Timeline: day 117 of Ukraine's defense against russia's aggression
Today is June 20. russia's military attack on Ukraine has been going on for 117 days. We're reporting on the current news. The article will be updated.
What about today?
Today, as President Zelensky noted in his address, a historic week begins—one of the most important ones since 1991. A week when we will hear a response from the European Union regarding the candidate status for Ukraine. "In such a week, we should expect russia to intensify hostile activity. Especially to show off. Not only against Ukraine but also against Europe. We are preparing and warning partners. We thank everyone whose strength today is our victory tomorrow."
The occupiers are accumulating forces in the Kharkiv direction and the Zaporizhzhia region. They have fired on our fuel infrastructure again; they want to worsen our fuel situation.
Fierce fighting continues in the Donbas. The russian army uses the most artillery there, and the most offensive forces, but Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, and other flashpoints are holding the fort. Our army is holding on. "I am grateful to everyone whose strength today is our victory tomorrow," Zelensky said.
East Operational Command reports the loss of the enemy during the day:
- 14 soldiers of personnel;
- One self-propelled artillery unit;
- four AT-T vehicles.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian defenders held the defense and inflicted significant losses on the enemy, both in equipment and personnel. During the past 24hrs, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed:
- 14 russian soldiers with 18 wounded;
- one armored personnel carrier;
- one combat reconnaissance patrol vehicle;
- one MT-LB tracked vehicle.
In addition, one observation post, one enemy platoon base, and one dugout were destroyed.
In the Kherson region, the russian Ka-52 helicopter tried to strike at the positions of the Ukrainian forces but fled due to the fire of the Ukrainian military, the South operational command reports.
The Institute for the Study of War concludes:
- Accumulated artillery and infantry are not enough for russia to advance within Sievierodonetsk.
- Successful Ukrainian counterattacks in Zaporizhzhia are forcing the russian military to shift reinforcements to this weakened front-line section.
russian aviation has shown itself the worst in the invasion of Ukraine, British intelligence says. According to intelligence, the failed use of aviation is probably one of the most critical factors in russia's very limited success in the invasion. But, looking at the destruction caused by bombs dropped from russian planes in Ukraine, it is even scary to imagine what would happen if the russians used "aviation" more successfully. However, thanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, russia has already lost 216 of its aircraft and 181 helicopters.
Total losses of ruscists since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine:
In the Kherson region, the occupiers are increasing the air defense system in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region. Also, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, russian invaders are improving the engineering equipment of the first and second lines of defense. It will not help the russians. Our soldiers will soon drive them out of our land.
Finally, the 11-year-old epic is over: the Verkhovna Rada has ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Two hundred fifty-nine deputies voted in favor, and only eight were against. The Istanbul Convention is an international agreement of the Council of Europe, which, as of January 2020, has been signed by more than 35 countries of the European Union. Ukraine was one of the authors of the Convention and one of the first to sign it (in 2011) but has not been able to ratify it for more than ten years.
Defendants of Azovstal who were captured are alive. At the same time, it's unknown under what conditions they are being held, the head of the President's Office, Andrii Yermak, said. "Ukraine's Defense Intelligence is constantly monitoring this. Some are in touch, and releasing them doesn't stop for an hour. I hope that now it will enter its active phase, and we will begin to return our heroes to Ukraine," Yermak added.
Path to the EU
Ukraine will acquire the candidate status for EU membership. Preparations for such a decision were successful, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von Leyen, said. "I firmly believe that we will receive a positive response. We will receive support. Now the course is set," she said.
According to her, Ukraine has done a great job in eight years. "We want to see even more reforms," von der Leyen said, noting that the condition concerns, for example, the fight against corruption and strengthening the rule of law. European leaders will make the final decision at a summit on June 23-24.
Who's coming to Ukraine?
On financial and information aid, weapons and politicians
Australia has sent four M113AS4 armored tracked vehicles to Ukraine, and the country plans to hand over 14 such vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore visited Irpin. He witnessed the demolition of the Irpin Police Department, the Romanivka Bridge, the civilian infrastructure damaged by the occupiers, and the "mass grave" in Bucha. He was shocked by the brutality of russian crimes. During the working trip, they also discussed the investigation of russia's war crimes in the Kyiv region, violations of international humanitarian law, and assistance to victims of russian aggression.
Hollywood actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller also arrived in the Kyiv region. On the eve of his visit, he was in Lviv and came with a humanitarian mission to Poland, where he met with Ukrainian refugees.
