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Latest Developments in Ukraine: June 13

A man walks through the yard of a damaged house after shelling in which two people were killed in the city of Lysychansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, June 13, 2022.
A man walks through the yard of a damaged house after shelling in which two people were killed in the city of Lysychansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, June 13, 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:

11:50 p.m.: Lithuania seeks to decouple from the Russian power grid in 2024, a year ahead of schedule, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said, according to Reuters. European Union members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia's power grids are working in concert with those of Russia and Belarus and depend on Russia to ensure stable power supplies. A $1.94 billion project financed by the EU aims to disconnect the Baltic states from Russia and Belarus in 2025 and connect them to the decentralized power system of continental Europe, Reuters reported.

11:20 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the American Jewish Committee Forum the confirmed number of children killed during the war with Russia had risen by 24, The Associated Press reported.

"These are the children who died because of Russian strikes at Mariupol," Zelenskyy said during his address, bringing the overall toll to 287 according to Ukrainian authorities.

In his speech, the president said the numbers will rise further as the fate of those under Russian occupation is not fully known, "but gradually we learn about it."

Zelenskyy said Russia continues to kill and torture and that it has set up of filtration camps in the occupied territories, the AP reported.

10:45 p.m.: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declined to comment Monday on reports that he is planning to visit Ukraine together with his counterparts from France and Italy soon, The Associated Press reported. The weekly Bild am Sonntag had reported that Scholz would travel to Kyiv with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Premier Mario Draghi Berlin before the G-7 summit in Germany later this month, the AP reported.

8:38 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces had driven the Russians out of more than 1,000 settlements since the conflict began, and would liberate all occupied territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, The Associated Press reported.

Zelenskyy said the battle over the Donbas will be one of the most brutal in European history. "The price of this battle for us is very high," he said. "It's just terrible."

"We have no choice but to move on, to free our entire territory, kick out the occupiers from all our areas," he said, adding the total war front in the country, he said, is now 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles), the AP reported.

7:24 p.m.:

6:18 p.m.: Southwest of Sievierodonetsk, Russian forces were firing mortars and artillery around a number of settlements, according to Ukraine's general staff. But it said Ukrainian forces had repulsed Russian attempts to advance towards some communities, Reuters reported.

Russia says its missiles have destroyed a large quantity of Ukrainian weapons in the Donbas region, including weapons sent from the West.

President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine's military was gradually liberating territory further west in the Kherson region and had some successes in Zaporizhzhia, too.

5:23 p.m.: Mexico’s president slammed NATO’s policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Monday, calling it “immoral,” The Associated Press reported. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s did not mention NATO or the United States by name, but his comments were the latest example of his party’s ambiguous stance on the invasion.

Mexico has voted to condemn the invasion but refused to join in sanctions on Russia. López Obrador said Monday that the allies’ policy was equivalent to saying “I’ll supply the weapons, and you supply the dead. It is immoral.”

“How easy it is to say, 'Here, I’ll send you this much money for weapons,'” Lopez Obrador said. “Couldn’t the war in Ukraine have been avoided? Of course it could.” In March, a half-dozen legislators from López Obrador’s Morena party helped create a congressional “Mexico-Russia Friendship Committee.” The Morena party said “we respect the freedom of thought of our members” after a youth group apparently affiliated with the party sent an open letter to the Russian ambassador supporting the invasion.

4 p.m.: The U.N. Human Rights office on Monday released the latest civilian casualty figures from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

3:23 p.m.: The Dutch government says it will host a ministerial conference next month on accountability in Ukraine aimed at strengthening and coordinating war crimes investigations, The Associated Press reported.

Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a statement Monday that the international community already has taken swift action to investigate alleged atrocities in Ukraine, and there is “an urgent need to further coordinate existing efforts on this front, so that all actions aimed at delivering justice benefit from a coherent and effective approach.”

