The essentials in brief:
- Russia denies UN aid workers access to flood plains
- Zelenskyj: Moscow should prepare the Russians for the loss of territory
- Brigadier General Freuding: Reluctance to judge Ukraine offensive
- Mercenary chief Prigozhin: 32,000 ex-prisoners released from military service
- UK expands support for Ukrainian cyber defences
Russia does not allow UN officials to enter the Russian-controlled areas below the destroyed Kakhovka Dam. The UN said that such requests had been rejected by Moscow. “We urge the Russian authorities to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law,” said Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine. People who need help should not be denied it. The UN would “continue to do whatever it can to reach all people,” Brown said.
The Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River was partially destroyed on June 6, flooding vast areas controlled by Russia and Ukraine. Kiev and Moscow accuse each other of being responsible for the collapse of the dam.
Zelenskyj: Moscow should prepare the Russians for the loss of territory
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia should prepare its citizens for the loss of occupied territories. Russia has not only destroyed its own future in order to take the territories, but will also lose all the territories again, said Zelenskyj in his daily video address. There is no alternative to a “de-occupation” and there will be none. Step by step, the Ukrainian armed forces advanced to liberate their country. At the same time, he praised the “very effective” defense against attacks near Avdiywka, one of the focal points of the fighting in the east of the country.
According to British military intelligence, the heavy fighting was concentrated in Zaporizhia, the western part of Donetsk Oblast and the area around Bakhmut. “In all of these areas, Ukraine is continuing offensive operations and has made small advances,” the statement said on Twitter.
Brigadier General: Reluctance to assess Ukraine offensive
The head of the Ukraine Situation Center in the German Defense Ministry, Brigadier General Christian Freuding, has urged restraint when assessing the Ukrainian offensive against Russia. “We have to be a little careful not to become presumptuous in judging Ukrainian tactics from the Berlin summer terrace,” Freuding said on ARD television. Ukrainians have paid a heavy price in this war for over 400 days. “And I think we have neither the perspective nor the right to judge the actions of the Ukrainian units in terms of whether they were good, bad, appropriate or inappropriate.”
According to Freuding, Ukraine is very restrictive about information about the situation. “We call this militarily ‘operational security’. Of course, that’s understandable, because otherwise the enemy could draw conclusions from it.” However, he does not want to agree with the verdict that Ukraine’s actions are not going so well. There is a regaining of the initiative by the Ukrainian armed forces and first attack successes. “But we also saw that the defensive positions of the Russian armed forces were very well prepared.” The Ukrainian forces are currently consolidating to see where and with what they have succeeded.
Wagner boss: 32,000 ex-prisoners released from military service
According to Wagner, a private mercenary group, 32,000 of the criminals recruited in Russian prisons for military service in Ukraine have returned home. They had fulfilled their contract and their commitment to the fighting, said Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. The figures quoted by Prigozhin cannot be verified.
Human rights activists have expressed concern in the past that so many criminals, including murderers and other violent criminals, would be pardoned and released back into Russian society prematurely. On the other hand, the Wagner boss also sees military service as a “big rehabilitation program”. With the approval of President Vladimir Putin, Prigozhin recruited some of the prisoners himself in the penal camps. Putin pardoned those who then signed a contract for military service. The condition was to complete at least six months of combat missions in Ukraine.
According to human rights activists, Russia continues to recruit criminals in prisons for military service in large numbers beyond the Wagner mercenaries. Accordingly, the Ministry of Defense in particular now uses the penal system to recruit fighters.
UK expands support for Ukrainian cyber defences
The UK has announced plans to expand its cyber defense support program in Ukraine. An additional 16 million pounds are to be made available for this purpose, as the government in London announced. A further nine million pounds could therefore come from international allies. The package will put Ukraine in a better position to defend its critical national infrastructure against Russian attacks.
“Russia’s appalling attacks on Ukraine are not limited to the barbaric land invasion, but also include heinous attempts to attack the country’s cyber infrastructure,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. This provides vital services for the Ukrainian population, from banking to energy supply. The new funds are crucial “to stop these attacks”.
qu/wa (dpa, rtr, afp)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.