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Explosions in Kyiv, Zelensky's appeal to the Moscow Patriarchate: last night's highlights
5 June, 2022

Explosions rocked Kyiv again, and Zelensky called on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate to draw conclusions after the Russians destroyed the Holy Dormition Svyatohirsk Lavra in the Donetsk Oblast. Here is what you may have missed from the previous night.

Fighting for Severodonetsk

Analysts from the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) note that Ukrainian defense forces are successfully deterring Russia's attempts to surround their positions in Luhansk Oblast, as well as repelling frontal attacks by the occupiers in the city of Severodonetsk. They do this by careful and effective local counterattacks and defense of the western bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. At the same time, the Russian army still has the opportunity to capture Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, ISW's update reads.

The head of the Luhansk regional administration, Serhiy Hayday, also notes that the Russian army is deploying all its reserves into capturing Severodonetsk. Now Ukrainian forces control about half of the city, and the occupiers have been pushed back.

Earlier, the head of the Severodonetsk city administration Oleksandr Stryuk reported that the Russian occupiers forcibly deported a small part of the city's population to the occupied territories.

Explosions in Kyiv

Explosions erupted in Kyiv at about 6 am. Prior to that, an air alert was declared almost throughout Ukraine.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klychko said that several explosions took place in Darnytskyi and Dniprovskyi districts of the capital. Relevant services were reportedly working on site. Klychko promised to provide more details later.

New statements by Hungary

Hungarian Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kever called it a "mental problem" that President Volodymyr Zelensky sometimes harshly called on Western leaders to help Ukraine more actively in the war against Russia. In particular, he did not like the criticism of the governments of Hungary and Germany.

"Usually, someone who needs help asks for it politely — persistently, but asks, not demands or threatens. They usually threaten enemies, not those they want to be friends with. There is a personal mental problem here," the speaker said.

Call to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

After the fire at the All Saints Hermitage of the Holy Dormition Svyatohirsk Lavra in Donetsk Oblast due to the shelling of the occupiers, the Russian Defense Ministry said that it was set on fire by "Ukrainian militants." In turn, President Volodymyr Zelensky denied this, and called on the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate to draw conclusions.

"I believe that this lie of the propagandists, this shelling and the support of the Orthodox hierarchs in the Russian Federation for the aggression against Ukraine — all this should lead the UOC to conclusions," Zelensky said.

Optimistic forecast

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov believes that it is currently impossible to predict when the war in Ukraine will end, but he forecasts that this may happen before the end of the year.

"Russia continues to make efforts to occupy our entire state. At the moment, it is impossible to predict when the war will end, but I am optimistic that it will be possible this year," Reznikov said.

Russian spies

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has said that Russia could be listening in on the government quarter in Berlin, as well as other important places. German politicians and officials were warned about this.

"We are defending ourselves and acting. That is why we have sent 40 people from the Russian embassy in Berlin who, in our estimation, may be involved in the Russian secret services… We are closely monitoring the intelligence used by the Russian government," she said.

New tracks

The Ministry of Infrastructure estimates that the transfer to a single railway line of the EU standard will cost from 2 to 3 billion dollars, and more investment will be needed to increase capacity at border crossings.