1. Gaidai: Russia is destroying Lysychansk with artillery, people are dying in the city, but Ukrainian defenders continue to defend themselves. This is stated in the message and in the plot of Military Television. The head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, Serhiy Haidai, noted that the enemy had concentrated more than 100 MLRS in this direction and that there were so many artillery and mortars that the Russian aggressors were covering entire neighborhoods with heavy fire. This leads to numerous casualties among the civilian population. The Russian army is not yet storming Lysychansk, but the city is being destroyed by Russian artillery. Evacuation from the city is complicated by constant shelling. However, Gaidai says that a “quiet evacuation” is being carried out in Lysychansk and humanitarian aid is being delivered every day. (Source: Telegram).
1. The summit of EU leaders starts today in Brussels, at which Ukraine can officially receive the status of a candidate for the EU. This was reported by the press service of the European Council of the EU. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 16:00 in Kyiv. The leaders plan to discuss the following topics: enlarged Europe; Ukraine; applications for EU accession of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia; economic issues; the future of Europe; external relations. The blocks on Ukraine will discuss the war against Russia, the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain exports, and further economic, military-political, and humanitarian support for Kyiv. European Council President Charles Michel will also propose granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, as previously recommended by the European Commission. In addition, he will offer to recognize that the future of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia lies in the EU. Michel himself told reporters today that he is confident that Ukraine and Moldova will receive candidate status. (Source: Liga).
2. Johnson: Britain’s defense intelligence service believes that Russia’s momentum in the war in Ukraine will slow in the next few months as its army exhausts its resources. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said President Vladimir Putin’s forces were pushing forward in the eastern Donbas region, wreaking destruction but at a heavy cost in soldiers and weapons. “Our defense intelligence service believes, however, that in the next few months, Russia could come to a point at which there is no longer any forward momentum because it has exhausted its resources,” Johnson was quoted as saying in the interview. “Then we must help the Ukrainians to reverse the dynamic. I will argue for this at the Group of Seven summit (in Germany at the weekend),” he said. “In as much as the Ukrainians are in a position to start a counter-offensive, it should be supported. With equipment that they demand from us,” he said. “That we at least regain the status quo that was there before Feb. 24 and that its (Russia’s) troops are repulsed from the areas they invaded”. (Source: Reuters).
1. Malyar: Publication of information about the alleged liberation of several streets in Kherson or new weapons at the front is harmful to the UAF. According to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, two former people’s deputies and one incumbent have started publishing information about weapons used in the Kherson area, as well as “good news from Kherson and busy streets in the city.” She noted that such publications harm the Armed Forces. “Even if you have your own sources of information at the front, you do not need to write details of military operations of the Armed Forces on social networks. Especially since sources at the tactical level do not have the whole situation, because they have only an idea of the fragment,” said Malyar. The Deputy Minister of Defense wrote that the information about the loss or liberation of the settlement, which is published before the end of military operations, is considered incorrect, she called to wait for information from the General Staff. “During the war, military information is deliberately delayed – this is the rule of information in martial law. It is due to military expediency during operations and security measures. This means that the disclosure or distortion of information about the details of a military operation before this was stated by official sources, which harms our Armed Forces and complicates the implementation of the tasks, “Malyar wrote. (Source: Liga).
2. The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, confirmed the incident with the car of the People’s Deputy from the “Servant of the People” Oleksiy Kovalev in the Kherson region. On the air of the national telethon, Budanov stated that “a certain action had been taken.” “The car is exactly blown up. We are finding out the condition of this collaborator and traitor,” the head of the GUR added. Earlier on social networks, Yevhen Shevchenko, known as a “NABU freelance agent,” published a video of Kovalev’s damaged car. “According to preliminary information, the traitor People’s Deputy Kovalev was killed in the city of Gola Prystan. He remained in Kherson and said that” Russia is here forever. “We are waiting for official confirmation,” Shevchenko wrote on his Facebook page. On April 28, the Servant of the People party suspended Kovalev’s membership in its parliamentary faction and asked law enforcement officers to investigate whether he sided with the Russian occupiers in the Kherson region. At the initiative of the State Bureau of Investigation, criminal proceedings were instituted against the People’s Deputy for collaborative activities. (Source: LB).
1. Milley: “I’ve talked to General Zaluzhnyi, and we get lists. These are official requests from their Department of Defense. They asked for 10 battalions of artillery; 12 battalions of artillery were delivered. Again, I’d say 97,000 antitank systems. That’s more anti-tank systems than tanks in the world. They asked for 200 tanks; they got 237 tanks. They asked for 100 infantry fighting vehicles; they got over 300. We’ve delivered, roughly speaking, 1,600 or so air defense systems and about 60,000 air defense rounds. This is — when I say “us”, I mean the international community. You’re looking at 260 artillery tube systems. Either rocket or tube artillery have been already delivered. There’s 383 committed, and like I said, almost half a million rounds of artillery <…> We are supporting the Ukrainian military as rapidly as humanly possible.” (Source: YouTube).
2. After the Lithuanian authorities banned the transit of sanctioned goods through its territory to Russia’s Kaliningrad region on June 17, threats and ultimatums were heard from Moscow. Russian officials have accused Vilnius of “provocative measures” and “open hostility” and promised to resolve the situation “in any way” Moscow chooses. Russian Security Council Secretary Mykola Patrushev, who arrived in Kaliningrad on June 21 for a national security meeting, made open threats against Lithuanians and promised that the consequences of Russia’s measures would “seriously affect the Lithuanian population.” Vilnius has banned the rail transportation of such sanctioned Russian goods as coal, metals, construction materials, the latest technology, and more. After consultations with the European Commission, the Lithuanian authorities decided to implement measures from the fourth package of EU sanctions, which came into force last week. Such a transit ban threatens to quadruple Russia’s supplies to the Kaliningrad region, as the railways, not the sea or highways, were the main channel for their implementation. At the same time, as Lithuania is a member of NATO, the conflict with Russia over transit restrictions fuels fears of the Alliance’s involvement in the war. The Kaliningrad exclave, home to about 430,000 people and home to Russia’s Baltic Fleet, borders two European NATO members, Lithuania and Poland, and is isolated from the rest of Russia. The land freight corridor to this region passes through the territory of Belarus and Lithuania. But while Russia can still use the naval canal to supply any goods to the Kaliningrad region, some Kremlin sympathizers are already talking about the reasons for the armed conflict. “Attempting to isolate the region – from the point of view of international law – is a casus belli, a term that means a formal reason for declaring war,” said Grigory Emelyanov, a TV reporter for Russia’s state-run First Channel, in which he commented on footage of blocked trains. TV presenter and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak also said that Russian politicians and the media had begun discussing “reasons for declaring war.” Meanwhile, Russian opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky has warned that the Kremlin leader’s next step will be an air blockade of Lithuania. “This will allow Russian aircraft to fly directly between Russia and Kaliningrad,” he explained. “Then NATO will be faced with the question of what to do.” In addition, Russia’s harsh rhetoric gives the Kremlin a potential excuse for what has long been considered one of its strategic goals – the capture of a 100-kilometer strip of territory known as the Suwalki Corridor. This strip, which runs along the Polish-Lithuanian border, connects Kaliningrad with Belarus, a country that is now effectively a “Russian patrimony and a potential military base.” Capturing the Suwalki Corridor will provide Russian dictator Vladimir Putin with a land bridge to the Kaliningrad region and cut off the three Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia – from other NATO members. This will make it more difficult for the transatlantic Alliance to defend them. However, at the moment, the publication suggests that Putin hardly wants to and probably cannot afford to attack Lithuania. However, he will likely take advantage of this situation and try to embarrass NATO and test its determination. (Source: NV).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. The White House said it was “terrible” that Russia did not rule out the use of the death penalty against two Americans who had been detained after volunteering in Ukraine. “We are still trying to find out more about these two people,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, during a press briefing. “It is appalling that a government official in Russia could even consider applying the death penalty to two American citizens who were in Ukraine. And we will continue to try to find out everything possible about it, “he said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Geneva Convention, an international charter that sets out rules for the treatment of soldiers and civilians during the war, including a ban on the execution of prisoners of war, does not apply to two detained US citizens. Peskov said the death penalty could not be ruled out, but it was a court decision, not the Kremlin’s. U.S. citizens Alexander 39-year-old Alexander John-Robert Druke of Taskalusa, Alabama, and 27-year-old Andy Ty Ngoc Guin of Hartsell, Alabama, interviewed Russia’s RT channel at a detention center in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). In a video interview recorded after their capture, the investigator, possibly linked to Russian forces, told Guyn that he could be sentenced to death under “Donetsk law.” Guin, who was probably under duress, replied that he “knows that he has committed crimes and is ready to accept punishment,” the newspaper writes. (Source: VOA).
2. During the day, two of the three Bayraktar drones, which will be purchased for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, were collected through the Serhiy Prytula Foundation. From 9 a.m. on June 22 to the same hour the next day, 296 million hryvnias were donated. “We add that our fund has been allocated for the project, and we have 366,000,000 hryvnias! It means that out of the desired three, we have already raised two” Bayraktars. “Two per day!” – Serhiy Prytula wrote. (Source: LB).
1. The U.S. military has agreed to provide one of its two robotic dogs to help a U.S. nonprofit clean up mines and other munitions in Ukraine. The HALO Trust will use the Spot robot dog, manufactured by Boston Dynamics, to remove mortar shells and cluster munitions in areas previously controlled by Russia near Kyiv. Spot could help unexploded drag mortar, such as cluster munitions, to a pit with other ammunition. Then they can be safely detonated away from the civilian population in batches of 50 to 100 shells. Spot can be taught to automatically perform repetitive tasks without human assistance, such as turning switches on and off. Boston Dynamics did not comment on the specific transfer of the robot dog to the HALO Trust. The U.S. military has not responded to numerous requests for comment. It will be recalled that 10 TALON sapper robots will arrive in Ukraine. Before the war, they had already worked in Ukraine. There were more than 12 copies. (Source: FP).