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Latest Developments in Ukraine: June 10

Ukrainian servicemen rest on their position not far from the Ukrainian town of Chuguiv, in Kharkiv region on June 9, 2022.
Ukrainian servicemen rest on their position not far from the Ukrainian town of Chuguiv, in Kharkiv region on June 9, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.

11:12 p.m.: Ukrainian forces are running out of ammunition for the Soviet-era artillery they've been using to counter Russian barrages, according to The New York Times. While Western countries are sending more modern weapons, it takes time to get troops trained to use the new systems, and get them into the field. As a result, the Ukrainians are rationing the shells they have left, and using improvisational tactics, such as using tanks as artillery pieces.

10:13 p.m.: Russian punk band Pornofilmy and Ukrainian pop-rockers Nervy are performing together on a charity tour entitled "Stand with Ukraine."

They say profits from the concerts, the latest of which took place in the Polish city of Gdansk on Wednesday, will be donated to organizations helping war-affected Ukrainians and used for the purchase of medical equipment.

The tour, which also features Russian rapper Face, was initiated by Nervy frontman Zhenya Milkovskyi, who was born in Pokrovsk, in Ukraine's Donetsk region, and had been living in Moscow since 2014 after signing with a Russian label.

"As soon as the war started, we immediately felt the urge to do something useful. And I think this is the most helpful thing we can do now," Milkovskyi told Reuters.

Milkovskyi was forced to leave Russia after making a series of posts on his social media networks condemning Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

"I am now banned from entering (Russia) for 50 years. I'm Russia's enemy - don't know what it's really called - simply, an unwelcome person," he said.

9:21 p.m.: The head of Russia’s central bank says it's impossible to draw conclusions on the impact of Western sanctions at this stage, The Associated Press reported.

“So far, the effects of the sanctions are less acute than we feared. This also shows the ability of companies to adapt. But it is premature to say that the full effect of the sanctions has manifested itself,” Elvira Nabiullina, chair of the Central Bank of Russia, said at a briefing.

She also said Moscow was preparing a possible legal challenge against E.U. sanctions against Russia’s central securities depository and measures freezing the settlement of ruble transactions by its E.U.-based counterparts.

She did not provide details but admitted such a challenge “would not be easy.”

8:51 p.m.: Serbian President Aleksandar Vuvic appeared to rebuff pressure from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday for Serbia to join European Union sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Scholz, who is on a two-day tour of the Western Balkans, said that as an EU membership candidate, Serbia should join the bloc in its measures against Moscow.

But Vucic said Serbia was in a difficult position with long-standing special ties to Russia.

He did not say whether Serbia planned to introduce sanctions on Russia.

8:12 p.m.: Sunday marks a new dawn for Russia's fast-food lovers as what were once McDonald's restaurants reopen under new branding and ownership, more than three decades after the arrival of the hugely popular Western fast food chain.

The relaunch will begin on Russia Day, a patriotic holiday celebrating the country's independence, at the same flagship location in Moscow's Pushkin Square where McDonald's first opened in Russia in January 1990.

7:49 p.m.: Germany, the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, plans to revise its rules on arms exports to make it easier to arm democracies like Ukraine and harder to sell weapons to autocracies, Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

The new guidelines, which the magazine said were being drawn up by the Economy Ministry, come as Germany faces criticism from the opposition, allies and Kyiv over delays in supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine for its fight against Russia.

The magazine said the new guidelines, which are to be incorporated into a new arms exports law, will focus on the receiving country's concrete actions in domestic and foreign policy, not on the broader question of whether those weapons might be used to violate human rights.

7:15 p.m.:

6:25 p.m.: The Ukrainian foreign minister says he and his British counterpart have discussed the plight of the three foreign fighters sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists, The Associated Press reported.

Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter that he and Liz Truss “strongly condemned the sham trial against prisoners of war in Russian-occupied Donetsk” during a telephone conversation Friday.

“As combatants, they are protected by international humanitarian law and must be treated accordingly,” he said. “We keep working together to ensure their release.”

His remarks referenced separatist claims that the two British and one Moroccan man were mercenaries rather than combatants protected by international conventions. Ukrainian officials, as well as the fighters’ families, have repeatedly stressed that all three were regular members of the Ukrainian army.

5:49 p.m.: The CEO of a Ukrainian regional power company has accused Russian troops of deliberately destroying energy infrastructure in the southern Mykolayiv region, The Associated Press reported.

“Electricity for the population, industry and agriculture is a basic good, without which normal life is impossible. Therefore, energy facilities become a target for enemy troops,” Vadym Danylkiv, CEO of regional monopoly Nikolaevoblenergo, said in a statement Friday.

Since the start of June, Russian shelling has destroyed 14 overhead power lines and 377 transformer substations, and damaged a key 40 MVA transformer, the company said.

5:22 p.m.: There are plenty of job vacancy announcements on Russian employment websites and social media these days: drivers, dishwashers, cooks, programmers, grocery store cashiers. Also on offer: jobs/positions fighting in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

4:55 p.m.: Hundreds of people continue to flee intense fighting in eastern Ukraine as Russian and Ukrainian forces battle for control of key cities and villages in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, The Associated Press reported.

Dozens of Ukrainians left the city of Pokrovks Friday on a special evacuation train heading for Dnipro and other cities further west.The train carried about 300 people — mostly women, children, and the elderly — who were forced to leave as the fighting neared their homes.

Most of the evacuees are from areas where Russian forces are concentrating their offensive to capture the whole Donbas: The cities of Sievierodonetsk, Sloviansk, Bakhmut, and Popasna.

4 p.m.: In Ukraine, a crowd gathers to get their monthly pension payments in cash amid the rumble of artillery nearby. These people used to travel to a neighboring town to get their money, but the road is now too dangerous. Instead, local officials travel to them under armed guard. Borys Sachalko with Current Time, a co-production of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA, has this story.

3:47 p.m.: Russian punk band Pornofilmy and Ukrainian pop-rockers Nervy are performing together on a charity tour entitled "Stand with Ukraine," Reuters reported. They say profits from the concerts, the latest of which took place in the Polish city of Gdansk on Wednesday, will be donated to organizations helping war-affected Ukrainians and used for the purchase of medical equipment.

3:16 p.m.: A Ukrainian artillery unit in the Donbas region has been quickly getting up to speed with the latest long-range artillery import, the French Caesar howitzer. The self-propelled 155mm gun can hit targets up to 38 kilometers away and is highly mobile. One soldier told RFE/RL on June 8 that the system was easy to use but the biggest problem was the language barrier - "It’s foreign equipment, everything is in English."

2:47 p.m.: Russia’s Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said Friday that the effect of Western sanctions on Russia has been less acute than expected, the Russian news agency TASS reported.

"Yes, we see our export has not plunged as low as we initially expected. Yes, effects of sanctions have probably less acute manifestation than we were afraid of,” Nabiullina said at a press conference. “This also shows the ability of companies to adapt. However, it is premature to say that the full effect of sanctions has showed itself," she said, according to TASS.

But Nabiullina cautioned that it was still too soon to reach conclusions about the long-term effects on the economy, TASS reported. "The situation is uncertain, the situation is evolving, the situation of the structural transformation in the economy and its ability for transformation is also a process, and that is why it is premature to make any conclusions in this regard," it reported Nabiullina as saying.

2:12 p.m.: Russian artillery has once again targeted the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Shells hit a playground and damaged an apartment building and several cars on June 8. At least two people were injured. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

1:53 p.m.: A Ukrainian governor said on Friday that his country had conducted the 11th prisoner swap with Russia since the start of Moscow's invasion in February, exchanging four Russian captives for five Ukrainians, Reuters reported. Mykolaiv region governor Vitaliy Kim wrote on the Telegram app that one of the freed Ukrainians was local village head Oleh Pylypenko, who Kim said was "kidnapped" by Russian forces on March 10.

1:14 p.m.: Although the war in Ukraine has entered its fourth month, local artists have not stopped working. For many Ukrainians, art during the wartime is a powerful tool that helps people stay strong and inspired. VOA’s Omelyan Oshchudlyak has the story.

In War-Torn Ukraine, Art Plays Powerful Role
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12:22 p.m.: Cholera and other deadly diseases could kill thousands of people in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol as corpses lie uncollected and summer brings warmer weather, its mayor said on Friday.

