Russo-Ukrainian war, day 105: Russia prepares to resume offensive towards Sloviansk, Turkey and Russia brew deal on grain corridor from Ukraine

Russo Ukrainian war, day 105: Russia prepares to resume offensive towards Sloviansk, Turkey and Russia brew deal on grain corridor from Ukraine

The Maxar images of fields in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts show the intensity of artillery fire there and the importance of artillery to win this battle. Currently Russian still has artillery superiority over Ukraine. 

Daily review, Russian-Ukrainian war 2022

Ukrainian Armed Forces left Sviatohirsk Lavra without a fight to avoid damage to historical monastery. In the coming days Russians most likely will begin a massive forcing of the Siverskyi Donets river in several areas with the simultaneous assault towards Sloviansk. Fighting continues in Sievierodonetsk where Russians are using artillery en masse. Russians keep about 600 people in torture chambers in Kherson Oblast. Denys Myronov from Kherson territorial defense was tortured and killed in Russian captivity. Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol force educators to record propaganda with children. The signing of a defense contract between Ukraine and Poland will strengthen the capabilities of the Ukrainian army. Ukraine submitted proposals to EU on 7th package of sanctions against Russia.

Daily report day 105 – June 08

Editor’s Note

An overview of the situation based on observations by Roman Ponomarenko and recent updates:

Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian Armed Forces left the Sviatohirsk Lavra without a fight to avoid damage to this historical monastery. Thus Sviatohirsk de facto became occupied. However, this will not affect Ukrainian defense systemically, because Sviatohirsk was not part of the main defense zone around Sloviansk. Bohorodychne, west of Sloviansk, which is more important militarily, Ukrainians still hold. To the north of Sloviansk, fighting continues on the outskirts of Krasnopillia and Dolyna.

It is easy to predict that in the coming days Russians will begin a massive forcing of the Siverskyi Donets river in several areas with the simultaneous assault on Sloviansk from the east and north.

Luhansk Oblast – fighting continues in the Sievierodonetsk. Russians are pressing, using artillery en masse. According to information from the city, the Russians are attacking with infantry to detect Ukrainian firing positions. Then massive artillery strikes follow. Serious losses on both sides. By some miracle, the only bridge through which the Ukrainian group is supplied still stands. Also, the Armed Forces of Ukraine hold a number of settlements south of Sievierodonetsk.

To the south of Lysychansk, there are no significant changes – Russians are attacking, Ukrainians are counterattacking. Ukrainian artillery makes wonders in all sectors of combat in the region. They often manage to catch Russian troops at the moment of concentration for the attack, as, for example, yesterday, at the time of preparing an attack on Berestove. However, the general prospects for the Ukrainian army in this pocket are not promising. Without significant changes, Ukrainian forces slow down Russian offensive attempts significantly but have little chance to stop them completely.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, according to the head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Council Oleksandr Starukh, there is active fighting in the area of Orikhiv and Huliaipole.

Ukrainian helicopters struck at the concentration of Russian forces in the Kherson Oblast and the aviation covered warehouses of ammunition. Russians, in turn, conducted artillery strikes.

Information from the General Staff as of 18.00 06.06.2022, supplemented by its 06.00 assessment, is in the drop-down menu.

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In the Volyn and Polissya directions, as part of the next stage of checking the combat readiness of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus, individual units are moving to permanent locations.

In the Siversky direction, the enemy continues to provide enhanced protection of the Ukrainian-Russian border in the Bryansk and Kursk regions. It fired mortars at civilian infrastructure in the areas of Khodyne, Ryzhivka and Velyka Pysarivka in the Sumy Oblast. In addition, the enemy carried out provocative flights of military aircraft along the state border of Ukraine.

In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy concentrated its efforts on maintaining the occupied frontiers. He fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Udy, Pytomnyk, Rtyshchivka, Ivanivka, Husarivka and others.

In the Sievierodonetsk direction, the Russian occupiers fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Privilka, Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, Voronove, Toshkivka, Hirske and others. In the area of ​​the settlement of Toshkivka, the enemy’s offensive was unsuccessful. The enemy also tried to advance in the direction of Ustynivka, but Ukrainian defenders repulsed the occupiers.

In the Lyman direction, the enemy attempted to conduct reconnaissance by fighting in the direction of the settlement of Raihorodok, but was unsuccessful, and withdrew.

In the Sloviansk direction, the Ukrainian military successfully resists the enemy’s attempts to improve the tactical situation in the direction of the city of Sloviansk. The occupiers are concentrating their efforts on preparations for further offensive operations. The enemy fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of Vilne, Adamivka, Dolyna and Tetyanivka. Inflicted an air strike on Sloviansk. Ukrainian soldiers are fighting defensive battles in the area of ​​Dovhenke.

In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy fired artillery at the settlements of Komyshuvakha, Vrubivka, Mykolaivka, Semyhirya, and New York. Enemy assault and army aircraft launched air strikes near Nova Kamyanka, Pokrovske and Klynove. In the area of ​​the settlement of Nahirne, as a result of a fire damage inflicted by Ukrainian soldiers, the enemy withdrew to previously occupied positions

Defenders of Ukraine inflicted significant losses on the Russian occupiers in manpower and equipment during the enemy assault near Berestove. The fighting continues.

In the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia areas, the Russian occupation forces fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Kamyanka, Avdiivka, Pisky, Krasnohorivka, Vuhledar, Mykilske and others. The enemy also used assault aircraft near Marinka and Kamyanka.

The situation in the Pivdennyi Buh area remained without significant changes. The enemy is trying to hold its ground and prevent the regrouping and strengthening of units of the Defense Forces. He used artillery in the areas of Velyka Kostromka, Lyubomyrivka and Novomykolayivka, and assault and army aircraft in the areas of Oleksandrivka, Knyazivka and Novodanylivka.

In the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the occupiers continue to carry out measures of the administrative and police regime, conduct searches of civilians, loot and destroy local infrastructure.

Russia military aircraft activity reduced – General Staff The Staff says this is due to the successful actions of Ukrainian air defense and that now Russia focuses efforts on supporting its ground groups and targeting missile strikes on infrastructure in the depths of Ukraine

Ukraine wants to buy Israel’s mobile all-weather air defense system known as Iron Dome as well as its antitank missiles to aid in the war against Russia. Yevgen Korniychuk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, said, Washington Post reported. Korniychuk stressed that Ukraine is not seeking a handout but a chance to buy items that could save more of its civilians.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1534473687763668992?t=12-uVpSo9xz09RMefrIfBg&s=19

In the Southern direction, the situation on the battlefield is remaining tense. Artillery and air duels continue, Head of the Joint Coordination Center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine Natalia Humeniuk said, Ukrinform reports. “Mainly, artillery and air duels are underway, as Russians launch air strikes and receive a response from our units. Thus, it is remote work at the front, and there is no closing-in movement so far,” Humeniuk said.

 

As of Tuesday 8 June morning, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

  • Personnel – more than 31500 (+140),
  • Tanks – 1393 (+3),
  • Armoured combat vehicles – 3429 (+13),
  • Artillery systems – 703 (+9),
  • Multiple rocket launchers –MLRS – 213 (+6),
  • Air defence means – 96 (+1),
  • Aircraft – 212 (+0),
  • Helicopters – 178 (+1),
  • Automotive technology and fuel tanks – 2406 (+1),
  • Vessels/boats – 13 (+0),
  • UAV operational and tactical level – 559 (+6),
  • Special equipment – 53 (+0),
  • Mobile SRBM system – 4 (+0),
  • Cruise missiles – 125 (+0)
According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 24 hours):

  • Russia continues to attempt assaults against the Sievierodonetsk pocket from three directions although Ukrainian defences are holding. It is unlikely that either side has gained significant ground in the last 24 hours. While Russia is concentrating its offensive on the central Donbas sector, it has remained on the defensive on its flanks.
  • Ukrainian forces have recently achieved some success by counter-attacking in the south-western Kherson region, including regaining a foothold on the eastern bank of the Ingulets River.
  • With the frontage of the occupied zone stretching for over 500km, both Russia and Ukraine face similar challenges in maintaining a defensive line while freeing up capable combat units for offensive operations.
  • In the occupied Kherson Oblast, Russia is forcibly aligning its administration with that of the Russian Federation by introducing the Russian rouble as legal tender and employing Russian teachers to introduce the Russian curriculum and language to schools. Russia will highly likely claim its occupation of Kherson as evidence of delivering improved governance and living standards to the Ukrainian people. []

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Monday 7 June:

“Russian forces continued offensive operations in several locations in eastern Ukraine but did not secure any confirmed gains in ground assaults on June 7. Russian forces have likely captured most of Sievierodonetsk, but ISW cannot confirm the exact control of terrain within the city. Russian forces additionally redeployed troops east of Bakhmut to renew offensives to secure access to highways northeast of Bakhmut and threaten Ukrainian lines of communication. Russian troops north of Sloviansk will likely seek to advance toward Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from positions north of the city.

