June 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Andrew Raine, Amy Woodyatt, Jack Guy and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022
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2:42 a.m. ET, June 6, 2022

Zelensky says he visited troops on Luhansk-Donetsk frontline Sunday

From CNN's Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporenko 

(Office of President of Ukraine)
(Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he visited troops in some of the most heavily bombarded frontline positions Sunday.

In his nightly address, Zelensky said: "We were in Lysychansk and we were in Soledar."

Both places have been under heavy Russian attack for weeks, suffering missile, rocket and aerial bombardment.

"I am proud of everyone I met, shook hands with, communicated with and supported. Something was brought for the military, but I will not detail it," he said. "And I brought something from them -- to you. It is important: confidence and strength."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met frontline troops in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia on Sunday June 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met frontline troops in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia on Sunday June 5. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Earlier Sunday, Zelensky was in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, where he said he'd met the mayors of some occupied towns.

"I met with Mariupol residents who managed to leave the city alive and with children. I met them in Khortytsia. Conditions are temporary but not bad," he said. "Each family had its own story, most without men. Someone's husband went to war, someone in captivity, and someone, unfortunately, died."

11:55 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Russians suffer losses in renewed offensive against Sloviansk, Ukrainian military says

From CNN's Tim Lister

Residents look for belongings in the rubble of their home after a strike destroyed three houses in the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 1.
Residents look for belongings in the rubble of their home after a strike destroyed three houses in the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 1. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian military has reported another day of heavy fighting in the Donetsk region, especially on the northern approaches to the key city of Sloviansk.

The armed forces' General Staff did not acknowledge losing any territory but said Russian troops had resumed their offensive near Sviatohirsk, some 12 miles (20 km) north of Sloviansk, and had suffered losses. It said there had been further air strikes against Sloviansk. The city is located more than 300 miles east of the capital Kyiv.

Further east, the General Staff said Russian forces had tried to storm two districts (Bilohorivka and Mykolaivka), that, if lost by the Ukrainians, would put the city of Severodonetsk at risk of encirclement.

The enemy suffered significant losses in manpower and equipment," the military said.

Local authorities reported the town of Bakhmut -- a lynchpin in Ukraine's defense of Donetsk and Luhansk -- had been shelled again. An agricultural machinery plant had been set on fire, they said.

Fighting in the south continues, with territory changing hands since a Ukrainian counter-offensive began a week ago.

The General Staff said the Russians were conducting an offensive in the area of ​​Bila Krynytsia in the north of the Kherson region, a district recently retaken by Ukrainian forces. The head of the regional military administration, Oleksandr Vilkul, said Russian units had "retreated to previously occupied positions."

A grain storage silo was destroyed in the city of Mykolaiv, according to images from the area geolocated by CNN. The Operational Command South of the Ukrainian forces said "from the direction of the Black Sea and from the territory of Russia, the Black Sea coast of Mykolaiv region, ports and granaries were attacked by air-based cruise missiles."

11:55 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Putin blames the West for international food and energy crisis

From CNN’s Mariya Knight in Atlanta

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen during the Summit of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) at the Grand Kremlin Palace, on May 16, in Moscow, Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin seen during the Summit of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) at the Grand Kremlin Palace, on May 16, in Moscow, Russia. (Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow’s actions have nothing to do with the looming energy and food crisis in the world and again blamed economic and financial policies of the West for creating such a scenario.

Current and former energy officials tell CNN they worry that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the wake of years of underinvestment in the energy sector have sent the world careening into a crisis that will rival, or even exceed, the oil crises of the 1970s and early 1980s.

US President Joe Biden has blamed Russia's invasion for domestic price hikes and global food supply shortages.

In an interview with state TV channel Rossiya-1, conducted Friday and aired in full Sunday, the Russian leader blamed the United States for "injecting large sums of money" into its economy as a means of combating the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to inflation and an "unfavorable situation in the food market, because first of all, food prices went up."

Putin also blamed "the short-sighted policy of European countries, and above all the European Commission, in the energy sector" as another reason for the crisis in food and energy market. 

“Among other things, the Europeans did not listen to our urgent requests to preserve long-term contracts for the supply of the same natural gas to European countries, and they also began to (terminate the contracts) … This had a negative impact on the European energy market: Prices crept up. Russia has absolutely nothing to do with it," he said. 

