The war against Ukraine: this is the situation

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About 40 kilometers west of Kyiv, two young men inspect a destroyed Russian military tank. © Sergei Chuzavkov / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire / dpa

Silinsky describes Russia as a barbaric country that does not stop even at its cultural heritage. Meanwhile, the fight continues. A glimpse of developments:

Kyiv – In light of the massive destruction of cultural heritage caused by Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly called for Moscow to be excluded from UNESCO.

“UNESCO is not a place for barbarians,” Zelensky said in a video speech from Kyiv. Russian forces will destroy cultural monuments, churches, and other religious sites en masse. He said that was reason enough to exclude the country from the United Nations cultural and educational organization.

113 churches have already been destroyed or damaged. Russia is a “terrorist state” that is destroying the historical heritage with its artillery. At the end of May he had already called for Russia to be excluded from UNESCO.

Ukrainians hold the fort

Zelensky said that since the war began on February 24, Russia has fired more than 2,500 missiles at Ukraine. “Our heroes are holding the castle and doing their best to inflict as many casualties on the enemy as possible.” Referring to the focus of the fighting in Donbass in eastern Ukraine, the head of state said that the day would come when Russia would leave the region on its own. Only one person’s leadership is decisive in this, he said, without naming Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The people of Andrivka
Old people sitting on a bench in the village of Andreyevka in the Kyiv region. © Sergei Chuzavkov / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire / dpa

Selinsky and the Ukrainian General Staff reported heavy fighting, especially in eastern Ukraine. There is a concentration in the Luhansk region with the hotly contested administrative center Sievjerodonetsk. Zelensky said the bloody street fighting continued. Ukraine’s armed forces want to continue to prevent Russian forces from taking full control there. If the city had fallen, Russia would have achieved an important goal in the war: complete control of the Luhansk region. There were also reports of Russian air raids on the area.

The first report on the killing of Germans on the Ukrainian side

For the first time, Ukraine officially reported the death of a German volunteer fighter in combat. The International Ukrainian Defense Corps announced in Kyiv that three volunteers from France, Australia and the Netherlands were among the “fallen brothers in arms”. The names of the four men are also mentioned in the statement, but not the time or place of their death. The German foreign ministry in Berlin said the embassy in Kyiv was trying to find out more and was “in contact with the Ukrainian authorities who have published the relevant news”.

Children's railway in Kyiv
A boy dressed as a stewardess waits for the departure of the children’s train, which has resumed service on the railway line in Kyiv’s Seretsky Park | © Natacha Pisarenko/AP/dpa

Zelensky invited volunteers from all over the world to join the fight against the Russian army. For this purpose, the Legion was established, which is now actively engaged in recruitment. The Russian army has repeatedly spoken of the “annihilation” of mercenaries, and according to Moscow’s figures, the number of foreign deaths is in the thousands.

Bodies exchanged for the first time

According to the authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine and Russia handed over the bodies of 160 soldiers to the other side. It added that the exchange took place on June 2 along the front line in the Zaporizhia region. According to Ukrainian information, negotiations on the exchange of prisoners of war are still underway on both sides. Thousands of Ukrainian fighters take part in Russian violence, including the defenders of Mariupol, who held the fort there in the Azovstal steel mills until Kyiv abandoned the city in May.

Russian area reports bombing

In Russia, according to the Bryansk region, a village on the border with Ukraine was again bombed from the neighboring country. When the village of Slochevsk was bombed, a man was wounded and two houses caught fire. This was announced by the governor of the region Alexandre Bogomas in his news channel on Telegram. He accused the Ukrainian forces of shooting at the village. The injured resident had to take him to the hospital. The fires were put out.

A large wooden church burned down in Svyatohersk

Zelensky, in a video message, accused Russian forces of bombing and setting fire to a large wooden church in Svyatohersk (Sugatogorsk). Pictures showed a fire in the onion-domed building. The Russian Defense Ministry denied the allegations and accused the Ukrainian armed forces of shooting themselves.

This comes today

While their homeland suffers from Russia’s war of aggression, the Ukrainian team is just one win away from qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year. In order to achieve this great goal, the team led by former Dortmund player Andrei Yarmolenko will have to defeat Wales in Cardiff today.

woman in Sloviansk
A woman pushes a stroller in front of a building destroyed by Russian bombing in Slovensk. © Bernat Armangue / AP / dpa

It’s about the latest European ticket to the World Cup – and also about boosting Ukrainians’ national pride and soldiers’ morale through success on the international stage. Ukraine had reached the qualifying final after winning 3-1 in Scotland. It was the first competitive match since the start of the war at the end of February. If Ukraine qualifies, they will face England, Iran and the United States in Group B of the World Cup preliminary round. dpa

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