The July 14 meeting in The Hague will be hosted by the Dutch government, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. Khan already has launched an investigation in Ukraine and deployed his largest ever team of prosecutors to the country to gather evidence, including to Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, where bodies littered the streets after Russian forces retreated from the area early in the war.

2:53 p.m.:

2:24 p.m.: Ukrainian authorities have promised to restore everything the Russians have destroyed. But many residents aren’t waiting – they are already working with volunteers to rebuild their homes bit by bit. VOA’s Lesia Bakalets has the story.

Ukrainian Volunteers Beginning to Rebuild Homes
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2:03 p.m.: Moscow police have detained dozens of journalists and activists after they were identified using a facial recognition system in the city's metro according to the OVD-Info group, which monitors the arrests of representatives of democratic institutions, rights defenders, and opposition politicians.

According to the group, at least 67 activists and journalists were detained on June 12, which is commemorated as Russia Day, of whom 43 individuals were detained after being identified as potential protesters. They were picked out of the crowds in the Moscow metro by police through the usage of the facial recognition system. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

1:38 p.m.: All bridges to Ukraine's embattled eastern frontline city of Sievierodonetsk have been destroyed, rendering impossible the evacuation of civilians remaining there, the local governor said on Monday, adding that some "access" to the city remained. Governor Serhiy Haidai wrote on the Telegram app that Russia had not taken full control of the city, and that "a part" of it remained under Ukrainian control, but that it was no longer possible to transport humanitarian cargoes there, Reuters reported.

1:04 p.m.: A Ukrainian tank unit, operating a Soviet-design T-64 BV, arms and fires upon Russians in the Donetsk region on June 11. The gunner demonstrates the tight quarters inside the turret as shells are loaded, while soldiers discuss using cover and overcoming their fears. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

12:29 p.m.: The lush green beauty of a pine forest and singing birds contrasted with the violent deaths of newly discovered victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine, as workers exhumed bodies from another burial site near Bucha on Kyiv’s outskirts, The Associated Press reported.

The hands of several victims were tied behind their backs. The gruesome work of digging up the remains coincided with the Ukrainian police chief’s report that authorities have opened criminal investigations into the killings of more than 12,000 people during Russia’s war.

Workers in white hazmat suits and wearing masks used shovels to exhume bodies from the soil of the forest, marking each section with small yellow numbered signs on the ground. The bodies, covered in cloth and dirt, attracted flies and were dragged by rope.

12:08 p.m.:

11:51 a.m.: Sweden has taken important steps to meet Turkey's demands for approving Stockholm's NATO membership application, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday during a visit to Sweden, according to Reuters. Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance last month, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Their applications have faced unexpected opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it deems is Swedish support of Kurdish militants and by a previous decision to withdraw arms export licenses to Turkey.

11:29 a.m.: The European Commission on Monday released a video on Twitter recapping EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s comments during a weekend visit to Ukraine, where she spoke about Ukraine’s application to join the European Union. “The path is known,” she said. “It is a merit-based path forward. It is a path where I must say I highly appreciate the enormous efforts and the determination of Ukraine in this process….and I just want to say we stand by your side.”

11:13 a.m.: Is it better to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine or to isolate him? Should Kyiv make concessions to end the war, or would that embolden the Kremlin? Are ramped up sanctions on Russia worth the collateral damage?

These are some of the questions testing the international alliance that swiftly rallied around Ukraine in the days after the Russian invasion but that, three months into the war, is straining, officials and diplomats told Reuters.

10:22 a.m.:

10:04 a.m.: The father of a Moroccan man sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on mercenary charges said his son should be treated as a prisoner of war as he is a Ukrainian national who handed himself in voluntarily, Reuters reported.

Morocco-born Brahim Saadoun and Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner were found guilty of "mercenary activities and committing actions aimed at seizing power and overthrowing the constitutional order" of the DPR, Russian media said last week. The three men were captured while fighting for Ukraine against Russia and Russian-backed forces. read more.