As soon as gas prices went up, fertilizer prices "immediately increased, because some of these fertilizers are produced, including at the expense of gas. Everything is interconnected," Putin added. 

"But we warned about this, and this has nothing to do with any military operation of Russia," Putin said. 

The Kremlin said last week that Moscow is ready to make a “significant contribution” to avoid the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizers, if the West lifts “politically motivated restrictions” on Russia.  

11:55 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Zelensky meets with soldiers and displaced Ukrainians during trip to Zaporizhzhia region

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

(Office of President of Ukraine)
(Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with soldiers on the frontline and internally displaced Ukrainians during a trip to Zaporizhzhia region on Sunday. 

Zelensky "visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian military," taking the opportunity to acquaint himself "with the operational situation on the frontline of defense," a statement from the Ukrainian Presidency said. 

The president spoke with the soldiers, presenting them with state awards and thanking them for their service, according to the statement. 

"I want to thank you for your great work, for your service, for protecting all of us, our state. I am grateful to everyone. I want to wish you and your families good health. Take care of yourselves," Zelensky told the frontline soldiers. 

He also paid a trip to a sanatorium where internally displaced Ukrainians, forced to flee their homes, have been receiving shelter and medical care, according to a separate statement from the Ukrainian Presidency. 

Some more context: Almost 12 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky told lawmakers in Luxembourg on Thursday. 

I understand that everyone wants to return home. And this housing, no matter how comfortable it is, cannot be compared with your own home. There is nowhere better than home," Zelensky told the IDPs on Sunday. 

IDPs who had traveled from the southern city of Mariupol recounted to the president the "tragic events they had to endure due to the Russian invasion, "appealing to him for help with recovering lost documents and issuing death certificates of relatives who died in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the statement. 

Zelensky invited them to put forward suggestions for "legislative changes" that could be made to simplify the procedures for obtaining these documents. 

He assured the IDPs that all those who have lost their homes will be provided with "comfortable housing," according to the statement. 

Finally, Zelensky gave a gift to 8-year-old boy, Yehor Kravtsov, who kept a diary while living under shelling in Mariupol. Yehor, whose "Mariupol Diary" writings were published on social networks, shared his experiences of the city's bombing with Zelensky.

11:54 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Ukraine claims it controls half of Severodonetsk

From CNN's Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporneko

A photograph shows an explosion in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fightings between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on May 30.
A photograph shows an explosion in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fightings between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on May 30. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Serhiy Hayday, the head of the Luhansk region military administration, says there is "good news" from the city of Severodonetsk, which has been under Russian bombardment for weeks.

In a post on his Telegram channel, Hayday says: "Our Armed Forces have cleared up half of the city. Half of the city is really controlled by our defenders." Last week, Hayday said that Russian forces held about 80% of Severodonetsk, but Ukrainian forces have clawed back parts of the city in street fighting since then. 

Hayday says he expects Russian forces to redouble their efforts to take the city in the next few days by using heavy artillery. 

"They have no other tactics," he said "They cannot fight in another way."

Hayday said there are approximately 15,000 civilians still in Severodonetsk. "Now evacuation is impossible because of constant fighting," he said.

"Even though we officially stopped the evacuation, today, we managed to evacuate 98 people from Lysychansk together with the help of volunteers, the State Emergency Service and the National Police," he said. 

Lysychansk is across the Siverskyi Donets river from Severodonetsk and is heavily defended by Ukrainian troops.

11:54 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

West "must understand" giving heavy weapons isn't one-time situation, says Ukrainian deputy defense minister

From Julia Presnakova, Kostan Nechyporenko and Bex Wright

Western allies “must understand” that providing heavy weaponry to Ukraine “is not a one-time aid” but has to be continued until “victory,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Sunday.

“Weapons have already begun to arrive, but it is not enough to give a very strong rebuff to the Russian army,” Maliar said. “We will always need support, given that we have already entered a protracted war. The West must understand that this is not a one-time aid, but to a victory.”

“Our fighters are really prepared, our army is really prepared. But this motivation and training are not enough to overcome Russia without weapons,” she said. “Therefore, we openly ask the question that we need the help of the Western world, especially in weapons. And first of all, we are talking about air defense and heavy weapons.”

The scene in Severodonetsk: Maliar said that the situation on the ground is “hot” and changing constantly, so it’s difficult to give updates on how much of the city Ukraine controls.

