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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 122 [10.00 am, 25.06.2022]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Belarus.

Ukrainian intelligence reports that Russia will try to involve Belarus in a military conflict with Ukraine through a series of provocations. To do this, sabotage groups arrived in the city of Mozyr under the guise of civilians. They include staff members of the Russian Central Intelligence Agency and mercenaries of private military companies controlled by Prigozhyn and Shoigu. It is known that the plans of these groups include the organization of a series of terrorist attacks on the territory of Belarus under the Chechen scenario. Then the special services of the Russian Federation organized explosions in several houses of Ryazan, accusing the mythical ‘Chechen militants’. Therefore, the Russian game plans to conduct a series of artillery and missile strikes on the Mozyr refinery, civilian infrastructure, and housing estates. During the shelling, residential buildings, hospitals and schools will be blown up. 

Up to seven Belarusian battalions were concentrated near the Ukrainian border as of June 21. Overall, the Belarusian army has about 60 000 troops.

Tonight approximately 40 missiles were fired at Ukraine from the territory of Belarus targeting military infrastructure in Zhytomyr region, Chernihiv region, and Kyiv region.   

Cities under attack.

A Russian strike on the Yavoriv military facility in the Lviv region wounded four people. Six missiles were fired from the Black Sea, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting the target. In the Dnipropetrovsk region Russian troops fired on the communities of Grechanopodiv, Zelenodolsk, and the Shyrokivsky District with Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, no casualties, although civilian infrastructure was damaged. On June 24, the Russians killed two civilians in Raihorodok, two in Stary Caravan, and one in Kostiantynivka – Donetsk region. The situation in Mykolaiv city is critical, the city is being attacked by Russian missiles every single day from the territory of occupied Kherson region. 

Check out an online resource that documents the infrastructure damages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine –  https://warupclose.com/ 

Cities under the occupation.  

The Russian occupiers began systematically abducting relatives of Ukrainian servicemen in the occupied territories, including children. After that, they may require soldiers from Ukraine to come in exchange for guaranteeing the safety of their relatives. Mass kidnappings have been occurring in Melitopol, the mayor of the south-eastern Ukrainian city said. ‘More than 500 people have been abducted in the last four months,’ Ivan Fedorov said, adding that mass kidnappings resumed in the Russian-occupied territory last week.

War crimes investigations.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova signed an agreement on June 24 with various departments within the French government to provide mutual legal assistance regarding Russian crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Ukraine.

EU integration.

Russia has condemned the European Union’s decision to accept Ukraine and Moldova as membership candidates. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said the EU had confirmed that it continued to ‘actively exploit the CIS on a geopolitical level’, referring to Russia’s sphere of influence within former Soviet countries.

Foreign policy.

On June 24, G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting took place. The meeting focused on Russia’s culpability for aggravating the global food crisis as a result of the war. G7 Foreign Ministers made clear that Russia’s war against Ukraine is exacerbating food insecurity, including by blocking the Black Sea, bombing grain silos and ports, and damaging Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure. Ministers rejected Russia’s false narrative and disinformation on sanctions. All G7 sanctions include exemptions to allow Russian food and agricultural products to get to global markets. G7 Foreign Ministers called on Moscow to cease its attacks and threatening actions and unblock the Ukrainian Black Sea ports for food exports. They expressed their support for the United Nations’ efforts to urgently reopen a Black Sea route for grain and the European Commission’s Action Plan for EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes for moving grain by road, rail and barge to world markets, to which G7 countries are actively contributing. G7 Foreign Ministers again underscored their unwavering support for Ukraine, including military and defense assistance, for as long as necessary. They pledged humanitarian assistance, support for reconstruction and stabilization for Ukraine as well as to enhance the resilience of neighboring countries, especially the Republic of Moldova, which is particularly affected by the influx of Ukrainian refugees. Furthermore, they welcomed the European Council decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status and to grant Georgia ‘EU perspective’ status with a defined path toward candidate status. The G7 are meeting for a summit on Sunday. Among the key issues: continued long-term support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

The European Council has approved €9bn of financial aid to Ukraine. In a statement made by the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, at the European Council summit in Brussels on Friday, he said: ‘There is a war in Ukraine and there is nothing to pay nurses, teachers, police, border guards or many other public services’.

Food security. ​​

The Russian navy has been given orders to lay mines at the ports of Odesa and Ochakiv, and has already mined the Dnieper River, as part of a blockade of Ukrainian grain exports, according to newly declassified US intelligence. US officials also released satellite images showing the damage inflicted by Russian missile strikes earlier this month on Ukraine’s second biggest grain terminal at nearby Mykolaiv, at a time when the interruption of grain exports threatens to trigger a global famine. Sunflower oil storage tanks at Mykolaiv came under attack on Wednesday. At the same time, the Russians themselves refute all the accusations. According to the already traditional scheme, they claim that Ukraine mines its ports. Although all experts consider such statements meaningless, because 95 percent of grain exports from Ukraine go through these ports. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov says that every day, the Russian military drives dozens of grain trucks out of captured Melitopol. The invaders are only willing to buy grains from local farmers at a dumped price of $80 per tonne, which is below cost price.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the world is facing an unprecedented global hunger crisis. ‘The war in Ukraine has compounded problems that have been brewing for years: climate disruption; the Covid-19 pandemic; the deeply unequal recovery,’ he said. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification the U.N. uses, millions of people in 37 countries are on the brink of famine due to Russia’s blockade of grain exports from Ukraine.

Biodiversity.

More than 3 000 dolphins in the Black Sea have died as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian scientists working in the ‘Tuzlovsky Lymans’ reserve, a national nature park. Nexta reports that the ‘work of sonar and explosions prevent them from finding food’ and that dead dolphins have been increasingly found on the coasts of Bulgaria and Romania, in addition to Ukraine

Sanctions.

Canada will be able to seize and dispose of assets sanctioned as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, following the Canadian Senate’s passage of the budget of the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on Thursday. The government will then be able to use the funds from seized assets to support Ukraine. Canada has blocked assets worth $328 million due to the sanctions. 

Disinformation.

Belarus has accused Mark Bernstein, a contributing editor for Russian-language Wikipedia, of “distributing fake anti-Russian material.” The Belarusian national was detained in March.

Reading corner. 

Statistics.

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

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