Updates on Ukraine Conflict: Kremlin Cites Security Concerns to Block UN Access to Flooded Areas, German Defense Minister Seeks to Hasten Ammunition Procurement

news 19-Jun-2023 Politcs

Kremlin Cites Security Issues for Blocking Access to Flooded Areas

According to the Kremlin, United Nations representatives cannot enter the flooded region south of the destroyed Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine because of security concerns. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, stated that this is difficult because "it is difficult to provide their security along with many other nuances" on Monday. This came after the United Nations had complained about being unable to access flood areas under Russian occupation.

Peskow claimed that he did not have all the specifics but placed blame on Kiev. The Ukrainian side has found it difficult to come to the Dnipro bank controlled by Moscow. He added that there is constant shelling, provocations, and civilians, objects, people, and population regions are frequently fired at. Saldo, the governor of the Russian-controlled part of Kherson, claimed that there have been 18 deaths on his side of the river, whereas the Ukrainian government announced 17 deaths, with 13 from drowning and the rest caused by gunfire.

The Situation Overview

Since February 24, 2022, Russia has been carrying out an attack against Ukraine from the air and on the ground. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin doubted Ukraine's existence as a sovereign state and recognized the so-called "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

Since then, the Ukrainian army has been fighting hard against the invaders. Reports indicate there have been thousands of deaths on both sides, including soldiers and civilians. However, an independent, factual count of casualties is not available. The humanitarian situation is worsening by the day in Ukraine.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has registered more than 5.9 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe (as of June 6). Due to travel limitations, most of the refugees are women and children only.

The European Union and the United States reacted with sanctions and have provided weapons to Ukraine, with Germany also supplying Gepard tanks.

Pistorius Reportedly Wants to Speed Up Ammunition Procurement

Due to the increased security situation caused by Russia's attack against Ukraine, according to reports, the German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, plans to expedite the purchase of more ammunition for the German army. The ministry plans to present nine contracts for the accelerated purchase of artillery and tank ammunition before the parliamentary summer break to the Bundestag's budget committee, according to the Spiegel magazine on Monday.

Existing framework agreements with the industry are expected to provide more ammunition than initially planned. For instance, Rheinmetall and Diehl are expected to deliver more artillery ammunition to the German army over the next few years. New framework agreements are also being developed. "The procurement's acceleration is due to the altered security situation and serves to expedite building up the Bundeswehr's inventory," the magazine quoted confidential papers from the budget committee.

For the first time, the papers detailed how empty the German army's depots are for artillery ammunition. As per the documents, the 'current stock of 155mm caliber explosive shells is around 20,000 shells.' However, until 2031, the German army must build up an inventory of about 230,000 shells. Due to the absence of approximately 190,000 shells, the accelerated purchase of 155mm shells is 'mandatory,' according to the reports.

Britain to Use Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine Rebuilding

Britain will release captured Russian assets for financing the reconstruction of Ukraine. The government in London announced on Monday that a law should be passed to maintain sanctions until compensation is paid and frozen assets can be utilized. Discussions will take place in the British capital on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the rebuilding of war-torn Ukraine.

Russian nationals under British sanctions but who wish to support Ukraine would now have the opportunity to "do the right thing – by donating their frozen funds to rebuild Ukraine," it said. Assets will be unfrozen when owners explicitly request that the money is given to Ukraine. No one is forced to do so. The government emphasized that approval would not be seen as mitigating one's sentence.

"Putin's Russia must take financial responsibility for the wanton devastation it has wrought in Ukraine," said Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt in a statement. "These new measures – in addition to our most extensive sanctions package yet – demonstrate that the UK is ready and capable of paving new ways to ensure that Russian money reaches the Ukrainian population."

Committee: Russian attack on Sweden not ruled out

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, defense specialists in NATO aspirant Sweden do not rule out the possibility of their country also being attacked. "An armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out," wrote the Defense Committee Försvarsberedningen in a security policy partial report released on Monday.

While Russia's forces are tied up in Ukraine, which limits its ability to use these resources in other world regions, the committee wrote. However, this assessment does not mean Russia is incapable of militarily acting in the immediate vicinity of Sweden. Moscow has lowered its threshold for using military force and demonstrated a high political and military-risk inclination. Russia's assets to engage against Sweden with air or naval forces, long-range weaponry, or nuclear weapons remain intact.

The committee emphasized that Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine had comprehensively changed Sweden's security policy. “Russia's comprehensive invasion of Ukraine and China's growing territorial claims show that conflicts over territory with military means have become a reality again,” according to the report.

The committee stated that Sweden is best defended within NATO. Joining the defense alliance increases both Sweden's and NATO's security. However, the Scandinavian country still lacks Turkey and Hungary's consent to join the defense alliance.

British Intelligence: Russia Regroups Forces after Dam Destruction

According to British intelligence, after the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine, Russia has transferred large troop contingents to other frontlines.

"The regrouping of the Dnipro army group likely reflects Russian view that a major Ukrainian assault across the (Dnipro) river is now less likely following the collapse of the Kachowka Dam and resulting inundations," the Ministry of Defence in London announced Monday. It is suspected that Russia destroyed the dam.

Units previously stationed on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River are now reinforcing sections in the Zaporizhzhia, Bachmut area in the east, according to the report. "This may include thousands of soldiers from the 49th Army, including the 34th motorized brigade, as well as airborne forces and marine infantry units." The ministry has been releasing information on the war's progress daily since the beginning of Russia's aggression against Ukraine almost 16 months ago. Moscow has accused London of disinformation.

Russian Border Region Belgorod Reports Seven Injured after Shelling

Authorities reported that seven civilians were injured due to shelling in the town of Valuyki near the Ukrainian border in the Russian border region Belgorod. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov held the Ukrainian armed forces responsible on Monday. Valuyki is a town located 15 kilometers from the border on the Oskil River. The front line runs along the river slightly further south within Ukraine. Valuyki is an essential logistics point for supplying Russian troops in the Ukrainian Luhansk region. Major troop formations are stationed in the district.

Although the northern direction of Luhansk is not a strategic priority for Kyiv, experts have not ruled out an attack to distract Russian forces from other frontlines. Russia began its war against Ukraine almost 16 months ago and continues to shell neighboring territory daily, including with drones and missiles. On Monday, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russia had launched four drones and four ballistic missiles in the night, all of which have been repulsed.

In recent months, Russian border regions near Ukraine have also reported increasing shelling and attacks on their territory. Kyiv has officially denied responsibility for such attacks.

Ukraine Reports Recapture of Another Village in the South

According to the government, the Ukrainian army recaptured another village from Russian troops. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar reported on Monday that the village of Pyatykhatky in the south of the country had been retaken by Ukrainian forces. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian counteroffensive this month, a total of eight villages have been "liberated," and 113 square kilometers of land have been recaptured.

Meanwhile, the governor of the nearby Russian border region, Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported seven injuries due to attacks carried out by Ukraine. The area around Valuyki is under attack by "Ukrainian forces," Gladkov wrote on the Telegram online service. One of the seven individuals who were injured was a child. According to Roman Starovoit, the governor of the Kursk region, the region was also attacked, but no one was injured. However, there were power outages.

In recent weeks, drone attacks on Russian regions bordering Ukraine, as well as on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, have increased.


Related Post

Polular post