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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11:59 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Biden declassified Russia intel due to allied "skepticism," US spy chief says

From CNN's Katie Bo Lillis

US President Joe Biden.
US President Joe Biden. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

US President Joe Biden gave the order to declassify intelligence in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 because US officials’ claims about the impending attack were being met with “skepticism” by American partners and allies, according to the nation’s top spymaster. 

“When we explained to our policymakers and our policymakers went to their interlocutors, they found that there was a fair amount of skepticism about it," Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said at a cybersecurity conference on Monday. 
"As a consequence, the President came back to us and said, ‘you need to go out and share as much as you possibly can and ensure that folks see what it is that you're seeing, so that we can engage again and perhaps have more productive conversations about how to plan for essentially the potential of a Russian invasion'."

Some context: Dating back to the early days of the Russian buildup on the Ukrainian border, the Biden administration has been selectively declassifying and releasing intelligence surrounding Russia’s war in Ukraine, both to media organizations and to other friendly nations. The approach has been aimed at combating Russian propaganda globally and to ensure the US partners and allies are sharing a unified picture. 

Haines said Monday the US “did a lot of sharing in this space with partners and allies,” ultimately developing “mechanisms for sharing” that can be used in the future.

8:34 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

EU foreign policy chief condemns Russian missile strike on Ukrainian grain terminal

From CNN's Sanyo Fylyppov and Tim Lister

Josep Borrell, the European Union's High Representative, talks to the press before a meeting at the European Council, in Brussels, on May 30.
Josep Borrell, the European Union's High Representative, talks to the press before a meeting at the European Council, in Brussels, on May 30. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union's High Representative, Josep Borrell, condemned a Russian missile strike this weekend that destroyed a large grain storage terminal in the southern port city of Mykolaiv.

"Another Russian missile strike contributing to the global food crisis. Russian forces have destroyed the second biggest grain terminal in #Ukraine, in #Mykolaiv," Borrell said in a tweet Monday.

Images on social media Sunday showed the terminal engulfed in flames. Mykolaiv is close to some of Ukraine's most fertile grain-producing regions.

Borrell said the strike was at odds with recent pledges by Russian President Vladimir Putin to offer safe passage through the Black Sea from Ukrainian ports for merchant shipping.

"The disinformation spread by Putin deflecting blame becomes ever more cynical," he tweeted.

8:30 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Situation changing "every hour" as heavy fighting continues in Severodonetsk, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporenko

Smoke rises from Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 5.
Smoke rises from Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 5. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Heavy fighting continues in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, with the situation "changing every hour," according to Ukrainian officials.

Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the city's military administration, said "there are enough [Ukrainian] forces and means to recapture the city. There are fierce battles and street fights."

Striuk said Russian forces had a substantial numerical advantage. "They tried to attack the city, and it is happening now. They are throwing away more and more human resources, which of course complicates the situation," the official said.

"Now Severodonetsk is being leveled, because they can't capture it in one to two days. The city is being destroyed. It is impossible to say about the preservation of infrastructure because even before the acute phase of the attack on the city and its assault, the infrastructure was almost destroyed. Both gas and water supply will need almost complete reconstruction," he added.

The highway from the west along which supplies for the Ukrainian front lines travel is under increasing attack from Russian artillery, with Russian units getting closer to it. Striuk said it "remains under the control of the Armed Forces, but it is still dangerous to move as enemy artillery is reaching [it.]".

The General Staff said Ukrainian units were thwarting the enemy's attempts to take control of the highway.

The Russians have intensified artillery attacks on areas north of the city of Sloviansk and are shelling Ukrainian positions on the southern side of the Siverskiy Donets river. Russian forces appear to be close to the town of Sviatohirsk on the north side of the river — the site of a historic Russian Orthodox monastery. But there is no evidence that they have been able to cross the river in this area.

8:03 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Witnesses say Russian troops killed Ukrainian mayor and two volunteers

From CNN's Sanyo Fylyppov and Ivana Kottasová

As Russian forces closed in on Hostomel in late February, the town's mayor Yurii Prylypko urged local residents to take care of each other.

"I'm here with you. We have to resist," he said in a video message. "The weapons are coming. Our soldiers are coming. We will get through this. We just need to keep calm and protect the people around us. Thank you!"

Days later, Prylypko was dead. He and another civilian, Ivan Zorya, were killed by Russian soldiers, eyewitnesses say, as they tried to deliver medicines and other supplies to people in the community. Another civilian, Oleksandr Karpenko, was killed while trying to save them.

Russia has consistently denied targeting civilians during its invasion of Ukraine.

But photos of the scene taken in its aftermath and images captured by security cameras on the day of the attack make it clear the mayor was traveling in a civilian car when Russian troops opened fire. There were no other cars or military vehicles nearby at the time, according to the eyewitnesses.

CNN has requested an official comment from the Russian Defense Ministry on the Hostomel killings, but has not received a response.

Read more:

8:28 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Ukrainian Navy says Russian ships withdrew from coastal waters in Black Sea

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva and Tim Lister

The Ukrainian Navy says ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet have withdrawn to more than 100 kilometers (about 65 miles) from Ukrainian shores as a result of its attacks with missiles and drones.

In an operational update Monday, the Navy said that in an effort to regain control of northwestern parts of the Black Sea, the Russians had deployed coastal missile systems in the Crimea and Kherson regions.

It said the threat of missile strikes from the sea remains.

"Since the beginning of the invasion, enemy ships and submarines have launched more than 300 cruise missiles on Ukrainian territory. Currently, the intensity of strikes with Caliber cruise missiles has decreased, while the enemy began to hit ground targets with anti-ship missiles. ... Probably, this indicates that Russia has used a significant amount of modern missile weapons and is forced to use outdated types of missiles."

The Navy said approximately 30 Russian ships and submarines continued the blockade of civilian shipping. "Currently, there are up to 12 large landing ships in the Black Sea, but more than a third of them are under repair," the Navy said.

"We deprived the Russian Black Sea Fleet of complete control over the northwestern part of the Black Sea, which has become a 'gray zone.' At the same time, the enemy has adopted our tactics and is trying to regain control of the northwestern part of the Black Sea through coastal missile systems and air-based cruise missiles."

The statement added there was still the risk of the Russians' landing tactical troops and sabotage and reconnaissance groups on the Odesa coast, especially in favorable weather conditions in summer.

8:31 p.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Russia loses another general in Donbas

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

A Russian general has died in Donbas, Russian state media said, citing the Telegram channel of a war correspondent Sunday. 

The Russian general was identified as Roman Kutuzov by Russian state media and Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“According to military correspondent Alexander Sladkov’s Telegram channel, Kutuzov, a native of the Airborne Forces, led people into the attack and died in battle,” Russia 24 said. 

Ukrainian Armed Forces also said Kutuzov had died.

"Major General Roman Kutuzov, Commander of the 1st Army Corps (Orcs) of the [DPR], has been officially denazified and demilitarized,” the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Sunday in a Facebook post.

Prior to being sent to the Donetsk People’s Republic, Kutuzov served as chief of staff of the 29th combined-arms army of the Eastern Military District of Russia, according to Ukrainian independent news agency UNIAN journalist Roman Tsymbalyuk.