Russian submarine spotted off Scotland

The Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, part of the Russian naval detachment visiting Cuba, arrives at Havana's harbour
The Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, part of the Russian naval detachment visiting Cuba, arrives at Havana's harbour - ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP via Getty Image

Rishi Sunak was briefed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after a Russian submarine, Kazan, was sighted off Scotland’s west coast last week near Britain’s naval base at Faslane.

A meeting with the Prime Minister was called when Kazan, which did not enter UK waters, was identified by an RAF Poseidon P8 anti-submarine aircraft as it passed Ireland on 5 June as part of routine monitoring.

The nuclear-powered submarine left the Cuban capital of Havana on Monday along with other Russian navy vessels after a military drill in the Caribbean over the weekend.

Both the US and Cuba played down the threat posed by the stopover, which was widely seen as a Russian show of force amid continued high tensions over the Ukraine war.

A US intelligence officer told CBS, the BBC’s North American partner, that Kazan was not carrying nuclear weapons.

It comes as Vladimir Putin will pay a “friendly state visit” to North Korea for the first time since 2000 on Tuesday and Wednesday - marking an extremely rare trip that underscores Moscow’s burgeoning partnership with the reclusive nuclear-armed state.

The visit was confirmed by the Kremlin and North Korean state media on Monday after Kim Jong Un initially extended the invite to the Russian president during a visit to Russia’s Far East last September.

He will then travel to Vietnam for a two-day visit dedicated to advancing Moscow and Hanoi’s “comprehensive strategic partnership”, after an invitation from Nguyen Phu Trong, the state’s communist party chief.


04:27 PM BST

That’s all for today

Thank you for following our live coverage. The Kremlin accused Nato of an “escalation” after comments made by the head of the alliance in an interview with the Telegraph. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary also derided the impact of a Swiss conference on the Ukraine war held yesterday as “close to zero” and insisted that this showed the futility of holding talks without Russia.

Other key developments from the day:

  • Vladimir Putin will pay a “friendly state visit” to North Korea for the first time since 2000 on Tuesday and Wednesday, an extremely rare trip that underscores Moscow’s burgeoning partnership with the reclusive nuclear-armed state.

  • The Latvian government confirmed it had sent a first batch of drones to Ukraine, with a second batch prepared to follow.

  • Putin sacked four of his deputy defence ministers and appointed a relative, Anna Tsivileva, to fill one of the vacancies.

  • A Russian missile attack on Ukraine’s east-central Poltava region on Monday damaged several apartment blocks and injured at least nine people.

  • A new “Frankenstein” air defence tank designed to shoot down Russian drones and missiles is to be supplied to Ukraine by a top German arms firm.

  • The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had destroyed 1,006 Russian tanks since the start of the war.


04:24 PM BST

Russia expands assault ahead of F-16 deliveries

Russian forces are “making every effort” to capture more territory before Ukraine receives F-16 fighter jets, Ukraine’s army chief has said.

Oleksandr Syrsky said Russia was “well aware” of the impending arrival of the F-16s along with new weapons and equipment and insisted that “time will play in our favour and its chances of success will decrease”.

He added: “Therefore, the command of Russia’s troops is currently making every effort to increase the intensity and expand the geography of hostilities in order to maximise the depletion of our troops, disrupt the training of reserves and prevent the transition to active offensive actions.”

Russian forces have been advancing slowly but steadily in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk and further south, along sections of the front that Kyiv has struggled to hold amid manpower and ammunition shortages.

Mr Syrsky’s comments came just hours after a Russian missile attack in Ukraine’s Poltava region left nine injured.

Ukraine said Russia was 'well aware' of the impending arrival of the F-16s along with new weapons and equipment
Ukraine said Russia was 'well aware' of the impending arrival of the F-16s along with new weapons and equipment - OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

03:58 PM BST

Russian ambassador brands Denmark’s plans to stop oil tankers ‘unacceptable’

Imposing restrictions on ships passing through the straits would be unacceptable, said Vladimir Barbin, Russia’s ambassador to Denmark.

Denmark is considering ways to stop ageing tankers from carrying Russian oil through the Baltic Sea, the Nordic country said on Monday.

