Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
July 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news
By Helen Regan and Kathleen Magramo, CNN
A Russian missile strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, destroyed a pedagogical university on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address.
The main building, lecture halls, university museum and scientific library of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University was destroyed, according to Zelensky.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office said a watchman was killed during the shelling of the university which occurred around 1 a.m. local time.
Speaking in his nightly address, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Western artillery they have received “started working very powerfully” on Wednesday.
“Its accuracy is exactly as needed. Our defenders inflict very noticeable strikes on depots and other spots that are important for the logistics of the occupiers. And this significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army. The losses of the occupiers will only increase every week, as will the difficulty of supplying them,” Zelensky said.
The eastern Luhansk region has not yet been completely occupied by Russian forces and fighting continues in a settlement on the outskirts of the region, the head of the Luhansk region military administration, Serhiy Hayday said on Wednesday.
Russian forces have suffered “enormous losses” in equipment and personnel, according to Hayday. Russian forces have been trying to take control of the Luhansk region for more than four months.
He added hospitals in the occupied area of the region are full of Russian soldiers who are severely wounded.
Hayday also said he believes Russian forces are trying to develop an offensive against the cities of Sloviansk and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
Approximately 7,000 to 8,000 people remain in the eastern city of Severodonetsk but in the near future they will live in “awful conditions” with no water, gas or power supply, Oleksandr Striuk, the head of the military administration of Severodonetsk, said Wednesday.
Russian forces destroyed the material base of housing and utility services in this key city in the Donbas region, and they are looking for staff to help restore them but almost no staff members remain in Severodonetsk, according to Striuk.
Many utility and city workers had been evacuated previously, Striuk said.
He added that Russian forces who now occupy the city are working on organizing the Education Department for children to go back to school starting on Sept. 1.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Ireland for taking in Ukrainian refugees and for Ireland’s senate recently adopting a resolution that recognizes the Russian invasion of Ukraine as genocide.
At a joint news conference on Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin in Kyiv, he said the two discussed a joint response to the threat to food security, the energy crisis and the preparation of the new seventh sanction package against Russia.
Martin said “Ukraine belongs to the European Union” and that Ireland will be with Ukraine “every step of the way."
“Russia's brutal war against this beautiful democratic country is a gross violation of international law. It is an affront to everything that Ireland stands for. It cannot and it will not be allowed to stand,” Martin continued and mentioned that he “witnessed at firsthand the horrific reality of war on the people of Ukraine” while visiting the towns of Borodianka, Irpin and Bucha.
Martin also pointed out that Ireland welcomed 40,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war and said, “They are welcome to stay in Ireland for as long as they need to. Our home is your home.”
Ukraine accused Russia of spreading false information after Moscow claimed it had destroyed two US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.
“Russian propagandists are actively spreading false information about the alleged destruction of the American HIMARS artillery system,” Ukraine’s Joint Forces Task Force said in a statement Wednesday. “We emphasize that this message does not correspond to reality and is nothing but a fake.”
Earlier Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed it has destroyed the HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems during an air strike in the Donetsk region.
“High-precision air-launched missiles destroyed two US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket launchers and two of their ammunition depots,” the Russian defense ministry said in a briefing on Wednesday.
The ministry released footage of the alleged strike, but CNN could not identify any HIMARS MLRS in the video. CNN could not independently verify either claim.
The United States has committed to sending in eight HIMARS to Ukraine, and at least four of HIMARS have already entered the fight against Russia.
Use of not just the HIMARS, but also other Western-supplied weaponry has been linked to an increasing number of strikes deeper into Russian lines, as most have longer ranges and more precise accuracy than some of the Soviet-era equipment Ukraine was fielding at the start of the war.
“The HIMARS artillery systems provided by the American partners constantly inflict a devastating hit on strategically important points of the enemy, which leads to colossal losses of the equipment, personnel and support of the occupying forces,” Ukraine’s Joint Forces Task Force added in its statement.
Ukraine expects to harvest at least 50 million tonnes of grain in 2022 — well below the 85 million tonnes it produced the previous year but still above expectations, said Taras Vysotskyi, the first deputy minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
“Taking into consideration all circumstances and difficulties of the sowing campaign and the logistics during the wartime, we expect the harvest to be not that bad — higher than the average for the last five years,” Vysotskyi said. “At least 50 tonnes of grain, maybe more. It depends on corn harvest, the results of which we will see in October."
Vysotskyi went on to say that Ukraine would have to export at least a portion of that grain.
“We have internal consumption less than 20 million tonnes, meaning that at least 30 million tonne of harvest will have to be exported,” he said.
Vysotskyi added, “350,000 tonnes of agricultural products were exported in March, 1,000,000 tonnes in April. Now, in June, it was 2,100,000 tonne. This means that our alternative logistics ways, excluding the Black Sea Ports, have increased.”
He also said the wheat crop will be of a food consumption quality, meaning it can be used for flower and bread making, as opposed to feed livestock.
A Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone, secured by Lithuania for Ukraine after a local crowdfunding campaign, is expected to be shipped to Kyiv in the coming hours.
The “Vanagas” (which means "Hawk" in Lithuanian), along with ammunition, arrived in the Baltic country on Monday, the country’s Defense Minister, Arvydas Anušauskas, tweeted. After a press introduction on Wednesday, Anušauskas added the drone would be transferred to Ukraine soon.
“Last hours of Bayraktar “Vanagas” in Lithuania. Very soon it will be delivered to Ukraine,” he tweeted.
The crowdfunding campaign was launched by Lithuanian online broadcaster Laisves TV last month and was able to secure around 6 million euros ($6.11 million) to purchase the drone.
The purchase was organized by the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, but it says that after learning it was being purchased via a crowdfunding campaign, the manufacturer donated the drone for free.
“Citizens of Lithuania collected funds for this aircraft, but inspired by the idea, the Turkish company 'Baykar', the manufacturer of 'Bayraktar', decided to donate it,” the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “1.5 million euros of the donated 5.9 million was allocated for arming the unmanned aircraft.”
It is not the first time Baykar has donated some of its drones to the Ukrainian armed forces. Last month, after a Ukrainian crowdfunding campaign secured enough funds to purchase three of the drones, the company said it would be donating them for free.
“We ask that the raised funds be remitted instead to the struggling people of Ukraine,” it said in a statement on June 27.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone has played a key role in Ukraine’s defense against Russia. The country had around 20 of the unmanned aerial vehicles before the start of the war on Feb. 24, but Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on June 28 that his office had been able to secure up to 50 drones since the invasion began.
“In the near future, almost all capacity of the Baykar Makina plant will be focused on meeting the needs of the Armed Forces. It's about ordering dozens more drones,” Reznikov added.