2 journalists injured and driver killed near Severodonetsk
From CNN's Radina Gigova in London
Two Reuters journalists were injured when they came under fire near the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, a Reuters spokesperson confirmed to CNN in a statement Friday.
The driver of the vehicle they were traveling in was killed, the spokesperson said.
“In the course of a reporting trip, two Reuters journalists sustained minor injuries when they came under fire while enroute to Sevierodonetsk. They were traveling in a vehicle provided by the Russian-backed separatists and driven by an individual assigned by the separatists. The driver of the vehicle was killed," the Reuters spokesperson said.
"Reuters extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the driver for their loss,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson didn't provide additional details about the incident.
The city of Severodonetsk, in Ukraine's Luhansk region, has seen some of the heaviest shelling in recent days. The Ukrainian military said Friday shelling of defensive positions continues and has reported Russian airstrikes in the area.
11:47 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
OSCE members call for another fact-finding mission into human rights abuses and war crimes in Ukraine
From CNN's Jennifer Hansler:
Forty-five member states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have once again called for a fact-finding mission into human rights abuses, war crimes and potential crimes against humanity being committed in Ukraine.
This is the second time the Moscow Mechanism — the OSCE's procedure to investigate human rights abuses — has been invoked since Russia's war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
In a statement Thursday, French OSCE Permanent Representative Christine Fages said, the 45 member states "request that the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) inquire of Ukraine whether it would invite a new mission of experts to consider, follow up and build upon the findings of the Moscow Mechanism report received by OSCE participating States on 12 April."
"We also request that ODIHR provide any relevant information or documentation derived from any new mission to other appropriate accountability mechanisms, as well as national, regional, or international courts or tribunals that have, or may in future have, jurisdiction," she said.
The April 12 report found "clear patterns" of violations of international humanitarian law by Russian forces in Ukraine and detailed numerous incidents that it says could constitute war crimes.
The report says it found "credible evidence" suggesting violations of "even the most fundamental human rights (right to life, prohibition of torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment) have been committed, mostly in the areas under the effective control of Russia or entities under overall control of Russia."
In a statement at the OSCE at the time, US Ambassador Michael Carpenter said that "taken as a whole, the report documents the catalog of inhumanity perpetrated by Russia's forces in Ukraine."
The 110-page report was the result of a three-week-long fact-finding mission by the three OSCE experts, and covered the time period from the start of the war on February 24 to April 1.
11:33 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Biden says it's up to Ukraine whether it should cede territory
From CNN's Allie Malloy
US President Joe Biden said it was up to Ukraine when asked whether the nation needs to cede part of its territory to achieve peace and end the Russian invasion, telling reporters Friday that “I’m not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do.”
“From the beginning, I’ve said — and not everyone’s agreed with me — nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine. It’s their territory. I’m not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do,” Biden said in Rehoboth, Delaware.
Biden did add that it “appears” at some point there will need to be a “settlement” between the two countries, adding “what that entails, I don’t know.”
Biden said that in the meantime, the United States will continue to put Ukrainians in a position where they can defend themselves.
10:14 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Chef José Andrés says Ukrainian ports need to be opened to prevent global food shortages
Chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, told CNN that the war in Ukraine is not only a fight for freedom, but also a battle to prevent hunger around the globe.
"Ukraine will have food to feed its people. The big question is if we don't have Ukraine to win this war and to make sure that ports like Odesa are open again, what we're going to have is a big food shortage around the world," he said from Kyiv.
Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of corn and the fifth-largest exporter of wheat, according to the US State Department, and the United Nations’ program to fight food insecurity buys about half of its wheat from Ukraine each year.
"I think we're going to see bigger and bigger number, especially if all the grain that I've seen around Ukraine in the silos, that needs to reach faraway places in Africa and other parts of the world that are dependent on the grain that Ukraine produces. This is not only a war for freedom and democracy of the Ukrainian people, this is also a fight to make sure many around the globe will be able to eat in the coming months," Andrés said.
Andrés said a potential food crisis has already been compounded by issues from hurricanes and drought around the world over the past year.
"If we don't think about food in the same way we think about people, the economy, fuel, we are going to be up for a big problem in the year 2023," he said.
He said he and his team were able to bring food through the Danube River, but there is not enough capacity to have multiple grain ships there. He called on democracies around the world to help open all the Ukrainian ports to ship grain.
9:49 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Russian forces make little headway despite intense artillery and air strikes, Ukraine military says
From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych
On the 100th day of war, Russian forces appear to have made little headway in the last 24 hours as they try to break Ukrainian resistance along the border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In the south, a Ukrainian counteroffensive is making progress, according to Ukrainian officials.
In Luhansk, shelling of defensive positions around Severodonetsk continues, according to the Ukrainian military's Friday update. The military reported Russian air strikes in the area as well. But the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that "the enemy tried to carry out assault operations, suffered losses, and retreated to previous positions."
The military reported damage to properties in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and Hirske, adding that one woman died.
Oleksandr Motuzianyk, the Ukrainian defense ministry's spokesman, said the Russians persisted in efforts to surround Ukrainian troops near Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. But Ukrainian units had thwarted Russian efforts to seize the nearby towns of Metiolkine and Bilohorivka, he said. Russian forces continued assault operations in residential areas of Severodonetsk but suffered casualties.
The military said Ukrainian units inflicted heavy losses — "at least 50% of the personnel, weapons and equipment" — on the 150th Motorized Rifle Division. There is no way to independently verify that claim.
