The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is claiming that the town of Komyshuvakha in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic has been “freed from Ukrainian occupation.”
Kadyrov shared the images on his official Telegram channel. They purport to show Chechen soldiers in the town of Komyshuvakha, a settlement in the Sievierodonetsk Raion (district) of the Luhansk Oblast region of eastern Ukraine.
Kadyrov claimed that the town was now in the pro-Russian, so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), a breakaway state in eastern Ukraine that is recognized by Moscow but not by the vast majority of the international community.
He said: “The last stage in the liberation of Kamyshevakhi from armed nationalist formations has been completed.”
He added: “A lot of manpower and resources were allocated by Kyiv in order to keep the strategically important settlement. Once again, they came face to face with the harsh reality, and to be more precise, with our fighters. No equipment and infantry are able to withstand the onslaught of the allied forces. The news of the approach of the Chechen special forces is a signal for the Ukronazis to immediately retreat. And even being in the minority, our guys inspire genuine horror in them.”
Kadyrov also said: “At the same time, Chechen fighters treat the civilian population with understanding and sympathy. The grandmother in these frames, by a happy coincidence, survived during the hostilities. Shortly after being discovered, she was immediately evacuated to a safer location where she would be given all the proper assistance.”
We have not been able to independently verify these images or claims.
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation.” June 15 marks the 112th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 15, Russia had lost 32,750 personnel, 1,440 tanks, 3,528 armored fighting vehicles, 722 artillery systems, 230 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 97 anti-aircraft warfare systems, 213 warplanes, 179 helicopters, 2,485 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 boats, 591 unmanned aerial vehicles, 55 special equipment units. A total of 129 enemy cruise missiles were shot down.
All the bridges to the besieged Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk have reportedly been destroyed, according to local governor Serhiy Haidai. Ukrainian forces there are now cut off from any possible retreat and fierce street-to-street fighting is taking place in the city, which has been the focus of Russian artillery fire for weeks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian attacks on the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk have turned them into “dead cities.” An aide to President Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine is losing up to 200 troops a day.
President Zelenskyy has asked for additional weapons from Ukraine’s allies. The United Kingdom and the United States have said they are sending long-range missile systems to Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of more attacks in Ukraine if the West sends long-range weapons.
Ukrainian officials have said that weapons are not arriving fast enough. An adviser to President Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, has said that to end the war, they need “1,000 howitzers caliber 155 mm; 300 MLRS; 500 tanks; 2000 armored vehicles; 1,000 drones”.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution recommending that the European Union grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for EU membership. In the June 8 balloting, 438 members of the parliament voted for the resolution, with 65 voting against and 94 abstaining.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Turkey has raised legitimate concerns in its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance and that talks to find a solution would continue.
It is understood that there are ongoing attempts to set up a civilian corridor out of the encircled city of Sievierodonetsk.
It is not clear if Russia has halted its attacks in the key eastern city to allow for evacuation, and hundreds of civilians are said to be trapped in a huge chemical plant.
The Russian army has said that evacuated civilians will be transported to separatist-controlled areas of Luhansk Oblast.
But skeptics are pointing out that previous humanitarian corridors attempted in Ukraine have struggled to stay open.
Russian forces now control most of Sievierodonetsk after a month of intense combat, according to British military intelligence.
Meanwhile, NATO ministers are in Brussels for talks as Russia’s military advances in the Donbas region prompt pleas from Ukrainian officials for more Western weapons.