According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian-occupied city of Cherson is currently cut off from the outside world. In Sieverodonetsk, Ukraine warns of toxic fumes after an attack on a nitric acid tank. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.
9:27 a.m .: According to British secret services, Russia is said to have occupied more than half of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk after heavy fighting. In the past two days, fighting has intensified and the Russians have advanced further into the city center, the British Ministry of Defense said in an update on Wednesday. Chechen fighters are also deployed.
Elsewhere, Moscow continues to conduct long-range missile attacks against infrastructure targets across Ukraine, it said.
8:05 a.m .: According to Ukrainian information, the Russian military established itself in the city center when it stormed the administrative center of Sievjerodonetsk. “The aggressor carried out attacks in the northern, southern and eastern urban areas of Sieverodonetsk, had success with individual units and is now nesting in the city centre,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its morning situation report on Wednesday.
West of the city, in the Bakhmut area, the Russians tried to push the Ukrainian defenders out of their positions at Bilohorivka and Vrubivka. The Russian attacks are probably aimed at preventing the Ukrainians from an orderly retreat from the former city. This has been the administrative center of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine since 2014.
The General Staff also reported further Russian attempts to advance towards Sloviansk. From the small town of Lyman, Russian forces with the support of modern Ka-52 attack helicopters advanced in the direction of Sloviansk, and the fighting continued.
According to Ukrainian sources, nine Russian attacks in Donbass were repelled during the day and more than 20 military vehicles were disabled. This information cannot be verified independently.
7:44 a.m .: Despite the fierce fighting in Donbass in eastern Ukraine, NATO apparently still expects a week-long war in the region in a situation report classified as “secret” from the beginning of this week. “While the fighting in Donbass is likely to continue for several more months, the most intense phase – and Russia’s best chance of achieving its stated goals in the short term – is in the next two months,” reads the report from Brussels, which the Business Insiders” reports.
The military alliance is therefore expecting at least two more months of the toughest military conflicts before Russia can achieve its goals. It is quite possible that the war as a whole will last even much longer. The paper speaks of “several months” in the Donbass. Russia is only making “incremental (gradual, editor’s note) progress in eastern Ukraine,” it said.
According to information from “Business Insider”, the federal government also comes to a similar assessment in internal military analyses. Here, too, there is talk of several months that the war could last. Accordingly, Russia is concerned with the regions of Donbass and Luhansk and a connection to Crimea. The Russians are capable of a long-lasting trench warfare with artillery.
6:49 a.m .: Russian troops have apparently hit a nitric acid tank in the heavily contested industrial city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. Regional governor Serhiy Gajdaj called on the population on Tuesday evening to “have face masks soaked in soda solution” to protect themselves against toxic fumes. “Considering the fact that there is a large-scale chemical production facility in Seyerodonetsk, the Russian army’s indiscriminate airstrikes in this city are just insane,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message.
According to Sievjerodonetsk Gajdaj, the Russian armed forces have meanwhile conquered large parts. Together with the city of Lysychansk, which is separated by a river, these are the last centers in the Luhansk region that have so far been partially controlled by Ukraine.
According to Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, one of Moscow’s goals in its current offensive in the east of the country is to “encircle the Ukrainian troops” in order to “blackmail” Kyiv with the “encircled” soldiers. “So far they have not made it because the Ukrainian army is resisting with great force,” Malyar said on the video platform YouTube on Wednesday morning. However, she acknowledged that the Russian armed forces had “a quantitative advantage in equipment, weapons and men”.
Wednesday, June 1, 05:13: The Cherson region occupied by Russian troops is currently cut off from the outside world. According to the Ukrainian Authority for Communications and Data Protection, all communication channels have been cut. “Residents of the region are currently without Ukrainian mobile and internet access,” it said. Landline calls at home or abroad are also not possible.
5:22 p.m .: According to Ukrainian information in the Luhansk region, Russian troops have now taken half of the contested region’s capital Sievjerodonetsk. The front line runs down the middle, said the head of the local military administration, Olexandr Strjuk, on Tuesday. The fighting is still going on. The city is the last bastion in the Luhansk region under Ukrainian control. If it falls, the military leadership in Moscow and the pro-Russian separatists will have achieved what they regard as an important milestone in the war: full control of the Luhansk region.
Stryuk had previously said that Sieverodonetsk was two-thirds surrounded by Russian troops. In addition, 90 percent of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. Today only 12,000 of the 100,000 inhabitants are still in the city. About 1,500 people have been killed there since the Russian shelling began.
Because Luhansk has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, the administrative center of the Ukrainian region is now in Sievjerodonetsk. At the moment, an average of 100 Russian “occupiers” are killed in the fighting every day, Strjuk said. The Ukrainian news agency Unian published pictures of some citizens remaining in the city having their picture taken as “collaborators” with Russians.
