- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
A residential building in the Kievsky district of Donetsk after shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Large-calibre shells pierced through the concrete walls. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Central Donetsk Comes Under Heavy Shelling by Ukrainian Forces

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Russia launched the special operation in Ukraine back in February, after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces.
Russian armed forces and Donbass troops continue to advance amid the special operation, liberating multiple towns in the region over the past weeks.
At the same time, the Ukrainian military is targeting territory belonging to the DPR and LPR, shelling Donbass cities.
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03:54 GMT 19.06.2022
Stoltenberg Says Ukraine Could Regain Control of Donbas With Help of Weapon Supplies
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that Western modern weapon deliveries to Ukraine could help Kiev return control of Donbas.
Stoltenberg told the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper that NATO will continue helping Ukraine with self-defense, although the military alliance is not a party to the conflict.
According to the NATO head, the possibility of Ukraine succeeding in pushing Russian troops out of the southeastern regions (Donbas) would increase if there were a boost in modern arms supplies.
Nonetheless, Stoltenberg reiterated that NATO will not send its servicemen to Ukraine. He warned that the Ukraine conflict could last for years.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an article published in The Sunday Times that the Ukraine conflict could last for years and outlined a four-point plan that would ensure that Ukraine has the "strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail."
The plan stipulates providing Kiev with funding, weapons and technical help, improving infrastructure and supporting the Ukrainian economy and getting the blocked grain out of Ukraine.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
02:49 GMT 19.06.2022
National Interest Author Proposes Ukraine Peace Plan
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Former US Army officer David Pyne has proposed a way to end the Ukraine conflict, outlining a fifteen-point peace plan, which includes recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, in an article published by The National Interest.
Pyne accused the Western media of false reporting and stressed that, contrary to media claims, Russia is making incremental progress in Ukraine.
According to Pyne, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Israel could mediate a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, consisting of fifteen "terms most likely to be agreeable to both sides."
The terms of the agreement, as outlined by Pyne in the article published on Saturday, would be Ukraine becoming permanently neutral, although Russia would support Ukraine’s application to join the EU. Kiev would need to suspend all NATO ties, reduce ground forces and destroy all of its "strike systems." Ukraine would also be prohibited from developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
Kiev would need to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia, and all sanctions imposed on Russia in relation to its special military operation would need to be lifted. Diplomatic relations would be restored and "any public and private Russian financial and economic assets that were seized will be returned to their owners."
Russia would need to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, except the Donbas region, where a referendum would be held to decide on possible independence. Ukraine would need to make Russian one of its official languages regardless of the outcome of the referendum.
All prisoners of war would be returned to their respective countries and there would be no reparations issued by either side. The US and the EU would help Ukraine with reconstruction.
The US and NATO would need to provide written guarantees that NATO will never expand eastward and Russia and NATO would "agree to commence discussions to include Russia in the security architecture of Europe."
Pyne emphasized that the longer the delay in negotiating a peace agreement, the weaker Kiev's negotiating position will be.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbas, "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."
In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
23:46 GMT 18.06.2022
Johnson Calls For More Support to Ukraine Amid Fears of Long Conflict Ahead
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that the Ukraine conflict could become protracted and has urged Western countries to ramp up support to Kiev.
"Time is now the vital factor. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack. Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine’s side," Johnson said in an article published in The Sunday Times.
He warned of a long war in Ukraine and outlined a four-point plan that would ensure that Ukraine has the "strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail."
The plan stipulates providing Kiev with funding, weapons and technical help, improving infrastructure and supporting the Ukrainian economy and getting the blocked grain out of Ukraine.
According to Johnson, the Western support might have to be maintained for "years to come."
On Saturday, Johnson said that his unexpected visit to Kiev June 17 was to show London's support at a time when other countries are starting to get tired of the Ukraine issue. The prime minister met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for military aid talks on Friday.
The day prior, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy visited Ukraine and met with Zelenskyy in what many considered a bid to convince Kiev to negotiate with Moscow.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
23:45 GMT 18.06.2022
Over Dozen Injured, Five Killed in Shelling of Donetsk
DONETSK (Sputnik) - Five people were killed and at least 20 others were injured as a result of the Saturday shelling of the city of Donetsk, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination on the ceasefire regime (JCCC) said.
"The total number of civilian casualties from the attacks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on June 18, 2022 is 25 people (five dead and 20 injured)," the DPR mission said in a statement on its Telegram channel.
Earlier on Saturday, DPR authorities said that 15 people were injured as a result of the shelling.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbas, "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."
In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
20:42 GMT 18.06.2022
US Mulls Sending 4 More Rocket Launchers to Ukraine
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Pentagon is weighing a shipment of four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems to Ukraine as it continues demanding more supplies of heavy weaponry from the West, US media said on Saturday.
This move would double the number of HIMARS promised to Ukraine, if approved. according to Politico. The rocket launchers would be part of the upcoming aid package, a US official said.
"We expect to be transferring more HIMARS and more [guided] rounds soon," the person added.
The next tranche of aid is still in the pipeline at the Department of Defense's level and the number of weapons could change, the official said. A Pentagon official told the website that further supplies would be tailored to Kiev’s "immediate needs."
19:36 GMT 18.06.2022
Russia Evacuates Nearly 30,000 Civilians From Donbas, Ukraine Combat Zones
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Almost 30,000 civilians were evacuated in the past day from war zones in Donbas and southern Ukraine, senior Russian military official Mikhail Mizintsev said on Saturday.
"Despite all the trouble we have had from official Kiev, we evacuated 29,733 people, including 3,502 children, from dangerous areas in Ukraine and Donbas republics in the past 24 hours without Ukrainian assistance," he told a news briefing.
A total 1.94 million civilians have been brought to safety in western Russia since the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February, more than 307,000 of them minors.
Russia has supplied Ukrainians with 33,143 tonnes of humanitarian aid since early March, including essentials, food, medicines and medical goods. Some 468 tonnes of aid was delivered over Saturday to Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, and Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions.
19:25 GMT 18.06.2022
Ukrainian Forces Shoot Fake War Footage in Mykolaiv – Russia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A senior Russian military official said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces shot fake war footage in the southern city of Mykolaiv with the help of 40 actors.
"It has been confirmed that Ukrainian security forces shot videos that purportedly showed damage caused by Russian armed forces to private households, as well as homeless civilians. The video production used more than 40 actors who were paid $25 each," Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said.
Mizintsev said this and similar propaganda stunts were being directed by Western spin-doctors.
"The Russian armed forces treat civilians in an extremely humane way and do not attack civilian infrastructure," he added.
The official accused Ukrainian troops in control of Mykolaiv of moving military hardware to populated areas. A multiple rocket launcher has been installed atop a multistory residential building in the downtown, with firing nests set up on the upper and ground floors.
19:00 GMT 18.06.2022
Russia to Respond to Lithuanian Curbs on Cargo Transit to Baltic Exclave, Governor Says
The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad is discussing a response to Lithuanian curbs on cargo transit from the mainland, Governor Anton Alikhanov said on Saturday.

State-owned Lithuanian Railways stopped transit of goods between Russia and its Baltic Sea territory starting at midnight on Friday, citing EU restrictions. Up to 50% of all rail cargo to Kaliningrad has been banned, Alikhanov said.

"Kaliningrad authorities are discussing transit limits with the Foreign Ministry and the Russian embassy in Lithuania," the governor said on social media.

Three options for response are on the table, including measures that would affect "the Baltic transit complex," Alikhanov said, without elaborating.

"Lithuanian limits on transit to Kaliningrad are illegal and may have far-reaching consequences… If our European neighbours do not lift these illegal restrictions we will recommend that the federal government take response measures," he said.
17:49 GMT 18.06.2022
Russia's Kaliningrad to Continue Receiving Oil Via Lithuania Until 10 August, Governor Says
The transit of oil products to the exclaved Russian region of Kaliningrad through Lithuania will continue unhindered through 10 August, governor Anton Alikhanov said on Saturday.

On Friday, Lithuanian Railways notified the Kaliningrad Railway that it would stop transiting a list of products that are under EU sanctions starting from Saturday.

"Oil products are not subject to transit limitations until August 10. There is no need to stock up on gasoline, as the transit of these products continues," Alikhanov said on Telegram.
17:20 GMT 18.06.2022
LPR Ambassador to Russia: Orange Column of Smoke 'Similar to Colour Which Appears After Explosion of Containers With Nitric Acid' Rising Near Severodonetsk
13:49 GMT 18.06.2022
Study of Russian Language to Be Banned in Nikolaev, Reports Say
"The Executive Committee of the Nikolaev City Council has decided to ban the teaching of the Russian language in secondary schools from 1 September," a statement on the UNIAN Telegram channel says.
13:32 GMT 18.06.2022
Central Donetsk Comes Under Heavy Shelling by Ukrainian Forces
12:55 GMT 18.06.2022
EU Hopes for Ukrainian Grain Exports by Sea to Resume Shortly - Borrell
The European Union is working with the United Nations to find a solution for the resumption of sea exports of Ukrainian grain stalled in Black Sea ports due to hostilities in a matter of days, as further delay risks critical shortages for importing countries, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Saturday.

The EU has made efforts to get grain out of Ukraine by alternative routes, such as on trucks and train, but neither can ensure enough transit needed in the short term, Borrell said on his blog.

"It is therefore imperative to allow Ukrainian exports by ship to resume. We are working closely with the UN on this issue and the EU and its member states are ready to do their part of the necessary actions to achieve this. We hope that a solution can be found in the coming days. Not doing this threatens to cause a global food catastrophe," Borrell wrote.

The risk of shortages is especially acute for North Africa, the region most dependent on food supplies from Ukraine and Russia, Borrell said.

The EU and its allies have blamed the blocking of Ukrainian grain shipments on Russia, but Moscow said that cargo ships are unable to leave Black Sea ports due to mines planted by Ukraine's military, calling on Kiev to clear the waters. The UN has repeatedly warned that the broken supply chain threatens food insecurity on the global scale.
12:21 GMT 18.06.2022
Russian Army Hits Ukrainian Fuel Facilities Near Kremenchuk, Lysychansk - MoD
The Russian military has destroyed Ukrainian facilities for fuel processing and storage near the southern cities of Kremenchuk and Lysychansk with precision strikes, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

"High-precision air- and ground-based weapons in the areas of Kremenchuk and Lysychansk destroyed technological capacities for fuel processing and storage intended to supply for the Ukrainian military equipment in Donbass," the spokesman said.
11:47 GMT 18.06.2022
It is Possible, But The Question is Whether There Will Be Anything to Talk About and With Whom: Medvedev Assesses Ukraine's Prospects for Resuming Talks ‘From End of August’
10:49 GMT 18.06.2022
180 Areas Containing Ukrainian Troops Hit By Rocket Forces and Artillery In 24 Hours, More Than 310 Nationalists Eliminated – Russian MoD
10:44 GMT 18.06.2022
Ukrainian Terrorists Attempted to Assassinate Head of Federal Penitentiary Service of Kherson Region - Source
10:07 GMT 18.06.2022
Residential and Administrative Buildings Seriously Damaged in Donetsk - Mayor
09:18 GMT 18.06.2022
Two Employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Killed, Three Injured During Shelling of Donetsk By Ukrainian Forces - DPR
07:48 GMT 18.06.2022
Western Sanctions Lead Poorest Countries to Famine and Economic Collapse - Rosneft CEO
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