“No one can say for sure because, during the fighting, some part of the city may now be under the control of Russian troops, but in 30 minutes, the situation could change radically,” Maliar said. “The only thing we can say for sure is that the (Ukrainian) armed forces are strongly resisting. Otherwise, the city would have fallen.”

The threat to Kyiv: “Kyiv is constantly under threat,” Maliar said. “We need to understand that the war is in a hot phase, and Kyiv remains the main goal of the Russian Federation.”

Maliar also spoke about the fighters from around the world who have signed up for the International Legion, which she said is legally part of the Ukrainian armed forces.

“The International Legion proved itself in battle,” Maliar said, including in the liberation of Kyiv, and now the international fighters “are also in the hottest spots.”

She said they have applications “from almost all over the world,” with some people signing up as “professional fighters who can perform very high-level military tasks” and others who join after being motivated by “the injustice” of the conflict.

11:54 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Ukrainian military says Russia launched 5 cruise missiles toward Kyiv

From CNN's Julia Presniakova, Victoria Butenko, Yulia Kesaieva and Bex Wright

Russia “launched 5 X-22 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea in the direction of Kyiv” at 6 a.m. local time on Sunday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

One missile was destroyed by Ukraine’s air defense unit, and the rest hit “infrastructure facilities in the north of the Ukrainian capital,” the military said.

Earlier, Vadym Denysenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, said one military target and one civilian target were hit.

Several of the missiles hit the Darnytsia Carriage Repair Plant, injuring one railway worker, according to Oleksandr Kamyshin, CEO of the Ukrainian state railway enterprise Ukrzaliznytsia. Passenger trains were not delayed by the attacks, he said.

Kamyshin denied the Russian reports that his company was housing any military equipment, and he invited journalists to visit the plant and verify that.

“I officially declare that there is no military equipment on the plant's territory. This plant repaired cargo carriages, including those we use for grain export,” Kamyshin said.

“Their real target is the economy of Ukraine and the civilian population,” he said. “They also want to block our opportunity to export Ukrainian products to the West.”

11:54 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Ukraine shot down four missiles aimed at Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, officials say

From CNN's Julia Presniakova, Taras Zadorozhnyy and Bex Wright

Ukrainian air defenses shot down four Russian missiles aimed at Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, an update from Operational Command South said on Sunday.

“During a night attack from the sea by missiles across the south of Ukraine, two missiles were shot down by forces of our divisions over the sea, on approach to the Mykolaiv region,” the statement said.

At dawn, the Mykolaiv region was “again subjected to a massive missile strike using aircraft” and two missiles were shot down by air defenses, the statement said.

“From the direction of the Black Sea and from the territory of Russia, the Black Sea coast of Mykolaiv region, ports and granaries were attacked by air-based cruise missiles.”

“Such audacious actions again reveal the real intentions of the terrorist country — pseudo-care of humanitarian corridors and unblocking ports — this is just an excuse to gain access to Ukraine's maritime infrastructure,” the statement said.

Russia also tried to regain lost positions in two areas of Mykolaiv but “suffered heavy losses and retreated,” a separate update from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Sunday.

In nearby Kherson, the military said there has been no mobile or internet connection for six days, and the Russian troops controlling the city have opened a branch of a party called ‘United Russia’ where they “collect data from the city’s residents.”

Heavy fighting is also taking place in the Beryslav district, and many houses, roads and bridges have been destroyed, the military said.

11:54 p.m. ET, June 5, 2022

Putin warns Russia will strike new targets if long-range missiles are supplied to Ukraine

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite  

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that Moscow would strike new targets if the US supplied long-range missiles to Ukraine, according to Russian state media.   

Delivering new arms to Kyiv only aims to “drag out the armed conflict for as long as possible,” Putin said in an interview to Rossiya-1 TV channel, Russian state media TASS reported.

In the case of deliveries of long-range missiles to Kyiv, Russia will draw "appropriate conclusions" and strike those “facilities” that it has not yet targeted, he said.  

"If they are supplied, we will draw appropriate conclusions from this and use our own weapons, of which we have enough, in order to strike at those facilities we are not targeting yet," Putin said commenting on the situation regarding the supply of American multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine.  

Supplying American MLRS to Ukraine essentially does not change anything, since Kyiv had similar weapons before, including similar range missiles, so they are simply making up for their losses, Putin said, according to TASS.  

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday the US is providing Ukraine  "more advanced rocket systems and munitions" as its war with Russia grinds on.