Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Aris Messinis
On the way to EU candidate status.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill on ratification of the Istanbul Convention. ‘Signed! The bill on ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Its content is simple but extremely important. It is a commitment to protect women from violence and various forms of discrimination,’ Zelensky announced.
EU leaders in Brussels are expected to sign off on last week’s recommendation by the European Commission to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, according to the latest EU summit draft conclusions, dated 21 June and seen by EURACTIV. The European Commission fell short of granting the same outlook to Georgian until it fulfills conditions spelt out that lead to EU candidate status. Tens of thousands of Georgians took to the streets Monday (20 June) to demonstrate their wrath against the government and the ruling party Georgian Dream, days after the EU’s executive recommended deferring Tbilisi’s candidacy.
The Three Seas Initiative’s (3SI) member states have granted Ukraine participating partner status to the group and supported its efforts to join the EU, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced at Monday’s 3SI summit in Riga. Unlike a strategic partnership, which links the Three Seas countries with the US, UK, or the European Commission, the new form of partnership is addressed to potential EU member countries. Ukraine is the first country to join but other countries are also welcome.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has allocated 15% of its defense budget to support the Ukrainian Army after the visit of Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel to Kyiv – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said during a briefing.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will head to Kyiv and Moscow to push for peace and discuss the global food crisis partly caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, will be the first Asian leader to visit the countries since the war began, said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. The visits will take place after he attends the Group of Seven meeting in Germany on June 26-28 – Bloomberg reports.
Cities under attack.
Decisive battles are taking place on the territory of the Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk agglomerations and the Russian leadership demands that its troops reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk region by June 26, – says Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar. As a result of the shelling of the beach in Chasov Yar in Donetsk region, 1 person was killed and 11 were injured. Among the wounded are 6 children. This was announced by the head of the Donetsk regional military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko. Russian forces shelled Zaporizhzhia region. As a result of the shellings the school and a number of civilian objects were destroyed in Yuliivka village. Overnight, Kharkiv was shelled with guided missiles; they struck college, metro station. 3 civilians killed, 7 wounded Kharkiv college destroyed overnight on 21 June, Suspilne. It can’t be repaired. 15 civilians killed, 16 injured as a result of Russian shelling of Kharkiv region on June 21. According to the Kharkiv regional military administration, Russian shelling killed six near Chuhuiv. Three people also died near Zolochiv. Krasnopillia in the Sumy region has been attacked by drones. Four people injured, two hospitalized in serious condition, a car was damaged
Cities under occupation.
Russian occupational authorities proposed to introduce the death penalty, the mayor of occupied Melitopol said. He also said that a new wave of abductions of priests and activists has begun. He was abducted at the beginning of war but later exchanged.
On Tuesday, June 21, US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland visits Ukraine to reaffirm U.S. Commitment to help identify, apprehend, and prosecute individuals involved in war crimes and atrocities. Attorney General Garland announced the launch of a War Crimes Accountability Team to centralize and strengthen the Justice Department’s ongoing work to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine. This initiative will bring together the Department’s leading experts in investigations involving human rights abuses and war crimes and other atrocities; and provide wide-ranging technical assistance, including operational assistance and advice regarding criminal prosecutions, evidence collection, forensics, and relevant legal analysis. The War Crimes Accountability Team will be led by the US’ top Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum. ‘Working alongside our domestic and international partners, the Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable every person complicit in the commission of war crimes, torture, and other grave violations during the unprovoked conflict in Ukraine.’ – said Attorney General Garland.
PACE delegation to meet with survivors of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. A delegation of members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, representing the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, is scheduled to visit Ukraine next week, Ukrinform reports.
Turkey is planning to host Russian, Ukrainian and United Nations officials for talks in the coming weeks aimed at resuming the export of grain that is currently stuck in Black Sea ports, according to media reports. The planned meeting in Istanbul will be preceded by a visit to Moscow this week by a Turkish defense delegation to discuss details of a possible safe sea corridor in the Black Sea – Reuters reports.
