A man stands atop a Russian tank and flies the Ukrainian flag, defying the Russian occupation of Kherson in southern Ukraine
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1246 GMT:
Prominent Russian activist Alexei Navalny has been transferred out of his prison colony to an unknown location, according to his chief of staff.
“Where Alexei is now, and which colony he is being taken to, we don’t know,” Leonid Volkov said in a statement on Telegram.
Navalny survived poisoning with Novichok nerve agent in 2020 but was imprisoned for 2 1/2 years for “parole violations” in February 2021 after he returning from treatment in Germany following the assassination attempt.
On March 24, Navalny was sentenced to a further 9 years in prison for fraud and contempt of court. He was sent to a maximum-security prison, limiting his visits and correspondence.
He said two weeks ago that he has been charged with creating an extremist organisation and inciting hatred towards the authorities, each charge carrying a maximum prison term of 15 more years.
Navalny’s political network has been banned as an “extremist” organisation, and senior aides and organizers have been imprisoned or forced into exile.
UPDATE 1022 GMT:
Russian troops have abducted three Ukrainians in the occupied area of the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine, officials say.
One person was taken from Enerhodar, the company town of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and the other two were seized in the Melitopol district.
Dozens of plant employees and pro-Ukrainian activists have been kidnapped since Russian forces occupied more than half the region.
UPDATE 1018 GMT:
Russian shelling has killed one woman and wounded her three month-old child in the eastern Kharkiv region, says Governor Oleh Synehubov.
Four more people were wounded throughout the region as shelling damaged houses and apartment buildings and started fires.
UPDATE 0639 GMT:
In Russia’s latest crackdown on independent media and information, a Moscow court has fined the Wikimedia Foundation 5 million roubles ($88,000) for Wikipedia articles about Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Wikipedia refused to remove Russian-language entries such as “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, “War Crimes during the Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, and “Massacre in Bucha”.
Stephen LaPorte, Wikimedia Foundation’s Associate General Counsel said, “The [Russian] government is targeting information that is vital to people’s lives in a time of crisis. We urge the court to reconsider in favour of everyone’s rights to knowledge access and free expression.”
The Moscow court declared that “disinformation” on Wikipedia posed a risk to public order in Russia.
UPDATE 0626 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is too concerned about the effect of support for Ukraine on Berlin’s links with Moscow.
“We need from Chancellor Scholz the certainty that Germany supports Ukraine,” he told German public broadcaster ZDF. “He and his government must decide: there can’t be a trade-off between Ukraine and relations with Russia.”
Reports this week have said Scholz, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Italy’s Mario Draghi may visit Zelenskiy on Thursday, their first trip to Kyiv since the Russian invasion.
At the same time, Der Spiegel wrote that Germany has blocked Spain’s delivery of 40 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
In contrast, Zelenskiy thanks Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte after a Monday conversation:
Held talks with 🇳🇱 Prime Minister @MinPres. Informed about the current situation on the front; thanked for the defense assistance provided to 🇺🇦 by the Netherlands in countering Russian aggression. Discussed Ukraine's European integration path. We count on 🇳🇱 support!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 13, 2022
Zelenskiy’s advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Tuesday that for military parity with Russia — and thus the prospect of defeating the invasion — Kyiv needs 500 tanks, 1,000 howitzers from NATO memberes.
He also asked for 200-300 multiple rocket launchers, 2,000 armored vehicles, and 1,000 drones.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: In a defiant review of Ukraine’s resistance of the Russian invasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken of the “great path we have covered” in “dealing with absolute evil”.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy pledged, “We will rebuild everything that was destroyed by the occupiers.”
I ask everyone who has such an opportunity to communicate with people in the occupied south, in Donbas, in the Kharkiv region. Tell them about Ukraine. Tell them the truth. Say that there will be liberation. Say it to Kyrylivka, Henichesk, Berdyansk, Manhush. Say it to Horlivka, Donetsk, Luhansk. Say it to everyone in the Kharkiv region who is still forced to see the Russian flag on our Ukrainian land. Tell them that the Ukrainian army will definitely come.
Of course, we will liberate our Crimea as well. The flag of Ukraine will fly again over Yalta and Sudak, over Dzhankoi and Yevpatoriya. And let every Russian official who has seized precious land in Crimea remember: this is not the land where they will have peace.
“One of the Most Brutal Battles in Europe and for Europe”
The President began by noting the defeat of the initial phases of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, culminating in Russian withdrawal from northern Ukraine: “The enemy was driven out of the Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions. A large part of the Kharkiv region was liberated. In total, more than a thousand settlements have been liberated.”
He said that, despite the loss of the port city of Mariupol, “the invasion of the occupiers in the south of Ukraine was stopped”. Then he turned to Russia’s offensive in the east, hoping to seize all of the Donbas region.
In the battles in Donbas – and they will surely go down in military history as one of the most brutal battles in Europe and for Europe – the Ukrainian army and our intelligence tactically still beat the Russian military. And this is despite the significant advantage of the Russians in the amount of equipment, and especially – artillery systems.
The price of this battle for us is very high. It’s just scary. And we draw the attention of our partners on a daily basis to the fact that only a sufficient number of modern artillery for Ukraine will ensure our advantage and finally the end of Russian torture of the Ukrainian Donbas.
Trying to surround Sievierodonetsk — one of the remaining two cities held by Ukraine in the Luhansk oblast — the Russian attackers destroyed the third and last bridge from Lysychansk across the Siverskyi Donets River on Monday.
But Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians had not “completely captured” Sievierodonetsk and “a part of the city” was under Ukrainian control despite a relentless bombardment “destroying quarter after quarter”.
Roman Vlasenko, head of the Sievierodonetsk district administration, told local TV, “Our boys are holding on but the conditions are tough.”
About 10,000 of the city’s pre-invasion population of 100,000 remain in the city, with no chance of evacuation.
Haidai said Ukrainian officials are seeking the removal of about 500 sheltering civilians from the besieged and bombarded Azot industrial area: “We are trying to agree, with the help of [Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister] Irina Vereshchuk, to organise a corridor. So far it has been unsuccessful.”
He said another 70 people had been evacuated from and near Lysychansk: “The shelling is so powerful that people can no longer stand in the shelters. But we cannot lose as long as it is possible to save at least one life – we will save.”