News from partners
This week, the US Senate may consider a resolution recognizing russia as a sponsor of terrorism. In case of a favorable decision, it will be further considered in the US House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, expressed support for the resolution during a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians.
The Macron bloc won the second round of parliamentary elections in France, but the coalition failed to get enough votes to retain a majority in parliament.
The British company Fenix Insight has created playing cards for Ukrainians to inform them about the dangers of explosives. On the JustGiving platform, they raise funds for the project.
The company has used such cards in various countries, including Afghanistan and Yemen. The creators explain their effectiveness by cheapness, portability, and popularity among people, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or origin. With these cards, people can identify threats and properly inform professionals who neutralize them.
Estonia will ban private individuals from importing the products under sanctions into russia. These include strategic goods that can be used for military purposes, footwear, electronics, and other items worth more than €750. In addition, it will not be possible to carry large sums of any EU currencies to russia. On the other hand, it will not be possible to export alcohol, wood or wood products, and some foodstuffs from russia. The ban will take effect on July 10.
Life considering hostilities
Men in the IT industry may be allowed to travel abroad for a short period. A system of booking personnel from mobilization is also being prepared, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development Oleksandr Borniakov said.
Journalists from the New York Times analyzed more than a thousand photos from Ukraine of the aftermath of the russian shelling and identified more than 2,000 munitions. International treaties ban at least one in ten of them. Such munitions can pose a severe threat to the civilian population for decades after the end of hostilities.
Kyiv and the region
The burnt russian military equipment exhibition, now displayed on Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, will go on tour. Ukraine plans to show the world the destroyed russian equipment. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced this in an interview with the Polish newspaper Polsat News. "We will help keep russian tanks in Europe, but as wreckage," he said. Exhibitions will be held in several European capitals. First in Warsaw and later in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, and Lisbon.
Donetsk and Luhansk regions
The russian army controls most of the residential areas of Sievierodonetsk and uses banned ammunition. Street fights continue in the city, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces keep the defense, the head of the city's civil-military administration, Oleksandr Striuk, said.
The key points from the morning report:
- In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy launched an air strike near Yakovlivka and missile strikes near Travneve, Dolomitne, Zaitseve, and Niu York.
- In the Lyman, Avdiivka, Kurakhivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions, the enemy is trying to prevent the regrouping of units of our troops.
- In the Lyman direction, the enemy launched an air strike with two Su-25 aircraft near the village of Pryshyb and a missile strike near Maiaky.
- In the Avdiivka direction, the enemy struck Su-25 aircraft in the areas of Shevchenko and Vuhledar.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have lost control of Metiolkine near Sievierodonetsk, Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said. According to him, fighting is currently happening in many villages around Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. Unfortunately, now the Ukrainian forces don't control Metiolkine near the regional center. The occupiers continue to use "creeping" tactics; the Luhansk region is being destroyed with weapons.
The occupiers took out 15 thousand tons of sunflower and 10 thousand tons of grain from the granaries of the Luhansk region, Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said. According to him, the russian occupation authorities offered farmers 8,000 rubles per ton of grain for future sowing, while Ukraine paid twice as much, 8.6 thousand hryvnias. "Producers will be paid only 30% of the cost of grain, and even in rubles! Experts understand that it is impossible to conduct a sowing campaign for the 2023 harvest with these funds," Haidai said.
Last night in Kharkiv, the enemy shelled the city's outskirts and the Kholodnohirskyi city district. According to the preliminary information, no one was injured. The russians continue to terrorize the civilian population. The morning in the city also began with strikes, the head of the region, Oleh Sinehubov, says.
Tonight, russian orcs shelled the village of Mala Danylivka. As a result of the hits, the building of the Kharkiv State Zoo-veterinary Academy was damaged.
In Liubotyn, the enemy fired a missile at a school. There are no victims to date. In the Bohodukhiv district, a private house was damaged in the village of Baranivka. 2 people were injured in Balaklia; in Ivanivka, Izium district, three people were wounded, including children, 13- and 14 year-olds. Chuhuiv was shelled with one victim. A 13-year-old child was injured in Pervomaiske, Lozova district. There is also one victim in Shevchenkove, Kupiansk district.
In the Izium district, the fire at the oil refinery, which the russian occupiers hit on June 18, is still being put out.