Russian forces on the Southern Axis are reportedly redeploying away from Zaporizhzhia Oblast toward Kherson Oblast, likely in order to support Russian defensive positions that have been threatened by Ukrainian counterattacks along the Mykolaiv-Kherson Oblast border south of Davydiv Brid…

The Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that the Kremlin assigned lawyers and psychologists to convince families of personnel of the sunken cruiser Moskva to refrain from disclosing any information regarding the deaths of their relatives in an effort to crush rising social tensions in Russia…

Maxar satellite imagery from June 6 showed Russian MLRS and towed artillery deployments oriented toward Sievierodonetsk, indicating that Russian forces continue to rely heavily on artillery fire to support their operations around Sievierodonetsk. Russian forces are likely using mass bombardment to clear sectors of the city before occupying the rubble—similar to Russian operations in Mariupol…

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces have likely established control over the majority of the residential sector of Sievierodonetsk and conducted assaults against Ukrainian positions in the industrial zone in the past 24 hours. The operational environment within the city remains fluid.
  • Russian forces continued efforts to advance on Sloviansk southeast from the Izium area and west from Lyman, attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses that have halted most direct frontal assaults from Izium.
  • Russian forces are likely attempting to reinforce their operations in the Sievierodonetsk-Lysychansk area from both the Toshkivka-Ustynivka area in the south and Kupyansk from the northwest.
  • Russian forces began withdrawing troops from positions in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, likely either to rotate damaged units into rear areas or to reinforce Russian defenses in northwestern Kherson Oblast, though ISW cannot currently confirm the destination of these forces.
  • Russian forces failed to regain advanced positions on the western (now Ukrainian-occupied) bank of the Ihulets River on June 7.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russian forces restored transit connections between newly occupied cities and Crimea.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to face challenges suppressing Ukrainian resistance and finding partisan supporters despite increasingly draconian occupation measures and attempts to bribe Ukrainian civilians.

Humanitarian

Ukraine and Russia exchange bodies of fallen soldiers under the ’50 for 50’ formula in Zaporizhzhia Oblast “Among our 50 soldiers, there are 37 heroic Azovstal defenders,” Ukrainian Temporarily Occupied Territories Reintegration Ministry reports.

210 bodies of the dead defenders of Mariupol, most of whom defended Azovstal, have already been returned to Ukrainian-controlled territory, Ukrainian intelligence informed.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1534480152033431552?t=gR-f7Ds1MwVnbm714_weeg&s=19

Russians keep about 600 people in torture chambers in Kherson Oblast According to the Permanent Rep of Ukrainian President to Crimea, people are held and tortured, in particular, in Oblast Administration building, in pre-trial detention center, and in School №17 in Henichesk. Russians take some of the abducted residents of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts to Crimea & hold them in the Simferopol pre-trial detention center. There are activists, journalists, POWs, those who tried to leave Mariupol via Crimea. Russians block all green corridors, Tasheva said.

Mariupol in danger of cholera outbreak, but Russian invaders concentrate on removing signs in Ukrainian – Halya Coynash, KHPG Russia’s relentless destruction of Mariupol has left the city and its residents in acute danger of a cholera outbreak. Amid such carnage and devastation, the invaders are clearly unable to even restore water supplies, however they could at least create humanitarian corridors to enable vital supplies to reach the city. Instead, they appear to be continuing their hunt for “Ukrainian nationalists” and prioritizing the change of road signs from Ukrainian to Russian

Denys Myronov from Kherson territorial defense was tortured and killed in Russian captivity Denys did not lie down for 22 days because of a punctured chest and received no medical care, was constantly beaten and interrogated, Ukrainian serviceman Anton, who was in captivity with Denys, said. In Russian captivity “you are being strangled with packages, tortured with electric shock, you’re not allowed to breathe and are constantly beaten,” Anton from Kherson territorial defense who had been tortured in Russian captivity and later exchanged as a POW, told UP

Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol force educators to record propaganda with children Educators are instructed to provide video of children singing Russian anthem before Russia Day on June 12 are threatened with arrest in case of refusal, Mayor’s adviser says.

School principals in occupied Kherson reject Russian de-Ukrainization demands. Only two school principals out of 60 accepted Russian occupiers demand that Kherson schools transfer to Russian educational programs from September 1. The Russian occupation administration of Kherson demanded this at meeting of approx 60 principals of local schools, Ukrainian intelligence says.

Relatives of Azovstal defenders mocked & threatened from Russian phone numbers “They text that my husband is already dead and ask whether I want to see his photo. I’m constantly threatened with rape&murder. This goes on since we met with the Pope,” wife of Azovstal defender told UP.

Support

Ukrainian President must not be pressured into accepting a bad peace deal with Putin. British PM Johnson told this to his team of ministers on June 7. British Foreign Minister Liz Truss also said London was readying further sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine

Norway has donated 22 M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine. The donation also includes gear, spare parts and ammunition, the press release stated. The development in the war in Ukraine now suggests that it is necessary to also donate heavier artillery and weapons’ systems, says Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram.

The signing of a defense contract between Ukraine and Poland will strengthen the capabilities of the Ukrainian army, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak said. He stressed that the Russian troops have a lot of equipment and artillery. At the same time, Ukraine’s goal is the liberation of all territories, which will be a victory for Ukrainians.

Canada imposes sanctions on Russian oil, gas, and chemical industries “The measures announced today apply further pressure on Russian President Putin to immediately withdraw his forces from Ukrainian soil,” the statement of Canadian Global Affairs says.

Ukraine submitted proposals to EU on 7th package of sanctions against Russia Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed that Ukraine insists on the adoption of new sanctions as soon as possible calling such a delay as with the 6th package unacceptable.

The proposals include:

🔸new sanctions in the sectors of energy, finance, trade

🔸a roadmap for new personal sanctions against Russian oligarchs, high-ranking officials, heads of state-owned enterprises

🔸the closure of identified loopholes allowing to circumvent & evade sanctions

The mention of restrictions on cloud services has disappeared from EU Council press release on 6th package of sanctions against Russia On June 3 the mention was still there but it disappeared on June 4, as noticed by blogger Anton Shvets &confirmed by WebArchive. Adviser to Ukrainian President Mykhailo Podoliak criticised the removal of cloud services from the 6th package of sanctions.

Ukraine currently receives critically small volumes of heavy weaponsForeign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Ukraine is grateful to its partners for providing heavy weapons, but it is currently insufficient. “We need more heavy weapons, and as soon as possible,” he said, speaking to journalists.

In an interview with the Financial Times, President Zelenskyy said that Russia outnumbers Ukraine in heavy equipment and therefore Ukraine is “incapable of advancing.” “We will have more losses, and people are my priority.” He also said that the main condition for peace talks should be a withdrawal of the Russian army to the borders on February 24. However, according to Zelensky, this is an intermediate stage – Ukraine seeks to return all its territories. Given Putin’s position on the gradual integration of the occupied districts into Russia, it is clear that there will be no talks. “Don’t forget about this war. There can be no fatigue in the West from it. Do all you can.”

Russia’s invading army can only be driven out if western countries accelerate supplies of advanced weapons, Ukraine’s Security Council chief told FT, stressing the role of artillery. Ukraine needs to form 6 new brigades of 25,000 men for counter-offensive, another adviser said

Environmental

Talks about a Black Sea corridor for export of grain: DW report

Russia has effectively agreed to a “corridor” to export grain from Ukraine but there are many sticking points before Kyiv can come on board.

The idea is that a UN coordination body be set up in Istanbul to regulate how the grain is distributed across the world market.

Three Ukrainian ports are currently under consideration for loading the wheat: Apart from Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhne are in question, but there is also talk of exporting the wheat from Mykolaiv, which is currently a battleground, or the ports of Kherson and Mariupol, which are under Russian occupation.

In principle, Ukraine would be interested in such an agreement, but the government has a variety of reservations. Thus, the UN has proposed establishing a contact group with representatives from the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine to create a control mechanism for a possible safe grain export corridor.

It would be necessary to remove the mines so that freight ships transporting grain could pass.

However, if the mines were to be cleared, Odesa could be left without defenses and thus the Ukrainian government fears that Russian warships might use a safe corridor to attack Ukraine’s largest port city. Kyiv is demanding security guarantees, such as Western anti-ship missiles, which the Russian government refuses to allow. “Given the monstrosities so far, I find it hard to imagine that Kyiv would believe a pledge of non-aggression from Moscow,” said Apelt. “This is where Turkey comes into play. It not only wants to arbitrate the corridor but also secure it with its own ships.”

The Turkish government has effectively declared its willingness to do this, but what remains doubtful is whether Kyiv would be satisfied with security provided only by Turkish ships. Yüsük Isik thinks that other states would have to put forward security guarantees for Ukraine to agree. For example, Turkey could work in cooperation with Britain and the US. However, even this safeguard would not be risk-free. So far, NATO has kept its own troops out of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. If a protective convoy were to be attacked by either side, NATO warships could find themselves directly involved in fighting. This in turn could trigger an escalation of the war.

For its part, Russia insists on being allowed to inspect international freight ships before they enter a Ukrainian port. Otherwise, it fears, weapons for the Ukrainian army could enter the country. So far, Kyiv refuses to allow such inspections. Another bone of contention is how to distribute revenues from the grain, which will not only be exported from the greater Odesa area, but also from areas currently in Russian-occupied territory, such as Kherson and Mariupol.

There is some way to go before an agreement is met and it could well end up being painful for the West. “Moscow will presumably agree to a grain corridor only in return for the lifting of certain sanctions,” predicts Apelt. At the press conference in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hinted at possible concessions: “If we need to open up the international market to Ukrainian grain, we see the removal of obstacles standing in the way of Russia’s exports as a legitimate demand.”

“It is a difficult decision for Ukraine and its Western partners,” said Apelt, adding that time was running out. According to the FAO, the world has about 10 weeks to find a solution. That is when its next wheat harvest is due to begin. Until then, the silos will have to be emptied.

International

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs says Ukraine will not accept any alternatives to EU candidate status. “We need the status of candidate for EU membership – not candidate for candidate, not potential candidate, or another surrogate,” Dmytro Kuleba explained.

Chairman of Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk urges EU to grant Ukraine candidate status Ukraine needs this powerful message from Europe, he underlined, while pointing out that any other political signal would only benefit Russian President Putin, East European Council reports.

Ex-German Chancellor Merkel said she felt “great sadness” that German-French efforts around the Minsk peace accords with Russia didn’t work out.

In her first interview since leaving office, she didn’t blame herself, “Diplomacy isn’t wrong just because it didn’t work.”

Merkel’s statements lacking “a hint of self-criticism” blasted by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany.

“The ex-Chancellor’s statements about the infallibility of her course towards Russia and her far too lenient treatment of dictator Putin are disconcerting,” Andrii Melnyk said.

Estonia’s PM criticised European leaders’ calls for ceasefire in Ukraine – FT “I’m very worried about premature calls for ceasefire because peace doesn’t mean an end to Russian atrocities in the occupied areas. We can’t make that mistake again and have to be prepared for a long war. Estonia’s PM said she had discussed with French President Macron his point about humiliating the Russian leader, adding it made no sense when Putin’s onslaught in Ukraine met the UN definition of genocide. “Putin is not in a corner. He can very well go back to his own country,” Kaja Kallas said.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs urged not to worry about the “emotional well-being” of the aggressor states, because they “will not appreciate” it. “The democratic world must defend values and honour first, we should not get overexcited about the emotional well-being of aggressors, they are not going to appreciate this extraordinary kindness anyway,” he tweeted. This comment is likely a response to a recent call by French President Macron “not to humiliate Russia.”

In Russia

Draft law on abolition of Russia’s recognition of Lithuania’s independence submitted to Russian Duma The Council of Soviet Union wasn’t authorized to decide on recognition of Lithuania as an independent state in 1991, author of the law, Yevgeny Fedorov claimed.

The Russian State Duma has passed a bill on non-compliance in the Russian Federation with the European Court of Human Rights rulings, adopted after March 15, 2022.

IBM has announced a complete shutdown in the Russian Federation.

Japan has frozen the assets of two more Russian Federation banks and one Belarusian bank. The Japanese government has imposed new restrictive measures against the banking sector of the Russian Federation and Belarus due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Nikkei Asia, and Interfax reported.

Deutsche Bank has relocated hundreds of IT specialists from the Russian Federation to Germany since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reported. According to the publication, after the imposition of sanctions on Russia, Deutsche Bank offered employees to move from the Russian Federation to Berlin. About half of the workers accepted the offer, and most of them have already moved. Before the war, Deutsche Bank’s two centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg employed about 1,500 people.

Russia sells more oil at lower prices, Center for Defense Strategies reported. Despite some increase in the sales of Russian Federation oil exported by sea, revenues from export duties on oil fell 5% to $162 million. The reason for this is the significant discounts that Moscow offers for its politically toxic oil. Indian companies are eager to take advantage of this opportunity and are negotiating 6-month contracts with Rosneft. Despite major discounts, Russia has recently added over $40 billion from oil and gas revenues to their sovereign wealth fund, which reached almost $200 billion. Thus, the Kremlin retains a significant financial cushion to continue its aggression against Ukraine and stay in power. That is why the issue of immediately developing the next package of sanctions is becoming more acute.

Opinion worth noting

To pay for the war, Ukraine needs the EU’s help to restart its economy Ukraine’s allies should encourage Ukrainian refugees to return home. This will help Ukraine’s economy and strengthen government finances, an economic advisor to Ukrainian President and an MIT professor wrote in LA Times. “Until the refugees return home, a sustained recovery is hard to achieve”

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