Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Polina Stafiyenko
Cities under attack.
After days of intense battles, Ukrainian forces withdrew from Lysychansk, Luhansk region. Russia immediately claimed control of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region after capturing the final Ukrainian holdout of Lysychansk in heavy fighting. The city was the last remaining major population center in the Ukrainian-controlled Luhansk region. Control of this region, a key war aim for Russia, would come after weeks of slow advances and enable shifting the battlefield focus to the neighboring Donetsk region, where Ukraine still controls substantial territory. Russia’s focus will now almost certainly switch to capturing the Donetsk region, a large portion of which remains under the control of Ukrainian forces, says the UK Ministry of Defense. In Severodonetsk, Chechen units, commonly referred to as ‘Kadyrovites’, opened fire on a Severodonetsk mosque where people were drawing water from a well, says Timur Beridze, the imam of the local Islamic community, head of the Bismillah Islamic cultural center, Ukrinform reports. 20 civilians from neighboring households were sheltering in the mosque and all of them died. The Russian military units waited for the journalists to arrive in order to shift the responsibility for the assault to the Ukrainian army.
In the Donetsk region, within a day Russian forces damaged 82 objects of infrastructure, including targeting residential houses in Avdiivka, Bakhmut, Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, among others. In a day, 9 people died in the region, including a child; 25 wounded, one of them a child.
Over the weekend, on Saturday morning, Russian troops fired 12 missiles at Mykolaiv. There are no casualties or injuries, but there is recorded destruction of the infrastructure facilities on the territory of the port, as well as one of Mykolaiv’s industrial facilities. Also Kharkiv was under the shelling – the missiles hit one of the critical infrastructure facilities in the Kyiv region of Kharkiv.Russian also attacked private households in the Novobavarsky district. Windows were shattered from the impact at the house and a nearby school. On Sunday, three Ukrainians were killed and one was injured as a result of the Russian shelling of the two communities in the Kharkiv region. Also on Sunday evening, the Russians shelled with mortars and artillery the territory and premises of the psychoneurological boarding school in Sumy region. A fire broke out in the institution’s dining room, the administration building and the dormitory were destroyed. At least three people were injured and hospitalized
Cities under the occupation.
Ukraine Armed Forces liberated more than a thousand of the municipalities, says President Zelenskyy. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has been possible to liberate 1 027 cities and towns. However, another 2 610 are still under Russian occupation. Most of these settlements need reconstruction, and hundreds of them were completely destroyed by the Russian army, so they must be rebuilt, Zelenskyy added.
Nevertheless, 8 heads of the communities remain in captivity held by Russian authorities. These are the heads of Kherson, Dniprorudne, Hola Prystan, as well as villages of Vilkhivka, Velyki Kopani, Hornostaivka, Khrestivka, and Novotroitske. Three of them have been missing since March. The Association of the Ukrainian cities called the international community to assist with the release of the local officials.
In Mariupol, the Russian army requires all local teachers to undergo mandatory certification in Russia, says advisor to Mariupol City Mayor, Petro Andriushchenko. The so-called training aims to explain the ‘right’ course history, namely from the Russian point of view, as well as eradication of the pro-Ukrainian views. At the same time, there is an unofficial ban for teachers to relocate from the city in order to avoid losing the human resources.
Russian-backed officials have said they will hold a referendum on Kherson Oblast joining the Russian Federation by autumn 2022, says the UK Ministry of Defense. For the last several months, Russia has been searching for ways for holding staged voting in order to legitimize its control of the region. At the same time, large-scale armed and peaceful resistance continues in the occupied territories.
Ukraine Reform Conference is about to kick off in Lugano, Switzerland on July 4th. Leaders from dozens of countries and international organizations will meet to discuss a roadmap for Ukraine’s reconstruction as Russia’s war efforts continue to rage. Reconstruction plan of Ukraine will be presented and discussed in Lugano this week. The plan, around 2000 pages, will be introduced at a July 4-5 conference and will map out a broad list of infrastructure and security projects, investments in climate and the digital economy as well as diversification of energy resources, reports Bloomberg. Previously, the EU officials will contribute the bulk of overall financial assistance, a volume that could surpass 500 billion euros ($523 billion). However, as mentioned before, for the EU, any aid must also be linked to reforms. Ukraine’s EU candidacy status came with a road map to fight corruption, break control of oligarchs over the economy, and make rules to select judges.
The French region of Île-de-France will support the restoration of Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, says President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France Valérie Pécresse. The Île-de-France region will also create a concept and project for the restoration of Borodianka in the Kyiv region. Borodianka will become an eco-town with ‘systems running on modern energy-saving technologies’.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited the Ukraine, including Kyiv, Bucha, Hostomel, and Irpin.The head of the Australian government announced that his country will increase military-technical assistance to Ukraine and will provide 14 more APCs and 20 Bushmaster armored vehicles, additional military equipment, drones and other military equipment as requested by our country. Prime Minister Albanese also spoke about the readiness to join international investigations of Russia’s crimes against Ukraine and to impose additional financial sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian officials and oligarchs. ‘We will ban the import of Russian gold to reduce Russia’s ability to finance this war.’