Mayor Vadym Boichenko said wells had been contaminated by the corpses of people killed during weeks of Russian bombardment and siege, and that the collection of bodies by the city's Russian occupiers was proceeding slowly, Reuters reported.

"There is an outbreak of dysentery and cholera. This is unfortunately the assessment of our doctors: that the war which took over 20,000 residents ... unfortunately, with these infection outbreaks, will claim thousands more Mariupolites," he told national television. Boichenko, who is based outside Mariupol, said the city had been placed into quarantine.

12:00 p.m.:

11:52 a.m.: As the United Nations tries to broker a path for grain from Ukraine and temper worries about a global food crisis, hundreds of mines laid along the Black Sea present a practical nightmare that will take months to resolve even after any agreement, Reuters reported.

"Sea mines have been laid in port approaches and some port exits are blocked by sunken barges and cranes," said a spokesperson with U.N. shipping agency the International Maritime Organization, one of several bodies working on establishing sea passage for grain supplies.

"Completely removing sea mines in the port areas would take several months."

11:45 a.m.:

11:15 a.m.: State-controlled Russian National Reinsurance Company (RNRC) is now the main reinsurer of Russian ships, including Sovcomflot's fleet, after Western insurance firms withdrew cover for Russian shipowners, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Insurance is essential for maritime transport, particularly oil cargoes that require the highest safety standards due to the risk of spills and shipping flammable material on the high seas.

11:08 a.m.: Russia’s central bank has cut interest rates back to their prewar levels, saying inflation and economic activity are developing better than expected despite sweeping Western sanctions imposed in response to the war in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.

The bank lowered its key rate Friday by 1.5 percentage points to 9.5%. It had been as high as 20% in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions that restrict dealings with Russian banks, individuals and companies.

Economists say that over time the sanctions will corrode growth and productivity, but the central bank has managed to stabilize Russia’s currency and financial system through drastic measures such as high interest rates, restrictions on flows of money out of the country and a requirement that importers sell their foreign currency earnings for rubles.

11:00 a.m.:

10:54 a.m.: British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a previously unannounced visit to Kyiv, The Associated Press reported. The U.K. defense ministry says Wallace also held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, during the two-day visit this week.

It said Friday Wallace told Zelenskyy that “U.K. support will continue to meet Ukraine’s needs as the conflict enters a different phase.” Western officials say the conflict is becoming a grinding slow-motion war as Russian forces inch forward in their offensive to capture Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.

Britain has been one of the biggest donors of military equipment to Ukraine and recently agreed to send rocket launch systems that can target Russian artillery positions in eastern Ukraine.

10:47 a.m.:

10:33 a.m.: Ukrainian officials pleaded for more help from the West on Friday, including quicker deliveries of artillery and battlefield rocket systems, to hold off Russian forces at a critical time in the battle in the east, Reuters reported. Heavy fighting was still being reported in Sievierodonetsk, the small eastern city that has become the focus of Russia's advance and site of one of the bloodiest battles in a war that has increased financial and physical hardship around the world.

10:16 a.m.:

10:05 a.m.: Ukrainian officials pleaded for more help from the West on Friday, including quicker deliveries of artillery and battlefield rocket systems, to hold off Russian forces at a critical time in the battle in the east, Reuters reported. Heavy fighting was still being reported in Sievierodonetsk, the small eastern city that has become the focus of Russia's advance and site of one of the bloodiest battles in a war that has increased financial and physical hardship around the world.

9:56 a.m.:

9:41 a.m.: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging the European Union strongly to put his country on track to membership, The Associated Press reported. In a video address on Friday to the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, Zelenskyy said the EU should act quickly to offer Ukraine the status of a candidate to join the 27-nation bloc.

He said that the “gray zone” Ukraine has been left in has encouraged Russian aggression. He urged the EU to show “that its words about the Ukrainian people being part of the European family aren’t a hollow sound.”

Zelenskyy deplored that “there are still some political skeptics who doubt whether we should be allowed to move to join the EU.”

