Day 473 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Zelensky confirmed the Beginning of the Ukrainian Counteroffensive

Ukraine | June 11, 2023, Sunday // 10:30|  views

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Day 473 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Zelensky confirmed the beginning of he Ukrainian counteroffensive
  • ISW: The Ukrainian army is attacking in at least four areas of the front
  • Kyiv and Moscow with completely opposite information on the Ukrainian counteroffensive
  • Trudeau surprisingly in Kyiv, announced new military aid to Ukraine
  • Hundreds of thousands in the area of the Nova Kakhovka dam may be left without drinking water
  • Russia is sabotaging a major UN climate meeting in Bulgaria
  • Russians: Out of 200 asylum applications in Bulgaria only 8 were approved


Zelensky confirmed the beginning of the Ukrainian counteroffensive

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that counteroffensive and defensive operations were underway in Ukraine, but added that he would not say at what stage they were, Reuters reported.

The Ukrainian army has taken counteroffensive actions and the military is optimistic. "I won't go into the details of what stage they are at. I believe we will all feel them". This was stated by Zelensky, thereby confirming for the first time that his army has begun the months-planned offensive aimed at liberating territories occupied by Russia.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had begun, but was not achieving its goals.

Asked to comment on those words, Zelensky shrugged his shoulders and raised his eyebrows dismissively at a press conference in Kyiv, saying only that the army was taking defensive and counteroffensive actions, that he was in constant contact with the command staff and "everyone from the command is positive," he said, quoted by UNIAN agency.

"Everyone is positive. Give that to Putin," he said with a smile during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Kyiv.

Zelensky said it was "interesting" that Putin felt obliged to comment on the counteroffensive, adding that it suggested "the Russians feel that they will not stay long on Ukrainian territory".

He added that he was in daily contact with military commanders, including the chief of the armed forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and "everyone is now positive - tell that to Putin!".

After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the counteroffensive to liberate Russian-held territories had begun, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow said that over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian forces had continued "unsuccessful" attempts to launch attacks south of Donetsk and in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, as well as in the area of the eastern city of Bakhmut.

"Over the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian armed forces continued unsuccessful attempts to take offensive actions in the direction of Southern Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, as well as towards the city of Artyomovsk," Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, showing footage of alleged strikes on Ukrainian tanks, trucks and armored vehicles. .

Reuters said it was unable to independently verify the claim or the situation on the battlefield. In the early hours of Saturday, Russian missiles also hit a military airport in the Poltava region. Civilian targets were also hit with drones and missiles, and according to Ukrainian information, 7 people died, three of them in Odesa.

Roofs of houses, trees, furniture, cars and dead animals brought by the Dnieper River are already floating in the waters of the Black Sea next to Odesa. The reason is the explsion of the wall of the large Nova Kakhovka dam 4 days ago. Dozens remain unaccounted for after several villages were flooded, but according to the latest data, a drop in the water level is already being reported, at least in the Nikolaev region.

Ukraine claims that Russian forces controlling the wall blew it up to hinder a counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia. Satellite imagery and seismic data support this version. The Russians claim that the wall was destroyed by systematic Ukrainian strikes.

ISW: The Ukrainian army is attacking in at least four areas of the front

According to data from the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), "on June 10, Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in at least four areas of the front": in the Luhansk region - in the region of Belogorovka; Bakhmut; to the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts; in the western part of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The Institute (ISW) notes that according to Russian sources, "Ukrainian forces had tactical advantages in conducting night attacks, thanks to Western-supplied equipment and equipment with superior optical night vision systems."

In the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian army defends itself against Ukrainian attacks by relying on three main components: early detection and destruction of Ukrainian assault formations, massive use of anti-tank weapons, and dense mining of the territories in front of the defensive positions. This is in line with the Russian Army's defense doctrine, which stipulates that the task of the first echelon of the defense is to repel or delay the attacking forces, while the second echelon is to counterattack in the event of a breakthrough by the advancing enemy.

According to ISW, the defense is currently led by the most combat-ready units available to the Russian side.

