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
📌 By the end of 2021, 36.5 million children in the world had been forced to flee their homes by conflict, violence and other crises — UNICEF. This is the largest number since World War II. Of these, 13.7 million are refugee children and 22.8 million are internally displaced persons due to conflict and violence. And these statistics do not take into account the number of children who were displaced due to Russia’s war against Ukraine.
📌More than 948 children were affected by the Russian armed aggression in Ukraine. 338 children were killed, and another 610 were wounded.
📌The invaders stole 15,000 tons of sunflower and 10,000 tons of grain from the granaries of the Luhansk region, said Governor of Luhansk region Serhiy Haidai.
📌A British prisoner convicted in the so-called “DPR” said he would be executed soon — BBC. Aiden Aslin, a British volunteer, was able to contact his family and said that the Russian militants would soon execute the decision of the so-called court. He also said that, according to the invaders, the British side had not negotiated with the so-called “DPR” about his fate.
📌 Since the start of the war, Russia has carried out cyber-attacks against 42 countries — Microsoft. Cyber-attacks have targeted 128 organizations in 42 countries outside Ukraine. The attacks mostly targeted the U.S. and other NATO countries.
The Microsoft report states that attacks by Russian hackers were successful in 29 % of cases. According to analysts, the United States was Russia’s main target, but Poland, where a significant part of a military and humanitarian aid is coordinated, was also affected.
- Russian invaders create a “young army” in Mariupol. The first nine teenagers were admitted to the so-called military-patriotic movement “Young Guard – Young Army of DPR” in Mariupol, – adviser to the mayor Petro Andriushchenko.
- There is no drinking water in Mariupol, and people are forced to collect technical water from puddles, which appeared due to the gusts of water and use it for life, said Petro Andriushchenko, adviser to the mayor.
- “In occupied Mariupol, a so-called “population census” is being conducted. During the procedure, people are required to provide identity documents, as well as to undergo a dactyloscopy (taking fingerprints). Locals are currently forbidden to leave the city.”
📌KRYVYI RIH REGION:
- Russian occupying forces opened fire on the Kryvyi Rih district six times during the night of June 23. There are two civilian casualties.
- On June 22, the Russian occupiers opened fire with prohibited cluster shells at a beach near a lake in the town of Chasiv Yar. As a result, one person died and 11 others were injured.
On June 21, the invaders fired magnesium charges from Grads at school No. 6 in Avdiivka. “This is the third school destroyed by the Russians in Avdiivka. In total, the invaders destroyed about two hundred schools in the Donetsk region. And no matter what their infernal Russian propaganda about “liberation” and “denazification” tells, the truth is that Russian invaders came to our land to destroy and kill. First of all, civilians,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, Governor of the Donetsk Region.
- ISW: Russian troops want to attack Lysychansk from the south to negate the defenсe advantage given to Ukrainian defenders by the Siverskyi Donets River. But Russian forces will likely need long battles to capture Lysychansk – similar to the “city block battles” in Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk.
- The Guardian published a video of the battles for Toshkivka (Luhansk Region) on June 19. The next day, the so-called “LPR” claimed to have seized the village, and today it was confirmed by Ukrainian authorities.
Russian troops destroy industry in Sievierodonetsk — said Governor of Luhansk region Serhiy Haidai. The Russian invaders shelled the territories of several factories in Sievierodonetsk: a brick factory, “Stekloplastika” factory, and a chemical non-standardized equipment plant.
- After the destruction of all bridges, the Ukrainian military deliver food and ammunition to Sievierodonetsk by the river.
- Russian troops captured the villages of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka in Luhansk Oblast on the 22nd of June. They had captured Toshkivka, Pidlisne, and Myrna Dolyna a day earlier on 21 June.
- Russian forces have hit the buildings and entry checkpoint at the Azov chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk and fired on the city’s brick factory, and fierce fighting continues in the city’s industrial district.
- As a result of missile strikes, the building of the Kharkiv State Zooveterinary Academy was damaged – the Head of the Investigation Department of the National Police Serhii Bolvinov.