The Moroccan fighter received Ukrainian nationality in 2020 after undergoing a year of military training as a requirement to access aerospace technology studies at a university in Kiev, his father Tahar Saadoun said in an email to Reuters.

9:14 a.m.: A Japanese foundation announced Monday it is launching a fundraising drive to provide more than 1,200 Ukrainian evacuees in Japan with additional financial support for language studies and other needs, The Associated Press reported.

Jumpei Sasakawa, executive director of the Nippon Foundation, said it aims to raise 1 billion yen ($7.4 million) through cooperation with the U.S. and Ukrainian ambassadors. The foundation has already pledged 5 billion yen ($37 million) for the transportation and living costs of Ukrainian evacuees. Japan has so far accepted more than 1,200 war-displaced Ukrainians since Russia invaded in late February.

9:03 a.m.:

8:42 a.m.: The nine nuclear-armed states, including the United States and Russia, are likely to grow and modernize their arsenal of warheads and to be more vocal about it in the coming decade in what is seen as a "worrying trend," an influential think tank says in its latest annual study. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday in its annual report for 2022 that despite a marginal decline in the number of nuclear warheads last year, arsenals are expected to grow over the next 10 years. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

8:20 a.m.:

8:02 a.m.: At least three people including a child were killed and four injured on Monday by Ukrainian artillery at a market in the Russian-backed separatist Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Reuters quoted the province's news agency as saying. The Donetsk News Agency showed pictures of burning stalls at the central Maisky market and at least one body on the ground. The news agency said 155-mm caliber NATO-standard artillery munitions hit parts of the region on Monday. Reuters said it was unable to independently verify the reports.

7:28 a.m.: Andriy Pokrasa, 15, and his dad, Stanislav, are being hailed in Ukraine for their volunteer aerial reconnaissance work in the early days of the invasion, when Russian troops barreling in from the north made an ultimately failed attempt to take the capital and bring the country to its knees, The Associated Press reported.

7:17 a.m.: Russia's Defense Ministry said on Monday its missiles had destroyed a large quantity of weapons and military equipment in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, including some that had been sent by the United States and European nations, Reuters reported. The ministry said high-precision air-based missiles had struck near the Udachne railway station, hitting equipment that had been delivered to Ukrainian forces.

7 a.m.:

6:46 a.m.: The regional governor of the Mykolayiv region, near the front lines in the country's south, has called for immediate international military assistance. "Russia's army is more powerful, they have a lot of artillery and ammo. For now, this is a war of artillery...and we are out of ammo," Governor Vitaliy Kim said. "The help of Europe and America is very, very important." Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this photo essay of what the fighting there looks like.

6:29 a.m.:

6:15 a.m.: Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Monday both sides in the war in Ukraine were using heavier weapons, including in Russia’s case thermobaric bombs, Reuters reported.

“We are supporting Ukraine with increasingly heavy weaponry. And on the other hand, Russia has also begun to use very powerful weapons, thermobaric bombs that are in fact weapons of mass destruction,” Niinisto said during security policy talks at his summer residence in Naantali, Finland.

Ukraine and NATO countries have also accused Russia of using thermobaric bombs, which are also known as vacuum bombs and are much more devastating than conventional explosives.

Finland and neighboring Sweden have applied to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

5:55 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser Mykahilo Podolyak tweeted Monday that “to end the war we need heavy weapons parity.” He listed several categories of weapons, including 1,000 howitzers, 300 multiple launch rocket systems, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles and 1,000 drones.

“Contact Group of Defense Ministers meeting is held in Brussels on June 15,” Podolyak said. “We are waiting for a decision.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is convening the meeting at NATO headquarters. A virtual meeting of the group last month drew representatives from 47 countries, NATO and the European Union.

