Moscow seeks to solidify its rule over occupied areas of Ukraine

According to Kremlin-installed authorities, Mariupol’s seaport is being used to ship goods to and from Russia.

  • Russian flags are being flown on a highway to the strategic port city of Mariupol, with the city’s entrance sign painted in the Russian flag colours.
  • Kremlin-installed officials in occupied southern Ukraine celebrated Russia Day on Sunday and began issuing Russian passports to residents who requested them in Melitopol, RIA Novosti reported.
  • Russian bands played a concert to celebrate Russia Day in a central square in the Ukrainian city of Kherson.
  • Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk have upheld the death sentences of two Britons and one Moroccan for fighting with the Ukrainian army.
  • Russian forces said they fired Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy a large depot with US and European weapons in Ukraine’s Ternopil region.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Zelenskyy accuses Russian generals of using soldiers as ‘cannon fodder’

Ukraine’s president said that Moscow’s tactics had not changed in the war and that poorly-trained Russian reserves were now being deployed in the battle for Donbas, where “every meter” is being fought over.

“The Russian army is trying to deploy reserve forces in Donbas. But what reserves can they have now?” Zelenskyy asked in his daily address to the nation.

“It seems that they will try to throw into battle poorly trained conscripts and those who were gathered by covert mobilisation,” he said.

“Russian generals see their people simply as the cannon fodder they need to gain an advantage in numbers,” he added.

“In no other war in many decades have they lost so much.”


Russian war casualties may top 40,000 this month: Ukraine president

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian casualties may pass 40,000 in June.

Speaking to the nation on Sunday in his 109th daily address since the start of the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy also reiterated Ukraine’s call for advanced air defence systems from the West.

He said that such defences could have averted many tragedies, including an airstrike on Ternopil on Sunday which injured 10 people, including a 12-year-old girl.

Zelenskyy said that such incidents were replacing Peter the Great and novelist Leo Tolstoy as how the world now thought of Russia.


Russia destroys bridge over Ukrainian river, cutting escape route

Russian forces have blown up a bridge linking the embattled Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk to another city across the river, cutting off a possible evacuation route for civilians,  local officials said.

Russian forces have taken most of the city but Ukrainian troops remain in control of an industrial area and the Azot chemical plant where hundreds of civilians are sheltering.

But the Russians had destroyed a bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River linking Severodonetsk with its twin city of Lysychansk, governor of Luhansk Serhiy Gaidai said.

“If after new shelling the bridge collapses, the city will truly be cut off. There will be no way of leaving Sievierodonetsk in a vehicle,” Gaidai said, noting the lack of a ceasefire agreement and no agreed evacuation corridors.


Russian flags seen at entrance to Mariupol

A new city sign painted in the colours of the Russian flag was unveiled on the outskirts of Mariupol, replacing a monument which had been in the blue and gold of Ukraine.

Russian flags were also being flown on a highway into the port city, which is now fully under the control of Moscow-backed forces.

According to Kremlin-installed authorities, the seaport is now ready to operate as usual and was being used to ship goods to and from Russia.

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