Latest developments in Ukraine: June 22
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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:
1h10: The British Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday heavy fighting and shelling continued as Russian troops tried to envelop the Sieverodonetsk region through Izium in the north and Popasna in the south.
“Russia is most likely preparing to attempt to deploy a large number of reserve units to Donbass,” the ministry said in its latest daily battlefield report.
The losses amounted to around 55% of the initial strength of the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), one of Russia’s proxies in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said.
Figures released by the DPR showed that as of June 16, 2,128 military personnel had been killed in action, with 8,897 injured since the start of 2022, according to a report posted on Twitter.
Russian authorities have not released a tally of military casualties in Ukraine since March 25, he added.
00:30: US President Joe Biden is due to speak on Wednesday on gasoline prices and the economic effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine as he plans to back the suspension of the federal gasoline tax.
Biden said he would make his decision by the end of the week. The gasoline tax is set at 18.4 cents per gallon, with most of the money going to road construction projects.
Average gasoline prices in the United States are around $5 per gallon. Fuel prices around the world have risen in recent months, with rebounds in demand, refining capacity problems and sanctions against the main Russian oil producer among the contributing factors.
12:20 a.m.: Reuters has reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will travel to Ukraine and Russia next week to meet his counterparts and push for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict, his foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Retno Marsudi confirmed at a press conference the intention of Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is called, to visit Kyiv in addition to Moscow, which had been reported in Indonesian and Russian state media. Retno did not specify what Jokowi, as G-20 chair this year, would discuss with the two leaders.
12:01 a.m.: On Wednesday, Russia marks the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow – June 22 – when Nazi Germany forces invaded the Soviet Union during World War II, Reuters reported.
The day is also commemorated in Ukraine and Belarus, which were then part of the Soviet Union. The war there lasted 1,418 days from June 22, 1941, and historians estimate that 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died.
The Ukrainian government and its Western supporters claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin used the false pretense of expelling the Nazis from Ukraine to wage an unprovoked war of aggression.
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday released documents from the start of World War II that purport to show that Germany intended to claim the Soviet military bombed churches and cemeteries to justify its invasion.
“Just like today, in 1941, the Nazis prepared provocations in advance to discredit our state,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Certain information contained in this report comes from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.