Adoption of sixth package of sanctions against Russia, new €9 billion in aid to Ukraine: last night's highlights
31 May, 2022

The European Union has agreed on new sanctions against Russia, and said it was ready to provide Ukraine with another 9 billion euros in aid. Meanwhile, the United States clarified Biden's statement on new long-range weapons for Ukraine. Here is what you may have missed from last night.

The sixth package of sanctions has been approved

The EU has agreed on new sanctions against Russia, which include a partial ban on Russian oil exports to the bloc and the disconnection of Sberbank from SWIFT.

According to European Council President Charles Michel, the embargo covers more than two-thirds of  oil imports from Russia. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the ban "would actually cut around 90% of oil imports to the EU from Russia by the end of the year."

Diplomats have yet to agree on the technicalities of the decision, and sanctions must be formally adopted by all 27 countries, Bloomberg noted. According to the publication, Hungary, which blocked the embargo, has received assurances from EU leaders that it will be able to get a replacement if it stops to export oil through pipelines.

9 billion euros from the EU

The European Union is ready to provide Ukraine with another 9 billion euros of macro-financial assistance, according to the announcement made by the President of the European Council Charles Michel. "Strong and concrete support to Ukraine's reconstruction," Michel wrote on Twitter.

The United States comments on the new weapons

Michael McFaul, an adviser to the U.S. president on national security, said that Ukraine would receive new batches of high-precision missiles from the United States with a longer range than the Armed Forces have in service now, but not missiles that can reach deep into Russia.

Denmark refuses to pay for Russian gas in rubles

The Danish energy company Ørsted has stated that it refuses to comply with Gazprom's requirements to pay for Russian gas in rubles. As a result, the firm allows the cessation of supplies in the near future.

Also on May 30, the gas supplier to the Netherlands decided not to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles. As a result, Russia will suspend supplies from May 31.

The situation in the south

The situation on the southern front is dynamic and tense: the Russian occupiers have intensified shelling, especially in civilian neighborhoods. As the Operational Command "South" previously reported, due to counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, panic is spreading among the occupiers.

As a result of a successful offensive of the Ukrainian military on the Pivdennyi Buh axis, the enemy left the village of Mykolaivka in the north of Kherson Oblast. OC "South" claimed this led to panic and demoralized Russians in other units.

Attempt to attack Zaporizhzhya

At the same time, the Russian occupiers are trying to attack the eastern communities of the Zaporizhzhya Oblast and continue to send troops and equipment to the region.

In particular, the occupiers delivered more than 50 units of obsolete T-62 and T-72B tanks to Zaporizhzhya Oblast. According to regional governor Oleksandr Starukh, these armored vehicles will probably be used to strengthen defensive positions.

The annexation of Mariupol enters an active stage

In Mariupol, Russian invaders began the process of accepting documents to obtain a Russian passport. According to the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko, the annexation of the city has entered an active stage of implementation.

"Devastating losses" among Russia's junior officers

The American Institute for the Study of War has reported mounting casualties among Russian junior officers. According to its analysts, this is likely to further worsen the command of the Russian army and the morale of the military.

The ISW has previously estimated that demoralization and poor command among Russian forces could provide Ukrainian troops with opportunities for a well-balanced counteroffensive — in addition, the Russians continue to invest resources in the battle for Severodonetsk at the cost of other axes.

Analysts on the situation in Severodonetsk

ISW analysts noted that Russian troops on May 30 continued to gradually capture areas of Severodonetsk, but did not completely surround the Luhansk Oblast city. The Russians reportedly control the northeastern and southeastern outskirts of the city.