June 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Eliza Mackintosh, Jack Bantock, Sana Noor Haq, Helen Regan, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 8, 2022
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2:49 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Satellite images show significant destruction in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Smoke rises from explosions in the village of Bohorodychne.
Smoke rises from explosions in the village of Bohorodychne. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Parts of the Ukrainian cities of Rubizhne and Severodonetsk are significantly destroyed, new satellite images taken on Monday by Maxar Technologies show.  

Constant, intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces has been happening for weeks in both cities. Ukrainian forces in the cities have held on, despite intense bombardments by Russian artillery. 

Russian forces continue to try to advance into — and past — the two key cities in Ukraine's Donbas region. 

A number of buildings in northern Severodonetsk have been destroyed by military strikes, satellite images show.

Just outside of the city, satellite images show a Russian multiple rocket launch systems pointed toward the city. Scorch marks around one of the systems is a telltale sign that its rockets have targeted Severodonetsk. Towed artillery nearby are also pointed toward the city.

Russian rocket launch systems point towards Severodonetsk from a field outside of the city.
Russian rocket launch systems point towards Severodonetsk from a field outside of the city. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Damaged buildings are seen in Severodonetsk, Ukraine.
Damaged buildings are seen in Severodonetsk, Ukraine. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Additional satellite images from eastern Ukraine display the result of Russian artillery and military strikes.

Explosions in the village of Bohorodychne can be seen near a blown bridge.

In the village of Dolyna, smoke is rising from an incoming artillery salvo. In the images, craters from past explosions can also be viewed in a nearby field.  

A field full of craters outside of the village of Dovhenke shows just how many artillery strikes have fallen in the area, as it is completely covered. Nearby, a massive 130-foot (40-meter) crater is seen near what was a group of buildings. It's unclear whether the crater is from the bomb that exploded there or a target on the ground that was hit.  

Craters from artillery strikes dot a field outside the village of Dovhenke.
Craters from artillery strikes dot a field outside the village of Dovhenke. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
A large crater can be seen near what was a group of buildings outside the village of Dovhenke.
A large crater can be seen near what was a group of buildings outside the village of Dovhenke. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

2:06 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Mykolaiv regional governor reports continued shelling

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Karen Smith

Shelling continues in the southern Mykolaiv region, according to Vitalii Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv region military administration.

Kim said two people were killed in the past 24 hours. An administrative building, outpatient clinic, stadium and district council in the city of Bashtanka were also shelled, he said.  

Kim said there are more than 3,700 damaged or destroyed properties in the Mykolaiv region.  

“This number is growing every day. For example, the largest grain storage facilities of Ukraine were destroyed the day before yesterday,” he added.

But hospitals, pharmacies, shops, markets, coffee shops and even restaurants are open in region, he said.

“There is no humanitarian crisis. Our only crisis is invaders from Russia and shelling,” Kim said.

Ukrainian forces over the past week have been pressing forward with an offensive on Russian-occupied Kherson to the southeast of Mykolaiv, reportedly retaking some previously occupied villages. On Sunday, a Russian missile destroyed a large grain storage facility in Mykolaiv, according to the spokesperson for the Ukraine’s Operational Command South.

1:58 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

At least 2 hospitals hit by military strikes in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne, new satellite images show

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

A satellite image shows damage caused by military strikes in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 6.
A satellite image shows damage caused by military strikes in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, on June 6. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Military strikes have hit at least two hospitals in the Ukrainian cities of Severodonetsk and Rubizhne, new satellite images taken on Monday by Maxar Technologies show. 

Significant portions of Severodonetsk have been destroyed by fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces. The Ukrainians have maintained their defense positions in the city, so far thwarting attempts by the Russians to take the city.

Even hospitals and their surrounding areas have not been spared by military strikes. In central Severodonetsk, a number of buildings in a hospital complex — a large red cross is seen painted on the roof — have been destroyed.

In southern Rubizhne, another hospital has been destroyed. The buildings surrounding it, including a pharmaceutical company, have also been destroyed.

