June 27, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Andrew Raine, Sana Noor Haq, Hafsa Khalil, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022
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1:17 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Russia launching more strikes into Ukraine than in recent weeks, US defense official says

From CNN's Michael Conte and Tim Lister

A rescuer stands amid rubbles following the destruction of a heating system plant after a Russian missile attack in Kostyantynivka, in the Donetsk region, on June 24.
A rescuer stands amid rubbles following the destruction of a heating system plant after a Russian missile attack in Kostyantynivka, in the Donetsk region, on June 24. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia has launched more strikes into Ukraine in the past week than the US has seen in recent weeks, according to a senior US defense official. 

“It could be related to the G7. It certainly could be related to the Ukrainian movement of HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) into theater. Or it could be a larger portion of their long term battle strategy here. I’m just not sure,” said the official.

The official said that Russia is making gains in the Donbas but is still facing Ukrainian resistance.

In a background call with reporters, the official also said that the US is aware that several Russian generals have been relieved of command and that there are “continued morale concerns with Russian forces.”

In the Kherson region, the US is aware that local officials who have been working with Russia have been assassinated amid Ukrainian resistance, and that the Ukrainians have made modest gains in the northern part of the region.  

The official also said that the Ukrainians are using the HIMARS that were delivered to their country in security assistance packages “very well.”

1:05 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

10 dead and 40 wounded in Kremenchuk shopping mall airstrike, official says

From CNN's Kostan Nechyporenko

(From Facebook)
(From Facebook)

Dmytro Lunin, the head of the Poltava region military administration, revised the death toll from Monday’s airstrike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk to 10 dead and 40 injured.

This report comes after Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the office of the president of Ukraine, said earlier on Monday that two people had died and that 20 people have been wounded — of which nine were in a serious condition — following the airstrike.

Initial reports from President Volodymyr Zelensky suggest that at least 1,000 people may have been in the building when it was struck.

1:02 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

At least 4 killed and 19 injured in renewed shelling in Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities say

From Victoria Butenko and Kostan Nechyporenko

At least four people were killed and 19 were injured in renewed shelling by Russian forces of the area on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities said.

Officials say the death toll and number of injured are expected to rise.

Russian shelling hit the areas of Northern Saltivka and the Nemyshlyany district of Kharkiv, according to the head of the Kharkiv regional state administration, Oleh Syniehubov.

“The occupiers hit yards and streets – there was only civilian infrastructure, only civilians,” Syniehubov said. “I urge everyone to be as careful as possible. Do not go outside unnecessarily."

CNN could not independently verify Ukrainian claims.

12:11 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

"No serious disruptions" to German financial system but Ukraine war has "worsened" conditions, watchdog says

From CNN’s Inke Kappeler and Arnaud Siad 

Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 15.
Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 15. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images)

The German Financial Stability committee (FSC) saw “no serious disruptions to the functioning of the German financial system” but conditions have "worsened "as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it said in its annual report published Monday.

The report evaluated financial data from April 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022. 

The FSC also warned that risks to financial stability could be elevated in case of “adverse real economic developments“ coinciding with an “abrupt interest rate hike.”  

“Inflation has risen significantly, while the outlook for growth has deteriorated,” the FSC added. 

11:43 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

EU will supply Ukraine with special protection equipment against chemical, nuclear and other threats

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London 

Hospital workers bandage a man's hand at the Sloviansk hospital on June 25 in Sloviansk, Ukraine. The hospital has been operating with no running water for about a month. 
Hospital workers bandage a man's hand at the Sloviansk hospital on June 25 in Sloviansk, Ukraine. The hospital has been operating with no running water for about a month.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Upon requests from Ukraine, the European Union will supply the war-torn country with $12 million worth of medical equipment, protective gear, and specialized equipment for public health risks such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, the bloc announced Monday in a statement. 

"As hospitals in Ukraine are in urgent need of medical equipment, the EU is also donating patient monitors, infusion pumps and ventilators, together with protective equipment for the medical staff, like masks and gowns," the EU Commission said in the statement. 

The assistance will be delivered to Ukraine from the EU’s emergency stockpiles hosted by Romania, Hungary, Sweden, Germany, Greece and Denmark, it added. 

For these supplies, the EU has mobilized the “rescEU strategic reserves," according to Janez Lenarcic, EU’s commissioner for crisis management. "Medical equipment, and equipment tailored to chemical, biological or nuclear emergencies are on the way to Ukraine. Hospitals and medical workers in Ukraine are working under fire, and we must do everything in our power to provide them the necessary tools to save lives."

12:16 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Russian hacker group Killnet claims responsibility for cyberattacks on Lithuania 

From CNN’s Uliana Pavlova

(Redpixel/Adobe Stock)
(Redpixel/Adobe Stock)

Russian hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for cyberattacks on Lithuanian websites in response to Vilnius banning the passage of goods sanctioned by the European Union across its territory and into the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, an isolated but strategically significant territory on the Baltic coast.  

Killnet admitted to the attacks on their official Telegram channel on Monday.   

“At the moment, we have disrupted the work of the entire Lithuanian online accounting department. We are certainly surprised that Lithuania uses an "online system" for accounting. Amazon servers are not capable of saving the situation,” the hacker group said. “What about the blocking of transit to Kaliningrad, comrades? Maybe you are hearing something."

Several Lithuanian public institutions have experienced cyber attacks, said the Lithuanian government public and media relations department.

“Due to cyber attacks on several public institutions there are temporary service disruptions. Our institutions are taking measures to solve current problems and prevent further disruptions. The most severe DDoS attacks have been already managed," the media department said in an email to CNN.

