Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
The Leaders of the Political Groups of the European Parliament called on the heads of EU member states to decide on granting Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia the status of a candidate for EU membership at the summit in Brussels on June 23-24. Meanwhile, Olha Stefanyshyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, says there are three countries in the EU block that are opposing the EU candidate status for Ukraine, without mentioning their names. However, according to her view, it will be difficult to vote “no” even for them during the June Summit. Bloomberg reports that a final European Commission opinion, even if positive, would need the approval of member states before Ukraine is officially granted the status.
The Council of the EU exchanged views on the appropriate judicial responses in the context of the war in Ukraine. In regard of the children’s rights protection, the Council calls Member States among all to develop policies that enforce the rights of all children without discrimination, to increase efforts to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, and more. EU justice ministers reached a partial agreement on the environmental crime directive. 11 new categories will be added to the list of crimes against the environment, which allows broadening and clarifying the scope of conduct that is prohibited because it harms the environment.
Lithuanian Seimas approved the resolution pledging to support Ukraine to victory and full restoration of territorial integrity. Deputies urge not to consider easing sanctions against Russia and Belarus until Russia unconditionally ends the war against Ukraine, withdraws occupying troops, and Ukraine restores its territorial integrity.
The European Commission has announced an initiative under the European Innovation Council (EIC) program for 2022, designed to offer support to the Ukrainian innovation community in the amount of €20 million in grants. The initiative will provide direct financial support of up to €60 000 for at least 200 Ukrainian technology startups that remain and work in Ukraine, as well as for those who were forcibly relocated to the EU during the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, speaking to the OECD ministerial council, called to exclude Russia from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. President once again underlined Moscow’s role in the current food crisis, considering its role in blocking the Black Sea maritime routes for grain export. At his address at the Time100 Gala event on Wednesday, he warned that the world was on the brink of a ‘terrible food crisis’.
The Kremlin said no agreement had been reached with Turkey on exporting Ukrainian grain shipments across the Black Sea. Turkey has been pushing for an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to ease the global food crisis by negotiating safe passage for grain stuck in Black Sea ports, but its efforts have been met with resistance. Ukraine says Russia is imposing unreasonable conditions and the Kremlin says shipment is dependent on ending sanctions.
Ukraine and its Western allies are struggling to neutralize Russia’s latest offensive — a campaign of brazen lies in which Moscow portrays itself as an innocent party in the Black Sea naval blockade that is stoking a global food crisis. Lavrov used the trip to Ankara to make the false claim: “The Russian Federation is not creating any obstacle for the passage of ships or vessels … We are not preventing anything.” — POLITICO reports.
This is now becoming a hallmark of Moscow’s international messaging. Russia claims Ukraine is responsible for the blockade because it has mined the port of Odesa and — equally incorrectly — Western sanctions are stopping grain flows. The fact that the whole crisis is due to a Russian invasion and naval blockade is conveniently ignored. “They are actually not negotiating; they are setting their anti-Western narrative”, Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said.
Cities under attack.
Luhansk region. Battles for Severodonetsk continue. Russian forces destroyed a large sports complex, the Ice Palace. The Region’s Governor calls it the pride of the city where nearly 5000 people could attend the events. Another hit was recorded at the ammonia production plant ‘Azot’. In Donetsk region, within a day 17 objects were damaged, including 4 private and 2 apartment buildings, a farm, an industrial enterprise, railway tracks and the premises of the railway station “Phenolna” and others. Regular shelling recorded in Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions. Russian forces drop grenades from the drones on the border villages of Sumy region. In Dnipropetrovsk region, Russian forces shelled three communities bordering the Kherson region. Another missile attack was recorded in the Dnipro district.
Cities under occupation.
