Press digest – Ukraine
PRESS DIGEST – UKRAINE
Fourth month of heroic resistance of Ukraine against Russian military invasion
Key updates on the war against Ukraine as of June 17, 2022
DESTRUCTION AND LOSSES
❗️ Families of Azovstal defenders call on the Red Cross and international media to visit the prison in Olenivka. The Russians are holding more than 2,500 military captives there.
Due to the full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine has lost 25% of its sown area, as well as the structure of crops sown has changed.
📌They stole our holiday, they stole our childhood”. This is what the students’ yearbook of one of Chernihiv’s schools will look like. The graduates were photographed near the destroyed Epicentr (a national chain of stores in Ukraine), on the ruins of the house on one of the city’s streets, and near the burned dormitory.
📌Ukraine received from the West only 10% of the requested weapons, said Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar. “No matter how hard Ukraine tries, we won’t win the war without the help of the West. We received only 10 percent of what Ukraine said, what we need”.
📌As of June 17, more than 900 children were injured in Ukraine due to the Russian Federation’s armed aggression. In Ukraine, 322 children were killed and more than 581 were injured in Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
- Russian occupation forces have killed over 500 civilian residents of Donetsk Oblast since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine. This number does not include civilians killed in Mariupol and Volnovakha.
- According to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, over 800,000 residents of the so-called, self-declared “DPR” and “LPR” have been issued with Russian passports using a simplified procedure.
- On June 14, Russian occupation forces carried out a missile strike on the city of Pokrovsk and the village of Hryshyne in Donetsk Oblast. Source: Pavlo Kyrylenko, Head of the Donetsk Oblast Military Administration.
- On June 12, Russian occupation forces conducted an artillery attack on the Vuhledar Thermal Power Plant in Donetsk Oblast, causing a fire on its territory.
- Occupants in Mariupol renamed Freedom Square into Lenin Square. This was reported by the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andriushchenko.
- Russian propaganda is shown from vehicles near the bombed-out theatre in Mariupol.
- Also on June 14, it became known that the invaders want to open a theatrical season in the demolished Mariupol Drama Theatre.
- Improvised cemeteries are growing in Mariupol because burials according to Russian rules are too expensive:
- If you follow the rules of the occupation authorities, you have to wait for the “prosecutor” and the “investigator” to conduct an examination of the body at the exhumation. Then drive to Donetsk to identify the corpse for forensic examination, only then is a burial in a designated place. All this – exhumation, delivery of the body of the deceased to Donetsk, burial – you have to pay at your own expense.
- For those Mariupol residents who want to bury relatives and acquaintances, but do not want to follow the rules of the Russian, it is possible to rebury the body in a mass grave. However, a bribe will have to be paid for this as well.
- A Russian rocket hit the car with humanitarian aid from the World Central Kitchen, which was supposed to feed Mariupol residents.
- 📌LUHANSK REGION:
- The Head Luhansk Region Serhii Haidai: The assault of Sievierodonetsk has been going on for several days in a row, with the enemy’s artillery demolishing apartment buildings and industrial facilities to smithereens.
- Two bridges leading to Sievierodonetsk were destroyed by the Russians. The third is under attack and in danger of collapsing. The regional center will be cut off if it is destroyed. The only way out of the city so far is to walk across a surviving bridge.
- In June, 14 the Russians hit the buildings of Sievierodonetsk Azot (chemical plant) and Skloplastyk (fiberglass and plastic plant). Source: Serhii Haidai, Head of Luhansk Oblast Military Administration.
At least four civilians were killed and seven wounded as a result of the Russian airstrike on Lysychansk on Thursday, 16 June. Russian forces fired on a palliative treatment centre, damaging the building and, likely, trapping civilians under the debris. Search and rescue operations are currently underway.
On 14 June, the Russian occupiers fired on the town of Zolochiv in the Kharkiv region, using parachute shells. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, this type of shell explodes over the target, forming a cloud of striking elements.
At night of June 14, Russian shelling caused six fires in Kharkiv Region; two children were wounded.
📌 ZAPORIZHZHIA REGION:
- On June 12, in the occupied Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia region, three explosions thundered in the morning. Half the city was left without electricity.
- Russian occupiers have stolen almost 2,000 tons of grain from enterprises in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Two criminal proceedings have been opened regarding this situation.
- On June 14, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast another operation on an exchange of bodies of the fallen soldiers took place. Source: Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories.
- On June 11, the occupiers handed over the first Russian passports to locals in the occupied city of Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- It is noted that on June 15, one of the occupiers with the call sign “Volga” informed employees that from 1 September 2022, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) will be completely under the control of Russia and, accordingly, Rosatom.
📌 MYKOLAIV REGION:
- On 16 June, the invaders fired at Mykolaiv from multiple rocket launchers. The shelling covered the residential area of the city. The missile hit the house directly. According to preliminary data, 5 civilians were injured. The elderly woman was in an extremely serious condition. The ambulance took her away from the scene of the shelling.
