These are the major developments as the war enters its 480th day.
This is the situation on Sunday, June 18, 2023.
- Ukrainian troops advanced in the south of the counteroffensive, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said was “the most important thing,” according to Ukrainian military officials.
- Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov said a Russian missile hit a car heading towards the village of Huriyv Kozachok near the Russian border, killing two people.
- Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, said air defenses repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on a pumping station on the Druzhba pipeline.
- Ukrainian authorities reported that 16 people were killed and 31 missing from floods caused by the destruction of the Russian-controlled Nova Kakhovka dam. “16 dead: 14 in the Kherson region, 2 in the Nikolayev region. 31 people are still missing,” Ukraine’s interior ministry said. Russia had previously announced 29 deaths in areas it controlled.
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was in Russia as part of a peace-seeking delegation, told Moscow President Vladimir Putin that the war in Ukraine must stop. Ramaphosa laid out 10 points for the African Peace Initiative, which is seeking to agree on a series of “confidence-building measures”.
- Putin questioned the assumptions of the Africa plan — premised on accepting internationally recognized borders — and reiterated his position that Ukraine and its allies were in conflict long before Russia launched a full-scale invasion last February. Putin has claimed that the West, not Russia, was responsible for last year’s sharp rise in global food prices and that it was Kiev, not Moscow, that rejected the peace talks.
- U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington had not changed its nuclear stance as Putin confirmed for the first time that Russia had deployed nuclear weapons in Belarus.
- Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the discussions and a U.S. official, that Jens Stoltenberg could be asked to stay on as NATO secretary general for another year.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would take into account the “behavior” of Western media and the state’s treatment of Russian journalists abroad when deciding whether to authorize its journalists to participate in Russia’s main forums, the state-owned Tass news agency reported. Attitude”.