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Destroyed Russian Su-57 fighter jet, four agreements signed with France, and the US military aid package worth $225 million: Ukraine’s weekly news digest

While Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is entering its third year, the situation is still intense, with regular updates on attacks on civilians, offensive and defensive operations, and responses from the international community.

Here is what you may have missed on the news from Ukraine from June 3 to June 10.

Photo of the week

Children play football in Kharkiv with destroyed residential buildings due to Russian shellings in the background. June 2024.
Photo: Serhii Korovainyi

UK and Latvia launch industry competitions to provide thousands of drones for the Ukrainian military

The UK and Latvia have recently opened the bidding for companies to supply FPV drones to Ukraine on behalf of the Drone Capability Coalition. This competition aims to produce these drones at scale and at an affordable price point, leveraging the strength of Western industry. This competition is open to industry from any Ukraine Defence Contact Group nation.

Ukrainian soldier carries a surveillance drone to the launching position near the frontline in the Donetsk region.
Photo: Sofiia Gatilova / Reuters

This initiative will be implemented within the Drone Capability Coalition. It was established in February 2024 through the joint efforts of the UK and Latvia and aims to rapidly supply Ukraine with tens of thousands of first-person-view drones. Those have proven highly effective on the battlefield since Russia’s full-scale invasion, providing Ukrainian operators with situational awareness to target enemy positions, armored vehicles, and ships with explosive ordnance.

Russia shelled Kharkiv three times more often in May than in April

In May 2024, Russia shelled Kharkiv, the largest city of the Kharkiv region, 76 times. This is three times more often than during April, Ihor Terekhov, Mayor of Kharkiv, stated on June 4. Terekhov also emphasized that the enemy attacked the city 37 times with universal interspecific glide munitions (UMPB), 25 times with missiles, 12 times with Shahed-136/131 drones, and three times with Lantset UAVs.

Consequences of Russian missile strikes on the printing house in Kharkiv on May 23, 2024.
Photo: Oleh Syniehubov, Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration

On May 10, Russian forces launched a new wave of offensive actions in the Kharkiv region, making further attempts to seize Ukrainian territories. Since then, Kharkiv and the region have been suffering from intensified Russian shelling every day. The enemy has been terrorizing the civilian population, targeting residential buildings and objects of critical infrastructure with air strikes, missiles, and UAVs.

Russian military losses keep growing: Su-57 fighter jet and “Saturn” raid tugboat were hit

On June 8, 2024, a Su-57 multi-role fighter jet of the aggressor state was struck at the Akhtubinsk airfield in the Astrakhan region, Russia, 589 kilometers from the frontline, reported the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. 

So far, the Su-57 is the most advanced Russian fighter jet capable of launching Kh-59 and Kh-69 missiles. The enemy Su-57 was hit for the first time since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Moreover, on June 6, the special unit of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine successfully eliminated the Russian raid tugboat project 498 “Saturn” or “Protei”. The enemy vessel was destroyed near the shores of the temporarily occupied Crimea, in the area of ​​Lake Panske.

Read more: Russian death toll and other losses in Ukraine.

A year after the Kakhovka HPP destruction, environmental damage is estimated at ₴146 billion

On June 6, 2023, Russia blew up the Kakhovka HPP in the Kherson region, causing a large-scale humanitarian and environmental disaster. Such a terrorist act of the aggressor country resulted in civilian casualties, as well as negative consequences for the Ukrainian energy sector, environment, and economy.

As of June 6, 2024, a year after a tragedy, environmental damage is estimated at ₴146 billion, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine. Moreover, due to the Kakhovka HPP destruction, 600 square kilometers of Ukrainian territories were flooded, including 64 thousand hectares of forests.

A woman stands in the middle of her flooded house, holding her two pets. Her house suffered from the destruction
of the Kakhovka HPP and the following flooding in June 2023.
Photo: Evheniy Maloletka / AP

According to preliminary estimates, the Kakhovka HPP can be rebuilt in less than ten years, but only if the territories where it is located will be liberated.

“(…) It is possible to rebuild the station in 6-7 years, but before that, as I already mentioned, it is necessary to deoccupy the territory, and then we will be able to drain the place where the explosion took place, carry out a survey, dismantle the destroyed structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric complex. And then start the direct reconstruction of the station,” stated Ihor Syrota, General Director of PJSC Ukrhydroenergo.

Read more: Energy, environment, economy: long-term consequences of the Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka HPP.

New military aid package from the US: additional missiles, howitzers, artillery rounds, and more

On June 7, US President Joe Biden announced a new $225 million aid package to Ukraine during his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris.

US made HAWK air defense system in action.
Photo: Army Pfc. Nicholas Vidro / US Department of Defense

Later, the US Department of Defense specified which capabilities the new security assistance package for Ukraine includes. These are additional missiles for HAWK air defense systems; Stinger anti-aircraft missiles; additional ammunition for HIMARS; 155mm howitzers; 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds; 81mm mortar systems; as well as other military items.

Four new agreements with France and Mirage 2000 combat aircraft for Ukraine

During his working visit to Paris on June 7, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government delegation met with representatives of the French government and President Emmanuel Macron. As a result of the meeting, Ukraine and France signed four agreements.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and President of France, Emmanuel Macron,
during their meeting in Paris on June 7, 2024.
Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

Grant Agreement on Assistance in Restoring and Maintaining Critical Infrastructure and Priority Sectors of Ukraine’s Economy. This document provides for the allocation of €200 million for the reconstruction and restoration of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, including €60 million for the support of the Ukrainian energy sector, suffering from the Russian shellings;

Agreement on the Establishment and Operation of the AFD Group Representative Office. This document also includes the operation of the French Development Agency, the Society for Promotion and Participation for Economic Cooperation (PROPARCO), and Expertise France in Ukraine. According to this agreement, the French Agency will provide financial and technical assistance to Ukrainian enterprises. This will include loans, grants, and guarantees. Furthermore, France will send 20 technical experts to Ukraine to work in key ministries;

Renewal of the Agreement between the Governments of France and Ukraine for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The agreement was extended for another 20 years, creating a legal basis for cooperation in nuclear facilities maintenance. France will also provide comprehensive support to the energy system of Ukraine according to this document;

Statement of Intent on Cooperation in the Defense Industry. The signed statement aims to identify opportunities for cooperation between Ukraine’s and France’s defense industries in armaments, military equipment, and ammunition, as well as in developing capabilities for the production, maintenance, and repair of military equipment.

The French Mirage 2000 combat aircraft.
Photo: Christophe Simon / AFP

In addition, during the joint press conference, President of France Emmanuel Macron announced the supply of the first series of Mirage 2000 aircraft to Ukraine and the start of pilot and engineer training for the fighter jets.

“We cannot allow Russia to impose its own limits, its own red lines on our military cooperation, because Ukraine has a legitimate right for defense. That is why our support will continue in all areas and sectors,” stressed Macron.

Stats of the week

At least 790 Ukrainian children have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine in 2014.
Source: Dmytro Lubinets, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Date: June 4, 2024.

Ukrainian law enforcement has documented over 450 criminal cases involving the brutal treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) by Russian representatives since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Source: Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.
Date: June 4, 2024.

Since the beginning of 2024, Ukraine has exported 421,800 tons of domestically made sugar, including 301,000 tons to European Union countries.
Source: Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
Date: June 5, 2024.

At least 174 Ukrainian civilians were killed, and 690 more were injured in May 2024 due to Russian military aggression.
Source: Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR).
Date: June 7, 2024.