Ukraine War Newsblog – Russian attack on Odessa, Putin: Ukrainian losses “catastrophic”


  • On Wednesday night there was renewed Russian attacks on Ukraine. In the cruise missile attack on the Ukrainian port city Odesa are according to authorities killed several people and got hurt.
  • According to Russia’s President Wladimir Putin has Ukraine in its counter-offensive lost over 160 tanks and more than 360 armored vehicles have.
  • Former President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, justified destruction of underwater cables in “retaliation” for the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Refusal to Putin: Prigozhin does not want any contracts with the Ministry of Defense

Yevgeny Prigozhin, co-founder of the so-called Wagner Group, has announced that the Russian government should provide social benefits and social guarantees to its fighters without signing contracts with the Defense Ministry, according to a statement published on Telegram. The head of the Wagner mercenary unit has been at odds with the Ministry of Defense for months and has nothing but ridicule for the authority’s announcement of the gigantic number of kills.

Number 2 after Ramzan Kadyrov: is Adam Delimkhanov wounded or dead?

A senior Chechen commander fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine may have been wounded or killed.

All contact with him has been lost, Zvezda, the Russian Defense Ministry’s television channel, reported on Wednesday, citing the press service of the lower house of the State Duma.

Adam Delimkhanov, who is both a member of the Duma and commander of the Chechen division of the Russian National Guard, is widely regarded as the second most senior official in the Caucasus region after Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov himself asked for help in the search for Delimkhanov via Telegram on Wednesday: “I myself cannot find Adam Delimkhanov in any way. He does not answer. I am requesting information from the Ukrainian secret service about exactly which location and positions were hit so that I can still find my dear brother. I promise a generous reward and ask you to help me.”

Delimkhanov, a former Chechen separatist who eventually switched sides to Moscow, had taken a prominent role in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, commanding Chechen troops in Mariupol in the early days of the conflict.

Ukrainian media, on the other hand, report that Delimkhanov was killed in an artillery attack in southern Ukraine.

Kyrylo Sazonov, a Ukrainian military blogger, claims on his Facebook account that Delimkhanov was killed in an attack near the town of Prymorsk, west of Mariupol, after Ukrainian intelligence spotted a convoy of SUVs. He writes: “There were no wounded (…) All the bodies were removed by helicopter. They arrived in half an hour.”

Medvedev: “Russia has the right to destroy western communication cables”

Russia has the right to destroy Western countries’ communications cables laid on the seabed. This was stated by the ex-Kremlin chief and deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. The agency Reuters, among others, reports on this.

According to Medvedev, there are no longer any “moral limits” that could prevent Moscow from doing so.

In the eyes of Vladimir Putin’s close confidante, the “destruction” of the cable connection between Europe and the USA should be seen as possible retaliation for the blasts on the Nord Stream pipelines. “If we assume the proven complicity of western countries in blowing up the Nord Stream lines, then we no longer have any obstacles – including moral ones – to refrain from destroying our enemies’ cable connections laid on the ocean floor,” writes the deputy chief of the Russian National Security Council in its Telegram channel.

The politician is reacting to media reports that a trail leads to the attacks in Ukraine and that western secret services are said to have been informed in advance about the attack plans.

Ukraine denies involvement. An alleged involvement of the secret services has not been confirmed either. Russia has long called for a transparent investigation into the September 2022 blasts that ripped holes in the lines of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines being laid from Russia to Germany. Moscow had also rejected accusations from the West that it had blown up its own lines.

Investigation: Allegations of war crimes against Ukrainians not substantiated

The Bundeswehr has reported to the Federal Public Prosecutor General a suspicion of possible war crimes that arose during the military training of Ukrainians in Germany. According to information from the German Press Agency, an investigation with the questioning of language mediators did not lead to reliable evidence. At the end of February, references to suspicious video sequences shown by Ukrainians appeared in questionnaires intended to provide feedback on the course of the training (feedback). Upon further inquiry, these were only known from hearsay or also circulated on social media.

As part of the EU Training Mission (EUMAM), the Bundeswehr trains Ukrainian soldiers and coordinates courses with a command (“Special Training Command”) in Strausberg near Berlin. Around 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers have now been trained in Germany.

