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Ukraine’s army said it launched airstrikes on Zmiinyi Island, also known as Snake Island, causing “significant losses” to Russian forces. The military’s southern operational command said it had undertaken “aimed strikes with the use of various forces” and the military operation was continuing.
The military situation for Ukraine’s defenders in the eastern Donbas is “extremely difficult”, officials have said. There are 568 civilians thought to be holed up in Sievierodonetsk’s Azot chemical plant, as Russian attacks intensify in an effort to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said Lysychansk was getting shelled “en masse”.
Russian forces have captured several settlements near Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. The head of the Sievierodonetsk district military administration, Roman Vlasenko, said the frontline village of Toshkivka had not been under Ukrainian control since Monday. Russian forces also reportedly captured Pidlisne and Mala Dolyna, located south-west of Sievierodonetsk, and saw success near the Hirske settlement in Luhansk.
At least 15 civilians were killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region by Russian shelling on Tuesday, according to the regional governor, Oleh Synegubov.
Mass mobilisation is “about to happen” in Russia with the Kremlin recruiting people in poorer regions to fight in Ukraine, according to western officials. Officials also said there was “more chatter” about Vladimir Putin’s health and “more speculation” about who would replace him in Russia. However, there did not appear to be an “immediate threat” to the Russian president’s position from the elite or the general population, they said.
A fire that broke out after Ukrainian forces allegedly attacked oil rigs in the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea was approaching an oilwell, according to a pro-Russian official. Three people were wounded and seven people were still reportedly missing. The Russian-backed leader of annexed Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, blamed Kyiv for the attack.
Russia has demanded that Lithuania immediately lift a ban on the transit of goods on an EU sanctions list across its territory to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The secretary of the security council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patrushev, said the consequences of the ban “will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania”.
The US attorney general, Merrick Garland, visited Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss Russia’s war crimes, a justice department official said. Garland met with Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, and announced a war crimes accountability team to identify and prosecute perpetrators. “There is no hiding place for war criminals,” Garland said.
The Kremlin has said that two captured US volunteers are not covered by the Geneva conventions and could face the death penalty. Russian media claimed that two of three US volunteers missing in Ukraine had been captured and were being held by pro-Russian separatist forces. The Kremlin has denied it knows their locations.
German self-propelled howitzers have arrived in Ukraine in the first delivery of heavy weapons promised by Berlin. “We have replenishment!” Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, announced. “The German Panzerhaubitze 2000 with trained Ukrainian crews joined the Ukrainian artillery family.”
Turkey should be cautious about delivering more weapons to Ukraine, the head of Turkey’s weapons production agency said. The remarks by Ismail Demir to the Wall Street Journal show how Ankara is increasingly playing both sides of the war. Turkish-made drones have played a critical role in Kyiv’s defence.
Turkey’s military delegation will travel to Russia this week to discuss a possible safe sea corridor in the Black Sea to export Ukrainian grain, according to Turkish presidency sources. A meeting between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations would be held in Istanbul in the coming weeks, possibly with the participation of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the UN’s secretary general, António Guterres, the sources said.
European countries are united in their support for granting Ukraine the status of EU member candidate, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister has said. Jean Asselborn told reporters: “We are working towards the point where we tell Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine defends.”
The UK government is “determined” to impose further sanctions on Russia and will continue to do so until Moscow fully withdraws from Ukraine, Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has said. She told parliament that she would be travelling to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss options to help get grain out of Odesa. Boris Johnson also warned of the need to resist “growing fatigue” around the war and said any concessions to Vladimir Putin would be a “disaster”.
Estonia summoned the Russian ambassador on Tuesday to protest about an “extremely serious” violation of its airspace by a Russian helicopter. The Estonian foreign ministry said the helicopter flew over a point in the south-east without permission on 18 June.
Russia has blocked the website of the Telegraph for its reporting on the invasion of Ukraine. The newspaper said it had been accused of “disseminating false information about a special military operation by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine”.