War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 118 [10.00 am, 21.06.2022 🇨🇿🇯🇵🇦🇪🇷🇸🇭🇷]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: Volunteers from the Dobrobat project, side by side with SES officers, are eliminating the consequences of the occupation of the city by russian troops/ Dobrobat

On the way to EU candidate status.

Ahead of the European Union Summit voting for Ukraine’s status in the EU, Ukraine is adopting crucial documents and reforms required by the EU. The Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) supported the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, which is one of the conditions for granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate. Ukraine signed the document 11 years ago, but it’s only now that it has been ratified. Also, Parliament adopted the Law ‘On the Principles of State Anti-Corruption Policy for 2021-2025’. The law will serve as the guidance for the anticorruption strategy, as well as to secure progress that has been made in preventing and combating corruption, and to ensure the coherence and systemic nature of anti-corruption activities of all public authorities and local governments of Ukraine.

Meanwhile Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban called for support of the EU candidate status ahead of the European Union Summit. Along with supporting Ukraine and Moldova, he called for granting the status to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Georgia. 

All EU member states support granting Ukraine candidate status for accession, says Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna. 

Foreign policy.  

PACE President Tiny Kox called on the Russian authorities and Russians to immediately stop the war against Ukraine. In his opening statement at the PACE Summer session, he called for further support of Ukraine, rather than getting used to the fact of the war, as well as reconsider the current multilateral system in Europe in order to prevent such wars in future. 

Taiwan will provide financial assistance for the restoration of the Ukrainian town of Bucha. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu pledged a $500,000 donation to Bucha on Monday to help it rebuild after it was devastated following Russia’s invasion. This was announced during an online meeting between Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk and Taiwan’s Foreign Minister.

The Council of the EU decided to renew the sanctions introduced by the EU in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, until 23 June 2023. The restrictive measures include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating from the illegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services from the illegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in illegally annexed Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources are also subject to EU restrictions.

Parliament of Ukraine ratified the agreement on the abolition of duties and quotas on exports to Britain. The abolition of import duties and tariff quotas for Ukrainian producers will increase exports of Ukrainian agricultural products, which are traditionally supplied to the UK. This includes flour, dairy products, poultry and semi-finished products, tomato paste, juices, sugar and more.

Cities under attack.

The fierce battles are taking place around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk as the Russian leadership demands that its troops reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk region by June 26. In Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, the battles with Russian invaders are already taking place in the city’s industrial zone, and Ukrainian defenders control only the territory of the Azot plant, says Governor of the Luhansk region Serhii Haidai.

In Kharkiv,  as a result of missile strikes, the building of the Kharkiv State Zooveterinary Academy was damaged.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the drilling rigs of Chornomorneftegaz in the Black Sea. Therefore, then Russia will not be able to produce gas in the Ukrainian Black Sea. Back in 2014,  the Russian Federation seized drilling platforms 100 km from Odesa and 150 km from Crimea. Russian forces also used them to monitor the surface situation with the help of electronic intelligence.

Within three hours yesterday, the Russian military fired 14 missiles on the south of Ukraine. 4 missiles hit Ochakiv in the Mykolayiv region and 10 missiles hit Odesa region. The attack damaged agricultural areas in the region and the suburbs of Ochakiv, and destroyed a logistics food warehouse in Odesa region. 

Cities under the occupation.

About half of the population, 450-500 thousand people, remain in the occupied territory of Kherson region. In particular, more than 600 Ukrainians are being held captive, including activists and participants in the Donbas war. On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Vereshschuk called for civilians to leave the Kherson region as soon as possible, including via occupied Crimea. The reason behind this is to minimize casualties in case of the liberation offensive. 

In the occupied city of Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Russian occupants organize staged queues at the administrative service centers to create the appearance of high demand for Russian passports. According to intelligence reports, citizens who do not agree to stand in line are sent to public works. Overall, Ukrainian partisan activity is likely having administrative consequences on Russian efforts to institute Russian citizenship processes en masse within occupied territories, reports ISW.

Personnel of the education departments refuse to cooperate in the occupied cities in Zaporizhzhia region. In Melitopol, 90% of the 2,700 employees of the local education department refused to cooperate with the Russians. 10% of the employees who agreed to cooperate are mostly technical workers, particularly janitors. In Berdiansk, less than 50 teachers among the nearly 1,000 school employees agreed to cooperate.

The Ukrainian Resistance Center reports that mass resistance in the occupied territories thwarted plans for the Russians to ‘voluntarily’ join the regions. According to the new plans, the Russians aim to gradually change the military administration to the so-called civil. However, due to the opposition and resistance of the local population, the deadline has been postponed to autumn. 

Human rights.

Russia illegally holds more than 1,500 civilian Ukrainians in captivity, says Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories. The Minister indicates the difficulty in releasing civilians from captivity, as  under international law, civilians do not have a status under which they can be exchanged. Nevertheless, 103 civilians were exchanged during the 14 rounds of exchange of prisoners of war. Vereshchuk also said that according to Ukrainian intelligence, 1.2 million people were deported to Russia. In addition, 240,000 of those deported are children, and 2,161 of them are orphans who were taken out illegally.

Further proof of the war crimes and human rights violations have been identified. VostokSOS and DRA concluded recommendations based on the evidence of the Russian crimes committed in Ukraine during the Russian invasion of Kyiv, Chernigiv, Sumy regions. For example, between March 4-30, 2022, the Kolychivka school south of Chernihiv was regularly shelled from the nearby occupied village of Ivanivka while 150 civilians were taking shelter in the school’s basement. Russian shelling has also targeted medical facilities, as was the case of the hospital in Trostyanets during the occupation. The 4th armored Kantemirovkaya division set up a checkpoint that isolated the hospital from the city. Patients and medical personnel, around 60 people, could not leave, and wounded and sick people could not reach it. The Russian military used the railway station in Trostyanets as a headquarters and detention place. Station manager, Olga Trypilska, showed the team a room in the basement with multiple blood traces on the wall.

Food security.

Blocking the export of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain is a war crime. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. He accused Russia of weaponizing ‘the hunger of the people’, calling to hold Moscow ‘accountable’ for its actions.

The German railway is planning to assist with Ukraine’s grain exports. Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen said that relevant trial operations are expected to be completed in July 2022.  Ukraine’s grain exports via Odesa ports are impossible now, and different export solutions via the Ukrainian-Polish border are being developed. Meanwhile, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Food and Agriculture will hold a conference on food security on June 24 in Berlin, including the issue of grain exports from Ukraine.

Energy security.

Slovakia is considering rebuilding the Druzhba pipeline  in order to supply fuel to Ukraine, writes EuroActiv. This could potentially allow it to secure Ukraine with fuel and to overcome shortages due to the damaged oil refinery plants with Russian missiles. The Druzhba pipeline, through which Russian oil flows into the country, may be converted into a product pipeline to deliver fuel into war-torn Ukraine, Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík announced.

Health security.

First Lady Olena Zelenska initiated the launch of the National Program of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. The initiative comes in response in order for Ukrainians affected by the aggressor to have full and effective access to psychological assistance.  The program, in particular, envisages conducting an expert audit with the involvement of WHO experts, on the basis of which a model of the assistance system will be developed; development of a step-by-step plan for the implementation of the model;building a system of training, certification, monitoring the quality of training of psychologists, psychotherapists, psychologists working in the system of most ministries, etc. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has established an Interdepartmental Coordination Council to establish cooperation between ministries dealing with social affairs, veterans’ affairs, law enforcement agencies, and each with its own set of resources for psychological assistance. Cross-sectoral cooperation will help strengthen each other

Forced migration.

The influx of Ukrainian refugees into the European Union could gradually ease labor shortages in the euro zone as some of those fleeing the war are likely to settle permanently, says European Central Bank.The proportion of Ukrainian refugees who remain in the euro area in the medium term will depend on the duration and the severity of the war. The more protracted or more intense war, the number of refugees will rise. The first waves of refugees have comprised the elderly, children and women of working age. However, it is expected that future waves will also include men of working age once martial law has been lifted, gradually increasing the percentage of refugees who are of working age.

Sanctions.

Estonia imposed limitations on the export of goods to Russia. Starting from July 10, Estonia will enforce an export ban to Russia that includes strategic goods that can be used for military operations, such as drones or thermal imagers. The ban will affect luxury goods – bags, shoes, electronics and other items that cost more than 750 euros.

Russia has provoked concern in Brussels after threatening to retaliate over Lithuania’s ban on the transit of some goods across its territory to the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, reports Reuters. Last week Vilnius banned the transit of goods under European Union sanctions through Lithuanian territory to and from Kaliningrad, referring to the EU sanction rules.Josep Borrell, EU Foreign policy Chief, says Lithuania was simply enforcing the bloc’s sanctions regime. However, having in mind the risk of retaliation, he would check whether all the rules were being followed. Nevertheless, the Russian foreign ministry will summon on Tuesday European Union ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer over Lithuania’s ban of the transit of goods.  under EU sanctions through Kaliningrad, the governor of Kaliningrad said on Monday. 

Environment.

Parliament of Ukraine adopted the bill №2207-1-d ‘On Waste Management’. Adoption of the law has been an important step towards compliance of the Ukrainian legislation with the EU. The bill will allow introduction of the European hierarchy of waste management, organization of planning of the waste management system at the national, regional and local levels, closing old landfills and bring the remaining ones up to European standards, creating conditions for the construction of modern waste recycling infrastructure in Ukraine according to European rules and open borders for investors, etc. 

Finances.

Ukraine has become an observer in the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), an initiative to develop an EU strategy on blockchain and build blockchain infrastructure for public services. The observer status is a step towards full membership, for which Ukrainian officials and members of the crypto community have been lobbying.

Wartime stories.

After the beginning of the full-scale war, Olha Leniuk, a copywriter in Western Ukraine, said goodbye to her husband, who had recruited himself to local defense forces, and started to volunteer – to weave camouflage nets and fight on the cyber front. She is doing that to keep Ukraine a free and democratic country. Read about why Olha thinks freedom is as ultimate as breathing in the story

Video recommendation.

Thousands of refugees from Ukraine have been sent to so-called filtration camps, where they have been interrogated and then forced to resettle to Russia. Some Ukrainians escaped to Estonia. Listen to the stories in The New York Times video ‘Surviving Russia’s ‘Filtration Camps’.

Reading corner. 

Statistics.

  • General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June 21, 2022: personnel – around 34 100, tanks ‒ 1496, APV ‒ 3606, artillery systems – 752, MLRS – 239, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 98, fixed-wing aircraft – 216, helicopters – 181, operational-tactical level UAV – 611, cruise missiles – 137, boats and light speed boats – 14, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2537, special equipment – 59. 

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Thank you for supporting Ukraine! Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!