Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 481

This is the situation as it stands on Monday, June 19, 2023.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in Ukraine, said Ukrainian forces had captured the village of Piatykhatky in the Zaporizhia region, in Kyiv’s second gain on that front since it launched its counteroffensive earlier this month. Rogov said the Ukrainians had mounted waves of attacks and that “hundreds” of Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

Russia’s defence ministry said its forces repelled a series of Ukrainian attacks across three sections of the front line. The ministry said Kyiv was pressing most actively in the Zaporizhia region but did not mention Piatykhatky.

Ukraine’s army said its air force carried out 14 raids on Russian positions and destroyed two anti-aircraft missile systems.

Serhiy Bratchuk, the spokesperson for the Odesa military administration, said Ukraine destroyed a “significant” ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Henichesk in the southern region of Kherson.

The United Kingdom said Russia and Ukraine were suffering high numbers of military casualties as Kyiv fights to dislodge the Kremlin’s forces from occupied areas. The most intense fighting was in the southeastern Zaporizhia region, around Bakhmut and further west in the eastern Donetsk region, the UK said.

The boss of Russia’s Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said 32,000 men recruited from Russian prisons had returned home after the end of their contracts with the mercenary force in Ukraine.

Diplomacy

An African peace mission on the war in Ukraine that failed to prompt enthusiasm from either Moscow or Kyiv was still effective, according to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. He said the Africans would keep talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on their proposal.

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will ask businesses to step up investment to help Ukraine rebuild at the Ukraine Recovery Conference that starts in London on Wednesday. Zelenskyy is expected to make a virtual appearance at the two-day event, organisers said.

Weapons

The European Union’s industry chief, Thierry Breton, said the bloc was speeding up arms deliveries to Ukraine in support of the country’s counteroffensive against Russian forces. Breton told the French daily Le Parisien that the EU was preparing for the war to “last several more months, or even longer”.