Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for June 8 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

·      Top Headlines

·      Military Situation Report (Day 470)

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      FYI Kyiv Locals

Top Headlines

The White House pointed the finger at Russia as most likely being responsible for the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and dam. Karine Jean-Pierre, a spokesperson for the Biden Administration, said that the US continues to assess the causes of the destruction, but that “this dam was controlled by Russia and it is responsible for the destruction caused by this war." New York Times reported engineering and munitions experts believe a deliberate explosion from inside the dam was the likely cause of the collapse. 

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was “shocked” that international organizations, such as the UN and Red Cross, have not joined the effort to rescue people from flooded zones, particularly in Russian occupied territory, where Ukrainian military and emergency workers unable to reach. Three people have died due to flooding in the occupied town of Oleshky in Kherson Oblast. 

Flooding from the dam breach extends over 600 square kilometers on the Ukrainian-held right bank of the Dnipro River and the Russian-held left bank, the region's governor said. The state emergency service of Ukraine said 1,995 people had been evacuated from flooded areas, including 103 children.

Russia Says Seized Village in East Ukraine's Donetsk Region
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Russia Says Seized Village in East Ukraine's Donetsk Region

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has yet to comment on this information.

The destruction of the dam has shattered Russian positions and fortifications on the occupied left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Russia had been using these positions to shell Kherson city, but ISW believes it has now been forced to withdraw its troops. The Ukrainian military claimed that there were casualties and disappearances among Russian units there, including the 7th Airborne Division and the 22nd Army Corps.

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The former NATO Secretary General believes individual NATO members may agree to send their troops into Ukrainian territory as part of future security guarantees. His comments come in the build-up to the NATO Summit which will consider Ukraine’s membership and security guarantee demands. For its part, the White House said that, in terms of membership, "there’s an 'open door' policy.”

US President Joe Biden and the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet in Washington on June 12 to discuss the issue of further support for Ukraine. 

Lviv’s airport may resume its operations within a humanitarian corridor initiative, according to the head of the Lviv Regional Military Administration, Maksym Kozytskyi following meetings with European colleagues. “We hope that since there is currently a grain corridor operating, there can also be a humanitarian [air] one ensured by the European Union," said Kozytskyi.

Military Situation Report

Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut were on the offensive for the third straight day, according to Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar. She also noted that Wagner forces remain in some rear positions while having been mostly replaced by regular Russian paratroopers in forward positions.

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Two adults and one child were killed and three other children were injured in Russian strikes on the town of Ukrainsk in Donetsk Oblast.

Russian military personnel in Belarus have decreased to about 1,000 from the 11,000 earlier this year; according to a Ukrainian military spokesman. Russian military personnel stationed in Belarus are mainly involved in exercises or training.

The June 7 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways:

·      The destruction of the Kakhovka dam is significantly changing the geography and topography of the Kherson frontline in southern Ukraine.

·      Ukrainian officials continued to accuse Russian forces of destroying the dam out of fear that Ukrainian forces will land on the left bank of Kherson Oblast.

·      Russian and Ukrainian officials accused each other of damaging an ammonia pipeline that runs through Kharkiv Oblast and causing an ammonia leak.

·      Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks around Kreminna.

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·      Ukrainian officials indicated that Ukrainian forces are conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction.

·      Russian forces continued limited attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk line.

·      Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces conducted ground attacks on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhia oblasts.

·      Russian and Ukrainian forces reportedly engaged in skirmishes in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The update at 0600 on June 8 (Day 470) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reflects a surge in military activities and reports:

·      53 Russian air assaults;  

·      70 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

·      30 firefights;

·      Russian artillery, rocket, mortar and/or airborne fire in the following oblasts: Kharkiv (27); Chernihiv (2), Sumy (5); Luhansk (5); Donetsk (48); Zaporizhzhia (11), Dnipropetrovsk (1) and Kherson (6), and;

·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 22 raids against Russian positions.

President Zelensky’s Message

"Our military and special services are saving people as much as possible, despite the attacks. But large-scale efforts are needed. It is necessary that international organizations, such as the International Red Cross, immediately join the rescue operation and help people in the occupied part of Kherson Oblast. Every person who died there is a verdict on the existing international architecture and international organizations that have forgotten how to save lives." – Volodymyr Zelensky

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FYI Kyiv Locals

The commission for the inspection of bomb shelters in Kyiv has checked 3,382 sites or some 73% of the total stock of shelters in Kyiv. More than 1,000, 35% of those inspected, were deemed unsuitable for operation, and 65% were considered to be technically suitable.

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