Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 844

As the war enters its 844th day, these are the main developments.

A man walking past a destroyed block of flats in Toretsk near the front line
Homes have been destroyed near the eastern front line in towns like Toretsk [Oleg Petrasiuk/24th Mechanized Brigade via EPA]

Here is the situation on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Fighting

  • At least 22 people, including three children, were injured in a Russian missile attack on Ukraine’s east-central Poltava region. Poltava Governor Filip Pronin posted footage of himself at the scene of the attack, which he said caused major damage to residential buildings and cut power supplies to thousands of people.
  • Regional authorities in the southern region of Kherson, which is partially occupied by Russia, said a 50-year-old civilian was killed in a Russian drone attack.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kyiv’s forces were pushing Russian troops out of the northeastern Kharkiv region where Moscow seized several villages near the border last month. Vitaly Ganchev, a Russia-appointed official in occupied areas of the Kharkiv region, said Ukraine’s military was pouring men and equipment into the area and that the “fiercest clashes” were in Vovchansk, 5km (three miles) inside the border, and near Lyptsy.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a two-day visit as the two countries deepen their relationship. In a letter published in North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, Putin thanked the country for supporting the war in Ukraine and promised support for Pyongyang’s efforts to defend its interests despite what he called “US pressure, blackmail and military threats”.
  • US Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will go on trial on June 26 in the city of Yekaterinburg. The Sverdlovsk Regional Court said the trial will be held “behind closed doors”. Gershkovich, who has been jailed since his arrest in March last year, is accused of spying. He and the Wall Street Journal deny the charges. Washington has designated the reporter as “arbitrarily detained”. ?The Kremlin said that contacts had taken place with the United States over a possible prisoner exchange involving Gershkovich.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused China of “fuelling the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II” even as it seeks to maintain good relations with the West, arguing that the security alliance needed to impose costs on China over its support for Russia. The US last week imposed sanctions on several Chinese companies it said were involved in the sale of dual-use technologies to Russia. Beijing says it is neutral in the war, but has not condemned Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
The nuclear-powered Russian submarine Kazan leaves the port of Havana, Cuba,
The nuclear-powered Russian submarine Kazan on its way out of the port in Havana after a five-day fleet visit [Ariel Ley/AP Photo]
  • Putin sacked four deputy defence ministers in a continuing reshuffle that began last month when he unexpectedly removed longstanding defence minister Sergei Shoigu. Anna Tsivileva, the daughter of Putin’s late cousin, was among those appointed to replace them. Her responsibilities will include improving social and housing support for military personnel. She previously headed a state fund to support those involved in the war in Ukraine.
  • A fleet of Russian vessels, including a nuclear-powered submarine, left Havana’s port after a five-day visit to Cuba following military drills in the Atlantic Ocean. Their next destination was unclear, although US officials have said that they could possibly also stop in Venezuela.

Weapons

  • One soldier was killed and eight other people injured in an explosion at a Czech military base where Ukrainian troops have been training since late 2022. Military police spokeswoman Katerina Mlynkova told the AFP news agency the soldiers involved “were not foreigners”.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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