Fighting in Severodonetsk continues
Ukraine received and uses 150 155-mm howitzers at the front, but needs more long-range artillery systems, Yury Sak, adviser to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, told DW on Monday. He noted that Ukraine needs 100 long-range systems to go on the counteroffensive. The Ukrainian army still controls the Azot plant in Severodonetsk, where a large number of civilians are hiding.
At the same time, according to him, from a humanitarian point of view, the situation in Severodonetsk is “very, very difficult” and similar to the one that was in the besieged Mariupol, although now events are developing more dynamically.
The head of the Lugansk regional military administration, Sergei Gaidai, reported on Ukrainian television on June 12 that Russian troops had destroyed two of the three bridges leading to Severodonetsk. According to him, the third bridge is also constantly under fire.
According to analysts, in southern Ukraine the Russians focus on defense.
In Putin’s Russia, postman no longer brings greeting cards
On Russia Day celebrated on June 12, President Vladimir Putin was congratulated only by ten heads of state, with half of these states being former Soviet republics, the Russian magazine “Holod” posted in Telegram. These countries are: North Korea; Belarus; Turkmenistan; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Kirgizstan; the United Arab Emirates; Kuwait; Saudi Arabia; Nicaragua. “Even Eritrea sent us its felicitations,” commented the journal.
In 30 countries of the world, the Russian diaspora on June 12 staged protests against the invasion of Ukraine. The protesters chanted against the fascist ideology of the “Russian world” and called on the people to do their utmost to stop this war as swiftly as possible.
Similar protests were mounted in a series of cities in Russia, such as Barnaul and Ufa.
How much territory, freedom and democracy does peace cost?
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said peace in Ukraine depends on what Kyiv and the West are disposed to do: “Peace in Ukraine is possible. The question is, what its price will be? How much territory, freedom and democracy are we ready to pay for this peace? NATO intends to help Ukraine, to offer it the most powerful position at the negotiating table with Russia, which should bring the hostilities to and end”.
Cluster bombs used by Russians in Ukraine
Amnesty International on Monday accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, saying attacks on Kharkiv, many using banned cluster bombs, had killed hundreds of civilians.
“The repeated bombardments of residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv are indiscriminate attacks which killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and as such constitute war crimes," the rights group said in a report on Ukraine's second-largest city.
Amnesty investigated 41 Russian strikes that killed at least 62 people and wounded at least 196. It spoke to 160 people in Kharkiv over two weeks in April and May, including survivors, victims' relatives, witnesses and doctors.
“Fight for bread” no longer newspaper metaphor
A ship carrying 18,000 tons of Ukrainian corn arrived Monday at a port in Spain, using what a regional animal feed producers group described as a "new maritime route" that aims to avoid Russia's blockade of Ukraine's port, according to CNN.
The potential production of grain on the existing sown areas in Ukraine this year is expected to be of 48-50 million tonnes.
“According to preliminary forecasts, the potential grain production on the available areas could reach 48-50 million tonnes. This is, of course, less than in previous years, when we got used to the figures of 60-65 million tonnes, but if we take the previous decade, we had worse years. Therefore, nothing critical is expected at the moment,” First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Vysotsky said at a briefing.
He noted that now the main problem of farmers is well-established export logistics, although deliveries ramp up.
Ryazanskaya in Chișinău similar to Borodinskaya in Odessa
The mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov announced the renaming of streets in the city, the names of which are at least somehow connected with Russia. The deputies of the city council will make the final decision on renaming the streets on the recommendations of the historical and toponymic commission.
The mayor of Odessa added that 24 streets in the city have names in Russian. They need to be translated into Ukrainian, and 19 more should be renamed, as they are connected with the Soviet past.
In particular, the mayor said, the streets should return their historical names, and where this is not possible, they should be named after people and events “worthy of perpetuation.” For example, it can be the “Square of Great Britain” and the street “Heroes of Mariupol.
Legionnaires are not mercenaries
The International Defense Legion of Ukraine includes representatives of 55 countries, said Legion Speaker Damien Magru.
“We have representatives of more than 50 countries and citizenships. When I last looked, there were 55 [countries and citizenships]. We have representatives of countries from all parts of the world, all continents, even as far as Brazil, South Korea, and Australia.”
According to Magru, the largest number of soldiers in the International Legion are US and British citizens, followed by Poland and Canada, the representatives of Baltic countries and the northern countries, including Finland.
He clarified that all legionnaires receive the same salary as any other military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and therefore cannot be considered mercenaries.