Russia-Ukraine war: Zelenskiy sounds warning as EU decision nears; European ministers to meet on grain blockade – live news | World news

A Ukrainian serviceman mans a position in a trench on the front line near Avdiivka, Donetsk region on 18 June.

Summary and welcome

Hello it’s Samantha Lock back with you to deliver all the latest developments from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has predicted Russia will intensify its attacks this week, warning European partners that they too should be prepared for an increase in hostilities as Kyiv awaits a decision on its bid to join the EU.

Here are all the other major developments as of 8am in Kyiv.

  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he expects Russia will intensify attacks on Ukraine and possibly other European countries after the EU Commission proposed it as a candidate for EU membership. “Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities,” he said in a nightly video address. “And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.”
  • Ukraine’s forces remain on the defensive in the eastern Donbas region, where fighting continues in Sievierodonestsk. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said Russia was massing forces in an attempt to take full control of the city after weeks of fighting but maintained that “all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie”. “They control the main part of the town, but not the whole town,” he told Ukrainian television.
  • European Union foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. It is hoped a deal can be struck to resume Ukraine’s sea exports in return for facilitating Russian food and fertiliser exports but remains unclear if the EU would get involved in militarily securing such a deal. “Whether there will be a need in the future for escorting these commercial ships, that’s a question mark and I don’t think we are there yet,” an EU official said.
  • The war in Ukraine could last for years and will require long-term military support, according to Nato and other western leaders. “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years,” Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Sunday. British prime minister, Boris Johnson, added: “I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war.”
  • Ukraine’s parliament voted through two laws on Sunday which will place severe restrictions on Russian books and music. Proposed laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian citizens, banning the commercial import of books printed in Russia and prohibiting the playing of music by post-1991 Russian citizens on media and on public transport in the latest attempt to break cultural ties between the two countries.
  • The New York Times identified over 2,000 munitions used by Russian forces in Ukraine, “a vast majority of which were unguided.” According to the newspaper, over 210 weapons that were identified were types that have been widely banned under a variety of international treaties.
  • Austria’s government announced that it will reopen a mothballed coal power station because of power shortages arising from reduced deliveries of gas from Russia. The authorities would work with the Verbund group, the country’s main electricity supplier, to get the station in the southern city of Mellach back in action, the chancellery said on Sunday.
  • Morocco’s national human rights body has urged Russian authorities to guarantee a “fair trial” for a young national appealing a death sentence imposed by a pro-Russian court in Ukraine. Amina Bouayach, president of the National Council of Human Rights (CNDH), has contacted the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation and urged the Russian body to take “the necessary steps to ensure Brahim Saadoun receives a fair trial during his appeal.”
A Ukrainian serviceman mans a position in a trench on the front line near Avdiivka, Donetsk region on 18 June.
A Ukrainian serviceman mans a position in a trench on the front line near Avdiivka, Donetsk region on 18 June. Photograph: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images