“160 windows knocked out, buildings damaged, and a crater 4 meters deep and 12 meters in diameter. These are the consequences of another night’s shelling by Russian missiles. They hit the road directly in front of the Zoo Veterinary Academy, the building of which was damaged,” – Bolvinov said.
- Russian troops shelled Zolochiv in the Kharkiv region once again at midnight on the 22nd of June, killing at least one person and leaving more people under the rubble.
📌 ZAPORIZHZHIA REGION:
- Russian invaders are preparing to remove Ukrainian grain from the Zaporizhzhia region. To remove grain cynically looted from Ukrainian reserves, the invaders are clearing the waters of the Port of Berdiansk.
- In the captured cities of the Zaporizhzhia region, the majority of local school employees refused to cooperate with the invaders – the Mayor of Melitopol and the City Council of Berdiansk.
In Melitopol, 90% of the 2,700 employees of the local education department refused to cooperate with the Russians. 10% of the employees who agreed to cooperate are mostly technical workers, particularly janitors.
According to the Berdiansk City Council, no more than 50 teachers among the nearly 1,000 school employees agreed to cooperate.
- Russian occupying forces are planning to hold so-called “referendums” on the creation of pseudo republics on the Russian-occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts on the 11the of September.
Near the occupied Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian military dismantled and stole the largest solar power plant in Ukraine. According to residents, the station was systematically looted for several months. Solar panels were dismantled, packed, and taken away.
📌 ODESA REGION:
- On June 20, the Russian military fired 14 missiles within three hours on the south of Ukraine – the Operational Command “Pivden”.
- Agricultural areas in the region and the suburbs of Ochakiv were damaged, and a logistics food warehouse in Odesa burned down. Rescuers have already extinguished the fire.
📌 MYKOLAIV REGION:
- On June 23, The Russian occupiers attacked Mykolaiv with 3 ground-based cruise missiles from within the territory of the occupied Kherson region.
- On June 22, Russian forces launched seven missiles at the city of Mykolaiv.
- Mykolaiv was shelled with missiles on June 19. According to the Operational Command “Pivden”, one missile was destroyed by a portable anti-aircraft missile system. Two other missiles hit an industrial facility, one a residential building, and another hit the production infrastructure.
The Ukrainian military has advanced more than 10 km in the direction of temporarily occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, thanks to high-precision western weapons.
- 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.
- Kherson partisans continue to leave messages for the invaders. This time, Kherson residents suggest that the invaders sing the Ukrainian anthem. Partisans remind them that the Ukrainian military is getting closer to the city to liberate it from Russian invaders.
- On June 22, the shelling of the occupied Skadovsk seaport resulted in the death of a civilian.
- On June 21, Four people have been injured following an attack by Russian kamikaze drones in Krasnopillia hromada (amalgamated territorial community). Two victims of the attack are in critical condition.
- On June 22, the Russian occupiers launched more than 80 strikes in Sumy Oblast, killing one man.
- On June 18, Russian invaders launched three cruise missiles at an oil depot in the Novomoskovsk district. A fuel tank exploded while extinguishing a fire at an oil depot. The fire at the oil depot in the Dnipropetrovsk region was finally extinguished on June 23. It took more than 108 hours or four and a half days. The missile attack and fire killed 3 people, and 14 were burned and injured.
- On June 18, Russian forces conducted a rocket strike on Kremenchuk Oil Refinery and other infrastructure facilities in Kremenchuk in Ukraine’s Poltava Oblast.
📌Russia directed 44 missiles from the Black Sea toward Ukraine. Now five surface carriers of cruise missiles and one submarine of invaders are deployed in the waters of the Black Sea, Natalia Gumenyuk, head of the joint coordination press centre of the Southern Defense Forces, reports.
📌“Reporters Without Borders” published an investigation into how Ukrainian photojournalist Max Levin and the military officer who accompanied him, Oleksii Chernyshov, might have died.
There is evidence that they were executed in cold blood by the Russian military on March 13 after being interrogated and tortured.
