Top 5 Headlines
1. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the UK will back Ukraine’s economy with $3 billion over the next three years, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced ahead of the Ukraine Reform Conference. Taking place today and Thursday in London, the Conference will involve more than 1,000 foreign officials from more than 60 countries, as well as some 400 business leaders and global investors from 38 countries, who will discuss ways to support Ukraine’s recovery efforts. The European Union is likely to propose a financial aid package of around $55 billion. Prior to the Kakhovka dam’s destruction, the World Bank estimated Ukraine’s reconstruction costs at $411 billion.
2. The Embassy of Ukraine in Budapest took three Ukrainian prisoners of war out of Hungary to Ukrainian territory. “They are already in the Ukrainian territory; they are provided with all kinds of support,” Oleg Nikolenko, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, posted on Facebook.
3. A $6.2 billion discrepancy between the estimated and actual cost of US equipment provided to Ukraine has been revealed by a Pentagon audit, according to its spokesperson. Sabrina Singh said the accounting error occurred when Pentagon services used the replacement cost of equipment rather than the net book value, “thereby overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from US stocks and provided to Ukraine.”
4. Ukraine’s military intelligence chief accused Russia of “mining” the cooling pond used to cool the reactors at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine’s south. Kyrylo Budanov, head of the HUR agency, made the claim without providing evidence for his assertion.
5. Slovakia adopted a resolution recognizing the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. “The famine in Ukraine is, along with the Holocaust, the most tragic event against humanity on the European continent. It caused the death of millions of Ukrainians and was cynically planned and brutally carried out by the Soviet regime,” the resolution said.
Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary
A “push me/pull me” situation appeared to be the case along about 1,000 kilometers of the front. Ukrainian forces attempted to slowly push forward in western Zaporizhzhia, western Donetsk and around Bakhmut, Russian forces mount somewhat intensified offensive action in northern Donetsk. Significant increase in air strikes by Russia. Major artillery duels took place in several zones. No substantial gains were claimed by Ukrainian or Russian forces.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said:
· Offensive action continues on several fronts in the south.
· “Everything is going according to the plan determined by the military. Our forces are making gains on all fronts where they are active. But enemy forces won’t easily relinquish their positions, so fierce fighting and tough battles continue.”
· Russian forces are rigging fields and civilian settlements with explosives.
· Russian forces are making attempts to advance in some sectors, while Ukrainian forces there are on the defensive.
A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis – boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions
· Ukrainian infantry assaulted Rivnopil and Pryutne, according to Russian milblogger, WarGonzo, who also reported intense artillery duels across this zone.
· Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said there had been combat in the vicinity of Levadne-Novodarivka.
· Russian forces lost more than five companies killed and wounded in a day, and 46 units of military equipment were destroyed or damaged, General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, commander of Ukrainian troops in the south wrote on Telegram. According to Tarnavsky, “rocket and artillery troops completed 1,487 fire missions throughout the day.”
B. Western Zaporizhzhia
· Ukrainian forces attacked south of Orikhiv around Russian-occupied Robotne and Russian forces counterattacked Ukrainian-claimed Pyatyhatky, according to Russian milblogger, WarGonzo. He also reported intense artillery duels across lines in this theater.
· The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Russian forces repelled four Ukrainian assaults near Orikhiv in western Zaporizhzhia region.
· Russian and Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks near Bakhmut, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
· After an infantry assault from Orekhovo-Vasilyevka, northwest of Bakhmut, “the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to occupy several dominant heights and approach a section of the M-03 highway,” Russian milblogger WarGonzo posted.
· Ukrainian infantry assaults also took place on the northern flank closer to Bakhmut at Berkhivka and Yahidne, according to WarGonzo.
· Ukrainian infantry assaults also took place near Klishchiivka on the southern flank of Bakhmut. Russian milblogger WarGonzo said that “less than one and a half kilometers separate [Ukrainian forces] from the settlement.”
· Three combat engagements took place in the Bakhmut zone with Russian forces using artillery of various calibers and rocket systems more than 300 times, as well as launching airstrikes using combat aircraft, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman.
D. Other Theatres/Activity
Russian forces under 83 air strikes on Ukrainian territory using fixed wing planes or helicopters - which is the highest in the last ten days.
Russian troops attacked the Lyman–Kreminna zone (northern Donetsk region) more than 20 times over the past day, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman.
· Intense artillery duels are reportedly taking place in Kherson region, according to Russian milblogger, WarGonzo, including in the vicinity of the destroyed Kakhovka dam.
· The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched 35 Shahed-131/136 drones, seven S-300 missiles, and one Iskander-M missile targeting the Kyiv region and civilian infrastructure facilities in Zaporizhzhia region. Ukrainian forces claimed to have shot down 32 Shahed drones.
· Fire erupted at a gunpowder factory in the Russian town of Kotovsk, Tambov region, killing four people, Russian state-controlled news outlet RIA Novosti reported.
· Russian milblogger WarGonzo claimed that there had been aerial assaults/explosions in Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk regions, and Russian-occupied Crimea.
President Zelensky’s Message
Now our warriors in the south and in the east are very actively destroying the enemy, physically clearing 🇺🇦. This will continue in the future.— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 20, 2023
Protection against terror means the destruction of terrorists. And it is a guarantee that the 🇷🇺 evil state will never again have the… pic.twitter.com/eCG7ac5xds
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