A Swedish ASC 890 surveillance plane


Wednesday’s Coverage: France and Germany Back Strikes on Military Positions Inside Russia


Map: Institute for the Study of War


UPDATE 0719 GMT:

Ukraine’s air defenses downed 7 of 19 missiles and all 32 drones launched by Russia overnight.

The munitions were intercepted over the Khmelnytskyi, Dnipropetrovsk, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Kherson, Kyiv, and Vinnytsia regions.


UPDATE 0704 GMT:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says American-supplied weapons are helping stabilize the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

On a visit to neighboring Moldova, Blinken said:

I think what you’ve seen over the two plus years, as the nature of the battlefield has changed, as the locations, the means that Russia is employing changed, we’ve adapted and adjusted to that….That’s exactly what we’ll do going forward.

On Wednesday, the US Army opened a new artillery factory in Mesquite, Texas, heralding a surge in the production of 155mm artillery.

Ukraine commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrskyi also spoke of a slowdown in Russia’s 20-day cross-border offensive into the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

Syrskyi said the Russians are adding troops near the villages of Strilecha and Lyptsi, as well as the border town of Vovchansk which they have tried to seize since May 10. However, the build-up is not sufficient for a renewed assault.

The commander said the deployment of Ukrainian reserve units, accumulation of ammunition supplies, and degradation of Russian forces has checked Moscow’s offensive.


UPDATE 0652 GMT:

Ukraine has again attacked the Kerch Bridge between southwest Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea.

Russian proxy officials said a car ferry and rail ferry were damaged. Local witnessed reported up to 20 explosions, as the bridge was temporarily closed.

The Kerch Bridge, a flagship project of Vladimir Putin, was opened in 2018 to mark Russia’s seizure of Crimea four years later.

The bridge was seriously damaged in October 2022 by a truck bomb, and struck by sea drones in July 2023.

See also Ukraine War, Day 509: Russia’s Kerch Bridge To Crimea Is Damaged Again


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Sweden has pledged €1.13 billion in military aid, including ASC 890 surveillance aircraft, to Ukraine.

The aircraft gives Ukraine surveillance capability for the first time since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Detecting threats at a distance of hundreds of kilometers, the ASC 890 can send the information via data link to US-made F-16 fighter jets, soon to be received by Ukraine from a coalition of supporting countries.

Sweden’s Defense Minister Pål Jonson said the aircraft can “identify incoming cruise missiles and drones and identify targets both on the ground and at sea”.

The package, Sweden’s largest during Russia’s 27-month invasion of Ukraine, also includes air defense, artillery ammunition, and armored vehicles. Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch said, “It consists of equipment that is at the top of Ukraine’s priority list.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy summarized:

Completing a three-day tour through Europe, Zelenskiy thanked Spain, Belgium, and Portugal for 10-year security pacts. He spoke with UN Secretary-General António Guterres about “his active support” of the first Global Peace Summit, to be held in Switerland on June 15-16, and the 10-point Ukraine Peace Formula.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy said of the Summit, with almost 100 countries accepting invitations: