Russo-Ukraine War - 09 June 2022 - Day 106
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]
One hundred and six days of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion continues.
Putin compared his Ukraine invasion to Peter the Great's conquests. Peter I reigned first as tsar and then as emperor from 1682 until his death in 1725. His conquest of the Baltic coast from Sweden made Russia an important player in European affairs. Putin was visiting an exhibition in Moscow dedicated to the 350th birthday of the tsar. Putin told a group of young entrepreneurs that "you get the impression that by fighting Sweden he was grabbing something. He wasn't taking anything, he was taking it back". Putin said "It is our responsibility also to take back and strengthen." When Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg and declared it the Russian capital "none of the countries in Europe recognised this territory as belonging to Russia," Putin said. "Everyone considered it to be part of Sweden. But from time immemorial, Slavs had lived there alongside Finno-Ugric peoples," the Russian leader added.
Ukrainian forces are suffering heavy losses and are struggling with desertions. They have 20 times less artillery and 40 times less ammunition and a much shorter range than Russian troops, the British daily The Independent reported, citing findings from a new intelligence report. The report reached by the Independent expresses, for the first time, concerns about the desertions of Ukrainian soldiers. It also says that Ukrainian forces can shoot Russians at a distance of 15.5 miles (about 25 km), while Russian troops can shoot up to 12 times the distance. The ongoing battle in Donbas in eastern Ukraine has "a seriously demoralizing effect on Ukrainian forces," and "cases of desertion are increasing every week," the Independent reported, citing the report.
The artillery systems supplied to Ukraine by the West are already making a difference at the front, so the liberation of significant areas in the south of the country is a matter of time , said Vitaly Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv Oblast authorities, quoted by Reuters. In Kim's opinion, however, the liberation of the south of the country requires the involvement of a greater number of soldiers, which can be achieved by additional mobilization or by shifting some of the troops from Donbas, where the most intense fighting is currently taking place.
Germany’s Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said that although evidence is being gathered in Russia's war in Ukraine, Berlin is currently powerless to prosecute Russian President Vladimir Putin. "From the German perspective, we cannot prosecute Vladimir Putin as long as he is an active head of state," the minister said.
French President Emmanuel Macron last week sparked a tsunami of criticism after reiterating his call on the international community to “avoid humiliating Russia” over Ukraine. But three days ahead of the first round of the French legislative elections, the French leader won the unlikely backing of two of his fiercest political foes: far right leader Marine Le Pen and leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
In an interview with French broadcaster FranceInfo, Le Pen spoke a phrase rarely heard from her mouth: “The French president is right”. She was referring to Macron’s renewed call on the West to avoid humiliating Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. “The French president is right to try to find the means to stop this war through discussion, so that Ukraine regains its sovereignty, Russian troops leave Ukraine,” Le Pen said. She also suggested that Ukraine’s criticism over Macron’s comment was off the mark. “I don’t understand why President [Volodomyr] Zelensky accuses him because he even says himself that the only way out of this is diplomacy”, she said, adding that “when you’re looking for a diplomatic exit, you try to avoid cutting off the communication channels”.
Mélenchon, who hoped to score the prime minister post via the upcoming legislative elections, also lauded Macron’s stance on how to handle Putin. “If, three weeks from now, I’m put in charge of taking care of this country together with him, it might be better if I don’t immediately provoke any incidents.“ He added that he didn’t think “the Ukrainians should talk to us like that“, since France "supports" Ukraine and is "providing it with arms". "If President Macron is talking with Mr. Putin, I think he’s right to do so," he said, "because we must not let this man lock himself into a corner. But it would be naive to believe that by talking to him, we will make him leave Ukraine“.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said he was "astonished" by the continued talks with Putin by European leaders like Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron. "These talks achieve nothing. What do they achieve? They only serve to legitimize a person who is responsible for the crimes the Russian military is committing in Ukraine," he said. "Did anybody talk to Adolf Hitler during World War II in this way? Did anybody say that it was important for Adolf Hitler to save face? That we should act in such a way that Adolf Hitler is not humiliated?"
The UK Ministry of Defence reported fighting continued in the Sieverodonetsk pocket but, in the last 48 hours, Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces (EGF) have also increased their efforts to advance to the south of Izium. Russia’s progress on the Izium axis had remained stalled since April, after Ukrainian forces made good use of the terrain to slow Russia’s advance. Russia has attempted to reconstitute EGF after they suffered very heavy casualties in the failed advance on Kyiv, but its units likely remain understrength. Russia seeks to regain momentum in this area in order to put further pressure on Sieverodonetsk, and to give it the option of advancing deeper into the Donetsk Oblast.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that in the Volyn and Polissya areas, certain units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to perform tasks on a rotating basis to cover the section of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in the Brest and Gomel regions. In order to prevent the exposure of positions and locations of military equipment, the local population is prohibited from visiting forests.
The process of forming the so-called "people's militia" of the Republic of Belarus has been intensified. Meetings with local residents are held at military commissariats to clarify the need to establish these units.
