Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Pavlo Dorohoy/ Kharkiv Regional State Administration
Currently, more than 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in Ukraine awaiting shipment, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said this number could rise to 75 million by the autumn, says Reuters.
Meanwhile, Russian media report that the first trains loaded with grain departed from Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, in the direction of Crimea. According to them, on June 7, the first 11 wagons left the Melitopol Elevator. Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu claims two of the seaports in the Azov sea are ready to launch grain shipment. In his remarks he regarded Mariupol and Berdyansk ports, claiming that demining is finalized, therefore the ports are ready for operations.
Currently, the main discussions on ensuring safe grain supply chains concern opening the Black Sea route. Therefore for this purpose, Turkey is coordinating closely with Russia and Ukraine to agree upon a plan that would re-start the export. The United Nations-driven plan would open a safe shipping corridor to address a global food crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion in February which halted Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement on the unblocking of Ukrainian seaports. Ukraine underlined that at the moment there are no agreements on the issue between Ukraine, Turkey and Russia at this time. It will accept one only when all parties participate together in the discussion and reject any agreements that do not take into account the interests of Ukraine. Specific stipulation in the statement comes in the light of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Ankara today for talks presumably related to Turkey facilitating the grain export.
Josep Borrell, EU foreign affairs chief, reacted to the Russian missile attack on the Mykolaiv grain-exporting port. ‘A missile strike from the Russian Federation on a grain terminal in Mykolaiv contributes to the global food crisis,’ – wrote Josep Borrell. ‘In light of such reports, the disinformation spread by Putin to deflect any blame becomes even more cynical’.
The World Bank approved $1.49 billion for Ukraine. Funding from this latest project will be used to pay for wages for government and social workers, says the statement. Previously, the Minister of Finance reported that Ukraine needs at least $5 billion per month in the near term to keep its government operating in the face of the invasion by Russia in February.
Cities under occupation.
Russia announces control over southeast Ukraine, says it launched an overland connection with Crimea. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the opening of a land connection between Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea. The road will run through Russian-occupied Donbas.
Passportisation on the horizon. The Russian military plans to open centers for issuing Russian passports in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian towns of Berdiansk, Enerhodar, and other settlements in the Zaporizhzhia region.
Referendum talks are in the air. In Kherson, pro-Russian collaborators are planning to hold a referendum by fall on the incorporation of the Kherson region into Russia. Just a reminder, it is by far not the first time a date was pushed back, as the referendum was previously planned for spring. However, due to a lack of the evident public support in the region and clear resistance, the referendum is regularly postponed. Meanwhile, Russian authorities are thinking of a referendum also in Melitopol. Serhii Kyriienko, Deputy Head of the Russian President’s Administration, while visiting Melitopol, announced the preparation for the ‘referendum’ which was immediately reported by Russian media.
Mariupol is under a threat of a possible cholera outbreak. As previously reported, mass graves, ruined water supply and sewage networks increase the risk of the outbreak of infectious diseases with warm weather coming. Advisor to Mariupol Mayor, Petro Andrushchenko, says Russian authorities are considering closing the city for the quarantine due to possible cholera. WHO have not yet confirmed any cases of cholera, however considering lack of available drinking water, the risk of infectious diseases is high. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine shared a similar statement – not yet confirmed, however considerng given preconditions the risk is high, especially as some single cases of cholera were recorded in the past on those territories.
Situation in the Kherson region is critical, as there is a high number of injured civilians and destroyed houses. Therefore, it is a challenge to provide any assistance due to the ongoing battles. Leaving the Kherson region is only possible via Crimea, as the borderline with other Ukrainian regions is under constant shelling. In four communities, Kalynivska, Velykoleksandrivska, Vysokopilska, Novovorontsovska communities, most of the time people are hiding in shelters basements due to the close proximity of the battlefields.
At least 1137 people were killed during the occupation of the Bucha district of Kyiv region back in March, among them – 461 directly in Bucha, reports National Police of Ukraine.
Russian forces are holding 600 people in torture chambers in the Kherson region, says Tamila Tasheva, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. According to her, approximately 300 people are held ‘in basements’ in occupied Kherson, the rest are in other settlements of the region. Such detention centers are on the premises of Kherson Regional State Administration and Kherson pre-trial detention center, as well as Vocational School No. 17 in Henichesk. The abducted residents of Kherson are taken also to Crimean cities of Sevastopol and Simferopol, where they are put in separate blocks of pre-trial detention centers. Both civilian hostages are held there, including activists, journalists, and prisoners of war.