Barbin said: “The threat to the safety of navigation and the marine environment in the Baltic Sea are not the tankers with Russian oil, but the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia. This is what the coalition of states established at Denmark’s initiative should be thinking about.”

The unimpeded passage of ships through Danish waters was guaranteed by the Copenhagen Treaty of 1857, which remains valid and legally binding, the ambassador said.


03:28 PM BST

Putin sacks four Russian deputy defence ministers and appoints his relative

Vladimir Putin has sacked four of his deputy defence ministers and appointed a relative, Anna Tsivileva, to fill one of the vacancies, according to Kremlin decrees.

Nikolai Pankov, Ruslan Tsalikov, Tatiana Shevtsova and Pavel Popov were removed by the Russian president, who then appointed Tsivileva, identified in Russian media as the daughter of Putin’s cousin, to fill one of the vacancies.

Leonid Gornin, a deputy finance minister, will be a first deputy defence minister under Defence Minister Andrei Belousov.

Pavel Fradkov, the son of former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, was also appointed as a deputy defence minister, along with Oleg Savelyev.

The move appears to be an attempt to install loyalists in the defence ministry after Putin appointed Belousov last month and moved Sergei Shoigu to the Russian Security Council.


02:53 PM BST

Putin announces surprise ‘friendly’ visit to North Korea

Vladimir Putin will pay a “friendly state visit” to North Korea for the first time since 2000 on Tuesday and Wednesday, an extremely rare trip that underscores Moscow’s burgeoning partnership with the reclusive nuclear-armed state.

The visit was confirmed by the Kremlin and North Korean state media on Monday after Kim Jong Un initially extended the invite to the Russian president during a visit to Russia’s Far East last September.

He will then travel to Vietnam for a two-day visit dedicated to advancing Moscow and Hanoi’s “comprehensive strategic partnership”, after an invitation from Nguyen Phu Trong, the state’s communist party chief.

Military and economic cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang has increased sharply since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, with US and South Korean officials accusing the North of providing Russia with millions of artillery shells.

im Jong Un initially extended the invite to the Russian president during a visit to Russia's Far East last September
im Jong Un initially extended the invite to the Russian president during a visit to Russia's Far East last September - SPUTNIK

02:46 PM BST

Ukrainian drones attack metal plant deep inside Russia

Four Ukrainian drones attacked the major Russian Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant in the Lipetsk region during an overnight incident on Monday, its owner Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) said.

Igor Artamonov, the governor of Lipetsk Oblast, claimed one drone had been “suppressed” while another had been shot down “over the industrial territory of Lipetsk”.

NLMK said that the factory, which it says produces exclusively civilian products, continues to operate normally. They added that the plant has already been attacked four times this year.


02:16 PM BST

Ukraine’s Euro 2024 opening match against Romania underway

You can follow our live coverage of Romania vs Ukraine here.

Ukrainian supporters in the stadium before the start of the group game between Romania and Ukraine
Ukrainian supporters in the stadium before the start of the group game between Romania and Ukraine - MOHAMED MESSARA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The Ukrainian squad pose before their group opener against Romania at Euro 2024
The Ukrainian squad pose before their group opener against Romania at Euro 2024 - AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

01:59 PM BST

Russian attack injures nine and leaves 55,000 without power in Ukraine’s Poltava region

A Russian missile attack on Ukraine’s east-central Poltava region on Monday damaged several apartment blocks and injured at least nine people, a local official said.

Filip Pronin, the regional governor, said there were no fatalities in a video address from the site posted on the Telegram app. Smoke rising from damaged garages could be seen in the background, while rescuers attempted to extinguish fires.

Mr Pronin said the attack also left more than 55,000 private and industrial consumers without electricity after power lines were damaged.

Ukraine’s air force had announced a missile alert for the region earlier in the day.


01:25 PM BST

Zelensky thanks those ‘resisting Russian pressure’ in wake of summit

Volodymyr Zelensky posted the message on X, formerly Twitter, and addressed everyone who “does not forget Ukraine and Ukrainians, our struggle and the importance of protecting human life”.

