Babel review on June 29: 95 Azovstal defenders returned from captivity, NATO officially recognizes Russia as a threat

Dmytro Rayevskyi
Babel review on June 29: 95 Azovstal defenders returned from captivity, NATO officially recognizes Russia as a threat

Fighter of the "Azov" regiment Dmytro Kozatsky (positive "Orest")

From the very beginning of Russiaʼs full-scale war against Ukraine, Babel has been conducting daily live text coverage and promptly informing about the main news on the Telegram channel. We also make a daily digest of the most important events of the day in case you havenʼt been able to follow live.

The day before, a pair of Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters attacked the outskirts of Oleksandrivka in Kherson oblast — there are no casualties. In response, Ukrainian attack aircraft and helicopters struck clusters of enemy forces and equipment, a stronghold and the Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system. In Mykolayiv, Russians hit a residential high-rise building. Rescuers, medics and communal workers are working on the spot. Four people were killed and five were injured. After yesterdayʼs missile strike on Dnipro there are seven wounded, including a 6-year-old boy (he was hit by glass from a broken window). Two people were hospitalized. Air defense forces destroyed a Russian X-22 missile over Odesa oblast.

Ukraine has released 144 defenders from Russian captivity. This is the largest exchange since the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion. Of the 144 fired, 95 are Azovstal defenders, including 43 Azov Regiment servicemen. Also among the released from captivity, there were 59 soldiers of the National Guard, 30 soldiers of the Navy, 28 soldiers of the Armed Forces, 17 border guards, 9 soldiers of the Troops, and one policeman.

Russian troops almost completely destroyed the Sievierodonetsk CHP. The station is occupied. The CHP supplied heat and electricity to the city and the chemical industry giant of Ukraine, the Sievierodonetsk Azot Association.

Russian troops continue to advance gradually, trying to surround the city of Lysychansk. On June 25, the occupiers advanced another 2 km in the area of the Lysychansk Oil Refinery south of the city. This is stated in the summary of British intelligence. In addition, the British suggest that the missile strike on the Kremenchuk shopping center on June 27 was intended for the surrounding infrastructure, but hit the mall due to the inaccuracy of Russian missiles at long distances.

On July 1, the occupation authorities of Mariupol will begin demolishing houses. Residents are being evicted, although there is actually no housing to relocate to.

The collaborator Kirill Stremous, whom the Russians appointed one of the "heads" of Kherson oblast, confirmed the detention of the mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhaev, who was abducted on June 28 by the Russian military. The traitor stated in his Telegram that Kolykhayev had been "neutralized." He did not specify what that meant. Together with Kolykhayev, the Russian military abducted Rostislav Marshak, head of the Department for State Architectural and Construction Control. In addition, in Kherson, the Russian military abducted volunteer Nakhmet Ismailov.

Two heads of local councils in the occupied Kherson oblast were released from Russian captivity: Hola Prystanʼs Mayor Oleksandr Babych and Stanislavʼs Mayor Ivan Samoilenko. They were taken prisoner on March 28 and June 24, respectively.

Indonesian President Joko Vidodo has arrived in Ukraine. He visited Irpin and met with Volodymyr Zelensky. He is scheduled to meet with Putin on June 30.

British billionaire, and founder of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson arrived in the city of Hostomel, Kyiv oblast. In Hostomel, he was interested in the Antonov airfield — in how to restore it. The head of the Hostomel village military administration Taras Dumenko told him about such prospects and existing projects for the reconstruction of the resort.

After his participation in the G7 summit in Germany, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced the provision of new aid to Ukraine in the amount of 151.7 million Canadian dollars. Canada will also provide Ukraine with a loan of 200 million through the IMF.

Norway and the United Kingdom will provide Ukraine with long-range jet artillery. Norwegian weapons will be sent to the United Kingdom for modernization so that the British can send some of their weapons to Ukraine. In addition, the Norwegian government has decided to hand over 5,000 grenades to Ukraine for the five thousand already delivered.

NATO has officially recognized Russia as a threat. NATOʼs new strategic concept has changed Russiaʼs status, with the Alliance now identifying Russia as the most serious and direct threat to Allied security. The Allianceʼs nuclear forces remain the highest guarantee of Allied security. At the same time, NATO believes that the circumstances in which the Alliance will have to use nuclear weapons are highly unlikely.

Putin will not be at the G20 summit. At a press conference after the G7 summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that the Indonesian authorities had ruled out Putinʼs personal presence at the G20 summit in Bali on November 15-16.