Destroyed buildings are seen in Rubizhne, Ukraine, on June 6.
Destroyed buildings are seen in Rubizhne, Ukraine, on June 6. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

1:14 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Russian defense ministry claims it created 2 maritime humanitarian corridors in seas around Ukraine

From CNN's Tim Lister and Lauren Kent

The Russian defense ministry said it has created conditions for two maritime humanitarian corridors to allow for the safe movement of ships in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, according to a statement posted to Telegram on Monday. The statement comes amid international condemnation over Russia's months-long blockade of key ports.

"The Russian Federation is taking the whole range of measures to ensure the safety of civil navigation in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas," the Russian ministry claimed in the statement. "There remains a danger to navigation and damage to port infrastructure from the drift of Ukrainian mines torn from anchors along the coast of the Black Sea states."

Some context: Global leaders have condemned a months-long blockade by Russian forces at key ports in Ukraine — including Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Odesa on the Black Sea — which has left more than 20 million tons of grain stuck inside the country. The Ukrainian Navy said Monday that approximately 30 Russian ships and submarines continued the blockade of civilian shipping in the Black Sea.

According to the Russian statement, the maritime humanitarian corridor in the Sea of Azov will operate around the clock to allow ships to exit the port of Mariupol,

Meanwhile, in the Black Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that a maritime humanitarian corridor will operate during working hours "to leave the ports of Kherson, Mykolaiv, Chornomorsk, Ochakiv, Odesa, and Yuzhne in the southwestern direction from the territorial sea of Ukraine."

The Russian ministry also accused Ukrainian authorities of not taking steps to solve the issue of blocked ships.  

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov restated that Ukraine must de-mine the coastal waters for grain ships to pass and ensured Russia will facilitate their passage and won't use the de-mined sea corridors to attack Ukraine. 

Ukraine has also accused the Russians of placing mines in the Black Sea.

CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed reporting to this post.

12:50 p.m. ET, June 7, 2022

IAEA: Ukraine appealed to nuclear watchdog and the UN to "liberate" the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

From CNN's Adam Pourahmadi in Abu Dhabi 

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine has appealed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations secretary-general to “liberate” the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the head of the nuclear watchdog told CNN on Tuesday.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson that “the Ukraine government has effectively invited, indeed, appealed, to me and to the UN secretary-general to deploy efforts to liberate the nuclear power plant.”

“The Ukrainian government has requested us to come to perform an obligation,” he added. “The IAEA has to perform these inspections in Ukraine. It is not a matter of wanting or wishing, it is an obligation.”

The director-general told CNN that inspections have not taken place for “a long time now” and “there is a lot of nuclear material there that needs to be inspected.”

Asked about whether a visit would legitimize Russia’s control of the plant, Grossi said, “It is absolutely incorrect. When I go there, I will be going there under the same agreement that Ukraine passed with the IAEA, not the Russian Federation. Ukraine!”

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s nuclear energy operator accused the IAEA head of legitimizing Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and of “lying” in claiming that Ukraine requested he travel to the plant. 

11:20 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022

War in Ukraine is impacting energy and food prices around the globe, US treasury secretary says 

From CNN’s Matt Egan

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conceded on Tuesday that inflation is at “unacceptable levels,” but also sought to underscore it is not a problem exclusive to the United States.

“Putin’s war in Ukraine is having impacts on energy and food prices globally,” Yellen told lawmakers. “We are not the only country experiencing inflation. You can see that in virtually every developed country around the world.” 

Speaking during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, Yellen pointed to the Biden administration’s record-setting release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

“Energy and gasoline prices, while very high, they would be higher without that,” Yellen said of the emergency oil release. 

She also emphasized that the United States is not immune to global energy shocks. 

“We are part of global oil markets that are subject to geopolitical influences,” Yellen said. “Given the global nature of these markets, it’s virtually impossible for us to insulate ourselves from shocks like the ones that are occurring in Russia that move global oil prices.”  

She added that it is critical that the United States becomes “more dependent on the wind and the sun that are not subject to geopolitical influences.” 

9:45 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Severodonetsk situation "is consistently difficult," says city official

From CNN's Maria Kostenko and Mick Krever

Columns of smoke rise from different parts of Severodonetsk, as seen from Lysychansk, Ukraine, on June 5.
Columns of smoke rise from different parts of Severodonetsk, as seen from Lysychansk, Ukraine, on June 5. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The military situation in Severodonetsk “is consistently difficult,” according to the head of Severodonetsk’s city military administration.

