Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Luhansk Regional State Administration
‘For years the narrative of Ukraine being corrupt was hammered into our heads. This is an unjustified exaggeration. Ukraine isn’t an extremely corrupt state. If this were true, the country wouldn’t succeed in resisting Russia,’ – says Minister of Foreign Affair Dmytro Kuleba
The speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, addressed the European Parliament calling for support for the candidacy of Ukraine for European Union membership. AP reports that in his speech he mentioned that EU lawmakers that failing to give Ukraine a sign of an open door would be a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that ‘he can be totally going forward without any punishment’. As a follow-up, the European Parliament supported the resolution that the EU should grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for the European Union. 438 deputies voted for the corresponding resolution of the European Parliament, 65 against, and 94 abstained.
On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament welcomed the unity and additional sanctions delivered by the European Council but called for more arms to Ukraine and more attention to those struggling within the EU, says the statement. During the debates numerous MEPs also warned against shifting energy dependency from one region of the world to another, saying that this would only be repeating the mistakes of the past. The official statement indicates that various MEPs also stressed the urgent need to arm Ukraine better, arguing that although sanctions were an effective weapon against Russia, their effect would be felt in the long term only, not in the next few months when Ukraine most needed Russia to be weakened.
Polish President Andrzej Duda began a trip to southern Europe on Wednesday to convince them to support Ukraine’s EU candidate status. Duda met with Prime Minister António Costa and will later travel to Italy for talks with President Sergio Mattarella. Within the series of the visits, the Polish President will also travel to Romania to take part in the Bucharest Nine summit.
Meanwhile, Russia questions the independence of Lithuania. Russian media published the draft bill urging the State Duma to cancel recognition of Lithuanian independence. The corresponding bill was submitted to the State Duma by a deputy from the United Russia party Yevgeny Fedorov.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss opening of the grain supply routes. Traditionally, Russia said they have nothing to do with blocking the maritime routes. Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bondar, said that no agreement to secure its grain exports via the Black Sea was possible without Kyiv’s involvement and accused Russia of putting forward unrealistic proposals such as checking vessels. Kyiv was not invited to yesterday’s meeting between Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers. Meanwhile, Turkey says, United Nations plan to set up a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports overseen by Ankara was “reasonable”, but required more talks with Moscow and Kyiv to ensure ships would be safe
Prime Minister of Ukraine Shmyhal reported that this year’s sowing campaign faced unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing war. According to the data from the Ministry of Agriculture, 75% of the land was sown this year compared with last year’s sowing season.
However, another challenge is that grain silos are about half full ahead of the run-up to this year’s harvest, meaning crops could be left in the ground if Russia continues its port blockade. The risk is there will not be enough space to store new harvest in Ukraine’s government-controlled territory due to the ongoing war.
The World Bank report worsened inflation estimates in Ukraine. Current assessment expects 20% inflation by the end of the year. Preliminary April assessment expected 15%, but the forecast changed over the last months. Meanwhile, the fall of GDP remains unchanged – Ukraine’s GDP will equal 44% in 2022.
The world economy is set to grow 3% this year, much less than the 4.5% expected when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last updated its forecasts in December.
Cities under attack.
In the Luhansk region, Ukrainian forces pulled back to the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk on Wednesday in the face of a fierce Russian assault. The Ukrainian authorities were previously announcing there might be a need to retract in order to regroup. Ukrainian forces still controlled all of the smaller twin city Lysychansk on the west bank of the Siverskyi Donets River but Russian forces were destroying residential buildings there. However, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine says Russia’s troops have 10 times more equipment than Ukrainian troops in some parts of Sievierodonetsk. In the evening, the occupiers twice aimed at ‘Azot’ plant. At least two warehouses at different ends of the chemical plant were damaged. One of them is an ammonia production plant warehouse. In the Donetsk region, battles all along the frontline. During the day 4 people died and 11 were injured. The region remains without gas. Partly without water and electricity. Toretsk was added to more than 330 settlements where there is no electricity supply. The Head of Mykolaiv Region Administration says he still sees some opportunities that Russian forces will try to attack on Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv. But no regrouping, any big armies ready to attack at the moment. Nevertheless, Russian forces continue regularly shelling border regions of the Mykolaiv region with Kherson region, as well as Mykolayiv itself. Within a day, Russian forces shelled 5 settlements in the region, causing significant damages and at least 13 wounded civilians. In Zaporizhzhia region, occupiers continue to destroy Huliaipole. As a result of the assault, the invaders damaged only civilian facilities – mainly the residential sector. In the Kharkiv region, five people were killed and 12 civilians injured during the day. In Kharkiv itself, a number of residential buildings and the supermarket were damaged. The shelling continued at night – fires were recorded in a cafe, shop and school library. In the Sumy region, Russian forces continue mortar shelling of the Ukrainian territories. In the Zhytomyr region a building was destroyed due to a missile attack.
Cities under occupation.
In Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia region, Ministry of Defence reports that Russian forces increase their presence and military readiness with deployment of another 30 tanks. Already since May, there have been more Russian soldiers in the temporarily occupied Vasylivka than civilians. Around two-thirds of the region is currently under Russian control. Considering the fact, the self-proclaimed Russian authorities plan to stage a referendum in Zaporizhzhia later this year on joining Russia. Vladimir Rogov, self-proclaimed Zaporozhzhia region’s military-civil administration says “people will determine the future of the Zaporizhzhia region”. According to his views, the referendum is scheduled for this year.
Russia has deployed Iskander-M missile systems near Kherson, reports the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The positioning of the missiles in Crimea keeps the threat of further attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
In the temporarily occupied Energodar, Russian forces continue detaining civilians. Last week they detained 20 local residents, among whom are 11 personnel of Zaporizhzhia NPP. .
Another exchange round of the dead soldiers took place between Ukraine and Russia at the front line in the Zaporizhzhia region. The exchange was carried out according to the formula 50 to 50. Among the 50 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers, there are 37 defenders of Azovstal in the destroyed Mariupol.
War crimes prosecution.
Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova reported that Ukraine has filed eight more war crimes cases to court in addition to three sentences that have already been handed down to Russian soldiers. Ukrainian authorities have already opened more than 16,000 investigations into possible war crimes during Russia’s invasion.
Ukrainians submitted 195,000 claims to reconstruct their damaged properties via the state portal Diia. This means at least 540,000 people lost their homes, says Mstyslav Banik, Head of Electronic Services Development with the Ministry of Digital Transformation, stating this during his briefing at Media Center Ukraine. As of May 25, the total amount of direct damage to Ukraine’s economy from damage and destruction of residential and non-residential buildings and infrastructure reached $105.5 billion (over UAH 3.1 trillion), says Kyiv School of Economics.
Canada imposed new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The new measures envisage a ban on the export of 28 services vital for the operation of the oil, gas and chemical industries, including technical, management, accounting and advertising services. The banning of the exportation of oil, gas and chemical services targets an industry that accounts for about 50% of Russia’s federal budget revenues.
The preparation of the new sanctions from the EU is gradually underway. The European Union is working on a possible ban on the provision of cloud services to Russia as part of new sanctions against the Kremlin for the invasion of Ukraine, an EU official told Reuters. Previously, the cloud services were meant to be part of the sixth sanction package. Even the statement issued by the EU Council on June 3 referred to a ban on the provision of cloud services, but was later amended to delete that reference.
Bloomberg reports, a group of City of London firms that specialize in tracing assets has identified hundreds of senior Russians with assets abroad who could be added to international sanctions lists, in an effort to aid Ukraine’s fight against Vladimir Putin’s regime. The list already includes nearly hundreds of names.
The EU agency for cybersecurity (ENISA) warns that states must remain alert for cyber incidents and potential spillovers due to the risks coming from Russian aggression. At the moment, ENISA already monitored about 300 cyber events in relation to the ongoing war in Ukraine. However apart from the Viasat attack, no incidents with a major impact have been reported to date, says the agency. Nevertheless, 100 of these events were spillover incidents, meaning they affected other countries as well.
‘Stalinkas’ (1950s), ‘Khrushchevkas’ (1960s), and ‘Brezhnevkas’ (1970s and 1980s) emerged on the streets of the cities across the USSR. Named after Soviet leaders at the time: impersonal standard houses, standard buildings, standard residential districts, city centers, squares, cities, and towns that were meant to house standard Soviet people who would consider the USSR to be their homeland, replacing the Russian Empire. Russian colonial ambition did not limit itself to culture or history only, but incorporated its touch in the housing and urban planning sector as well. Read more in the article ‘Imperial Soviet Narrative in Architecture and Urban Planning, and Politics of Colonization’ by Svitlana Shlipchenko, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Senior Researcher, H. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine, Director of the Urban Studies Centre.
A month earlier, Olha Lohozynska, copyrighter in Western Ukraine, had been alarmed by the possible bombing of Dnipro, where her mother and immobile 95-years old grandmother live. Now her biggest fear has come to life. Read about how Olha’s Russian relatives reacted to this and the war in the story.
- Photos: More Than 100 Days of War in Ukraine – The Atlantic (theatlantic.com)
- Opinion | The Ukraine War Still Holds Surprises. The Biggest May Be for Putin. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Black Sea bullshit: Kyiv battles Russia’s lies on the food crisis – POLITICO
- Putin’s new war crime: starving world’s poor by blocking Ukraine’s grain exports (inquirer.com)
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June 9, 2022: personnel – around 31 700, tanks ‒ 1398, APV ‒ 3438, artillery systems – 711, MLRS – 213, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 96, fixed-wing aircraft – 212, helicopters – 178, operational-tactical level UAV – 562, cruise missiles – 125, boats and light speed boats – 13, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2421, special equipment – 53.
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