Yesterday in the Kharkiv region, the shell hit a river where children were swimming. In the Izium district, a detonating projectile hit a pond where two children aged 13 and 14 were swimming. The children suffered shrapnel wounds. The children survived. At present, their lives are not in danger.
The shelling of Kharkiv intensified because the Ukrainian Armed Forces practically reached the state border. This explanation was provided by Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliar on the national telethon. She says now the occupiers are making every effort to ensure that the Ukrainian troops don't reach the state border with russia. Hundreds of artillery shells fall on the heads of Kharkiv residents every day.
There is no silence in the Sumy region. This morning, the occupiers fired 30 times from artillery at the Sumy region, the head of the region says.
The russian army also fired artillery at the Kryvyi Rih district of the Dnipropetrovsk region: a house burned down, and people were not injured. The head of the region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said. In the Novomoskovsk district, rescuers, for the second day in a row, continue to extinguish the fire which happened because of a rocket attack.
The death toll from a missile strike on an oil depot in the Novomoskovsk district of the Dnipropetrovsk region has increased to three.
The russians seized the Zaporizhzhia Iron Ore Plant, the head of the Zaporizhzhia State Military Administration, Oleksandr Starukh, said on a telethon. According to him, the plant is not working, but it is the only enterprise in Ukraine that extracts iron ore from a depth of 1 kilometer. If the pumping stations stop pumping water, it can have serious consequences.
These are the consequences of the enemy's shelling of the village of Yuliivka, Zaporizhzhia region. The occupiers destroyed the local kindergarten and school.
Retribution for all russia's war crimes is near. The commander of the Azov unit Rodion Kudriashov said that Ukraine's Defense Forces are moving from defense to offensive operations in the Zaporizhzhia direction. "We are advancing positions and pushing the enemy as far as possible. The front line is leveling and becoming like positional warfare. In the coming weeks, commanders plan to break the enemy. Initiative groups will provoke the enemy, identify firing points and suppress them," he added.
For two days in a row, the active phase of hostilities occurs in Vysokopillia and Ivanivka. The shelling in the Vysokopillia community resulted in many destroyed households. There are wounded among the civilian population. Villagers are forced to stay in basements almost constantly.
In these two villages, including Arkhanhelske, the presence of russian occupiers has now been reduced to a minimum. Therefore, many have the impression that these villages have been liberated. Unfortunately, not yet, but it's temporary.
The cynicism of the ruscists is outrageous. russia's state-controlled media call the stolen grain from the Kherson region the "help" to russia's grain harvest.
The other day in occupied Kherson, russian soldiers were shot dead in a cafe on the city's embankment. Among them were two dead and one wounded. The South Operational Command reported. "Given the behavior of these customers, their looting past, and unworthy origins, a special service group arrived to serve such special guests," said the Ukrainian military.
Earlier reports said the occupiers in the Kherson region were building three lines of defense. The defense wasn't so impregnable. The Armed Forces of Ukraine rejected the ruscists from the first line of defense in the Kherson region. russian troops are currently trying to stay on the second and third lines of defense. Also, Ukraine's Defense Forces inflicted accurate strikes on the warehouses in the rear. Serhii Khlan, Adviser to the Head of the Kherson Military Administration, a serviceman of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, announced this at a telethon. "I am proud of the Armed Forces! I am sure that the victory will be ours! It will be difficult, but it will come 100%!" Hlan said.
The shelling continues in the Shyroke and Bereznehuvate communities, resulting in damaged houses. Because of yesterday's shelling of the city of Ochakiv, one person was killed, and two were injured.
The russians also shelled the village of Halytsynove. As a result, they partially destroyed residential buildings. Lupareve also came under enemy fire. Because of the shelling of Chervone, the supply of energy and water was cut off. In addition, a field of winter in Chervone wheat caught fire.
The russian military tried to shell the Odesa region: they fired rockets at the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district at night and Odesa in the morning. In both cases, Ukraine's air defense forces shot them down.
The response of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was quick. The media reported dozens of explosions and a fire breaking out on Zmiinyi Island, where the russians deployed. Eyewitnesses talk about rockets flying toward the island. We are waiting for official confirmation.
West of Ukraine
Yesterday, a charity fair was held in Ivano-Frankivsk to raise money for the Ukrainian military by selling sweets, jewelry, toys, and handmade soap. The fair lasted for two days, June 18 and 19. Over 20 volunteers took part in it. The money raised will be used to buy ammunition for Ukrainian soldiers.