Russo-Ukraine War - 02 June 2022 - Day 98
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
Now on the battlefield in Ukraine is a situation that could provide a turning point in the confrontation against the Russian Federation. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelensky at the GLOBSEC International Security Forum in Bratislava, calling on the world community to increase arms supplies. "It is on the battlefield in Ukraine that it is decided whether freedom in Europe will be preserved for all peoples without exception. Right now on the battlefield in Ukraine is a situation that could provide a turning point in the confrontation. Right now, these days, when Russia loses the war against Ukraine, the freedom of Europeans will win for decades to come," the head of state stressed.
Sergei Tsekov, a senator from Crimea, speaking about the fate of the territories liberated as a result of the special operation, suggested that referendums on their accession to Russia could be held before the end of 2022. According to Tsekov, we are talking about the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as the two republics of Donbass. The representative of Crimea in the upper house of the Russian parliament said Catherine II initially called these territories Russian.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russia has taken control of most of Sieverodonetsk. The main road into the Sieverodonetsk pocket likely remains under Ukrainian control but Russia continues to make steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery. This has not been without cost, and Russian forces have sustained losses in the process. Crossing the Siverskyy Donets River - which is a natural barrier to its axes of advance – is vital for Russian forces as they secure Luhansk Oblast and prepare to switch focus to Donetsk Oblast. Potential crossing sites include between Sieverodonetsk and the neighbouring town of Lysychansk; and near recently-captured Lyman. In both locations, the river line likely still remains controlled by Ukrainian forces, who have destroyed existing bridges. It is likely Russia will need at least a short tactical pause to re-set for opposed river crossings and subsequent attacks further into Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian armed forces have prepared defensive positions. To do so risks losing some of the momentum they have built over the last week.
The Institute for the Study of War reported that Russian forces made incremental, grinding, and costly progress in eastern #Ukraine on June 2, continuing operations to capture Severodonetsk and further operations to capture Lysychansk at the expense of other axes of advance. Russian forces were evidently limited by terrain in the Donbas and continues to face challenges crossing the Siverskyi Donets River to complete the encirclement of Severodonetsk-Lysychansk and make further advances westward of Lyman towards Slovyansk via Raihorodok. Russian military leadership continued to experience complications with sufficient force generation & maintaining the morale of mobilized personnel; occupation authorities faced challenges establishing permanent societal control in newly occupied Ukrainian territories.
The Russians stopped trying to enter the cities in columns. Now they started to work normally - in small groups. In order to pincer Slavyansk, the Russians need to enter it from three sides at once. From the northwest - this is the Izyum group. There progress is hard. There is serious opposition by Ukrainian forces. The advance of Russian troops near Izyum was stalled precisely because of Ukrainian maneuverable groups - five people each with Javelins. They just have heaps of these weapons near every hut and every fishing line.
From the east, the troops of the Russian Central Military District, which have already taken Krasny Liman, are moving towards Slavyansk. And from the south, a grouping, which was released after the battle for Mariupol, would go. But it's easy to draw arrows on the map. What does "from the south" really mean? It is first necessary to take Avdiivka - the most powerful fortified area near Donetsk. Behind him is a layered defense along the highway to Slavyansk - these are Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka.
In the Volyn and Polissya areas, the main efforts of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus are focused on strengthening measures to protect the state border. At the same time, forest roads, bypasses and bridges are being mined in the border areas with the Ukrainian state. Ukraine remains threatened by missile and air strikes from the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The Russians did not take active action in the northern direction. There is a movement of artillery and motorized infantry units that were in the areas of recovery.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians continued preparatory measures for the offensive, units replenish lost weapons, military equipment and supplies. In order to reduce the offensive potential of the Ukrainian troops, the Russians used tube and rocket artillery on the positions of the Defense Forces. The Russians did not take any active action in the Kharkiv direction. The main efforts were focused on maintaining the occupied borders and supply routes, deterring the actions of the Defense Forces.
The Russians continued to shell civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Tsyrkuna, Stara Hnylytsia, Peremoha and Staryi Saltiv, and inflicted air strikes near Novy. In the Slavic direction, the Russians focused main efforts on creating conditions for the offensive. They fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of Dovhenke, Virnopillya, Hrushuvakha, Velyka Komyshuvakha and Husarivka. In the Donetsk direction the Russians continue to use mortars, artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers along the entire line of contact.
In the Lyman direction, the Russians fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of Sosnovy, Svyatogorsk, Staryi Karavan and Raigorodok. They carried out assault operations in the areas of the settlements of Studenok, Sosnove and Yarova, and hostilities continue. In this direction, the Russians intensified the work of electronic warfare.
In the Severodonetsk direction, the occupiers continue shelling the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Lisichansk is very convenient for defense, it is on a hill, approaches from all three sides are visible from it, from where the Russians are now advancing. Russian forces continue their siege of Sievierodonetsk, an industrial city in eastern Ukraine, The New York Times reported. “A local official said on Wednesday that Russian forces controlled about 70 percent of the city, where only about 12,000 residents remain out of a prewar population of 100,000 after weeks of intense shelling.” the Times report said. “Ukrainian soldiers there are at risk of being surrounded. With bridges over the Seversky Donets River destroyed or under fire, resupply has become tenuous. Ukrainian officials have been candid about the army’s travails while arguing more rapid deliveries of Western weaponry will resolve them.
Russian assault aircraft struck in the areas of Ustynivka and Borivske. In addition, near Borivsky, the Russians carried out assaults, had no success. In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians conducted offensive and assault operations in the areas of the settlements of Komyshuvakha, Mykolaivka, Vrubivka, Berestove and Belogorovka, fighting continues. In the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhzhya areas, the Russians did not conduct active hostilities, trying to strengthen the group and restore the loss of weapons and military equipment. They inflicted air strikes on Marinka's civilian infrastructure. In addition, shelling was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Renaissance, Dolomitnoye, Toretsk, Novobahmutovka, Avdiyivka, Pisky, Mykilske, Vuhledar and others.
In the South Bug direction, in order to maintain the borders of the defense, the Russian occupiers are destroying the objects of transport infrastructure in the probable directions of the Defense Forces. In the Kryvyi Rih direction, the Russians were forced to defend the unprepared frontiers. They intensified the work of electronic warfare. They inflicted fire damage on civilian infrastructure in the areas of Shiroke, Lepetykha, Shevchenkove, Osokorivka, Partizanske and others.
In the Black Sea and Azov operational zones, Russians naval groups are focused on maintaining a favorable operational regime and blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern Black Sea.
The Russians continues to suffer losses in manpower and equipment. In connection with the large medical and irreversible losses in the military units and subdivisions of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th All-Military Army of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Measures for forced mobilization in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk region continue.
According to the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, most of the foreign mercenaries in Ukraine were destroyed in battle due to their poor training. "Hundreds of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine were destroyed by long-range Russian high-precision weapons shortly after their arrival at the places where they were undergoing additional training and coordination of tactical units. But most of the mercenaries were destroyed in the combat zone due to the low level of training and the lack of real combat experience."
During interrogations, the captives said that the commanders of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard seek to reduce losses among Ukrainian servicemen, therefore they sacrifice foreigners in the first place. Due to heavy losses, the mercenaries seek to leave Ukraine, but Kyiv prevents them.
"Due to the suppression of losses by the Kyiv regime and the lack of remains, relatives of mercenaries in their countries of residence simply do not know about their death. Faced with a real combat situation and heavy losses among the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard and foreigners, a significant number of mercenaries prefer to leave the territory of Ukraine as soon as possible, but the Kyiv regime in every possible way prevents them from going abroad," Konashenkov said.
Since the beginning of May, the flow of foreign mercenaries to Ukraine to participate in hostilities against the Russian Armed Forces has virtually dried up, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing. “According to the data at our disposal, today the total number of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine has almost halved from 6.6 to 3.5 thousand people. At the same time, the number of mercenaries in the combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard in Donbass has decreased by orders of magnitude, ”the official Telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense said.
“Hundreds of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine were destroyed by long-range Russian high-precision weapons shortly after their arrival at the places where they were undergoing additional training and coordination of tactical units." He also said that Ukraine's attempts to guarantee legal protection to foreigners, including them in the list of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the National Guard, or by issuing Ukrainian passports to them, will not help mercenaries escape responsibility. Konashenkov claimed that, in accordance with international humanitarian law, they are not combatants, so at best they face criminal liability. [This Russian interpretation of international law is not widely shared]
The control points of the nationalists from the "Kraken" and "Azov" were destroyed near Kharkov by the Russian Armed Forces. This was announced during the morning briefing by Igor Konashenkov. In total, in a day, Russian aviation with high-precision weapons struck 21 areas where enemy military personnel were concentrated. 15 areas of accumulation of personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ammunition and fuel depots in the DPR were hit. Up to 240 nationalists were destroyed, as well as ten tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, three Grad installations, 17 special vehicles and other military equipment and weapons.
Fighter aircraft shot down one Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force near the village of Lyubomirovka, Mykolaiv region," Konashenkov said. “Russian air defense systems destroyed seven Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the areas of the settlements of Odessa, Kamyshevakha, Popasnaya, Zolote, Kudryashovka of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Yarovaya of the Kharkiv region, as well as the Verkhnetoretsk DPR in a day. Missile troops and artillery hit 131 command posts, 146 artillery and mortar batteries in firing positions, as well as 579 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Russian Defense Ministry noted.