The post does not mention the weekend summit in Switzerland, during which Western powers and their allies failed to persuade major non-aligned states to join their final statement.


01:12 PM BST

Ukraine to get German-made ‘Frankenstein’ tank

A new “Frankenstein” air defence tank designed to shoot down Russian drones and missiles is to be supplied to Ukraine by a top German arms firm.

Rheinmetall has announced it will mount its state-of-the-art Skyranger anti-aircraft system on Cold War-era Leopard 1 tank hulls, creating a new vehicle to bolster Ukraine’s defences.

“There are still many Leopard 1 main battle tanks on whose chassis we could mount the Skyranger turret with the 35 mm calibre automatic cannon,” Bjorn Bernhard, head of land systems at Rheinmetall, told Bild, a German newspaper.

Ukraine’s army has already received close to a hundred conventionally-configured Leopard 1 tanks.

Read more about the new tanks here.

A mocked-up image showing how the new 'Frankenstein' tank will probably look
A mocked-up image showing how the new 'Frankenstein' tank will probably look - Rheinmetall

12:48 PM BST

‘Ukraine’s victories at Euro 2024 can be break from grief for its people’

Whether it is the troops who wrote to him after Ukraine’s qualification for Euro 2024, the opportunity to give the people of his country respite from the grief they have suffered or his own future, Georgiy Sudakov knows the European Championship will be like no other for him and his team-mates.

The tournament in Germany is the first Ukraine will compete in since the invasion by Russia in 2022 and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Sudakov is the poster boy of a country whose spirit and pride has so far proved to be unbreakable, writes Matt Law.

Read the full exclusive interview with Georgiy Sudakov here.

Sudakov is part of a young core at the heart of the Ukraine side – along with Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk
Sudakov is part of a young core at the heart of the Ukraine side – along with Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk - AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File
The President of the Ukrainian Association of Football Andriy Shevchenko poses with children holding a poster that reads 'My national team is as invincible as my country'
The President of the Ukrainian Association of Football Andriy Shevchenko poses with children holding a poster that reads 'My national team is as invincible as my country' - Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

12:11 PM BST

Analysis: Stoltenberg sends a clear message to Russia and China

My interview with Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, has been leapt on by the Kremlin, and I’m not surprised.

Nuclear sabre-rattling by Vladimir Putin and his cronies has been an ever-present feature of the war in Ukraine.

But it has been somewhat of a one-way street, with the West refusing to assert itself as a nuclear superpower in the face of Russia’s aggressive posturing.

When I asked Mr Stoltenberg whether Nato allies should respond by placing more nuclear warheads on standby, rather than gathering dust in warehouses, I knew it could produce an answer that Moscow wouldn’t like.

The Nato chief responded: “I won’t go into operational details about how many nuclear warheads should be operational and which should be stored, but we need to consult on these issues. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Mr Stoltenberg has been a long-term advocate for more open messaging when it comes to Nato as a nuclear-powered alliance, simply because it demonstrates to the likes of Russia and China that its not to be messed with.

“Transparency helps to communicate the direct message that we, of course, are a nuclear alliance,” he added in our interview.


11:45 AM BST

Kremlin angered by Nato ‘escalation’ after Telegraph interview with head of alliance

The Kremlin on Monday accused Nato of an “escalation” after comments made by the head of the alliance in an interview with the Telegraph.

Speaking to this publication, Jens Stoltenberg said Nato allies were discussing the deployment of nuclear weapons in response to the dual threat posed by Russia and China.

“This is nothing but another escalation of tension,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov also claimed the Nato secretary-general’s comments were a contradiction to a communiqué agreed by over 80 nations and the EU at a Ukraine peace conference that stated “any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing war against Ukraine is inadmissible”.

When asked by the Telegraph whether Nato allies should take nuclear warheads out of storage, Mr Stoltenberg said: “I won’t go into operational details about how many nuclear warheads should be operational and which should be stored, but we need to consult on these issues. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”


11:13 AM BST

Latvia sends first batch of drones to Ukraine

The Latvian government confirmed it had sent a first batch of drones to Ukraine, with a second batch prepared to follow.

