'Surrender or die,' militia leader tells Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk; Pope says war perhaps 'provoked'
'surrender or die,' militia leader tells ukrainian fighters in severodonetsk;

‘Surrender or die,’ militia leader tells Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk; Pope says war perhaps ‘provoked’


‘Surrender, or die,’ separatist militia leader tells Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk

A top military official of separatist forces in eastern Ukraine has told Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk, the last city now partially held by Ukraine in Luhansk, that they must surrender or die.

The deputy leader of the “People’s Militia” of the breakaway, self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) told journalists on Monday that Ukrainian fighters in the city are now trapped after the last bridge in or out of the city was destroyed yesterday.

A picture taken on May 22, 2022, shows a destroyed bridge connecting the city of Lysychansk with the city of Severodonetsk in the eastern Donbas region. Now all the main bridges into Severodonetsk are destroyed.

Aris Messinis | Afp | Getty Images

“Severodonetsk is actually blocked after they blew up the last bridge that connected it with Lysychansk yesterday,” the deputy leader of the DPR’s People’s Militia Eduard Basurin said, the Associated Press reported.

“Therefore, the Ukrainian military units that are stationed there remain there (in Severodonetsk) forever. They have two options: either follow the example of their colleagues and surrender, or die. They have no other option,” he warned.

Holly Ellyatt

Baby injured, mother dies after shelling in Kharkiv

Russian forces have been shelling the city of Kharkiv and surrounding areas, with one person killed and five injured, including three children.

Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said on Telegram that over the past 24 hours, Russian forces have been shelling Kharkiv city, as well as the Izyum, Bohodukhiv and Chuhuiv districts of the surrounding region.

A number of civilians were injured in the shelling, and in one town, Pechenihy, a three-month-old baby was injured and her 35-year-old mother died.

In Kharkiv, Russian missiles caused a fire in warehouses and lorries were reportedly on fire in the district.

In the Izyum area to the southeast of Kharkiv city, Synehubov said, Russian forces were trying to establish control over Bohorodychne and were preparing an attack on Sloviansk.

CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information in the post.

Holly Ellyatt

Risks of a ‘frozen conflict’ rising as Russia makes gains in eastern Ukraine

Tanks of pro-Russian troops drive along a street during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk Region, Ukraine May 26, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

As Russia gradually seizes more territory in Ukraine and continues to pound various targets in the Donbas, analysts fear that Ukrainian fighters are losing the upper hand in the conflict and that a war of attrition is underway.

“I am worried about it,” William Alberque, director of strategy, technology and arms control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told CNBC. “There are huge risks that Ukraine will continue to lose land incrementally.”

Alberque said there was still the possibility that the Russian line will collapse somewhere but what made this inflection point of the invasion dangerous was that Russia was now throwing everything it has at fully occupying eastern Ukraine.

“This is the part of the war that one really worries about because it’s a war of attrition because it’s just Russia throwing tons and tons of crap equipment into the battle. It’s them using the Donetsk and Luhansk fighters as cannon fodder. It’s them just drawing upon their huge human resources and there is the chance [Ukraine is] going to lose more land.”

Read more here: ‘Frozen conflict’: Ukraine war could last 10 years or more if Russian forces aren’t pushed back

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia makes advances around Kharkiv for first time in weeks, UK says

Although Russia’s main objective remains the assault against the Severodonetsk pocket in the Donbas, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense said Russian forces “have likely made small advances in the Kharkiv sector for the first time in several weeks.”

A view of a destroyed shopping mall after shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on June 8, 2022.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The ministry, posting its latest intelligence update on Twitter Tuesday, also noted that Russia could be starting to leverage its industrial base for the war effort.

On June 10, the U.K. noted, an official within Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission predicted that state defense spending will increase by 600-700 billion rubles (up to $12 billion), which could approach a 20% increase in Russia’s defense budget.

“Russian government funding is allowing the country’s defense industrial base to be slowly mobilized to meet demands placed on it by the war in Ukraine,” the U.K. said. “However, the industry could struggle to meet many of these requirements, partially due to the effects of sanctions and lack of expertise.”

The ministry said Russia’s production “of high-quality optics and advanced electronics likely remain troubled and could undermine its efforts to replace equipment lost in Ukraine.”

Holly Ellyatt

All bridges to Severodonetsk are now destroyed, governor says

The city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk province — one of the last strongholds of Ukrainian forces in the area — has now seen all of its bridges destroyed, according to the governor of Luhansk, who said the evacuation of civilians is now impossible.

Severodonetsk has been the focus of severe fighting for weeks as Ukrainian soldiers have tried desperately to prevent the city from falling into Russian hands. The relentless bombardment from Russia has taken its toll, however, and at least 70% of the city is now controlled by its forces.

Smoke rising in Severodonetsk, seen from neighboring Lysychansk, in Ukraine on June 10, 2022.

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

After an update on Monday in which he said only one bridge into the city was left, and that was critically damaged, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai updated the situation on Facebook Monday night saying “all bridges are destroyed, but Severodonetsk is not blocked. Communication with the city is there!!”

“Evacuation and transport of human cargo is impossible,” he added

He added that the Russians have not completely captured Severodonetsk and that a part of the city was still under Ukrainian control.

— Holly Ellyatt

U.S. officials say new military aid for Ukraine might come as early as this week

Ukrainian soldiers move U.S.-made missiles on Feb. 13, 2022. The U.S. could announce new military aid for Ukraine as early as this week, a defense official and an administration official said.

Sergei Supinsky | Afp | Getty Images

The United States could announce new military aid for Ukraine as early as this week, a defense official and administration official said.

The additional aid is likely to come from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which can be used for training, equipping, and advising Ukrainian forces. The U.S. has used more than $6 billion for USAI funds in fiscal year 2022.   

Another military aid package, with additional weapons and equipment, could also be announced as early as next week through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, the defense official said.

That would be the 12th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine’s defense.

Last month, Congress approved an additional $40 billion for aid to Ukraine after President Joe Biden’s request for $33 billion.

— Chelsea Ong

‘We are dealing with absolute evil,’ Zelenskyy says; vows to rebuild Kyiv

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the positions of Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut city and Lysychansk district, Ukraine, on June 5, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the capital city of Kyiv will “rebuild everything that was destroyed by the occupiers.”

“We are dealing with absolute evil. And we have no choice but to move on,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address to the nation, delivered on the 110th day of its invasion by Russia.

He added that Ukrainian forces will “knock out the occupiers from all our areas.”

“We will rebuild everything that was destroyed by the occupiers, from Volnovakha to Chortkiv, because this is Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

“And it was our destiny to return and strengthen it.”

— Amanda Macias

A look inside the destroyed Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

Russian servicemen patrol the ruins of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. 

The Russian military had besieged the strategic port city for three months, only taking complete control in late May after a group of Ukrainian soldiers who holed up in the steel plant surrendered.

A Russian serviceman inspects an underground tunnel under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, on June 13, 2022. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian serviceman inspects an underground tunnel under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, on June 13, 2022. 

Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian serviceman inspects an underground tunnel under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, on June 13, 2022. 

Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian serviceman inspects an underground tunnel under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, on June 13, 2022. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian serviceman inspects an underground tunnel under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, on June 13, 2022.

Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

-Yuri Kadobnov | AFP | Getty Images

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