Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 482

As the war enters its 482nd day, these are the main developments.

A Ukrainian soldier preparing shells for a howitzer. He is in a camouflaged position among trees
A Ukrainian soldier prepares shells for a howitzer near the front line in the eastern Donetsk region [Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters]

This is the situation as it stands on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

Fighting

  • Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the country’s armed forces had liberated eight settlements in the past two weeks, including Piatykhatky, a village in the southern Zaporizhia region. She said the situation in the east of the country was “difficult” and “hot battles” were continuing.
  • Russia’s Ministry of Defence said its forces repelled 10 Ukrainian assaults in the east of Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian air force said that it shot down four Shahed drones and four Kaliber cruise missiles.
  • The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said Russian troops appeared to have begun relocating from the eastern banks of the Dnipro to shore up defences around Bakhmut and Zaporizhia, perhaps believing that the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse had made a Ukrainian attack across the river much less likely.
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said United Nations aid workers who want to visit Russian-occupied areas ravaged by the dam collapse in southern Ukraine cannot go there because fighting makes it unsafe. The UN earlier said Russia had declined its assistance.
  • Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed governor of the occupied Donetsk region, accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the town of Volnovakha, injuring 20 people. A six-year-old was also killed by a mine, he added.
  • Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region that borders Ukraine, said seven civilians, including a child, were injured in Ukrainian shelling of the Valuyki town.
  • Kyiv accused Hungary of barring access to 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were handed over to the country by Russia. Budapest, a member of the European Union, has maintained ties with the Kremlin despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Diplomacy

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hailed an African mission to broker peace in Ukraine as “historic”. Ramaphosa made the remark on his return from talks in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the Russian city of St Petersburg.
  • The Kremlin said it would continue talks with the delegation of African countries seeking to mediate in the conflict at a Russia-Africa summit next month.
  • Ukraine is seeking up to $40bn to fund the first part of a “Green Marshall Plan” to rebuild its economy, Rostyslav Shurma, a senior Ukrainian official told the Reuters news agency.
  • The UK’s foreign ministry said it introduced legislation to maintain Russian sanctions until Moscow pays compensation to Ukraine.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said members of the military alliance will not issue a formal invitation for Ukraine to join their summit in Lithuania in mid-July.
  • An EU report will this week say that Ukraine has met two out of seven conditions to start membership negotiations, two EU sources said.

Weapons

  • On a high-profile visit to Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China had renewed promises not to send arms to Russia for use in Ukraine and that Washington had asked the Chinese government to be vigilant about Chinese firms possibly providing Russia with technology.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about Kyiv’s defence needs and further cooperation between the two countries.
  • Denmark’s military support for Ukraine will be increased to 21.9 billion Danish kroner ($3.21bn) during 2023-2028, the Danish defence ministry said. The aid will be delivered through a Ukraine fund that was set up in March as part of the small Nordic nation’s ambition “to be among the most significant supporters of Ukraine”.
  • There is no time limit to Russia’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported, citing Alexei Polishchuk, director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department of former Soviet states.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies