Day 105 of the Invasion of Ukraine: World Bank allocates $1.5 Billion to Kyiv, Russia withdraws Troops from Zaporizhzhia
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
The World Bank has approved the allocation of nearly $1.5 billion to Ukraine
The World Bank has approved the allocation of new funds to Ukraine, where fighting continues for the key city of Sievierodonetsk.
$1.49 billion in additional funding for Ukraine has been approved by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors. The purpose of the new funds is to help pay the salaries of civil servants and social workers. Thus, the support provided by the financial institution to the authorities in Kyiv is already over 4 billion dollars.
The battle for Sievierodonetsk continues
On the 105th day of the war, the battle for Sievierodonetsk continues. There are reports that about 800 civilians have taken refuge in a chemical plant in the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late last night that "the absolutely heroic defense of Donbas continues."
In a night video address, he said that Russian forces had not made significant progress in the eastern Donbas in the past 24 hours.
Intensive battles for control of Sievierodonetsk continued, with Russia and Ukraine making a number of claims and counter-claims about the situation on the ground. Moscow has said it has "liberated" the eastern city, which is key to controlling Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, although this was soon denied by Kyiv, which says it still controls the situation.
Ukraine, meanwhile, has called for more heavy weapons to counter Russia's military offensive in the east. The country's allies are seeking to secure these much-coveted weapons from Kyiv, amid broader international efforts to export more grain from Ukraine, but it is taking time.
Zelensky's statement contradicts Russia's claims that it has "completely liberated" the areas around Sievierodonetsk, a key strategic city in the battle for Donbas.
He said the Russians apparently did not expect to meet so much resistance and are now trying to bring in additional troops and equipment. This is also the case in the southern Kherson region, which was occupied by Russian troops at the beginning of the war, the Ukrainian leader said.
In the video, Zelensky said that next week Ukraine plans to publish a special "Book of Executors" with confirmed information about war crimes committed by the Russian army. Among those listed will be not only those who have committed war crimes but also their commanders
Russia withdraws troops from the Zaporizhzhia region
Russia has begun to withdraw its troops from positions in the Zaporizhzhia region, according to the Institute for War Studies (ISW) in Washington, quoted by UNIAN.
According to analysts, the occupiers aim either to transfer damaged combat units to areas farther from the front, or to strengthen Russian troops in the northwestern part of the Kherson region.
However, ISW is currently unable to confirm the location of the withdrawn forces.
Earlier, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, Oleksandr Starukh, said the Russian invaders were withdrawing troops from Melitopol and part of the Vasilievsky district, about 45km south of Zaporizhzhia, possibly as part of a rotation. According to him, the invaders are moving in the direction of Kherson.
According to ISW, Russian forces can send troops to defend their positions from Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region. They took part in clashes in three frontline settlements, but did not take offensive in the Zaporizhzhia region on June 7, experts say.
The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky called the Zaporizhzhia and Sievierodonetsk directions the most dangerous directions on the front.
Soldiers from Mariupol transferred to Russia
More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered in Mariupol have been transferred to Russia so they can be trialed, TASS reported, citing a source in Russian law enforcement.
"More than 1,000 people from Azovstal have been transferred to Russia. Law enforcement agencies are actively working with them," the source said, without specifying how they would be dealt with.
He added that more Ukrainian prisoners could be transferred to Russia at a later stage.
If the news is confirmed, it will hinder the already problematic peace talks between the two countries, Reuters notes.
Ukraine wants all 2,000 defenders of the Azovstal metallurgical plant returned to it as part of a prisoner exchange but Russian lawmakers have demanded that some of the soldiers be tried.
Talks between Russia and Turkey
The possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea was discussed over the phone by the military ministers of Russia and Turkey. The topic is part of the upcoming talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Last night, Russia's top diplomat Sergey Lavrov arrived on a two-day visit to Ankara.
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