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Russo-Ukraine War - 23 June 2022 - Day 120

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A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

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 twenty days of heroic opposition of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion last. The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force - General Charles Brown - is surprised by the course of the invasion of Ukraine and how clumsy the Russians are in the air. The lack of Russian control over the Ukrainian skies and the losses and heavy fights between their air force and the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense were one of the biggest surprises during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "This is surprising because the Russians use exactly the same anti-aircraft systems that they are dealing with. They are fighting their own system. They should know their strengths and weaknesses, and how to use them," explained General Brown. The lack of extensive Russian air operations and the failure of the Russians to destroy Ukrainian air defense are the main mistake that did not allow for a quicker occupation of Ukrainian territory.

The European Union approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27-strong bloc. EU leaders meeting in Brussels have followed the recommendation of the European Commission, which was made on 17 June. The move comes just one day short of the four-month anniversary of President Putin ordering his troops into Ukraine for what Russia has insisted is not a war, but a “special military operation”. The accession process to the EU can be lengthy. Until today the official list of candidate countries included Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Turkey gained candidate status in 1999, the Republic of North Macedonia in 2005. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted, “Today is a good day for Europe.”

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution with 529 votes in favour to 45 against and 14 abstentions that calls on heads of state to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova “without delay”. They should do the same with Georgia “once its government has delivered” on the priorities indicated by the European Commission, the parliament said in a statement. “Ukrainians, Moldovans and Georgians deserve to live in free, democratic and prosperous countries that are proud and committed members of the European family,” it added.

After the victory in the great war started by Russia, Ukraine will build a European state with significant liberalization of many spheres and processes, but with a powerful security and defense system like the Israeli one. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this during a conversation with students and professors of leading Israeli educational institutions.

Ukrainian troops may need to pull back from the key frontline city of Lysychansk to avoid being encircled after Russian forces captured two villages to its south, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on national television. “In order to avoid encirclement, our command could order that the troops retreat to new positions,” he said. “All of Lysychansk is within reach of their fire. It is very dangerous in the city.” The retreat of Ukrainian troops from Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk, the last two Ukrainian-held cities in Luhansk, would bring Moscow closer to one of its key war aims of capturing all of that region. Divided by a river, the cities have become a key battleground in Russia’s assault on the industrial heartland of Donbas.

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that since 19 June, Russian forces have highly likely advanced over 5km towards the southern approaches of the Donbas city of Lysychansk. Some Ukrainian units have withdrawn, probably to avoid being encircled. Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of recent unit reinforcement and heavy concentration of fire. Russian forces are putting the Lysychansk-Sieverodonetsk pocket under increasing pressure with this creeping advance around the fringes of the built-up area. However, its efforts to achieve a deeper encirclement to take western Donetsk Oblast remain stalled.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported in the Volyn and Polissya directions, no signs of the formation of Russian offensive groups were found. Units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to perform tasks to cover the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Mobilization exercises are held with the military commissariats of some oblasts, where the issues of notification and manning of military units are worked out. In the northern direction, the Russians continue to provide enhanced protection of the Ukrainian-Russian border. They fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Stari Vyrky, Atynske and Starykove.

In the Slavic direction, the Russians fires on civilian infrastructure from artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the areas of Bogorodichnoye, Adamivka, Dibrivny, Kurulka, Petrovsky, Virnopillya and Mazanivka. Ukrainian soldiers repulsed an Russians assault near Dolyna and Bohorodychny and forced the occupiers to withdraw. In the Donetsk direction, the Russians continue to fire on units of the Defense Forces with artillery and rocket artillery, mortars and tanks along the line of contact. They focused his main efforts on the Severodonetsk and Bakhmut areas in order to establish control over the settlements of Severodonetsk and Mykolayivka. It is fixed on previously captured positions in the districts of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka. Trying to make up for losses. The Russians did not take active action in the Kramatorsk direction.

In the Severodonetsk direction, the Russians fired from tanks, mortars, artillery and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Sirotyne, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Voronovo and Myrna Dolyna. Units of the 2nd Army Corps, with the support of Rosguard units, carried out assault operations in order to establish full control over Severodonetsk. The fighting continued. Ukrainian soldiers stopped the offensive in the direction of the southern outskirts of Lysychansk, inflicted losses on the Russians and forced them to retreat. To resume the offensive, the occupiers put forward reserves.

The Ukrainian defenders also stopped the enemy's offensive near Borivsky. The Russians conducted reconnaissance by fighting in the area of the settlement of Bila Gora. The offensive continued near the settlement of Rai-Oleksandrivka, fighting continues. In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians fired artillery of various calibers at Ukrainian positions in the areas of the settlements of Mykolayivka, Berestove, Klinove, Toretsk, Novolugansk, Pokrovsk, Luhansk, and Kodem. The army aircraft of the invaders struck near Klinovy. The occupiers were trying to establish control over the village of Gorske. The forces of assault groups from the 1st Army Corps captured Mykolayivka. The failure of the Russians ended the reconnaissance battle near the village of Vershina. The Russians tried unsuccessfully to block the action of Ukrainian units in the Klinovy area.

In the Novopavlovsk direction, the Russians fired at the positions of Ukrainian troops from tanks and artillery near Pavlivka, Vuhledar, and Prechistivka. They conducted air strikes in the areas of Pavlivka, Vuhledar and Shevchenko. Near the latter, Ukrainian soldiers gave the occupiers a fierce battle and forced them to retreat. To identify weaknesses in Ukrainian defense, the occupiers used sabotage and reconnaissance groups in the areas of the settlements of Vremivka, Novosilky and Neskuchne. Ukrainian soldiers successfully discovered them - the Russians withdrew with heavy losses.

