Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Ursula von der Leyen, right, greets Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, on June 11. Source: Ursula von der Leyen
As of June 12, Ukraine has a frontline width of 2450 kilometers, 1105 kilometers of which are active hostilities, according to Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.
Cities under attack.
On Saturday, a rocket attack on Chortkiv, Ternopil region partly destroyed a military facility and injured 22 people. In the Kharkiv region, Russian troops shelled a children’s camp, with no casualties. According to the investigation, on the night of June 11-12, Russian forces attacked a health camp in the Chuhuiv district, damaging 3 buildings, Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office reports. Due to the Russian shelling of the Kharkiv region, fires occurred in Chuhuiv, Izyum and Bohodukhiv districts. As a result of these fires, residential buildings, outbuildings, a warehouse building, and more than 8 hectares of ecosystems were damaged. Russian occupation forces conducted an artillery attack on the Vuhledar Thermal Power Plant in Donetsk region, causing a fire on its territory. As a result of the attack, an administrative building on the power plant’s territory has been destroyed. Vuhledar TPP is controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but Russian forces hold the city of Svitlodarsk some 5 km from the power plant. Fierce fighting for control of the Vuhledar power plant is continuing. In Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukrainian forces keep control of the Azot chemical plant. The last bridge connecting Severodonetsk to the rest of Ukraine came under heavy artillery fire from Russian forces. Hundreds of civilians are sheltering amid bitter fighting, the region’s governor said on Saturday, after a Russia-backed separatist claimed 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped there. Daily reports indicate the regular shelling of the plant. Artillery and mortar shelling of the Sumy region continues daily, including this weekend. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, Russian forces struck from ‘Hurricanes’ on residential quarters of the Zelenodolsk community, killing one person and injuring five. In Kherson region the situation remains difficult, as most villages are without water, electricity and gas. Almost the entire Beryslav district suffers from explosions and shelling, looting and bullying.
Amnesty International presented the results of their collection of reports on Kharkiv. The team reports of 28 indiscriminate strikes launched by Russian forces between February 28 and April 30, targeting residential neighborhoods almost daily, killing hundreds of civilians and causing total destruction. Amnesty International researchers documented seven cluster munition strikes in different neighborhoods. The director of the medical department of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration told Amnesty International that 606 civilians had been killed and 1248 injured in the Kharkiv region between 24 February and April 28.
Identification of the exchanged bodies is underway. Last week, Ukraine and Russia exchanged nearly 220 bodies. Most of the bodies returned to Ukraine were from Mariupol, namely the Azovstal plant. Most of these bodies are in a terrible state and it is impossible to visually identify them.
Last week, on June 7, the Russian parliament passed a pair of bills ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the country and formally breaking ties between Russia and the Council of Europe. The laws have been already signed by President Putin, allowing non-execution of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the Russian Federation.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen visited Kyiv ahead of the European Commission’s decision on the status of Ukraine in the EU. During the press-conference, the European Commission President praised Ukraine for strength and resilience in times of the military offensive happening. Nevertheless, the President von der Leyen underlined that ahead of reconstruction of the country, Ukraine ‘still needs to implement reforms to fight corruption, among others, or to modernize the administration, which will also help attract investors. Having necessary institutions in place, Ukraine needs to present the results. Currently the EU is preparing its opinion on Ukraine’s membership application, while finalizing assessment by the end of next week.’
Bucharest Nine (B9) Summit, established at the initiative of Polish President Duda and Romanian President Iohannis in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, took place last week. The Summit brings together NATO Allies Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, and its summit is currently taking place in Bucharest. Participants of the Bucharest Nine summit spoke in favor of strengthening NATO’s presence on the eastern flank of the Alliance. The adopted declaration reiterated unwavering commitment to Ukraine, as well as continued support to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. As noted, in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, NATO has strengthened the position of deterrence and defense along the entire eastern flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, creating four new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, and also reinforced existing NATO battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
The last court hearing within the MH17 trial took place in the Netherlands on June 10. In the video address, Oleg Pulatov, one of the four defendants, said he did not plead guilty to the downing of MH17 and the death of 298 people. The judgment in the MH17 trial is expected to be delivered by the end of the year after finalizing the results of all obtained evidence.
Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and is in talks with Baltic states to add a third corridor for food exports, Kyiv’s deputy foreign minister Dmytro Senik said.
Ukraine cannot trust Putin in regard to his promises to grant safe passage to grain vessels, said German agriculture minister Cem Özdemir during a visit to Kyiv on Friday, reports EuroActiv. ‘Trusting Putin’s promises without there being any credible, effective military guarantees would be kamikaze for Ukraine,’ he said. In the frame of his visit he also promised fresh funds to support alternative export routes.
Connection between Zaporizhzhia NPP and IAEA has been renewed. Energoatom and Vodafone managed to restore the communication between the ZNPP servers for nuclear material control and the IAEA on Friday, June 10. Zaporizhzhia NPP remains under the Russian occupation in Energodar. The connection was lost on May 30, 2022, when the Russian occupiers turned off the Vodafone provider in the city. Nevertheless, all data for this period was stored on secure ZNPP servers and transferred to the IAEA immediately after the connection was restored.
Flora and fauna of Azov and Black sea is in danger. Level of chemicals, heat and military activities in the city and close to the seashore put the water safety and safety of living organisms under threat. Fish and dolphins are dying en masse in the Sea of Azov. The adviser to the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko says such a state could be expected in July, due to heat levels, but it is atypical for the beginning of June. Dead animals are found on the coasts of Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Ecologist Ivan Rusiev indicates the potential reason for the increased mortality of animals can be the presence of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea: ‘Dolphins are dying because of the war. Disoriented, they fall into fishing nets near Bulgaria and Turkey and die. Ruscist submarines use sonars, which affects the navigation system of these animals’.
Indiscriminate attacks on the cultural heritage continue. As a result of shelling, rocket and bomb attacks by Russians in Ukraine, 119 cultural heritage sites were destroyed or damaged. Including 21 monuments of national importance, 91 – of local significance and 7 – newly discovered cultural heritage sites. Russians destroyed 42 memorials in honor of historical figures and events of the XIX – early XXI centuries, 30 buildings, museum complexes and reserves, 75 buildings of houses of culture, theaters and libraries, and many other objects of valuable historical buildings were damaged.
The Russian military is purposefully exporting valuables from Ukraine, particularly Scythian gold, according to an international team of academics and digital technology experts who are tracking theft, reports the Guardian. Russia has dispatched a team of experts to Ukraine’s temporarily controlled territory with the goal of exporting as many historical artifacts as possible. The thefts focus heavily on precious Scythian gold, high-worth ancient filigree pieces, often depicting animals. They were produced by tribes of the area of central Asia and eastern Europe once known as Scythia.
49 crimes against freedom of speech in Ukraine were recorded by the Institute of Mass Media in May. 45 crimes were committed by Russia against the media and journalists on Ukrainian territory. Among the most common crimes, are murder, bodily harm and abduction of journalists, shelling of film crews and TV towers, threats, cyber attacks on Ukrainian media sites, disabling Ukrainian broadcasting, shutting down the media due to Russian shelling, inability to work and print newspapers due to infrastructure destruction, and more. At the same time, IMI recorded four cases of violations of freedom of speech, for which the Ukrainian side is responsible.
The participation of Ukrainians in volunteering and charity during the war has multiplied, and young people are the most involved. In total, 57% of respondents in the surveyed regions of the centre and west of Ukraine actively helped the army, territorial defense and temporarily displaced persons – Democrative Initiative Foundation reports. If asked about the prevailing emotions for the entire period of the war, the majority of respondents are feeling anxiety (40.5%).
- Ukraine: Drivers risk all to bring aid, help civilians flee | Associated Press (apnews.com) – ‘On the edge of the conflict zone in Ukraine, which runs along the country’s east and south, volunteer drivers are risking everything to deliver humanitarian aid to Ukrainians behind the front lines, and to get people out. […] More than two dozen drivers have been captured, held for more than two months by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukrainian activists say.’
- How the 3D-printing community worldwide is aiding Ukraine. Facing shortages on the battlefield, Ukrainian soldiers are getting supplies they need from those with the printers | The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
- Russia seeks to militarize schoolchildren and censor textbooks amid war. Kremlin security chiefs are making radical changes in how history is taught | The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
- 2606 cruise missiles of different types were launched on Ukraine in 109 days of Russian war in Ukraine, says the Ministry of Defense.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June13, 2022: personnel – around 32 300, tanks ‒ 1432, APV ‒ 3492, artillery systems – 718, MLRS – 226, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 97, fixed-wing aircraft – 213, helicopters – 178, operational-tactical level UAV – 585, cruise missiles – 125, boats and light speed boats – 13, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2460, special equipment – 54.
Every action counts, no contribution is too small!
- Support Medical battalion ‘Hospitallers’. A volunteer organization of paramedics operating since 2014. The team provides medical aid in the hot spots.
- 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.