1. Volodymyr Zelensky announced the launch of the “Book of Executioners” – an information system that collects confirmed data on war crimes in the Russian army. “Such a “Book of Executioners” is one of the foundations not only of the responsibility of the direct perpetrators of war crimes – the soldiers of the occupying army but also of their commanders. The ones who gave the orders. Those who made possible everything they did in Ukraine,” he said in an address following the 104th day of the war. Zelensky noted that more than 31,000 Russian soldiers had already died during the war in the same video. “Russia pays for completely senseless war against Ukraine with almost 300 lives of its soldiers every day. And anyway, the day will come when the number of losses, even for Russia, will cross the permissible limit,” the President of Ukraine said. (Source: YouTube).
1. UK Intelligence: Russia continues to attack the Severodonetsk “pocket” from three directions, although the Ukrainian defense holds. It is unlikely that either side has made significant progress in the past 24 hours. While Russia is concentrating its offensive on the central sector of Donbas, it continues to defend on the flanks. Ukrainian forces have recently had some success with counterattacks in the southwest of the Kherson region, including re-establishing positions on the eastern bank of the Ingulets River. Since the front of the occupied zone stretches for more than 500 kilometers, both Russia and Ukraine face the same problems maintaining a defensive line while freeing up combat-ready combat units for offensive operations. (Source: Twitter).
2. ISW: Over the past 24 hours, Russian forces have likely taken control of most of the residential area of Severodonetsk and have targeted Ukrainian positions in the industrial space over the past 24 hours. The operational environment in the city remains unstable. The Russians continued their attack on Sloviansk southeast of the Izyum region and west of Liman, trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses. They will probably continue to try to advance towards Lysychansk both from the Toshkovka-Ustinovka region in the south and the Kupyansk region in the northwest. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation began to withdraw troops from positions in the Zaporizhzhia region, probably transferring the damaged units to the rear areas or strengthening the Russian defense in the northwest of the Kherson region. On June 7, Russian troops failed to return to their advanced positions on the western bank of the Ingulets River. (Source: ISW).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine initiated the creation of a special council that “will deal with the issues of de-Russification, decommunization, and decolonization.” “The council’s competence will include dismantling sculptures and monuments with a Soviet or Russian component. The council will work together with representatives of the public and local authorities. Due to the full-scale invasion of Russia, the request to replace the Soviet and Russian heritage with Ukrainian in our state has significantly intensified. The most controversial in this context is monumental art. After all, some monuments and sculptures have a Soviet or Russian component and, at the same time, are works of art. According to the law, there are various procedures for dismantling and handling them. Such issues must be agreed with local authorities and society,” says the message. After the outbreak of the war in Kyiv, they began to demolish monuments and other memorials associated with the USSR and Russia. In particular, in Kyiv, the Arch of Friendship of Peoples has been renamed the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People, and the Soviet statues of two workers standing near it were dismantled. In Kharkiv, the monument to Alexander Nevsky was dismantled, and in Mykolaiv – to Alexander Pushkin. (Source: Meduza).
2. The World Bank has approved additional financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $1.49 billion. These funds will be used to pay salaries to state and social workers. The total amount of assistance to Ukraine from the World Bank has already amounted to more than four billion dollars. (Source: Reuters).
1. “Sergey Vladilenovich Kiriyenko visited our city of Melitopol on a working visit. We were very pleased to hear warm words about our city <…> We know that our future is one with Russia. The Russian Federation is here forever now. And now we are starting to prepare for the referendum,” said Galina Danilchenko, “the head of the military-civilian administration of Melitopol.” She did not specify what kind of referendum they were talking about. On June 7, Sergei Kiriyenko also visited Kherson. The inclusion of the Kherson region into Russia will be full-fledged, by analogy with the entry of the Crimea, say Russians. On June 1, Secretary of the General Council of United Russia Andrey Turchak announced that the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and the “DPR” and “LPR” would become part of Russia. Speaking of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Turchak said that “a referendum should be organized” and that “the residents themselves should make the decision.” At that time, Turchak became the highest-ranking Russian official who directly announced plans for annexing Ukrainian regions to Russia. According to Russian law, a foreign state or part of it cannot be annexed to Russia without the consent of the leadership of this state. Therefore, in 2014, Crimea first adopted a declaration of independence and then held a referendum on joining Russia. (Source: Meduza).
2. Satellite images of the destruction in Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, and Sloviansk have been published. The greatest destruction of the buildings suffered from shelling with cannon artillery, as well as MLRS. Also depicted are residential areas in Rubezhnoye a few days after the fighting for the city. Also in the pictures, you can see Russian artillery entrenched in the fields, which is focused on Severodonetsk, and traces of massive shelling near the village of Dovgenkoe, Kharkiv region. (Source: Telegram).
1. Angela Merkel gave her first interview since leaving the post of Chancellor of Germany. In it, she, in particular, called the Russian invasion of Ukraine a big mistake. “This is a brutal, defying international law attack with no justification. Putin wants to destroy Europe. He wants to destroy the European Union because he sees the first step towards NATO in it,” she said. The former chancellor stressed that she would not be a mediator in resolving the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv and negotiating with Putin. “In my mind, I shouldn’t do things that the German government doesn’t ask me to do,” Merkel said, adding that her talks with the Russian president “won’t do any good.” She refused to apologize for the “appeasement policy” toward Moscow. “Diplomacy isn’t wrong just because it didn’t work. I don’t have to blame myself for not trying hard enough. I don’t see the need to say ‘it was wrong,’ so I have nothing to apologize for,” Merkel said. She also answered why in 2008, she opposed Ukraine’s accession to NATO. According to her, “Ukraine was then very split politically between Yanukovych and Yushchenko. It was not an internally democratically stable country.” In addition, she suggested that then Russia would interfere with the accelerated entry, and “it would not do any good.” (Source: Spiegel).