Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – JUNE 12-18, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on June 19, 2023

● In the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are actively engaged in counteroffensive operations. The Russian army has constructed formidable fortifications in these areas over the past few months, impeding rapid progress.

● The “Ramstein” coalition, comprising defense ministers, convened on June 15-16. The agenda focused on the continuation of military support for Ukraine and preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius.

● On June 16, a delegation of leaders and representatives from African states visited Kyiv. The purpose of their visit was to discuss the global ramifications of Russian aggression against Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on ensuring food security.


The Armed Forces of Ukraine are carrying out counteroffensive actions in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions – in the Bakhmut area and in several areas of the front in the southern direction. Advancement is complicated by the large-scale fortification and mining of the area carried out by the Russian military. Ukrainian units are trying to weaken the enemy’s defenses by striking his logistics routes and ammunition depots. They are also trying to disable the command staff of the Russian troops. Among the losses of the Russian army over the last week is the chief of staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army, Major General Sergey Goryachev.

Russian troops continue to carry out strikes on the territory of Ukraine, concentrating on attacks against objects of logistics, industry, oil and gas supply. Attacks of various scales are carried out every day – from the strikes of several UAVs to the use of strategic aviation. In particular, on the night of June 13, a missile attack was carried out on the territory of Ukraine. As a result of a rocket hitting a residential building in Kryvyi Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region), 11 people were killed and 28 people were injured. On the night of June 14, civil infrastructure was damaged in Odesa as a result of a rocket attack; a missile attack on a warehouse resulted in the death of 3 people and wounding of 7 people. A kamikaze drone attack on an infrastructure object in the Kirovohrad region was also recorded. On the night of June 15, a combined attack using rockets and drones was carried out against Odesa and Kryvyi Rih, in the latter two enterprises were damaged as a result of the rocket hitting, and 1 person was injured. In the afternoon of June 16, a missile attack was carried out on Kyiv. Although the anti-aircraft defense shot down all the Russian missiles, 6 people were injured as a result of their debris falling on the territory of the Kyiv region.

As a result of the Russian strikes, the loss of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 9 people were killed and 28 people were wounded; in the Kherson region – 6 people died and 40 people were injured; in the Kharkiv region – 2 people died and 4 people were injured. 7 people were killed and 3 people were injured in the Sumy region. At least 1 person died in the Zaporizhzhia region.


Representatives of the International Criminal Court in The Hague began to investigate the explosion of the Kakhovka Dam, which flooded dozens of settlements in the south of Ukraine. Currently, as a result of the of the Kakhovka Dam explosion, 17 people are known to have died in the territory controlled by Ukraine. 31 people are considered missing. According to the statement of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, Russia has refused to allow the UN humanitarian mission to reach the people on the left bank of the Kherson region who have been affected by the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.

On June 14, the trial of 22 Ukrainian prisoners of war, members of the Azov battalion, who were captured in May 2022, began in Rostov-on-Don. They are accused of membership in a “terrorist organization.” Prisoners of war can be sentenced to terms ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment. Depriving prisoners of war of the right to a fair trial is a war crime.

The Security Service of Ukraine reported the suspicion to the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Viacheslav Shapovalov and the former head of the Department of Public Procurement of the Ministry of Defense Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who appropriated more than UAH 1 billion from the budget. Officials are involved in the embezzlement of budget money for the purchase of body armor and winter uniforms for units of the Armed Forces, which perform combat tasks at the front. Currently, both of them are already in custody on suspicion of similar crimes. Thus, the ex-deputy Minister of Defense previously received another suspicion for involvement in the purchase of food products for the Armed Forces at inflated prices and low-quality ammunition.


On June 15-16, another meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine was held with the participation of defense ministers from more than 50 countries. The main topic is the continuation of assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, in particular, the provision of weapons and ammunition, strengthening of Ukraine’s air defense, training of Ukrainian pilots, as well as preparation for the Vilnius NATO summit. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov, announced the creation of the IT coalition, which has already been supported by the defense ministers of Luxembourg and Estonia.

In addition, on June 15, a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission was held in Brussels as part of the first day of work of the North Atlantic Council at the level of defense ministers, with the participation of the 31st defense ministers of NATO countries and Ukraine (the last meeting was held in 2016 due to a systemic blockade by Hungary). The participants considered the ways to accelerate the provision of military assistance to Ukraine for the liberation of territories, as well as the issue of prospects for Ukraine’s membership in NATO.

Within the framework of these meetings, the participating countries announced the next deliveries of defense aid to Ukraine. Ukraine will receive support from Germany, in particular missiles for the Patriot air defense system. The British government announced a package of military aid for Ukraine worth 92 million pounds (almost $116 million) to improve the effectiveness of air defense. Spain will additionally provide Ukraine with tracked armored vehicles, 4 Leopard tanks and a Role 2-plus military hospital. Denmark and the Netherlands have financed the transfer of additional Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and Belgium will transfer M113 armored personnel carriers and Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The United States allocates an additional package of military support to Ukraine in the amount of $325 million, which provides for the delivery of air defense equipment, missiles for HIMARS, shells, armored vehicles and other weapons. In addition, the Swedish government will provide Ukraine with a support package worth 250 million kroner ($23.7 million), which includes testing Ukrainian pilots on Gripen fighter jets.

 In turn, the defense ministers of the United States, Great Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands announced in a joint statement the provision of air defense equipment to Ukraine against the background of Russian missile attacks, which will include, in particular, the supply of short- and medium-range anti-aircraft missiles and related systems.

At the European Parliament plenary session on June 14, a resolution aimed at supporting the recovery of Ukraine and its integration into NATO was adopted by a majority of votes. In the resolution, MEPs expressed the expectation that “the accession process will commence after the end of the war and will be completed as soon as possible.”

This week, a large African delegation arrived in the capital of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi held a meeting with the President of the Union of the Comoros Azali Assoumani, the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Republic of Senegal Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, the Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly, as well as with special representatives presidents of the Republic of Congo and Uganda. The leaders discussed the Ukrainian peace formula, the issue of world food security, and areas of strengthening cooperation. After the visit to Kyiv, the delegation went to St. Petersburg to meet with the President of Russia.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi also met in Kyiv with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Raphael Grossi, discussing the risks to the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

In addition, during the week, Volodymyr Zelenskyi held telephone conversations with the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chavez Robles, with the Prime Minister of Belize, Juan Antonio Briceño, and with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.