According to the institute, the Ukrainian army has made slight progress in the positions occupied by the Russians near the town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Analysts also note that the Ukrainian army is forced to act in an extremely unfavorable military-strategic situation. The Ukrainians must attack well-prepared Russian positions frontally, without air superiority.

Kyiv and Moscow with completely opposite information on the Ukrainian counteroffensive

Ukraine and Russia report completely opposite data on the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Fighting is taking place in the south in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast and in the east in Donetsk. The Ukrainian army has launched a counteroffensive in at least four sections of the front line - in Luhansk Oblast, Bakhmut, on the border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, and in the Orekhova region of Zaporizhzhia.

Kyiv’s armed forces are reporting successes, and the Russian Ministry of Defense has released footage of a Russian drone destroying Ukrainian tanks. Moscow continues to claim that Kyiv’s counteroffensive has failed.

"At the moment we have evacuated about 3 thousand people from Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. But these are the free territories under our control. It is impossible to help people in the occupied lands. Russian terrorists are doing everything possible to make the number of victims as high as possible. The Russian shelling continues even at the evacuation points," said Volodymyr Zelensky - President of Ukraine.

Trudeau surprisingly in Kyiv, announced new military aid to Ukraine

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday new military aid to Ukraine in the amount of 500 million dollars during a surprise visit to Kyiv, Reuters reported, quoted by BTA.

Trudeau bowed in front of the monument to Ukrainian soldiers who died fighting with pro-Russian forces since 2014, met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and addressed the Ukrainian parliament.

"We will be with you as much as you need, as long as you need," he said in a conversation with the Ukrainian leader, a video of which was released by Kyiv authorities.

NATO member Canada, home to one of the world's largest Ukrainian diasporas, has provided military and financial aid to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine wants to join the military alliance as quickly as possible, but Zelensky has admitted that this cannot happen while the war with Russia rages on.

"Canada supports Ukraine for NATO membership as soon as conditions allow. Ukraine and Canada look forward to addressing these issues at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023," said a joint statement adopted after the talks.

Trudeau received a standing ovation in parliament after his 25-minute speech, in which he condemned the Russian invasion and praised Ukraine's democratic development.

Ukraine's resistance is linked to "the future of all of us. You are the spearhead that defines the future of the 21st century," the Canadian prime minister said.

Zelensky, in turn, noted that Ukraine is grateful to the Canadians for their support and expressed gratitude.

In Kyiv, Trudeau is accompanied by Ukrainian-speaking Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

While the prime minister was in Ukraine, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced that a Russian-registered An-124 cargo plane had been seized at Toronto airport, the first such seizure of a Russian asset by Ottawa to pressure Canada on Moscow.

Hundreds of thousands in the area of the Nova Kakhovka dam may be left without drinking water

Hundreds of thousands of people in the region of the destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine are threatened with being without drinking water.

Therefore, various UN organizations are delivering bottled water and sanitary kits to the area, said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Aid.

The water level in the Kherson region has dropped, but dozens of villages remain under water after the dam's collapse, which both Ukraine and the West blame on Russia.

The use of water from the Dnieper water area is already prohibited on the territory of the district due to the high degree of pollution. A ban on bathing, watering animals and catching fish has also been introduced.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again criticized the reaction of international organizations to what happened in Ukraine:

"When international organizations that are supposed to protect people's lives on a global scale fail to form and send a rescue mission to the occupied territory even for a week, when some world entities do not decide to come out with clear and sharp statements that condemn this yet another Russian crime, this weakness feeds terrorists and indifference encourages them. We must overcome this and we will."

Zelensky noted that over 3,000 people were evacuated in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions yesterday.

At the same time, Ukrainian representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya wrote on Twitter that Russia continues to deny the world organization access to the occupied areas to provide aid.

Meanwhile, 15 carriages of a freight train derailed in Russia's Belgorod region. This was written late last night on Telegram by the governor of the district, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

According to him, there were no victims - the train was empty. The reasons for the incident are being clarified.

Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, has recently been subjected to almost daily attacks and shelling, with local authorities blaming Ukrainians for this.

Russia is sabotaging a major UN climate meeting in Bulgaria

Russia intends to block European Union countries from hosting next year's international UN climate talks, and Bulgaria is one of the countries that has expressed its desire to host COP29, the world's most authoritative forum for tackling climate change.

