Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, European Council President Charles Michel (L), and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) hold up the EU-Ukraine security agreement, Brussels, Belgium, June 27, 2024


Thursday’s Coverage: EU to Sign Security Pact With Kyiv


Map: Institute for the Study of War


UPDATE 1526 GMT:

Ukraine’s National Guard has claimed the downing of another Russian Su-25 fighter jet in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

The Guard said the warplane was on a combat sortie when it was hit by a “well-aimed shot” from a portable anti-aircraft missile system. Video showed the downing accompanied by the triumphant shouts of Ukrainian troops.

The Guard post did not give the time or exact location of the shootdown.

In May, Ukraine downed six Su-25s in a week as the warplanes gave close support to a Russian ground offensive.


UPDATE 1517 GMT:

Finland has announced a €159 million ($170 million) package of military aid to Ukraine.

The 24th Finnish package brings the aid total to €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion). Finland has also provided €239 million ($255 million) in humanitarian and financial support as of the end of April 2024.

“Finland is committed to supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s unjustified attack. This is not only about Ukraine, but ultimately about the right of all free peoples to exist,” Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen said.


UPDATE 0619 GMT:

An external radiation monitoring station at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine has been destroyed by shelling and fires, says the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Plant personnel told IAEA experts that the plant lost connection to the radiation monitoring station, 16 km (10 miles) southwest of the main facility, on Monday. The damage limits the plant’s external capacity to detect radiation release in an emergency.

The IAEA did not attribute responsibility for the shelling and fires. Its inspectors were unable to visit the off-site monitoring station to confirm the reported damage because of fighting in the area.

The Zaporizhzhia complex, the largest nuclear power station in Europe, was seized by the Russians in the opening days of Vladimir Putin’s invasion in March 2022.

IAEA head Rafael Grossi said, “The functioning of off-site radiation monitoring equipment is an essential part of nuclear safety around the world.”


UPDATE 0616 GMT:

Two civilians — a woman and a man, both aged 40 — were killed and two others injured by Russian rockets on the town of Kurakhove in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

Kurakhove is west of Russian-occupied Donetsk city, near the frontline.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed “Europe’s historic choice” as the European Union and Ukraine signed a security pact on Thursday.

The agreement sets out the EU’s commitment to assist in nine areas of security and defense policy, including arms deliveries, military training, defense industry cooperation, and demining.

It follows similar 10-year bilateral pacts that Ukraine has reached with 16 countries, including 13 in Europe, the US, Canada, and Japan.

The EU’s commitments will remain in effect “as Ukraine pursues its European path” and will be reviewed in 10 years at the latest.

Addressing the EU heads of state, Zelenskiy linked the pact to the discussions for the accession of Ukraine and Moldova and the EU, which opened on Tuesday.

The world has seen Europe’s effectiveness. This is Europe’s historic choice.

I’m convinced that every European nation that shares common European values should be part of the European family. This is true for Ukraine, this is true for Moldova, really for the peoples of the Balkans….I’m sure Georgia’s moment will come. And I’m sure that there will be decisions regarding Belarus, because it’s also a European nation that should be in a united Europe in the future.

We hope that the next steps will not be delayed….Ukraine is ready to go through all the necessary steps.

Returning to Russia’s 28-month invasion, Zelenskiy said the pressure on Moscow is “not enough”. Ukraine’s supporters need to fulfil promises about funding and logistics “as soon as possible”, and sanctions against the Russians should be strengthened.

Zelenskiy reiterated the need to protect Ukraine’s cities from Russian guided bombs: “Our long-range strikes and modern air defence are the key to stopping this terror.”