Russo-Ukraine War - 22 June 2022 - Day 119
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" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) 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 nineteenth day of the Ukrainian nation's heroic confrontation with the Russian military invasion continues.
Ukraine's defense forces have almost completely destroyed the "elite" of Russia's western military district, which they were preparing to oppose NATO. This was reported by the Ukraine Security Service, citing the interception of conversations between the Russian occupiers. The SBU notes that these Russian units were completely defeated by the Armed Forces, and only those soldiers who refused to invade Ukraine survived.
"The Western District is no more, because it is all in Russia, they refused to fight. The "easterners" themselves are wandering past me, because the "westerners" are almost gone. All the equipment is broken, the tower is not working, something else is not working… The wheels are broken, something else… And yes, pure volunteers go to the front and all…» - tells his wife the occupier, whose unit is in Kharkiv region.
"Our defense intelligence service believes that Russia may reach the point in the next few months where it has no more impetus as it exhausts its resources," said Boris Johnson. "In that case, we must help the Ukrainians to reverse the dynamics. I will appeal for it at the G7 summit in Germany" he announced.
"If the Ukrainians are able to launch a counteroffensive, it should be supported. The equipment they expect from us," he said. When asked what would happen after a possible victory for Ukraine, he replied: "At least we will regain the status quo from before February 24, and Russian troops will be driven out of the areas attacked by them."
Johnson admitted, however, that he was concerned about the "risk of fatigue" of the population in Europe from the war in Ukraine. "There is indeed a risk that people will lose sight of the fact that this is an absolutely necessary fight for our values. I am thinking of inflation in our countries, energy and food costs, which undoubtedly affect the patience of our societies. Nevertheless, we must continue to help Ukrainians resist," he said.
The Institute for War Studies believes that reports of a drastic reshuffle among senior Russian army officers suggest purges related to failure during the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, volunteers and recruits come to the front without proper training. According to the Russian BBC, new recruits only undergo 3-7 days of training before being sent "to the most active sections of the front". The BBC also said that volunteers in the regular army, in subunits of the Rosguard and mercenaries from the Wagner group became the main assault force of Russian troops - noted in the ISW report. Meanwhile, in the occupied territories of Ukraine, the Russian administration still has difficulties recruiting collaborators.
A well-known retired colonel in the United States, former senior adviser Douglas McGregor gave a portion of analytical revelations about what is happening in Ukraine. “Ukraine lost this war,” the colonel snapped. “Now it becomes so obvious that even the most ardent supporter of the war in London, Berlin or Washington cannot stand up and say something else. I understand that many will do this - they will not say anything, they will remain silent, but the truth is that the war is over. Ukrainians daily lose anywhere from 500 to 1000 people killed and wounded. Their army is virtually destroyed, they are abandoning reservists, and the Russians are methodically destroying everything that appears."
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is convinced that the member states of the European Union will support granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership, which will be a historic event and a great motivation for the Ukrainian army and society in the struggle for independence and territorial integrity. "I strongly believe that in these crucial days Ukraine will receive the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union. We have come a long way for it… Our people, our revolutions, our war… And this status is such an important moment. This is a transition to another page of our history. A very positive transition. I believe that all these 27 European countries will endorse this status for us," the Head of State said during a conversation with the student community of major Canadian universities.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda believes that Russia can disconnect his country from the regional energy system to avenge the partial blockade of the Kaliningrad region of Russia within the framework of EU sanctions. At the same time, they do not see any threat of military confrontation in Vilnius. He made the statement after threats from Moscow, which promises to take "measures to protect national interests" after a partial ban on rail transit.
"We are ready for unfriendly actions on the part of Russia, such as disconnection from the grid system or others… I do not believe that Russia will challenge us militarily because we are a member of NATO ," Nauseda said. He said he would raise the issue at next week's NATO summit, when the Alliance decides whether to increase troop numbers in Russia's closest member states, such as the Baltic states. "It would not be a mistake for us to use this example of confrontation to illustrate what Russia really is and what methods and threats it uses to solve its problems. This could reassure those who say that we must help Russia save face, and it is threateningly threatening us," said the Lithuanian president.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that heavy shelling continues as Russia pushes to envelop the Sieverodonetsk area via Izium in the north and Popasna in the south. Russia is highly likely preparing to attempt to deploy a large number of reserve units to the Donbas. The Russian authorities have not released the overall number of military casualties in Ukraine since 25 March. However, the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) publishes casualty figures for DPR forces. As of 16 June, the DPR acknowledged 2128 military personnel killed in action, and 8897 wounded, since the start of 2022. The DPR casualty rate is equivalent to around 55 per cent of its original force, which highlights the extraordinary attrition Russian and pro-Russian forces are suffering in the Donbas. It is highly likely that DPR forces are equipped with outdated weapons and equipment. On both sides, the ability to generate and deploy reserve units to the front is likely becoming increasingly critical to the outcome of the war.
Spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Stupun) reported that in the Volyn and Polissya areas, the situation has not changed significantly. In the Seversky direction, the Russians used tube artillery to shell areas of the settlements of Turya, Myropilske and Slavgorod, Sumy region. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians is trying to improve the tactical position of its units near the town of Slovyansk by storming. Russians used tube and rocket artillery in the areas of Bohorodychne, Nova Dmytrivka, Novopavlivka, Kurulka, Dolyna, Pryshyb, Krasnopillya, Vernopillya, Ridne, Chervone, Shnurky, Chervona Polyana, Karnaukhivka, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Nova Dmytrivka and Semyla.
In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians were fighting to deter units of the Ukraine Defense Forces and prevent them from entering the state border. Russians carried out artillery shelling in the areas of the settlements of Kharkiv, Bayrak, Peremoha, Korobochkyne, Shevelivka, Rubizhne, Lebyazhe, Mospanove, Shestakove, Petrovka, Ruska Lozova, Khrestyshche, Kulinichi, Udy, Staryi Saltiv, Verkhniy Saltiv, Pitchivnyk and Rtyty.
In the Donetsk direction, the occupying forces are trying to advance towards the city of Bakhmut and establish control over the city of Severodonetsk. In the Severodonetsk direction, the Russians launched air strikes in the areas of Verkhnyokamyanka, Severodonetsk and Sirotyne. Fighting continues for the city of Severodonetsk. In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians launched air strikes in the areas of the settlements of Berestov, Yakovlevka, Klinove and Vershina and air-missile strikes near Chasovy Yar, Novolugansky and Gorsky. The Russians did not conduct active offensive operations in the Kramatorsk direction.
Russians fired at the positions of the Defense Forces with artillery in the Pryshib, Sidorov, Donetsk and Mayakov districts. In the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhzhya directions, the Russians continued to systematically fire in order to prevent the transfer of units of the Defense Forces to other directions. The Russians launched air strikes near Novobahmutovka, Kamyanka, Avdiivka, Pavlivka, Vuhledar and Shevchenko. In the area of Novobakhmutovka, Ukrainian soldiers repulsed the assault and forced the Russians to withdraw. In the South Bug direction, the Russians, engineering equipment positions, fire from the tube and rocket artillery, tried to prevent the advance of units of Ukrainian troops into the occupied territory.
The Svoboda volunteer battalion, commanded by Captain of the National Guard of Ukraine Petro Kuzyk, are now defending Severodonetsk. He said the Ukrainian command "Put unprepared people in position… I was angry at first, because we were surrounded by one of these units in Rubizhne, because they fled from the position - and the enemy surrounded us, we went out to fight. And now I am understanding, because people have no experience, no psychological training, no motivation, their commanders sit a hundred kilometers away, manage them, some - not all. And it is clear that they are leaving in a panic situation. And the enemy uses it.
"I do not understand if we have real plans, strategy, why not provide adequate assistance to our units, reinforcements, at least rotation, so they can sleep. This is not criticism. I realize that there are other areas, but it does not remove the difficulty of the work. We stand, we do not leave, we will carry out orders, including the assault, but it will be difficult to do without the necessary forces and means.
"As the motivation of those they caught in these occupied territories is extremely low, they confuse these units. "Meat" - "mobilized" from "DNR" and "LNR" are thrown on storm. They are managed by military personnel. And some special operations and provocations are carried out by mercenaries, here not only "Wagnerians", here "League" still some runs. We don't particularly sort them, we destroy them all. The only ones we can't catch are the Kadyrovites, they are always behind us."
The Russians continue to collect reserves in Severodonetsk and in the direction of Toshkivka - Zolote. At the same time, the occupiers refused to force the Seversky Donets River for fear of heavy losses and focused on other areas. he head of the Luhansk regional military administration Sergey Gaidai reported about it. "Russia has now removed from the operational agenda the forcing of the river (Seversky Donets - ed.), Because it understands that this may be the second Belogorovka. That's why they threw all their reserves to the Severodonetsk direction and especially to the Toshkivka-Zolote direction, "Gaidai said.
According to him, a "huge amount" of reserves has already been transferred to these areas. Commenting on the situation in Severodonetsk itself, Gaidai refuted the occupiers' claims that they completely controlled the city. "Fighting is still going on there. Yes, in a small part of the city, but the city is not completely controlled by the Russian army , "he said. At the same time, the occupiers were successful in the Toshkivka-Zolote direction and are now trying to develop it. There, according to the head of the OVA, Russia threw "a lot" of equipment. Gaidai gave the example that only one and a half BTG of heavy equipment took part in one attack: about 30 BMPs , more than 10 tanks supported by artillery and aircraft.
The situation in Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, remains difficult. Fighting continues in the industrial zone along the line of "Nitrogen", partly on the territory of the plant. Russian occupation forces are attacking from all directions. This was announced by the head of the military-civil administration Alexander Stryuk on the air of the telethon.
According to him, the occupiers in the villages of Sirotyne and Voronove near Severodonetsk are constantly trying to attack and push through the line of defense. "They are trying to attack virtually the entire front line in Luhansk region. But our forces stand and fight back… We will hope that we will stand , ”he said. Stryuk says that on this section of the front, Ukrainian fighters are partially using weapons provided by foreign partners. But armaments are sorely lacking in order to push back the occupiers.
The head of the VCA also says that the Russian command is sending newly mobilized people to the Luhansk direction, in particular from the Luhansk People's Republic. At the same time, there are professional soldiers, such as the Kadyrovites and the Wagnerians.
The military leadership does not rule out further attempts by Russia to capture Kyiv, but missile strikes on the city are now a greater threat. At the same time, a fairly effective air defense system has been created around the capital. This was announced by the commander of the group of forces and means of defense of the city of Kiev Alexander Pavlyuk in an interview with Ukrinform.
He noted that today the security of Kyiv, Kyiv region and the whole of Ukraine is ensured along the line of contact in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson regions. Kyiv remains for the enemy and will remain the main goal of his plans of aggression. But Pavlyuk noted that given the state and position of the enemy's troops, he would not be able to suddenly or in a short time form a group to attack the capital. At the same time, according to the commander, the threat of missile strikes on critical facilities in Kyiv is more likely today.
The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, during a briefing spoke about the progress of the special operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. According to him, over the past day, Russian aviation destroyed five ammunition depots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Buk-M1 air defense system, as well as manpower and military equipment in 151 districts.
Artillerymen and missilemen hit 253 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, six ammunition depots, and destroyed a fuel terminal in Nikolaev. Also, 13 Ukrainian platoons of multiple launch rocket systems, ten platoons of cannon artillery were hit, and the US-made AN-TPQ artillery reconnaissance station was destroyed. 24 tanks and other armored combat vehicles were blown up, as well as 27 special vehicles. Russian air defense systems managed to shoot down Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 and MiG-29 aircraft, as well as 16 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles.
Russian Aerospace Forces have killed 500 Ukrainian servicemen who were in the workshops of a shipbuilding plant with a strike of high-precision weapons. Igor Konashenkov stressed that the enemy is suffering significant losses of manpower. Many soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decide to leave their units without permission. "Up to 500 servicemen of the 59th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with weapons and military equipment were destroyed, stationed in the shops of the Nikolaev shipbuilding plant "Ocean"."
Also, the servicemen of the battalion of the 57th Ukrainian motorized infantry brigade refused to obey the order of the Kyiv command, after which they left their combat positions. Igor Konashenkov stressed that the military of this brigade was located near the settlements of Gorskoye, Podlesnoye, Vrubovka in the Luhansk People's Republic. The unit had previously lost over 60% of its personnel.
The Kyiv regime evacuated the wounded and dead foreign mercenaries from the United States and Great Britain so that they would not get to the Russian Armed Forces. The corresponding statement was made as part of a regular briefing with journalists by Igor Konashenkov. The major general explained that Ukraine had carried out an operation in the area of the settlement of Nikolaevka, located on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic. "Due to the threat of defeating the units of the 14th and 24th mechanized brigades, the Ukrainian command evacuated up to 30 wounded and eight dead mercenaries at night."
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