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Ukraine updates: Fatal daytime strike on Zelenskyy hometown

Published June 12, 2024last updated June 12, 2024

Ukrainian officials say eight were killed and more than 20 injured in a missile attack on the southern city of Kryvyi Rih. Overnight, Ukraine reported missiles targeting the capital Kyiv. DW has the latest.

Ukrainian rescue workers climb a pile of rubble in Kryvyi Rih
Rescue workers searched through rubble for victims of a Russian missile strike on Kryvyi RihImage: Ukrainian Emergency Service/AP/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials reported a large and relatively rare daytime strike on the city of Kryvyi Rih on Wednesday. 

The interior minister said eight people had died and more than 20 were wounded. These figures were adjusted upwards slightly from earlier comments from Zelenskyy. 

Kryvyi Rih is a city of more than 600,000 people in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, where Zelenskyy was born in 1978. Located west of Zaporizhzhia and north of Odesa and Kherson, it is not that far into Ukraine's zone of control.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's military also reported repelling several overnight strikes, including five missiles fired at the capital Kyiv. 

And a Ukraine reconstruction summit being hosted in Germany entered its second and final day. 

Here's a look at the latest developments regarding Russia's war in Ukraine on Wednesday, June 12. This blog has now closed.

Skip next section NATO to coordinate arms deliveries to Ukraine to safeguard against Trump
June 12, 2024

NATO to coordinate arms deliveries to Ukraine to safeguard against Trump

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said he expects that ministers will "approve a plan for NATO to lead the coordination of security assistance and training to Ukraine." 

The move is an attempt to secure the flow of military assistance, until now coordinated by Washington, in the event that Donald Trump should win the upcoming US presidential election.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee showed great disdain for both NATO and Ukraine both during his time in office, and on the current campaign trail. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of a two-day summit in Brussels, NATO chief Stoltenberg said, "This is a key element of our package for Ukraine, along with a long-term financial commitment."

The coordination of military assistance will be a major focal point of the 32-member alliance's upcoming July summit in Washington D.C.

Stoltenberg cleared a major hurdle in seeking approval by finding agreement with NATO's most truculent member when it comes to Ukraine — Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has consistently blocked NATO and EU aid for Ukraine and had threatened to veto Stoltenberg's plan. 

The two reportedly struck a deal Wednesday in which Orban would not block the plan in exchange for his country being exempted from having to participate in, or pay for any part of the plan. 

Ukraine hits Russian targets in occupied Crimea

Skip next section US sanctions more than 300 people, entities tied to Russia
June 12, 2024

US sanctions more than 300 people, entities tied to Russia

The US on Wednesday announced new sanctions targeting more than 300 individuals and entities it said were connected to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

The list included financial institutions, the Moscow Stock Exchange and Chinese companies. 

The announcement came a day before US President Joe Biden will attend a G7 leaders' summit in Bari in Italy. 

Wednesday's sanctions chiefly targeted trade, finance and industry. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they hit "across multiple sectors essential to Russia's war effort," including energy, metals and mining. 

China also featured fairly heavily on the list. 

"The United States remains concerned by the scale and breadth of exports from the People's Republic of China that supply Russia's military-industrial base," Blinken's statement said. 

The US was therefore taking steps to sanction Chinese companies that supply so-called dual-use goods (goods that can have military or civilian applications — and that are therefore usually more difficult to restrict than weaponry) that "fill critical gaps in Russia's defense production cycle," he said. 

But the new steps do not just target Chinese third parties, with the US saying it was trying to restrict dual-use exports from an array of countries. 

The Treasury Department said the sanctions unveiled on Wednesday affected people and firms in places like Belarus, the British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. 

Russia's economy stable despite war sanctions

Skip next section German development minister says more investment needed for Ukraine reconstruction
June 12, 2024

German development minister says more investment needed for Ukraine reconstruction

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze on Wednesday spoke to DW at the Ukraine Recovery Conference wrapping up on Wednesday in Berlin.

