Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the Shangri-la Dialogue, Asia’s largest security conference, Singapore, June 2, 2024 (Edgar Su/Reuters)


Sunday’s Coverage: Russia Casualties “Likely Reached 500,000”


Map: Institute for the Study of War


UPDATE 1457 GMT:

Poland’s authorities have arrested 18 people on charges of pursuing hostile actions for Russia and Belarus.

One suspect is accused of involvement in a plan to assassinate Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Ten of those arrested since December were directly involved in planning acts of sabotage across Poland, said Interior Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Siemoniak said that the sabotage was part of a wider plan including cyber-attacks, direction of migrants in Belarus to cross the border into Poland, and threats to Poland’s security.

“We have no doubt that on the bidding of a foreign country, Russia, there are some people active who are ready to threaten the life, health, and property of the Polish citizens,” he said.


UPDATE 1341 GMT:

Two civilians, including a 12-year-old boy, have been killed by Russian attacks on the Donetsk region eastern Ukraine.

Another person was wounded in the village of Mykhaylivka, int two aerial attacks 30 minutes apart that damaged several homes.


UPDATE 1049 GMT:

Ukraine will import a record level of electricity from European countries after the latest wave of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.

The Energy Ministry said imports are expected to rise to 27,178 megawatt hours.

Ukrainians in all but three regions suffered outages following Saturday’s Russian barrage with 53 missiles and 47 Iran-type drones. At least 19 people were injured in the assault.


UPDATE 0833 GMT:

One person has been killed and two injured by Russian attacks on Slobozhana in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

The Russians carried out at least five strikes, damaging a recreation center.


UPDATE 0806 GMT:

During his visit to Beijing two weeks ago, Vladimir Putin was unable to reach agreement with China’s leader Xi Jinping on construction of the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, say “sources familiar with the matter”.

The stalemate is largely because of China’s demand to buy gas from Russia at heavily subsidized domestic Russian prices. Moscow says this is “unreasonable”.

Beijing was also forthright that it wants to buy only a small part of the 50 billion cubic meters per year that Moscow wants to supply through the pipeline.

A major Russian bank has excluded Power of Siberia 2 pipeline from the baseline forecast for Russia State energy firm Gazprom. The expected profit of the export monopoly has been reduced by almost 15% in 2029, when the pipeline was supposed to be launched.

Russia already supplies gas to China at significant discounts. The Russian Economic Development Ministry forecasts a 28% gap between the price for China and that for Europe and Turkey until 2027.

The Power of Siberia 2 pipeline is planned to run 3,550 km (2,206 miles), including 950 km through Mongolia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning deflected when asked if the project has been paused: “The search for mutually beneficial common points, deepened integration of interests, achievement of mutual success is a consensus that has been reached by heads of the two countries. We are ready to cooperate with Russia for implementation of this important consensus.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was also evasive: “It’s totally normal for each side to defend their own interests….We have no doubt all the necessary agreements will be made. As far as aspects of ongoing commercial negotiations go, they are, of course, not public.”


UPDATE 0749 GMT:

A New York Times investigation has published details on the deportation of 46 Ukrainian children from a foster home into the Russian-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Through photos, social media posts, and official government documents, the Times confirms the role of Russian government officials in the forced transfers. Occupation officials continue to withhold the children from parents and relatives, seeking to strip them children of Ukrainian identity.

A Russian federal adoption site listed 22 of the children for adoption in Russia, placing at least two with Russian families.

Legal experts say the deportations and placements with Russian families are violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and may amount to war crimes.


UPDATE 0703 GMT:

Mourners at a funeral in Kyiv on Sunday for journalist and volunteer combat medic Iryna Tsybukh, killed in action last week in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

Photo: Roman Pilipey

Almost 1,000 people gathered for 25-year-old Tsybukh, known as Cheka. was a 25-year-old paramedic. Last year, on the frontline in the Donetsk region, she wrote a farewell letter: “I am not sorry to die, because I am finally living the life I would like.”


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is pressing for maximum support for the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland on June 15-16.

Addressing the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, Zelenskiy said 108 countries have accepted invitations to the summit. The gathering will consider the Ukraine Peace Formula, first tabled by the President in November 2022, to end the Russian invasion with Moscow’s withdrawal; ensure Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity; free POWs and return deportees; and establish food, energy, and nuclear security.

Zelenskiy summarized:

The world has to be resilient, it needs to be strong, it has to pressure Russia. There is no other way to stop Putin – only diplomatic isolation, a strong Ukrainian military and for all the countries of the world to not balance between Ukraine and Russia but to defend international justice and law.

Ukraine is pushing for the US and China to join the attendees. Zelenskiy went further on Sunday, saying that Beijing is supporting the Russian effort to deter participation. He told journalists, “Regrettably, Russia, using Chinese influence on the region, using Chinese diplomats also, does everything to disrupt the peace summit. It is unfortunate that such a big, independent, powerful country as China is an instrument in the hands of Putin.”

The President said Ukrainian officials had unsuccessfully sought meetings with Chinese counterparts at all levels since a phone call between Zelenkiy and China’s leader Xi Jinping in April 2013.

Earlier on Sunday the Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun declared to the dialogue that China had “been promoting peace talks with a responsible attitude”.

We have never provided weapons to either party of the conflict. We have put stricter control on the export of dual use items and have never done anything to fan the flames. We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue.

Zelenskiy in the Philippines

Zelenskiy travelled from Singapore to the Philippines and a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom he thanked for his support and “clear position” on Russia’s 27-month invasion.

He confirmed that Ukraine will open an embassy in Manila this year.