Russo-Ukraine War - 04 June 2022 - Day 101
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]
Fighting continued for full control of the city of Severodonetsk. The Russians are drawing up reserves to capture Severodonetsk, but suffer huge losses. Ukrainian defenders are gradually pushing the invaders. Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, said this. "The difficult situation remains in the region as a whole, and Severodonetsk is now a concentration of hostilities, because the Russian army is throwing all its forces, all its reserves in this direction. They had previously managed to capture most of the city, but now our military has moved them, and they are really suffering huge losses, "said the head of the region.
He noted that the Kadyrovites usually do not fight in the foreground, and here they may have believed their lies that the city is already theirs, so they went into the city, and there even the Kadyrovites have some losses. According to Gaidai, the Russians are blowing up bridges "so that we cannot provide reinforcements to our guys who are defending the Luhansk region." He reminded again that Luhansk region is now an outpost that restrains the enemy's onslaught. "Indeed, they fear that the success of our defenders will develop. And this can be done just in time to give BC (ammunition), weapons, reinforcements, reserves in terms of people. This is the first thing they are afraid of," the head of the OVA stressed.
Ukrainian troops defending the city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region managed to regroup and build a defense line, informed Mayor Oleksandr Striuk. There are street fights and continuous artillery strikes in the city - he added. The Ukrainian International Legion, a formation as part of the Ukrainian territorial defense established after the Russian invasion, helps to regain Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region. There are fierce battles in the city.
Russia's army said that some Ukrainian military units were withdrawing from the key city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. "Some units of the Ukrainian army, having suffered critical losses during fighting for Sievierodonetsk, are pulling out towards Lysychansk," Sievierodonetsk's twin city, which sits just across a river, the defence ministry said in a statement. It added however that some Ukrainian fighters were still in the city.
DW's Jan-Philipp Scholz, reporting from Kyiv, says, "it is simply impossible to verify if Ukraine has really regained half of the territory in Sievierodonetsk." Scholz said, however, that Ukrainian forces had indeed achieved a "remarkable" feat by managing to push back Russian troops who initially looked to have entirely taken control of the city, calling it, "an important partial success for the Ukrainians."
Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine said: “No country other than Russia has destroyed so many monuments, cultural and social sites in Europe since World War II. Every church burned by Russia in Ukraine, every school blown up, every memorial destroyed proves that Russia has no place in UNESCO. " Zelensky addressed the annual Conference of US Mayors and called on US mayors to sever ties with Russian cities and end alliances with sister cities.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said it is important not to humiliate Russia so that a diplomatic solution can be found when hostilities in Ukraine cease. Ukrainians responded with anger to the latest calls from French President Emmanuel Macron to find a resolution to the war in Ukraine that spares Russian President Vladimir Putin from being humiliated. Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine said: "Calls to avoid "humiliation of Russia" can only humiliate France and any other country that would call for it. Because Russia is humiliating itself. We all need to focus on how to put Russia in place. It will bring peace and save lives." People call Macron an appeaser. Most Ukrainians say they want to see Vladimir Putin put on trial for war crimes, and they absolutely want to see Russia humiliated.
Melanie Jolie, Canada's foreign minister said: "As the world responds to the horrific events in Ukraine, Canada will not back down from prosecuting Putin and his henchmen and will continue to support the International Criminal Court's investigation into alleged war crimes. Ukrainians have been strong for 100 days, and their courage and resilience inspire us all. ”
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russian air activity remained high over contested ground in the Donbas with Russian aircraft conducting strikes using both guided and unguided munitions. Russia’s inability to suppress or destroy Ukrainian strategic air defence systems in the opening days of the conflict limited its ability to provide tactical air support to ground manoeuvre elements, contributing to the failure to advance on Kyiv. Consequently, Russian air activity has been largely restricted to deep strikes using air and surface launched cruise missiles to disrupt the movement of Ukrainian reinforcements and supplies. These strikes alone however have failed to have a meaningful impact on the conflict and Russian stocks of precision guided missiles are likely to have been significantly depleted as a result.
