Ukrainian crew members of an infantry fighting vehicle in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, May 29, 2023 (Yevhenii Zavhorodnii/Global Images Ukraine/Getty)
Map: Institute for Study of War
UPDATE 1037 GMT:
Russian activists of the Anti-War Human Rights Coalition, citing volunteers, say 1,842 residents on the left bank of the flooded Dnipro River in southern Ukraine are being prevented from leaving by Russian occupiers.
Among those who are blocked are 338 urgent cases around Olekshy, the heaviest-hit of the Russian areas in the Kherson region; 148 children; and 243 elderly people.
The Coalition has posted a letter calling for diplomatic pressure to be put on Moscow to allow humanitarian relief. It notes that the Ukrainian Government has appealed to the UN and the Red Cross, but has not had a response.
UPDATE 0946 GMT:
UK military intelligence assesses that “significant” Ukrainian operations have “likely made good progress” and “penetrated the first line of Russian defences” in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The analysts add that, in some areas, “Ukrainian progress has been slower”. They assess that Russia’s defense has been “mixed”, with some units “likely conducting credible maneuver defence operations while others have pulled back in some disorder…as they withdraw through their own minefields”.
UPDATE 0857 GMT:
The feud between Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries and the Russian military continues to escalate.
In an online video, Lt. Col. Roman Venevitin accused Wagner of stoking “anarchy”, saying they had kidnapped and tortured the troops of his 72nd Brigade during fighting near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
Last week Wagner posted a cliop of Venevitin, claiming it had seized the commander for firing on a mercenary convoy, for being drunk on duty, and for abandoning his position near the frontline city.
Venevitin responded by claiming that Wagner was stealing arms, forcing mobilized soldiers to sign contracts with it, and attempting to extort weapons from the Russian Defence Ministry in exchange for releasing kidnapped troops.
UPDATE 0537 GMT:
The Netherlands Supreme Court has ruled that the “Scythian Gold” collection from Crimea must be given to Ukraine.
The priceless trove was loaned to the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam soon before Russia seized Crimea in 2014.
The Supreme Court ruled, “The Allard Pierson Museum must hand over the art treasures to the State of Ukraine and not to the Crimean museums.”
The judges said Ukraine had a “legitimate interest in protecting its cultural heritage”.
UPDATE 0458 GMT:
The toll in Ukrainian-controlled areas from flooding in southern Ukraine, following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, has risen to five dead and 13 wounded.
Four of the dead are in the Kherson region, where 48 settlements — 34 in Ukrainian-controlled territory and 14 in the Russian-occupied area — have been flooded.
The other victim is in neighboring Mykolaiv and its 23 affected settlements.
Russian shelling during the evacuation in Kherson has injured 11 people.
More than 3,200 people have been evacuated in Ukrainian areas.
UPDATE 0453 GMT:
The US announced another $2.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Friday.
Thank you @POTUS for the $2.1 billion security assistance package. We appreciate the strong leadership support of 🇺🇦 in our fight against Russian aggression from the 🇺🇸 people. Amid unprecedented 🇷🇺 terror and ecocide due to the explosion of the Kakhovka HPP, this is more…
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 9, 2023
The Netherlands and Japan both announced packages of humanitarian assistance, in the wake of the demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and widespread flooding in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
UPDATE 0448 GMT:
Three civilians have been killed and 10 wounded in a Russian drone attack on Odesa in southern Ukraine.
Several apartment buildings were damaged.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s forces have advanced further in the east of the country, ahead of an anticipated counter-offensive.
Having liberated up to 6.2 km (3.7 miles) on Monday, the Ukrainians took another 1.2 km (.74 miles) near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. They also made tactical gains near the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia border, and attacked near Kreminna.
Ukrainian troops also continued ground attacks on the southern front in the western Zaporizhia region, with some Russian military observers indicating that the liberators made incremental gains.
The Ukrainian military has said little about the attacks, and officials have denied that it is the start of the counter-offensive. However, President Zelenskiy pointed to the gains on Thursday night.
There is very heavy fighting in Donetsk region. But there are results and I am grateful to those who achieved these results. Well done in Bakhmut. Step by step.
Vladimir Putin acknowledged the Ukrainian attacks on Friday, saying that fighting has been ongoing for five days. He claimed that Ukrainian forces “did not reach their aims in any area of combat” after committing “strategic reserves”.
Putin’s declaration of significant Ukrainian losses echoed the Russian Defense Ministry’s proclamations. However, the Ministry was caught out when it posted a black-and-white gunsight video, purporting to show the destruction of a “Ukrainian tank”. In fact, the clip was a Russian strike on parked farm equipment.
Ukraine Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said losses are expected during combat operations. She noted that Russian outlets are amplifying footage of Ukrainian losses of equipment as part of Moscow’s propaganda at home and abroad.