Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Andrii Sadovyi/Empty school buses with toys on the seats. Such an action is dedicated to Children’s Day and was held on Rynok Square in Lviv. In memory of 243 children who died since the beginning of the full-scale war
Cities under attack.
The Russian Army launched an airstrike on Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, hitting a cistern with nitric acid at a chemical plant even though most of the city is under control of Russian troops. Currently, 90% of the infrastructure is damaged, while 60% cannot be repaired. Due to the battles, the evacuation and humanitarian aid supply is impossible. Non-stop shelling and attacks continue in the Donetsk region. In Avdiivka, an old part of the city was under the fire, as well as the Avdiivka Coke Plant. Residential and social infrastructure, like the Center for Administrative Services, shops, etc., were significantly damaged due to yesterday’s shelling. Mykolaiv region communities at the border with Kherson region are continuously under the fire.
Cities under occupation.
Self-proclaimed authority of Kherson, Kyrylo Stremousov has announced that the region will join the Russian banking system. Meanwhile Kherson has been without internet and mobile connection for two days. Russian authorities blame Ukraine, while Ukraine denies the accusations. However, more and more Russian sim cards are available for purchase in the region.
Civil network OPORA released the report on the local political strategies on the temporarily occupied territories. One of the main goals for the Kremlin is to ensure their authority over these territories. However, as the last months have shown, quick prospects to legalize the occupation of Ukrainian territories have been crushed by the opposition on the ground. The appointed ‘authorities’ often are supposed to ‘represent’ people from the masses, who would have to be responsible for socio-economic development of the invaded territories and the protection of citizens of the Russian Federation. In Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia regions, the governance in the occupied territories is based on a chaotic conglomerate of so-called military-civil administrations that are located in the largest Ukrainian cities there (Kherson, Melitopol, Enerhodar, Berdyansk). Russia’s efforts to issue Russian passports to people under the occupation aims to create the “image” of Russian citizens who welcome Russia and need protection.
Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová visited Ukraine, meeting President Zelenskyi and speaking at the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine). Among the key messages were Slovakia’s support of Ukraine’s early accession to the EU, plans to supply Zuzana Howitzers to Ukraine, and further protection of Ukraine’s displaced women and children, who were forced to leave Ukraine.
Today, Denmark will hold a referendum on whether to opt in or opt out of EU security and defense policy. The revision of the 30 years of opt-out policy comes after the Russian war in Ukraine has shaken the concept of security in Europe overall. The ‘Russia effect’ has already been shown when Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. Denmark, a current NATO member, will have a chance to decide its participation in peacekeeping missions, and kick off the possibility to reconsider later military spending via next referendum.
The European Council Summit has concluded with the announcement of the €9 billion in macro-financial support for Ukraine’s reconstruction along with previously presented sanctions. While there is no information about the format of the assistance, the economists, as indicated by EuroActiv, call to provide grants, rather than loans. The loans might deepen challenges in long-term economic recovery.
Taiwan will provide Ukraine with $4 million financial assistance that will include funds for reconstruction of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, and Zaporizhzhya. The money will be used to restore schools and civil infrastructure in the cities.
On May 31, New York Times released an opinion ‘President Biden: What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine’ clarifying the aims of the United States in providing Ukraine’s side with unprecedented military, humanitarian and financial support. In the article, President Biden re-assured that the US will continue cooperating with partners on Russian sanctions; continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry; send billions more in financial assistance to Ukraine; work with partners to address the global food crisis that Russia’s aggression is worsening; help European allies and others reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and speed the US transition to a clean energy future. Also, President Biden indicated that the US currently sees no indication that Russia has intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. ‘We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.’
The European Council has announced another three banks to be disconnected from the SWIFT international payment system, including Sberbank. Also, it will be prohibited to provide consulting services to Russian companies and trading in a number of chemicals.
Some OPEC members are exploring the idea of suspending Russia’s participation in an oil-production deal as Western sanctions and a partial European ban begin to undercut Moscow’s ability to pump more, reports the Wall Street Journal. The group is set to meet on Thursday to discuss further oil production and supply. Thus ‘Russia question’ is set to be on the table for discussion.
UK and EU agree to ban insuring ships carrying Russian oil. In this regard, the Russian Federation will lose access to the largest insurance company Lloyd’s of London.
Canada is imposing another round of new sanctions on Russia. The new package includes restrictions on 22 individuals and four entities in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The restrictions will affect individuals and entities including senior officials of Russian financial institutions and their family members, as well as key financial institutions and banks, according to an official statement.
The African Union has warned EU leaders that Moscow’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports risks ‘a catastrophic scenario’ of food shortages and price rises. Before the war, African countries imported 44% of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine alone grew enough food for 400 million people.
Russia’s foreign minister will visit Turkey next week to discuss the possible release of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports, his Turkish counterpart said on Tuesday. This effort faces significant obstacles, but if successful could help alleviate a food crisis beginning to be felt around the world. A military delegation will accompany the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, on June 8 to talk with Turkey’s defense ministry about establishing a safe corridor for vessels carrying grain. The United Nations suggested this month that it could cooperate with Russia, Turkey and Ukraine to help reach a compromise, and Turkey has agreed in principle to be part of that effort.
Gazprom has officially confirmed the cessation of gas supplies to the Netherlands from May 31. Yesterday, the Dutch company GasTerra warned about the termination of deliveries, refusing to switch to a payment scheme in rubles.
Additionally, Gazprom said it would halt gas delivery to Denmark’s Orsted and to Shell regarding its contract to supply gas to Germany, after both refused to make payments in roubles, Reuters reported. The cuts will be effective from June 1, Gazprom said. Shell told the BBC it would continue to get gas from its other sources. The gas giant said it would continue to phase out Russian fossil fuels. The move by Gazprom comes after European Union leaders said they will block most Russian oil imports by the end of 2022 to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine. Meanwhile, Shell has not agreed to set up a rouble account under new payment terms by Russian gas giant Gazprom to continue supplying Europe.
There are about half a thousand Russian servicemen at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and the personnel there are working under conditions of constant pressure and humiliation. The plant continues to operate in the Ukrainian energy system under the technical control of ‘Energoatom’, observing nuclear, radiation and environmental safety standards.
Politico presented a brief analysis of how Ukraine is running its electricity supply in times of the war. A fast emergency connection to Europe’s power system, ENTSO-E, allowed Ukraine to have a fallback plan in case it faced mass blackouts or shortages. The greatest challenge has been a scramble to protect its energy infrastructure from Russian shelling and repair damaged installations. The country has managed to restore more than 90% of damaged energy infrastructure in the liberated territories. But most of Donbas region remains cut off as a result of fighting and Ukrainian specialists have no access to conduct repairs.
A Ukrainian court sentenced two Russian soldiers to 11 and a half years in prison for shelling Derhachi, north of Kharkiv, from Russian soil. It was the second guilty verdict handed down by Ukrainian courts for war crimes since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February. The court found the soldiers, Aleksandr Bobikin and Aleksandr Ivanov, an artillery driver and a gunner, guilty of shelling the town.
The judicial authorities of Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia will become members of the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes, which has been set up with the support of Eurojust. The main aim of the JIT is to facilitate investigations and prosecutions in the concerned states as well as those that could be taken forward before the ICC.
Ukraine has identified more than 600 Russian war crime suspects and has started prosecuting around 80 of them, Ukraine’s top prosecutor reports.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating a special pre-trial case of treason of former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov. He is involved with a group of people connected to a prior conspiracy of the Russian Navy in Crimea.
The Office of the President of Ukraine informs that the restoration of the services and reconstruction of the infrastructure is underway. At the moment, rail services have been restored by 45%, medical facilities have reopened in 326 settlements, and pharmacies have opened in more than 400. Already, 85% of liberated towns, settlements and villages have electricity and 365 settlements were cleared of explosive objects.
- The folly of “off-ramps” by Timothy Snyder | (substack.com)
- The west must hold its nerve on Ukraine | Financial Times
- Russian speakers reject the ‘language of the enemy’ by learning Ukrainian | (france24.com)
- 6 things to know about the EU’s Russian oil ban | POLITICO
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June 1, 2022: personnel – around 30 700, tanks ‒ 1361, APV ‒ 3343, artillery systems – 659, MLRS – 208, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 94, fixed-wing aircraft – 208, helicopters – 175, operational-tactical level UAV – 519, cruise missiles – 120, boats and light speed boats – 13, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2275, special equipment – 49.
Every action counts, no contribution is too small!
- Support ‘Kryivka Vilnykh’ (Shelter of the Free) – a charitable organization that helps with humanitarian support and evacuation in Donbas. The NGO was one of the crucial organizations to provide assistance during the temporary occupation of Chernihiv and Kyiv region. See their bank account details.
- Support Prytula Foundation. The Foundation of the Serhii Prytula operates purchasing equipment, equipment, medical supplies and vehicles for the military. Another area of their work is humanitarian aid.
- Share this up-to-date information about the situation in Ukraine, either on social media, with local media or by spreading around this brief update.
- Subscribe to our daily updates on Twitter and our website.
- You can support our project with donations via PayPal. More information here.