Putin thinks he’s Peter the Great.
It’s been weird driving for five days and not paying much attention to Ukraine. I miss it. We must remember we are embedded in this war. We might not have an interest in the war but the war is interested in us.
Putin also thinks he’s Peter the Great.
It’s Mariupol all over again. Russia cut off an escape route by blowing up a bridge:
Ukrainian and Russian forces were still engaged in street by-street fighting there on Sunday, said the governor of Luhansk province, Serhii Haidai.
Russian forces have taken most of the city, but Ukrainian troops remain in control of an industrial area and chemical plant where hundreds of civilians are sheltering.
But the Russians had destroyed a bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River linking Severodonetsk with its twin city of Lysychansk, Haidai said.
That leaves just one of three bridges still standing and reduces the number of routes that could be used to evacuate civilians or for Ukrainian troops to withdraw to positions on the western side of the river.
In Lysychansk itself, Russian shelling killed one woman and destroyed four houses and a shopping centre, Haidai said.
Russia supposedly destroyed a warehouse holding US and EU weapons:
As we reported earlier, Russia has carried out a rocket attack on the western Ukrainian city of Chortkiv that partly destroyed a military facility and injured 22 people, including a 12-year-old child.
Now, Russia’s defence ministry says it destroyed a “large depot of anti-tank missile systems, portable air defence systems and shells provided to the Kyiv regime by the United States and European countries” during the attack.
The BBC has not been able to independently verify these claims.
Russia Day is the national holiday for the Russian Federation celebrated on June 12 since 1992. It’s the date of the formation of the federation after the fall of the USSR, which actually took place on June 12, 1990.
The occupied places in Ukraine celebrated Russia Day:
Russia Day was celebrated in occupied parts of Ukraine, including the ravaged port city of Mariupol, on Sunday.
A new city sign painted in the colours of the Russian flag was unveiled on the outskirts of Mariupol and Russian flags were flown on a highway leading into the city.
In the neighbouring Zaporizhzhia region, Moscow-installed officials also raised a Russian flag in Melitopol’s city centre.
While at one of the central squares in the city of Kherson, Russian bands performed a concert to mark the day.
Ukrainian media reported that few, if any, local residents attended the Russia Day festivities in the Russian-occupied cities.
Russia even gave out passports to Ukrainians:
Moscow officials have begun issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian residents who applied for citizenship, as Russia seeks to solidify its rule over captured parts of Ukraine.
Russian news agency RIA Novosti posted a video of a Moscow-backed official congratulating new Russian citizens and telling them: “Russia will not go anywhere. We are here for good.”
Moscow has also introduced the ruble as official currency in captured Ukrainian cities in the south and east.
Meanwhile, Russian news broadcasts have aired and plans remains underway to introduce a Russian school curriculum.
Amnesty accused Russia of war crimes for supposedly using banned cluster bombs in Kharkiv:
The human rights organisation said it had found evidence of Russian forces repeatedly using 9N210 and 9N235 cluster bombs and scatterable land mines in Kharkiv, all of which are banned under international conventions.
Cluster bombs release dozens of bomblets or grenades in mid-air, scattering them indiscriminately over hundreds of square metres.
“The repeated bombardments of residential neighbourhoods in Kharkiv are indiscriminate attacks which killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and as such constitute war crimes,” Amnesty said in a report on Monday.
“This is true both for the strikes carried out using cluster (munitions) as well as those conducted using other types of unguided rockets and unguided artillery shells.
“The continued use of such inaccurate explosive weapons in populated civilian areas, in the knowledge that they are repeatedly causing large numbers of civilian casualties, may even amount to directing attacks against the civilian population.”
The report, called Anyone Can Die At Any Time, details how Russian forces began targeting civilian areas of Kharkiv on the first day of the invasion on February 24.
According to Kharkiv’s Military Administration, 606 civilians had been killed and 1,248 injured in the region since the invasion began.
Ukraine has two grain routes through Poland and Romania. I hope this helps the food crisis:
Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a global food crisis, Kyiv’s deputy foreign minister, Dmytro Senik, has said.
He said global food security was at risk because Russia’s invasion had halted Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports, causing widespread shortages and soaring prices.
Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest grain exporter and it says millions of tonnes of grain are sitting in warehouses and Ukrainian ports unable to be exported due to the war.
Ukraine was in talks with Baltic states to add a third corridor for food exports, Senik said.
“Those routes are not perfect because it creates certain bottlenecks, but we are doing our best to develop those routes,” he told Reuters.
It comes as the World Trade Organization warned that a food crisis kicked off by the Ukraine war could last for years without intervention.
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