Russia slashed deliveries on its main pipeline to Europe last week. Germany, among the biggest buyers of fossil fuels from Russia, is seeking to cut gas demand as it shores up stockpiles for winter. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Russia’s move to cut gas deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline by about 60% was politically motivated and aimed at unsettling the markets. This is affecting deliveries to France, Italy and Austria as well as Germany. Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom has already halted all deliveries to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark after energy companies in those countries refused to bow to Kremlin demands to pay for deliveries in rubles. In response, some countries are planning to fire up coal-fired power stations. Austria plans to convert a shuttered power plant to again burn coal. Poland aims to subsidize coal used for home heating. The Netherlands on Monday decided to scrap earlier plans to limit production from its four coal-fired power stations. Italy’s government held a crisis meeting on Tuesday. Fatih Birol, the head of the IEA, said Russia’s decision to reduce gas supplies to European countries in the past week may be a precursor to further cuts as Moscow looks to gain ‘leverage’ during its war with Ukraine. ‘Europe should be ready in case Russian gas is completely cut off,’ – Birol told the Financial Times in an interview.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, a Google executive Jared Cohen warned that cyberattacks, disinformation and other forms of info warfare being waged in Ukraine are a ‘crystal ball’ for future problems elsewhere. ‘States must find a way to turn the volume down and settle on some kind of deterrence doctrine for the cyber domain,’ he said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that Russia’s latest threats to Lithuania and the aggressor’s pressure on energy supplies are arguments for the adoption of the seventh package of EU sanctions against Russia. It was reported that the draft communiqué prepared for the summit of EU leaders did not mention the seventh package of sanctions against Russia for the war it is waging against Ukraine. On 21 June, it was reported that the European Union was considering imposing sanctions on Russian gold as part of the seventh package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this week Poland called for introducing the new package of sanctions ahead of the meeting of EU ministers of foreign affairs in Luxembourg. As proposed by Poland, the new package would include suspending the export of European technologies to Russia, including so-called dual-use goods.
Ireland has frozen €1.72 million of assets linked to sanctioned Russian individuals and entities in the wake of the country’s attack on Ukraine in February.
Russian lobbyists from companies like Gazprom, Lukoil and Rusal are in the process of losing their credentials to make their pitch to EU politicians and policymakers following action by the Council of the EU – Politico reports. ‘Russian energy lobbyists are the salesmen for Putin’s war machine. Banning them is essential to supporting our Ukrainian friends and ending Russian influence in our politics.’ – said German Green MEP Daniel Freund.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has decided to suspend cooperation with Russia and Belarus after the 2024 contract expires.
According to the results of the 13-th National Survey on the War, conducted by the sociological group ‘Rating’ on June 18-19, 2022, 75% of respondents believe that things in Ukraine are moving in the right direction. 93% of respondents believe that Ukraine will be able to repel Russia’s attack. The majority (67%) believe that it takes at least six months or more to defeat Russia. 87% of respondents would support Ukraine’s accession to the European Union in the case of a referendum (against – 4%, would not vote – 8%). Support for EU accession is unanimous among representatives of all macro-regions and age groups. 69% of respondents believe Ukraine will be able to join the EU in 5 years (40% – within 1-2 years, 29% – up to five years). Another 14% believe that Ukraine will become a member of the EU in the next 5-10 years, 3% – in 10-20 years. Only 7% do not believe that Ukraine will integrate into the European Union. Support for Ukraine’s NATO membership has also increased: 76% would support Ukraine’s NATO membership in case of a referendum.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) gathered the evidence on which this report is based in the course of the investigation it carried out in Ukraine from 24 May to 3 June 2022. RSF handed over the evidence to the Ukrainian judicial authorities and will also provide them with a copy of this report. The evidence gathered by RSF indicates that the Ukrainian photo-journalist Maks Levin and the friend who was with him were executed in cold blood by Russian forces, probably after being interrogated and tortured, on the day they went missing, 13 March 2022. Levin’s body and car were found on 1 April in a forest located on what was the front line north of Kyiv.
Mstyslav Chernov, an Associated Press journalist, and Yevhen Malolietka, a freelance photojournalist, received the Freedom of Speech Award from Deutsche Welle. The Freedom of Speech Award honors the reporters’ coverage of the Russian war of Ukraine from the embattled city of Mariupol in February 2022. Their report ‘20 days in Mariupol’ offers a unique account of Mariupol under siege. The last journalists left in the city, Chernov and Maloletka documented the deaths, devastation and bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
- Pacifism is the wrong response to the by war in Ukraine by Slavoj Žižek | The Guardian – ‘Russia’s strategic plan is to profit from global warming: control the world’s main transport route, plus develop Siberia and control Ukraine. In this way, Russia will dominate so much food production that it will be able to blackmail the whole world. This is the ultimate economic reality beneath Putin’s imperial dream’.
- The Rashists from Mordor vs. the Tractor Troops: Ukraine’s new language of war | Politico – An English-language guide to Ukrainian slang.
- More than 592 children have been injured, the Prosecutor General’s Office said on June 22. The figures are expected to be higher since they do not include casualties in areas where hostilities are ongoing.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., June 22, 2022: personnel – around 34 230, tanks ‒ 1496, APV ‒ 3614, artillery systems – 752, MLRS – 239, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 99, fixed-wing aircraft – 216, helicopters – 182, operational-tactical level UAV – 614, cruise missiles – 137, boats and light speed boats – 14, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2543, special equipment – 60.
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