Small arms and mortar shelling continue in the northern direction in the border areas. The Russians conducts air reconnaissance using unmanned aerial vehicles. In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians continue to fire on the units of Ukrainian troops in order to prevent their advance into the temporarily occupied territory. In the Slavic direction, the Russians did not take active action, trying to gain a foothold on the achieved frontiers. The main focus of the Russians was to replenish stocks and regroup units. They carried out artillery shelling along the line of contact. In the area of the settlement of Dolyna, artillery units of the Ukraine Defense Forces inflicted fire damage on the concentration of Russians personnel and military equipment. The losses of the Russians are being clarified.
In the Severodonetsk direction, the occupiers with the support of artillery units carried out assault operations in the city of Severodonetsk, they were unsuccessful, the fighting continues. On the north-western outskirts of the village of Toshkivka, Ukrainian soldiers successfully repulsed an Russians assault. The Russians has partial success in the areas of Komyshuvakha and Rota. In the Bakhmut direction, the occupiers launched a missile strike near the city of Kramatorsk.
In order to determine the routes of deployment and weaknesses in the defense of Ukrainian troops, the Russians conducted reconnaissance in the area of the settlement of Nagirne. Ukrainian soldiers repulsed and forced the Russians to retreat. The Russians conducted air reconnaissance of UAVs in the Kramatorsk and Pokrovsk districts. The Russians did not carry out active offensive operations in the Lyman direction. The situation had not changed in Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhia directions. In the South Bug direction, Russians units, under cover of artillery fire and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, increased the system of defensive lines - equip positions and install minefields.
In the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, Russians naval groups continue to carry out tasks to isolate the area of hostilities and blockade civilian navigation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine continue to inflict significant losses on Russians troops, firmly maintaining the defense in all directions. Offensive operations are underway in certain areas.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, the official representative of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense said the Russian Aerospace Forces, using high-precision air-launched missiles, liquidated a training center with foreign mercenaries in the Zhytomyr region. "In the area of the settlement Novograd-Volynsky, Zhytomyr region, the training center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was destroyed, in which foreign mercenaries were retrained and coordinated."
The representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense explained that over the past 24 hours, high-precision air-launched missiles, as part of a special military operation in Ukraine, hit two command posts, the Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system, located near the village of Razdolovka in the Donetsk People's Republic; an ammunition depot located in the Paraskovievka district of the Luhansk People's Republic. The Russian Aerospace Forces liquidated 23 areas of concentration of enemy manpower and military equipment.
The Russian Armed Forces killed more than 320 Ukrainian nationalists in Zaporozhye. According to him, Russian aviation hit 18 areas of concentration of manpower and equipment of Ukrainian troops. Also, five tanks, two Grad MLRS installations and a rocket and artillery weapons depot in the Verkhnekamenskoye region in the LPR were destroyed.
Russian sappers began demining the "Holy Mountains" park in the DPR. This was announced by Konashenkov. Engineering units of the RF Armed Forces are working in the areas of the settlements of Svyatogorsk, Yarovaya, Studenok and Sosnovoye. According to Konashenkov, 126 explosive devices installed by Ukrainian nationalists were discovered and destroyed in a day. Among them were 54 anti-tank mines.
The Ministry of Defense published a video of the destruction of the Ukrainian drone "Fury" by the Strela-10 air defense system. The published footage shows the launch of an anti-aircraft guided missile at a drone and its hitting the target. A black trail remains at the meeting point of the rocket and the device, and then the fragments of the drone on the ground are shown. The press service of the Ministry of Defense noted that the Ukrainian drone was discovered thanks to the accurate and well-coordinated actions of the combat crew.
Daniil Bessonov, First Deputy Head of the Ministry of Information of the DPR, said that the encirclement of Lisichansk is a matter of the near future. According to him, as soon as the situation with Lisichansk and Severodonetsk is resolved, "the rest of the territories will be more fun, the same Kramatorsk, the same Artemovsk," TASS quoted him as saying. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that the entire territory of the settlement of Kamyshevakh in the LPR had been cleared. “The surviving enemy settled in the village of Vrubovka, where he is waiting for his inglorious end,” he wrote in his Telegram. The Headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the DPR announced the start of battles for Slovyansk.
Ukraine has shipped 601,115 tons of grain to Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The port said Thursday 120,294 more tons were on the way. From Constanta, over 262,000 tons have already departed for world markets aboard 15 ships, according to Reuters. The grain is only about 3% of the 20 million tons Ukraine needs to export before the new harvest begins at the end of July to avoid bottlenecks in the system and stave off a global food crisis. Ukraine's Black Sea ports have been blockaded since the start of the war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the food crisis "really a small problem," and claimed Russia would not take advantage should a UN proposal to demine to allow grain deliveries went ahead.
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov said that the Ukrainian armed forces every day lose up to a hundred soldiers killed and up to 500 wounded at the front.