Ukraine war briefing: Zelenskiy’s army of drones gets its own commander

  • Ukraine announced the appointment of Vadym Sukharevskyi as commander of drone forces, a newly created post. Sukharevskyi was already a deputy commander of the armed forces with responsibility for drones. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, decreed in February the creation of a separate branch of the armed forces devoted to drones and the order was endorsed last week by the government.

  • Ukraine’s military said it damaged three surface-to-air defence systems in Russian-occupied Crimea over Monday night. Missiles struck an S400 system in Dzhankoi and two S300 systems near Yevpatoriya and Chornomorske, resulting in “significant losses” for Russian air defences, Ukraine’s general staff said.

  • The Ukrainians claimed responsibility for an attack on the Novoshakhtinsk refinery in southern Russia on 5 June. “According to intelligence reports, as a result of the strike, the invaders lost 1.5m metric tonnes of oil and petroleum products, which amounts to about $540m,” said a statement issued by the Ukrainian military’s general staff. The Rostov governor, Vasily Golubev, told Interfax news agency that operations at Novoshakhtinsk suffered “significant disruptions” after a fire following a drone attack.

  • Ukraine may keep some of the F-16 fighter jets it is set to receive from its western allies at foreign bases to protect them from Russian strikes, said Serhii Holubtsov, head of aviation within Ukraine’s air force.

  • The US and Poland on Monday launched a multinational group based in Warsaw to counter Russian disinformation on the war in Ukraine. James Rubin, US special envoy, said the Ukraine Communications Group would involve around a dozen western representatives working to “promote accurate reporting of Russia’s full-scale invasion, amplify Ukrainian voices and expose Kremlin information manipulation”.

  • Nearly 90 countries and organisations, half from Europe, have confirmed attending the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit over the weekend despite Russia’s refusal to participate in the conference, Switzerland’s president said.
    Viola Amherd told reporters in the Swiss capital that the summit, on Saturday and Sunday, will aim to chart a path toward possible peace nearly 28 months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

  • Zelenskiy arrived in Germany for a conference on Ukraine’s postwar recovery and talks with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Zelenskiy said measures concerning Ukraine’s energy sector, damaged by Russian air attacks, would be the priority, as well as continued military support, including air defences and joint manufacture of munitions, and the coordination of positions ahead of the “peace summit” to be hosted by Switzerland later in the week.

  • The Guardian

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