The situation was under control, Asta Galdikaite, head of the public information division at the Lithuanian defense ministry, told CNN. 

But in an online statement published Monday, the Ministry of Defense warned of an “ongoing” cyber-attack. 

“The National Cyber Security Centre (NKSC) under the Ministry of National Defence warns of an intense ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Secure National Data Transfer Network, other governmental institutions and private companies of Lithuania. Part of the Secure National Data Transfer Network users have been unable to access services, work is progress to restore it to normal. The Core Center of State Telecommunications is identifying the most severely attacked websites in real time and applying additional protections, while also collaborating closely with international web service providers in search of solutions,” the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said. 

“It is highly probable that such or even more intense attacks will continue into the coming days, especially against the communications, energy and financial sectors,” said Jonas Skardinskas, acting NKSC director and head of Cyber Security Management Department, in the statement.

It was not immediately clear, when the online statement was published. 

Why this matters: Tensions are mounting around the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia has reacted furiously after Lithuania banned the passage of sanctioned goods across its territory and into Kaliningrad. But Lithuania said it is merely upholding European Union sanctions, and the European bloc has backed it. The row now threatens to escalate strains between Moscow and the EU, which has unveiled several packages of sanctions on Russian goods.

Read more here.

11:21 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Putin's language on nuclear-capable missiles is "irresponsible," a senior US defense official says

From CNN's Michael Conte and Barbara Starr

A senior US defense official called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “cavalier” language around the nuclear-capable missile systems pledged to Belarus “pretty irresponsible.”

“Our strategic forces are always monitoring things in that regard,” said the official in a background call with reporters. “We are certainly taking that seriously and have taken that threat seriously from the very beginning.”

Here's the full quote:

“Certainly any time anybody uses the word nuclear, you have concerns. Quite honestly it seems pretty irresponsible of a national leader to talk about the employment of nuclear weapons and to do so in a generally cavalier fashion. In terms of my concerns, other than the fact that they talk about, again, I mean the way that that statement read from Putin was, hey we’re going to give them Iskanders, and oh by the way they can hold nuclear weapons. And everybody takes that very seriously when you use that language. So we are certainly taking that seriously and have taken that threat seriously from the very beginning. And as you know our strategic forces are always monitoring things in that regard.”

Some more context: Russia will transfer nuclear-capable Iskander-M missile systems to Belarus over the coming months, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

“In the next few months, we will transfer to Belarus the Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which, as you know, can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both in conventional and nuclear versions," Putin told Lukashenko, according to the Kremlin.

In a transcript of the meeting, Lukashenko expressed to Putin his "stress" and concerns over what he alleged are flights by the United States and NATO planes "training to carry nuclear warheads" close to Belarus' border.

Lukashenko asked Putin to consider “a mirrored response" to the flights or to convert Russia's Su-35 fighter jets, which are currently deployed to Belarus, so that "they can carry nuclear warheads."

Putin replied that although it is possible to match the US flights, "there is no need," and suggested that because Belarus' military has a large number of Su-25 aircraft that can be converted to nuclear-capable instead.

“This modernization should be carried out at aircraft factories in Russia, but we will agree with you on how to do this. And accordingly, start training the flight crew,” Putin said.

The Iskander-M is a Russian-built short-range ballistic missile system that can carry conventional or nuclear warheads with a maximum range of up to 500 KM (310 miles), according to Janes Defense.

The weapon uses both optical and inertial guidance systems to strike its targets, hitting them with a range of warheads, such as cluster munitions, vacuum bombs, bunker-busters, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads, according to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. 

The Iskander-M was first used in 2008 during the Russia-Georgia conflict, when the Russian Army used it to hit targets in Gori, according to the alliance.

Mariya Knight and Jonny Hallam contributed to this report

11:15 a.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Ukraine and Moldova should coordinate response to "common threats" from Russia, Zelensky says

From CNN's Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his Moldovan counterpart Maia Sandu for a coordinated response to Russia’s threats, as the pair met in Kyiv on Monday. 

"Our countries have threats with a common root, created by Russian aggression and Russian politics. If the threats have common roots, we should have a coordinated response to them,” Zelensky said at a joint news conference. 

Zelensky also reiterated “Ukraine remains a guarantor” in regulating situation in Transnistria, Moldova’s breakaway region with Russian military presence, and “will actively assist Moldova going forward.”

Sandu visited the towns of Borodyanka, Bucha and Irpin, which were devastated by Russia’s occupation in March. Sandu reiterated Moldova’s position "loud and clear" condemning "the senseless violence of this war and the invasion." 

Sandu added her country of 2.6 million has welcomed half a million of Ukrainian refugees since the start of the war in February. 

Some background: The European Union last week agreed that Ukraine and Moldova should be given candidate status — a significant step on the path to full membership.

However, it is still likely to be years before Ukraine is able to join the EU. The process is lengthy and requires agreement from the 27 member states at almost every stage. This means that there are multiple opportunities for member states to use their veto as a political bargaining chip. 

CNN's Luke McGee contributed reporting to this post.

12:40 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

2 dead and 20 wounded after mall with more than 1,000 people inside hit by airstrike, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Sebastian Shukla

(From Facebook)
(From Facebook)

Two people are dead and 20 people are injured following an airstrike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

Of the 20 people injured, nine are in serious condition, Tymoshenko said.

Initial reports from President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that at least 1,000 people may have been in the building when it was struck.

Volodymyr Solohub, chief of the Poltava oblast Department of State Emergency Services of Ukraine, said he does not know “how many more people might still be under the rubble."

The mall is 10,000 square meters and the missile struck around 4:00 p.m. Kyiv time, Solohub said.

See the shopping mall here: