The United Nations Security Council has voted to support a US-proposed Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan. The proposal sets out conditions for a "full and complete ceasefire", the release of hostages held by Hamas, the return of dead hostages' remains and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners. Fourteen of the 15 Security Council members voted in favour of the US-drafted resolution. Russia abstained. The resolution states that Israel has accepted the ceasefire proposal, and urges Hamas to agree to it too. It means the Security Council joins a number of governments, as well as the G7 group of the world's richest nations, in backing the three-part plan that was unveiled by President Joe Biden on 31 May. The vote is likely to increase pressure on both sides to respond positively to the plan with a view to ending the conflict. It also came shortly after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with foreign leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to build support for the peace deal. Just hours before the UN vote, Mr Blinken said his message to leaders in the region was: "If you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say, yes." - BBC


In the latest show of force against Russian forces in occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces on June 10 claimed to have successfully struck three Russian antiaircraft missile systems. The Ukrainian military reported that one S-400 antiaircraft missile division in the Dzhankoya area and two S-300 antiaircraft missile divisions near Chornomorskiy and Yevpatoria were destroyed and an “immediate shutdown of S-300/S-400 complex radars was recorded.” The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on these reports, but a Planet Labs satellite image viewed by RFE/RL shows apparent evidence of a large fire near a railroad in the city of Dzhankoya. Russian Telegram channels say that Russian air defenses shot down at least four ballistic missiles over Crimea. The claim has yet to be verified, but the General Staff said none of its missiles was intercepted. - RFE/RL


Soldiers are searching mountainous forests near a city in northern Malawi after a military plane carrying the country’s vice president and a former first lady went missing in the area Monday, President Lazarus Chakwera said. The plane carrying 51-year-old Vice President Saulos Chilima, former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri and eight others left the southern African nation’s capital, Lilongwe, at 9:17 a.m. and had been expected to land 45 minutes later at Mzuzu International Airport, about 370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north.But air traffic control told it to not attempt a landing and to turn around because of bad weather and poor visibility, Chakwera said in an address broadcast live on state TV channel MBC. Air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft and it disappeared from radar a short time later, he said - AP

The two-day Ukraine Reform Conference, hosted by the German government, gets underway in Berlin today.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Head of the Ukrainian delegation and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will deliver opening addresses this morning. The last conference to boost support for Ukraine’s reconstruction - now estimated at close to a trillion dollars - was held in London last year. The Ukrainian Journalists’ Association of North America has called on organizers and participants to give priority to the battered media sector in Ukraine, saying there can be no reconstruction of the country without a free and vibrant press.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Germany to participate in URC2024 and to hold talks with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He wrote: “URC2024 will bring together governments, ten of which are at the level of prime ministers, companies and organizations to help Ukraine. In the conditions of Russian aerial terror, urgent solutions for the Ukrainian energy industry will be our main priority.”

Separately, the Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm) and the Radio Tower (Funkturm) will be setting a special sign of solidarity on the occasion of the conference. They will be illuminated in the colours of the Ukrainian flag – blue and yellow – “to express our support for the country and its people” the organizers said

The Ukraine recovery conference is due to be addressed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.The German government has described it as sending an important signal to Ukrainians about the long-term future of their country. Critics have called for a refocusing to increase Ukraine’s current resilience, by for instance preventing prolonged energy blackouts this winter. The conference will include the launch of 95 investment projects for which it is hoped western funding will be secured, as well as a range of reform targets. The country’s future accession to the EU will also be discussed, in what organisers have referred to as a “fourth dimension” of the conference agenda. Several Ukrainian mayors from big cities including Kyiv and Lviv are expected to attend. - The Guardian


As reported yesterday, the head of Ukraine’s reconstruction agency resigned a day before the URC, saying he had been prevented from attending after being systematically undermined by the Ukrainian government from doing his job. Mustafa Nayyem announced his resignation in a Facebook post on Monday after previously sending a strongly worded message to a number of foreign partners criticising the Ukrainian administration for a wide range of mistakes. Nayyem said the final straw was when his permission to travel to Berlin was revoked. In Nayyem’s letter, obtained by the Guardian, and in his posting to Facebook, he was deeply critical of the style of governance around Ukraine’s reconstruction while stopping short of criticising Zelenskiy directly. He said effectively his job, which he described as “the most challenging work of my life”, was made impossible to carry out. Included in a long list of complaints, Nayyem expressed regret at:

  • The lack of “government approval for the payment of $150m (£118m) borrowed from the European Investment Bank for critical projects including water supply and energy protection”.

  • Being “plagued by inexplicable bureaucratic delays”.

  • A “significant reduction in salaries” at his agency (a senior expert now earns the equivalent of €320 [£270] a month) leading to a loss of a quarter of staff since January.

Nayyem said the “persistent opposition, resistance and the creation of artificial barriers” his agency had faced had “rendered it impossible to effectively fulfil my duties”. The delays and hold-ups had resulted in “loss of trust from the market, local authorities and citizens”, he said. While admitting “mistakes and shortcomings” that he said were “inevitable in implementing projects of such complexity and under such conditions”, he said the agency had delivered a wide range of valuable successes, was now coordinating work on 353 construction sites across the country and had restored nearly 1,300km of roads and 330 bridges damaged in the conflict as well as building 155km of main water pipeline in the Dnipropetrovsk region, after the Russian military destroyed the Kakhovka dam. - Guardian


Nayyem’s resignation follows the dismissal last month of the minister of infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, under whom he was appointed, and with whom he said he had worked closely. In recent months, Ukraine’s foreign allies have become increasingly concerned over what they describe as centralising tendencies in Zelenskiy’s administration. Kubrakov’s firing has added to those concerns. Kubrakov was widely respected by international partners. One diplomatic source in Kyiv described his firing just before the Berlin conference as “a bit of a disaster, image-wise”. This will be compounded by Nayyem resigning on the eve of the conference. Nayyem said in his letter that Kubrakov’s dismissal had made the work impossible, and “the government’s recent decision to cancel my official participation in the Ukraine recovery conference in Berlin confirmed this”, he added. - The Guardian

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