Day 481: Russia blocks UN humanitarian mission from areas on left bank of river in Kherson region

In Kherson region, 22 towns are still flooded. Ukraine wants to join NATO after Sweden, through the same accession scenario, the speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament says. Ukrainian troops liberate Pyatykhatky village in Zaporizhzhia region

In Kherson region, 22 towns still flooded; Russia blocks UN from areas on left bank

In Mykolayiv region, flood waters have receded. In Kherson region, 22 towns and villages are still flooded. Head of the Mykolayiv regional military administration, Vitaliy Kim said on television: “All of the 375 houses that suffered from flooding, are not flooded anymore. The State Emergency Service continues to pump out water, they’ve got additional water pumps. Our situation is stable. Two bridges — one wooden and the other steel — that went underwater, were constructed by the Konotop railroad repair and overhaul regiment with [the financing obtained through] the UNITED24 platform, they endured and are already open to traffic.”

“The situation will get back to normal soon. Flood waters have receded. Water levels still exceed the threshold by 50 centimeters in Snihurivka, but they already fall below critical levels. We can say that Mykolayiv region is not flooded anymore,” Kim said. 

In Kherson region, the situation is more complicated. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as of Monday morning, 22 towns and villages are still flooded, of which five are on the right bank of the Dnipro, and 17 are in the Russian-held territory on the left bank of the river.

UN has been denied access by Russia to those on the occupied left bank following the collapse of the Kakhovka hydropower station and dam. “The government of the Russian Federation has so far declined our request to access the areas under its temporary military control,” Denise Brown, UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said in a statement.

Ukraine wants to join NATO after Sweden, through same accession scenario, speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament says

Ukraine wants to become NATO’s next member after Sweden, speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk told Ukrainska Pravda in an interview.

“There were a lot of discussions about the Finlandization of Ukraine. After Finland joined NATO, I am ready to walk Finland’s way, we are ready to accept a Finlandization like that,” Stefanchuk said.

“After February 24, Finland became the 31st member of NATO. I hope Sweden will become its 32nd member soon. We want to become NATO’s 33rd member state, and we want to walk the way like Finland and Sweden did,” he said.

All NATO decisions are made by consensus, so Ukraine needs to demonstrate that it complies [with NATO standards] and has achieved some progress, Stefanchuk said. 

“It will form the basis for their decision,” the speaker of the Parliament said.

The future of Ukraine lies in NATO, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview. Ukraine’s high priority now is to “assert itself as a sovereign and independent state,” otherwise there is no possibility to discuss its membership. 

“We need to make sure that when this war ends, there are credible agreements for Ukraine’s security so that Russia cannot rearm and attack again and the cycle of Russian aggression is broken,” Stoltenberg said.

At the Vilnius summit, NATO will adopt a comprehensive assistance package that will help move Ukraine closer to NATO over the course of several years. Political ties between NATO and Ukraine will also intensify, Stoltenberg added.

Ukrainian troops liberate Pyatykhatky in Zaporizhzhia region

In the first two weeks of the counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops liberated Pyatykhatky and seven other towns and villages across the Berdyansk and Melitopol lines of advance, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said.  

“In the course of two weeks of offensive operations on the Berdyansk and Melitopol axis, units of the operational and strategic group of forces Tavria liberated eight towns: Novodarivka, Levadne, Storozheve, Makarivka, Blahodatne, Lobkove, Neskuchne, and Pyatykhatky,” Malyar said.

Ukrainian troops retook Pyatykhatky on June 18. On June 19, President Zelenskyi met with top government officials and military commanders. They discussed the frontline situation and brigades on the offensive.

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