Russo-Ukraine War - 07 June 2022 - Day 104
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]
The one hundred and fourth day of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion began.
The United States and its allies will keep providing “significant” support to Ukraine out of respect for the legacy of D-Day soldiers, whose victory over the Nazis helped lead to a new world order and a “better peace”, the top US army general said. In an interview with The Associated Press news agency overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy, Mark Milley, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Russia’s war in Ukraine undermines the rules established by Allied countries after the end of World War II. He spoke on the 78th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Allied troops onto the beaches of France, which led to the overthrow of Nazi Germany’s occupation.
One fundamental rule of the “global rules-based order” is that “countries cannot attack other countries with their military forces in acts of aggression unless it’s an act of pure self-defence”, Milley told the news agency. “But that’s not what’s happened here in Ukraine. What’s happened here is an open, unambiguous act of aggression.”
The governor of Luhansk region said that while Ukrainian forces are finding it hard to stop Russian attacks in the center of Severodonestk, Moscow’s forces do not control the city. Serhiy Gaidai also said Russian troops were constantly shelling Severodonetsk’s twin city Lysychansk. Street fighting raged for control of Ukraine’s flashpoint city of Severodonetsk, with the situation changing “every hour”, an official said, as Kyiv warned its troops were outnumbered by Russian forces. “The situation is changing every hour, but at the same time there’s enough forces and resources to repel attacks,” said the mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Striuk.
Russia says its forces had taken full control of residential neighborhoods in Ukraine’s flashpoint city of Severodonetsk, after Kyiv said its troops were fighting on in the eastern hub despite being outnumbered. “The residential areas of the city of Severodonetsk have been fully liberated,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told a defence ministry meeting. The Russian army was still seeking to establish control over the city’s “industrial zone and the nearest settlements”, he added, amid conflicting reports of who is in control of what.
The Russian army may lay siege on the strategic Ukrainian town of Sloviansk in the southeastern Donetsk region, while Ukrainian forces would either face a “defeat” or may have to retreat. “The siege of Sloviansk is coming up. And our forces to the north of the Seversky Donets river will either be defeated or will retreat to the southern bank,” Oleksiy Arestovich said in televised remarks. Arestovich, usually known for his optimistic and humorous comments on the war, said that Russians have a strategic advantage because of constant delays with Western arms supplies to the Ukrainian military.
LPR Ambassador to the Russian Federation Rodion Miroshnik said that Severodonetsk had been cleared, fighting was taking place on its outskirts and approaches to Lisichansk. According to him, on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, the village of Sirotino is still a gray zone, the village of Metelkino is almost completely, from the center to the eastern outskirts, controlled by the troops of the republics of Donbass and the Russian Federation. At the airport of Severodonetsk, which is located south-east of the city, Ukrainian formations have entrenched themselves, Miroshnik said. "They occupied a number of buildings and fired artillery to the east. The allied forces are actively responding from positions in the Borovsky area," the LPR ambassador to the Russian Federation reports.
The leaders of Lithuania and Estonia hit back at a recent appeal by French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia should not be humiliated due to its invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has humiliated itself with this war,” Lithuanian President Nauseda said after talks with German Chancellor Scholz and his Baltic counterparts in Vilnius. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said, “I don’t think we should worry that much about what Putin or Russia feels. We should be more concerned about Ukraine holding out.”
Ukraine's further success in the war against the Russian aggressor and the deoccupation of territories depend not only on the unity of the Ukrainian people and the strength of the Armed Forces, but also on the weapons supplied to us by partner states, political support and consistent Western sanctions policy. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview with Financial Times Editor Roula Khalaf. "The advancement, the deoccupation of our territories depends on powerful weapons, political support from the West and a clear, strong sanctions policy. It depends not only on the unity of our people, government and the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the President said.
"There can be no discussions, agreements without Ukraine, behind our backs. There can be no expectation from certain leaders of some countries that we will weaken our position. Like, we have to wait, they will be exhausted economically, infrastructurally, they will have a shortage of money, a shortage of fuel, and then, as they say, Ukraine will be compliant,” said the President.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that some Western countries are trying to undertake the role of mediator in the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia and at the same time are looking for ways to continue doing business with the Russian side. "Everyone is acting like a sapper. Supporting Ukraine, they are checking: what else can be done to mitigate sanctions a little so that the business of one or another state does not suffer. And constantly, like sappers, they are trying to push this or that initiative," he said. (A sapper is a combat engineer who performs tasks such as digging tunnels to undermine enemy fortifications. Sappers would tunnel under the fort wall and collapse the tunnels which would then undermine the walls. The trenches and tunnels they dug were called 'saps' and the troops who dug them became known as 'sappers.' -ed.)
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that over the weekend, Ukrainian forces recaptured parts of Sieverodonetsk although Russian forces likely continue to occupy eastern districts. Russia’s broader plan likely continues to be to cut off the Sieverodonetsk area from both the north and the south. Russia made gains on the southern, Popasna axis through May but its progress in the area has stalled over the last week. Reports of heavy shelling near Izium suggests Russia is preparing to make a renewed effort on the northern axis. Russia will almost certainly need to achieve a breakthrough on at least one of these axes to translate tactical gains to operational level success and progress towards its political objective of controlling all of Donetsk Oblast.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the threat of missile and air strikes from the territory of Belarus remains in the Volyn and Polissya directions. As part of the creation of the Southern Operational Command, it is planned to increase the number of armed forces of the Republic of Belarus to 80 thousand people. It is planned to equip military units with equipment and weapons at the expense of technical means in storage.
In the northern direction, the Russians did not take active action, no signs of the formation of strike groups were found. In order to demonstrate the presence and restraint of the Ukraine Defense Forces, it continues to maintain up to three battalion tactical groups in the border areas of Bryansk and Kursk oblasts. Mortar shelling of units of Ukrainian troops in the areas of the settlements of Khodyne and Velyka Pisarivka in the Sumy region was carried out from the territory of the Russian Federation. In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians' main efforts are focused on maintaining the occupied borders, border areas north of Kharkiv and restraining the advance of Ukrainian troops. Conducts remote mining of the area in the direction of the offensive of Ukrainian troops on Rubizhne.
In the Slavic direction, the Russians are concentrating the main efforts on continuing the offensive in the areas of Izyum and Slavyansk. It is trying to move in the direction of Dovgenke and Dolyna. The Russians are shelling the positions of Ukrainian troops in the areas of the settlements of Bazalivka, Brazhkivka, and Hrushuvakha. In order to clarify the position of Ukrainian units and adjust the artillery fire, they conducted air reconnaissance with the use of UAVs.
In the Donetsk direction, in addition to artillery shelling, the Russians fired from planes and helicopters. The aggressor's main efforts were focused on the Severodonetsk and Bakhmut areas. The Russians did not wage active hostilities in the Lyman direction. They inflicted a missile strike on the settlement of Nikolaevka for 4 km to the east of Slavyansk.
The Russians continues to storm the city of Severodonetsk, fighting continues. Ukrainian soldiers inflict losses on the Russians.
In the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops successfully countered and repulsed the Russians's offensive in the directions of the settlements of Nagirne, Berestov, Krynychne, and Rota. In order to strengthen the group in the directions of Popasna, Mykolayivka, the Russians were redeploying units. The Russians did not wage active hostilities in the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv, and Zaporizhzhya areas. In the South Bug direction, the Russians were concentrating the main efforts on improving its tactical position, maintaining the occupied frontiers, replenishing ammunition and fuel and lubricants.
Ukrainian helicopters struck at clusters of Russians forces in the Kherson region, and planes - at ammunition depots in the Nikolaev region. The Russians lost more than 20 people and up to 10 units of military equipment. In order to restore the lost position, the Russians, with the support of artillery and army aircraft, carried out offensive operations in the direction of Lozovo - Bila Krynytsia, had no success. To clarify the positions of Ukrainian troops, the Russians conducted air reconnaissance of UAVs.
Three carriers of naval-based cruise missiles of the "Caliber" type are ready for the use of missile weapons in the Black Sea. Over the past day, the defender of Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas repulsed ten Russians attacks, destroyed one tank, three artillery systems, two armored combat vehicles, one car and two ammunition depots. Air defense units shot down two Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles.
According to the command of the Ukrainian Navy, Russia maintains about 30 ships in the Black Sea, blocking the coast and ports. However, according to the Ukrainian military, Russia no longer has full control over the northwestern part of the Black Sea area. According to a naval briefing, the area has become a "gray area". To regain control of the lost area, Russia deployed Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems in Crimea and Kherson, and is also sending additional forces to Snake Island. Therefore, according to the Ukrainian Navy, there is still a threat of rocket strikes from the sea, the number of which has exceeded 300 since the beginning of the war. The Russian ships left the coastal areas two weeks after the US decision to hand over the Boeing Harpoon missile systems to Ukraine. Denmark agreed to supply missiles capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 250-300 km and launchers for them. In addition, the White House is also considering the delivery of Raytheon Technologies Naval Strike Missile missile systems.
After the successful completion of the most difficult sowing campaign, Ukraine begins preparations for the equally difficult heating season. This was stated by Prime Minister Denis Shmygal at a government meeting. "This spring we still managed to successfully conduct the most difficult sowing campaign in the history of the state. The country's logistics routes have been completely rebuilt. Now we need to prepare for the most difficult heating season in the history of Ukraine, which awaits us this winter," Shmygal stressed.
"Russian troops destroyed more than 200 boiler houses and severely damaged the Kremenchug, Chernihiv, Okhtyrka, Luhansk, and Severodonetsk CHPs. Hundreds of power lines and transformer substations were damaged. Losses of energy infrastructure and energy have already reached tens of billions of hryvnias. In these conditions, the government is doing everything to ensure that all Ukrainians have light and warmth this winter," Shmygal stressed.
The head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, expressed his condolences in connection with the death in the Donbass of General of the Armed Forces of Russia Roman Kutuzov (call sign "Fog"). A second Russian general is reportedly dead after heavy fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region over the weekend. Lt. Gen. Roman Berdnikov, formerly the commander of Russian troops in Syria, is believed to have died Sunday, possibly in the same battle that killed Russian Maj. Gen. Roman Kutuzov, Russian-language Telegram channel Volya Media reported. The generals were in an armored column that was ambushed by Ukrainian forces, possibly on a bridge somewhere in the Donbas. The Centre for Strategic Communications (StratCom) of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said "Major General Roman Kutuzov has been officially denazified and demilitarized."
The official representative of the Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, received another rank. The decree on conferring the title of "lieutenant general" to the head of the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Ministry of Defense was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The official representative of the military department received the previous rank of major general in 2013. Igor Konashenkov became widely known to the public in 2015, when a military special operation began in Syria. It was he who conducted all the briefings of the Ministry of Defense and reported on the actions of the Russian army. Currently, the general regularly holds briefings already on the military special operation in Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine blew up the bridge across the Seversky Donets. The corresponding statement was made by an official representative of the military department at a regular evening briefing with journalists. Igor Konashenkov stressed that the enemy troops abandoned their equipment and fled the city. According to him, this happened even despite the attempts of local nationalist barrage detachments to prevent them. In order to achieve their goal, the fighters of the national battalions blew up the crossing across the river. However, about 80 Ukrainian soldiers were able to swim across the river. The fire on the military did not open. Under the onslaught of Russian units, the remnants of the battalions of the 95th airborne assault brigade and the 81st separate airmobile brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine abandoned military equipment along with weapons and dispersed along the coast.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is lying to his people and the world community when he talks about the destruction of cultural monuments located in the country by the Russian Armed Forces. According to the major general, the politician makes such statements deliberately. As evidence that the Lavra remains safe and sound on the territory of Svyatogorsk, the military showed the public footage taken from a drone.
As part of the special military operation, the Russian armed forces destroyed a 155-millimeter M109A3 self-propelled artillery mount and two American-made M777 howitzers transferred by Norway. The corresponding statement was made by Konashenkov. Operations were carried out by artillery units. One M109A3 self-propelled guns transferred by Norway, two 155-millimeter M777 howitzers, as well as seven field artillery guns and mortars, including a 203-millimeter Pion self-propelled artillery mount, were destroyed.
Konashenkov stressed that more than 400 local nationalists, ten armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, three Grad multiple rocket launchers, as well as ten special vehicles were hit by high-precision weapons. The Russian military destroyed three enemy S-300 launchers located in the Kramatorsk region.
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev presented medals "For Courage" to police officers who showed courage and bravery during the special military operation in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy thanked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for sending Ukraine “exactly the weapons” it needs to fight the war with Russia. Earlier, the United Kingdom said that in coordination with the US, it will supply Ukraine with multiple-launch rocket systems that can attack targets up to 80km (50 miles) away as part of a new military aid package for Kyiv. “I am grateful to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the complete understanding of our demands and preparedness to provide Ukraine with exactly the weapons that it so needs to protect the lives of our people,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have lost a large number of artillery received from Western countries due to problems with its maintenance. This was reported by the military observer of the British weekly The Economist Shashank Joshi. "Recently learned one interesting thing. Ukraine is losing a lot of artillery due to poor maintenance - some had to be sent back to Poland for repairs," Joshi wrote on his Twitter page on Monday evening. "Ukraine, of course, is mastering Western equipment much faster than some expected, but it is not without difficulties. Earlier, Germany, Norway, Poland, France, the United States and a number of other countries handed over to Ukraine self-propelled and towed howitzers of various models of the 155 mm caliber used by NATO.
Bulgaria will fulfill its obligations to Ukraine to repair military equipment, but does not plan to supply it with weapons, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said. "We have already had this discussion [on the supply of weapons], there is a decision of the People's Assembly [on the provision of military-technical assistance], we will implement it. Currently, the first equipment from Ukraine that needs repair is being sent [to our factories]. we will do what we promised. There is no point in discussing this topic every two weeks," he said.
Petkov noted that Bulgaria provides assistance to Ukraine at a good level. "I believe that what we have done for Ukraine is at the level. We will repair equipment that cannot be restored elsewhere - we are talking about military vehicles of a serious caliber. We supported all measures related to sanctions against Russia I think that Bulgaria has done enough in this direction," he said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland is in the process of signing a wide-ranging treaty for the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. The deal is "one of the biggest, if not the biggest weapons export deal of the last 30 years," Morawiecki said after visiting a Polish armaments company. He said the weapons would be critical in helping Ukraine drive out the Russian invaders. He did not provide specifics on the kinds of weapons to be transferred or other details of the deal, but during a presentation at the company, he and Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak posed in front of self-propelled gun systems.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that the country will be exporting nearly $630 million worth of weapons to Ukraine. The military contract has been called the biggest Warsaw has signed in the past 30 years. "We are glad to have the opportunity to sell our weapons abroad today," said Morawiecki during a visit to Poland’s Stalowa Wola arms factory on Tuesday, adding these will be “tried and tested” arms that will “not only pass the baptism of fire,” but will also be a “very important weapon on the battlefield, most likely in eastern Ukraine.”
Moscow will not be able to retain its military capabilities due to tough Western sanctions imposed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. “We have far-reaching sanctions now that will set back the Russian economy by decades, that means it will not be able to participate in global economic and technological progress,” Scholz told reporters during a visit to Vilnius. “We know from reports that this means that Russia will not even be able to retain its military capacities at the same level,” he said, adding Moscow had in the past abused imports of civilian goods for military purposes.
Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 190 aircraft, 1,139 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3,443 armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as 478 multiple rocket launchers. This was announced by the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Major General Igor Konashenkov.