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Ukraine Crisis

Ben Stiller visits war-torn Kyiv

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Ukraine’s President Zelensky has met with Hollywood Actor Ben Stiller in Kyiv, with the pair saying it was an honour to meet

Actor Ben Stiller has witnessed the devastation caused in Ukraine, as the actor visited Kyiv to meet with President Zelensky and senior officials.

The visit was part of Stiller’s role as an ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency. He says Zelensky is a “hero”, as the nation enters its fifth month of conflict.

“It’s one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social networks. Another thing is to see it all with your own eyes. That’s a lot more shocking,” 

BEN STILLER

It comes as Ukraine’s President says his nation is moving along the path to becoming part of the European Union.

“What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful. But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east,” President Zelensky says.

The President says Ukraine should expect “greater hostile activity” from Russia as the E.U. considers whether the country should be formally considered this week.

Leaders of the 27 member body are meeting this week to discuss the process.

Zelensky says Ukraine deserves candidacy and is already proving the war-torn nation is already a part of the E.U.

Stiller also visited Poland, where he met with a woman who fled the city of Kharkiv with her children.

“The only thing that will guarantee Marina sees her loved ones again is peace,” Stiller says.

Amnesty International says war crimes have taken place in Kharkiv, where hundreds of people have reportedly been killed at the hands of Russian forces.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Business

Taco Bell owners close to selling KFC in Russia

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KFC is known for finger lickin’ chicken, but the secret herbs and spices will soon be swept away from Russians

The company behind Russia’s KFC business is close to selling

This is all part of its plan to exit the country’s market.

Yum Brans plans to fully exit Russia once the KFC transaction is complete.

Since March, Yum has been redirecting any profits from its Russian operations to humanitarian efforts.

The restaurant company added it is stopping all investment, restaurant development and operations in the country.

It sold its Russian Pizza Hut franchises, which re-branded in may.

The Taco Bell owner is the latest Western restaurant operator to wind down its Russian operations, closing the doors of about one thousand KFC locations

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Ukraine Crisis

At least two killed, seven wounded in Russian shelling of Sloviansk

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A central market went up in flames in Ukraine’s east

Russian shelling caused a market ablaze in Ukraine’s eastern city of Sloviansk, killing two people and injuring seven.

The mayor of the region says the city was being hit by Russian artillery salvoes from closer positions, as it became a frontline city.

With massive shelling, the Donetsk governor called on everyone to evacuate.

It’s clear Russia is seeking to control all of the eastern industrial Donbas area.

The area comprises the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and President Vladimir Putin claims it’s all part of Russia.

Meanwhile as it combats Russian aggression, Ukraine’s Armed Forces published a video captured from inside of Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jets

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Ukraine Crisis

Finland, Sweden another step closer to full NATO membership

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Finland and Sweden are a step closer to full NATO membership after all thirty NATO allies signed an accession protocol.

It will be NATO’s biggest expansion in decades – but it likely won’t happen in full for at least a year.

NATO allies signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance in Brussels on Tuesday (July 5).

Ankara had previously threatened to scupper their chances of joining.

Both Nordic countries gave assurances to Turkey in response that they would do more to fight terrorism – and Turkey backed down.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hailed the historic move,

This is truly an historic moment […] with 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger.

JENS StOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL

This protocol allows Helsinki and Stockholm to take part in NATO meetings, and have greater access to intelligence.

But the ratification process can take up to a year or more.

Neither country will be protected by NATO’s defence clause – where an attack on one is considered an attack on all during that time.

THE DUMA IS RUSSIA’S PARLIAMENT


Meanwhile, Russia’s Duma announced two bills that would put Russia onto a more aggressive wartime economy.

The first bill would allow Russia’s government to demand businesses supply the military with goods.

The second bill would oblige employees to be available to work overtime, nights, and forego additional pay in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bills need a second and third reading, approval by Russia’s upper house, and be signed by Vladimir Putin before they would become law

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