Any deal with Russia isn’t worth a penny.

If the Ukrainians are not supplied with the weapons they are requesting, fighting around Kyiv will soon resume.

According to the governor of the Luhansk province, Serhiy Gaidai, the situation for the Ukrainian troops in Siewierodonetsk is becoming increasingly difficult. Russian units have entered the city, he writes in the short message service Telegram. The Ukrainian soldiers have enough strength and resources to defend themselves. “Nevertheless, it is possible that we have to withdraw in order not to have to surrender.” (Reuters)

Russia’s war against Ukraine leads to a split in the Russian Orthodox Church. Its Ukrainian branch decided on Friday in Kyiv to be completely independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. After a national council attended by bishops, priests, religious and lay people, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate declared in the evening: “We do not share the position of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Cyril on the war in Ukraine.”

The Council adopted amendments to the Church Statute “certifying the full autonomy and independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. Further details on the detachment from the Moscow Patriarchate were initially not known. For Russia’s church, the loss of its Ukrainian branch with millions of believers and clergy would be a heavy blow.

In contrast to Cyril I, the Ukrainian national council condemned Russia’s war of aggression as violating the commandment “Thou shalt not kill!”. The congregation expressed its condolences to all those who suffered as a result of the war. The governments of Ukraine and Russia should continue the negotiation process and end the “bloodshed”. (KNA)

Finland is pushing for a speedy solution to the dispute over its NATO membership. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told journalists after a meeting with his US colleague Antony Blinken that it was very important that Turkey’s reservations about Finland joining the military alliance were allayed before the NATO summit at the end of June. (Reuters)