As the war enters its 846th day, these are the main developments.

Here is the situation on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Fighting

  • At least two people were injured and residential buildings were damaged in Ukraine’s western region of Lviv after a wave of Russian drone attacks targeting energy infrastructure over six regions of the country. The air force said it destroyed 19 out of 21 drones launched by Russia.
  • Ukraine’s military said Russian forces had “intensified” their assaults near Toretsk on the front line in the eastern Donetsk region and “launched five assault operations at once”, targeting surrounding towns and villages. The Russian Ministry of Defence said its forces had “improved” their positions around Toretsk, which had a population of about 32,000 people before the war.
  • Rostov regional governor Vasily Golubev said a fire caused by a Ukrainian drone strike on an oil terminal in southern Russia continued into a second day despite firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the flames. The facility was struck on Tuesday.
  • Viktoriia Litvinova, Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor general, said the country had created a national registry to document cases of sexual violence allegedly committed by Russian forces. Litvinova told The Associated Press news agency that 303 cases of conflict-related sexual violence had been registered since Russia began its full-scale invasion, with 191 cases involving women and 112 involving men.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed on a new comprehensive strategic partnership treaty during Putin’s first visit to Pyongyang in 24 years. Putin thanked Kim for his “unwavering” support in Ukraine, while Kim promised “full support and solidarity” for the Russian invasion.
  • Putin then travelled on to Vietnam. In an opinion piece to coincide with the visit, Putin applauded Hanoi for supporting “a pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine. Vietnam has not condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but has built alliances with the United States, its biggest export market, and the European Union.
  • French far-right leader Jordan Bardella said that he backed Ukraine’s right to defend itself against Russia, but if elected prime minister at polls on June 30 and July 7, he would not provide Kyiv with missiles that would allow it to strike Russian territory. Bardella also said he would stand by France’s commitments to the NATO military alliance if he became prime minister.
  • The security service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had arrested a Kharkiv resident allegedly recruited by Russian agents on an online dating platform, saying he had tried to provide Moscow with sensitive information on Ukrainian military facilities and equipment. The man faces as many as eight years in prison if convicted, it said in a statement.
  • Separately, the SBU said a man arrested in March last year on suspicion of being an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service had been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of helping Russia identify targets for strikes in the southern Odesa region.

Weapons

  • Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide, said North Korea was “actively cooperating” with Russia militarily, and called for greater international isolation of both countries. “There is no doubt that North Korea … deliberately provides resources for the mass murder of Ukrainians,” he told the AFP news agency. United Nations sanctions monitors, in their last report before Russia blocked the renewal of their mandate, said North Korean missile fragments had been found in Kharkiv.

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