Day 825: Russia for first time uses Qaem-5 bombs supplied by Iran

Russian forces stop assaults on the Kharkiv axis. The most tense situation is in the Pokrovsk direction, the General Staff says. Russia has for the first time used Qaem-5 bombs supplied by Iran, Bild says. Putin prepares a gathering “in parallel” with Ukraine’s peace summit, Zelenskyi says.

Russia stops assaults on Kharkiv axis. The most tense situation is in Pokrovsk direction, General Staff says

Russian forces have not stormed Ukrainian positions in Kharkiv region since the day began, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in an update on Tuesday morning. On the frontlines, the situation in the Pokrovsk direction remains the most tense. 

On the Kharkiv axis, Ukrainian troops are strengthening the defenses and keeping Russian forces within range. 

“In the past day, the enemy lost more than 250 troops there, including 54 killed in action. [Ukrainian forces] destroyed a Russian tank, two artillery systems, five vehicles and five pieces of special equipment. Two armored protected vehicles, 10 artillery systems, six vehicles and a special equipment piece were damaged,” the General Staff said.

At the time of the update, eight combat engagements continued in the Pokrovsk direction. Ukrainian troops had repelled seven attacks near Novooleksandrivka, Prohres, and Novoselivka. Ukraine’s defense forces continue to make efforts to stabilize the situation along this line of attack, the General Staff said. 

“Since the beginning of the day, Russian forces have lost 100 soldiers. [Ukrainian troops] also destroyed nine hostile armored protected vehicles and two cars,” the report reads.

In the past day, in the Pokrovsk direction, Russian forces lost 369 troops. Ukrainian forces destroyed a tank, 10 armored protected vehicles, four cars, three artillery cannons, and damaged six armored protected vehicles, three cars and three artillery cannons.

Russia for first time uses Qaem-5 bombs supplied by Iran, Bild says

Iranian-provided Mohajer-6 drone that crashed in Russia’s Kursk region over the weekend was carrying the latest Iranian guided aerial bombs, the Qaem-5, German outlet Bild said on Monday, citing its open data analyst Julian Röpcke. Röpcke commented on a clip posted to social media that was taken by a local resident approaching a Mohajer-6 drone as it lay in the middle of a field.

Russia likely intended to strike Sumy region with the drone, but it fell before reaching the target. The Qaem-5 is a television-guided air-to-ground bomb that can carry different types of payloads. It has a maximum range of 40 kilometers and a minimum height of release of around three kilometers. Iran started producing the Qaem-5 bombs as recently as August 2019.

Iran’s Mohajer-6 entered series production in 2018. The Qods Aviation Industries Mohajer-6 is an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance drone. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kilograms, a 10-meter wingspan and a maximum speed of 200 km/hour. 

Russian forces have been using Mohajer-6 drones since the invasion, but have not used the high-precision Qaem-5 in Ukraine before. The use of Qaem-5 bombs indicates a “new level” of military cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, Röpcke said.

Putin prepares gathering “in parallel” with Ukraine’s peace summit, Zelenskyi says

Russian leader Vladimir Putin plans to organize a gathering “in parallel” with Ukraine’s peace summit to be held in Switzerland next month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi told a joint news conference with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Tuesday. 

“We have offered a diplomatic path, the Peace Summit. (…) We are appealing to the world leaders: if you want peace, let’s meet at the Peace Summit. It is absolutely fair that the platform is prepared by us and our allies, because we have a war, and the initiative should be ours. We are a victim, we have been attacked, it’s us being killed,” Zelenskyi said. 

“There is no need to be looking for alternatives. Choose this path. If there are other opinions, please come to the summit, we have an open microphone. Any state can come and motivate their opinion, and offer suggestions for a diplomatic end of the war.”

“Putin is very much afraid of the Peace Summit. He thought that 90 countries will not support us. He has been trying to derail the summit. He is now thinking to hold a parallel gathering. There are leaders that have not spoken out yet. There are those who can support Russia, meaning that they support the war,” Zelenskyi said.    

Ukraine expects several African leaders to attend the summit, Zelenskyi said. He also emphasized the importance of U.S. President Biden’s presence.

Zelenskyi said that Putin will give a standing ovation to Biden if the U.S. president fails to attend the peace summit. U.S.’s participation in the conference will also help other states who “are watching them” make up their mind, he added. 

Zelenskyi earlier said that 90 countries had confirmed they will attend the peace summit. He also appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to join the conference. 

Ukraine’s expectation is that the summit participants will design a plan to ensure freedom of sailing, nuclear and energy security, exchange of prisoners, and the return of illegally deported children. 

The peace summit will be held on June 15-16 at the Bürgenstock resort outside the city of Lucerne in Switzerland. Russia is not invited to the conference.