U.S. President Joe Biden sent letters to the U.S. Congress on the acceptance of Sweden and Finland into NATO. This is reported on the website of the White House. Meanwhile, Finland proposes to place a NATO base on the border with Russia – Yle. This proposal was made by the mayor of the Finnish city of Lappeenranta. The distance from it to Russian Vyborg is less than 100 km.
Self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko accused Ukraine of launching missiles at the territory of Belarus and ordered his military to ‘target’ the decision-making centers of Minsk’s opponents. According to his evidence, Belarus at some point shot down three missiles launched from Ukraine, claiming the West is trying to drag his country into the war. However, not so much evidence could have been presented. In his Sunday address, Lukashenko said that he has determined the participation of the army of Belarus in the war against Ukraine a long time ago, the media outlet Belta reports. According to him, Belarus and Russia ‘actually have a sole force grouping’.
More than 10 000 Mariupol residents are in ‘prisons’ in the so-called DPR, says Mariupol City Council. There are at least four places of detention of people abducted by the invaders known to the city council – two in Olenivka and one in the Donetsk detention center and Makiivka. ‘10 people are locked in cramped cells 2 by 3 meter each. Mariupol residents hardly receive water or food. They are not taken outside. They have no access to normal medical care and are subjected to various forms of torture – from psychological to physical’.
Turkish customs authorities have detained a Russian cargo ship carrying grain which Ukraine says is stolen, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey said on Sunday. Last week, Ukraine’s Ambassador asked Turkey to detain the Russian-flagged Zhibek Zholy cargo ship, carrying stolen Ukrainian grain from the occupied Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region. The ship is currently standing at the entrance to the port, it has been detained by the customs authorities of Turkey, while the investigation is underway.
Ukrainian border guards found a hard drive with data on Russian occupiers in the Chernihiv region. The obtained drive contains more than one hundred gigabytes of data about the anti-aircraft artillery unit of the Russian Federation from the Moscow region: the staff list with biographies of the Russian military, technical documentation of weapons and military equipment. Now Ukrainian law enforcement officers have photographs, characteristics and copies of the passports of the occupiers.
Ukraine calls to ban the athletes of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus from competing even under neutral flags. According to the Minister of Youth and Sport of Ukraine Vadym Huttsait, Russia has already killed more than 80 of our athletes and coaches and destroyed more than 100 sports infrastructure facilities. Meanwhile , 33 countries demand to exclude Russia from international sports federations. ‘We demand the exclusion of representatives of Russia and Belarus from the governing bodies of international federations, as well as the suspension of television broadcasting of international sports events in the territories of Russia and Belarus,’ said the Minister of Sports and Tourism of Poland Kamil Bortnichuk. Among the signatories are 25 EU countries, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway, and others.
- Ukraine Has Exposed Russia as a Not-So-Great Power – The Atlantic – ‘What this war might be showing us, however, is that a military is only as strong as the society, economy, and political structure that assembled it. In this case, Russia was nowhere near a great power, but in fact a deeply flawed, in many ways weakening, state’.
- Germans have been involved in the war, chiefly on the wrong side by Timothy Snyder | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (faz.net) – ‘Vladimir Putin has raised Hitlerian themes as justification for his war of destruction: the Ukrainians have no historical consciousness, no nationality of their own, no elite. Like Hitler, and for that matter like Stalin, he seeks to use Ukrainian foodstuffs as a weapon. But a reader of Habermas were not asked to consider these resemblances, nor to inquire whether as Germans they might bear responsibility towards Ukraine: a country where Germans killed millions of people, not so very long ago. […] No sensible national discourse can take place within an exclusively national container. In particular, every country with a colonial history must attend to the voices of people who have been colonized. As a former colonial power in Ukraine, and as the economic partner of the current colonial power in Ukraine, Germans were doubly obliged to listen to Ukrainians, ideally before the war, and at the very latest in the days and weeks after the war broke out. This simply did not take place.’
- Serhii Plokhy: Putin’s imperialist narrative ‘is being crushed’ | Financial Times (ft.com)
- Ukraine women serving in record numbers as medics and machine gunners – The Washington Post
- Since February 24, Ukraine’s State Emegency Services eliminated 152 328 explosive objects, including 1 997 aerial bombs. According to the report, the territory with an area of 63 thousand 361 hectares was surveyed.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., July 4, 2022: personnel – around 36 200, tanks ‒ 1589, APV ‒ 3754, artillery systems – 804, MLRS – 246, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 105, fixed-wing aircraft – 217, helicopters – 187, operational-tactical level UAV – 658, cruise missiles – 144, boats and light speed boats – 15, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2629, special equipment – 65.
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