With its operational focus switching to the Donbas, Russia has been able to increase its employment of tactical air to support its creeping advance, combining airstrikes and massed artillery fires to bring its overwhelming firepower to bear. The combined use of air and artillery strikes has been a key factor in Russia’s recent tactical successes in the region. The increased use of unguided munitions has led to the widespread destruction of built-up areas in the Donbas and has almost certainly caused substantial collateral damage and civilian casualties.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the Russian occupiers continue to launch missile and air strikes on military and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The situation in the Volyn and Polissya areas remained unchanged. In the northern direction, the Russians did not take active action, no signs of the formation of strike groups were found. Russian artillery shelling was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Starikove and Katerynivka, Sumy region, and Kamyanska Sloboda, Chernihiv region.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians continued to concentrate reserves for attempts to continue offensive operations in the directions of the settlements of Izyum, Barvinkove and Slovyansk. In Izium in the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian forces destroyed almost the entire 35th Russian all-military army, the Ukrinform agency reported, citing the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak.
In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians were trying to keep the occupied borders and prevent the advance of units of the Ukraine Defense Forces. Systematic fire continues on the positions of Ukrainian troops. In the Donetsk direction, the occupiers were trying to restrain the defenders of Ukraine by violating the logistics system.
The Russians fired four missiles from the Tochka-U tactical missile system in the areas of Bakhmut, Kramatorsk, Kostiantynivka and Lysychansk. In addition, Russian invaders launched missile and air strikes on the cities of Slavyansk and Soledar. In the Lyman direction, the Russians used artillery near Svyatogorsk, Starodubivka and Mykolayivka. In the Severodonetsk direction, the Russians fired from artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers at the settlements of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Ustynivka, and Toshkivka. They struck airstrikes with Ka-52 helicopters near Gorsky, Yakovlivka and Myrna Dolyna, and Su-25 planes near the town of Ustynivka.
In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians used mortars, artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the areas of Toretsk, New York, Vrubivka, and Pokrovske. They struck airstrikes with Ka-52 helicopters near Berestov and Klinov. In the area of the city of Donetsk the Russians fired at the settlements of Mykilske, Krasnohorivka, Vesele and Novoselivka. They used the armament of Su-25 aircraft in the areas of Novomykhailivka and Marinka. Missile and air strikes were inflicted on the village of Kurakhove. In the Novopavlovsk and Zaporozhye directions, the Russians used rocket-propelled grenade systems in the areas of Gulyaipol, Orikhiv, and Zelenyi Hai. An air strike by Su-25 aircraft was inflicted on the settlement of Kamyanske. The situation in the South Bug area has not changed.
The Russians continue to block civilian shipping in the northwestern Black Sea. Ukrainian defenders inflict losses on the Russian occupiers in all areas where active hostilities continue. In order to justify the destruction of civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine, the Russian occupiers continue to spread information about the location of military units in schools, hospitals and churches.
Oleksandr Kovalenko emphasized "In the Kherson region, the Armed Forces blocked the occupiers for almost two months. And when in certain areas their advanced units were no longer capable not only of an offensive, but also of actually holding positions, our counteroffensive began. And its successful development shows that the place and time were chosen perfectly."
"Ukraine has every right to attack Russian military facilities located on the territory of the Russian Federation," said former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Polsat News' "A Day in the World" program. He emphasized the need to regain the territories occupied by the Russians, and appreciated the help of Western countries.
"Who decides how, where and at what distance the weapons supplied by the West are to be used? Will those who provide it or those who will use it? I am of the opinion that Ukraine has every right to attack Russian military facilities located on the territory of the Russian Federation. We defend our own sovereign country and Russia bombards and shoots Ukrainian citizens from its own territory, and Russian soldiers attack not only military targets, but also civilian facilities. In such a case, does Ukraine in response have the right to attack Russian facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation? Yes, she has that right!" Yatsenyuk expressed his position.
