Current War Situation in Ukraine (June 24 update)

Current War Situation in Ukraine

The Eastern part of Ukraine is the target number one for russian forces these days. All their troops are focused on taking control of two eastern oblasts: Donetsk and Luhansk. The city of Sievierodonetsk (Lugansk oblast) is very important from the standpoint of controlling the majority of the area in those regions for russians, they seek to extend control in the whole city. Their forces have been trying to capture it very hard, and unfortunately, they succeeded. Russia controls as much as 80% of Sievierodonetsk, however, this number changes from day to day. In the cities of Kherson and Zaporizhia, hostilities are less active. Russians hold defensive positions in the southern regions of these two oblasts.

Renewed belarusian troop movements towards the Ukrainian border were noticed. More than 50 units of military equipment have been transported from Grodno (north) to Brest (south). Belarus has concentrated 7 battalions and new howitzers on the border with Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war started by russia, belarusian troops have not attacked Ukraine. However, the belarusian authorities have allowed russian troops to be stationed on their borders with Ukraine, allowing them to use their airports and fire missiles at Ukrainian cities from their territory. Moreover, the russians attacked the Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts on February 24 from belarusian territory.

Ukraine has a lot of mines still from the Second World War, that have not exploded and that are buried somewhere in the soil. However, the new war has brought a new huge amount of dangerous explosives. Ukrainian land is stuffed with parts of missiles and shells, mines, and other explosive devices, also many drifting mines are floating in the sea. Unfortunately, Ukraine is one of the most mined countries in the world, which poses a great threat both to the people who demine these lands and to ordinary residents of towns and villages who may inadvertently step on the explosive. Demining is currently taking place in all territories already liberated from russian invaders. However, it is quite expensive, the calculation of the costs of demining Ukrainian lands is: 

Demining costs from $ 3-5 dollars per 1 sq. m.;

A 1 hectare field – up to $ 50,000;

In Ukraine, 85-130 square meters are mined – $ 400 billion.

The city of Mariupol is already known around the world as a city that the russians destroyed by 95%. The death toll in the city is tens of thousands. Russian troops are currently trying to isolate and control the city due to the risk of a major cholera outbreak, isolated cases of which have already been reported in the past month. The cause of this outbreak was dead bodies everywhere and rubbish, which also flows into the surrounding water. There was news from this city that russian soldiers were forcing the people who remained to live there to clean up the destroyed houses and buildings.  There are many corpses in these destroyed buildings since the beginning of the war, and with this temperature, and with this long time after they have been killed, you can imagine what the situation is. In exchange for these people cleaning these destroyed houses, they receive water and some humanitarian aid. Currently, the city has been closed off to avoid a larger cholera outbreak.

Kherson oblast is a region that connects Ukraine with the Crimean Peninsula. This is the so-called Ukrainian California because a large part of vegetables and fruits are grown there. Currently, most of the Kherson oblast is occupied by russian troops, however, Ukrainian farmers are still planting there. There is a lot of news that russian soldiers come to farmers in this area and want to steal their commodities or equipment, that’s why Kherson farmers stand up against russian invaders. Some farmers have weapons for protection. There was a case two weeks ago when the department of defense within one farm shot two russian soldiers, and a couple of them were injured while trying to steal a combine. In general, all over Ukraine farmers lost 2,281 units of agricultural machinery (as of June 8, 2022). The real numbers are higher. New cases are reported every day.

Chernihiv oblast is a region in northern Ukraine that was liberated from russian invaders in March.  There is a bio laboratory involved in the improvement of potato varieties in this city. Scientists got high-quality seeds of potatoes without viruses and fungi there. Before the war, there were 15,000 test tubes with the cleaned parental material of potatoes in this lab. Unfortunately, russians looted 30 tons of potatoes from this laboratory and took out it to belarus. Another 400 tons were made unfit for planting.

A topic that has hardly been raised is the destruction of the fertile soil layer in Ukraine. In the photo below you can see images with many potholes, they are huge. Especially large potholes remain after the explosion of a five hundred kilogram bomb. Such potholes require hundreds of trucks of soil in order to level the landscape up. Moreover, during the detonation of missiles and artillery shells, many chemical compounds are formed (carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), formaldehyde. CH2O), cyanic acid vapor (HCN), etc.) and toxic organic matter that poison soils and groundwater.

Russians are using phosphorus bombs, which are prohibited by the Geneva Convention. When these bombs explode and come into contact with oxygen, they begin to burn until they have burned all the phosphorus. The burning particles of these phosphorus bombs sometimes melt even metal. In addition, excess phosphates in soils are very harmful to the growth and development of flora and fauna. Therefore, plant tissues are negatively affected. Moreover, such bombs cause severe fires that are very difficult to extinguish. By the way, fires are one of the big problems today. For example, on June 13, a video that appeared on the Internet showed fields burning on the border of Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts. These fields are ready for the winter harvest. One soldier said that incendiary shells landed on 10 fields only in that community, the area of ​​ignition was very large and could not be extinguished. In the south of Ukraine, the harvest begins much earlier than in the whole country, usually from June 15 winter barley and wheat are harvested. However, russian troops have been shelling and setting fire to about 5-10 fields every day for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, not only the fields are burning, but also the surrounding forests. Another problem is that soil and groundwater are polluted with chemicals and heavy metals from fuel spills, and destroyed equipment, and weapons.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine estimated and found that the total amount of losses from the war in Ukraine’s agriculture is $ 4.3 billion:

  • destruction of agricultural land and non-harvest – $ 2.135 billion;
  • mine contaminated lands and demining of affected areas – $ 436 million;
  • replacement and repair of damaged irrigation infrastructure – $ 225 million;
  • destroyed machinery – $926,1 million;
  • damaged granaries – $272 million;
  • killed animals – $136 million. 

The losses of the russian army from 24.02 to 25.06: personnel – about 34.700 (+170) persons were liquidated; tanks ‒ 1.511 (+4); APV  ‒ 3.645 (+8); artillery systems – 764 (+5), MLRS – 241 (+0); anti-aircraft warfare systems – 99; aircraft – 217 (+1),helicopters – 184 (+1); vehicles and fuel tanks – 2.560 (+7); boats, cutters – 14 (+0); UAV operational-tactical level – 626 (+4); special equipment – 60 (+0); cruise missiles – 137.

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