3:07 p.m .: After three months of Russian war of aggression, Ukraine has already initiated investigations into war crimes in more than 15,000 cases. A total of 80 suspects are in custody, said Attorney General Iryna Venediktova on Tuesday in The Hague. The authorities are targeting more than 600 suspects, including high-ranking Russian politicians and officers. “Every day there are 200 to 300 new war crimes cases.”
In The Hague, prosecutors from Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and the International Criminal Court had previously discussed the status of investigations into suspected war crimes. The prosecutors belong to a joint investigative team. Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia are now also part of the party. The work is coordinated by the EU judicial authority Eurojust.
At Eurojust, evidence and witness statements are now to be stored in a central database. All participating countries should have access. Shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania set up a joint investigative team. A month later, the International Criminal Court also joined.
12.10 p.m .: In view of the fierce fighting around the former city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, international aid workers warn that the humanitarian situation on site could become increasingly catastrophic. “We fear that up to 12,000 civilians in the city are caught in the crossfire without adequate access to water, food, medicine or electricity,” said Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), on Tuesday.
In cooperation with local partners, the NRC has distributed food and hygiene items to the civilian population remaining in the region over the past week, it said. The escalating fighting now made the delivery of relief supplies impossible.
“We cannot save lives in a hail of shells,” Egeland said. He urged everyone involved to give organizations immediate access. This would allow staff to help civilians safely leave the city and provide life-saving assistance.
11:25 a.m .: In Ukraine, two Russian soldiers have been sentenced to more than eleven years in prison for attacks on villages. As the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported, two soldiers, Alexander Bobykin and Alexander Ivanov, were found guilty on Tuesday of violating “the laws and customs of war” when shelling two villages in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. The court imposed prison terms of eleven years and six months.
11:23 a.m .: According to their own statements, the Russian military found more than 150 bodies of Ukrainian fighters in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal factory, which had been fought over for months. “152 bodies of fallen fighters and soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces were stored in a container with no longer working cooling,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Tuesday in Moscow.
To date, the Ukrainian leadership has not made any request to transfer the dead. On the contrary, the Russian troops discovered mines under the corpses, with which the container was probably supposed to be blown up on instructions from Kiev in order to blacken Russia, Konashenkov claimed. Russia will soon hand over the dead to representatives of Ukraine, he said.
10:00 a.m.: In eastern Ukraine, Russian troops have partially taken control of the city of Sieverodonetsk. “The situation is extremely complicated. Part of Sievarodonetsk is controlled by the Russians,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, on Tuesday in the messenger service Telegram. However, the Russian soldiers could not advance unhindered because there were “still” Ukrainian fighters in the city.
9:29 a.m .: For the first time since the Russian army captured Mariupol, a freighter has left the port of the southern Ukrainian city. The ship left the port of Mariupol with 2,500 tons of sheet metal on board for Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, said the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Puschilin.
Pushilin emphasized on Tuesday that the port of Mariupol is an important transport hub for the entire eastern Ukrainian Donbass region. “It is a very important port on the Sea of Azov and the only one where all kinds of goods can be handled even in winter.” According to Russian news agencies, Pushilin announced that some of the ships from Mariupol will be transferred to the merchant fleet of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic target.
7.38 a.m .: In eastern Ukraine, the fighting for the former city of Sievjerodonetsk is entering the decisive phase. The enemy is carrying out “assault activities in the area of the villages of Sieverodonetsk and Toshkivka in the area of Syeverodonetsk, and hostilities continue,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Tuesday.
Further Russian ground attacks are reported from the Bakhmut area a little further to the west. There the Russians attacked the villages of Solote, Komyschuvahka, Berestowe, Pokrowske and Dolomitne. The situation report states that the attacks were unsuccessful, but at the same time that they would be continued. The attacks around Bakhmut apparently aim to cut off the last metropolitan area in the Luhansk region held by Ukraine, Sievjerodonetsk – Lysychansk, and thus to wipe out the troops stationed there.
On other front sections, the night was quieter. For example, the Ukrainian general staff reports only isolated skirmishes in the Sloviansk area, which is considered the center of troops loyal to Kiev in the Donbass. The Russian attack on the village of Dowgenke was repelled. The enemy also suffered losses and withdrew when attempting to explore new attack routes from the small town of Lyman, which was recently captured by the Russian military. The information cannot be verified independently.
12:12 a.m .: 22 million tons of grain already stored in Ukraine for export cannot leave the country due to the Russian blockade of the ports. He warned that this would mean starvation in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, which in turn could trigger migration.
Selenskyj sees this as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention to destabilize the West. Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. Western politicians also accuse Russia of speculating on a hunger crisis and using it as a means of pressure so that the West weakens sanctions. Moscow denies these allegations.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.