EU leaders in Kyiv urged to raise pressure on Russia
Mariupol residents tell of beatings and interrogation
Ukrainian officials say thousands of Mariupol residents have been forced to go through a process called filtration as they try to leave the city. It’s humiliating for most, and violent for some.
Civilians face harsh questioning, apparently in an attempt by the occupying forces to establish any possible links with the military, law enforcement and even local government. Men of fighting age are particularly targeted.
Andriy, a 28-year-old marketing officer, told me he was beaten by members of the Russian security service, the FSB, after they found a post he had shared on Instagram of a speech the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave at the start of the war.
At one point, after a blow to the stomach, he felt as if he was about to faint. He managed to sit on a chair.
“I wondered what would be better: to lose consciousness and fall down or tolerate the pain further.”
He was eventually freed, but forced to go with his family to Russia. “I even try to justify the process somehow. Try to convince myself there’s some logic. But there’s no logic.”
Russia’s defence ministry has not responded to requests for comment.
Gazprom blames repair work for cutting the supply of gas through the Nordstream 1 pipeline to Germany to 40% of its usual capacity.
Few here believe the Russian firm.
Least of all Robert Habeck, the economy and climate change minister. This was, he said, a political decision. One taken, presumably, to coincide with Chancellor Scholz’s visit to Ukraine. Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it would decrease the delivery, then announced a further reduction yesterday.
It’s a warning sign, said the president of the Federal Network Agency, which is responsible for Germany’s energy infrastructure. Klaus Mueller accused Russia of trying to spread insecurity and drive up the price of gas.
The government has urged people and businesses to save energy but says that there’s currently no shortage of supply. There’s little sense of panic here; it’s summer after all and most newspapers are busy reporting an impending heat wave this weekend.
Still, the federal network agency warns that, should the reduced gas supply continue, Germany will have a problem. Reservoirs need to be filled ahead of the winter.
And there’s no doubt that the move has alarmed Berlin. Germany remains heavily dependent on Russian gas and, while it’s assumed President Vladimir Putin won’t want to do without the revenue, Mr Mueller says the possibility of Russia halting supplies cannot be ruled out.
A meeting between the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy and Romania has finished, says the head of the presidential office in Kyiv.
“Ukraine has a firm support of international coalition,” Andriy Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
He added that President Zelensky gave his counterparts a “full package” of sanction proposals against Russia.
“We must increase the pressure on [the] aggressor, [and] work on the seventh sanction package with [a] gas embargo,” Yermak wrote.
We’re expecting a post-meeting press conference – stay with us for updates.