Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be ready to attack NATO in three years, Norway warns (2024)

Key points
  • The big picture: Everything you need to know about the war right now
  • Russia could be ready to attack NATO in three years, Norway warns
  • Baby among seven civilians injured in overnight missile strike
  • Moscow warns US against 'mistakes that may have fatal consequences'
  • Enemy 'suffers 1,270 casualties in 24 hours', Ukraine claims
  • China hits back at Zelenskyy over summit disruption allegations
  • Live reporting by Guy Birchall


Russian-linked hacker group 'targeting Paris Olympics'

The Paris Olympics are being targeted by a Russian-linked disinformation campaign, according to the New York Times.

Since last summer, efforts have been under way by a hacker group named Storm-1679, the paper reports.

The campaign "began in earnest" when a documentary was released with a doctored International Olympic Committee (IOC) logo, along with an AI-powered impersonation of Tom Cruise's voice.

The hackers "are trying to cultivate an anticipation of violence", said Clint Watts, the head of Microsoft's Digital Threat Analysis Centre.

"They want people to be fearful of going to the Olympics."

Storm-1679 makes around three to eight disinformation videos a week, Mr Watts told the newspaper, many of which appear as if they come from media outlets such as the BBC or Al Jazeera.

Both Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing in the Olympics over the war in Ukraine, but some athletes from those countries will be allowed to compete as "neutral athletes", the IOC announced in March.

The Paris games will take place between 26 July and 11 August.


Russia brands Switzerland peace talks 'absurd'

The Kremlin has said the peace talks set to take place in Switzerland this month are "absurd" as Russia isn't invited.

Moscow claimed it was understandable that some countries were declining to takepart in the summit on Ukraine this monthbecause the gathering lacked clear goals.

Ukraine says more than 100 countries and organisations haveagreed to take part in the summit on 15-16 June.

The summit, which will take place at an Alpine resort near Lucerne, is intended to create a framework for lasting peace and a roadmap for Russia's eventual participation in the process.

Kyiv decided against inviting Russia because it does not trust Moscow.

China, which has grown closer to Russia after Western sanctions brought in since the invasion of Ukraine, has also said it won't be attending.


Poland accuses Belarus and Russia of 'weaponising migrants'

Poland has claimed Belarus and its ally Russia are behind a recent surge in migrants from the former Soviet state into the European Union.

The number of attempted illegal border crossings from Belarus into Poland has shot up in recent months from only a handful to almost 400 a day, Polish officials say.

Poland's border guards have also described increasingly aggressive behaviour by some migrants on the Belarusian side of the border, posting online videos of some throwing rocks, logs and even burning wood at Polish troops.

There have been cases of soldiers and guards ending up in hospital, and some have needed stitches after being stabbed or cut by knife-wielding assailants.

Last Tuesday, near the village of Dubicze Cerkiewne, officials said a migrant reached between the bars of the 16-foot-high barrier and stabbed a soldier in the ribs.

The government in Warsaw sees the new push at the border as an orchestrated attempt by Russia and Belarus to fuel anti-migrant sentiment, which could in turn boost far-right parties in the EU parliamentary vote.

"We are not dealing with [just] any asylum seekers here, we are dealing with a coordinated, very efficient - on many levels - operation to break the Polish border and attempts to destabilise the country," Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, said last week while visiting troops at the border.


Ukraine using Western weapons to hit targets in Russia won't lead to escalation, says German chancellor

Ukraine's use of Western-supplied weapons to strike targets in Russia will not "contribute to escalation", German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.

Germany has long opposed lifting the ban on Ukraine's use of Western weapons to target Russia, but changed course last month.

A German government spokesperson told Deutsche Welle on 31 May that Ukraine could use German-supplied weapons to hit legitimate targets in Russia.

Berlin's defence minister Boris Pistorius later clarified that the decision applied to the area around Kharkiv, which has recently become the target of a heavy Russian offensive.

"We are certain that it will not contribute to an escalation because, as Joe Biden has also described, it is only a matter of being able to defend a large city like Kharkiv," Mr Scholz said.

In the past, Chancellor Scholz has cited a fear of escalation as among the principal reasons for limiting Germany's support for Ukraine.

"I think it is clear to everyone that this must be possible. Under international law, this has always been possible anyway," he added.