This was reported by Reuters, citing emails for internal use. The agency commented that they are talking about a potential failure in the competition with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In an email, which has not yet been made public, the Russian delegation said EU countries had taken a "politicized" approach to host country selection and this had led to the blocking of Russian-backed candidates.

"It is reasonable to believe that EU countries, driven by the politics of Brussels, do not have the capacity to serve as honest and effective mediators of the global climate negotiations under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)" , it says.

During last year's UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev indicated that the country would be willing to host the event, and at the end of May, Bulgaria was still pushing for its candidacy with the support of other EU countries. Reuters recalls. This week, however, Bulgaria formed a new government that has yet to confirm that it still wants to host. The Bulgarian environment ministry did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday, the agency added.

Moscow's intervention shows how geopolitical disputes since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year are complicating global efforts to combat climate change. In addition, there is a risk of a delay in the final selection of the COP29 host, which could reduce the time to prepare for the event, adds "Reuters".

The April message was from the Russian delegation to the UNFCCC, the UN's climate body, and was sent to other representatives of Eastern European countries. Ruslan Edelgeriev, the special representative of the Russian president on climate, refused to confirm whether Russia would oppose the Bulgarian bid.

"Bulgaria is not the only candidate to host COP29 in 2024. The matter will be decided in strict accordance with the procedures provided by the Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC," Edelgeriev said in a written response to questions.

Hosting rights for the meetings are rotated among the UN's five global regions, with Eastern Europe set to host in 2024. The 23 countries in that region must unanimously select their host candidate. If Russia vetoes all EU countries, then Armenia or Azerbaijan could still enter the race. The Czech Republic, which is an EU member, is no longer interested in hosting but is considering applying to host a preparatory event "before the COP" if Bulgaria takes the main summit, a Czech official said on Wednesday. The group of Eastern European countries is discussing the issue at a UN meeting this week in Bonn. The procedure is then for all countries to confirm the group's decision at this year's COP28 summit, which begins in November in the United Arab Emirates.

If the group cannot agree, a fallback option could be to host the event at the UN climate change organization's permanent offices in Bonn - although this would require the support of the German government. Bulgaria and Armenia were in the running to host the summit — a position that could bring international prestige and the opportunity to boost domestic efforts to combat climate change — as well as costs, intense media attention and scrutiny, and major logistical demands.

The annual UN climate summits attract tens of thousands of delegates from nearly 200 countries, as well as companies, investors and industry lobbyists.

Azerbaijan added their name to the race this week. "Azerbaijan is ready to be the host country for such an important event," Umayra Tagıyeva Azerbaijan's deputy minister of ecology and natural resources, told Reuters on Wednesday in the first public confirmation after speculation of the country's bid.

"Bulgaria has the ambition to hold in 2024 COP29 - the 29th global annual climate conference", the Minister of Environment and Water, Julian Popov, wrote on his personal Facebook profile. "Bulgaria, in the face of various institutions, businesses, the non-governmental sector and constantly changing governments, has been seriously and purposefully preparing for the conference for two years now. However, due to a special procedure within the UN, it is very likely that Russia will block us. We are doing our best to untie this knot, but our chances are diminishing", he confirmed what was written by "Reuters", calling Moscow's position "completely unjustified actions on the Russian side".

Russians: Out of 200 asylum applications in Bulgaria only 8 were approved

From February 24 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine, until April of this year, more than 200 applications were submitted to the Bulgarian State Agency for Refugees requesting the granting of political asylum to citizens of the Russian Federation. Of these, only 8 were approved, according to data from the emigrant organization "For Free Russia", founded in Bulgaria. The state agency silently refuses to confirm or deny this data. And according to Gennady Gudkov - a former opposition deputy in the Russian Duma who now lives in Varna, the commission's activity demonstrates "a disgraceful attitude towards the fate of people threatened with criminal prosecution in Russia because of their declared negative attitude towards Putin's war in Ukraine and his repressive mode." Continue reading this story.


Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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Tags: Ukraine, Counteroffensive, Russia, Zelensky

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