4:45 a.m.: Ukraine imported about 380,000 tons of fuel in May and is likely to import about 600,000 tons in June, Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said on Monday, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian officials have sought ways to cover consumption since Russian forces started attacking fuel depots and other facilities following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

4:30 a.m.: He was Vladimir Putin’s first prime minister but Mikhail Kasyanov never in his worst nightmares imagined that his former boss would unleash a full-scale war on Ukraine.

“If Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next,” he told Agence France-Presse in an interview. AFP has the story.

3:35 a.m.: An industrial zone where about 500 civilians are sheltering is under heavy artillery fire from Russian forces on Monday, Reuters reported citing the regional governor.

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that includes Sievierodonetsk, said on Facebook that Russian forces controlled about 70% of the city and fighting there was fierce.

3:05 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his forces and those from Russia are fighting for “literally every meter” in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, while pleading to international partners that Ukraine “needs modern missile defense systems.”

In his latest nightly video message, Zelenskyy said Russia’s “key tactical goal” has not changed, with Russian forces also pushing toward Lysychansk, Bakhmut, Slovyansk, to the west and southwest of Sievierodonetsk. With losses on both sides difficult to confirm, Zelenskyy said Russian casualties could exceed 40,000 in June.

“The Russian army is trying to deploy reserve forces in Donbas,” he said. “But what reserves can they have now? It seems that they will try to throw into battle poorly trained conscripts and those who were gathered by covert mobilization. Russian generals see their people simply as the cannon fodder they need to gain an advantage in numbers — in manpower, in military equipment.”

Britain’s defense ministry said Monday that in recent days the battle around Sievierodonetsk “has continued to rage.”

The ministry said Russia’s ability to carry out river crossing operations will likely be one of the most important factors in the war in the coming months. “To achieve success in the current operational phase of its Donbas offensive, Russia is either going to have to complete ambitious flanking actions, or conduct assault river crossings,” it said.

2:57 a.m.: Russian gas producer Gazprom said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point was seen at 41.9 million cubic meters on Monday, unchanged from Sunday, Reuters reported.

An application to supply gas via another major entry point, Sokhranovka, was rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said.

2:45 a.m.: Agence France-Presse shares these images from an artillery duel between Ukrainian and Russian troops.

1:45 a.m.: River crossing operations will likely be the significant factors determining the course of the war in the weeks ahead, said the U.K. Ministry of Defense latest report.

“The key, 90km long central sector of Russia’s frontline in the Donbas lies to the west of the Siverskyy Donets River,” the report said Monday, adding “Ukrainian forces have often managed to demolish bridges before they withdraw, while Russia has struggled to put in place the complex coordination necessary to conduct successful, large scale river crossings under fire.”

1:20 a.m.: Amnesty International on Monday accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, saying attacks on Kharkiv, many using banned cluster bombs, had killed hundreds of civilians. Agence France-Presse has the story.

1:10 a.m.: Ukrainian and Russian forces were still fighting street-by-street in Sievierodonetsk on Sunday, Reuters reported citing the governor of Luhansk province, Serhiy Gaidai.

Russian forces have taken most of the city, but Ukrainian troops remain in control of an industrial area and the Azot chemical plant where hundreds of civilians are sheltering, the governor said. “About 500 civilians remain on the grounds of the Azot plant in Sievierodonetsk, 40 of them are children. Sometimes the military manages to evacuate someone,” Gaidai said. But the Russians had destroyed a bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River linking Sievierodonetsk with its twin city of Lysychansk, Gaidai said. That left just one of three bridges still standing.

“If after new shelling the bridge collapses, the city will truly be cut off. There will be no way of leaving Sievierodonetsk in a vehicle,” Gaidai said, noting the lack of a cease-fire agreement and no agreed evacuation corridors. Gaidai said Lysychansk was also being shelled by Russian forces, and a six-year-old child had been killed there.

Reuters said it could not independently confirm the accounts.

12:10 a.m.: The New York Times reports that Russian forces could cut off the city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine within days.

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