9:33 a.m.: The European Commission is set to back EU candidate status for Ukraine next week despite objections from Denmark and the Netherlands, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. The news agency said that according to people familiar with the matter, the recommendation, which needs to be debated and adopted by the college of EU commissioners, would come with conditions linked to the rule of law and anti-corruption legislation. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

9:29 a.m.:

9:17 a.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the two Britons and one Moroccan sentenced to death on Thursday in the Donetsk People's Republic had committed crimes on the territory of the self-proclaimed state trying to break away from Ukraine, Reuters reported. Lavrov said: "At the moment, the trials you mentioned are being held on the basis of the legislation of the Donetsk People's Republic, because the crimes in question were committed on the DPR's territory."

9:06 a.m.: The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, on Friday called attention to a recent U.N. report warning of the global impact of the war in Ukraine. “In 2022, between 179 million and 181 million people are forecasted to be facing food crisis or worse conditions in 41 out of 53 countries where data are available,” the UN report warns. “In addition, 19 million more people are expected to face chronic undernourishment globally in 2023, if the reduction in food exports from the Russian Federation and Ukraine result in lower food availability worldwide,” it added. “Record high food prices, exchange rate devaluation and inflationary pressures are key factors,” the report said.

8:53 a.m.: The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has met with Pope Francis to discuss efforts to end the war in Ukraine and relieve the global food crisis it has exacerbated, The Associated Press reported.

In a tweet after the 20-minute audience Friday, von der Leyen wrote: “We stand with those suffering from the destruction in Ukraine. This war must end, bringing peace back to Europe.”

Von der Leyen also met with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who recently returned from Ukraine. The Vatican said their talks focused on the “common commitment to work to bring the war in Ukraine to an end, dedicating particular attention to the humanitarian aspects and the food consequences of the continuation of the conflict.”

8:44 a.m.: NATO's deputy chief sees no immediate military threat to Sweden and Finland from Russia and is confident that the aspiring NATO members will join the alliance despite Turkey's objections, he told the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Friday. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO last month in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine but face opposition from Turkey, which accuses them of supporting and harboring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists, Reuters reported.

8:32 a.m.:

8:27 a.m.: Finland plans to send more defense equipment to Ukraine but isn’t specifying what it is or when it will be delivered, The Associated Press reported.

The government said Friday that President Sauli Niinistö agreed to its request to send more military aid. It said it wasn’t giving more information in order “to ensure that the help arrives.”

The Nordic nation already has sent rifles and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, among other things. Finland, a European Union member that has a long border with Russia, sought NATO membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

8:10 a.m.:

7:48 a.m.: Russia wants to use three foreigners who were captured while fighting for Ukraine and sentenced to death as "hostages" to put pressure on the West over peace negotiations, a senior Ukrainian official said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Vadym Denysenko, an Interior Ministry adviser, said on Friday Ukraine would coordinate its position on the sentences with Britain, the United States and the European Union.

Kyiv said Thursday's court ruling had no authority, that the fighters were members of the Ukrainian armed forces and that they were subject to Geneva Convention protections.

7:29 a.m.: The U.N. human rights office has voiced concern about the death sentences imposed by pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine on three captured foreigners who were fighting on the Ukrainian side, The Associated Press reported.

A court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic found two Britons and one Moroccan guilty of seeking the violent overthrow of power. The men were also convicted of mercenary activities and terrorism.

U.N. rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani noted Friday that, according to the Ukrainian military, all three were part of Ukraine’s armed forces. She said if that is the case they “should not be considered as mercenaries” She added that “such trials against prisoners of war amount to a war crime.”

7:14 a.m.:

7:00 a.m.: The U.S. and its allies have given billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine. Europe has taken in millions of people displaced by the war. And there has been unprecedent unity in post-World War II Europe in imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and his country.

But as the shock of the February 24 invasion subsides, analysts say the Kremlin could exploit a dragged-out, entrenched conflict and possible waning interest among Western powers that might lead to pressuring Ukraine into a settlement, The Associated Press reported.

6:47 a.m.: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces were "holding on" in the flashpoint eastern city Sievierodonetsk where intense street battles with Russian troops could determine the fate of the Donbas region, Agence France-Presse reported.

Moscow has concentrated its firepower on the industrial city, which it now mostly controls, with the area's governor saying on Friday that Russian forces had destroyed a major sports arena. With the fiercest fighting now concentrated in Sievierodonetsk, governor Serhiy Haidai -- who earlier called for Western artillery to quickly help secure a Ukrainian victory -- said "one of the symbols of Sievierodonetsk was destroyed. The Ice Palace burned down."

