- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky likened Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 to Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
- President Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall as Russia marked the 81st anniversary of the invasion.
- In the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, pro-Moscow militants lit 10,000 candles to spell out the phrase “Remember 22.06.1941.”
- A Ukrainian official overseeing the country’s accession to the European Union said she was “100 percent” certain that all 27 EU countries would approve Ukraine’s candidacy at this week’s summit, possibly as soon as Thursday.
These are the latest updates:
G7, NATO leaders ramp up pressure on Russia, watch China closely: U.S. official
Leaders of the Group of Seven and NATO alliances will seek to increase pressure on Russia over Russia’s war in Ukraine at their meeting next week, while making it clear they remain concerned about China, Reuters quoted senior U.S. government officials as saying.
Officials said NATO will announce new commitments to strengthen European security, while the participation of leaders of Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand will show that the war in Ukraine has not diverted attention from China.
G7 leaders are also expected to address China’s “coercive economic practices” that have become more aggressive in recent years, one of the officials said, according to Reuters.
Russia marks anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Soviet Union
Russian President Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall on Wednesday, marking the 81st anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.
Hitler’s forces launched surprise attacks on Kyiv, Moscow and Brest, Belarus, on June 22, a day that marked the beginning of Russia’s so-called Great Patriotic War, known in the country as the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow.
The Russian Armed Forces Cathedral held a sacred ceremony after midnight and a memorial service for some 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians killed in the war, The Moscow Times reported. Later, each day the war lasted, 1,418 candles were lit outside the church.
In the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, pro-Moscow militants lit 10,000 candles to spell out the phrase “Remember 22.06.1941.”
Russia was in Ukraine as it was in Germany when it invaded USSR: Zelensky
Zelensky said on World War II Remembrance Day that Russia did the same thing when it invaded Ukraine on February 24, as Nazi Germany did when it invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
“Today, June 22, is a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the war. This war will forever remain in the history of the 20th century and will never be repeated. But it repeats itself,” Zelensky said in his early said in a speech.
“Today, Russia did on February 24th what the Nazis did on June 22nd, with no shortage of words…I just want to add one thing. Then 1418 days passed from the morning of the invasion to the defeat of the invaders . We must liberate our land and win, but faster. Much faster,” he said.
“This is our national goal, and we must strive to achieve it every day. Not just the country, but every citizen — on the level possible.”
On this day in 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union with the largest invasion force in the history of the war, known as Operation Barbarossa. About. Three million men invaded the Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer (1,800-mile) front. #WW2 pic.twitter.com/xk6VjxESmk
– WWII pictures (@WWIIpix) June 22, 2022
Ukraine wants EU-wide support for candidacy for EU membership
A Ukrainian official overseeing the country’s accession to the European Union said she was “100 percent” sure that all 27 EU countries would approve Ukraine’s candidacy at this week’s summit.
A decision could be made as soon as Thursday at the start of the leaders’ summit, Olha Stefanichina, deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Stefanishyna said the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark had been skeptical about starting accession talks with Ukraine as they battled Russian aggression, but now expressed support. Asked about her confidence that Ukraine would be accepted as an EU candidate, she said: “The day before the summit, I can say 100 percent.”
EU candidacy can only be granted with the unanimous consent of existing member states, the first step towards membership. It does not provide security guarantees or the right to automatically join the group. Ukraine’s accession to the EU is a top priority for EU leaders meeting in Brussels.
You can read all updates from June 22nd here.