📌Russia is blocking Ukrainian grain at ports to blackmail the world with the famine and lead to mass protests in impoverished countries.
📌The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War brought 35 bodies of fallen defenders back to Ukraine in exchange for the bodies of 50 occupiers.
📌 UNESCO: According to a new count, 152 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed since the beginning of the war.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General: “These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop. Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances. I reiterate my call for the respect of international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.”
RUSSIAN AND BELORUSSIAN CONTEXT
⚠️ Russia will use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty is threatened — Putin’s speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Putin says Russia does not threaten the world with nuclear weapons but warns.
⚠️ British military intelligence believes that the pace of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine will slow down in the next few months, as the Russian army is running out of resources, – said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“Our military intelligence believes that in the next few months Russia may come to a point where it will no longer move forward because it has exhausted its resources. Then we have to help Ukrainians change the dynamics,” Johnson said.
⚠️️ Russia may resort to provocations due to the restriction of the transit of Kaliningrad, but Lithuania and NATO allies are monitoring the situation in the region and are ready to respond, – Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas.
⚠️️The invaders plan to turn Azovstal into an “industrial park or a place of rest”. “An important question is what to do with the Azovstal plant. We are considering different options for its future. This zone may continue to operate in the future as an industrial zone or a recreation area, but, of course, not as a metallurgical complex,” Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said. Russia in its cynicism reaches the utmost bottom.
⚠️️Vladimir Putin continues to lose his influence in the post-Soviet space. Kazakhstan, formerly Russia’s closest ally, has recently changed its rhetoric. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has made several statements that may indicate that the state refuses to participate in Russia’s crimes against Ukraine.
⚠️️Belarus has begun to deploy wooden tanks on the border with Ukraine. This “know-how” was described by the speaker of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Olexander Motuzyanyk.
⚠️️ The Ministry of Defense of Belarus announced “mobilization exercises” from June 22 to July 1 in the Gomel region, which borders Ukraine.
⚠️️ Kazakhstan blocked 1,700 wagons of Russian coal on its territory in response to Russia blocking the export of Kazakh oil. It must be assumed that the second part of the
Russian-Kazakh discussion, which began at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, is now underway.
📌 The EU Summit agreed on candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.
The President of the European Commission Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen congratulated the new candidates on joining the EU: “Today is a good day for Europe. Congratulations to President Zelensky, President Sandu, and Prime Minister Garibashvili. Your countries are part of our European family. And today’s historic decision of the Leaders confirms this.”
📌The Ukrainian Armed Forces have stopped the Russian troops’ offensive in the direction of Lysychansk’s southern outskirts, but the enemy is still pressing on Sievierodonetsk, where fighting continues – the General Staff.
📌On June 21, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel arrived in Kyiv. And then he immediately went to Borodianka. “As long as the war with Russia continues, Luxembourg will be on the side of Ukraine,” Bettel wrote on Twitter.
📌Despite the war, Ukrainians continue to register businesses and individual entrepreneurship.
📌Ukraine will introduce a visa entry for Russian nationals from July 1, 2022.
📌The U.S. Department of Defence has released a full list of weapons provided to Ukraine – the Pentagon website.
“The United States has committed approximately $6.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $5.6 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion on February 24,” the statement said.
📌The Ukrainian IT army has attacked the Russian portal “Gosuslugi”. Russia’s Ministry of Digital Transformation notes that not only the portal, but also the mobile application and life support systems of the e-government of the Russian Federation are being attacked.
📌Türkiye is investigating Russia’s removal of Ukrainian grain — Andalou. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Ankara takes the reports that Russia is stealing grain from Ukraine very seriously and is investigating the matter.
📌 Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
📌The Ukrainian defenders destroyed the “elite” units of the Western Military District of the Russian Federation, and only the military survived, who refused to attack Ukraine – this is evidenced by the intercepts of the invaders’ conversations.
📌 Finland is ready to fight with Russia in case of its attack. This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Defense of the country Timo Kivinen. “We systematically developed our military defences specifically for the type of hostilities that are being waged in Ukraine with the massive use of firepower, armoured vehicles, and aircraft,” – Kivinen said.