NATO has two to three years before Russia regains ability to launch conventional attacks, say Norway's top general

NATO only has two to three years to prepare before Russia regains its ability to launch a conventional attack on the alliance, Norway's top general has said.

General Eirik Kristoffersen's comments are the latest in a series of warnings from Western leaders and defence officials about the threat from Moscow and the alliance's current lack of preparedness.

"At one point someone said it'll take 10 years, but I think we're back to less than 10 years because of the industrial base that is now running in Russia," General Kristoffersen said.

"It will take some time, which gives us a window now for the next two to three years to rebuild our forces, to rebuild our stocks at the same time as we are supporting Ukraine."

Norway has been a member of NATO since its foundation in 1949.

The Scandinavian nation has increased its defence spending since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and aims to meet the 2% of GDP threshold in 2024, with a further increase of 2.7% of GDP targeted by 2030.


Ukraine urging allies to allow it to strike military targets inside Russia

Last week, the US partially lifted restrictions on Ukraine's use of some Western-supplied weapons.

It now means Ukraine can strike inside Russia with US-supplied weapons - but only if the targets are aimed at slowing Moscow's advance in the Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian foreign minister said the move was "not 100% clearance" and came with "some rules that need to be followed".

Speaking at a news conference with his Estonian counterpart, he said Ukraine was hoping to gain more freedom on the use of Western weapons inside Russia.

Ukraine "will continue to work with our allies" on "expanding the scope" of weapon use.

Some of Kyiv's allies have been reluctant to allow Ukraine to strike over the border as they fear this could drag them into a more direct conflict with Russia.


Kyiv Pride event not allowed to be held 'for security reasons'

Authorities in Kyiv have denied permission for this year's Kyiv Pride march to be held in the Ukrainian capital's metro system.

It was hoped up to 500 people would attend the event on 16 June.

"In order not to endanger the participants and passengers, and to avoid possible provocations, the city authorities cannot allow the Equality March to take place in the metro," Kyiv's City Hall said.

The metro system doubles as an air raid shelter during Russian attacks.

Authorities said the metro is a "dual-use facility and part of the city's critical infrastructure" and is "always a high-risk area due to limited space, train schedule and high passenger traffic".

Kyiv has not hosted a Pride event since the full-scale invasion began in 2022.

Last year's event was held in Liverpool instead.


Russia says it intercepted 20 Ukrainian drones in Kursk region

Russian officials have claimed they intercepted 20 Ukrainian drones in the southern Kursk region, which borders Ukraine.

Regional governor Alexei Smirnov said Ukrainian forces reportedly targeted four villages in the region using attack drones and helicopters.

No injuries were reported.

The governor of the neighbouring Belgorod region said air defence units had downed "several airborne targets", resulting in some damage to the roofs of several buildings.

Ukrainian authorities have not commented.

Russia's border regions have repeatedly come under attack since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Belgorod borders Ukraine's Kharkiv region, where Russia has launched a spring offensive.


Baby among seven civilians injured in overnight missile strike on Dnipro

Seven people have been injured in a Russian missile attack on the city of Dnipro.

A one-month-old baby and a 17-year-old boy were among the wounded, governor Serhii Lysak said.

He added that air defence systems had successfully intercepted and downed two drones over the city.

However the debris from the missiles caused damage to civilian infrastructure, with more than a dozen vehicles affected and windows shattered in several houses.

Emergency crews are at the scene.

The city of Nikopol was also attacked with kamikaze drones, Mr Lysak said.

No casualties were reported there.

Air raid alerts were activated in a number of regions overnight, including Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk.


Good morning

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Before we begin, here is a recap of the key events over the last 24 hours.

  • Italy said it will send a second SAMP/T air defence system to Ukraine - the only European-made system that can intercept ballistic missiles;
  • French police arrested three people after five empty coffins wrapped in French flags with the words "French soldiers from Ukraine" were found near the Eiffel Tower;
  • А group of Russian women staged a small but rare protest outside the Russian defence ministry, asking for the return of their relatives from the frontline;
  • Russia added several British "establishment figures", journalists and experts to the list of people barred from entering the country;
  • Ukraine's grid operator imposed daily energy restrictions across the country after infrastructure was damaged in a series of Russian drone and missile attacks.

Here is how the situation looks on the ground...

