NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says the Russia-Ukraine war could last "years," and Boris Johnson concurs that signs show it won't be resolved anytime soon.
During an interview with the German newspaper Bild, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said that the war in Ukraine “could take years.”
Stoltenberg also used the interview in Germany’s most popular daily to clarify NATO's position in the war: “NATO will continue to support Ukraine in its self-defense, but is not part of the conflict. We are helping the country, but we will not send NATO soldiers to Ukraine.”
Later this month, NATO member leaders will meet for a summit in Madrid, to which Stoltenberg has invited Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. During the summit, an aid package to Ukraine will be adopted as the primary goal is to help repel Russia’s invasion.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed to second Stoltenberg’s remarks on the possible duration of the Ukraine war, describing it as a possible “long war” and added that it was important to “enlist time on the Ukrainian’s side”.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky warned in his nightly address on Sunday that Ukraine should expect "greater hostile activity" this coming week from Russia as a response to the European Union’s anticipated decision to grant Ukraine official EU candidate status.
Ukraine Loses Metelkine, As Fighting In Severodonetsk Continues
Russian forces have seized the town of Metelkine, east of the strategic city of Severodonetsk, a regional official said on Monday. "Unfortunately, we do not currently control Metelkine near the regional center," said Serhiy Hayday, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military administration.
According to Hayday, Russian forces have intensified the use of airstrikes and artillery to target Ukrainian positions in and around Severodonetsk. The focus is on the Severodonetsk industrial zone, the Toshkivka and Ustynivka districts, and the outskirts of the city.
Severodonetsk lies in the Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine that has been the site of sporadic fighting since 2014. Right now, Ukrainian troops are on the defensive in Severodonetsk, and “the situation remains difficult,” according to Hayday. President Volodymyr Zelensky, last week, emphasized the strategic importance of the area, stating “ the fate of our Donbas is being decided there.”
Russia’s “Blackout” Tactics, Donbas Electricity Workers With Bulletproof Vests
Utility workers use an access platform to repair damaged power lines in the city of Mariupol
Russian forces are “intentionally” targeting power lines in Ukraine — mainly in the Donbas region, in a strategy to cut electricity and force people to abandon their homes, reports
French broadcaster FranceInfo in an exclusive report.
Technicians who work for the national power network have reported several attacks on energy infrastructures that have led to more than 350 Ukrainian villages facing blackout for the past weeks.
“Electricity is like bread. You can't live without electricity,” said one resident. “Without it, people would eventually leave." FranceInfo reports that damaged power lines remain un-repaired for the moment as it would endanger the life of the electricians. Already 14 have been killed since the beginning of fighting in the Donbas in 2014, and they now have to wear bulletproof vests and battle helmets when making repairs.
Kyiv Funeral For Maidan Leader Roman Ratushnyi Reverberates
On Los Angeles Times front page, mourners and soldiers hold flares in honor of Ukrainian activist and soldier Roman Ratushnyi
Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday in Kiev's Independence Square to pay tribute to well-known Ukrainian activist and soldier Roman Ratushnyi, who died on June 9, at age 24, while fighting Russian forces in the Kharkiv region
One of the first students to join the Maidan protests at the end of 2013, Ratushnyi became a symbol of the forces that helped topple his country’s pro-Russia leader the following year. He was also a prominent figure in the fight against corruption in Ukraine, as well as an environmental activist.
Ratushnyi had joined the army earlier this year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. According to the environmental association he led in Kyiv, the activist died in a clash between Russian and Ukrainian forces near Izyum, around 90 kilometers from Severodonetsk.
Hunger And More Mass Graves: New Report From Mariupol
Destroyed building in Mariupol
Russian soldiers have begun a city-wide exhumation of the dead in Mariupol, with bodies loaded onto tractors and taken to the local morgue to be registered. A short time after registration, the corpses are buried in mass graves, writes Ukrainian Pravda.
The newspaper cites a Telegram post by adviser to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko in an update on the current conditions of the Ukrainian port city that was taken over by Russian forces last month. An estimated 170,000 people remain in Mariupol.
The problem of food and water supply is very acute in the occupied city. The water supply is irregular, where so-called “technical” water (i.e., water that is used for industrial purposes without undergoing sufficient treatment) is used for drinking.
Public assistance to residents is essentially suspended, with people forced to stand for 3 to 4 hours at the doorstep of the markets for bread. Andryushchenko also warned that the threat of starvation and mass mortality due to infectious diseases hangs over the city.
About 170,000 people remain in defeated Mariupol, unable to leave the city occupied by the Russian army.
Russia’s Brutal Use Of Weapons
Russian Tochka rocket nailed in a field in the Donbass region
The New York Times has published a report that it says shows Russia is using banned and/or outdated weapons in Ukraine that kill indiscriminately, in violation of international law. The U.S. daily examined more than 1,000 images taken by photojournalists working on the ground in Ukraine, revealing at least 450 instances in which Russian weapons or groups of weapons were found that have for the most part been banned under international treaties.
Russia Becomes China’s Top Oil Supplier
Crude oil terminal at Qingdao port in Shandong province in China
Even as the West aims to wean itself off of Russian energy supplies, China’s oil imports from Russia are soaring, reaching a record 55%, surpassing Saudi Arabia as their top supplier.
Moscow exported 1.98 million barrels of oil to China per day last month, up from 1.59 million barrels per day in April.
Despite Western sanctions resulting from the war in Ukraine, the increase in Chinese imports demonstrates that Russia is still able to find buyers for its oil, even if it is forced to do so at a lower price.
“Heroic” Donbas To Enter Russian School Books
Moscow Textbooks and Map-Lithographs Mill manufacturing textbooks for Russian schools
Russia continues to rewrite modern history: following the "liberation" of Crimea in 2014, school textbooks will include a chapter on the "heroic struggle of the peoples of Donbas. This was announced by the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service and chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin, reports the Russian newspaper Meduza.
"In 2014, information about the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia entered the school system. Today, the heroic struggle of the peoples of Donbas should also be put on the pages of textbooks," Naryshkin said.
He proposes to start revising the unfinished war so that the rising generation of Russians live in their historical truth.
"I believe that the final integration of the People's Republics into our unified historical and cultural space, as well as the preservation of the memory of the current events in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DNR and LNR) and Ukraine, are priorities for the Russian Historical Society for thу foreseeable future," Naryshkin said.
Also, the school program on the modern history of Russia for ninth-graders in 2022 has already included the topic "the recognition of the DNR and LNR."
Ukraine Bans Russian Music And Books (With Two Key Caveats)
Russian composter Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) will not be banned.en.m.wikipedia.org
The Ukrainian parliament has voted in favor of banning some Russian music to be played on television, on the radio, in schools, public transportation, hotels and other public places.
The ban does not apply to all Russian music: it will only apply to music created or performed by those who are or were Russian citizens after 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union; also, Russian artists who have publicly expressed disapproval regarding the war in Ukraine will be allowed to apply for an exemption from the ban.
The importing of books from Russia and Belarus will also be prohibited under this legislation, banning the publishing and distribution of works by Russian citizens (with the same exemptions to those for music).
Ballet Reopens In Odessa
Odessa's National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet surrounded by sandbags
Mark Edward Harris/ZUMA
The National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in the southern port city of Odessa has reopened for the first time since the war in Ukraine began.
The performance Friday by the Odessa National Opera orchestra and choir was dedicated to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The day after the reopening, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky visited the city as he toured the frontlines and went to see wounded soldiers in a hospital.