War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 128 [10.00 am, 01.07.2022 🇯🇵🇦🇪🇲🇫]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

‘Act of goodwill’.

The Snake (Zmiinyi) Island is back under Ukraine’s control. Remember the incident when on the very first days of the war a Ukrainian serviceman responded to the enemy warning ‘Russian warship go f*** yourself’? This happened on Snake Island which was attacked by Russian warships and kept under their control for more than 4 months. Though the island is tiny, it carries strategic importance as it allowed Russia to protect arm supply chains, deploy air defense systems as well as electronic warfare and radio intelligence units. ‘An act of goodwill’ that is how the Ministry of Defense of Russia calls their withdrawal of troops from the island after days of attack by Ukrainian Armed Forces.  During the night, the missile and artillery units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces systematically shelled the island, forcing the Russians to hastily evacuate the remnants of the garrison in two speedboats. At the end of the day, Russian servicemen did follow their warship.

Farewell to visa-free travels.

As of today, July 1, Russians entering Ukraine will need a visa. After years of visa-free policy between the countries, Ukraine has introduced the law requiring visas for Russian passport holders. The decision came into power after President Zelenskyi and the Government considered the petition on introduction of visas submitted in wartime. The petition collected the 25 000 signatures required for the President’s consideration. The Ukrainian Embassy and Ukrainian consulates in Russia have not worked since the beginning of the Russian invasion, so for now, it seems, entering Ukraine will not be an easy task for Russians.  

De-oligarchization.

President Zelenskyi signed the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated June 29, 2022 ‘On the approval of the Regulation on the Register of persons who have significant economic and political weight in public life (oligarchs), the procedure for its formation and maintenance’. Therefore, the regulations determine the procedure for the introduction and maintenance of the oligarchs registry.

Cities under attack.

During the night, Russian missiles hit a residential 9-storey building and a sanatorium in a small resort town in the Odesa region. As a result, at least 18 people were killed and another 31 were injured, including 4 children and a pregnant woman, 8 persons were rescued from the rubble, including 3 children. Shelling of the border communities in the Sumy region continues. Yesterday at noon, the Russians shelled the territory of the Bilopilska community with 20 mortar rounds. Regular shelling of the border communities in the Chernihiv region continues. In the Luhansk region, the Russian troops are trying to surround the Ukrainian military, attacking Lysychansk from the south and west. The Russians failed to capture the road to Bakhmut, still the shelling of the city is very dense. In the Donetsk region, 40 objects were damaged within a day. It includes 9 private residential buildings, 4 high-rise buildings, industrial objects and critical infrastructure objects. 4 civilians were killed and 18 were injured.

28 body fragments were found, and the death of 18 people was also confirmed during the demolition of debris on the territory of the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk, which was subjected to rocket fire from the Russian Federation on June 27.

Cities under the occupation.

In the Kherson region, more and more villages of Beryslavskyi and Kakhovsky districts, as well as nearby settlements of the Mykolaiv region, are on the verge of full destruction due to the ongoing battles. There are many villages where every second house is damaged, and some settlements are abandoned completely. In many villages, the fields and roads have been mined, all transport has been stolen, shops and pharmacies are closed, and there is no way to receive pensions.

Growing pressure from the self-proclaimed Russians authorities has been reported by the employees of state and communal institutions. The goal is to force re-registration of enterprises and institutions, in order to ensure the transition to the ‘ruble zone’. At the same time, on July 1, the Russians closed Ukrposhta (Ukrainian Post Office), just like they closed Ukrainian banks earlier. Therefore, many retirees cannot receive Ukrainian pensions. People who decide to stay in the region are forced to start receiving salaries in rubles, regardless of their wishes. In addition, a total offer to receive 10 000 rubles in cash was launched for low-income people and pensioners in exchange for a passport. 

Transnistria.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, a recruiting campaign was launched in the Russian-controlled Transnistria region of Moldova to convince men to sign a contract with the Russian military.

Human rights.

Amnesty International gathered new evidence of Russia’s war crime during the attack on the Drama Theater in Mariupol. The newly-released investigation report titled ‘Children: The Attack on the Donetsk Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol’ presents testimonies from 52 survivors and eyewitnesses, the analysis of satellite images and radar data taken immediately before and immediately after the attack, and verified photo and video material from witnesses’ archives and social media. The investigators are certain that the Russian military targeted the theater, knowing that hundreds of civilians were hiding there.

The Russian invaders do not grant access to the UN humanitarian organizations in Mariupol, says UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani. ‘We continue to try to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of Mariupol. We know there is a great need in the city, particularly for medicines. We have sent a request through the notification system to all parties to allow us unhindered access, but we were not granted access, unfortunately’. Also UN representatives were not able to deliver relief supplies or access Kherson, because of insecurity, impediments imposed on accessing non-Government-controlled areas.

The European Union condemned in its statement the kidnapping of the democratically elected Mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhayev by the invading Russian forces and called for his immediate and unconditional release. ‘Abducting and kidnapping democratically elected Ukrainian officials, journalists, civil society activists and ordinary citizens in Ukrainian territories temporarily under illegal Russian military control or in areas held by Russia-backed armed formations is completely unacceptable. We demand an immediate end to these illegal intimidation tactics and the unconditional release of all detained and abducted Ukrainian civilians’. Also the EU condemned the announced preparations for an illegal fake ‘referendum’ in parts of the Kherson region on joining the Russian Federation, calling it a blatant violation of international law, the Ukrainian constitution and Ukrainian sovereignty by the Kremlin and its proxies.