- On the morning of June 17, the Russian occupiers fired missiles at Mykolayiv, killing one person. The missile strike also affected 4 residential high-rise buildings and infrastructure, said the Governor of Mykolaiv Vitaly Kim.
- The occupying “authorities” of Kherson Oblast have announced that all children born in the region after 24 February will automatically receive Russian citizenship. Deputy of the occupying “military-civilian administration”, Kyrylo Stremousov.
- The head of Russian-occupied Crimea, Serhii Aksyonov, has said that a passenger train will run between the peninsula and the occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions on 1 July.
- Near occupied Nova Kakhovka and Beryslav, Kherson region, the Russian army is forcing people to sell 70% of their harvest to buyers from Crimea. Procurement prices in some places are as low as 10% of their retail value. At the same time, there is a ban on exporting harvest to Ukrainian-controlled territories from the occupied territories. There have even been cases of entrepreneurs handing out strawberries and cherries to people free of charge.
- On the night of 15–16 June, Russian occupation forces launched missiles on the territory of Sad territorial community in Sumy Oblast, killing four civilians and wounding at least six others.
- The Russian aggressors shelled the border villages in the Sumy region, killing one person, on June 13.
- Four civilians have been killed in the city of Apostolove, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, as a result of a Russian attack which deployed Uragan multiple rocket launchers.
- As a result of the shelling of the city Chortkiv, Ternopil region, residential buildings have been damaged from shelling, and cars have burned down. 22 people were injured, including a 12-year-old child.
📌Another mass grave of civilians was found in the Bucha district of the Kyiv region, the Russians executed seven people with gunshots in the head.
📌The UN has called the death sentence of three foreign fighters in the Donetsk People’s Republic a war crime. “Such trials against prisoners of war amount to a war crime. OHCHR is concerned about the so-called Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic sentencing three servicemen to death. According to the chief command of Ukraine, all the men were part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and if that is the case, they should not be considered as mercenaries,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.
A court of the self-proclaimed DPR has sentenced to death three foreign nationals who took part in hostilities as part of the Ukrainian army. British nationals Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim were accused of “mercenary activities and actions aimed at seizing power”.
📌Russia bombs the Ukrainian railway on a regular basis, and the railroad workers bravely transport people out of the combat zone, repair the tracks, transport grain. The railroad workers are the other heroes of the war.
📌The Russians have been holding at least 33 volunteer drivers captive for more than two months. Two of them are in need of immediate medical attention.
📌According to preliminary data, Russian troops have killed more than 22,000 civilians in Mariupol, and deported more than 50,000 to Russia and the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk Region.
📌During two exchanges of the bodies of the dead, Ukraine received the bodies of 220 defenders of Mariupol who were at the Azovstal plant – the process of identifying the dead began in Kyiv. Source: Maksym Zhorin, former commander of the Azov Regiment (2016-2017).
RUSSIAN AND BELORUSSIAN CONTEXT
⚠️ Self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko suggested that Belarusian troops may have to fight for Western Ukraine so that it “is not taken away by the West.”
“They will come in from Western Ukraine or somewhere else. Perhaps, we will have to fight for Western Ukraine so that it won’t be taken by the West. Because it is like death for us, not only for Ukrainians. Terrible processes are going on around us,” Lukashenko said.
⚠️Belarus recently announced the launch of a major nationwide military exercise to transition “from peacetime to wartime”.
These new exercises are part of a model of enhanced military mobilisation in southern Belarus and have sparked rumours about the possibility of a renewed offensive in the north of Ukraine from the border of Belarus. Whether Belarusian troops will go to a foreign war is another matter.
⚠️️ Russia has a plan for the war in Ukraine for 120 days, and its further adjustments will depend on success in the east, Vadym Skibitsky, spokesman for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry, said.
“We have confirmed the information that the Russians have a plan for 120 days of the war. Further adjustment of this plan will depend on how successful the enemy is or, on the contrary, will be defeated in the east of Ukraine. However, the goal of the so-called “special military operation,” which Putin announced at the beginning of the war, was never achieved by the Russians,” Skibitsky said.
⚠️️Putin signed laws on non-execution of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the Russian Federation.
⚠️️ Russia made 93 billion euros in the first 100 days of the war against Ukraine by selling its fossil fuels to countries around the world. Calculations were made by Sky News.⚠️️ Russia wants to divide the territory of Ukraine into districts. At the Economic Forum in Russian St. Petersburg, they showed a scheme of the administrative-territorial division of Ukraine in the event of its occupation as a result of the so-called “special operation.” The scheme is designed for a “transitional period” – 3-5 years. No one is hiding anything and is not talking about the mythical “demilitarization” – the real goals of the “special operation” have been announced.
⚠️️ Russia’s recruiting companies are looking for masses “volunteers” for the military, and requiring neither physical training nor military training. The invaders are being offered good salaries for work on the “restoration” of the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine – to dismantle the ruins of buildings destroyed by the Russian army, or to load humanitarian aid supplies.
