Russo-Ukraine War - 28 June 2022 - Day 125
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]
NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the Western alliance after the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The breakthrough came after four hours of talks just before a NATO summit began in Madrid, averting an embarrassing impasse at the gathering of 30 leaders that aimed to show resolve against Russia. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the terms of the deal involved Sweden intensifying work on Turkish extradition requests and amending Swedish and Finnish law to toughen their approach to those seen as threats by Ankara. Sweden and Finland would lift their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.
Russia will be named NATO's "major direct threat". In this regard, it is planned to radically increase the rapid reaction forces in Europe. "They like to play with words, but this does not change the essence," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov. "A long time ago, before any NATO summit was convened, Russia was declared an enemy in one way or another. Moreover, if you listen to the statements of Western politicians, it has been declared an enemy simply because it does not want to agree with the neoliberal world order, which the United States, having subjugated the entire Western world without exception, is imposing on everyone else."
Some members of the US government are skeptical about Kiev’s ability to turn the tide of war against Russia and mount an effective counteroffensive to retake territories lost in the past four months, CNN reported. They believe Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should moderate his expectations and redefine what he would consider victory against Russia, the news outlet said. Others remain hopeful that Kiev can defy the odds, if provided enough Western weapons.
“Whether Ukraine can take back these territories is in large part, if not entirely, a function of how much support we give them,” a US congressional aide was cited as saying. The skeptics are concerned that even with Western military aid, Kiev will not be able to effectively take on Russia on the battlefield, the report said. Ukraine has suffered heavy losses both in manpower and weapons, as its forces have been repelled from key areas in the east in recent weeks.
Zelensky has pledged to continue fighting until Russian troops are pushed back to where they were before the offensive started in late February. Kiev expected the Western support to give it a stronger position to eventually negotiate a peace settlement, and Washington believed it would ensure a strategic defeat for Russia. CNN’s sources say the Biden administration did not intend to put pressure on Kiev to adjust its policies, mirroring public statements by US officials. Even if the advice of the skeptics is heeded, Zelensky is not expected to formally relinquish Ukrainian claims on lost territory, the report said.
On the morning of June 28, the Kremlin issued an ultimatum that the war could be completed "by the end of the day" if the Ukrainian military laid down its arms and the Ukrainian authorities complied with Russia's demands. "The Ukrainian side can stop everything before the end of the current day, we need an order for nationalist units to lay down their arms, an order for the Ukrainian military to lay down their arms, and we need to fulfill the conditions of the Russian Federation. Everything can end before the end of the day. The rest is the thoughts of the head of the Ukrainian state," the press Secretary of the President said.
The Office of the President of Ukraine reacted to the ultimatum to Ukraine to lay down its arms and surrender to end the war "by the end of the day" voiced by a spokesman for Russian President Dmitry Peskov. "Ukraine did not start this war to stop it" by order. " They can end the war in Moscow at any time, simply by returning to adequacy: stop sending missiles through cities, withdraw troops and abandon "nuclear propaganda," said Mykhailo Podoliak, an anti-crisis adviser to the head of the OP and a member of Ukraine's delegation to Russia.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their positions on higher ground in the city of Lyschansak, after falling back from Sieverodonetsk. Ukrainian forces continue to disrupt Russian command and control with successful strikes deep behind Russian lines. Over 24-26 June, Russia launched unusually intense waves of strikes across Ukraine using long-range missiles. These weapons highly likely included the Soviet-era AS-4 KITCHEN and more modern AS-23a KODIAK missiles, fired from both Belarusian and Russian airspace. These weapons were designed to take on targets of strategic importance, but Russia continues to expend them in large numbers for tactical advantage. Similarly, it fielded the core elements of six different armies yet achieved only tactical success at Sieverodonetsk. The Russian armed forces are increasingly hollowed out. They currently accept a level of degraded combat effectiveness, which is probably unsustainable in the long term.
The spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Shtupun reported that in the Volyn and Polissya areas, the system of engineering equipment for defense positions in the border areas of the Brest region continues to grow. In the period from June 28 to July 16 of this year, in Zhlobin district of Gomel region, it is planned to hold military meetings with conscripts. Demonstrative and provocative actions by units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the areas bordering on Ukraine and conducting reconnaissance in order to clarify the positions and nature of the activities of Ukrainian troops are not ruled out.
In the Seversky direction, in order to restrain the actions of units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, the Russians held up to three battalion tactical groups in the border areas of Bryansk and Kursk regions. They carried out artillery shelling in the areas of the settlements of Turya, Krasnopillya, Khmelivka and Popivka in the Sumy region and the village of Hirsk in the Chernihiv region. In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians fired artillery at the settlements of Zolochiv, Slatyne, Verkhniy Saltiv, Pechenyhy, Korobochkyne, Rubizhne, Peremoha, Yavirske, Ruska Lozova, Tsyrkuny, Chepil, Ivanivka, Ruski Tyshky, Cherkaski Tyshky, Petrovka, Vitrivka, and Svit.
The Russian occupiers also fired on the northern part of the city of Kharkiv. An air strike from Ka-52 helicopters was recorded near the village of Yavirske. Ukrainian soldiers repulsed the assault and forced the occupiers to withdraw in the areas of settlements Dementievka, Dovgalivka and Zaliman. The Russians conducted air reconnaissance of UAVs near Kutuzovka and Tsyrkuniv.
In the Slavic direction, Ukrainian troops stopped the Russians assault in the directions of the villages of Dolyna and Mazanivka. The invaders retreated. Artillery shelling by the Russians was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Adamivka, Krasnopillya, Dolyna, Dibrovne, Barvinkove, Mazanivka, Bohorodychne, Hrushuvakha, Kurulka and Velyka Komyshuvakha. Russian UAVs operated in the area of the village of Dibrovne.
