As the war enters its 483rd day, these are the main developments.
This is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s forces were destroying Russian forces in the two main areas of the conflict in the east and south of Ukraine.
- Russia launched a major drone assault on Kyiv and other cities, Ukrainian officials said, with air defence systems shooting down 28 out of 30 Iranian-made Shahed drones.
- Ukraine’s Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets said last week’s collapse of the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam caused 1.2 billion euros ($1.3bn) of damage and warned that mines unearthed by flooding could wash onto other European countries’ shores.
- Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian president, said Russian forces shelled rescue workers clearing mud in the flood-affected regions of Kherson, killing one and injuring eight.
- Russian-appointed authorities in the occupied town of Nova Kakhovka said one woman was killed and four injured in a Ukrainian drone attack.
- Ukraine’s defence ministry said the European Union will train 30,000 soldiers this year as a part of the EU Military Assistance Mission for Ukraine (EUMAM).
- A Russian court jailed Denis Muryga for 16 years for fighting in Ukraine’s Aidar Battalion, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. Aidar was one of dozens of volunteer battalions that emerged in Ukraine after Russian-backed groups declared breakaway “republics” in the east of the country in 2014. It was later absorbed into the Ukrainian armed forces. Russia considers Aidar an illegal armed group.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pushed back against NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg’s comments that the security alliance could not allow the war in Ukraine to be frozen and Moscow allowed to dictate the terms of any deal. “If NATO once again declares that they are against freezing, as they say, the conflict in Ukraine, then they want to fight,” TASS, the Russian state news agency, quoted Lavrov telling reporters. “Let them fight!”
- Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed Ukraine planned to strike Crimea with long-range HIMARS artillery and Storm Shadow missiles and warned that Moscow would retaliate if that happened. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
- Speaking at a high-level meeting in Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Beijing to use its influence with Moscow in relation to the war in Ukraine and not supply weapons to Russia.
- EU leaders plan to call on China next week to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine, a senior EU official told the Reuters news agency. EU leaders will meet for a summit in Brussels on June 29-30.
- The EU will offer an aid package to Ukraine – made up of loans and grants – worth 50 billion euros ($55bn) for the next four years.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting African leaders, who met in St Petersburg last week, discussed the importance of maintaining Russian grain supplies to the continent, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
- Norway’s foreign ministry said it would set aside 250 million kroner ($23m) for nuclear safety and security in Ukraine given the potentially far-reaching consequences of any nuclear accident.
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US envoy to the United Nations, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “primarily responsible” for the surge in the number of refugees in 2022.
- Russia’s defence ministry said it awarded 1 million Russian roubles ($11,820) to a soldier who destroyed a German Leopard tank in Ukraine.
- Denmark’s defence ministry announced an additional aid package for Ukraine worth 21.9 billion kroner ($3.2bn) to include weapons, other military equipment, emergency equipment and training.