«Масштаб загибелі цивільних, пошкодження і знищення цивільної інфраструктури переконливо свідчать про порушення міжнародного гуманітарного права, деякі з яких можуть бути воєнними злочинами»
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “victory will be ours” Friday as the conflict with Russia entered its 100th day.
Zelenskyy appeared in a video filmed outside the presidential palace in Kyiv, flanked by the same officials who appeared in a similar video on the day of the invasion, February 24.
“Our team is much bigger. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are here. The most important — the people, the people of our state are here. Defending Ukraine for 100 days already. Victory will be ours,” he said.
European leaders also voiced solidarity with Ukraine. “100 days ago Russia unleashed its unjustifiable war on Ukraine. The bravery of Ukrainians commands our respect and our admiration. The EU stands with Ukraine,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
Russia began building up troops along the border in the fall of 2021 but repeatedly denied it planned to attack its neighbor. Then, on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a televised address announcing what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
“We will strive to de-militarize and de-Nazify Ukraine and will bring to justice those who committed multiple bloody crimes against civilians, including Russian citizens,” Putin said.
That night, explosions echoed across Kyiv. Russian tanks and armored vehicles began crossing the border. A sovereign European nation had been invaded, triggering the continent’s worst conflict since 1945.
U.S. President Joe Biden said it was a pre-meditated attack. “The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine, without provocation, without justification, without necessity,” Biden said.
A 64-kilometer-long Russian armored column approached Kyiv from the north. But tactical mistakes saw the Russian advance on Kyiv stall as Ukraine’s armed forces put up fierce resistance, aided by Western weapons, including anti-tank missiles and drones.
By April, Russian forces were in retreat from the capital. They left behind scenes of horror. In towns like Bucha, advancing Ukrainian forces uncovered mass civilian graves and widespread evidence of torture and mass rape by Russian soldiers. Moscow claimed the evidence was fabricated.
Visiting the site of the mass graves in Bucha, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said the world must take action. “These are war crimes and they will be recognized by the world as genocide,” he said.
The atrocities prompted NATO and Western countries to beef up their deployments in eastern Europe and increase weapons supplies to Ukraine. “We agreed that we must further strengthen and sustain our support to Ukraine so that Ukraine prevails in the face of Russia’s invasion,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said April 7.
The United States has so far pledged $53 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid.
Finland and Sweden – which for decades have remained neutral – applied to join NATO in the face of Russia’s aggression.
Meanwhile, the war prompted a huge exodus of Ukrainian refugees, with some six million fleeing to neighboring countries so far, and a further eight million internally displaced within Ukraine.
Russia is weaponizing refugees, says Afzal Ashraf, a professor of international affairs at Britain’s Loughborough University. “The shelling of civilian areas and driving out large amounts of civilian populations may well be part of the Russian plan, because that serves them well. It puts pressure, long term economic and political pressure, on Western governments,” Ashraf told AFP.
Western sanctions have tightened the economic noose on Russia, causing its currency to plummet. The U.S. banned imports of Russian energy. Europe – which is far more reliant on such imports – agreed to phase out Russian coal by the end of 2022 and ban most oil imports. However, European countries have so far failed to agree on a gas embargo and continue to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Russia every day.
Facing mounting military losses, the Kremlin had redirected its forces to the eastern Donbas region by early May and began a new offensive to take the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, which had been partly controlled by pro-Russian rebels since Moscow’s forceful annexation of Crimea in 2013.
The strategic port of Mariupol was all but destroyed. It fell to Russian forces in late May, after the last 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers sheltering in the giant Azovstal steelworks surrendered. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the city under indiscriminate Russian shelling and missile strikes.
Fighting continues to rage in the east and south of Ukraine. The governor of the Luhansk region said Friday that Russia now controls around 70 percent of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk. Russian forces have been making steady gains across Donbas in recent days.
The U.S. is to begin sending long-range GPS-guided artillery systems to Ukraine, something Kyiv has long demanded, says Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington.
“If you combine Ukrainian bravery and skill and a willingness to defend their homes against this unprovoked invasion with Western support, which frankly we’re going to have to be able to provide for the long haul, then I think over the long run this will be a grand strategic disaster for Putin. But in the short term, let’s be clear, the picture is mixed,” Bowman told VOA.
Президент Чехії визнав, що його слова, сказані в 2017 році, були «дещо недипломатичними», і сьогодні він би так не висловився
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was summoning the heads of U.S. media outlets in Moscow to a meeting this Monday to notify them of tough measures in response to U.S. restrictions against Russian media.
“If the work of the Russian media – operators and journalists – is not normalized in the United States, the most stringent measures will inevitably follow,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday.
“To this end, on Monday, June 6, the heads of the Moscow offices of all American media will be invited to the press center of the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain to them the consequences of their government’s hostile line in the media sphere,” she added. “We look forward to it.”
Russia has accused Western countries of imposing unfair restrictions on its media abroad, including bans on some state-backed news outlets. Lawmakers passed a bill last month giving prosecutors powers to shut foreign media bureaus in Moscow if a Western country has been “unfriendly” to Russian media.
Since invading Ukraine in February, Russia has cracked down on media coverage of the conflict, introducing 15-year prison sentences for journalists spreading intentionally “fake” news about what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The law prompted some Western media to pull their journalists out of Russia. Other Western organizations, including Reuters, have stayed in the country and continue to report.
Russia says it is engaged in a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and allies call this a baseless pretext for a war that has killed thousands, flattened cities, and forced more than 6 million people to flee abroad.
«Проти РФ запровадили більш ніж 6 тисяч найрізноманітніших санкцій, і ступінь єдності вражає»
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that Russian forces occupy about 20% of Ukrainian territory. Friday marks the 100th day of fighting which continues on several fronts.
“Just imagine! Constant fighting, which stretched along the front line for more than a thousand kilometers,” Zelenskyy told the Luxembourg parliament in a virtual speech Thursday. He said the Ukrainian area controlled by Moscow’s forces is comparable to the entirety of the Netherlands.
Zelenskyy did not say how much territory Russia has captured since the start of its invasion, Feb. 24. Moscow seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and Russia-backed separatists had also captured parts of the eastern Donbas region, where fighting is the most intense now, prior to the invasion.
Ukraine said Thursday its forces have recaptured 20 small towns and villages in the Kherson region in the southern part of the country. Meanwhile, Russian forces continued their assault on Sievierodonetsk, the last major city nominally held by Ukraine in the Luhansk region in the eastern part of the country.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said Russia controlled about 70% of the city as fierce street battles took place.
Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia has taken control of most of the city. The ministry said Ukrainian forces control the main road into Sievierodonetsk, with Russia making “steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery.”
A Ukrainian official said Kyiv’s forces were hoping to recapture territory lost earlier in the war in southern Ukraine in part to tie up some Russian forces more focused on fighting in the Donbas region.
The Ukrainian leader’s assessment of the war came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States is providing Ukraine with a $700 million package of “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” to help fight off Russia’s invasion, now in its fourth month. White House officials say Ukraine has vowed not to fire those rockets into Russian territory.
“This new package will arm them with new capabilities and advanced weaponry, including HIMARS with battlefield munitions, to defend their territory from Russian advances,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to lead the world in providing historic assistance to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom.” Biden used the acronym for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.
Zelenskyy said in his daily address that the HIMARS package is one item in a list of “three important pieces of news” for Ukraine.
The two other items are the European Union’s moves “towards the implementation of the sixth sanctions package” against Russia, which Zelenskyy said is “primarily about oil,” and also the fact that “more and more embassies” are resuming “their full-fledged activities in Kyiv.”
“The world is giving up Russian oil,” Zelenskyy said. “Moreover, other countries, which produce much better and lighter oil, are preparing to replace Russian supplies. Therefore, huge revenues are lost for the aggressor state in this sphere.” He said, Russia “has to get used to the fact that a very painful reduction in income is an inevitable consequence of the war.”
The return of embassy activity to Ukraine’s capital, Zelenskyy said is “a testament to the faith in our victory.”
Поки що пожежу не вдається локалізувати (фото ілюстративне)
Олександр Невзоров нині живе в Ізраїлі. В Росії проти нього порушено кримінальну справу за дискредитацію російської армії та видано ордер на арешт
Дмитро Живицький розповів, що останні три тижні щільність обстрілів армією РФ посилилась (фото ілюстративне)
For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.
