Update 22 June

22 juni, 2022

In northern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces continue to demine areas previously held by Russia. Near Kyiv, thousands of undetonated bombs were cleared after Russian forced left the city. In the morning of 19 June, Ukrainian air defense shot down an enemy missile in the Vyshhorod district near Kyiv, the Regional Military Administration (RMA) reported. The explosion was heard even in the center of the capital. No one was injured, and there were no fires or damage.

In eastern Ukraine, Russian forces have fired six missiles at the position of Ukrainian troops. The main focus of Russia was to maintain the occupied frontiers and to try preventing the advance of Ukrainian units to the rear of the Russian military group operating in the Sloviansk direction. In the areas of Uda, Ukrainka, Korobochkine, Mykhailivka, Petrivka, Dmytrivka, Russian forces aimed on civilian structure and tried unsuccessfully to conduct reconnaissance near Rtyshchivka.

Near Izyum, Ukrainian troops repelled Russian assault near Bohorodychne and Dolyna. Russian troops fired artillery at Ukrainian positions in the areas of Hrushuvakha, Mazanivka, Dibrivne, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Krasnopillya, and Dolyna, and launched air strikes on civilian infrastructure near Bohorodychne.

In the Donetsk direction, the Russian Air Force inflicted dozens of air strikes on the probable locations of the deployment of Ukrainian artillery, and fired on civilian infrastructure in the areas of Ocheretynne, Avdiivka, Kamyanka, Netaylovo, Mykilske, and Orikhove. Ukrainian troops repelled an assault in the Mariinka area.

In Donbas region, on 22 June an oil refinery in the Rostov region of Russia caught fire, with open source footage indicating that a Ukrainian drone struck the facility. The refinery is located approximately 150 km north of the current frontline in the Donbas.

The attack came shortly after Ukrainian authorities claimed a ”significant” victory over Russian forces after striking Snake Island, where it claimed to have killed 49 Russian soldiers during dozens of strikes. While this similarly remains unconfirmed, these two attacks, which in turn followed the sinking of a naval tugboat last week, clearly indicates Ukraine is stepping up long-range attacks designed to degrade Russian supply chains.

Ukranian local media reports in Ukraine have once again reported on the ongoing resistance to joining Russia from local populations in the occupied territories. Such resistance has previously thwarted Russia’s attempts to push forward a “voluntary” accession process, forcing them to postpone the planned deadline for the transfer of power to a civilian administration. Similarly, Ukrainian intelligence also reported that the Russian forces are creating artificial queues in Berdyansk for Russian passports to create the impression that there remains strong desire amongst the local population to become part of Russia.

In the south, Ukrainian troops liberated Velyke Artakove and Bila Krynytsia near Kherson. Russian forces suffered losses while trying to hold back Ukrainian defense units. Russian troops fired at Odesa with ”Onyx” anti-ship missiles from a Bastion-P coastal complex.

Fighting and artillery exchanges continue along both the Mykolaiv-Kherson and Zaporzhzhia frontlines. Supporting earlier reports of Ukrainian counterattacks, the commander of the Azov Regiment Rodion Kydryshov has claimed that the Ukrainians have shifted from defensive to offensive operations along the Zaporizhzhia frontline.

In western Ukraine, no significant developments were reported from the West of Ukraine.

Developments in Russia

EU sanctions have blocked Russian oligarchs and institutions from accessing assets worth more than 12.5 billion euros in European countries. Blocked assets include luxury yachts, helicopters, valuables, real estate, and other assets.

The Kremlin refuses to recognize the death of 27 crew members of the sank Moskva cruiser. Crew members, including 19 conscripts, are still ”missing.” According to the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation reports, only midshipman Vakhrushev is officially buried after the Moskva incident. Russian Federation Federal Security Services (FSB) officers began ”explanatory work” after learning about the desire of the ”missing” crewmembers’ relatives to cooperate with the media. In case of any cooperation with media outlets, relatives may face criminal liability for divulging state secrets.

Russian Gazprom continues to limit the supply of gas to Italy. This situation is developing against the backdrop of problems with the equipment of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. On 17 June, the Italian oil and gas company Eni received 50 percent of the requested gas volumes from Russia. At the same time, the head of Eni Company is confident that the Italians have nothing to fear since the gas supply exceeds demand.

About 30 percent of imported wines will leave the Russian market for various reasons, according to the head of Russian quality control system, Roskachestvo.

During the four months of the war, the range of perfumes and cosmetics sold in Russia decreased by 25 percent. Many brands have completely left the Russian market, mainly the luxury segment. Reports say that, the Russian perfume and cosmetics market was among the ten largest in the world in terms of turnover and about 60 percent of the market were imports. Considering localized production, the share of foreign brands accounted for 80 percent. Due to sanctions, retail chains and distributors are unable to obtain finished products.

Mango became another western brand who has decided to abandon direct sales in the Russian Federation and sell its stores, which will now operate under franchise. In total, it plans to transfer 55 stores to the franchisee. All jobs are planned to be saved.

Due to sanctions restrictions and the withdrawal of brands from the Russian market, Russian Internet marketplaces are creating their own channels of ‘parallel imports’, which is, in other words, smuggling —foremost illegal imports of household appliances, electronics, cosmetics, perfumes, and clothes. Experts predict that the annual volume of ‘parallel imports may reach 100-120 billion dollars.

International Developments

On 20 June, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, supported the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, which is one of the necessary conditions to receive the candidate status for EU membership. The decision is likely to be positively received by the Netherlands, which remains more skeptical about supporting Ukraine’s EU membership ambitions. The Verkhovna Rada’s move is thus likely aimed at illustrating to the EU that Ukraine is still committed to aligning Ukraine with European standards, particularly ahead of the EU leaders’ summit later this week, 23-24 June, when a final decision on Kyiv’s candidate member status is expected.

On 20 June, European ministers held a meeting to discuss the ongoing blockade of grain exports in Ukraine. Since the beginning of invasion in February, as over 20 million tonnes of grain shipments have been stuck in the country. Meanwhile, although both Poland and Romania trying to adapt their railways to facilitate grain exports via land, it is expected to be not being enough to free all of the blocked grain via railways. Nevertheless, the World Bank predicted that global food, fuel, and fertilizer prices will remain elevated into 2024, though are expected to somewhat ease in 2023.

As Russia’s war against Ukraine enters into fourth month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the war in Ukraine could take years, whilst also expressing cautious optimism about Ukraine’s chances of defeating Russia. Specifically, Stoltenberg said that “with more modern weapons, the probability increases that Ukraine will be able to drive Putin’s troops out of Donbas again”. President Zelensky has once again urged the West to speed up the arrival of weapons systems, with local reports also highlighting mounting shortages.

Lithuania banned the transit of sanctioned Russian goods to the Kaliningrad exclave. Passenger transportation isn’t affected. Earlier this year, the EU closed its skies for Russian aircraft; now, Russian goods can get to the exclave from the mainland only over the Baltic Sea. Russia threatened Lithuania with undisclosed ”measures to defend its national interests” if the transit of goods wasn’t restored. Putin’s Press secretary said, ”Lithuania’s decision to blockade the Kaliningrad region is unprecedented and a violation of absolutely everything.” However, Dmitriy Peskov failed to mention the Russian blockade of the Black Sea ports of Ukraine and the war of aggression against Ukraine.

With the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, the Baltic states will secure land access to their allies in case of need, as well as dominance at sea and in the air.

If Russia behaves aggressively, Finland and Sweden would likely act as de facto NATO members while they enjoy interim security guaranties from the key Alliance members, first and foremost – the United States. Thus, Russia will turn to provocations and belligerent rhetoric but will restrict its actions below the threshold of war.

Humanitarian Aspect

According to the various reports, high numbers of casualties highlighted in the self-proclaimed regions. As of 16 June, Donetsk People’s Republic announced that 2,128 of its military personnel have died since the start of the invasion. Even the figures in DPR alone highlights even the higher number of casualties in self-proclaimed regions. The Kremlin has not announced the figures of casualties since 25 March and the publication of this information is severely tight.


Ahead of the EU summit on 23-24 June, a final decision regarding the membership status of Ukraine, President Zelensky urged adoption of the seventh package of sanctions as soon as possible. Ukrainian President’s announcement also came after escalating tensions between Lithuania and Russia over Kaliningrad, that has become a new conflict after Lithuania banned the transit of certain goods to the region.

In the meantime, Russia’s response to Klainingrad blockages came on 22 June. Russian Foreign ministry press secretary Maria Zakharova stated that Russia’s response ”will not be diplomatic but practical”. Indeed, more provocative ”military-technical” responses have already begun. On 22 June, the Chief of Staff of the Estonian Ministry of Defence Kusti Salm reported that Russian forces are currently conducting exercises simulating missile attacks on Estonian territory, while also reporting alleged air space violations by Russian helicopters.

Although Russia’s escalatory rhetoric and military posturing, it is very unlikely that Russia pursuing a direct military action against any Baltic countries. Even if the scenario of Russian direct military action in the Baltics is very low, 2Secure assess that nuclear posturing, aerial and naval incursions directed at the Baltics, as well as risk of severe trade disruptions and cyber warfare will remain the most likely responses in the short term, all short of open military confrontation.

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