Russia likely to swiftly redeploy Mariupol troops in Donbas, UK says
Once Russian forces have secured Ukraine’s Mariupol, the UK Defense Ministry says it is likely the Kremlin will quickly move its forces to operations in the Donbas region.
The UK said as many as 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers are likely to have surrendered from the Mariupol Azovstal steel factory, according to its daily intelligence update.
“Staunch Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol since the start of the war means Russian forces in the area must be re-equipped and refurbished before they can be redeployed effectively. This can be a lengthy process when done thoroughly,” the ministry said.
“Russian commanders, however, are under pressure to demonstrably achieve operational objectives. This means that Russia will probably redistribute their forces swiftly without adequate preparation, which risks further force attrition,” it added.
— Sam Meredith
Zelenskyy accuses Russia of committing genocide against Ukrainians
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces of committing genocide against the Ukrainian people, describing the current situation in the Donbas region as “hell.”
Speaking during his nightly address, Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces continue to liberate the northeast Kharkiv region. “But in Donbas, the occupiers are trying to increase pressure. There’s hell, and that’s not an exaggeration.”
“Donbas is completely destroyed — all this doesn’t and cannot have any military explanation for Russia,” Zelenskyy said.
“This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible. Destroy as many houses, social facilities and enterprises as possible. This is what will be qualified as the genocide of the Ukrainian people and for which the occupiers will definitely be brought to justice,” he added.
Russia’s London embassy was not immediately available to comment.
— Sam Meredith
Failure to reopen Ukrainian ports would be a declaration of war on global food security: World Food Program
A failure to open Ukrainian ports would be a declaration of war on global food security in this “unpreceded crisis,” warned the World Food Program’s executive director, David Beasley.
“Food pricing is our number one problem right now, as a result of all this perfect storm for 2022,” Beasley said. “But by 2023 it very well will be a food availability problem.”
Ukraine is a major exporter of agriculture, feeding about 400 million people globally, according to WFP.
WFP’s analysis found that 276 million people globally were suffering from acute hunger at the start of 2022. If the war continues, that number could rise by 47 million.
Because ports in Ukraine have been blocked as a result of the war, millions of metric tons of grain cannot be shipped out, the WFP said.
Ukrainian farmers won’t have anywhere to store the next harvest in July or August if ports are not reopened, which means the grains will go to waste while the world struggles with a global food crisis, WFP said.
Food prices have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Food prices are at the highest levels ever recorded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, up 34% from this time last year,
— Chelsea Ong
US approves 10th security assistance package for Ukraine worth $100 million
The Pentagon announced the authorization of a tenth US security assistance package of up to $100 million for Ukraine.
“Capabilities in this package are tailored to meet critical needs for today’s Russian forces as Russian forces continue their offensive fight in eastern Ukraine,” Pentagon Ukrainian John Kirby said during a daily press briefing.
The package includes:
- 18 155mm Howitzers
- 18 tactical vehicles to tow the 155mm Howitzers
- Three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars
- Field equipment and spare parts
— Amanda Macias
Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:
US Congress OKs $40 billion in aid for Ukraine; Russia says it’s sent 900 Ukrainian soldiers to prison camp
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