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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 125 [10.00 am, 28.06.2022 🇭🇷🇦🇪🇯🇵🇨🇿]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: State Service of Ukraine for Emergencies

Cities under attack

Russia has committed one of the most heinous terrorist acts on the territory of Ukraine – one of many that occur with increasing frequency. Yesterday, during another series of attacks against civilians, a Russian missile hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Poltava region, where more than a thousand civilians were inside. As of Tuesday morning, at least 18 people were killed, 59 injured including 25 hospitalized and at least 40 missing. The fire area is 10 300 m².

Also on Monday, Russian forces continued shelling Kharkiv, directly targeting the Northern Saltivka residential area. At least 5 died, 22 people were injured, including 5 children, Governor of Kharkiv region states

In Lysychansk, Russian forces used MLRS on a crowd of people who came to collect service water. The city is facing water supply disruptions, thus obtaining water is a daily challenge for the remaining people. Due to the shelling, 8 people died, including two minors, and 21 were injured. A lot of the injured had to endure amputation of limbs.

In Ochakiv, Mykolaiv region, early morning shelling was recorded, damaging the city market, the House of Culture, as well as residential buildings in the private sector. In some areas of the city there is no water, gas and energy supply and internet. Three people died, including one child. Seven people were injured.

Cities under occupation

Russian forces continue with the abduction of people on the occupied territories. The occupiers abducted a deputy of the Kherson regional council and his son, who is a deputy of the village council, as well as the head of one of the Nova Kakhovka educational institutions.

Foreign policy

President Zelenskyi addressed the G7 leaders’ summit in Berlin via video conference. The Ukrainian President urged G7 leaders to supply his country with sophisticated missile defense systems and additional aid that would halt further Russian advancement. Also, Zelenskyi requested additional sanctions against Russia to continue punishing the Kremlin for its invasion. In the official communique, G7 leaders agreed on unilateral ‘as long as it takes’. Also, $29.5 billion will be allocated to Ukraine as financial assistance ‘to help Ukraine close the budget financing gap.’ At the same time, additional financial assistance to state and private enterprises of Ukraine through the EBRD and the World Bank will amount to $3.5 billion.

Josep Borrell, High Representative/ Vice-President of the European Commission underlined further enlargement as the strategic interest for the EU. However, as the head of European diplomacy indicates that the EU itself has to face the potential reforms ‘As we revitalize EU enlargement, we must make a similar effort to reform the EU and our decision-making. Because the enlarged EU must also be able to act. This also means reducing the scope of the unanimity rule in foreign policy and other areas, to take more decisions by qualified majority vote’.

President of Moldova Maia Sandu came to Ukraine on Monday, visiting Kyiv, Borodianka, Bucha, and Irpin. ‘[…] both countries have threats based on Russian aggression and Russian policy, so the responses of Ukraine and Moldova to these threats should be common,’ the statement reads. The presidents discussed joint efforts to resist Russian aggression, possible energy cooperation, as well as reconstruction of the railway connection to strengthen the connection. 

US Senator Jim Risch visited Hostomel and Irpin and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in Kyiv to discuss the ongoing Russian assault on Ukraine. The delegation also visited the Antonov International Airport, where the Russian forces destroyed Ukrainian Mriya, the world’s biggest aircraft. 

The UN Security Council will meet today to discuss Russia’s atrocities against civilians.

Sanctions

On Monday, Canada announced more sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. The new sanctions package will target six individuals and 46 entities linked to the Russian defense sectors, 15 Ukrainians supporting Russia, and 13 individuals and two entities in Belarus, according to a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office. Also, it will include additional sanctions and a ban on the export of technologies to Russia and Belarus that could contribute to improvement of Russia’s defense manufacturing capability or military production.

Food security

Russia keeps targeting railways to prevent Ukraine from exporting grain via land routes as an alternative to the Black Sea ports. In response to this, the UK will contribute up to £10 million in materials and equipment to Ukraine Railways to repair rail infrastructure and help get grain out of the country by rail. The UK is in close discussion with the Government of Ukraine about how to maximize their rail capacity and keep both trains and grain moving, the statement reads

Turkey says that the grain corridor will work in a month if agreed. ‘Currently, Russia and Ukraine have a total of about 40 million tons of grain. This is a serious figure. It corresponds to 30-35% of the world. It takes 3-4 weeks to determine this corridor and start ship dispatchment’ , said İbrahim Kalın, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson. According to him, Türkiye is ready to hold a meeting with representatives of the UN, Russia, and Ukraine to discuss the formation of the ‘grain corridor’.

Energy security

The State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine terminated two international agreements with the Russian Federation concerning cooperation between countries in the field of nuclear safety. Ukraine will consider following agreements as void – Agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine and the Federal Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Russia as well as the Agreement between the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine and the Federal Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision of Russia on the exchange of information and cooperation in the field of safety regulation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (signed in Moscow on August 14, 2002).

Ukraine is preparing for the upcoming heating season. Minister of Development of Communities and Territories Chernyshov says it will start on time, tariffs will not increase and will be stable, however it will be the most difficult in the history of Ukraine. Currently, some of the main challenges include destroyed critical infrastructure, in particular, 331 boiler houses that were destroyed or damaged, three heat and power companies in the cities of Okhtyrka, Kremenchuk and Chernihiv were destroyed. All of this needs to be restored before the heating season. 

Russia ‘announced’ another strike on Ukraine. This time, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that defenders of Ukraine are allegedly on the territory of the Kryvyi Rih Power Plant. The military allegedly wants to provoke an attack on the company. The aggressor country ‘promises’ that it will not hit the Power Plant, but ‘warns’ that Ukraine itself can do it. In the official statement, DTEK energy holding said that the company has neither military nor weapons. Similar statements have been released previously prior to Russia hitting some of the specific cities, like in Odesa back in spring.

As of June 27, about 768 settlements, a total of about 591 000 consumers, remain without electricity in Ukraine due to the damage caused by hostilities. In particular, the Donetsk region – about 348 thousand, Luhansk – more than 128.2 thousand, Kharkiv – about 32.2 thousand, Mykolaiv – 30.2 thousand consumers. Also, about 182.5 thousand consumers remain cut off from gas supply.

War crimes prosecution

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest person and owner of DTEK is suing Russia at the European Court of Human Rights, claiming President Vladimir Putin’s regime violated his property rights in its attack on his home country. In his lawsuit, he cites the destruction of infrastructure and the bombardment of the Azovstal steel complex in the besieged city of Mariupol, according to the statement

Digital security

Russian hacking group Killnet took responsibility Monday for a days-long DDoS attack on Lithuanian’s public services, asserting the hit was a direct response to the blockade of goods imposed by Vilnius to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad. The Deputy Minister of Defense of Lithuania stated that the main targets were state institutions, transport institutions, and media websites.

Culture

The Russian occupiers destroyed more than 60 institutions and cultural monuments in the Luhansk region, 14 of which were completely destroyed, says Governor of Luhansk region. According to him, before the Russian invasion, there were a total of 643 cultural institutions in the Luhansk region. Now the vast majority of them (582) are located in the territories temporarily occupied by the Russians.

Podcast recommendation

Listen to a podcast episode ‘Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine?’ UkraineWorld.org, a multimedia project about Ukraine. Christopher Atwood, a researcher at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University, and a contributor and advisor to a report on Russia’s breaches of the genocide convention in Ukraine, recenently published by the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.

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