On Avdiivsky, the Russians did not wage active hostilities in the Kurakhiv and Zaporizhzhya areas. In order to prevent the transfer of reserves to other areas, they fired at the positions of Ukrainian troops with tanks, mortars, artillery and rocket artillery in the areas of Avdiivka, Pisky, Opytny, Maryinka, Hrushovo and Novopol. The attempt of the Russians to attack in the direction of Marinka was brutally suppressed by Ukrainian soldiers.

In the South Bug direction, the Russians did not take active action. They fired on civilian infrastructure from tube and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Dobryanka, Mykolayivka and Trudolyubivka. They struck an air strike on the positions of Ukrainian troops near Knyazivka. In order to detect changes in the position of Ukrainian units and adjust the fire, They conducted aerial reconnaissance of UAVs.

In the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, the enemy's naval group is trying to maintain a favorable operational regime. Five high-precision weapons carriers are being held ready to launch missile strikes on objects on the territory of Ukraine.

Not feeling support among the inhabitants of the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, the occupiers are afraid of total resistance from the local population. In this regard, they carry out illegal searches, detentions and arrests. Ukrainian units continue to perform missile and artillery fire tasks in certain areas and beat the occupiers in close combat.

The Russian intelligence network still operates in Ukraine, and a number of saboteurs have been detained in Kyiv, said Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "Two citizens of Ukraine were detained in Kyiv, where photos of the capital's railway infrastructure were found. A woman with photos of checkpoints was detained in Shevchenkivskyi district. A man suspected of collaborating with members of Russian regular units subordinate to the Russian Ministry of Defense and other Russian law enforcement agencies has been detained in the Dniprovskyi district, ”Gromov said. According to him, Russia does not abandon its plans to seize the territory of Ukraine and disrupt the supply of weapons, but the Defense Forces of Ukraine "act united and in harmony."

Igor Konashenkov, Major General of the Russian Federation, spoke about the work of the RF Armed Forces over the past 24 hours. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of the radar post of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, located in the Kharkiv region. The mission was carried out by the army and operational-tactical aviation of the RF Armed Forces as part of a special military operation in Ukraine. The corresponding statement was made by the official representative of the department, Igor Konashenkov, as part of a regular briefing with journalists on June 23. The major general added that the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation, with the help of high-precision weapons, hit 49 49 tanks with fuel for enemy equipment, as well as up to 50 vehicles of multiple launch rocket systems. This list includes foreign-made equipment.

Also, operational-tactical and army aviation of Russia destroyed a field radar post in the Konstantinovka area. Missile units eliminated 26 command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, artillery. A platoon of 155-mm M-777 howitzers deployed on Kubansky Island was hit. A platoon of the Smerch MLRS was destroyed near the village of Novopokrovskoye in the Donetsk People's Republic.

“We must not fool ourselves: the cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. Lower gas flows sparked warnings that Germany could fall into recession if Russia supplies halted altogether. “It is obviously Putin’s strategy to create insecurity, drive up prices and divide us as a society,” Habeck added. “This is what we are fighting against.”

Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office, said that despite statements by some Western politicians about providing Ukraine with a large number of weapons, they were not in the Ukrainian army to the extent necessary to liberate the territory. According to him , parity in heavy weapons is needed to end the war and expel Russian forces from Ukraine. To do this, Ukraine needs 1,000 155mm howitzers, 300 multiple rocket launchers, 500 tanks, 2,000 units of armored vehicles and 1,000 drones.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States have arrived in Ukraine, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said. “Thank you to my US colleague and friend Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for these powerful tools! Summer will be hot for Russian occupiers. And the last one for some of them,” he said.

Ukraine wants to buy 10 stationary IRIS-T air defense systems and 100 Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled artillery units from Germany. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andriy Melnyk told about this in an interview with Ukrinform. According to him, Ukraine is working to establish a strategic dialogue with the German military-industrial complex, which is the fourth largest in the world. "I hope for Berlin's support in purchasing the next 10 stationary IRIS-T air defense systems, which are considered one of the coolest in the world and can provide a safe sky over Ukraine in the coming years ," Melnyk said. He also stressed that the German industry has already proposed to create for sale to Ukraine 100 new Panzerhaubitze 2000 ACS - it remains to obtain approval in Berlin.

Earlier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already stated that the IRIS-T air defense systems would be handed over to Ukraine. However, later it became clear that it would take months. And all because of the fact that Germany has only such missiles that can be launched from aircraft. However, Ukraine plans to transfer the version of IRIS-T, which can be launched from the ground. The Bundeswehr does not have such systems, so they must be sent to Ukraine by the manufacturer - Diehl Defense. It already supplies such systems to Egypt.

In Germany, few can imagine the defeat of Russia in a special operation in Ukraine, and the number of votes for a peace agreement is growing. Andriy Melnyk, the Ambassador of the Independent in Berlin, complained “Unfortunately, we have to admit that in Germany itself the number of votes in favor of concluding an early truce at any cost is growing, because few can really imagine the defeat of Russia”. According to Melnik, the Germans are afraid of the fact of a protracted conflict that will endanger their well-being. He recalled that Europe is faced with an unprecedented level of inflation and fears that the situation will worsen - this will be a challenge for Ukraine, because the supporters of peace will put pressure on the government. At the same time, the diplomat expressed hope for increased support for Kyiv from Berlin, believing that the Bundestag would stop looking for excuses and provide the maximum possible military assistance.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was able to confirm 4,662 deaths and 5,803 injuries to civilians in Ukraine as a result of a full-scale war in Russia. At least 320 children were killed and 479 were injured. These are data from February 24 to midnight on June 22, according to the UNHCR. However, the organization emphasizes that the real numbers are much higher , "because information from some places where intense fighting continues is delayed, and many reports of information from civilian casualties still need to be confirmed.»

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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:55 ZULU