Russia-Ukraine war latest: ‘significant’ blow against Snake Island occupiers, says Ukrainian army – live – The Guardian


The military authorities of the self-proclaimed breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic have posted to Telegram to claim that in the last two hours the Kievsky district of Donetsk has been shelled sixty times by Ukrainian forces. It specifically states that the munitions used are 155mm shells “supplied by Nato countries”. The claims have not been independently verified.

Maksym Kozytskyi, governor of Lviv, has posted to Telegram to say that there were no air raid warnings over his region of western Ukraine overnight. He stated that 225 displaced people arrived in Lviv on evacuation trains yesterday.

Casualties to the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR), one of Russias proxies in eastern Ukraine, may have amounted to about 55% of the original strength, British intelligence has claimed.

According to the latest UK ministry of defence report:

Heavy shelling continues as Russia pushes to envelop the Sievierodonetsk area via Izium in the north and Popasna in the south. Russia is highly likely preparing to attempt to deploy a large number of reserve units to the Donbas.

It goes on to discuss the casualty situation, stating:

The Russian authorities have not released the overall number of military casualties in Ukraine since 25 March. However, the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) publishes casualty figures for DPR forces. As of 16 June, the DPR acknowledged 2128 military personnel killed in action, and 8,897 wounded, since the start of 2022.

The DPR casualty rate is equivalent to around 55% of its original force, which highlights the extraordinary attrition Russian and pro-Russian forces are suffering in the Donbas.

It is highly likely that DPR forces are equipped with outdated weapons and equipment. On both sides, the ability to generate and deploy reserve units to the front is likely becoming increasingly critical to the outcome of the war.

For further context, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces claims to have killed about 34,100 Russian soldiers in total between 24 February and 21 June. The claims have not been independently verified.

A Ukrainian photojournalist and a soldier who was accompanying him were “coldly executed” when they were killed in the first weeks of Russia’s invasion, according to a recently published investigation from Reporters Without Borders.

The pair were reportedly searching Russian-occupied woodlands for the photographer’s missing image-taking drone, the agency said citing its findings from an investigation into their deaths.

The press freedom group said it went back to the spot where the bodies of Maks Levin and serviceman Oleksiy Chernyshov were found 1 April in woods north of the capital, Kyiv. The group said it counted 14 bullet holes in the burned hulk of their car still at the scene.

The report, published on Wednesday, reads:

The evidence gathered by RSF indicates that the Ukrainian photo-journalist Maks Levin and the friend who was with him were executed in cold blood by Russian forces, probably after being interrogated and tortured, on the day they went missing, 13 March 2022.

The photos of the crime scene, the evidence RSF found there and RSF’s observations attest to the fact that the journalist Maks Levin and his friend Oleksiy Chernyshov were executed.

Levin was very probably shot by one of the bullets that RSF found at the crime scene.

Material evidence was found of a Russian presence very close to the crime scene including food package, plastic cutlery which could still contain DNA traces.”

Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin was found dead near the capital Kyiv.
Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin was found dead near the capital Kyiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Some of Levin and Chernyshov’s belongings, including the soldier’s ID papers and parts of his bulletproof vest and the photographer’s helmet, were also recovered, it said.

A Ukrainian team with metal detectors also uncovered a bullet buried in the soil where Levin’s body had lain, it said. The group said that finding suggests “he was probably killed with one, perhaps two bullets fired at close range when he was already on the ground.”

A jerrycan for gasoline was also found close to where Chernyshov’s burned body had been recovered, it added.

Reporters Without Borders said its findings “show that the two men were doubtless coldly executed.”

Levin and Chernyshov were last heard from on 13 March. A GPS tracker in their vehicle gave their last position, in woods north of Kyiv, the group said.

Putin to mark WWII anniversary

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is set to mark the day when Hitler’s Nazi Germany forces invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June, 1941.

The date is significant in Russia and remembered as the ‘Day of Remembrance and Sorrow’.

Putin will reportedly lay flowers to honour the dead on Wednesday.

To mark the anniversary, the Russian defence ministry released documents dating back to the start of the second world war purporting to show Germany intended to claim the Soviet army was bombing churches and cemeteries to justify its invasion.

“Just as nowadays, in 1941, the Nazis prepared provocations in advance to discredit our state,” Russia’s defence ministry said.

June 22 is one of the most tragic dates in Russian history – Memorial and Mourning Day. On this day 81 years ago, the Great Patriotic War began.

A divine liturgy and a memorial service will be held in the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces.”

▪️June 22 is one of the most tragic dates in Russian history – Memorial and Mourning Day. On this day 81 years ago, the Great Patriotic War began.
A divine liturgy and a memorial service will be held in the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces.
📽 🇷🇺Ministry of Defence pic.twitter.com/4YYuMYXKCD

— Russian Embassy, SWE (@RusEmbSwe) June 21, 2022