1. 330 thousand Russian militaries are involved in the war with Ukraine. Today, the Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the UAF General Staff, General Oleksiy Gromov, voiced this assessment. 220 thousand people are direct personnel, and another 80 thousand people are reservists. Gromov estimates the number of National Guardsmen in Ukraine at 18 thousand people and fighters from private military companies – up to 8 thousand people. (Source: BBC).
1. On June 17, the European Commission will discuss Ukraine’s application for the status of a candidate country. Today it will hold a final discussion of the application for the status of a candidate country to the European Union and will voice its consolidated position, which will then be presented to EU leaders in the form of a recommendation for a political decision. The day before, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis visited Kyiv. All of them were in favor of granting Ukraine candidate status. The issue of the status of candidate countries will be discussed at the EU summit on June 23-24. (Source: BBC).
1. GUR: Putin’s inner circle is talking about the “guaranteed” security of the Crimean Bridge. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claims that the Russian military is in full control of the situation. However, it is difficult to take seriously statements about the complete safety of people who are not able to ensure the preservation of the technical documentation of a strategic facility. Ukrainian intelligence claims that it has all the technical documentation related to the bridge: its infrastructure, schemes of exits and arrivals, arrangement of supports, and terrain. Earlier, Ukrainian Major General Dmitry Marchenko called the Crimean bridge “the number one target for defeat,” since reserves are flowing along with it from Russia. (Source: Telegram).
2. UK Intelligence: Likely, Russian forces have destroyed all bridges over the Seversky Donets River, which links Severodonetsk with Ukrainian military forces. Including those who are in Lysychansk. At the same time, Ukraine managed to withdraw most of the military from the city. However, the situation remains complicated for those militaries and civilians who remain east of the river. In the Donbas, Russian troops will likely operate in scattered and severely understrength groups. Some battalion tactical teams, which usually consist of 600-800 men, have only about 30 men. Fights on both sides are fought in small groups on foot. Under such conditions, Russia cannot take advantage of its advantage – a large number of tanks, as this will greatly slow down the advance of troops. (Source: Twitter).
1. The Western Air Force adheres to the doctrine of “dominance in the air,” which means “the ability to interfere with enemy flights without losing the ability to fly alone,” said the US Air Force Colonel Maximilian Bremer and senior researcher at the New American Engagement Initiative Kelly Griko. Ukraine’s success in confronting one of the world’s most significant air forces offers an alternative vision – closing airspace instead of gaining an advantage in the air. Ukraine’s air force cannot yet be called decisive, but its army effectively uses anti-aircraft missile systems against Russian aircraft. The essay refers to data from the analytical organization Oryx about 96 Russian planes destroyed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The most convincing proof of Ukraine’s success in the sky is that the Russians are afraid to enter Ukrainian airspace. And when they do fly to Ukraine, they go low to avoid radar and become an easy target for portable systems like the Stinger. The war in Ukraine shows the future of air warfare, where smaller states can control the skies and repel more powerful aircraft. It also means that the long-term US Air Force will end if the US Air Force does not equate the doctrine of closing the sky with strategies of superiority and does not move from expensive, sophisticated aircraft to cheaper and smaller vehicles, including drones. (Source: WOR).
2. A recent survey outlines changes in the public opinion of nine EU member states and British citizens on Ukraine’s EU policy. Although support for Ukraine remains high, the gap between those who want a quick end to the conflict and those who want to punish Russia is widening. 73% of respondents blame Russia for the war, while 35% want peace as soon as possible after. Significantly fewer – 22% – are in favor of justice, ie the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and bringing Russia to justice. In Italy, the largest share of those who “seek peace”, and in Poland – the largest camp “for justice”. The report says Germans, Italians, and French are most concerned about rising living costs and energy prices, while Swedes, Britons, and Poles are worried about the threat of nuclear war. According to the report, the ability of governments to support public approval of policies that may be detrimental to EU citizens will be crucial. (Source: Guardian).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. Ukrainians voted for the fourth version of the “military” series. It shows a tractor pulling a Russian tank on a rope. Ukrposhta expects to sell 5 million copies, which is not the story’s end. Ukrposhta found a golden vein. The brands that the company produces are on the rise. On the way – a novelty. In mid-June, more than 800,000 people chose images for the fourth brand of the “military” series, about 5 million copies of which will go on sale in mid-July. The first kilometer-long queue in front of the Kyiv Main Post Office lined up in mid-April – everyone dreamed of buying a stamp with the image of the sunken Moscow cruiser and the famous phrase about a Russian warship. Circulation of 1 million copies was ground in a few days. The sale of this series brought Ukrposhta about $ 1 million, admits CEO Igor Smilyansky. (Source: NV).
1. “We are shipping more than twenty 155mm self-propelled guns that we bought on the international market and refurbished. They are already starting to arrive and are much more long-range,” said British Defense Minister Ben Wallace. Britain bought these self-propelled guns from the Belgian military-industrial company. The situation is still generally favorable for Ukraine. “This does not mean that the Russian military colossus is retreating – but it is not advancing as they planned,” the British minister explained. (Source: Telegram).
1. The Kremlin does not give up hope of holding “referendums” on joining Russia in the occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine. Eventually, Moscow wants to unite them into one district within the Russian Federation – this aggressive “project” has already received its curators and organizers. These are Serhiy Kirienko, Borys Rapoport, and Andrei Yarin. (Source: NV).
1. French President Emmanuel Macron said that he and his European colleagues are working on a route to export grain from Ukraine through Romania. We are talking about 22 million tons of grain, which cannot be shipped due to the blocking of Ukrainian ports by Russia. “We are now working on a new route that will pass through Romania because Odessa is a few kilometers. Together with Romania, we are creating a connecting point for grain exports,” he said. In this case, the grain could be transported through “We are working tirelessly to help the Ukrainian authorities evaluate alternative ways to increase throughput at border points, consider using mobile technology among other methods, as well as temporary storage facilities to help move all this grain out of Ukraine. In May, these efforts, combined with interaction with the EU and other foreign partners, helped the Ukrainian authorities export 1.7 million tons of grain,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department. UN Secretary-General António Guterres is also in talks with Russia and Ukraine on unblocking supplies of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in exchange for lifting some sanctions that impede the export of Russian fertilizers. World Organization Linda Thomas-Greenfield However, the parties argue that these issues are discussed separately, and there is no exchange talk. (Source: BBC).