Luigi Di Maio, the head of the Italian Foreign Ministry, said that his country, if necessary, is ready to participate in demining operations in Ukrainian ports in order to ensure the exit of grain ships from them. Here is what Signor Di Maio said: “We are putting pressure on the creation of sea corridors for the transportation of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports, especially grain. To do this, it is necessary to clear the sea areas near the ports, especially near Odessa.” According to him, Italy expressed its readiness to participate in mine-clearing operations: "We are striving for the UN to take a central role in conducting and coordinating operations, along with other partners such as Turkey."
The Biden administration plans to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles for battlefield use against Russia. The sale of the General Atomics-made drones could still be blocked by Congress, the sources said, adding that there is also a risk of a last minute policy reversal that could scuttle the plan, which has been under review at the Pentagon for several weeks. The MQ-1C is a much larger aircraft than the Bayraktar-TB2, with a max take-off weight around three times greater, with commensurate advantages in payload capacity, range, and endurance.
Poland will sell three more squadrons of 155-millimeter Krab self-propelled artillery units to Ukraine, for a total of 60 pieces capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 40 km. This was reported by the Polish newspaper Dzennik. "The contract for the supply of ACS worth 3 billion zlotys ($ 700 million) has become the largest military export order in Poland in the last 20 years," the newspaper said. ACS will be manufactured at the Huta Stalowa Wola plant, which is part of the Polish Arms Group. Currently, HSW's production capacity is 20-30 units per year.
It is the first export customer for this type of equipment. Usually, one of the problems with this type of contracts with other countries, apart from a good offer , was also the lack of involvement of state structures. This time, officials from the Ministry of State Assets, the Ministry of National Defense and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister acted in unison, and even more importantly, effectively. It is a kind of breakthrough for the Polish defense industry, because we have not had such a large export contract for several dozen years.
The first squadron, 18 cannon howitzers, went to Ukraine a week earlier. Then these tracked vehicles found their way to the East from the resources of the Polish Army. The issue of ammunition still remains a problem, as the Polish industry is still unable to do it on its own. Ammunition for the Ukrainian Krabs will probably be provided by the Americans.
Slovakia has signed a contract with the Ukrainian side for the supply of eight Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers to counter Russian aggression. Its gun is capable of sending 155mm rounds a distance of up to 50km. The howitzer can make six shots per minute due to its automatic loading mechanism. According to Ukrinform, this was announced by the head of the Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic Jaroslav Nagy on Twitter. "I am pleased to confirm that the Zuzana 2 howitzer contract for Ukraine has been signed. Only 8 units will be delivered to Ukraine," he wrote. Nagy also thanked the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov for participating in the negotiation process. Despite using the word “help,” it pointed out that the howitzers would be supplied as part of a commercial contract, meaning that Kiev will have to pay for the hardware. The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed.
The Zuzana 2 howitzer, a modernized version of an older model, uses 155-mm rounds and has an effective range of 40 km (25 miles) to more than 50 km (30 miles) depending on the ammunition type. The Russian 2S7 203-mm Self-Propelled Gun has a maximum range of 37.5 km with conventional shells and extended range of 47.5 km with active rocket. The 2S19 MSTA-S 152-mm Self-Propelled Howitzer has a maximum range of 29 km with conventional shells and extended range of 41 km with active rocket.
Sweden is set to supply Ukraine with anti-ship missiles, small arms, and light anti-tank weapons while providing additional financial assistance to Kiev as the conflict rages in the country, top government officials announced 02 June 2022. This help could buttress Ukraine’s defense potential, which is now in a serious situation. Supporting Ukraine is a matter of solidarity and quite important for Sweden’s security,” Swedish Finance Minister Mikael Damberg said at a joint press conference with Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.
“The government has proposed that Sweden assists Ukraine with Robot 17, automatic rifles Barrett M82 with ammunition, another 5,000 anti-tank weapons, and additional financial means that will go to the fund that NATO has established in support of Ukraine’s armed forces,” he added. “Anti-ship missiles are something that Ukraine has specifically asked for. Robot 17 is a very capable system that will help to boost Ukraine’s ability to fight back against Russia’s illegal, unprovoked invasion.”
"The occupiers have already lost more than 30,000 of their soldiers, more than the Soviet Union lost in 10 years of war in Afghanistan, more than Russia lost in two Chechen wars, but that doesn't stop Russia. This state is ready to lose and kill, "Zelensky added.
“In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the following have been destroyed: 186 aircraft, 129 helicopters, 1,084 unmanned aerial vehicles, 327 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,373 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 460 multiple rocket launchers, 1,752 field artillery and mortar guns, as well as 3,350 units of special military vehicles,” summed up the Russian Ministry of Defense.