Selenskyj describes the difficult situation in the Donbass Ukrainian Orthodox Church breaks away from the Moscow Patriarchate Reports of deaths and injuries in Russian attacks Developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.

Day 94 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: The Ukrainian army remains under heavy pressure in the extreme east of its front against the invading Russian forces. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of a very difficult situation, but encouraged the military: “Donbass will be Ukrainian.” The war also affected the relationship between the Orthodox Church in both countries.

11:25 a.m .: Moscow reports another “successful” test of hypersonic missile

In the midst of its intensified military offensive in Ukraine, Russia says it has tested a hypersonic missile again. The Zirkon-type missile was fired from a frigate in the Barents Sea towards a target in the White Sea in the Arctic, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow. The target at a distance of around a thousand kilometers “was sighted with success”. Russia first tested a Zircon missile in October 2020, and several more attempts have followed since. In March, Moscow announced that it had deployed Kinzhal-type hypersonic missiles in western Ukraine.

11.09 a.m .: Moscow reports the capture of the strategically important small town of Lyman

The Russian military has claimed complete control of the strategically important small town of Lyman in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. “Due to the joint action of units of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian armed forces, the city of Krasny Liman was completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. Krasny Liman is the name for Lyman that dates back to Soviet times.

The separatists allied with Moscow had already announced the conquest on Friday. On Saturday, the Ukrainian general staff also indirectly admitted the case of the small town. Lyman is strategically important as a railway junction and road link to the metropolitan areas of Sieverodonetsk – Lysychansk in the east and Sloviansk – Kramatorsk in the south-west.

10.46 a.m .: Habeck rejects allegations of arms deliveries to Ukraine

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has rejected the accusation that Germany is too reluctant to deliver arms to Ukraine. “As we speak, Ukrainian soldiers are being trained on the Panzerhaubitze 2000,” Habeck told Welt am Sonntag, referring to the planned delivery of the mobile artillery pieces. It is by no means the case that Germany delivers nothing or too little. It is true that Berlin cannot fulfill all of Ukraine’s wishes.

Germany wants to deliver seven examples of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 to the Ukraine in June. Since mid-May, dozens of Ukrainian soldiers have been trained on the gun mounted on a tank chassis at the Bundeswehr artillery school in Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate.

10:09 a.m .: Kherson closes border with Ukrainian-controlled area

The Cherson region in southern Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops, has closed the border to the north to refugees. “The border crossing in the direction of the Mykolayiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions is very dangerous given the systematic shelling by Ukrainian fighters,” said the deputy chief of the pro-Russian military administration, Kirill Stremoussov, explaining the decision. Departures from the Cherson region are instead possible via the Crimean peninsula or the Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhia region.

The new administration has taken numerous initiatives to cut off the Kherson region from Ukraine and connect it to Russia. The Russian national currency, the ruble, was introduced, the administration has demanded the issuance of Russian passports and the entry of the region into the Russian Federation – even without a prior referendum. Even Moscow reacted cautiously to the last initiative. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the people of the region must decide their own fate. The closure of the borders could serve to stop the flow of refugees into Ukrainian-occupied areas.

10:02 a.m.: Russian troops could focus on the small town of Lyman as a hub

According to estimates by British intelligence services, the Russian forces in Ukraine are likely to concentrate on the small town of Lyman as a hub in the coming days. The city in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk is said to be largely under Russian control as of Friday, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defense on Saturday.

With a major railway junction and access to major road and rail bridges across the Seversky Donets River, Lyman is of great strategic importance, including for Russia’s continued advance in Donbass. If Moscow succeeds in taking control of the city and the region around the city of Sievjerodonetsk, the Kremlin will sell this to its citizens as an important political success, the British write.

Since the beginning of the war, the British government has regularly published intelligence information on the course of the war of aggression in an unusually open manner. Moscow accuses London of a targeted disinformation campaign.

9.20 a.m .: Europol on arms deliveries: prevent situation like in the Balkan war

Europol is concerned that arms shipped from the European Union to Ukraine could end up in the wrong hands in the long term. “At some point the war will be over. We want to prevent a situation like 30 years ago in the Balkan war. The weapons from that war are still used by criminal groups today,” said the director of the European police authority, Catherine De Bolle, in an interview with “Welt am Sunday”. Europol is therefore planning to put together an international working group to develop strategies for dealing with the situation in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

5.30 a.m .: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church breaks away from the Moscow Patriarchate

Because of the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate declared its “complete autonomy and independence” from Moscow. The church in Kyiv said it disagreed with the position of Moscow Patriarch Kirill. Condemn the war and appeal to Ukraine and Russia to continue the negotiation process.

Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, stands firmly behind Russian President Vladimir Putin. Most recently, the pressure within the Church in Ukraine to break away from Moscow had increased. Priests had even called for a church tribunal against Kirill. In terms of number of congregations, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the largest of the three authoritative churches in Ukraine.

4.10 a.m.: Honorary award for Ukrainian mine detector dog at the Cannes Film Festival

An honorary award was presented to a Ukrainian mine detection dog at the Cannes Film Festival. The winner of the “Palm Dog Award” race on Friday was poodle Brit, who starred in Riley Keough and Gina Gammell’s film “War Pony” under the name Beast. The dog received a red leather collar as a trophy.

12:53 a.m.: Reports of dead and injured in Russian attacks

Ukraine has blamed Russia for the deaths of five civilians in the government-held part of the Donetsk region in the east of the country. “Today Russians killed five citizens of Donbass and wounded four others,” wrote the governor of the region, Pavlo Kirilenko, on the Telegram news channel. The Ukrainian army also spoke of heavy artillery, tank, mortar and air attacks on civilian infrastructure and peaceful residential areas. “The occupiers fired on 49 locations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” it said.

12:34 a.m .: “Moscow uses a maximum of artillery and reserves”: Zelenskyj calls the situation in the Donbass very difficult

Zelenskyj described the situation in the Donbass as very difficult in view of the Russian attacks. Moscow is using a maximum of artillery and reserves there, Zelenskyj said in a video speech. The Ukrainian army is defending the country with all currently available resources. “We are doing everything to strengthen the army,” assured the President. As far as the currently fiercely contested locations in the Donbass are concerned, Zelenskyj was combative. “If the occupiers think that Lyman and Sieverodonetsk will be theirs, they are mistaken. Donbass will be Ukrainian.” If Russia brings destruction and suffering, Ukraine will restore every place. Only the Ukrainian flag will fly there and no other, stressed Zelenskyy.