DAY 495

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 495

July 3,2023

Hold Russia accountable for its war crimes

The Washington Post published an editorial in support of Ukraine.

Thousands of credible reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine now constitute a mountain of evidence compiled by international organizations, European authorities and Ukrainian prosecutors. Collectively, it provides documentation of a pattern of war crimes — systematic, ongoing and sanctioned by superiors — that is among the defining characteristics of Moscow’s invasion. No stable peace is likely without accountability for these outrages.

The scale of Russian criminality in Ukraine is breathtaking. It ranges from the large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure — including facilities in the country’s power grid starting last fall and, mounting evidence suggests, southern Ukraine’s Kakhovka Dam in early June — to methodical violence against Ukrainian noncombatants. Both are banned by international law.

In all, said Beth Van Schaack, the State Department’s ambassador at large for global criminal justice, investigators are examining tens of thousands of allegations of individual war crimes. A new U.N. report found that Russian forces summarily executed 77 Ukrainian civilians, including five women, who were among hundreds it said have been arbitrarily detained. Ukrainian security forces have also arbitrarily detained some civilians, the report said — but in much smaller numbers with no executions. Read more…

Symbolic number of the Day - 6.3 million

On 29 June 2023, Ukrainian authorities reported that, under emergency legislation,139,000 citizens had been evacuated from the combat zones in the Ukrainian-controlled areas of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts since July 2022.

This is just one part of Ukraine’s ongoing broader crisis of displacement. The UN estimates 6.3 million Ukrainians remain refugees and over five million are internally displaced. With a pre-war population of 44 million, a quarter of Ukrainians remain forced from their homes due to Russia’s invasion.


War in Pictures

Knee-deep water: Ukrainian President’s Office Head posts a chilling photo of Dnipro after Russians blew up Kakhovka HPP. The Dnipro River near Zaporizhzhia can now be easily crossed since the water level is no higher than half a meter after the Russian forces detonated the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP). In some places, the river has gone completely dry, making it possible to walk on sand.


Video of the Day

Wagner rebellion ‘destroyed’ Putin’s reputation: Zelenskyy adviser. Mykhailo Podolyak, a top advisor to President Zelenskyy, sat down with NBC News in the wake of the Wagner rebellion and the high-profile visit of former VP Mike Pence as a show of support during a critical time.

ISW report

The Russian MoD’s conflict with the milblogger community over a trivial combat operation may indicate that the Russian military command does not think it has any other successes to report to Putin amidst the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive. One milblogger noted that Russian defense officials worry that milbloggers’ coverage of the war endangers their official positions and implied that the Russian MoD may be attempting to recover from the Wagner Group’s rebellion on June 24.

ISW previously reported that the Russian MoD may have exaggerated its victory in east Kherson Oblast to repair the reputation of the Russian ”Dnepr” Group of Forces and the Southern Military District (SMD), whose headquarters in Rostov-on-Don the Wagner Group surrounded a week before.

The Russian MoD has consistently exaggerated Ukrainian losses since the beginning of the full-scale invasion and may not be confident that such tired narratives are sufficiently offsetting the lack of any Russian progress on the battlefield as Ukrainian forces continue to make limited but steady advances in eastern and southern Ukraine.

War Heroes

On June 28, a 25-year-old Commander of the “Wolf Pack” unit, Oleksandr Filon (“Faithful”) from Kovel, was killed. Oleksandr served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the first day of the war. At first, he was in the territorial defense; then, he fought as part of the Third Separate Air Assault Brigade.

The Hero’s wife reported his death. “I never thought I would write this text. My dearest one, my support and backbone, was killed in action yesterday. There will be no more people like you worthy of their land. You died defending our country so that we could live. You were a worthy Commander; you did your job well. We had many plans, children, to finish the renovation and go on a honeymoon. You did not hesitate; on February 24, you left for the second time. You are the dearest, most valuable thing I have ever had. And now there are only memories and your things left. I am writing this, and I don’t want to believe it. I was most afraid of this call. My soulmate, you understood me like no one else, always supported me, and were there for me; even if you were far away, I always felt it. We remember we will take revenge,” wrote the Hero’s wife.


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