In the Kramatorsk direction, the Russians did not take active action. They fired from rocket-propelled grenade launchers near Mayakiv, Slovyansk, Zvanivka, Serebryanka, Pereizny, and Zolotarivka. In the Lysychansk direction, the Russians fired mortars and artillery shells at the Lysychansk and Vovchoyarivka districts. The Russians did not stop trying to take control of the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway. They led the offensive in the direction of the settlement of Spirne, had no success, and withdrew. In the Bakhmut direction, the occupiers fired from artillery and rocket artillery near Berestovo, Belogorivka, Bakhmut, Klinov, Vershina, Novolugansk, Travnevo and Zaitsevo. Inflicted a missile and air strike on the Shumiv district.
In the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhzhya directions, the Russians fired artillery at the areas of the settlements of Kamyanka, Avdiivka, Vodiane, Marinka, Novomykhailivka, Vugledar, Shevchenko, Vremivka, Zelene Pole, Poltavka, Hirke, Staroznyachnike, Zake. A unit of Ka-52 helicopters struck near Avdiivka. In the South Bug direction, the Russians continued shelling with the use of barrel and jet artillery in the areas of settlements Osokorivka, Velyka Kostromka, Trudolyubivka, Shiroke, Kobzartsi, Lyubomyrivka, Blagodatne, Kulbakine, Shevchenkove, Posad-Pokrovske and Stepova Dolyna. Russians air strikes were recorded near Potemkin, Velykyi Artakov and Oleksandrivka. In the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, in readiness to launch missile strikes on objects in Ukraine, the Russians held two carriers of high-precision weapons, the total volley of which is up to 16 cruise missiles naval base "Caliber".
One of the missiles fired by Russian troops on June 27 in Kremenchuk hit an industrial enterprise that produced weapons in Soviet times, but now it does not work, said Mayor Vitaly Maletsky. "One of the missiles hit an industrial enterprise that produced weapons during the Soviet era. But since 1989 it has not produced anything like that. The second rocket exploded right inside the mall."
The situation with the tactics of hostilities in Lysychansk is better than in Severodonetsk. Roman Vlasenko, the head of the Severodonetsk District Military Administration, spoke about this on Radio Svoboda. "According to the relief of Lysychansk - the dominant height. Part of Lysychansk is also blocked by the Seversky Donets. This is also a plus for us. But there are a lot of Russians, aircraft and artillery are working very hard, they are trying to storm Lysychansk with a wide front, so the situation is very difficult, but from the point of view of combat tactics the situation in Lysychansk is better than in Severodonetsk, "Vlasenko said. According to him, the hottest spots in Luhansk region are currently the road between Lysychansk and Bakhmut, the Lysychansk refinery and the area around Lysychansk in the area of Bila Hora.
The occupiers planted anti-personnel mines in Lysychansk, Luhansk region. Because of this, moving around the city is currently dangerous. The chairman of the Luhansk OVA Sergey Gaidai reported about it. "Lysychansk is stuffed with anti-personnel mines - it is designed to kill civilians. orcs want more victims , "Gaidai said. He called on people to restrict movement on the streets of Lysychansk. The official also mentioned that enemy warehouses were burning again in the occupied territories: he stressed that this could slow down the attack on Lysychansk.
According to the LPR ambassador to Russia, Rodion Miroshnik , Ukrainian troops are gradually fleeing from Lisichansk, as they realize that it is impossible to keep the city. The politician received similar information from local residents. At the same time, the main escape routes have already been blocked by Russian troops. The columns of nationalists who tried to leave the suburbs of Lysichansk were partially defeated on the march, so the Ukrainians can only secretly retreat along “secret paths”, and the most desperate ones can attempt a breakthrough, exposing themselves to serious danger.
The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, said that the high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces defeated the deployment point of the 106th battalion of the 63rd motorized infantry brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the village of Visunsk, Nikolaev region. Also, five command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and three warehouses with ammunition and rocket and artillery weapons were hit in the areas of the settlements of Bereznegovatoe, Mykolaiv region, Novodruzhesk, Luhansk People's Republic.
“Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit: 24 command posts, artillery and mortar units in 58 districts, as well as manpower and military equipment in 304 districts,” the Telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense reported. Also, two Tochka-U tactical missiles were intercepted near the village of Kakhovka in the Kherson region and a multiple rocket launcher near Zmeiny Island.
Germany and the Netherlands have decided to transfer to Ukraine three more self-propelled artillery units Panzerhaubitze 2000. This was stated in Madrid by German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren. At the same time, Lambrecht summed up that Germany has already exhausted its capabilities in providing Ukraine with these artillery installations. It was decided to send additional artillery to Kyiv at the request of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov. "It is important that Ukraine can count on us. If they say they need it, we do our best to provide it,” said Ollongren. Earlier, Germany had already sent Ukraine 7 Panzerhaubitze 2000 anti-aircraft guns, and the Netherlands - 5. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the first German Panzerhaubitze2000 howitzers were already at the front.
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznik said that with the support of Turkey, the construction of a plant for the production of Bayraktar drones is being organized in the country. According to him, agreements in principle have already been reached on this issue, the defense departments of the two states continue to maintain contact. The minister noted that this project is a "medium-term plan." Previously, Kyiv received such drones directly from their manufacturer, in total a little less than 50 units were delivered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Russia has lost 250 of its troops in the last 24 hours, and the aggressors suffered the greatest losses in the Bakhmut direction, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said. In total , the Russian army has lost about 35,250 people since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine , according to the General Staff.