Updated 23.06.2022 at 06:30
- This is a historic day for Ukraine to decide on EU candidate status.
- Meanwhile, Russia is attacking the country with artillery and missiles.
- An overview of what happened last night – and what will be more important on Thursday.
As Ukraine moves towards EU candidate status, Russia intensifies attacks in the east of the country. The strategically important city of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region is increasingly becoming a destination.
On Thursday evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky again called for faster arms supplies “to stop this devilish army and push it out of the Ukrainian border.”
Russian attacks in the east
The positions of the Ukrainian army in the eastern industrial area of Donbas were bombed by Russian army planes and shelled by missiles and artillery, said the General Staff of Ukraine. The evening’s situation report listed more than forty cities and towns that had been shelled. Russia relies heavily on artillery to move from place to place after a massive shelling.
The Russian army is moving closer to the city of Lysychansk from several directions. It is separated from the neighboring Sierodoneck by a river. Severodonetsk is now largely under the control of Russian troops, although they are still facing resistance. Russia’s leadership around President Vladimir Putin has called gaining control of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk one of the goals of the offensive war.
Selensky wants a war crimes tribunal like the one in Nuremberg
In his daily televised speech, Zelensky called on a special court to investigate Russia’s war crimes. “Russia must be held accountable for all the evil it has brought to Ukraine,” he said.
On the anniversary of Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, he referred to the Nuremberg trials after World War II.
Ukraine’s database of war-damaged assets comes in July
The Ukrainian government wants to launch a database of assets destroyed by Russian troops in mid-July. For example, residential buildings destroyed in the war should be mentioned, said Deputy Minister of Digital Technologies Anatoly Komirnij. The aim is to collect data that all Ukrainians can use, among other things, to seek redress in international courts.
Movement in negotiations on the Russian grain blockade
Negotiations to break the Russian grain blockade in Ukraine seem to be moving forward. UN Security Council circles have confirmed to the German news agency that the parties to the conflict could meet with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Turkey – perhaps as early as next week.
The international community has been demanding that Russia allow the export of Ukrainian grain for weeks. Ukraine complains that its ports in the Black Sea are being blocked by the Russian navy. Both countries are among the largest exporters of wheat and play an important role in global food security. The United Nations recently warned of the worst famine in decades.
Microsoft: Ukrainian allies are the target of Russian hackers
According to Microsoft, Russian hackers are attacking Ukraine’s Western allies in large numbers. The software company warned on Thursday evening that they were focusing mainly on government computers in NATO countries. The number one target is the United States, but overall, Microsoft experts have identified Russian hacker attacks on 128 organizations in 42 countries outside Ukraine.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, they have managed to penetrate the attacked networks in 29 percent of attacks. At least every fourth successful attack has demonstrably taken data. Microsoft also stressed that Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s IT infrastructure with both cyber attacks and missiles since the beginning of the war. However, thanks to safeguards, the systems have proven to be largely resilient.
Moscow accuses the US of blocking flights for diplomats
Russia accuses the US of blocking the flight of expelled Russian diplomats. The Russian plane was to depart from diplomats who were instructed by the US government to leave the United States by the end of the month, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said. However, Washington did not allow that.
Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zacharovova therefore threatened unspecified countermeasures on Wednesday. The US State Department did not comment in detail. However, she complained that Russia did not present the situation correctly.
This will be important on Thursday
The European Union wants to decide at the Brussels summit whether Ukraine will gain the status of a candidate for EU membership. Prior to the meeting, there was widespread support for the relevant recommendations of the European Commission. However, the decision must be taken unanimously by all 27 states.
At the same time, a video summit of the so-called Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is taking place with the participation of Kremlin leader Putin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is also visiting Tehran.