📌The Russian army and pro-Russian forces in Donbas are extremely depleted, – British Intelligence. The losses of the self-proclaimed “DPR” army are equivalent to about 55% of its initial number. Soldiers of the Russian army are provided with extremely outdated weapons and equipment.
📌Maxar published satellite images of Zmiinyi Island after the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck Russian positions. Despite Russian claims that all projectiles were shot down, the photos confirm otherwise. The images show at least three places of impact.
📌The United States has set up a group to investigate war crimes in Ukraine. “Nazi hunter” Eli Rosenbaum heads it. He helped the U.S. Department of Justice revoke the citizenship of accused Nazis or deport them in more than 100 cases.
📌Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Türkiye, and the UN are to meet in Istanbul next week to discuss the issue of unblocking the export of Ukrainian grain, according to the Turkish newspaper Milliyet.
📌Military personnel of the 82nd Airborne Brigade of the United States arrived in Poland. They will train the Ukrainian military.
📌On June 19, EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore visited Kyiv, Bucha and Irpin.
PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌 A square in honour of Kyiv was opened in the capital of Iceland — Ambassador of Ukraine to Finland and Iceland Olga Dibrova.
📌Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany: Ukraine has signed a contract with German arms manufacturer Diehl Defense for the IRIS-T air defence system purchase, which is not even in service with the Bundeswehr.
📌 The rights to publish the diary of a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl from Kharkiv have already been sold in 12 countries around the world. Eva Skaletska’s book “You Don’t Know What War Is: Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine” will be released on October 25, 2022, in the US (Union Square Publishing House) and Britain. – Bloomsbury.
📌Nike is completely withdrawing from the Russian marketplace — Reuters. “NIKE has decided to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months,” the firm said in an emailed statement.
📌 Britain has blocked Russia’s access to both oil refining technologies and its currency — Government UK. The British government announced new sanctions against Russia concerning the export of goods and technologies of the oil refining and aviation industries, as well as the use of the pound sterling and EU banknotes in Russia.
📌An action in support of Ukraine and its movement to the EU was held in Sweden — Nordic Ukraine Forum.
📌The Czech Republic has suspended visa issuance to Russians and Belarusians by March 2023 — Radio Prague.
📌The United Kingdom denied visas for the Russian delegation to attend the OSCE session.
📌Germany, together with the Netherlands, delivered 12 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 artillery mounts to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said. A group of Ukrainian servicemen who were trained to work with these artillery installations also returned home.
📌 In Japan, the Monteroza restaurant chain has launched a Ukrainian menu. Part of the proceeds from sales will go to the humanitarian needs of Ukraine.
📌 Ireland has frozen the assets of Russians worth 1.7 billion euros — Irish Times. These are the assets of the Russian Federation’s oligarchs, as well as enterprises and institutions associated with them.
📌Luxembourg will allocate 15% of its defence budget to Ukraine.
📌Slovakia will hand 12 MiG-29 fighters over to Ukraine as soon as Poland and the Czech Republic agree to protect its airspace until the country receives F-16s from the USA.
📌The German Panzerhaubitze 2000 is already in the arsenal of the Ukrainian artillery – Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov. The Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. It can fire with standard projectiles up to 30-36 km, and with the use of rocket-assisted projectile – up to 67 km.
📌The Nobel Peace Prize for a Russian journalist was sold at auction for a record $103.5 million. The funds will be donated to help children in Ukraine.
📌Taiwan will provide financial assistance for the reconstruction of Bucha — Bucha City Council. This was announced during an online meeting of Anatolii Fedoruk, the Mayor of Bucha, with Joseph Wu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan.
📌Hollywood actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller arrived in Makariv, Kyiv region. He was in Lviv, and also came on a humanitarian mission to Poland, where he met with Ukrainian refugees.
📌Microsoft has banned Russians from downloading Windows 10 and Windows 11 from its website.
📌Germany can sell 10 additional IRIS-T air defence systems to Ukraine.