Ukrainian group is suing the Canadian government in an attempt to prevent the return of Russian pipeline turbines

A group representing the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada said on Tuesday it was seeking judicial review of the federal government’s decision to return repaired turbines needed for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany.

The Canadian government said on Saturday it was issuing a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of turbines from its Russian sanctions as Europe seeks continued energy flows until it can end its dependence on Russian gas.

Ukraine’s energy and foreign ministries said on Sunday the decision amounted to adjusting sanctions on Moscow “to Russia’s whims” and called for its reversal.

Last month, Russia cited the delayed return of turbines, which German firm Siemens Energy maintains in Canada, as the reason for reducing flows to 40% of capacity through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline between Russia and Germany.

“This exemption from the sanctions regime against Russia is completely unacceptable,” the Ukrainian World Congress said in a statement. “There are real alternatives to Germany’s gas needs, including buying through the Ukrainian gas pipeline.”

Ukraine’s World Congress said it had filed a notice of application for judicial review with the Federal Court and seeks “a declaration that the decision to provide a permit to Siemens was unreasonable and unauthorized and an order rescinding the permit.” .

The Department of National Defense did not immediately respond to an email request for comment from Reuters.

WATCH l The controversy involving Canada and the Nord Stream pipeline:

Canada sets ‘dangerous precedent’ by releasing turbines: Ukraine

“This is a very dangerous precedent,” Ukrainian Ambassador Yulia Kovaliv said of the Canadian government’s decision to return Russian turbines to Germany. “The Russians are just blackmailing Europe.”

Financial assistance to pay Ukrainian health workers

Ukraine is receiving an additional $1.7 billion in aid from the US government and the World Bank to pay the salaries of its beleaguered healthcare workers and provide other essential services.

The money coming Tuesday from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Treasury Department and the World Bank is intended to ease the acute budget deficit caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal war of aggression”, said USAID in a statement.

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the aftermath of a Ukrainian strike on a Russian munitions depot in Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine on Tuesday. (Planet Labs/Associated Press)

While many medical personnel have left Ukraine, some hospitals have closed and others have been bombed. The health workers who remain in Ukraine are doing their job in difficult conditions.

Viktor Liashko, Ukraine’s health minister, said paying salaries for health workers was becoming more difficult every month “due to the crushing burden of war”.

“$1.7 billion is not just another financial backer; it’s an investment that brings us closer to victory,” Liashko said in a statement.

Reaction of the Ukrainian Prime Minister:

To date, USAID has provided $4 billion in budget support to the Ukrainian government. These funds were used to ensure the delivery of gas and electricity to hospitals and schools, provide humanitarian supplies to citizens and pay the salaries of civil servants and teachers, the organization said.

Last week, the Biden administration announced it would send an additional $400 million worth of military equipment to Ukraine, the 15th batch of weapons and military equipment transferred to Ukraine from ministry stockpiles. of Defense since last August.

Overall, the United States has sent about $7.3 billion in aid to Ukraine since the war began in late February.

Ukraine may use new weapons

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday their forces targeted a Russian ammunition depot in the south of the country overnight, resulting in a massive explosion captured on social media.

Ukraine’s army southern command said a rocket strike targeted the Russian-held Nova Kakhovka depot, about 55 kilometers east of the Black Sea port city of Kherson, also occupied by Russian forces.

A man in a baseball cap and a red shirt holds a fire extinguisher inside a burnt-out structure.
Maksym Sologub extinguishes a small fire at his grandmother’s home following an overnight airstrike in the northwestern suburbs of Sloviansk, Ukraine on Tuesday. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)

The accuracy of the strike suggested Ukrainian forces used US-supplied High Mobility Multiple Launch Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, to strike the area. Ukraine has indicated in recent days that it may launch a counter-offensive to reclaim territory in the south of the country as Russia devotes resources to capturing the entire eastern region of Donbass.

Russian news agency Tass offered a different account of the Nova Kakhovka explosion, saying a mineral fertilizer storage facility had exploded and a market, hospital and homes were damaged during the explosion. struck. Some of the fertilizer ingredients can be used for ammo.

A satellite photo taken Tuesday and analyzed by The Associated Press showed extensive damage. A massive crater stood precisely where a large warehouse-like structure once stood in the city,

Ukraine now has eight of the HIMAR systems, a high-precision truck-mounted missile launcher, and Washington has promised to send four more.

A hospital worker in a green coat checks on a patient lying on a bed, in a room full of three other patients pictured.
People injured in a shopping center hit by a Russian missile strike are treated at a hospital in Kremenchuk, in Ukraine’s Poltava region, on June 27. (Anna Voitenko/Reuters)

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian shelling over the past 24 hours has killed at least 16 civilians and injured 48 others, Ukraine’s presidential office said in its Tuesday morning update. Towns and villages in five southeastern regions came under Russian fire, the office said.

Nine civilians were killed and two others injured in Donetsk province, which represents half of Donbass. Russian rocket fire targeted the cities of Sloviansk and Toretsk, where a kindergarten was hit, the presidential office said.

The British Ministry of Defense briefing said Russia had seized the Ukrainian town of Hryhorivka and was continuing to push towards the provincial towns of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

“Russian forces are likely to maintain military pressure on Ukrainian forces while regrouping and reconstituting for further offensives in the near future,” the intelligence briefing said.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and its surrounding region, Russian strikes hit residential buildings, killing four civilians and injuring nine, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukrainian authorities also said Russian fire hit the southern city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday morning, hitting residential buildings. Twelve people were injured as a result of the Russian bombardment, with some of the rockets hitting two medical facilities, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

Putin to visit Iran over US weapons warning

Putin will visit Iran next week, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday, a day after the United States warned that Tehran could provide Moscow with drones for its action in Ukraine.

On a trip to Tehran next Tuesday, Putin will take part in a trilateral meeting with Iranian and Turkish leaders, the so-called Astana format of meetings for Syria-related talks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. .

Two men are sitting on a sofa opposite two other men also on a sofa.  A coffee table with two flags on it sits between them.  A horse portrait hangs on the wall above them.
Vladimir Putin, seated right, is seen with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan June 29. (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters)

Putin’s visit to Iran will follow US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week, where Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region will be a key talking point.

The White House said Monday it believes Russia is looking to Iran to provide it with “hundreds” of drones, including those capable of carrying weapons, for use in Ukraine.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it was unclear if Iran had already supplied any of the vehicles to Russia, but said the United States had “information indicating that Iran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them as early as this month.

Iranian Foreign Minister’s spokesman Nasser Kanaani did not deny the US claim in comments on Tuesday.