The UK Ministry of Defense assesses that the Kremlin’s continued framing of its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a war is actively hindering Russian force generation capabilities. The UK Ministry of Defense reported on Jun
Concentrated Russian artillery power paired with likely understrength infantry units remains insufficient to enable Russian advances within Severodonetsk.
Russian forces continued to prepare to advance on Slovyansk from southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman.
Russian forces are focusing on strengthening defensive positions along the Southern Axis due to recent successful Ukrainian counterattacks along the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border.
Successful Ukrainian counterattacks in the Zaporizhia area are forcing Russian forces to rush reinforcements to this weakened sector of the front line.
Russian forces are likely conducting false-flag artillery attacks against Russian-held territory to dissuade Ukrainian sentiment and encourage the mobilization of proxy forces.
The UK Ministry of Defense assesses that the Kremlin’s continued framing of its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a war is actively hindering Russian force generation capabilities. The UK Ministry of Defense reported on June 19 that Russian authorities are struggling to find legal means to punish military dissenters and those who refuse to mobilize because the classification of the conflict in Ukraine as a “special military operation” precludes legal punitive measures that could be employed during a formal war. ISW has previously assessed that the Kremlin’s framing of the war as a “special operation” is compounding consistent issues with poor perceptions of Russian military leadership among Russian nationalists, problems with paying troops, lack of available forces, and unclear objectives among Russian forces. The Kremlin is continuing to attempt to fight a major and grinding war in Ukraine with forces assembled for what the Kremlin incorrectly assumed would be a short invasion against token Ukrainian resistance. The Kremlin continues to struggle to correct this fundamental flaw in its “special military operation.”
Russian authorities likely seek to use war crimes trials against captured Ukrainian servicemen, particularly troops that defended Mariupol, to advance its narratives around the war. Russian sources reported that the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) plan to hold war crimes tribunals until the end of August 2022 and that at least one of these tribunals will be held in Mariupol. These tribunals will reportedly be judged in accordance with DNR legislation (which notably allows capital punishment, unlike Russian law) and be modeled on the Nuremberg format for war crimes trials. The trials are a sham attempt to try lawful prisoners of war as war criminals and support the Kremlin’s false framing of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as a ”de-Nazification” operation. Despite the fact that DNR authorities plan to try Ukrainian servicemen in the DNR, a source in Russian law enforcement told state-owned media outlet TASS that the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment and the commander of the Ukrainian 36th Marine Brigade will both be transferred to Russia for investigation and trial. Russian authorities will likely use these trials to strengthen legal controls of occupied areas and further demoralize Ukrainian defenders by setting a harsh legal precedent during preliminary tribunals, as well as advancing the Kremlin’s false narrative of invading Ukraine to “de-Nazify” it.
Speech of the President of Ukraine after the introduction by the President of Latvia Egils Levits, at Three Seas Summit and Business Forum in Riga, on 20-21 June 2022.
I am grateful to you and I have the honour to address all present today.
I will begin my address immediately with the key thing, given our precious time. I’ll start with what we offer.
First, Ukraine must be a participant in the Three Seas Initiative. It is wrong that our state remained outside the Initiative. We need to find a format in which we can implement the accession.
Just one look at the geographical map of our region is enough to understand that it is only with Ukraine that all our countries can realize their full potential. Economic, infrastructural, potential of social ties between our countries, between our people and the historical basis of life in our region.
Based on this, my second suggestion is to strengthen the interpretation of cooperation in the framework of the Three Seas Initiative.
Every sphere we can work on together in this Initiative is really about security. And first of all it is logistics. Please look at the Ukrainian situation now: it is the states of the Three Seas that are our connection to the free world.
The supply of weapons to Ukraine, the supply of fuel, the preservation of vital transport flows, green corridors for the export of Ukrainian food, the migration of people – all this works through the territory of the member states of this Initiative.
In the same way, the Three Seas Initiative is destined to become an effective rear for any country in our region, if it is also – God forbid, of course – threatened by Russia. When the enemy comes, everything matters: roads, railways, ports, the energy system, speed at the borders, even the habit of working together.
That is why it is our duty to deepen all connections in this space. It is these connections that are our security, after all.
The third proposal is energy. Ukraine has one of the most powerful gas storage facilities in the region and an extensive gas supply network. Therefore, by cooperating with our neighbors, using the capacities of the Poland-Slovakia, Poland-Ukraine interconnectors, as well as the LNG terminals available in the region, we can meet the needs of all the countries of the Three Seas Initiative.
Already after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion, we joined the European Union’s energy system. And now our electricity exports can be a contribution to the energy balance of your countries, which will help you become completely independent of Russian energy pressure.
The fourth suggestion is that we must do everything we can to make the Trans-European Corridor Via Carpathia work one hundred percent, connecting northern and southern Europe. Ukraine can play the role of one of the logistics centers. And we are ready to join Via Carpathia right now.
We are ready to integrate into the European railway network, in particular through the Warsaw-Kyiv railway line and access to the Rail Baltica railway corridor.
We must continue to work on expanding checkpoints on the borders of our state.
Fifth proposal – Ukraine can support many infrastructure projects in the field of digitization and strengthen our regional digital ties. Keep in mind that the Ukrainian experience in combating cyber threats is truly unique and can be very useful for each of your countries.
And the sixth proposal – participation in the project of reconstruction of Ukraine. This will be the largest economic project of our generation. Politicians often say that economic prosperity is the foundation of national security. And it really is. But not as often as they say, politicians manage to implement this principle. That is to make the economy so powerful that the state itself becomes powerful enough.
Now we have such a historic chance.
But only if we work together will we be able to use it. The Three Seas Initiative needs the potential of Ukraine. We are ready. We are willing.
For the first time, Ukraine has been invited to participate in the Three Seas Initiative Summit today. I am grateful. However, you know – while this war is going on, I can’t leave the state. So I can’t be with you right now. But I am sure that you can now involve us in specific infrastructure projects, and will find a status that will allow us to participate in the activities of your Initiative.
Zelensky secretly visited Lisichansk to support the Ukrainian military. “He arrived recently under shelling, secretly. Support and see with your own eyes, figure it out, ”said Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence Maryana Bezuglaya.
Germany is "very confident" NATO will reach an agreement with Sweden and Finland over bid for membership of the alliance but it would not be a "catastrophe" if this did not happen by the summit in Madrid next week, a German government source said.
BERLIN, June 20 (Reuters) - Germany is "very confident" NATO will reach an agreement with Sweden and Finland over bid for membership of the alliance but it would not be a "catastrophe" if this did not happen by the summit in Madrid next week, a German government source said.
"As nice as it would be to announce concrete steps .. it would not be a catastrophe if it needed a few more weeks," the source said. "What is decisive from our point of view is there are no unsurmountable problems".
Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defence alliance last month, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.