- Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said that her office is preparing war crimes cases against 41 suspects
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no-one can predict length of war
- Russia is planning for 'long war,' says Ukraine's interior minister
This article was last updated at 01:40 UTC/GMT
Russia's invasion entering 'third phase' — Ukrainian official
Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Viktor Andrusiv said on Ukrainian television that Russia's invasion is entering its "third phase" which shows that Moscow is planning for a "long war."
The first phase consisted of trying to take Ukraine "in a few days," according to Andrusiv. The second phase saw the Russian military attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces in the east of the country.
In the third phase of the invasion, Moscow is preparing a defense of territories in the east and south of the country that are under its control.
"This shows that they're going to turn this war into a long war," Andrusiv said.
Andrusiv argued that the Kremlin intends to use a drawn-out war to bring Western countries to the negotiating table, who would then push Kyiv to give concessions.
Ukraine preparing dozens of war crime cases
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said that her office is preparing war crimes cases against 41 suspects.
"We have 41 suspects in cases with which we will be ready to go to court. All of them concern Article 438 of the [Ukrainian] criminal code on war crimes, but different types of war crimes. There is the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the killing of civilians, rape and looting,'' Venediktova said on Ukrainian television.
The first war crime trial since the start of the invasion began on Friday in Kyiv. The suspect is a 21-year-old Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka.
Ukraine's security service posted a video of the suspect describing how he shot the civilian. Ukraine has been criticized by rights groups for publishing footage and images of prisoners of war, which the say contravenes the Geneva Conventions.
Venediktova said that two more suspects are likely to face preliminary hearings next week.
Previously, Venediktova had said that her office was looking into more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects.
Ukraine's Zelenskyy: no-one can predict how long war will last
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a nightly video address that "no-one today can predict how long this war will last."
"This will depend, unfortunately, not only on our people, who are already giving their maximum," Zelenskyy said. "This will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the entire free world."
Zelenskyy said he was thankful to countries who have imposed sanctions on Russia and given military and financial support to Kyiv.
"This is the only recipe for protecting freedom in the face of the Russian invasion. And for Western countries, this is not simply an expense. This is not about accounting, it's about the future," Zelenskyy said.
Summary of Friday's events in Russia's war on Ukraine
The president of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, announced the territory would hold a referendum on July 17 on whether to become part of Russia.
US President Joe Biden discussed NATO accession with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinisto of Finland.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to move immediately to implement a ceasefire in Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone to discuss stalled Ukraine peace talks.
German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, meeting with his G7 and Ukrainian colleagues, said grain theft by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine was "repugnant."
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced that the bloc was set to increase military aid to Ukraine with a further €500 million ($520 million).
DW correspondent in Kyiv Fanny Facsar said Ukraine's counteroffensive in the east of the country "seems to be working."
sdi/wmr (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)