“Our armed forces have consolidated their positions, holding the borders in the city that they have occupied,” Oleksandr Striuk said on national television.

“The fighting does not subside. The orcs are throwing more and more forces; lots of artillery and equipment are concentrated here, assaulting the city. The orcs are trying to advance, we stop them.”

“Our armed forces are doing their best to defend the city," Striuk said, adding that between 10,000 and 11,000 people remain in the city.

Some background: The battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces for Severodonetsk has intensified over the last week.

Russian artillery, aircraft and helicopters have been occupying the area in an attempt to gain control of the eastern Ukrainian city, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Two people were injured after Russian forces shelled a mining college in Lysychansk, which sits on strategic high ground across the Siverskyi Donets River from Severodonetsk, according to Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk Region Military Administration.

Hayday said Russia was using “sabotage and reconnaissance groups” in the village of Bilohorivka, just west of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. That town also sits on high ground next to the Siverskyi Donets River, and was the site of a massive Ukrainian rout of a Russian assault last month.

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Olga Voitovych contributed reporting to this post.

9:52 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Russia claims it has opened a land corridor to Crimea through occupied Ukrainian territory

From CNN’s Anna Chernova

Steel rolls are stacked on the dock before being loaded on board a cargo ship at the Port of Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 30.
Steel rolls are stacked on the dock before being loaded on board a cargo ship at the Port of Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 30. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed on Tuesday that it had opened a land corridor to Russian-occupied Crimea, allowing civilians and goods to pass through the eastern Ukrainian territory now under its control.

Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said in a conference call on Tuesday that the military, working with Russian Railways, had restored 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) of train tracks and opened roads to allow "full-fledged traffic" between Russia, eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russian forces from Ukraine in 2014. The supply of water through the North Crimean Canal -- a lifeline for Crimea -- had also resumed, Shoigu said.

According to an official readout of the call, the defense minister said that the land corridor allowed Russia to begin delivering goods to Mariupol, Berdiansk and Kherson, southeastern Ukrainian port cities that have been seized by Russia since it launched its invasion in late February. He claimed that the Mariupol and Berdiansk ports were operating normally and were ready to ship grain, amid international condemnation over Russia's months-long blockade of key ports that has left millions of tons of grain languishing in Ukraine.

As instructed by Supreme Commander (Russian President Vladimir Putin), we are ready to load grain in the ports,” Shoigu said on Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov restated that Ukraine must de-mine the coastal waters for grain ships to pass and ensured Russia will facilitate their passage and won't use the de-mined sea corridors to attack Ukraine.

“President Putin… said that Ukraine should de-mine the approaches to the ports, which will allow the ships, after being checked by our military to ensure that the ships do not import weapons, to enter the port, load with grain and then, if necessary, even with our help, proceed to the international waters,” Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.

Some background: The minister's comments come as global leaders have condemned a months-long blockade by Russian forces at key ports in Ukraine -- including Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Odesa on the Black Sea -- which has left more than 20 million tons of grain stuck inside the country. In a United Nations Security Council speech Monday, European Council President Charles Michel accused the Kremlin of "using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing countries" by holding hostage millions of tons of Ukrainian grain and blockading Ukraine's ports.

CNN's Sana Noor Haq, Eliza Mackintosh, Maegan Vazquez and Sam Fossum contributed reporting to this post.

9:34 a.m. ET, June 7, 2022

Zelensky says he's glad "very important ally" Johnson will remain UK prime minister

From CNN's Mick Krever in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 9.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that he was “very happy” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had won a confidence vote on Monday, as he is “a true friend of Ukraine.”

“I am glad that we have not lost a very important ally,” Zelensky told the Financial Times in a broadcast interview. “This is great news.”

“I cannot comment on the internal situation. I do not know all the details. So I beg pardon to Mister Johnson about this. I think that he is much better informed about the details than I am.”

But “Boris is very concrete in supporting Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

Johnson met with Zelensky in Kyiv in April.