Site icon War in Ukraine. Daily updates

War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 127 [10.00 am, 30.06.2022 🇦🇪🇨🇿🇯🇵]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: Mykolaiv Regional State Administration

Foreign policy.

The NATO summit concluded in Madrid with a joint statement underlining NATO’s solidarity with Ukraine, and guaranteeing a strengthened package of support: ‘This will accelerate the delivery of non-lethal defense equipment, improve Ukraine’s cyber defenses and resilience, and support modernizing its defense sector in its transition to strengthen long-term interoperability. In the longer term, we will assist Ukraine, and support efforts on its path of post-war reconstruction and reforms’. Also the NATO leaders adopted a new strategic concept of the Alliance, which names Russia the main threat to security. The document reaffirms NATO’s values and purpose, and provides a collective assessment of the security environment. It also drives NATO’s strategic adaptation and guides its future political and military development. Also, NATO agreed on Wednesday to put over 300 000 troops at high readiness from 2023, up from 40 000 previously, a new military line-up designed to better counter Russia, a country the alliance has designated as posing the greatest threat. The deployment of the troops will be allocated between the Central and Eastern European countries. German Chancellor Scholz expressed that it is good that NATO allies will continue to supply Ukraine not just with financial means, humanitarian aid but also with weapons. Crucially, NATO leaders formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance, which marks the start of their integration process.

Canada is expanding its diplomatic presence in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. As the follow-up to the NATO Summit, Canada will convert current Canadian offices in Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Armenia into full-fledged Embassies, as well as strengthen the Embassy of Latvia. ‘This diplomatic expansion will help guide Canada’s response to evolving security threats, enhance political and economic cooperation to support European Allies, and further counter the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and support Armenia in its democratic development,’ the statement reads.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo visited Kyiv and Irpin, meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyi. At the moment, Indonesia is holding the presidency at G20, thus the next Summit will take place in Bali in November this year. During the visit, President Widodo personally invited Ukraine’s President to take part in the G20 summit. Zelenskyi mentioned that ‘Ukraine’s participation will depend on the security situation in the country and on the composition of participants’. The President of Russia preliminarily confirmed his attendance at the November event. As the outcome of the President of Indonesia’s visit, the Agreement was signed between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on the abolition of short-stay visa requirements.

US Intelligence chief says a ‘grinding struggle’ is ahead for Russia in Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin’s military being able to make incremental gains without a significant breakthrough. Bloomberg reports, either Russia has a breakthrough or Ukraine stabilizes its front lines and is able to make small gains in the south of the country. Nevertheless, Putin is not losing the opportunity to take most of Ukraine and to achieve the ‘neutralization’ of the country by preventing it from edging toward membership in the NATO alliance.

Ukraine and the European Union signed an agreement on road freight transport. The agreement eliminates the need for Ukrainian carriers to obtain appropriate permits for bilateral and transit traffic to EU countries and allows avoiding cessation of the export of Ukrainian products through motor vehicle checkpoints. The decision will also contribute to facilitation of the grain export from Ukraine via land routes. 

Belgium will stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens as of July 1. Belgian visa centers in the Russian Federation will only accept applications for student visas, work visas, and family reunification visas.

Switzerland’s Federal Council started implementing the EU’s sixth package of sanctions on June 29. The sanctions include an embargo on crude oil and certain oil products from Russia as well as prohibition of accounting, public relations and business consultancy to the Russian government or to legal persons and entities established in Russia. As a result, Switzerland has now implemented most of the new EU measures against Russia. This excludes the EU bans concerning the award of public contracts to Russian nationals and organizations or entities established in Russia.

Syria recognized the ‘independence’ of the Russian formations of the ‘LPR’ and ‘DPR’. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that diplomatic relations with the L/DPR will soon be established. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that they had already familiarized themselves with this information and would respond to Syria’s statements in the near future.

Cities under attack.

The Russian military destroyed the Severodonetsk Thermal Power Plant. A thermal power station at Severodonetsk is nearly completely destroyed due to active shelling in the Luhansk region. Russian forces targeted an agricultural enterprise and destroyed a warehouse with 40 tons of grain in Zelenodolsk, Dnipropetrovsk region.