Killed in cruise missile attacks on Odessa

On Wednesday night, Russia attacked the southern city of Odessa with Kalibr cruise missiles, two of which were shot down by the city’s air defenses. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Command South in a post on Facebook. Accordingly, fire broke out near a business center and that the warehouse of a retail chain was hit by the attack.

According to the authorities, three employees of the camp were killed and seven were injured. People could still be lying under the rubble of the camp.

Putin: “Catastrophic losses for Ukraine”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken of catastrophic losses for Ukraine in its counter-offensive. “By my calculations, Ukraine has lost 25 to 30 percent of foreign-supplied technology,” he said Tuesday at a meeting with Russian military correspondents. In addition, the losses of the Ukrainians are ten times higher than on the Russian side. For the first time in a long time he spoke in detail to media representatives about the Ukraine war and its consequences.

“The enemy has not been successful in one sector of the front,” Putin claimed. Kiev had previously reported the recapture of several settlements in the south of the country. According to the Kremlin boss, half of the Ukrainian losses are dead and seriously injured, who could not be made operational again. He didn’t want to give numbers. Instead, Putin referred to the Ministry of Defense in Moscow. He became more specific in the case of battle tanks and armored personnel carriers. During its offensive, Ukraine lost over 160 tanks and more than 360 armored vehicles, he said. He put his own losses at 54 tanks, some of which could be repaired.

The information cannot be independently verified. The Russian Ministry of Defense had recently also spoken of high losses by the Ukrainians and reported that all attacks had been repelled. However, the information provided by the ministry has repeatedly turned out to be exaggerated and in some cases incorrect.

Putin does not consider new mobilization to be necessary

In addition, the Kremlin chief described the imposition of martial law in Russia as unnecessary. “To declare any special regime like martial law across the country makes no sense at all, there is no need for it today,” Putin said. The question arose because of the increasing shelling of Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine. According to Putin, the attacks from the Ukrainian side served as a diversion to force Russia to withdraw military forces there from the front. There are currently no Ukrainian soldiers there.

According to Putin, a new wave of mobilization is not necessary in Russia either. He justified this with the allegedly high number of volunteer army applicants. More than 150,000 Russians have signed contracts as contract soldiers in the military since January, the head of state said.

Putin promises better protection after attacks on Russian territories

After the drone attacks against the capital Moscow and other major cities, Putin also promised better protection through air defense. It is not an easy but solvable task, he said. So far, air defense has been geared more towards missiles and aircraft and less towards the light, small flying objects, said Putin. The drone attacks had caused severe damage to buildings.

Russia itself attacks neighboring Ukraine almost daily with drones. From Kiev it was said behind closed doors that nobody in Moscow should be surprised if some drones wanted to go home again. Officially, however, Ukraine denies having anything to do with the attacks. Putin also threatened the neighboring country with even more severe attacks if the shelling of Russian state and border areas did not stop. Russia could create a “sanitary zone” so far away that its territory would no longer be accessible from Ukraine. What exactly he meant by that, Putin did not say.

Zelenskyj calls for anti-aircraft defense and sanctions after rocket fire

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for stronger anti-aircraft defenses for Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia after the deadly Russian missile attack on his hometown of Kryvyi Rih. “Together with our partners, we must create such conditions that Russian terrorism becomes impossible,” he said in his daily video address on Tuesday evening. Firstly, the purchase of even more air defense systems and fighter jets would be necessary, secondly, the sanctions against Russia would have to be enforced more consistently.

“If we take, for example, one of the rockets that hit Kryvyi Rih today, then about 50 components in it – mainly microelectronics – were made in other countries,” Zelenskyy said. Some of them are even produced in Ukraine’s partner countries, and yet Russia manages to get hold of the components. The companies that work with Moscow are known.

Planned visit by IAEA chief to Zaporizhia

After his visit to Kiev, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, wants to visit the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian troops, to get an up-to-date picture of the situation after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam. The nuclear power plant is located on the reservoir and also draws its cooling water from the Dnipro.

Rafael Grossi during his visit to Kiev

Rafael Grossi during his visit to KievUKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERIVR/AFP

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