As the war enters its 472nd day, these are the main developments.
This is the situation as it stands on Saturday, June 10, 2023
Nova Kakhovka dam collapse
- European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “everything indicates” that Russia was responsible for the Kakhovka dam blast. “The dam was not bombed. It was destroyed by explosives installed in the areas where the turbines are located. This area is under Russian control,” Borrell told Spanish public television.
- United States spy satellites detected an explosion at the Kakhovka dam before it collapsed, The New York Times reported, citing an unnamed US official. The official said satellites with infrared sensors detected a heat signature consistent with a significant explosion.
- Ukraine’s security service said it intercepted a telephone call between Russian military personnel in which they discussed the Kakhovka dam explosion and how a sabotage team from Russia had destroyed the site. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) posted a short audio clip on its Telegram channel of the alleged conversation.
- Ukraine continued to evacuate people in areas affected by flooding from the dam collapse and reported that at least five people had been killed. Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Telegram that four people had died and 13 people were missing in the Kherson region and one person had died in the Mykolaiv region due to the flooding.
- Floodwater levels in some parts of southern Ukraine had begun to fall, officials said.
- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Japan would provide emergency humanitarian aid worth some $5m following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, a Japanese government spokesperson said.
- United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths said it would take time to determine the full extent of the environmental damage caused by the Nova Kakhovka dam’s destruction. “But we all know … this is an absolute calamity,” he said, describing the reservoir as a “bread basket” that was important for the livelihoods of people living in southern Ukraine.
- Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg accused Russia of causing the collapse of the dam in Ukraine, calling it an act of “ecocide” by Moscow.
- Russia accused Ukrainian forces of shelling that had killed citizens affected by flooding from the dam in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the attacks “more than barbaric”. A day earlier, Ukraine accused Russian forces of shelling civilians and Ukrainian rescue workers in the flooded territory it controls.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine has started its expected counteroffensive against Russian forces but without success. “Ukrainian troops did not achieve their goals in any sector – thanks to the courage of Russian soldiers, proper organisation of troops,” he said.
- Ukraine’s Zelenskyy hailed the heroism of his armed forces amid reports of intensified fighting in the east and south, in what is seen as the likely start of Kyiv’s long-expected counteroffensive. “We see your heroism, and we are grateful to you for every minute of your life,” Zelenskyy said in his daily address.
- Russia’s defence ministry reported repelling Ukrainian attacks in the southeastern region of Zaporizhia and thwarting repeated attempts by the Ukrainian army this week to break through the front line. A spokesman for Russia’s Vostok group of forces said 13 Ukrainian tanks were destroyed in battles in the Zaporizhia region, and eight in the Donetsk region.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the situation on the front lines is tense and heavy fighting is concentrated in the Donetsk region in the east. “The situation is tense in all areas of the front. The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiiv and Marin directions. Heavy fighting continues,” Maliar said on Telegram.
- Russia unleashed air attacks on Ukraine overnight, killing at least one person in a combined assault of cruise missiles and attack drones, according to Ukrainian authorities. Ukraine said it shot down four out of six missiles launched during the attack and 10 out of 16 drones.
- Three people were injured by shards of broken glass caused by a drone strike on a residential building in the southern Russian city of Voronezh, regional Governor Aleksandr Gusev says. Gusev said the three people had received medical attention on the spot and declined hospital treatment.
- Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus after facilities there are ready on July 7-8, Putin told his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, at a meeting in Sochi.
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said a blast at an ammonia pipeline will be considered during consultations on the Black Sea grain export deal with Ukraine. Russia accused Ukraine of blowing up part of the pipeline in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. Kharkiv’s governor said Russian forces shelled their own pipeline.
- Russia has received materials from Iran to build a drone factory, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said. The White House released a satellite image of the location of the prospective plant in the Alabuga special economic zone, some 900km (560 miles) east of Moscow.
- The US Department of Defense announced an additional $2.1bn military package for Ukraine that includes Raytheon HAWK air defence systems and missiles, AeroVironment Puma unmanned aerial systems, laser-guided rockets and other munitions.
- Belgium will supply Ukraine with 105mm artillery rounds worth 32.4 million euros ($35m), a spokesperson for Belgium’s defence ministry says.
- Russia’s foreign ministry summoned the Japanese ambassador over Tokyo’s announced decision to supply military equipment to Ukraine.
- Iceland will suspend embassy operations in Moscow from August 1 and has asked Russia to scale back its diplomatic activities in Reykjavik, the foreign ministry says in a statement. The suspension is due to an “all-time low” level of commercial, cultural and political relations between the two countries, the ministry said. Diplomatic relations between the two nations have not been severed.
- The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will tour eight cities in Europe and the United Kingdom for the second summer in a row. The tour to support the war effort in Ukraine runs from August 20 to September 3.
- Hungary said it received a group of Ukrainian prisoners of war from Russia, a release that Ukraine welcomed but expressed concern about not being informed. The POWs were from the western part of Ukraine that borders Hungary, according to both the Russian Orthodox Church, which said it had assisted in the release, and Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen.