June 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Eliza Mackintosh, Jack Bantock, Sana Noor Haq, Helen Regan, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 8, 2022
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4:36 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Bodies of 210 Ukrainian soldiers who died in Mariupol now repatriated, defense ministry says

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Ben Wedeman

Smoke rises following an explosion at a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 11.
Smoke rises following an explosion at a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 11. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

As of Tuesday, the bodies of 210 Ukrainian soldiers have been repatriated by Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Main Intelligence Directorate. 

“The process of returning bodies of fallen defenders of Mariupol is ongoing,” due to the efforts of the POW Treatment Coordinating Staff, the statement said.

It said most of the bodies returned to Ukraine were those of the “heroic defenders of Azovstal," so Ukrainian soldiers at the massive Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol, the last bastion of Ukraine’s defense in that southern port city, before it fell to Russian and Russian-backed forces.

The Coordination Staff on behalf of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is working to get the bodies of all the deceased returned, as well as some 2500 POWs believed held in the custody of Russian or Russian-backed forces.

“All fallen soldiers must return to the territory controlled by Ukraine. And each of them will be lead to the last journey with honors due to the heroes,” the statement said.

The statement adds that work continues to bring home “all captured Ukrainian defenders."

CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman reported this week on workers at Kyiv’s central morgue examining the contents of scores of body bags containing the remains of those Ukrainian soldiers killed in the two-month siege of Mariupol. 

Ukraine and Russia have conducted an exchange of bodies as part of the agreement that ended that siege. 

3:38 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

It's Tuesday night in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know.

From CNN Staff

Ukrainian troops fire with surface-to-surface rockets MLRS towards Russian positions at a front line in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 7.
Ukrainian troops fire with surface-to-surface rockets MLRS towards Russian positions at a front line in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 7. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian troops are locked in fierce street battles with Russian soldiers in the industrial city of Severodonetsk, while other towns are under increased air assault, as fighting rages in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Parts of the Ukrainian cities of Rubizhne and Severodonetsk are significantly destroyed, new satellite images taken on Monday by Maxar Technologies show.  

Constant, intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces has been happening for weeks in both cities. Ukrainian forces in the cities have held on, despite intense bombardments by Russian artillery. 

Russian forces continue to try to advance into — and past — the two key cities in Ukraine's Donbas region. 

A number of buildings in northern Severodonetsk have been destroyed by military strikes, satellite images show.

Russia claimed on Tuesday that it had opened a land corridor to Russian-occupied Crimea, allowing civilians and goods to pass through the eastern Ukrainian territory now under its control. 

Here are more of the latest headlines from the Russia-Ukraine war:

  • Mykolaiv regional governor reports continued shelling: Shelling continues in the southern Mykolaiv region, according to Vitalii Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv region military administration. Kim said two people were killed in the past 24 hours. An administrative building, outpatient clinic, stadium and district council in the city of Bashtanka were also shelled, he said. Kim said there are more than 3,700 damaged or destroyed properties in the Mykolaiv region.  
  • Unburied bodies and contaminated drinking water spark fears of cholera outbreak in Mariupol: In Mariupol, the ravaged southeastern Ukrainian port city now under Russian occupation, fears have shifted from relentless bombardment to deteriorating sanitary conditions: sewage seeping into drinking water and fears of a cholera outbreak. On Monday, one of the city's exiled local officials said that Russian officials now in control of Mariupol were considering imposing a quarantine in the city, where decomposing corpses and garbage were contaminating drinking water, putting remaining residents at risk of cholera and other diseases. “There are talks about quarantine. The city is being quietly closed," said mayoral adviser Petro Andriushchenko, a reliable source of information from residents remaining in the city.
  • War in Ukraine is impacting energy and food prices around the globe, US treasury secretary says: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conceded on Tuesday that inflation is at “unacceptable levels,” but also sought to underscore it is not a problem exclusive to the United States. “Putin’s war in Ukraine is having impacts on energy and food prices globally,” Yellen told lawmakers. “We are not the only country experiencing inflation. You can see that in virtually every developed country around the world.” Speaking during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, Yellen pointed to the Biden administration’s record-setting release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “Energy and gasoline prices, while very high, they would be higher without that,” Yellen said of the emergency oil release. 
  • Russia claims it has opened a land corridor to Crimea through occupied Ukrainian territory: Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed on Tuesday that it had opened a land corridor to Russian-occupied Crimea, allowing civilians and goods to pass through the eastern Ukrainian territory now under its control. Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said in a conference call on Tuesday that the military, working with Russian Railways, had restored 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) of train tracks and opened roads to allow "full-fledged traffic" between Russia, eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russian forces from Ukraine in 2014. The supply of water through the North Crimean Canal -- a lifeline for Crimea -- had also resumed, Shoigu said.
  • Zelensky says he's glad "very important ally" Johnson will remain UK prime minister: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that he was “very happy” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had won a confidence vote on Monday, as he is “a true friend of Ukraine.” “I am glad that we have not lost a very important ally,” Zelensky told the Financial Times in a broadcast interview. “This is great news.” He added: “I cannot comment on the internal situation. I do not know all the details. So I beg pardon to Mister Johnson about this. I think that he is much better informed about the details than I am.” But “Boris is very concrete in supporting Ukraine,” Zelensky said.
  • UK foreign secretary says more sanctions on Russia are "in the pipeline": British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the United Kingdom will not back down in its support for Ukraine and that more sanctions on Russia are "in the pipeline," according to a readout of Monday's cabinet meeting. "She said the UK would not back down in its support, with further sanctions in the pipeline and continued work with global allies on how to help Ukraine rebuild in the future," the cabinet readout said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also reiterated that the UK will remain at the forefront of supporting Ukraine. 
3:35 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Ukraine is "giving maximum effort" to unblock seaports, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From CNN's Victoria Butenko in Kyiv, Lauren Kent and Josh Pennington

Odesa's port stands on the shore of the Odessa Gulf of the Black Sea and is the largest commercial sea port of Ukraine, pictured on March 30.
Odesa's port stands on the shore of the Odessa Gulf of the Black Sea and is the largest commercial sea port of Ukraine, pictured on March 30. (Rick Mave/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Ukraine is "giving maximum effort" to unblock seaports and prevent a global food crisis, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Together with the UN and our partners, we are trying to create a humanitarian corridor for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products," the ministry said on Tuesday.

"Ukraine has already started supplying grain to the world market by truck, rail, and river transport. We are doing all we can, but this issue can be definitively resolved by unblocking Ukrainian ports," the statement added. "We appeal to all interested partners, together with Ukraine, to focus their efforts on finding a balanced solution that will lift the Russian blockade of ports, while at the same time provide clear security guarantees for the Ukrainian Black Sea coast and relevant humanitarian corridors."

The ministry also said that it could not exclude the possibility that Russia would use a sea corridor as a way to attack Odesa and southern Ukraine, adding that "for this reason, effective security guarantees are required to restore export activities."

"Such guarantees should be provided by supplying Ukraine with appropriate weapons to defend the coast from threats coming from the sea and by involving naval forces of third countries to patrol the relevant area of the Black Sea," the statement said.

The ministry also noted its appreciation for "Turkey's efforts to unblock Ukrainian ports," although an agreement has yet to be reached between Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. The statement added that authorities "will reject any agreements that do not factor in the interests of Ukraine."

The statement comes as global leaders have condemned a months-long blockade by Russian forces at key ports in Ukraine and Russia is coming under increasing fire for fueling a growing global food crisis.

Russia claimed Monday that it has created conditions for two maritime humanitarian corridors to allow for the safe movement of ships in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, according to a statement posted to Telegram.

2:49 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Satellite images show significant destruction in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Smoke rises from explosions in the village of Bohorodychne.
Smoke rises from explosions in the village of Bohorodychne. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Parts of the Ukrainian cities of Rubizhne and Severodonetsk are significantly destroyed, new satellite images taken on Monday by Maxar Technologies show.  

Constant, intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces has been happening for weeks in both cities. Ukrainian forces in the cities have held on, despite intense bombardments by Russian artillery. 

Russian forces continue to try to advance into — and past — the two key cities in Ukraine's Donbas region. 

A number of buildings in northern Severodonetsk have been destroyed by military strikes, satellite images show.

Just outside of the city, satellite images show a Russian multiple rocket launch systems pointed toward the city. Scorch marks around one of the systems is a telltale sign that its rockets have targeted Severodonetsk. Towed artillery nearby are also pointed toward the city.

Russian rocket launch systems point towards Severodonetsk from a field outside of the city.
Russian rocket launch systems point towards Severodonetsk from a field outside of the city. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Damaged buildings are seen in Severodonetsk, Ukraine.
Damaged buildings are seen in Severodonetsk, Ukraine. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Additional satellite images from eastern Ukraine display the result of Russian artillery and military strikes.

Explosions in the village of Bohorodychne can be seen near a blown bridge.

In the village of Dolyna, smoke is rising from an incoming artillery salvo. In the images, craters from past explosions can also be viewed in a nearby field.  

A field full of craters outside of the village of Dovhenke shows just how many artillery strikes have fallen in the area, as it is completely covered. Nearby, a massive 130-foot (40-meter) crater is seen near what was a group of buildings. It's unclear whether the crater is from the bomb that exploded there or a target on the ground that was hit.  

Craters from artillery strikes dot a field outside the village of Dovhenke.
Craters from artillery strikes dot a field outside the village of Dovhenke. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
A large crater can be seen near what was a group of buildings outside the village of Dovhenke.
A large crater can be seen near what was a group of buildings outside the village of Dovhenke. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

2:06 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Mykolaiv regional governor reports continued shelling

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Karen Smith

Shelling continues in the southern Mykolaiv region, according to Vitalii Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv region military administration.

Kim said two people were killed in the past 24 hours. An administrative building, outpatient clinic, stadium and district council in the city of Bashtanka were also shelled, he said.  

Kim said there are more than 3,700 damaged or destroyed properties in the Mykolaiv region.  

“This number is growing every day. For example, the largest grain storage facilities of Ukraine were destroyed the day before yesterday,” he added.

But hospitals, pharmacies, shops, markets, coffee shops and even restaurants are open in region, he said.

“There is no humanitarian crisis. Our only crisis is invaders from Russia and shelling,” Kim said.

Ukrainian forces over the past week have been pressing forward with an offensive on Russian-occupied Kherson to the southeast of Mykolaiv, reportedly retaking some previously occupied villages. On Sunday, a Russian missile destroyed a large grain storage facility in Mykolaiv, according to the spokesperson for the Ukraine’s Operational Command South.

1:58 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

At least 2 hospitals hit by military strikes in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne, new satellite images show

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

A satellite image shows damage caused by military strikes in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 6.
A satellite image shows damage caused by military strikes in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 6. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Military strikes have hit at least two hospitals in the Ukrainian cities of Severodonetsk and Rubizhne, new satellite images taken on Monday by Maxar Technologies show. 

Significant portions of Severodonetsk have been destroyed by fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces. The Ukrainians have maintained their defense positions in the city, so far thwarting attempts by the Russians to take the city.

Even hospitals and their surrounding areas have not been spared by military strikes. In central Severodonetsk, a number of buildings in a hospital complex — a large red cross is seen painted on the roof — have been destroyed.

In southern Rubizhne, another hospital has been destroyed. The buildings surrounding it, including a pharmaceutical company, have also been destroyed.

Destroyed buildings are seen in Rubizhne, Ukraine, on June 6.
Destroyed buildings are seen in Rubizhne, Ukraine, on June 6. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

1:14 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Russian defense ministry claims it created 2 maritime humanitarian corridors in seas around Ukraine

From CNN's Tim Lister and Lauren Kent

The Russian defense ministry said it has created conditions for two maritime humanitarian corridors to allow for the safe movement of ships in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, according to a statement posted to Telegram on Monday. The statement comes amid international condemnation over Russia's months-long blockade of key ports.

"The Russian Federation is taking the whole range of measures to ensure the safety of civil navigation in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas," the Russian ministry claimed in the statement. "There remains a danger to navigation and damage to port infrastructure from the drift of Ukrainian mines torn from anchors along the coast of the Black Sea states."

Some context: Global leaders have condemned a months-long blockade by Russian forces at key ports in Ukraine — including Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Odesa on the Black Sea — which has left more than 20 million tons of grain stuck inside the country. The Ukrainian Navy said Monday that approximately 30 Russian ships and submarines continued the blockade of civilian shipping in the Black Sea.

According to the Russian statement, the maritime humanitarian corridor in the Sea of Azov will operate around the clock to allow ships to exit the port of Mariupol,

Meanwhile, in the Black Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that a maritime humanitarian corridor will operate during working hours "to leave the ports of Kherson, Mykolaiv, Chornomorsk, Ochakiv, Odesa, and Yuzhne in the southwestern direction from the territorial sea of Ukraine."

The Russian ministry also accused Ukrainian authorities of not taking steps to solve the issue of blocked ships.  

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov restated that Ukraine must de-mine the coastal waters for grain ships to pass and ensured Russia will facilitate their passage and won't use the de-mined sea corridors to attack Ukraine. 

Ukraine has also accused the Russians of placing mines in the Black Sea.

CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed reporting to this post.

12:50 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

IAEA: Ukraine appealed to nuclear watchdog and the UN to "liberate" the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

From CNN's Adam Pourahmadi in Abu Dhabi 

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine has appealed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations secretary-general to “liberate” the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the head of the nuclear watchdog told CNN on Tuesday.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson that “the Ukraine government has effectively invited, indeed, appealed, to me and to the UN secretary-general to deploy efforts to liberate the nuclear power plant.”

“The Ukrainian government has requested us to come to perform an obligation,” he added. “The IAEA has to perform these inspections in Ukraine. It is not a matter of wanting or wishing, it is an obligation.”

The director-general told CNN that inspections have not taken place for “a long time now” and “there is a lot of nuclear material there that needs to be inspected.”

Asked about whether a visit would legitimize Russia’s control of the plant, Grossi said, “It is absolutely incorrect. When I go there, I will be going there under the same agreement that Ukraine passed with the IAEA, not the Russian Federation. Ukraine!”

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s nuclear energy operator accused the IAEA head of legitimizing Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and of “lying” in claiming that Ukraine requested he travel to the plant. 

11:20 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022

War in Ukraine is impacting energy and food prices around the globe, US treasury secretary says 

From CNN’s Matt Egan

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conceded on Tuesday that inflation is at “unacceptable levels,” but also sought to underscore it is not a problem exclusive to the United States.

“Putin’s war in Ukraine is having impacts on energy and food prices globally,” Yellen told lawmakers. “We are not the only country experiencing inflation. You can see that in virtually every developed country around the world.” 

Speaking during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, Yellen pointed to the Biden administration’s record-setting release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

“Energy and gasoline prices, while very high, they would be higher without that,” Yellen said of the emergency oil release. 

She also emphasized that the United States is not immune to global energy shocks. 

“We are part of global oil markets that are subject to geopolitical influences,” Yellen said. “Given the global nature of these markets, it’s virtually impossible for us to insulate ourselves from shocks like the ones that are occurring in Russia that move global oil prices.”  

She added that it is critical that the United States becomes “more dependent on the wind and the sun that are not subject to geopolitical influences.”