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The day of the war at a glance: Kremlin troops double rocket fire – evidence of covert conscription in Belarus

The day of the war at a glance
Kremlin troops double rocket fire – evidence of covert conscription in Belarus

Russians redouble shelling on Ukrainian targets but withdraw from Snake Island. In Belarus there are indications of a covert mobilization of conscripts. Lavrov is already hearing a new Iron Curtain rushing down and NATO is increasing its armaments budget. The 126th day of the war at a glance.

Surrounded by Ukrainian troops in Lysychansk

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the pro-government troops in Lysychansk say they are under acute threat of being surrounded. The refinery, located almost seven kilometers west of the city, was fought over, the general staff in Kyiv said in the evening. The Russian troops in the south have therefore advanced north. Fighting is already going on directly on the western and southern city limits. The refinery has already been portrayed as completely conquered in the Russian media. Lysychansk is the last major town in the Luhansk region under Ukrainian control.

Heavy fire with Soviet shells

According to the Ukrainian military, Russia has doubled the number of its rocket attacks in the past two weeks. In more than half of the cases, the Russian military used inaccurate projectiles from Soviet times, said Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov. “The enemy continues to target military installations, critical infrastructure, and industrial and transportation networks.” Because of the inaccuracy of the attacks, “the civilian population is suffering significant casualties”. According to Hromov, 202 rockets were fired at Ukraine in the second half of June, an increase of 120 compared to the first two weeks of the month.

Snake Island: Kyiv reports recapture

The Russian army reported that it had left Ukraine’s Snake Island. The soldiers stationed there were withdrawn as a “gesture of goodwill,” the Defense Ministry said in Moscow. The move should allow Ukraine to export grain. The Ukrainian army had previously announced on Facebook that it had attacked and conquered the island in the Black Sea. The Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zalushny praised his own troops in the online service Telegram for taking a “strategically important part of our territory”. The Russian soldiers left Snake Island “because they could not withstand the fire of our artillery, rockets and air raids”.

Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, Snake Island has been a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance. On the first day of the invasion, the crew of the later sunk Russian warship “Moskva” had asked the Ukrainian border guards stationed on the island to surrender. “F…k you, Russian warship!” A border guard responded over the radio.

Indications of mobilization in Belarus

According to independent media reports, Belarus is sending out more draft notices. The Ukrainian general staff spoke of a “covert mobilization”. The opposition Belarusian online newspaper Zerkalo wrote that for days readers from the Gomel region in the south of the country on the border with Ukraine have been reporting that conscription orders had been sent out many times. The request to report to the troops was also sent to people who had previously been classified as unfit for military service, the portal continues. Reasons for the order were not given. However, penalties were threatened if the summons was ignored.

Lavrov diagnoses new Iron Curtain

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a new “Iron Curtain” is falling between Russia and the West. “As for the Iron Curtain – it’s already coming down,” Lavrov told journalists in Minsk. “This process has already begun.” Western politicians should be careful “not to get their fingers caught in it.” The Russian foreign minister accused the European Union of showing “no interest whatsoever” in Russia’s position. The EU’s decisions are “dictated by Washington”. The decisions taken at the NATO summit in Madrid showed that the USA “want to subject all states to their will”.

Medvedev zealous about sanctions

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev stated that under certain circumstances sanctions could be seen as an act of aggression and a justification for war: “I would like to reiterate that under certain circumstances such hostile measures can also be seen as a acts of international aggression. And even as “casus belli”. Russia has the right to defend itself.

Putin is ready for dialogue

Unlike his agitators Lavrov and Medvedev, Russian President Vladimir Putin has opted for conciliatory tones: Russia is open to a dialogue on strategic stability, limitations on nuclear weapons and arms control. However, this would require “careful joint work” and must aim to prevent a repetition of “what is happening in Donbass today,” Putin said at a forum in St. Petersburg. He reiterated his accusation against Ukraine of “crimes against humanity” against Russian-born and Russian-speaking residents in the eastern Donbass region. Among other things, he has repeatedly justified the military action.

US intelligence sees black

According to US intelligence, Russia still harbors far-reaching ambitions for Ukraine. US intelligence coordinator Avril Haines said Putin has not changed his goal of taking most of Ukraine. US intelligence services outlined three scenarios for the near future: a grueling conflict in which Russia makes incremental progress but no breakthrough, a major Russian breakthrough, or small advances by Ukraine in southern Ukraine while stabilizing the frontline. “In short, the picture remains pretty bleak,” Haines said. That too Institute for the Study of War did not expect Putin to be satisfied with the territorial gains so far. Russian forces would continue conducting offensive operations north of Kharkiv. This indicates that the Kremlin has territorial ambitions beyond the Donbass.

NATO increases defense budget

By the end of 2030, the NATO countries want to provide more than 20 billion euros for joint spending. An agreement reached at the Madrid summit provides for NATO budgets to increase significantly every year, as several participants confirmed. The additional funds should make it possible to invest more money in moving equipment to the eastern flank and in military infrastructure. In addition, there should also be more funds for exercises and cyber security and the promotion of partnerships with friendly third countries. According to the information, the civilian and military budgets are to be increased by 10 percent each year from 2023 onwards, and that for the NSIP security and investment program by as much as 25 percent.

German celebrities promote armistice

In “Zeit” prominent figures, journalists and scientists called on Western governments to do everything in their power to ensure that Russia and Ukraine “come to a negotiated solution in the near future”. A “major diplomatic offensive” is needed. The continuation of the war causes “massive humanitarian, economic and ecological emergencies around the world”.

Ambassador Melnyk refuses advice

The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, attacked the authors on Twitter. “Not again, what a bunch on pseudo-intellectual losers”, he writes on Twitter. “All of you Varwicks, Vads, Kluges, Prechts, Yogeshwars, Zehs & Co. should finally go to hell with your defeatist ‘advice’.”

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