Zelensky said in his evening address on Thursday night that several "cities in Donbas, which the occupiers now consider key targets, are holding on". He added that Ukrainian forces have made positive strides in the Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions and are in the process of "liberating our land."

6:32 a.m.: On the edge of the conflict zone in Ukraine, which runs along the country’s east and south, volunteer drivers are risking everything to deliver humanitarian aid to Ukrainians behind the front lines, and to get people out, The Associated Press reported. The routes are dangerous and long — sometimes several days’ long — and the drivers face detention, injury or death. More than two dozen drivers have been captured, held for more than two months by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukrainian activists say.

6:16 a.m.: Russia is looking for weak points in Ukrainian defenses near the Siverskyi Donets River in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said on Friday.

He told national television that Russian forces had not abandoned attempts to launch storming operations in the area.

If Russia captures the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk on the Siverskyi Donets, it will hold all of Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas region that Moscow claims on behalf of separatists, Reuters reported.

5:54 a.m.:

5:40 a.m.: Sunday will see the launch of a new Russian hamburger chain, as the former McDonalds fast food restaurants reopen under a new name, Reuters reports. McDonalds sold its Russian stores to one of its local licensees, Alexander Govor as many Western companies divested their Russian properties. This weekend, 15 locations in and around Moscow will open for business, and while the new name of the burger chain is a closely-held secret, Reuters says the new company's logo is made up of two fries and a hamburger patty against a green background. The menu sounds pretty similar to fare found in McDonalds, according to Russian media reports, with the Filet-O-Fish sandwich renamed 'Fish Burger' and Chicken McNuggets being shortened to 'Nuggets'.

4:16 a.m.: Vladimir Putin may have hinted that his ambitions may stretch beyond Ukraine, telling a group of young entrepreneurs during a televised Q&A session that Russia won't be fenced in.

"It's impossible — Do you understand? — impossible to build a fence around a country like Russia. And we do not intend to build that fence," he said.

3:28 a.m.:

2:15 a.m.: LGBTQ rights activists in Ukraine are hoping that one positive outcome from the brutal war with Russia is that gay rights in Ukraine will advance, The Washington Post reports. And not just because of the growing sense of national unity in Ukraine since Russia invaded: If the European Union admits Ukraine as a member, the country would be required to offer more rights and protections to LGBTQ people. The Post says that recent surveys show that less than a fifth of Ukrainians believe homosexuality should be accepted by society.

1:35 a.m.: Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine's top soccer team, hasn't played a home game in eight years, according to The Associated Press. After Russia invaded Ukraine's Donbas region in 2014, the team has lived and played in adopted home cities across Ukraine. But even those games were canceled late last year due to tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which flared into the ongoing war. The team hopes to be able to play again in Ukraine in September when the Champions League begins, but Shakhtar will prepare next month at training camps in the Netherlands and Slovenia.

1:10 a.m.:

12:45: a.m.: Ukraine and the West denounced a pro-Moscow court that sentenced two British citizens and a Moroccan to death for fighting for Ukraine, calling the proceedings a sham and a violation of the rules of war, the Associated Press reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko condemned the proceedings as legally invalid, saying, "Such show trials put the interests of propaganda above the law and morality." He said that all foreign citizens fighting as part of Ukraine's armed forces should be considered Ukrainian military personnel and protected as such.

British Foreign Secretary Luz Truss pronounced the sentencing a "sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy."

12:23 a.m.: The Ukrainian army says Kyiv's forces continue to frustrate Russian attempts to take the fiercely contested eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, the Associated Press reports.

"The occupiers, with the help of motorized rifle units and artillery, conducted assault operations in the city of Sievierodonetsk. They were not successful; the fighting continues," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a regular operational update Thursday evening.

It added that Ukrainian forces had successfully repelled a Russian attack on the village of Toshkivka, on the northwestern outskirts of Sievierodonetsk.

The Ukrainian governor of the eastern Luhansk region, where Sievierodonetsk is located, said Thursday that "fierce battles" continue to engulf the city.

In a Telegram post, Serhii Haidai said Russian forces continue to shell the neighboring city of Lysychansk using large-caliber weapons which "pierce even concrete."

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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