June 28, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Aditi Sangal, Lianne Kolirin and Hafsa Khalil, CNN

Updated 2:47 a.m. ET, June 29, 2022
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4:52 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

3 civilians killed by rocket fire as missile attacks hit Mykolaiv and Odesa

From CNN's Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva and Olga Voitovych

A woman walks next to her damaged house, caused by a rocket strike in the Odesa region, Ukraine, on 27 June.
A woman walks next to her damaged house, caused by a rocket strike in the Odesa region, Ukraine, on 27 June. (NurPhoto/Reuters)

Officials in the southern city of Mykolaiv said "about 11 missiles" were fired on Monday night — part of a spike in Russian missile attacks across Ukraine.

Vitalii Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional military administration, said some missiles had been shot down by air defenses but provided no further details.

Three people were killed in a rocket attack on the coastal town of Ochakiv, southwest of Mykolaiv, including a 6-year-old girl, Kim said. Six others were wounded.

Natalia Humenuk, spokesperson for the armed forces in southern Ukraine, said "so far there is no information about casualties" from the missile attacks on Mykolaiv.

The Russians, Humenuk said, had used KH-22 missiles — the same type that struck the Kremenchuk mall on Monday — against the southern Odesa region.

"These are old-style missiles, and their guidance is completely aimless, they have a wide range. That's probably why such an absolutely illogical hit in private houses [in Odesa] happened," she said.

Elsewhere in the south: Humenuk said Ukrainian strikes against Russian air defenses on Snake Island continued, and their radar station was not working.

She said in Kherson "we are slowly moving forward" despite Russian artillery and air strikes.

Humenuk said the Russians did not "have large reserves left to transfer" in the southern theater. "They gather forces in small groups to [try to] retrieve lost positions," she said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military said Russian efforts in the south focused on holding their positions in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions.

4:04 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Biden to announce $2.76 billion to address global food shortages as part of larger G7 commitment

From CNN’s DJ Judd

G7 leaders are announcing up to $5 billion funding in global food security Tuesday, in the latest effort to counter global effects from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

More than half of the funds will come from the United States. 

As part of Tuesday’s announcement, the Biden administration is committing $2.76 billion in funding “to support efforts in over 47 countries and regional organizations.”

It will include $2 billion in direct humanitarian aid and $760 million “for sustainable, near and medium-term food assistance to help enhance the resilience and productivity of food systems around the world, particularly in vulnerable regions,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday.

Russia's invasion pushing millions into poverty: According to White House estimates, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent destruction of agriculture equipment and blockade of grain shipments will push up to 40 million into poverty in 2022.

“Obviously, Putin’s actions have been at the core, and the thing from which you can draw a direct line to all of the vulnerabilities that we're seeing around the world in terms of food security — his actions have strangled food and agricultural production, using food as a weapon of war,” the official said.

The US' commitment will come from the second Ukraine supplemental assistance package lawmakers passed last month, and is expected to be allocated and delivered by the end of the fiscal year.

3:57 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Ukrainian officials investigate air raid response before shopping mall airstrike

From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych

Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 28.
Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 28. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters)

Ukrainian officials are investigating the air raid response at the Amstor shopping mall in Kremenchuk, before a Russian missile struck killing at least 18 people.

Hundreds of people had been at the shopping center before the air raid was announced on Monday afternoon.

"To ignore the air raid alarm is a crime, which once again was showed by the tragedy in Amstor," said Vitalii Maletskyi, Mayor of Kremenchuk.
"Visitors and staff must be evacuated to shelters during air raid alarms. In case of violation of this requirement, we will take measures, including criminal cases and closure of institutions."

Maletskyi said Ukraine's prosecutor general had visited the scene of the attack.

"We worked on strengthening the responsibility of the owners of shopping malls, shops and other crowded places for non-compliance with the rules of evacuation during the air raid alarm," Maletskyi said.

The mayor noted that on June 23, the mall had posted on social media that it would not close during an alarm. "From today [June 23] the shopping center is not closed during the air raid [siren.] The shopping center is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. without breaks," the post read.

"What happened is the greatest tragedy in the modern history of Kremenchuk. The Kremenchuk community demands that those responsible for the war and the attack on civilians be brought to justice," Maletskyi said.
3:54 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Zelensky says Ukrainian sovereignty extends to "entire territory"

From CNN's Tim Lister

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 28.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 28. (President of Ukraine)

In a message to mark Ukraine's Constitution Day on Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian sovereignty "extends to the entire territory."

"We defend Ukraine, which is a sovereign, independent, democratic, social and legal state," he said.
"God is on our side and says that defending your home from evil is not a sin. It is a sin not to defend it."

Zelensky said Ukraine is a "unitary state" and "our territory within the existing borders is integral and inviolable."

3:49 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

France to send Ukraine "significant quantities" of armored personnel carriers

From CNN's Dalal Mawad in Paris

French soldiers patrol in an armored personnel carrier (VAB) in Bangui, Central African Republic, on December 1, 2013.
French soldiers patrol in an armored personnel carrier (VAB) in Bangui, Central African Republic, on December 1, 2013. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images)

France will send Ukraine “significant quantities” of French-made armored personnel carrier and support vehicles, known as VAB, according to the country's armed forces minister.

“To move quickly in areas under enemy fire, armies need armored vehicles,” Sébastien Lecornu said in an interview Monday evening in Le Parisien newspaper.
“France will deliver, in significant quantities, transport vehicles of this type, VAB, which are armed.”

The VAB is a wheeled armored personnel carrier and support vehicle. It was developed in the early 1970s by French manufacturers Saviem and Renault and first used in 1976. 

The minister did not say when these vehicles would be delivered.

Lecornu added that France was also examining the possibility of delivering to Ukraine French-built anti-ship Exocet missiles.

3:10 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Death toll from Russian missile attack on mall rises to 18, regional official says

From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych

Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters work to take away debris at a shopping center after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 28.
Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters work to take away debris at a shopping center after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 28. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The number of people killed in a missile strike on a shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has risen to 18, a regional official said on Tuesday, as search and rescue operations continue.

Dmytro Lunin, head of Poltava region military administration, said rescuers continued to work at the site.

"Another 36 people are missing. We continue the search," Lunin said. 

Hundreds of people had been at the mall minutes before the strike, which Ukrainian officials say was by a Russian KH-22 missile. The KH-22 can carry an explosive warhead weighing up to 1 ton (2,240 pounds). 

Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27.
Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27. (Anna Voitenko/Reuters)

"The dismantling of damaged building structures is ongoing with the help of heavy engineering equipment and small machines," Lunin said.

He added that 25 people were admitted to intensive care at the hospital in Kremenchuk.

"More than a thousand people worked all night — rescuers, police, medics and volunteers," he said.
2:45 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Russian efforts in Donetsk focus on settlements around Sloviansk

From CNN's Tim Lister 

In another area where Russian forces are trying to take territory — north of the city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region — the General Staff of the Ukrainian military said Russian efforts are focused on the settlements of Dovhenke and Dolyna.

"It fired at the positions of our troops with artillery and MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), conducted aerial reconnaissance with UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle)," the General Staff said.

It added that "our defenders stopped the enemy's attempt to advance."

Elsewhere, Russian attacks took the form of artillery and mortar fire, with little movement on the ground.

A Ukrainian deminer examines a crater caused by missile strikes that struck the yard of a school in a residential area of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on June 27.
A Ukrainian deminer examines a crater caused by missile strikes that struck the yard of a school in a residential area of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on June 27. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Kharkiv: The General Staff said that north of Kharkiv, the Russians continued to use artillery to prevent Ukrainian forces from advancing to the Russia-Ukraine border. An attempt by Russian troops to cross the Siverskiy Donets river in the south of Kharkiv region had been repelled. 

Sumy: The General Staff also said there had been more cross-border shelling into the northeastern Sumy region, without providing details of casualties or damage.

2:36 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Heavy fighting near Lysychansk as Russian forces seek to encircle key city, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister 

Scores of Ukrainian evacuees from the embattled city of Lysychansk board an evacuation train to safer cities to the west, from the train station in Pokrovsk, Ukraine, on June 24.
Scores of Ukrainian evacuees from the embattled city of Lysychansk board an evacuation train to safer cities to the west, from the train station in Pokrovsk, Ukraine, on June 24. (Scott Peterson/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian military said its forces have held back Russian assaults in several areas along the front lines in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, while fighting continues around the city of Lysychansk.

Serhii Hayday, head of Luhansk region military administration, said the Russians were attacking Lysychansk from the southern and southwestern directions. 

"Fighting is underway between Vovchoiarivka and the oil refinery. They are trying to block the city from this side and take control over the transport connection with Donetsk region," he said Tuesday. 

Some context: The Ukrainian military has said the area around Vovchoiarivka — adjacent to the main highway — is the focus of current battles. Were the Ukrainians to lose this area, Lysychansk would be virtually surrounded.

Russian advance held back: The Ukrainian General Staff said Tuesday that Russian efforts to reach the highway in an area where Luhansk and Donetsk regions meet had been thwarted.

"Ukrainian soldiers successfully suppressed all these attempts and forced the enemy to retreat," the General Staff said.

Lysychansk destruction: Hayday said there had been widespread destruction in Lysychansk due to Russian shelling on Monday and confirmed that eight people were killed in a rocket strike while queuing at a water tank.

"There was a lot of damage to high-rise buildings and private houses on June 27," he said. "Some areas of the city were shelled several times."

Bakhmut: There was also heavy shelling by Russian forces trying to advance toward the town of Bakhmut, a key position for Ukrainian defenses some 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Lysychansk.

1:36 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Biden officials privately doubt that Ukraine can win back all of its territory

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand

White House officials are losing confidence that Ukraine will ever be able to take back all of the land it has lost to Russia over the past four months of war, US officials told CNN, even with the heavier and more sophisticated weaponry the US and its allies plan to send.

Advisers to US President Joe Biden have begun debating internally how and whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should shift his definition of a Ukrainian “victory” — adjusting for the possibility that his country has shrunk irreversibly.

US officials emphasized to CNN that this more pessimistic assessment does not mean the US plans to pressure Ukraine into making any formal territorial concessions to Russia in order to end the war.

There is also hope that Ukrainian forces will be able to take back significant chunks of territory in a likely counteroffensive later this year.

And not everyone in the administration is as worried — some believe Ukrainian forces could again defy expectations, as they did in the early days of the war when they repelled a Russian advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Read the full story here.