In a video address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian military has targeted Russian warehouses and other places “important for logistics” with weaponry Ukraine has received from its partners, which has drastically reduced Russia’s offensive potential. He added that Ukrainian troops are already advancing in several tactical directions, such as in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said the claims are Russian propaganda and that the systems are working and “constantly striking” strategically important targets. Earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that the heavy weapons were destroyed in an airstrike in Donetsk Oblast.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said several logistical details need to be worked out in Turkish-UN-brokered talks between Ukraine and Russia and breaking the blockade will be difficult, Bloomberg reports. “I don’t want to join the chorus of those who say the agreement will take place next week,” Kuleba told Bloomberg.
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, known as the Union parties, are demanding the German government hand over 200 Fuchs armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, according to a parliamentary motion for a resolution seen by German newspaper Der Spiegel. The war is in a “critical phase,” the motion said.
Health Minister Viktor Liashko said during a briefing that in total, Russian forces have damaged 817 healthcare facilities. They have also completely destroyed 43 pharmacies and 85 ambulances. According to Lyashko’s estimates, the government will have to spend at least $1.2 billion to restore all the damaged or destroyed medical facilities.
As energy prices have skyrocketed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia sold nearly $19 billion worth of oil, gas and coal to China by the end of May, doubling last year’s figure. India shelled out some $5 billion for the same period, five times more compared to a year ago. According to analyst Lauri Myllyvirta, China is buying “essentially everything that Russia can export via pipelines and Pacific ports.”
Russia has redoubled its push for Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, with the Ukrainian military claiming to have repelled some advances and both sides reporting casualties.
The Ukrainian armed forces General Staff said troops stopped enemy units advancing towards Sloviansk, a city in Donetsk, one of two provinces in the Donbas whose capture is among Moscow’s main goals.
It also claimed to have repelled Russian attacks on a town and village north of Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv.
In Donetsk, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said two people died in the city of Avdiivka; the cities of Sloviansk, Krasnohorivka and Kurakhove each reported one civilian killed.
“Every crime will be punished,” he wrote on social media.
Mr Kyrylenko has urged the province’s more than 350,000 remaining residents to flee, saying that evacuating Donetsk was necessary to save lives and allow the Ukrainian army to put up a better defence against the Russian advance.
Zelensky: Worst fighting of the war in Donbas now
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskky, in his nightly video address Wednesday, said that of all the battles in his country, “the most brutal confrontation” is raging in the Donbas.
North of Donetsk, Russian forces hit Kharkiv with missile strikes on Wednesday. Kharkiv’s regional governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said that one person was killed and three, including a toddler, were injured. First responders crunched through the debris of a Kharkiv university, where Mr Zelensky said the main building, lecture halls, museum and library were destroyed.
“When it comes to the definition of barbarism, this strike fits the bill the most,” the Ukrainian president said.
“Only an enemy of civilisation and humanity can do such things – strike missiles at a university, a university for teachers.”
The head of the FBI has warned that China is protecting itself from sanctions ahead of a threatened invasion of Taiwan, potentially causing a worldwide economic catastrophe. In the first-ever publicly shared platform with the head of MI5, Chris Wray, director of the FBI, warned that China was “drawing lessons from what’s happening with Russia and its invasion of Ukraine”