Update Ukrainian Defense Minister: We are waiting for an invitation to join NATO at the end of the war
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov says he expects a “guarantee” that his country will be invited to join NATO at the end of the war in Ukraine sparked by the Russian invasion. Considering the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Reznikov says – in an interview with The Guardian – here “the heads of state and government of NATO countries will have the opportunity to correct the mistake made in Bucharest in 2008 and prove that they are creating responsible leadership at the level of our expectations.”
Update China on Ukraine’s Return to 1991 Borders, Including Crimea: Why Not?
It reiterated that China has a “consistent and very clear” position on the war in Ukraine and called on all parties to the conflict to “create an environment for a political solution to the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.” In an interview with foreign media, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mao Ning opened up the hypothesis that Ukraine was the cause of the recent statements by Chinese Ambassador to the European Union Fu Kang. After the fall of the Soviet Union, which included Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, it reverted to its 1991 borders. “I don’t know why not,” the Chinese diplomat was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera. “We respect the territorial integrity of all countries. So, when China established relations with the former Soviet Union, that is what we agreed to. But, as I said, these are historical issues that Russia and Ukraine need to negotiate and resolve, and we stand by that.
Update Death toll rises to 10 in Kramatorsk: 14-year-old twins killed
The toll from the Russian attack in Kramatorsk continues to rise, with at least 10 dead, as search operations continue in the ruins of the restaurant. Ukraine’s emergency services said three more people were trapped in the rubble. Meanwhile, 14-year-old twin girls Yulia and Anna Aksenchenko were reported killed in the blast. In the telegram, the city council offered its condolences to the girls’ parents, noting that “a Russian missile stopped the hearts of two angels.”
UPDATE Two of Prigozhin’s flights are returning to Russia, one to Petersburg and the other to Moscow
Satellite photos of Prigozhin’s new movements appear to show him staying in Minsk for 14 hours and 59 minutes and staying in the same location with Lukashenko for about 5 hours.
Update The Constitution of Ukraine turns 27 today
“Today our Constitution completes 27 years. The words written in 1996 are no longer history, they are truly essential and important for Ukrainians: the right to life and freedom, respect and dignity, words about the value of our land. In the country, the meaning of the word “sovereignty” no longer needs to be explained to anyone, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky writes in a telegram.
Update Zelensky’s advisor on Putin: The countdown has begun
Andrei Irmak, a close adviser to President Zelensky, said in a meeting with journalists filmed by the BBC that the “countdown has begun” for Vladimir Putin to become Russia’s next president following the Wagner rebellion. “What Ukraine has seen since 2014 has become clear to the whole world. This Russia is a terrorist state, and its leader is an inadequate person who has lost touch with reality. The world must come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a serious relationship with that country,” the BBC spoke to Oleksi Danilov, head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. , suggested that Putin faces significant opposition, including from oligarchs.
Update enthusiasts: Russian nukes in Belarus this month
Tactical nuclear weapons to be used by Russia in Belarus will be delivered in several stages by train starting this month, RBC-Ukraine reported, citing information provided by an activist group.
Update Putin, to Russian Muslims: I show courage
Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the courage shown by Russian Muslim fighters in the military campaign in Ukraine and the defense of the country on the most important Hajj, or pilgrimage, holiday in the Islamic calendar. “Today, following the historical, patriotic and spiritual traditions of their ancestors, Muslim fighters are showing their sacrifice, courage and bravery in special military operations (in Ukraine),” he said in a greeting posted on the Kremlin’s website. Although there are no official statistics on the number of Muslims in Russia, they are estimated to be around 20 million. There are about half a million Muslims in the Russian capital and Moscow province alone.
Update Kiev: So far there is only a preview of Counterattack
Recent moderate Ukrainian victories against Russian forces are a preview of a much larger counteroffensive: the “main event” of the attack is yet to come, and “when it happens, everyone will see…everyone will see everything.” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said this in an interview with the Financial Times.
Update The President of Lithuania is in Kyiv
Lithuanian President Kitanas Nauseta made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, the Lithuanian Presidential Administration announced in a statement. Nauseda wants to discuss with Ukrainian President Zelensky the agenda of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, Ukraine’s negotiations to join the European Union, and Lithuania and EU aid to Ukraine.
Update Kiev: Six Russian drones shot down
Last night, the Kyiv Air Force says Ukrainian forces shot down six Shahed-136/131 drones launched by Russia over Ukraine, Ukrainform reported. “On the night of June 28, 2023, air defense units of the Air Force and other elements of the Defense Forces of Ukraine destroyed six Shahed-136/131 rocket launchers, which were used by the Russian aggressors to attack from the southeast,” the statement said.
NYT update: A Russian general knew about Prigozhin’s rebellion
A Russian general was aware of the plans of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner group to rebel against the Russian military leadership, the New York Times writes, citing sources. U.S. investigators are currently trying to determine whether Prigozhin helped develop his plan and whether other members of the Russian military supported the insurgency.
A name was also proposed. Intelligence officials said the focus would be on Gen. Sergei Surovykin, the former commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, to see if the senior officer could help plan Prigozhin’s operations late last week. Surovikhin was replaced as commander-in-chief in January, but retains his influence in managing combat operations and remains popular among troops.
Update Report: 4 dead, 42 injured in attack on restaurant in Kramatorsk, including a child
Update – Russian forces abduct minors from Zaporoshi and transport them to Chuvash Republic.
The administration of the Russian-occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhya province transported minors to Russia under the pretext of “vacation”. The Center for National Resistance in Ukraine reported on June 26 that they had been abducted from their homes.
UPDATE -CNN: Satellite images show two planes at Belarus air base
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