The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.
4:30 a.m.: Reuters reports that Ukraine’s 2022 wheat crop is likely to drop some 42%, to 19.2 tons.
Ukrainian officials and analysts warn that the conflict with Russia could make any harvest impossible.
Additionally, Reuters reports, corn production could drop to 26.1 million tons, down from 37.6 million tons in 2021, and the barley crop could fall to 6.6 million tons, down from from 10.1 million tons.
3:08 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry says that after failure to seize Kyiv and Ukrainian centers of government at the beginning of the invasion, Russia is now seeing some success in the Donbas.
“Russian forces have generated and maintained momentum and currently appear to hold the initiative over Ukrainian opposition,” the update notes.
However, the update says, this success had a “significant resource cost” and has not been replicated in other areas of Ukraine.
“Any form of success,” the update notes, “will require continued huge investment of manpower and equipment, and is likely to take considerable further time.”
2:03 a.m.: CNN reports that Ukraine is investigting 10 Russian military personnel who allegedly looted civilian property in Bucha.
CNN reports the items allegedly stolen include underwear, clothing and large household appliances. The prosecutor says the suspects mailed the looted property to their relatives.
1:05 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that the U.S. says it’ll hold Russia accountable for crimes its forces have committed since the invasion of Ukraine began.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya addressed the U.N. Security Council and said the U.S. and its allies support a broad range of international investigations into alleged atrocities in Ukraine.
12:02 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that a man in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has been indicted for allegedly supporting the Russian invasion. A prosecutor says the man produced and distributed materials justifying the invasion. If convicted, he could get five years in prison.
Some information in this report came from Reuters.
31 травня Євросоюз погодив шостий пакет санкцій щодо Росії
США постійно розширюють список підсанкційних осіб та організацій за зв’язки з Кремлем і причетність до агресії проти України
«Працюємо над тим, щоб вивести обсяг постачання саме сучасних бойових систем на значно вищий рівень»
У Лисичанську Луганської області зруйновано 60% об’єктів інфраструктури та житлових будинків, повідомив 2 червня у телемарафоні голова міської військово-цивільної адміністрації Олександр Заїка.
«Обстріли з кожним днем стають все більш потужними. Окупанти без перерви гатять по всьому місту. В Лисичанську на 60% зруйнована вся інфраструктура та житлова забудова. З підвозом води допомагають ДСНС, харчі також є. В місті немає світла, газу, електроенергії, телефонного зв’язку та інтернету. Про ситуацію в Україні люди дізнаються від співробітників поліції та волонтерів», – зазначив Заїка.
Він додав, що траса Бахмут – Лисичанськ перебуває під контролем українських Збройних сил, але її постійно обстрілюють війска РФ.
«Там гатять без перерви, проїхати дуже важко, але є альтернативні дороги, якими можна пересуватися більш-менш безпечно», – сказав Заїка.
Попри постійні обстріли, в місто щоденно надходить гуманітарна допомога, цьому сприяють рятувальники та поліцейські, додав він.
«В місті залишається близько 20 тисяч мирних мешканців, раніше було приблизно 97 тисяч населення. Наразі евакуація з міста призупинена», – зазначив посадовець.
30 травня в Лисичанську під обстріл армії РФ потрапив броньований евакуаційний транспорт, який їхав забирати цивільних з області. Смертельно був поранений французький журналіст Фредерік Леклерк-Імхофф.
More than three months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Justice Department is girding for more Russian cyberattacks, the department’s top national security official said Thursday.
“At DOJ, we’re particularly focused right now on the cyberthreat from Russia,” said Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “And we are bracing for the possibility of more attacks.”
Olsen made the remarks at a conference of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence. The Tallinn, Estonia-based organization this week approved Ukraine’s bid to join as a “contributing participant.”
Olsen’s comments echoed repeated warnings by the Biden administration throughout the Ukraine conflict that Russia is likely to carry out cyberattacks against the United States in response to punishing Western sanctions on Moscow.
In March, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned about “possible threats to U.S. and international satellite communication networks.”
The warning came after a purported Russian cyberattack on U.S.-based telecommunications provider Viasat on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.
The attack left tens of thousands of Viasat’s Ukrainian customers without satellite service.
The attack, Olsen said, was “one of numerous recent examples” of Russian malicious cyberactivity.
In a massive cyberattack in late 2020, Russian hackers exploited software developed by U.S.-based SolarWinds Corporation to compromise the computer networks of multiple U.S. government agencies and private companies.
In response, the Biden administration last year expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on several Russian individuals and entities.
Olsen said the Justice Department is working with other law enforcement agencies and private companies to respond to cyberthreats.
“We are determined to hold accountable those who target and attempt to destroy the computer systems that support our critical infrastructure,” Olsen said.
In March, the Justice Department announced criminal charges against four Russian government employees in connection with two hacking campaigns that targeted the global energy sector between 2012 and 2018.
In addition to prosecuting hackers, the Justice Department has “taken more proactive steps to disrupt nation-state cyberthreats before a significant attack or intrusion can occur,” Olsen said.
He cited a 2021 court-authorized operation by the Justice Department to disrupt a Chinese hacking group’s exploitation of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Exchange Server.
Olsen did not say whether the U.S. has taken any proactive steps against Russian cyber actors during the Ukraine conflict. But General Paul Nakasone, head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told Sky News on Wednesday that the U.S. had conducted offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine during the three-month-old war.
Britain celebrates the second day of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday, with the highlight a service of thanksgiving attended by senior royals and politicians that the 96-year-old monarch herself will miss due to ongoing mobility issues.
The four days of events kicked off Thursday, when a happy-looking Elizabeth waved to crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after a military parade and Royal Air Force flyover, and later led the lighting of the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at her Windsor Castle home.
The celebrations continue with a National Service of Thanksgiving at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral to pay tribute to the sovereign’s 70 years on the throne.
But the queen, who has been forced to cancel a series of engagements recently because of “episodic mobility problems,” will be absent, pulling out late Thursday and slightly taking the sheen off the day’s party atmosphere.
“The queen greatly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Officials said the journey from Windsor Castle, where she spends most of her time, to London and the activity involved for the service were too much and that a regrettable but sensible decision had been taken.
A palace source said it had always been the queen’s hope that she would attend rather than a firm commitment.
She will not be the only absentee. Her second son, Prince Andrew, 62, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will also miss the service, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Thursday.
That will potentially spare the royals some awkwardness, with Andrew’s reputation shattered after he settled a U.S. lawsuit in February in which he had been accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage, claims he denied.
Grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who have made almost no public appearances in Britain since stepping down from royal duties two years ago, are expected to attend.
The couple moved to the United States to lead a more independent life and have since delivered some stinging attacks on Buckingham Palace and the royal family.
The service will include Bible readings, prayers and hymns to express gratitude for Elizabeth’s reign. Political figures from Britain and across the world will be in attendance, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a reading.
David Ison, the Dean of St. Paul’s, will say, “We come together in this cathedral church today to offer to God our thanks and praise for the reign of her majesty the queen and especially for her seventy years of faithful and dedicated service.”
The cathedral’s “Great Paul” bell — the largest in the country and dating to 1882 — will also be rung for the first time at a royal occasion since being restored last year after a mechanism broke in the 1970s.
After the service, a reception will be held at the Guildhall hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Thursday marked not only the start of the Jubilee, but also the 69th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth, who became queen upon the death of her father, George VI, in February 1952.
She has now been on the throne for longer than any of her predecessors in 1,000 years and is the third-longest reigning monarch ever of a sovereign state. Opinion polls show she remains hugely popular and respected among British people.
“She is a very special person in our lives and always has been,” said 74-year-old retired teacher Sandra Wallace, one of the tens of thousands who thronged central London on Thursday.
«Багатьом урядам доведеться пояснювати протестувальникам на вулицях різних європейських міст, чому наш континент опинився в заручниках однієї держави»
На честь свята по всій країні оголошені довгі вихідні, починаючи з четверга і до кінця тижня, під час яких відбудуться урочистості й масові гуляння
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