Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for June 2 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:
· Top Headlines
· Military Situation Report (Day 467)
· President Zelensky’s Message of the Day
· Graph of the Day
Some 30 missiles and drones fired at Kyiv were destroyed last night – the 6th assault in 6 days.
Three officials and a security guard were detained and/or charged for their roles in an air-raid shelter at a Kyiv medical facility being locked during a Russian attack in the early morning hours of June 1. The locked doors contributed to the death of three Kyiv residents, including a 9-year-old child.
At the Moldovan meeting of the European political community, there was no clarity or consensus about Ukraine’s future security in the lead-up to the NATO Summit in Lithuania in July. Key aspects remain under live discussion. First, there is Ukraine’s NATO membership and whether it will be progressed. Second, there are Ukraine’s future security guarantees, including whether they are within or without NATO, what they will be, and who will be obligated by them.
if Ukraine were in NATO, Russia would not have attacked. “This suggests that the best security guarantees are in NATO,” Zelensky said when asked about the possibility of security guarantees outside NATO.
The forced slowdown in Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea will impact on global food security and price, according to the UN. Its spokesman said Russia will “limit registrations as long as ammonia is not exported.” Moscow wants to reopen the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline for ammonia, a component of fertilizer, whose exports are currently sanctioned. In May, only 33 ships sailed, which is half that in April, and only three inspections per day took place. “Global hunger hotspots are increasing, and the specter of food inflation and market volatility lurks in all countries,” the spokesperson said. The UN has previously publicly supported Russia’s position to re-open the pipeline, which is owned by a Putin ally.
Some 240 children from seven settlements – subject to very high levels of risk – in the Donetsk region will be mandatorily evacuated by Ukrainian authorities, the Minister for Territorial Reintegration, Iryna Vereshchuk, announced.
Ukraine has received $19.79 billion in financial aid from international partners thus far in 2023, according to its Ministry of Finance. As of June 1, Ukraine received assistance from the US ($6 billion), the EU ($8.12 billion), the IMF ($2.7 billion), Canada ($1.76 billion), and the World Bank ($547 million). Ukraine expects to receive a total of $42 billion in financial assistance in 2023.
Germany announced its next batch of military equipment has been transferred to Ukraine. It includes seven THeMIS tracked and remote-controlled infantry vehicles THeMIS, as well as ammunition for Leopard 1 tanks. The German government also plans to transfer 64 tracked all-terrain vehicles Bandvagn 206 and 66 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. The US will buy Gepard self-propelled anti-air systems for Ukraine worth $118.3 million, the Pentagon announced. The European Parliament supported a draft bill to increase European production of ammunition and missiles.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a US defense contract to provide Ukraine with Starlink satellite services, the Pentagon said.
Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka twice refused to comment on or condemn the war on Ukraine at a news conference at the French Open. “How is it possible that the potential World No. 1 supports a dictator?” asked a Ukrainian reporter. When Sabalenka did not answer the question, the reporter then asked: “You keep saying that nobody supports war, nobody, but can you speak for yourself and say: ‘I, Aryna Sabalenka, flatly condemn the fact that Belarus is attacking Ukraine with missiles, and I want it to stop’?” In response, Sabalenka repeated: “I’ve got no comments to you.” Earlier in the tournament, French fans booed Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk for refusing to shake Sabalenka’s hand after a match.
Military Situation Report
Moscow said it thwarted a “Ukrainian attempt” to penetrate into Belgorod on its southwestern border at about 3 a.m. “Overall, the attack involved up to 70 militants, 5 tanks, 4 armored vehicles, 7 pickup trucks and 1 Kamaz truck,” the Russian defense ministry said, reporting 3 attempted border crossings. The Belgorod region, which saw an unprecedented two-day armed incursion last week by anti-Putin Russian fighters, has come under intensified fire in the past days. Ukraine continues to deny involvement.
Russia lost more than 20,000 troops and had 40,000 injured during its attempts to capture the Bakhmut, according to a Western official. The source described the city as “not strategically significant.” On May 21, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the alleged capture of Bakhmut. The Ukrainian side states its army continues to control Bakhmut’s flanks, as Wagner Group forces withdraw.
Chechen forces – or “Kadyrovites” – are back in action in Ukraine.
Last night, four combat engagements took place near Maryinka featuring Chechen “Akhmat” units, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman.
The June 1 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key takeaways:
· Russian forces conducted another series of missile strikes on Ukraine overnight on May 31 to June 1 and during the day on June 1.
· Elements of the all-Russian, pro-Ukrainian Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR) reportedly conducted another raid into Belgorod Oblast on June 1.
· Russian forces conducted offensive operations northeast of Kupiansk and northwest of Svatove.
· The tempo of Russian and Ukrainian offensive operations in Bakhmut remains low.
· Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
The update at 6 a.m. on June 2 (Day 467) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:
· Aerial attacks including 15 missiles and 18 drones [in addition to the 30 fired at Kyiv last night];
· 46 Russian air raids;
· 109 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;
· 25 firefights;
· Russian artillery, rocket, mortar and/or airborne fire in the following oblasts: Kharkiv (21); Chernihiv (9), Sumy (7); Luhansk (3); Donetsk (35); Zaporizhzhia (8), Dnipropetrovsk (2), and Kherson (13);
· Ukrainian air forces undertook 9 raids against Russian positions;
· At least 3 civilians were killed and 9 injured by Russian assaults.
President Zelensky’s Message
“The coalition of fighter jets. The meeting with the leaders of European countries. We discussed issues related to the start of training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 and other types of aircraft. We agreed to continue working on an official decision to create the Ukrainian Sky Shield coalition of combat aircraft at the next meeting in the Ramstein format after further consultations with the American side.” – Volodymyr Zelensky at the Moldovan European Summit
Graph of the Day
The attached graph ranks Ukraine as tenth in the world in terms of military spending.
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