oil by 62.8%,
and sugar by 35.7% between January and May 2022, according to Mercy Corps.
In partnership with the World Food Program, the charity provides vouchers to more than 30,000 families in Yemen to help them buy food.
In both Sana’a and Aden, 100 YER will now buy only
three loaves of bread instead of four - and rising fertilizer prices
are turning farmers away from growing crops that can meet
nutritional needs as they turn to high-yield, high-profit crops like Qat.
Syria, flour allocations to public bakeries in Aleppo City have been reduced by
25% since March, by 50% in Tafas, and by 20% in rural Damascus, forcing
citizens to turn to private bakeries for bread supplies, which have increased
in price by 94%.
Lebanon, people are facing the effects of rising food prices, fuel is now beyond the reach of many people and the country's electricity crisis is set to worsen as fuel prices increase, says the charity.
Poverty, tensions and outward migration are all expected to increase.
The charity's Middle East regional director Arnaud
Quemin says the Ukraine war is "pushing people deeper into hunger, poverty and reliance on aid".
These countries were “already facing ongoing
conflict, political instability, economic turmoil, climate impacts and
mismanagement of natural resources," Quemin adds.
He called for "significant financial commitments
from the international community".
Can we tell how many people have died in the Ukraine war?
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Experts say the total number of recorded deaths so far in the Ukraine war is likely to be a severe underestimation.
Ukraine and Russia claim the number reaches into the tens of thousands - but their estimations do not match up and cannot be independently verified.
To try to understand the human cost of the war, it is necessary to look at a number of sources, including the United Nations, national governments and independent monitors.
Seven battalions of the Belarusian army have been deployed to the border with Ukraine, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry has said.
While there is "no current threat" of Belarusian troops crossing the border into Ukraine, officials haven't ruled out the possibility that sabotage and reconnaissance groups have already been formed in Belarus and "will be sent to the territory of Ukraine if necessary", Ukrainian intelligence representative, Vadym Skibitskyy, told local media.
Belarus shares a border with Ukraine and its leader Alexander Lukashenko is a key ally of Putin.
Russian troops attacked Ukraine from Belarus earlier this year when Russia launched its invasion in February.
Germany condemns missile strikes
Germany has condemned
missile strikes near the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, saying
attacks on civilians were war crimes.
"The Russian President Putin and those
responsible will have to be held accountable," a German
government spokesman told a briefing.
More now from Serhiyivka, the settlement in the Odesa region that was struck by Russian missiles overnight, killing at least 19 people.
Sixty-year-old Yulia Bondar was staying in a building about 150 metres from the recreation centre that was hit.
“We heard three explosions and now there is nothing left of the recreation centre,” she told the BBC.
“The town is very quiet, we never thought this could happen,” she added.
Yulia said few people were at the recreation centre at the time of the strike, as people tend not to stay there overnight.
Which missiles were used in Odesa strikes?
The missiles used in the Russian strikes in the Odesa region overnight that killed at least 19 people, including one child, were the same type as those used against the Kremenchuk shopping mall on Monday, Ukraine has said.
Kyiv’s defence ministry identified the weapons as Kh-22 (X-22) -
an old type of cruise missile originally developed in the 1960s.
looked at the missile in more detail earlier this week - defence analysts suggest their use
implies that Moscow is running low on more modern missiles.
Tupolev-22 bombers, they are a medium-range weapon and in their original form were not accurate. Over the years the guidance system could well have been improved,
but we don’t know if this applies to the weapons fired recently.
Moscow is facing challenges with what it calls, its "high precision
air-launched" systems. Sanctions mean the supply of the imported components has
dried up. And the engines which power some of the missiles were actually made
before in Ukraine, at a plant in the Kharkiv region.
Part of the problem for Ukraine is that cruise missiles are often
fired inside Russian territory, with aircraft well within the protective
umbrella of potent Russian air defences.
This makes missiles difficult to defeat, hence the need for Ukraine to have better air defences to counter them.
That will soon happen.
Yesterday, US President Joe Biden said Western air defence systems will be
supplied for Ukraine as part of the new $800m (£665m) US aid package.
Rising prices leaving African families hungry
They may be far away from the war in Ukraine, but Florence
Kambua and Mukuru Kwa Njenga are feeling its impact.
Florence lives with her six children in a slum in the Kenyan
She makes around 100 Kenyan shillings a day ($0.85; £0.70)
and used to manage to feed her family twice a day.
Then food prices started rising.
Now she tries to feed her family once a day, but they sometimes
The average price for 2kg of maize flour is now
above 200 shillings, a 25% increase.
Market seller Elijah Machuki Nyabutohe is acutely
aware of the impact of the Ukraine war and how it has driven up the cost of fuel
"Farmers [are] having to spend more to purchase
fertilisers for growing tomatoes,” he said.
“Many end up stopping tomato farming, because of the high
cost of the fertilisers and the tomato seeds."
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What's been happening today?
you're just joining us, here's the latest on the war
Russia has confirmed that it has begun shipping grain from occupied territory in Ukraine. A vessel carrying 7,000 tonnes of cereal left the Russian-occupied port city of Berdyansk yesterday, a pro-Russian regional official said
For weeks Kyiv has accused Russia of stealing its grain from Southern Ukraine and blocking ports - something Moscow has repeatedly denied - contributing to global food shortages
Odesa missile strikes
At least 19 people, including one child, have been killed by Russian missile strikes overnight in Ukraine's southern region of Odesa
The missile strikes on an apartment building and recreation centre in the village of Serhiyivka came hours after a Nato summit ended
Ukraine's EU membership bid:
Ukraine has signed a declaration of intent to join the European Union
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said EU membership was "within reach" but urged Ukraine to press ahead with anti-corruption reforms
WATCH: Firefighters search destroyed apartments in Odesa
We've been reporting that at least 19 people, including a child, have been killed in a Russian missile strike in Odesa, according to authorities.
Video released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine shows firefighters sifting through the debris of a destroyed apartment block.
The state emergency service says one missile hit a nine-storey building in the Serhiyivka village, while there was a separate strike on the village's recreation centre.
Russia claims to have captured Lysychansk oil refinery
Russia's defence ministry says its forces captured an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city of
Lysychansk, the Russian news agency RIA reports.
Earlier, the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said Russian forces had stormed part of a refinery in Lysychansk, holding parts of it.
Haidai said on Telegram people living in Lysychansk "barely leave their basements and homes", adding fires had broken out in houses and shopping malls.
Capturing the city would allow Russian forces to push deeper into the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. It has become the focus of Russia's offensive since failing to capture Kyiv, after the invasion began in February.
Russia denies targeting civilians in Odesa missile strikes
Ukraine's DSNS Emergency ServiceCopyright: Ukraine's DSNS Emergency Service
The Kremlin has denied targeting civilians after Russian missile strikes killed at least 19 people near the Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday.
Ukrainian officials say at least 16 people had been killed
at the apartment block in the village of Serhiivka, and another
three, including one child, in strikes that hit nearby holiday
The Ukrainian government accused Russia of waging a war on civilians.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "I would like to
remind you of the president's words that the Russian Armed
Forces do not work with civilian targets."