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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1:51 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

"There can be no return to pre-war relationship with Russia," German chancellor says

From CNN’s Inke Kappeler and Arnaud Siad 

German chancellor Olaf Scholz waits for other leaders to arrive at the G-7 leaders summit in Elmau, Germany, on Monday, June 27.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz waits for other leaders to arrive at the G-7 leaders summit in Elmau, Germany, on Monday, June 27. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

There can be no return to what the ties with Russia were before the war in Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Monday, adding that the war waged by Moscow is a “deep, deep cut in international relations."

The war is “a matter of long-lasting changes that will shape international relations for a very, very long time," Scholz said during a news conference on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. “In our relations with Russia there can be no going back to the time before the Russian invasion of Ukraine."

Despite uncertainty about how the world would change as a result of the war, the G7 members should “master this change” by “standing together and working together closely and in a spirit of trust," he added. “And that is what unites us: democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights."

1:46 p.m. ET, June 27, 2022

Ukraine mall attack shows "depths" of Putin's "cruelty and barbarism," Johnson says

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives for the leaders' retreat during the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday, June 25.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives for the leaders' retreat during the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday, June 25. (Dan Kitwood/Pool/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the attack at a mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday showed the “depths of cruelty and barbarism” to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would sink to, the UK's PA news agency reported.  

"This appalling attack has shown once again the depths of cruelty and barbarism to which the Russian leader will sink," Johnson said, according to PA. 

More than 1,000 people were inside the mall when a Russian missile was fired at the building, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Once again our thoughts are with the families of innocent victims in Ukraine. Putin must realize that his behavior will do nothing but strengthen the resolve of the Ukraine and every other G7 country to stand by the Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the British prime minister said.  

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