Mariupol. Russian authorities are considering ‘demining’ the territories with captured Ukrainians. The occupants are thinking of releasing the captured civilians into minefields, says Security Service of Ukraine, calling it “mine clearance in a natural way”. Along with demining, the demolishing of damaged buildings is underway. The invaders are knocking down damaged houses and refusing to search for the bodies of the dead under the rubble first. Advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andriushchenko, said that among all this the case of the Levoberezhny district. The invaders started to provide pensions in Russian rubles to the pensioners remaining in Mariupol. The pension, converted into hryvnia, amounts to 2600 UAH ($88).
Mariupol is at risk of a major cholera outbreak. Isolated cases of cholera have been reported since May. Ukraine suffered a major cholera epidemic in 1995, and has experienced minor outbreaks since, especially around the Azov Sea coast — which includes Mariupol. Medical services in Mariupol are likely already near collapse: a major cholera outbreak in Mariupol will exacerbate this further.
People at the temporary occupied territories are keeping the resistance. Residents in the occupied territories continue to oppose the region’s transition to the ruble zone. As a result, Russians are forced to use hryvnias in the South of Ukraine. Most of the personnel of the Kherson Railway Directorate refused to cooperate with Russian authorities. The similar case has been recorded in Melitopol, Zaporizhzia region, where the railwaymen boycotted cooperation. As a result, the Russians are trying to bring workers from Russia to the temporarily occupied territories. At the same time, small businesses boycott the occupiers in Kherson. Entrepreneurs massively refuse to work under Russian law. Therefore, the occupation administrations invite entrepreneurs from the occupied Crimea to the city. But the latter are afraid to fully develop due to the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian military in the Kherson region, so their work is not stable, says National Resistance Center.
Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has described the Russian-occupied region of Kherson as the “Kremlin’s laboratory of horrors”. Moscow had tried to recruit local political figures and activists, using coercion and blackmail tactics that has sometimes included unlawful imprisonment, threats of kidnappings of relatives, and bribery. Meanwhile, citizens were cut off from internet access which kept them from reliable information and Ukrainian government services. ‘Kherson is an economically vital region for Ukraine.Control over Kherson helps Russia prevent Ukraine from exporting its grain and directly exacerbates the global food security crisis. It means not only will more people in Ukraine likely die, but more people will become hungry and die of hunger worldwide. The stakes are enormous’.
In the temporarily occupied Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region, the invaders closed the activities of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses.This happened because the activity of this organization is prohibited in the Russian Federation. The fact once again underlines how Ukraine and the Russian Federation differ. Ukraine is a de facto and de jure secular country with respect for all confessions and religious beliefs, while totalitarianism anf intolerance flourish in Russia.
The court of the self-proclaimed DPR has delivered its first verdict on three foreign soldiers who had defended Mariupol together with the Ukrainian military. Two UK citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, and a Moroccan Brahim Saadoune, whom the terrorists call “mercenaries”, were sentenced to death. Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, underlined that in line with Geneva Conventions, the three detained are under combatant immunity and as prisoners of war cannot be prosecuted for taking a direct part in hostilities. Their detention should only aim to prevent their further participation in further military actions. Therefore, Ukraine has already initiated a pre-trial investigation into this matter in order to ensure that those involved in this illegal action are held responsible for their actions. Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić condemned in its statement the death penalty sentences issued today in the occupied Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, condemned the verdict calling it a “sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy”.
The Investigative Committee of Russia said they had opened more than 1,100 cases into “crimes against peace” committed by the Ukrainian government. Following the show trial of the above-mentioned foreign soldiers, the statement gives the reasoning of the possible further mass show trial of hundreds of Ukrainian service members. The investigators report to have interviewed more than 75,000 people described as victims.
The European Commission has launched a new project, under its Foreign Policy Instrument, to support the investigation capacities of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with €7.25 million. This will help the ICC to scale up its investigation capacity to respond to the ongoing investigations into war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “One thing is clear: a global response is necessary to ensure that those responsible for the atrocities committed in Ukraine are brought to justice. We are closely cooperating with the International Criminal Court to make sure that there is no impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes.”
Russia’s war in Ukraine has triggered a cost-of-living crisis, affecting people worldwide, says OECD. Global GDP growth is projected to slow sharply this year, to around 3%, and remain at a similar pace in 2023. Rising inflation, largely driven by steep increases in the price of energy and food, is causing hardship for low-income people and raising serious food security risks in the world’s poorest economies.
Ukraine’s President signed a decree on sanctions against Russian President Putin as well as his press secretary Peskov. In total, more than 260 Russians and 236 businesses are on the list. The envisaged measures include among all asset blocking, restriction of trade operations in terms of a ban on export-import transactions, prevention of capital outflow outside Ukraine, prohibition on the acquisition of land and more.
From the start of the war in Ukraine, Starlink agreed to provide Ukraine with access to satellite Internet and activated the Starlink service in Ukraine. Yesterday, Starlink Ukraine has just received an operator’s license. Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov announced that the SpaceX representative office will soon start active work in Ukraine. Meanwhile Hacked Russian radio station broadcasted Ukrainian anthem and resistance songs. A Russian radio station’s news bulletin was interrupted on Wednesday by the Ukrainian songs, in the latest example of Russian media outlets apparently being targeted by anti war hackers, says the Washington Post.
If the war continues as it is now, only 42.9% of Ukrainians plan the future of their children and grandchildren in Ukraine, according to the poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology at the request of the Center for Socio-Economic Research CASE Ukraine. Women have slightly higher safety requirements than men. In the event of a truce, 57.1% of men agree to plan for the future of children or grandchildren in Ukraine, compared to 52.7% of women. If the war continues, 34.8% of residents of the East, 38.8% of residents of the South, 44.6% of residents of the central and northern regions, and 48.5% of residents of western Ukraine plan the future of children and grandchildren in Ukraine.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has paid tribute to Peter the Great on the 350th anniversary of the tsar’s birth, drawing a parallel with what Putin portrayed as their twin historic quests to win back Russian lands. ‘Peter the Great waged the great northern war for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned [what was Russia’s],’ Putin said on Thursday after visiting an exhibition dedicated to the tsar. Putin has repeatedly sought to justify Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where his forces have devastated cities, killed thousands and put millions of people to flight, by propounding a view of history that asserts Ukraine has no real national identity or tradition of statehood.
The Torture Camp on Paradise Street. In 2017, Ukrainian journalist Stanislav Aseyev was living and working from the separatist region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Critical of the self-proclaimed republic, he used pseudonyms to protect his identity. But one day he was exposed which led to his imprisonment and torture in the notorious Izolyatsia prison.
- Ukraine’s partisans are hitting Russian soldiers behind their own lines | The Economist. Ukraine’s underground resistance at the occupied territories is gaining its name by showing Russian occupants that they are unwelcomed. Numerous cases were recorded in the territories of Melitopol, unofficial capital of Ukraine’s resistance, Kherson region, Izium and more. People face the risk their lives but do not miss the chance to act even in occupation.
- UkraineX: How Elon Musk’s space satellites changed the war on the ground – POLITICO
- From the Graveside to the Front, Ukrainians Tell of Grim Endurance – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- 4.8 million Ukrainian refugees are recorded in Europe, according to the UN figures updated. A total of 3.2 million Ukrainians in Europe have enrolled in a temporary protection program. According to the UN, most Ukrainian refugees live in neighboring Poland: more than 1.15 million people, with Romania coming second. The third-largest host country is Germany with 780,000 refugees, followed by the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain.
- According to the State Statistics Service, Ukraine’s GDP in the first quarter of 2022 decreased by 19.3% (seasonally adjusted) compared to the previous quarter, and by 15.1% – compared to the first quarter of 2021.
- 310 communities are located in areas of military (combat) operations, or which are in temporary occupation, surrounded (blocked).
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June10, 2022: personnel – around 31900, tanks ‒ 1409, APV ‒ 3450, artillery systems – 712, MLRS – 222, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 97, fixed-wing aircraft – 212, helicopters – 178, operational-tactical level UAV – 572, cruise missiles – 125, boats and light speed boats – 13, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2438, special equipment – 54.
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