Top 5 Headlines
1. Fallout from the aborted mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner army dominated the news. Many analysts argued that, regardless of the negotiated outcome taking Prigozhin to Belarus, the Putin regime is permanently weakened by the 24-hour rebellion. For example, The Economist said it “will surely be more than a one-day wonder.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Now Putin had to defend Moscow, the capital of Russia, from his own mercenary... I don’t want to speculate, and I don't think we saw the final episode.”
2. The potential for a Russian terrorist attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) remained high priority for President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky raised concerns with US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Polish President Andrej Duda and other world leaders. “I shared with our partners the information… from our intelligence about the Russian scenario of mining the ZNPP… We must take very specific steps… to prevent any radiation accidents.” Zelenskyy stressed that the world's attention to the existing Russian threat at the ZNPP is “still insufficient.”
3. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov told Fox News that the current phase of the counteroffensive was a “preparatory operation” and promised that “this year will be a game changer.” Reznikov acknowledged that Russian forces had built up “very strong defensive lines” and stated that early expectations for the counteroffensive were “overestimated.”
4. The death toll from Russia’s Saturday attack on Kyiv reached five when two more victims’ bodies were recovered from rubble in an apartment building in the Solomyansky district that was hit by the fragments of a downed Russian missile.
5. Ukraine’s Embassy accused Israel a “clear pro-Russian position” in a very strongly worded statement. In turn, the Israeli Foreign Ministry was to summons the Ukrainian ambassador. “While the people of Ukraine, including its substantial Jewish community, are bleeding under the onslaught of Russian missiles and Iranian drones, the Israeli leadership, hiding behind verbal demagoguery about their neutrality… actively forges relations with the Russian Federation…We urge the Israeli government to change its position and to support Ukraine with defensive means,” the statement said.
6. On the night of June 26, 2023, Ukraine's air defence units successfully intercepted and destroyed two Russian Kalibr-type cruise missiles and seven Shahed-type unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). The Ukrainian Air Force confirmed it via Telegram. The attack by Russian occupiers primarily targeted Ukraine's territory from the south. According to the report, a submarine in the Black Sea launched three Kalibr cruise missiles, while eight Shahed-136/131 UCAVs were launched from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov. Furthermore, the enemy launched an attack from the northern direction using four unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles, suspected to be UCAVs. All four were successfully destroyed within the operational area of the Center Air Command.
President Zelensky's Message:
With just 15 days to go until the @NATO Summit in Vilnius, we are doing everything to ensure that the summit has real content. Strong content. Positive decisions for 🇺🇦 in Vilnius are the only possible positive decisions for our common security in Europe and in the Alliance as a… pic.twitter.com/DLGnVnYoE3— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 25, 2023
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