Russia has handed over to Kyiv the bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters. Most of the killed fighters were those who died defending the city of Mariupol from Russian forces at Azovstal steel plant.
Cities under attack.
In the Zaporizhzhia region, the enemy continued shelling settlements. A woman, a man and an underage boy were wounded by shrapnel. Three men were abducted by the Russians. Reports from the region indicate that the battles and shelling continue. In Kharkiv, occasional shelling took place with no casualties. Garage cooperatives, a supermarket, and non-residential premises had caught on fire. However, in the shelling of Kharkiv and Chuhuiv districts, 11 people were wounded and 4 killed. In the Luhansk region, heavy urban battles for Severodonetsk continue. Overall in the region, within a day, 25 houses were destroyed, two people were killed and two were injured. In the Donetsk region, battles along the frontline continue. Russian forces are shelling – with small arms, tanks, artillery, mortars, missiles, MLRS ‘Grad’ – Avdiivka, Kurakhove, township Ocheretyno, village Lastochkine, village New York. 35 objects were damaged (24 private houses, 3 high-rise buildings, a kindergarten, a school, administrative buildings and industrial buildings) and 5 civilians were wounded. The region remains cut from gas, partly without water supply and electricity. Shelling of some Mykolaiv region territories were recorded also.
The Belarusian armed forces have begun participating in combat readiness training, namely ‘transition from peacetime to wartime’, says the Ministry of Defense of Belarus. Ukrainian authorities state that they ready themselves but the risk of the offensive remains low. However, the tension at the border is still present as some of the training is taking place 20 km from the Ukraine-Belarus border line. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine previously mentioned that Belarus is considering almost doubling the size of its army, by increasing it to 80 000.
Ukraine’s Eenrgoatom denounced a request for the visit of the IAEA to Zaporizhzhia NPP. IAEA says it has been planning the visit to ZNPP for months, especially because the break of online data transmission on the state of nuclear materials is a critical issue. The Ukrainian side says the visit will become possible once Ukraine has regained control over the plant and right now the invitation to visit the plant is impossible. Such a visit will only legitimize the presence of Russian representatives there. Meanwhile, the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) on 6 June began receiving radiation measurements from the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone after the data transmission had been cut due to the Russian occupation of the plant.
The President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine have announced preparations for the heating season considering the current conditions of full-scale war. In his evening address, President Zelenskyi mentioned creating headquarters for preparation for the heating season. Ukraine will not export gas and coal abroad, as it will be used primarily for internal needs. Zelenskyi called it ‘indeed to be the most difficult winter of all the years of independence’, therefore preparation should start ahead of time. Prime Minister Shmyhal said that repair work had already begun where it is possible in order to secure disrupted supplies during the heating season.
On June 1, the Russians attacked Ochakiv with multiple Grad rocket launchers. As a result of the shelling, the port tugboat and a foreign civilian cargo ship were significantly damaged. The fire was extinguished. The attack was carried out from the territory of the Kinburn Spit, a unique protected area. Since June 1, nearly 300 hectares of protected lands have suffered from fire.
Russian media are deleting lists of Russian soldiers killed in Russia’s war against Ukraine following a court ruling stating that such information constitutes ‘a state secret’ — Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group reports. Ukraine estimates that over 31 thousand Russians have been killed in Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine. That figure does not, however, include the huge number of Ukrainians from occupied Donbas who have been forcibly mobilized and sent to fight other Ukrainians. These men are widely believed to be treated as ‘cannon fodder’ and are sent to particularly hot spots without any proper training.
- Ukraine winery in area shelled by Russia wins gold at Decanter wine awards | The Guardian – A small winery from Ukraine located in the Mykolaiv region is being constantly under attack by the Russian military. It is still under Ukrainian control but Russian forces have set their eyes on the area, which is home to a strategic naval base.
- Ukraine’s partisans are hitting Russian soldiers behind their own lines | Economist – In Russian-occupied cities like Melitopol, covert resistance continues.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June 8, 2022: personnel – around 31 500, tanks ‒ 1393, APV ‒ 3429, artillery systems – 703, MLRS – 213, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 96, fixed-wing aircraft – 212, helicopters – 178, operational-tactical level UAV – 556, cruise missiles – 125, boats and light speed boats – 13, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2406, special equipment – 53.
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