In a story published on Monday, Andris Spruds, Latvia’s defence minister, told Armyinform: “Latvia has already organized a batch of drones and they have already been sent. Now we are already collecting the second batch of drones, which should soon be sent to Ukraine.”

Mr Spruds announced an “industry competition” to provide first-person view drones earlier this month after Britain and Latvia launched the Drone Capability Coalition for Ukraine in February. The programme hopes to build up supplies of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on the front lines.

A Ukrainian serviceman of the Sky Hunters unit of the 65-th brigade operates a drone on the front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine
A Ukrainian serviceman of the Sky Hunters unit of the 65-th brigade operates a drone on the front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine - AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko

10:43 AM BST

Kremlin derides impact of Swiss conference as ‘close to zero’

The Kremlin said on Monday that a Swiss-hosted conference on the Ukraine war had produced negligible results and showed the futility of holding talks without Russia.

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, told reporters the results of the meeting were “close to zero”.

He added: “Russia remains open to dialogue with all countries that intend to conduct it and will continue to convey its position to these countries.”

At the weekend summit in Switzerland, which Russia ridiculed from afar, Western powers and their allies failed to persuade major non-aligned states to join their final statement, with no country coming forward to host a sequel.

A decision by China not to attend all but assured that the summit would fail to achieve Ukraine’s goal of persuading major countries from the “global South” to join in isolating Russia.


10:23 AM BST

Listen: The terrifying sounds of modern warfare in Ukraine

Remote-controlled drones are now so commonly used on both sides nearly two-and-a-half years into the Ukraine war and are so all-pervasive on the front that every soldier subconsciously listens out for the telltale sounds.

There is the ominous buzz of the tiny reconnaissance drones, but also the bigger drones with a payload of grenades or bombs to drop, which sound heavier, writes Ben Farmer.

Read more about the drone menace that is a daily threat to soldiers on the front line here.


10:18 AM BST

Russian spy chief says Putin’s North Korea visit will yield good results

Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to North Korea has been well prepared and will bring good results, Sergei Naryshkin, the foreign intelligence chief was quoted by state news agency TASS as saying on Monday.

Putin, who has developed closer relations with North Korea since the start of the war in Ukraine, is expected to visit the country shortly, although the exact dates of the trip have not been confirmed.

It will be only the second time the Russian president has visited North Korea, with the last taking place in 2000 when Kim Jong Il was the supreme leader.


09:45 AM BST

Ukrainian security service says it has destroyed over 1,000 Russian tanks

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it has destroyed 1,006 Russian tanks since the start of the war, mainly in Donetsk and Kharkiv.

In a post on Telegram, the SBU said: “A large number of Russian armored vehicles were hit even at the initial stages of the offensive - before they went out to storm Ukrainian positions. Some of the tanks were destroyed along with their crews.

The SBU, side by side with other units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, continues to ‘minus’ the occupation groups of the Russian Federation in order to bring our Victory closer.”

Russian tanks destroyed by the Ukrainian armed forces to the north of Kharkiv
Russian tanks destroyed by the Ukrainian armed forces to the north of Kharkiv - Jose Hernandez/Shutterstock

09:24 AM BST

Ukraine warns of more ‘serious’ power cuts in coming weeks

A senior Ukrainian energy official has warned that scheduled power outages and emergency blackouts will intensify over the coming weeks, after a string of Russian attacks crippled Ukrainian electricity generation.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said this month that aerial bombardments have halved the country’s electricity production compared to a year ago, disrupting and limiting supplies for millions.

“Over the next few weeks, the situation will be much tougher than it is today,” Volodymyr Kydrytsky, the head of national grid operator Ukrenergo, said in an interview late on Sunday.

He said periods during which Ukrainians might not have power were likely to be extended by up to 12 hours per day and that outages could become more “stringent”, a situation that could “continue until the end of July”.

Ukrainian officials have been forced to ramp up imports of electricity from neighbouring European Union countries to make up the shortfalls and have urged allies to help restoring the embattled energy sector.


