The Guardian – Pjotr Sauer / Sieverodonetsk evacuation continues despite loss of main bridges
- Ukrainian authorities say they are continuing to evacuate civilians from Sievierodonetsk during every “quiet” moment, after the three main bridges out of the eastern city were destroyed by Russian shelling.
- As fighting raged on for control of the city, local authorities said they still had ways to evacuate people, though it was not immediately clear what route the Ukrainian military was using.
- “The ways to connect with the city are quite difficult, but they exist,” Oleksandr Struik, the head of the Sievierodonetsk military administration, told Ukrainian television, adding that evacuations were taking place “every minute when it is quiet there, or there is a possibility of transportation”.
- “Russian troops are trying to storm the city, but the military is holding firm,” he added. Russia is believed to control about 70% of the city.
- The Washington Post – David Ignatius / In Ukraine, is the balance tipping in Moscow’s favor? Not yet.
Politico – Myah War and Quint Forgey / Biden to travel to Middle East in July, White House says
- President Joe Biden will travel to the Middle East next month, making stops in Israel, the West Bank and then Saudi Arabia, where he’ll seek to rebuild relations after vowing to make the kingdom a “pariah.”
- The president’s travels will have him in the region July 13-16, and he’ll meet with more than a dozen of his counterparts, a senior administration official said. The final leg of the trip, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, could shape the administration’s goals in the region for the rest of the year and 2023, the official said.
- The trip comes just a year after the Biden administration concluded that Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader ordered the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an American resident.
- The highly anticipated visit to the oil-rich kingdom, and a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will be met with mixed reception as the president ventures to address high gas prices and inflation at home while also not muddying the administration’s promises to keep human rights at the center of its foreign policy doctrine.
- Project Syndicate – Richard Haass / The keys to the Kingdom
The Guardian – Lizzy Davies / Millions at risk in South Sudan as Ukraine war forces slashing of aid
- The World Food Programme has said it is suspending food aid to 1.7 million people in South Sudan, as the war in Ukraine sucks funding from the world’s crisis-plagued youngest country and causes the price of staples to soar.
- The UN’s emergency food assistance agency said it had planned to deliver aid to more than 6 million acutely food-insecure people in South Sudan this year, as it did in 2021, albeit with smaller rations.
- But, in a major cut likened by a spokesperson to a form of humanitarian triage, the WFP said it would now have to prioritise 4.5 million of the most vulnerable people in order to stop them dying of starvation during the lean season, between April and July.
- “It’s a drastic cut because it’s a third of the total of people that we know require food assistance, but we had to do a kind of triage, if you will. We had to decide who to keep assisting and who we can afford to suspend the assistance from – not because they’re not in need but because they can survive,” said Marwa Awad, WFP spokesperson in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
- Project Syndicate – Alexander Muller, Violet Shivutse, Jes Weigelt / The right way to fight global hunger
- The European Union is looking to Israel to help reduce its energy dependence on Russia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
- “We want to boost our energy cooperation with Israel,” the head of the EU executive said in a joint press briefing with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
- The EU was Russia’s “biggest, most important client” in energy supplies, she said, but the invasion had spurred the bloc to pivot away from Russian fossil fuels, including by boosting natural gas imports from the eastern Mediterranean.
- The 27-nation EU, Israel and Egypt are set to sign a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, von der Leyen added, according to which Israel will export natural gas in a pipeline to Egypt, where it will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) then delivered to EU member states.
- Financial Times – Andy Bounds, Harry Dempsey and Ian Mount / Europe’s push to plug its energy gaps
Today’s longer reads: