Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for June 9 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine: 

·      Top Headlines

·      Military Situation Report (Day 471)

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      FYI Kyiv Locals

Top Headlines

Ukraine conducted counteroffensive operations with “differential outcomes” in at least three sectors as part of wider efforts unfolding since Sunday, June 4, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Ukrainian forces undertook: offensive actions for the fourth straight day near Bakhmut in Donetsk oblast; operations in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, including southwest of Orikhiv; and operations near the Zaporizhzhia/Donetsk oblast border.

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The Washington Post declared that “the Ukrainian military’s long-anticipated counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces has begun” based on anonymous discussions with four individuals in Ukraine’s armed forces.

In Bakhmut, Ukrainian troops appear to have advanced, but appear to have been repulsed in western Zaporizhzhia. The region has long been seen as one likely location of the new Ukrainian campaign.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Ukrainian forces tried to break through Russian lines in the Zaporizhzhia region, using up to 1,500 troops and 150 armored vehicles.

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The Pentagon will announce a further arms package of more than $2 billion for Ukraine including air defense capabilities, Bloomberg reported. The purchase will include Hawk missile launchers and missiles, and two types of advanced Patriot air defense missiles. The package would bring US military aid to nearly $50 billion since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

More than 3,300 homes remain underwater, and some 2,300 people have been evacuated following the destruction of the Kakhovka power plant dam, according to Ukraine’s Interior Minister.

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Russian forces shelled Kherson, one of the cities impacted by the dam’s destruction. The shelling, which killed one woman, was captured on video by Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi who was there to support evacuation work.

 

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the international environmental community to help Ukraine overcome flooding in the south of Ukraine, saying that “the Russian crime of ecocide is the largest in Europe in decades.” He noted the impact on riverine ecosystems, forests, and drinking supplies, and the release of toxic liquids.

China is ready to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine for victims of flooding caused by destruction of the Kakhovka dam, according to a spokesman for its Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The spokesman noted that China is “seriously concerned” by the destruction and its “humanitarian, economic, and environmental consequences.”

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg chaired a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission about the dam situation. Stoltenberg said that the consequences for thousands of people and for the environment are dramatic, and he urged Allies to provide support expeditiously. Allies expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine, and many are already providing critical aid, including water filters, pumps, generators, and shelter equipment.

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Hackers broke into key Russian websites and published banners in support of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. The cyberattack included Infotel JSC, a Moscow-based provider that is responsible for interaction between the Central Bank of Russia and other entities. Due to the cyberattack, major Russian banks and credit institutions across Russia lost access to systems and could not make payments.

·      Ukraine has conducted counteroffensive operations with differential outcomes in at least three sectors of the front as part of wider counteroffensive efforts that have been unfolding since Sunday, June 4.

·      Ukrainian forces conducted a limited, but still significant attack in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast on the night of June 7 to 8. Russian forces apparently defended against this attack in a doctrinally sound manner and had reportedly regained their initial positions as of June 8.

·      The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) responded to the Ukrainian attack with an uncharacteristic degree of coherency and praised Southern Military District elements for repelling the attack and regaining lost positions.

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·      Russian sources provided explanations for claimed Russian successes during the June 8 attacks, praising Russian forces’ effective use of electronic warfare (EW) systems, air support, and landmines against Ukrainian forces.

·      Russian forces appear to have executed their formal tactical defensive doctrine in response to the Ukrainian attacks southwest of Orikhiv.

·      Ukrainian attacks in western Zaporizhzhia on June 8 do not represent the full extent of Ukrainian capabilities in the current counteroffensive.

·      It is additionally noteworthy that the Russian Southern Military District Forces deployed in this particular area are likely to be a higher quality force grouping than Russia has elsewhere in theater, and their defensive performance is unlikely to be reflective of defensive capabilities of Russian groupings elsewhere on the front.

·      Russian forces and occupation authorities continue to exacerbate the humanitarian ramifications of the flooding resulting from the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam break.

·      Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly postponed his annual press conference from June 2023 until November or December 2023.

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·      Russian forces continued to conduct limited ground attacks on the Kupiansk-Svatove line and around Kreminna.

·      Ukrainian forces made limited gains around Bakhmut, and Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.

·      Ukrainian forces continued to conduct limited ground attacks on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

For the fourth day in a row, Ukraine troops reportedly advanced 1,600 meters on the southern and northern flanks of Bakhmut, according to the spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern forces. “The enemy is fiercely resisting, using artillery. They hit our positions 342 times with various types of artillery systems. There were 6 air raids, 10 combat engagements, during which we eliminated 120 occupiers, 184 were wounded, and one was taken captive. Also, five tanks, an armored personnel carrier, an assault amphibious vehicle, an armored car, a D-30 howitzer, an e-warfare station, two Orlan-10 UAVs, a fiber-optic reconnaissance station, and nine field ammunition depots were destroyed,” he said.

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Russian forces launched a missile strike on the Uman district of Cherkasy Oblast, eight people were injured when an industrial facility and a car wash were hit.

Russian forces shelled Bereslav district of Kherson, which is partly flooded from the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, and killed one female civilian.

The update at 0600 on June 9 (Day 471) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reflects a surge in military activities and reports:

·      7 Russian missile attacks, including on Uman;

·      43 Russian air raids;  

·      79 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

·      43 firefights;

·      Russian air raids took place in locations in the following oblasts: Kharkiv (1); Sumy (3); Donetsk (5); Zaporizhzhia (1), and Kherson (3);

·      Russian artillery, rocket and mortar fire took place in locations in the following oblasts: Kharkiv (14); Sumy (15); Luhansk (4); Donetsk (33); Zaporizhzhia (5), and Kherson (10);

·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 19 raids against Russian positions and equipment.

President Zelensky’s Message

Russian terrorists are trying to further aggravate the situation they have caused with their ecocide. This is absolutely deliberate. They continue to shell Kherson and the communities of the region, which have already been flooded by terrorists. They are even shelling evacuation points, which is a manifestation of evil that perhaps no terrorists in the world, except for Russian ones, have ever done. The occupiers have completely abandoned people on the left bank of Kherson region to their fate. The catastrophe has been expanding there for two days now. And this is also an absolutely conscious choice of the Russian leadership. There is no one left in the world today who does not see that Russia is ruled by savages. Savages who themselves are the biggest disaster on the planet today.” – Volodymyr Zelensky

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