In Donetsk, fighting continued along much of the front line, with 14 towns and villages coming under fire, the general staff said. Russian forces are trying to degrade Ukrainian defenses around Bakhmut and Sloviansk. Motuzianyk later said that Russian attempts to take two villages about 20 kilometers (or about 12 miles) northwest of Sloviansk had failed.
Altogether, the Ukrainian military reported that at least seven civilians were killed and eight were injured in the past 24 hours in Luhansk and Donetsk, but as usual gave no casualty figures for the military. It said that over the past 24 hours,1,472 people had been evacuated from areas of hostilities.
In the southern region of Kherson, the Ukrainians say their offensive continues, and attempts by Russian forces to recover lost ground had failed. The Kherson regional military administration said fighting continued in the Beryslav district.
"We had victories from the Kryvyi Rih direction for three days in a row, villages were liberated. The occupier tried to counterattack today, but got a very strong rebuff, and our Armed Forces pushed the occupier back even further," said Serhii Khlan, an adviser to the head of the Kherson regional council.
Khlan also claimed that resistance inside Kherson was growing.
"Our people continue to resist in the occupied territories. Every day we see flags appear in the city of Kherson, slogans appear against the occupiers, as well as leaflets," he said.
Ukrainian forces appear to have advanced several kilometers inside Kherson. The Operational Command South said Russia had shipped in nearly 30 infantry fighting vehicles to reinforce their units and were shelling villages far behind the front lines. It also said that Russian forces had resumed shelling of settlements south of Kryvih Rih and of the city of Mykolaiv, where two people had been killed.
In the northeast, Russian shelling around Kharkiv continued, killing one person, according to the regional military administration. About six settlements came under fire from artillery and rocket systems.
There was also renewed cross-border shelling of villages in the Sumy region.
9:31 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Indian foreign minister defends oil imports from Russia
From Vedika Sud and Swati Gupta in New Delhi
India's foreign minister on Friday defended Indian oil imports from Russia at the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, saying there is a need to be "even-handed."
“Is buying Russian gas not funding the war? It’s only Indian money and oil coming to India which funds [the war] but it’s not gas coming to Europe which funds [the war]? Let's be a little even-handed out here,” Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar said during an annual meeting on Indian foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific.
India has repeatedly defended its oil imports from Russia and has justified its increase in oil imports for this year. Jaishankar confirmed that India’s oil imports had gone up at least nine times between 2021 and 2022.
“If the countries in Europe and the West and the United States are so concerned, why don’t they allow Iranian oil to come into the market? Why don’t they allow Venezuelan oil to come into the market? They have squeezed every other source of oil we have," he added.
“We don’t send people out there saying, 'go buy Russian oil.' We send people out there saying, 'go buy oil.' Now, you buy the best oil you can in the market. I don’t think I would attach a political messaging to that,” Jaishankar said.
9:06 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Red Cross says destruction in Ukraine "defies comprehension" after 100 days of war
From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London
The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday the scale of the destruction in Ukraine due to Russia's invasion “defies comprehension.”
In a statement on the impact of 100 days of the war in Ukraine on civilians, ICRC’s Director-General Robert Mardini said that "it would be hard to exaggerate the toll that the international armed conflict in Ukraine has had on civilians over the last 100 days."
"The scale of destruction in cities defies comprehension. Homes, schools and hospitals have been destroyed and civilians have suffered the horrors of conflict, with lives lost and families torn apart,” he said.
“Thousands of them are living with the anguish of not knowing what happened to their loved ones, including relatives of prisoners of war,” Mardini said, urging those involved in the conflict to provide ICRC access to all prisoners of war.
“It's also important to remember that some regions have suffered not 100 days of armed conflict, but eight years of it, and many people have endured multiple tragedies. Many residents have been forced to flee their homes more than once, rebuilding their lives from scratch each time,” Mardini also noted.
The UN Refugee Agency said on its official Twitter account Friday that "one third of the population of Ukraine has been forced to flee in 100 days," adding that the agency is focused on protection and shelter for Ukrainians.
8:16 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
Zelensky pledges that "victory shall be ours" in video message on 100th day of war
From CNN's Katarina Krebs and Radina Gigova in London
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a brief video message Friday that Ukrainians have been defending their country for 100 days against Russian aggression and that "victory shall be ours."
"The leaders of parliamentary factions are here, the president's chief of staff is here, Prime Minister of Ukraine [Denys] Shmyhal is here, [presidential adviser Mykhailo] Podolyak is here, the president is here. Our team is much bigger. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are here. Most importantly, our people, the people of our country, are here," Zelensky said.
"We have been defending Ukraine for 100 days. Victory shall be ours. Glory to Ukraine," he added.
The message echoes a video from the president shortly after Russia's invasion first began in February, with Zelensky flanked by his staff on a street in Kyiv, saying "we are all here."
8:11 a.m. ET, June 3, 2022
On 100th day of war, Russia says "work" in Ukraine will continue until all goals are reached
From CNN's Anna Chernova
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov assessed the results of the first 100 days of the war in Ukraine on Friday, saying "certain results" have been achieved and work will continue until all goals are met.
“The operation has as its main goal the protection of people in the DPR and LPR. In terms of ensuring their protection, measures are being taken and certain results have been achieved,” Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.
Peskov said that many settlements “have been liberated from the pro-Nazi-minded armed forces of Ukraine, as well as directly from the nationalist elements,” repeating the Kremlin's baseless justification for the war.
“The opportunity for people to start establishing a peaceful life has been provided. This work will continue until all the goals of the special military operation have been achieved,” he said.
The lives of countless people have been upended during the war, with thousands dead and millions displaced due to the invasion.