Ukraine update in the morning: Also in Bakhmut: Russia is stationing 180,000 soldiers on major eastern fronts.
Russia deploys 180,000 troops on the Eastern Fronts. Selenskyj thanks Germany for the anti-aircraft systems supplied, but Kiev sees a need for further upgrading. What happened at night in the war against Ukraine.
Russia deploys 180,000 soldiers on the Bakhmut and Lyman-Kupiansk fronts
The Russian army has more than 180,000 soldiers stationed on the two major eastern fronts, Bakhmut and Lyman-Kupiansk. This is reported by the spokesman for the Eastern Forces Group Skhid of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Serhii Cherevatyi, on Telegram.
According to Cherevatyi, “a rather powerful group of troops with over 120 enemy units” was deployed on the Lyman-Kupiansk front. These included air raid and mechanized units, parts of the Bars Combat Army Reserve, and new Sturm Z companies, which include ex-prisoners.
More than 180,000 soldiers have been stationed in the entire area of the two eastern fronts, Bakhmut and Lyman-Kupiansk, with the Lyman-Kupiansk front being longer and “the enemy is concentrating its forces there,” the spokesman said. In the meantime, there are also around 50,000 Russian soldiers on the Bakhmut front. A “fight to take over the initiative” has also been underway there since Monday.
Selenskyj thanks Scholz and asks for more help
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the “very powerful” German help in air defense against Russian attacks. “The brilliant Iris-T systems have proven to be very effective in protecting our airspace,” said Zelenskyj after a phone call with Scholz. In addition, Germany had given Ukraine the very effective US-type Patriot air defense system To make Ukraine the basis for a missile defense shield in Europe against Russian attacks.
According to Zelenskyy, since the beginning of the war, more than 180 Russian planes, more than 130 helicopters, more than 40 missiles and more than 1,000 cruise missiles, as well as over 1,600 drones have been shot down. “All of this means thousands upon thousands of lives saved by you, hundreds of critical infrastructure sites protected by you.”
At the same time, Zelensky made it clear once again that Ukraine needs much more help from the West to protect itself. “Unfortunately, our country does not have enough high-quality anti-aircraft systems to protect our entire territory and destroy all enemy targets,” he said.
Scholz promises “unbreakable solidarity”
According to his government spokesman, Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed “the ongoing and unbreakable solidarity” with Ukraine. Germany will continue to provide support, including in the military field, in close coordination with international partners.
According to a statement by Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian and German positions before the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next week, were also coordinated in the talks. According to media reports, no decision has yet been made about Zelenskyy’s personal participation in the summit.
Threatened grain deal: EU countries are considering concessions to Russia
Scholz and Zelenskyj also called for the grain agreement under the aegis of the United Nations, which expires on July 17, to be extended because it will help to improve global food supplies.
In order to persuade Russia to extend the grain agreement with Ukraine, the EU is considering possible concessions. According to diplomats, the Russian Agricultural Bank could be offered to tolerate circumvention of EU sanctions. The bank could therefore set up a subsidiary in order to be able to use the Swift international financial communication network again to process certain payments. Due to sanctions due to the Russian war of aggression, she is currently not allowed to do so.
According to dpa information, the background to the considerations is Russia’s threats to let the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea expire in the middle of the month.
Zelenskyy expels Georgian ambassador because of imprisoned Saakashvili
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the Ambassador of Georgia to return to Tbilisi. The background is the ill former head of state of Georgia, Mikhail Saaashvili, who has Ukrainian citizenship and is in prison in Georgia. Zelenskyj demands that the 55-year-old be handed over to Ukraine for the necessary treatment. Saakashvili, who has lost a lot of weight, had previously been connected to a court hearing via video from the hospital. His brother David Saakashvili said the ex-president was at risk of death, his brother could have been poisoned. As President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili pushed through pro-Western reforms. After being voted out, he was sentenced in absentia to prison for corruption and incitement to cause bodily harm.
Kyiv puts Unilever on list of ‘war sponsors’
Ukraine has included British consumer goods group Unilever on its list of “international war sponsors” citing its ongoing operations in Russia as a reason. Through the company’s presence in the Russian Federation and “high tax payments” to the Russian state, Unilever supports the “aggressor’s economy” and the “continuation of the Russian war against Ukraine”.
Unilever said it stood by a statement issued in February condemning the war in Ukraine as a “brutal” and “senseless” act by the Russian state. Unilever has stopped importing and exporting, but is supplying “Russian-made food and toiletries (…) to the people of the country,” it said.
What will be important on Tuesday
Ukraine continues its counter-offensive to liberate the territories occupied by Russia. The Russian military, in turn, is trying to prevent Ukrainian troops from breaking through the fortified front line. The Ukrainians had recently recaptured several areas.