If you’re just reading in, here’s what you need to know about the latest actions in the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian military base targeted: A Ukrainian military base about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Poland was targeted in a Russian missile attack early Tuesday morning, according to information from Maksym Kozytsky, the head of the Lviv regional military administration. Kozytsky gave no further details in a late-night Telegram post, saying only that further information would be released in the morning.
Combat mission fulfilled: Ukrainian forces saidthey have fulfilled their “combat mission” in the besieged city of Mariupol, in a new statement. “The ‘Mariupol’ garrison has fulfilled its combat mission,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in the statement. “The Supreme Military Command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of their personnel,” the statement read.
The latest on the Azovstal steel plant: More than 260 people have been rescued from the besieged Azovstal plant — including 53 seriously wounded, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said. She said that “53 seriously injured people were evacuated from Azovstal to a medical facility in Novoazovsk [in territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic] for medical care.” “Another 211 people were taken to Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor. An exchange procedure will be carried out to return them home.”
Sweden and Finland announce efforts to join NATO: The Swedish government said on its website that it has decided to apply for NATO membership. Earlier Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Sweden should join NATO together with neighboring Finland to “ensure the safety of Swedish people.” Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he would not approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership if they sanction Turkey. And Russian President Vladimir Putin said Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO will not create a threat to Russia, but the “expansion of military infrastructure into this territory will certainly cause our response.” US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said on Monday that there’s “strong bipartisan support” in the US to help Finland become a member of NATO and that he thinks the US Congress will vote “as rapidly as possible” — likely before the chamber’s August recess — to support Finland’s application to join the alliance.
Russian oil ban and sanctions: European Union leaders were unsuccessful in reaching unanimity on banning Russian oil during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers, Josep Borrell, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said Monday. Borrell said “unhappily” it was not possible to reach an agreement on a sixth sanctions package against Russia, telling reporters that “we are with the same difficulties about unanimity on the oil ban.” The EU has proposed banning all oil imports from Russia by the end of this year and removing the country’s biggest bank, Sberbank, from the SWIFT international payments network.
EU cuts growth forecasts and raises inflation outlook as impact of Ukraine war continues: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause European growth to slow and inflation to rise at a faster than expected rate, according to the latest EU Commission economic forecasts. It says that the war has caused commodity prices to rise, disrupted supply chains and increased uncertainty. The EU predicts that eurozone GDP will increase by 2.7% this year and 2.3% in 2023. That compares to previous forecasts of 4% and 2.8%. The EU Commission also says inflation in the eurozone is projected to increase to 6.1% in 2022. It is then predicting the rate to drop off sharply to 2.7% in 2023. In its winter forecasts, the EU was forecasting inflation of 3.5% in 2022 and 1.7% in 2023.