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be ready to attack NATO in three years, Norway warns (2024)


Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be ready to attack NATO in three years, Norway warns? ›

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be ready to attack NATO in three years, Norway warns. NATO only has two to three years to prepare before Russia regains its ability to launch a conventional attack on the alliance, Norway's top general has said.

What do Norwegians think of Russia? ›

The main tendency throughout the country is the same: most Norwegians want a good neighborly relationship with Russia, but are very critical of the Russian regime and the current state of politics.

What is the relationship between Russia and Norway? ›

Russia has an embassy in Oslo and consulates in Barentsburg and Kirkenes, and Norway has an embassy in Moscow, and consulates in Murmansk and Saint Petersburg. The countries are neighboring each other along a 195.7 km (121.6 mi) long border. Norway is on Russia's Unfriendly Countries List.

Which countries support Ukraine? ›

Additional multi-year packages were committed by Denmark, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, and Lithuania. Moreover, the Ukraine Support Tracker lists new, short-term commitment increases from Europe, in particular by Germany worth €619 million and by the United Kingdom worth €286 million.

Who is Russia at war with? ›

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas war.

Why are Norwegians so healthy? ›

The Nordic diet is often compared to the Mediterranean diet because it has similar aspects. This diet places an emphasis on seasonal vegetables, unprocessed food, seafood as well as whole grains. Local foods such as fish and reindeer meat are a big staple.

What percent of Norway speaks Russian? ›

Native speakers
New Zealand7,8960.2%
30 more rows

Are Norway and China allies? ›

After 70 years of development, China-Norway relations have become more mature and resilient, and have maintained a strong endogenous momentum. The peoples of China and Norway have made outstanding contributions to the exchanges, cooperation, and friendship between the two countries.

Who are Norway main allies? ›

Accordingly, the cornerstones of Norwegian policy are active membership in NATO and support for the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Norway also pursues a policy of economic, social, and cultural cooperation with other Nordic countries—Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland—through the Nordic Council.

Is Norway friends with Ukraine? ›

Norway gained its independence in 1905. Norway recognized the independence of Ukraine on 24 December 1991. Diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Norway were established on February 5, 1992. Embassy of Norway in Ukraine opened in 1992.

Who are Russia's top 5 friends? ›

Similarly, a 2017 opinion poll by the Moscow-based non-governmental think tank Levada-Center states that Russians identified India as one of their top five "friends", with the others being Belarus, China, Kazakhstan and Syria.

Who supports Ukraine the most? ›

The majority of committed support by country has come from the United States, whose total aid commitment is valued at about $75 billion. The U.S. is followed by Germany and the United Kingdom for highest commitments overall. The European Union as a whole has committed approximately $93 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Does China support Russia? ›

China maintains it is neutral in the war, although it has deepened ties with Moscow since the invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing last month where he enjoyed a ceremonial welcome and sipped tea with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Why did Russia invade Ukraine? ›

Putin espoused irredentist views challenging Ukraine's right to exist, and falsely claimed that Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis persecuting the Russian minority. He said his goal was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine.

How much territory has Ukraine lost? ›

By 11 November 2022, the Institute for the Study of War calculated that Ukrainian forces had liberated an area of 74,443 km2 (28,743 sq mi) from Russian occupation, leaving Russia with control of about 18% of Ukraine's territory.

Who's side was Russia on in the World Wars? ›

In World War II, the three great Allied powers—Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union—formed a Grand Alliance that was the key to victory. But the alliance partners did not share common political aims, and did not always agree on how the war should be fought.

What is Norway's stance on Ukraine Russia? ›

Norwegian support includes military, civilian and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia's war of aggression, to restore its territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, to secure its free and democratic future, to enable Ukraine to continue providing services to ...

How do Norwegians feel about immigrants? ›

Norwegians, especially conservatives will very often talk about integration and "norske verdier" when it comes to immigrants. Learning Norwegian and using it sends a signal that you are trying to integrate into the community. Norway has a very high percentage of English ability (90%+), and nobody will get annoyed.

Are there a lot of Russians in Norway? ›

In 2019 the number have risen to 21,504, and Russians make up 0.40% of the Norwegian population, and 2.28% of all foreign residents in Norway are Russians. In the only municipality that borders Russia, Sør-Varanger, there are 420 Russians.


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