The invaders use torture to force the employees of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to drain cooling pools, says Energoatom. The employees of the hydraulic workshop at the Zaporizhzhia NPP who are responsible for the maintenance of said pools are forced to come up with a ‘justification’ for draining. In particular, the Russian military severely beat Andrii Honcharuk, a workshop’s diver. The victim was taken to a hospital in Enerhodar with multiple injuries on June 29, 2022.

The European Court of Human Rights has decided to grant interim measures in the cases of Pinner v. Russia and Ukraine and Aslin v. Russia and Ukraine concerning two British nationals who are members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who surrendered to the Russian forces during recent hostilities and have since been sentenced to death in the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (‘the DPR’). In particular, the Court indicated that the Government of the Russian Federation should ensure that the death penalty imposed on the applicants was not carried out; ensure appropriate conditions of their detention; and provide them with any necessary medical assistance and medication. 

Forced migration.

More than 5.5 million displaced persons have returned to Ukraine while the overall number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains high at over 6.2 million, according to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest report. About half of those who had left their homes due to the war since 24 February have now returned, especially to the North of the country and to the capital Kyiv. Within the last months, the frequency of returns has increased by almost 24%.The sixth round of the general population survey conducted between 17 and 23 June reveals that the most pressing needs of both displaced and non-displaced persons include access to health services and education, as well as reconstruction of damaged homes.

Cyber security. 

In the strategic document, NATO member countries agreed to create a new program to quickly respond to cyberattacks. The initiative ‘virtual rapid response cyber capability’ comes after months of Russian cyberattacks in Ukraine as part of the war and amid concerns that Moscow may target the United States and other NATO countries in retaliation for assistance to Ukraine, reports Politico. 

Church.

Lviv City Council became the first to ban a branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – church of the Moscow Patriarchate – that was until last month directly affiliated with Moscow. The unanimous council vote prohibited the activity of the Moscow patriarchate church in the city. Though the move is more of a ‘political’ nature, as rules on religious organizations are made at the national level, nevertheless it indicates the push for the immediate transition. 

Culture.

The Czech Republic wants to organize expert teams to help Ukraine with the conservation and reconstruction of its cultural heritage, Culture Minister Martin Baxa told his counterparts at a meeting in Lviv on Wednesday. The Russian army is already plundering Ukrainian heritage as local authorities reported the seizure of around 2000 artworks from the museum of the city of Mariupol, including valuable Christian icons. Precious relics were also stolen from Melitopol. ‘I was shocked by the presentation by our Ukrainian friends which showed the extent of the damage to the infrastructure. And it shows that the Russians are attacking Ukrainian culture quite consciously and on purpose,’ said the culture minister.

Foreign policy.

The Swedish government approved the fifth military aid package for Ukraine. Therefore, Sweden plans to send additional military support to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, support weapons and demining equipment that it says Kyiv had requested.

The European Committee of the Regions and associations representing European cities and regions on 30 June launched the European Alliance for Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine to help Ukraine’s local and regional authorities rebuild homes, schools, infrastructure and services destroyed by Russia since its invasion on 24 February. It will form part of the ‘Ukraine reconstruction platform’, currently being created by the Commission and by the Ukrainian government, to coordinate EU support. Plans will take further shape on 4-5 July, when Ukraine’s prime minister will present his government’s reconstruction strategy at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland. The incoming Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union plans to hold in October a major conference focused on Ukraine’s reconstruction needs, ahead of the launch of the Ukraine Reconstruction Platform planned for the end of 2022. Speaking at the CoR’s plenary on 29 June, Ivan Bartoš, Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation and Minister of Regional Development, said that the reconstruction of Ukraine would be among the Czech Presidency’s priorities, stating: ‘The stability of Ukraine is crucial for the future.’

Lithuania will continue to implement the conditions of the fourth package of EU sanctions against Russia. This means it would stop the transit of other goods to the Kaliningrad region from July 10, when the restrictions come into force, says Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė. ‘Carriers were informed that from July 10, certain guidelines regarding sanctions will come into force so that they do not load cargo after that date,’ the Minister said.

At the conclusion of the NATO Summit in Madrid, NATO allies vowed to develop capabilities to mobilize more troops along Russia’s border with new command posts across the Baltic nations and other eastern allies once trapped behind the Iron Curtain that are now the most hawkish toward Moscow.

Ukraine cut diplomatic ties with Syria after Damascus recognized the independence of the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People Republics.

The Russian Federation has threatened Bulgaria with breaking diplomatic relations if it does not cancel the decision to expel 70 spy diplomats.

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., July 1, 2022: personnel – around 35i750, tanks ‒ 1577, APV ‒ 3736, artillery systems – 796, MLRS – 246, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 105, fixed-wing aircraft – 217, helicopters – 186, operational-tactical level UAV – 645, cruise missiles – 143, boats and light speed boats – 15, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2610, special equipment – 61. 

Every action counts, no contribution is too small!

The team provides medical aid in the hot spots. Recently, their evacuation car was destroyed, thus the team is fundraising for a new mobile hospital vehicle.

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