Cities under occupation.

Russian occupants and collaborators took control over JSC ‘Khersonoblenergo’, a company responsible for the supply and distribution of electricity in the Kherson region. On June 27, 2022, representatives of the so-called ‘Kherson Military-Civil Administration’, with the support of the FSB and the participation of the head of the Air and Cable Electric Network Service of JSC “Khersonoblenergo” seized some of the objects belonging to JSC “Khersonoblenergo”. 

In Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia region, Russian authorities want to disconnect Ukrainian mobile operators and Internet providers, as well as halt the work of the Ukrainian banking system, says the Mayor of Energodar.

Human rights.

Ukraine returned 144 prisoners of war from captivity, 95 of them were defenders of Azovstal. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, most of those released are injured, badly wounded, suffering from gunshot and shrapnel wounds, blast traumas, burns, fractured bones and amputated limbs. Ukrainian authorities call it the largest prisoner exchange since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in February. Overall around 2500 soldiers from Azovstal were taken into captivity.

The European Court of Human Rights accepted Ukraine’s complaint against Russia. On 23 June 2022 the European Court of Human Rights received a completed application form in the case and now the President of the Court has assigned the case to the Fourth Section and given notice of the application to the respondent State. Kyiv accuses Moscow of military aggression, attacks on civilians, and other human rights violations. In total, the European Court of Human Rights is now considering five Ukrainian complaints against the Russian Federation and 8500 individual lawsuits related to the war, including also to the events in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and the Sea of Azov.

Energy security.

The IAEA has again lost remote communication with its monitoring systems installed at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, besieged by Russian forces. Meanwhile, Russian invaders at the plant are planning to drain the cooling pools while searching for fictitious weapons belonging to workers, which could create a nuclear danger, reports Energoatom. The invaders, who are at the ZNPP, are searching for grounds to accuse the Ukrainian nuclear power plant workers of storing weapons within the territory of the plant 

Culture.

Ministers of Culture of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary met in Lviv, with Latvian minister joining online, following the invitation of Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. The  Ministers discussed cooperation between the countries in the field of culture policies, including further reconstruction and preservation as well as signed the joint declaration. The common goals of the countries-signatories of the declaration are: protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of Ukraine as a part of the cultural heritage of mankind; protection of the cultural and media field from propaganda and neocolonial narratives; establishing of a common position in the international arena aimed at counteracting Russian aggression against Ukraine.

On June 22, 2022, the Russian official news outlet ‘Rossiyskaya Gazeta’ published an interview with Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In a series of outrageous statements, he has appeared as an outspoken supporter of the unjustified Russian war against Ukraine, resulting in tens of thousands of victims. Using a deliberately militaristic lexicon, Piotrovsky treats culture as a weapon. The Ukrainian Institute released a statement that calls on all partner institutions to immediately suspend any cooperation with cultural entities directly or indirectly affiliated with the Russian state.

Sport.

Russian troops have already damaged or destroyed 100 sports facilities in Ukraine. The amount of damage reached approximately 130-140 million dollars, as announced by the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vadym Hutzayt. This includes 16 sports facilities that were completely or partially destroyed, 84 have damage of varying degrees. Most of the facilities (44) were destroyed in Donbas, which the Russian occupation forces came to ‘liberate’. Prior to the outbreak of the war, the Ukrainian government was rolling out a state programme which envisaged among all reconstruction and building of the new sport facilities across Ukraine. 

Recent polls.

Ukrainians keep a high level of trust in the Army  (97%) and the President (84%), show the data of the recent survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with funding from the Wall Street Journal. The respondents consider the following issues as the major security threats – Russian invasion in Ukraine (97%), Corruption among Ukraine’s high officials and the wealthy (85%) and poor state of the economy (78%). 66% of the respondents think Ukraine succeeds in driving Russia out of Ukrainian territory that Russia occupied after February 24, while 53%  consider Ukraine is very likely to succeed in driving Russia out of all Ukrainian territory that Russia occupies, including the whole of Donbass and Crimea.

Reading corner. 

Statistics.

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