Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tours the southern city of Mykolaiv, June 18, 2022
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1421 GMT:
Germany will bring back coal-powered plants as it moves away from Russian gas.
“To reduce gas consumption, less gas must be used to generate electricity. Coal-fired power plants will have to be used more instead,” the Economy Ministry said.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the step “painful, but it is a sheer necessity”.
Russia’s Gazprom announced last week that it is cutting the gas supply to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 40%.
Germany has reduced its share of natural gas supplied by Russia from 55% to 35% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with increased deliveries from countries like Norway and the Netherlands.
Germany’s ruling coalition of Social Democrats, Greens, and the Free Democratic Party had vowed to end coal usage by 2030.
UPDATE 1057 GMT:
The Ukraine military has updated its count of Russian losses, including 33,600 troops, thousands of armored vehicles, and almost 400 warplanes and helicopters:
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of June 19, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Fkn6ZFDrwg
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) June 19, 2022
UPDATE 1050 GMT:
The US has transferred 1,400 anti-aircraft Stinger systems and 6,500 Javelin anti-armor systems to Ukraine, says Kira Rudik, Ukrainian MP and the leader of the Golos political party.
But fellow MP Ivanna Klympush-Tsintzadze told the UK’s Sky News, “The situation is not getting easier on us and that’s why it’s extremely important that there’s a continuous stream of military aid.”
Noting that in some areas, Russia has a 10:1 advantage in weapons, Klympush-Tsintzadze explained, “We are losing some of the territories [in eastern Ukraine] and and they are staying in this particular moment in the hands of occupiers.”
She pointed out Germany. It has “been giving smaller weaponry” — “already a big change in their policy” — “but so far heavy weaponry does not come really from that country. And I think it’s a big mistake of Germany, trying to kind of postpone those decisions.”
UPDATE 0636 GMT:
Trying to surround Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces have “partial success in the village of Metolkine, trying to gain a foothold,” the Ukrainian General Staff said.
However, the Russians were checked near the village of Syrotyne. The Institute for the Study of War assesses:
Russian forces made marginal gains…but have largely stalled along other axes of advance. Russian troops are likely facing mounting losses and troop and equipment degradation that will complicate attempts to renew offensive operations on other critical locations….
Russian forces will likely be able to seize Sievierodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area.
Combat units from both sides…are likely experiencing variable morale. Ukrainian forces have likely suffered desertions in recent weeks; however, Russian morale…remains especially troubled. Cases of whole Russian units refusing orders and armed stand-offs between officers and their troops continue to occur.
UPDATE 0626 GMT:
Two Ukrainian commanders who defended the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine have been transferred to Russia.
A “Russian law enforcement source” said Svyatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of the Azov battalion, and Serhiy Volynsky, commander of the 36th Marine Brigade, were taken from Donetsk in eastern Ukraine “to conduct investigative activities with them”.
Palamar and Volynsky were prominent in the resistance in the Azovstal steel works, which held out for 12 weeks against Russian bombardment, siege, and ground attacks before fighters surrendered in late May.
The official added, “Other officers of various Ukrainian units were also transported to Russia.”
More than 1,000 Azovstal defenders have been held by Russian proxy authorities in eastern Ukraine in “pre-trial detention”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited the frontline in southern Ukraine on Saturday, speaking with troops defending against Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskiy travelled to Mykolaiv, which held out against the Russian offensive as other parts of the south, in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, were occupied by Russian forces in March.
The President presented medals and posed for selfies with the soldiers in an underground shelter: “Our brave men. Each one of them is working flat out. “We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win.”
Zelenskiy inspected the high-rise building of the Mykolaiv regional state administration, destroyed by a Russian missile attack which killed 37 people in late March.
He also presented state awards to border guards in Odesa, at the western end of a coastal corridor along the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
I want to thank you from the people of Ukraine, from our state, for the great work you are doing, for your heroic service. It is important that you are alive. As long as you live, there is a strong Ukrainian wall that protects our country.
The journey was Zelenskiy’s second to the frontlines. He visited Lysychansk in the east and Zaporizhzhia in the south in early June.
Ukraine fighters and partisans are challenging the Russian occupation in the south. Ukrainian forces have retaken territory in the Kherson region, and partisans have carried out operations targeting Russian proxy officials.
On Saturday morning, a car explosion in Kherson city, less than 70 miles from Mykolaiv injured the head of the prisons administration.
Beyond the military front, Zelenskiy spoke with officials about the economic situation in the south, including Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exported through Black Sea ports. He emphasized, “As soon as we can ensure security through international mediation, Ukraine will do everything possible to counter the food crisis that broke out across the world – in Asia, Africa and most countries of the world – due to the Russian war.”
In city hospitals in Mykolaiv and Odesa. the President thanked doctors and nurses, “They are our heroes.”
In his nightly video address to the nation, as he returned to Kyiv, Zelenskiy said, “We will not give away the south to anyone. We will regain everything that’s ours and the sea will be Ukrainian and safe.”