Russia's war in Ukraine

By Aditi Sangal, Rhea Mogul, Lianne Kolirin and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 6:49 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022
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2:21 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

BRICS countries — which include Russia — support Ukraine-Russia talks in joint declaration

From CNN’s Chris Liakos and Arnaud Siad

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a keynote speech in virtual format at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Beijing, China, on June 22.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a keynote speech in virtual format at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Beijing, China, on June 22. (Yin Gang/Xinhua/AP)

BRICS countries said they support talks between Russia and Ukraine in a joint statement published on the Kremlin's website on Thursday.

The BRICS countries include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“We have discussed the situation in Ukraine and recall our national positions as expressed at the appropriate fora, namely the UN [Security Council] and UN [General Assembly]. We support talks between Russia and Ukraine,” the statement read.

“We have also discussed our concerns over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine and expressed our support to efforts of the UN Secretary-General, UN Agencies and ICRC to provide humanitarian assistance in accordance with the basic principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established in UN General Assembly resolution 46/182,” they added.

The BRICS summit, hosted virtually by Beijing, marks Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first international forum with other heads of major economies since he launched his invasion in Ukraine back in February. 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously indicated he is willing to hold direct talks with Putin.

9:48 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Situation in Severodonetsk "difficult" but "stable," Ukrainian military says

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva

The situation in the city of Severodonetsk is “difficult” but “stable,” according to Oleksii Hromov, deputy head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces.

“As of now, the situation is difficult, stable, the fighting is ongoing,” Hromov told reporters in a briefing Thursday. 

“Our servicemen have weapons at their disposal and are supported by artillery units, but unfortunately the enemy has the fire advantage,” he said. “[Russia] has enough artillery systems, enough munition, they inflict massive fire strikes, but our servicemen skillfully maneuver among the fortified positions.”

Hromov conceded that Russia had damaged Ukraine’s supply routes into the city, but he said military leadership had found alternative ways to send ammunition in and bring out the wounded. 

In neighboring Lysychansk, “there is no safe place” left, Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said on Thursday.

The “whole of Lysychansk is being shelled with large caliber and air strikes,” he said.

Authorities continue to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid, he added.

8:24 p.m. ET, June 23, 2022

Russia is gaining advantage in eastern Ukraine as forces learn from earlier mistakes, US officials say

From CNN's Jim Sciutto

Russian forces are gaining an advantage in eastern Ukraine as they learn from mistakes made during the earlier stages of their invasion of the country, including better coordinating air and ground attacks and improving logistics and supply lines, two US officials with direct knowledge of US intelligence assessments told CNN.

The US does not expect new weapons systems recently supplied to Ukrainian forces, including the HIMARS multiple rocket launch system, to immediately change the situation on the battlefield in part because those systems are so far being sent with both a limited range and a limited number of rockets to ensure they are not fired into Russian territory. Additionally, Russian forces have been able to destroy some of the new Western-supplied weapons, including M777 howitzers, in targeted attacks.

The US assessments, which increasingly envision a long and punishing battle in eastern Ukraine, come as the months-long war there has reached a pivotal moment in recent days. Ukraine's military has been burning through Soviet-era ammunition that fits older systems, and Western governments are facing a tough decision on whether they want to continue increasing their assistance to the country.

The US assessments paint a dismal image of the future of the war, with high personnel and equipment losses on both sides. US officials believe that Russian forces plan to maintain intense attacks in the east, characterized by heavy artillery and missile strikes, with the intention of wearing down Ukrainian forces and NATO resolve over time.

Read more here.