World leaders will meet in Switzerland this weekend to try to lay out a roadmap for a peace process for Ukraine immediately after the G7 summit in Italy, where the democracies will also discuss Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky attending.

The G7 will discuss ways to use frozen Russian assets to provide fresh aid to Ukraine following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Zelensky will then head to Switzerland to meet with G7 and other leaders on Saturday and Sunday for what is being billed as the first “Summit on Peace in Ukraine.”

Organized at Ukraine’s request, the Swiss Peace Summit is based on a 10-point peace plan presented by Zelensky in late 2022. Ukraine hopes to gain broad international support for its conditions to end the war.

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“We would like to have a very broad process with a view to lasting, just peace in Ukraine,” Swiss President Viola Amherd told a press conference in Bern on Monday.

“The conference will focus on topics of global interest – nuclear security, food security and humanitarian aspects,” she added.

Switzerland invited more than 160 delegations, representing countries and international organizations. Amherd said more than 90 confirmations had been received, half of those European nations.

About half of the countries will be represented by their heads of state or government. In attendance will be French President Emmanuel Macron, US Vice President Kamala Harris, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Russian representatives will not be in attendance.

Eurotopics: EU Elections - Support for Kyiv Wavering?
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Eurotopics: EU Elections - Support for Kyiv Wavering?

How the strengthening of the right-wing camp in the EU Parliament will effect support for Ukraine is still unclear, as this is yet another issue on which the corresponding parties are divided.

Switzerland hopes to secure a joint final declaration, though, the outcome of the summit remains uncertain.

“We need to do everything we can to bring an end to this violence,” Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis told the press conference.

“At the end of this road there is not just world stability and safety but also the end of suffering for millions of victims,” Cassis said.

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Kyiv destroys more Russian air defenses in occupied Crimea

Kyiv struck a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile division in the Dzhankoi area and two S-300 anti-aircraft missile divisions overnight June 9-10 near Chornomorske and Yevpatoria in occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian military reported.

“None of our launched missiles were intercepted by the ‘highly effective’ enemy air defense,” the General Staff added, with an element of sarcasm.

Russian occupation forces closed the Kerch Bridge, and accounts on local social media channels reported explosions.

The monitoring Telegram channel Crimean Wind recorded a fire at the Russian military airfield in Hvardiiske, where there are military warehouses.

Fires were reported in the Dzhankoi, Feodosia, and Chornomorske districts in Crimea. According to Crimean Wind, all the fires, based on Google Maps, were in open fields, suggesting there could have been air defense launchers and radar stations.

Locals reported the operation of Russian air defense near the village of Vorobiove in the Saky district. Eight explosions were counted in the Krasnoperekopsk district. Five to six explosions were reported in the town of Pervomaiske.

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Explosions were also heard in Yevpatoria, Krasnoperekopsk, Dzhankoi, Bakhchisarai, and other areas. The power went out in the village of Mykhailivka in the Saky district.

In the occupied city Sevastopol, Russians installed S-300 missile launchers between private houses, as reported by Ukrinform earlier.

Zelensky arrives in Berlin to meet German Chancellor Scholz

President Zelensky on Monday night announced his arrival in Germany for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and to participate in a conference on Ukrainian reconstruction, AFP reports.

“Chancellor Scholz and I will discuss further defense assistance, the expansion of Ukraine’s air defense system, and joint arms production” ahead of the Peace Summit, Zelensky wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Berlin recently authorized Ukraine to use German weapons to strike targets in Russia, having long refused to do so for fear of provoking an escalation of the war with Russia, Ukrinform reported.

According to the report, following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Germany abandoned its traditional position of pacifism and became the second largest supplier of military equipment to Kyiv after the US.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Zelensky will participate in a conference on rebuilding Ukraine, with 10 prime ministers, other government representatives and the private sector in attendance.

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“In the face of Russia’s air terror, urgent solutions for Ukraine’s energy sector will be our top priority,” Zelensky said, while Ukrainians face daily electrical power outages.

“I will also meet with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bundestag President Barbel Bas, as well as visit a military base where our servicemen are training,” he said.

Zelensky will then head to Switzerland for the Peace Summit.

Dutch Defense Minister arrives in Kyiv ahead of first F-16 deliveries

The Dutch Defense minister arrived in Kyiv, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

“Had a meeting in Kyiv with Defense Minister of the Netherlands Kajsa Ollongren,” Shmyhal posted. “First of all, I thanked her for her support in strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities. Praised the Netherlands’ initiative to supply Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems jointly with partners. We also look forward to the delivery of F-16 aircraft as soon as possible, which will help protect people and infrastructure.”

Shmyhal said they discussed joint defense production and technology exchange. The Global Peace Summit in Switzerland was also among the topics discussed where, Shmyhal said, the Netherlands will be represented at the highest level. The Dutch Ministry of Defense is investing 54 million to boost its military drone production capacity to help Ukraine, Ukrinform reported,

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“Another important topic is Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. We rely on the active advocacy of the Netherlands in further work with key partners of the Alliance to fully support our country,” Shmyhal said.

Some Ukrainian F-16 fighters will fly out of European neighbor airbases

Ukraine’s soon-to-be-operational fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft will protect itself from Kremlin attacks by ensconcing some combat aircraft in third-party countries Russia is unlikely to strike, Brig. Gen. Serhiy Holubtsov, Ukrainian Air Force Chief of Aviation, said in a Sunday interview.

“There is a number of aircraft that will go to Ukraine. There are a certain number of aircraft that will be stored at secure air bases, outside of Ukraine, so that they are not targeted here. And this will be our reserve in case of need for replacement of faulty planes during routine maintenance,” he said.

“That is, so that we can constantly have a certain number of aircraft in the operational inventory, which will correspond to the number of pilots we have. When there will be more pilots – there will be more planes in Ukraine.”

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The Washington-supported Radio Liberty news agency published the interview in Ukrainian. Holubstov’s wide-ranging remarks closely followed recent reports in Beltway media that the expected deployment of US-made F-16 fighters will be small-scale and unlikely to affect the progress of the air war in Ukraine in the short or medium term.

Ukrainian military analysts have widely predicted that Kyiv is unlikely to attempt to operate more than four or six F-16s initially, only in low-risk missions. The most likely NATO facilities to support the Ukrainian jets are in Poland, for maintenance, and Romania, for operations.

Russia claims battlefield gains ahead of Peace Summit

Russia on Monday claimed the capture of another village in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, the latest in a string of gains ahead of a major Ukraine summit in Switzerland, AFP reports.

Dozens of world leaders and top diplomats are to convene for a meeting at the weekend that President Zelensky hopes will rally global support behind Kyiv.

Zelensky has ruled out direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and looks to win over more non-Western countries, including those who maintain close ties with Moscow.

Ukraine was forced to abandon dozens of front-line settlements this spring, with Russian troops holding a significant advantage in manpower and resources.

Russia’s defense ministry said Monday that its forces “continued to advance into the depths of the enemy’s defense and liberated the settlement of Staromaiorske,” located southwest of Donetsk.

Putin told an economic forum last week that Russia had captured 47 Ukrainian towns and villages so far this year, including gains in the northeastern Kharkiv region where Moscow launched a major ground assault last month, forcing thousands of Ukrainians to evacuate and further stretching Kyiv’s forces, AFP reported.

The US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Sunday that Russia’s advance on the Kharkiv border region had “stalled out” after Washington partially lifted restrictions on using US-donated weapons to strike inside Russia.

President Zelensky on Monday denied Russian forces had captured a village in the eastern Sumy region, where the leader of Russia’s Chechen Republic said Moscow’s forces had advanced.

Ramzan Kadyrov said on Sunday that Russian forces had seized the border village of Ryzhivka.

There was no immediate comment from Russia’s defense ministry and a local Ukrainian official denied Kadyrov’s claim.

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces were “in full control” in Sumy and that Russian sabotage groups operating there had been “destroyed.”

“As for the village of Ryzhivka, the occupier tried to implement a propaganda operation there. As of this morning, the Russian flag in the village was destroyed, and there is no occupant presence,” Zelensky said in a statement on social media.

He repeated that fighting in the industrial Donetsk region was “the most difficult” and that Ukrainian forces were doing everything to stabilize their positions there.

Sumy lies on Ukraine’s northern border and has not seen a major Russian ground assault since the beginning of the conflict in 2022.

Kadyrov had said that fighters from his Akhmat battalion “together with servicemen from other Russian units carried out tactical operations and liberated another settlement from the enemy,” he said on social media.

“As a result of large-scale planned offensive actions, the Ukrainian side suffered significant losses and was forced to retreat,” he added.

Yuriy Zarko, the Ukrainian head of the local municipality, denied Ryzhivka had been captured and told state broadcaster Suspilne there were no Russian troops in the village.

Zelensky had warned last month that Russia was amassing troops along the northern border ahead of what might be a new offensive.

Authorities began evacuating residents living in some border towns and villages in the Sumy region last month, citing the risk of increased Russian attacks.

On May 10, Russia began a major ground operation in the neighboring Kharkiv region, capturing several towns and villages as Kyiv's forces struggled with manpower and ammunition shortages.

Ukraine has since rushed reinforcements to the area but lost ground to Russia elsewhere on the front, with Zelensky warning on Sunday of difficult battles in the eastern Donetsk region.

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