09:05 AM BST

Pictured: Ukrainian pilots receive fighter jet training from French military

Ukrainian trainees and a French military instructor walk towards an Alpha Jet fighter  ahead of a flight, at a French Army air base in south-western France
Ukrainian trainees and a French military instructor walk towards an Alpha Jet fighter ahead of a flight, at a French Army air base in south-western France - CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Image
France has committed to training 26 Ukrainian pilots over two years
France has committed to training 26 Ukrainian pilots over two years - CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images

08:55 AM BST

Denmark aims to limit shadow fleet of Russian oil tankers

Denmark is considering ways to limit the passage of old tankers carrying Russian oil through the Baltic Sea, the country’s foreign minister said in a statement on Monday, in a move that could trigger confrontation with Moscow.

Russia sends about a third of its seaborne oil exports, or 1.5% of global supply, through the Danish straits that sit as a gateway to the Baltic Sea, meaning any attempt to halt supplies would send oil prices higher and hit the Kremlin’s finances.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the foreign minister, said Denmark has brought together a group of allied countries to evaluate measures targeting the so-called shadow fleet of ageing ships transporting the Russian oil.


08:38 AM BST

Deal to restructure Ukraine’s £15.8 billion debt derailed

Ukraine was unable to reach an agreement with a group of bondholders over restructuring around £15.8 billion ($20 billion) of international debt during formal talks, it said on Monday, raising the spectre that the war-torn country might slip into default.

An agreement with holders of international bonds that allowed Ukraine to suspend payments after Russia’s invasion in 2022 ends in August.

The talks had gone on for nearly two weeks, seeking to restructure the debt in order to retain access to international markets while meeting International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demands to restructure, although there are large disparities between what the parties expected a deal to look like.

“Ukraine and the Ad Hoc Creditor Committee will continue engagement and constructive discussions through their respective advisors,” the government said in a regulatory news statement.

The government would also continue bilateral discussions with other investors “with a view to making further progress and reaching an agreement in principle at the earliest opportunity,” the statement added.


08:27 AM BST

Nato in talks to deploy more nuclear weapons

Nato is in talks to deploy more nuclear weapons in the face of a growing threat from Russia and China, the head of the alliance has said.

Jens Stoltenberg added that the bloc must show its nuclear arsenal to the world to send a direct message to its foes.

He revealed there were live consultations between members on taking missiles out of storage and placing them on standby as he called for transparency to be used as a deterrent.

Mr Stoltenberg gave a stark warning about the threat from China and also said he expected a Labour government to be a staunch Nato ally and defended new plans to Trump-proof weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

Read the Telegraph’s exclusive interview with the secretary general here.


08:15 AM BST

New US weapons narrowing gap in Ukraine

US military artillery shells have reached frontline Ukrainian units and have started to break Russian battlefield momentum.

Lt Gen Ivan Havrylyuk, Ukraine’s first deputy defence minister, said that the ammunition resupply had been critical but that most of the equipment pledged by the US in April was still in transit.

“It takes time to load ships that must then cross the Atlantic,” he said. “But we are already seeing the results.”

Russia has been on the offensive along the front line since October but even hardcore pro-war Russian military bloggers have now admitted that this momentum is stalling and its successes are more limited, write Harriet Barber and James Kilner.

Read the full story here.

Lt Gen Ivan Havrylyuk said most of the equipment and ammunition pledged by the US in April was still in transit
Lt Gen Ivan Havrylyuk said most of the equipment and ammunition pledged by the US in April was still in transit - Armyinform

08:05 AM BST

US reporter to go on trial in Russia behind closed doors

Evan Gershkovich will go on trial on espionage charges in Russia’s Urals city of Yekaterinburg behind closed doors on June 26, the court overseeing the process said on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reporter was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and has been held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison since.

He became the first Western journalist since the Soviet era to be arrested for spying in Russia.

Last week, Russia’s prosecutor general accused him of working for the CIA and “collecting secret information” about tank maker Uralvagonzavod in the Sverdlovsk region where he was arrested.

The United States said the charges had “zero credibility”, with the Wall Street Journal describing Russia’s announcement as “outrageous”.

The 32-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Evan Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and has been held in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison since
Evan Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and has been held in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison since - AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

07:54 AM BST

Good morning

Welcome to the Telegraph’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine on Monday, June 17.

You can read more of the latest news from Ukraine here.

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