📌On the morning of 16 June, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy arrived in Kyiv. At a meeting with European leaders, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented a package of sanctions against Russia; Ukraine has strong support from the international coalition.
📌The European Commission has supported candidacy for Ukraine to join the EU. Now it is up to European leaders to make a final decision on granting our country the status of a candidate for the European Union at the summit on 23-24 June.
📌Representatives of 55 countries are fighting on the Ukrainian side against the Russian army. Representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom are the most numerous foreigners in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
📌Ukrainian partisans helped the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroy Russian bases in the occupied city of the Kherson Region. Partisans scouts directed artillery strikes at two Russian bases in the occupied Kherson Region, as a result of which dozens of soldiers of the Russian army were killed.
📌President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen visited Kyiv on June 11. “Good to be back in Kyiv. With President Zelensky, I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path,” she wrote. “Europe is with you,” she added in Ukrainian.
📌Zelensky met with Prime Ministers of Albania and Montenegro on June 15. “International partners continue to come to Ukraine. And this is an important manifestation of the support of our people. Today I am meeting with Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović,” the President of Ukraine said.
📌Russia is left without half of its car market. In January-May 2022, car sales in Russia dropped by 52%.
📌The Ukrainian army is conducting a counter-offensive in the Kherson region, the village of Tavriiske is completely under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – the City Council.
📌The Armed Forces of Ukraine have repelled the Russian assault on Toshkivka in Luhansk Oblast. Russian troops continue to storm Sievierodonetsk, but Ukrainian forces continue to maintain the city’s defence.
📌 On June 12, the Ukrainian military has successfully repulsed a Russian military assault in the direction of Sloviansk.
📌On June 13, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated three villages and moved the sector of the front by 15km in Donbas region.
📌The White House: U.S. President Joe Biden has officially announced that he is extending sanctions against Belarus for a year. “The actions and policies of certain members of the Belarusian government and others, as well as the malicious activities and ongoing abuses of the Belarusian regime, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” the document states.
📌Also the US will support the unification of Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland and the Baltic states into one union if this strengthens the defense potential. “Washington is interested in strengthening the capabilities of the Alliance, in particular on the eastern flank, so the United States is open to initiatives that will help build capacity,” said US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith.
📌Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture have signed a memorandum of cooperation in agriculture.
📌 Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌 The European Parliament has supported a ban on the sale of gasoline and diesel cars from 2035. Thus, the EU plans significantly reduce the level of harmful emissions. Next, the document has to be adopted by the representatives of the EU member states. Only then will the law be passed.
📌Georgian teacher Lado Apkhazava raised $700,000 to help Ukraine. Lado sold his mother’s gold ring and the Global Teacher Award Prize. Participants from 39 countries joined his charity event.
📌 Rolls-Royce handed over two power generators for hospitals in Ukraine. The generators have already been distributed and sent to medical institutions. One of them has already been delivered to the Kyiv regional hospital, the other will ensure the work of the institution in emergency situations in Mykolaiv.
📌 Paul McCartney raised the Ukrainian flag at a concert in Boston.
📌QinetiQ Corporation is preparing a new batch of TALON sappers for the Ukrainian Defense Forces. These robotic systems are widely used to reduce the threat of explosives and chemical weapons.
📌The Singapore government will provide a humanitarian aid package. “In response to Ukraine’s request, the government of Singapore will provide a humanitarian aid package consisting of nine ambulances, two fire engines, as well as a set of fire protection equipment, emergency equipment, minesweepers, and medical supplies,” the statement said.
📌The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan will send 33 portable water treatment facilities in case of emergencies to Odesa in the near future.
📌Tetra Pack has been banned from operating in Russia by Swedish authorities.
📌Lithuania will hand over 110 anti-drone rifles “Orc Slayer” to Ukraine.
📌Estonia handed over the first 5 buses for the Bucha district of the Kyiv region. Another 30 are scheduled.
📌The European Union is disconnecting Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, as well as Russian Agricultural Bank and Credit Bank of Moscow, from the SWIFT interbank system as part of the sixth sanctions package against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
📌The Germans have donated 812 million euros to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. 812 million euros is the most significant nominal amount of charitable contributions from German citizens since World War II, according to the German Central Institute for Social Affairs.
📌Iceland will abolish all duties on Ukrainian goods for 1 year.
📌US President Joe Biden announced a new $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine, the White House said. It includes artillery, coastal defense systems, artillery ammunition, and MLRS.
📌Ramstein-3. Ukraine will receive a new batch of heavy weapons. The list was announced at a briefing by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin:
- 18 units of 155-mm howitzers;
- 36 thousand 155-mm shells;
- 18 tactical vehicles for transporting howitzers;
- Additional shells for HIMARS;
- 4 vehicles for equipment repair;
- 2 coast guard complexes with Harpoon missiles;
- Thousands of protected radio stations;
- Thousands of optical devices, including night vision.