Yatsenyuk stressed that Ukraine has not reconciled and will never come to terms with the loss of its land. "The only way to end the war is for Ukraine to regain the areas that Russia has illegally and unfairly seized. Still, it is a long way from the end of the war. Russia must be realistically assessed as a nuclear-weapon state that has inherited significant military potential from the Soviet era and spent tens of billions of dollars on its own weapons over the past decade. Our country, however, fights for its independence, it does what no one expected, but what I personally believed" - he said.
"Someone might say that 100 days of war is not long, but I can say it is a very long time. You have to remember that Ukraine was given three or five days, it was said that it would only last that long, and if it did not, Russia would take Kyiv and the whole country. I believe that what is happening in Ukraine today is an unprecedented phenomenon" said Yatsenyuk.
Vladimir Putin praised the effectiveness of Russian air defense systems in repelling Ukrainian attacks. "Our air defense systems are smashing Ukrainian weapons like nuts, dozens of them have been destroyed," said the Russian president on TV Russia 1.
In the current situation, Washington needs to stop pumping weapons and money to the Kyiv regime and start looking for a more reasonable strategy for resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Columnist Ross Douthet wrote about this in his article for The New York Times. According to the author of the material, in the near future the conflict in Ukraine may turn into a frozen state, and therefore the United States needs to stop providing large-scale support for the Kyiv regime.
“In this case, our plan cannot be to write endless checks while discreetly tiptoeing around the Ukrainians and letting them dictate what our weapons are used for ,” he wrote in his article. At the same time, Douthet pointed out that the US authorities also need to stop investing in this conflict alone and involve the European Union in this. “A good strategic theory must take into account complexities, challenges and limits. The danger is that the practical achievements of our belligerent policy may set the stage for the opposite type of theorizing, blind arrogance that will blow away our still tentative success.
Self-propelled howitzers M109A3, provided as part of international technical assistance by Norway, are already at the forefront, hitting targets with high accuracy and destroying the enemy. According to Ukrinform, this was stated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny in a Telegram.
"As my gunners point out, the key difference between these guns and Soviet-style guns is that they are made for humans. Instead of levers, they have a steering wheel instead of a mechanical one. In winter, when icing of the hull is possible, the developers slightly rubberized it to prevent the crew from slipping. Soldiers enjoyed even such simple elements as tower baskets for personal belongings welded around the edges, "Zaluzhny said.
He noted that the M109A3 howitzers have a larger caliber and more powerful ammunition than their Soviet counterparts. Shooting range is up to 22 km. But later it will be possible to use active-jet projectiles that increase this distance. Experienced gunners also note the convenience of charges that are airtight and completely identical, which affects the accuracy of the flight when firing.
Slovakia has postponed the supply of howitzers to its own army to hand them over to Ukraine. he Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov called the contract with Ukraine for the supply of Zuzana howitzers a serious investment in the Slovak economy. According to Ukrinform, the Minister stated this on the sidelines of the International Security Forum GLOBSEC-2022 in Bratislava. Reznikov welcomed the signing of a contract with the Slovak side for the supply of Zuzana howitzers to the Defense Forces of Ukraine. "I am very pleased to note that we have signed a contract for the supply of Zuzana howitzers, which Minister Yaroslav Nagy" tweeted "publicly. We are grateful to the Slovaks for this decision, but among other things, it is a serious investment in the Slovak economy. And we will ask you to provide us with howitzers faster than the military-industrial complex can make orders, "Reznikov said.
When asked if the delivery to Ukraine of French weapons, incl. six self-propelled Caesar guns, will be compensated for the French army, Macron replied in the affirmative. "I asked our industrialists to speed up the production of weapons, it is not only a question of replenishment of reserves, but also to strengthen our independence," he added.
Ukrinform reported from February 24 to June 4, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liquidated about 31,050 Russian servicemen , which is 100 people more than in the previous day. In the Kyiv region, the bodies of more than 1,300 civilians killed by Russian invaders were exhumed, and the identities of more than 200 people remain unknown.
Russia's tactics have changed on the battlefield, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak, adding that Russian losses had now decreased to around 100 to 200 casualties per day — a figure he said was "roughly comparable" with Ukrainian losses.