Schulze was enthusiastic about the results seen so far, although she said it was too early to put a final euro amount on total new investment, saying contracts were still being signed.

Asked what the biggest success of the conference had been so, Schulze said it was the fact that participants were "really getting down to work."

She pointed to previous conferences in Lugano, Italy, and London, England, as having nailed down the principles and focus of international assistance for Ukraine reconstruction, saying that these had set the stage for what is now happening in Berlin. 

"We have been able to come to a number of agreements here, to sign binding contracts, to get down to work, and that is a decisive step forward. Because Ukraine needs more than nice sounding announcements, it needs real assistance and the backing of the world — and that has been on display here," said the German politician.

Asked about when she thought people in Ukraine would feel the benefit of such help, she said some assistance at the local level would be evident pretty quickly. 

Zelenskyy in Berlin for Ukraine Recovery Conference

When pressed about the World Bank's recent estimate that Ukraine would require at least €500 billion ($542 billion) to fund reconstruction, Schulze said it would be impossible for allied nations to provide that much.

"That's why it was so crucial to get the whole business world onboard at this Recovery Conference. Because when Ukraine becomes part of the EU it will become an interesting market and we have to be able to get companies to invest in Ukraine… and a lot of good connections have been established here."

Minister Schulze declined to speak about specifics when it came to supplying Ukraine with more air-defense systems, for instance, as a way to protect investment in reconstruction. She did, however, say that the fact that Kyiv "wants to build up its own defense industry was a big topic."   

Skip next section Ukraine's interior minister says 8 dead, more than 20 hurt in Kryvyi Rih
June 12, 2024

Ukraine's interior minister says 8 dead, more than 20 hurt in Kryvyi Rih

Ukrainian officials have increased the stated toll from a Russian strike on Kryvyi Rih on Wednesday. 

"The death toll has risen to eight people. At least 21 people were wounded, including two children. Another four people are missing," Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on social media. 

This was around an hour after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had shared news of the attack, citing lower interim casualty figures. 

Skip next section Zelenskyy says 6 dead, 11 wounded in strike on his hometown
June 12, 2024

Zelenskyy says 6 dead, 11 wounded in strike on his hometown

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a fatal Russian strike had hit his hometown of Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine. 

Zelenskyy shared selected footage of what appeared to be emergency workers responding on site, pulling a person's body from the rubble and trying to extinguish fires as smoke bellowed from a building in the background. 

"A Russian missile attack on Kryvyi Rih. As of now, 11 people were wounded and six were killed," Zelenskyy wrote online. 

He issued condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and appealed for more international support on equipment to prevent such attacks. 

"Modern air defense systems can ensure maximum protection for our people, cities, and positions. We need them urgently."

Ukraine's governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, which includes Kryvyi Rih, Serhi Lysak, had first alerted of a missile attack and air raid alert for the city of more than 600,000 people roughly 90 minutes prior to Zelenskyy's comments.

Skip next section Russia using war crimes 'systemically' in Ukraine – human rights lawyer
June 12, 2024

Russia using war crimes 'systemically' in Ukraine – human rights lawyer

The Nobel Prize-winning Centre for Civil Liberties has found evidence of over 72,000 war crimes committed in Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which is using war crimes "systematically" as a weapon of war, according to human rights lawyer Oleksandra Matviichuk.

"Russia uses war crimes as a method of warfare," she told DW, describing the deliberate shelling of residential buildings, schools, churches, museums and hospitals, attacks on evacuation corridors, torture in filtration camps, the forced abduction of Ukrainian children and the robbing, rape and murder of civilians in occupied territories.

"Russia instrumentalizes pain and uses it as a tool," she claims, adding that Moscow has behaved in a similar fashion historically in places such as Chechnya, Moldova, Georgia, Mali, Libya and Syria.

"And when people ask me why they do such things because there is no military necessity in it, I can only answer: because they can. Russia has never been punished. That's why Russians believe they can do whatever they want."

As such, Matviichuk welcomes the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova over the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the full-scale invasion.

"It's a first step and a strong signal that justice is possible," she said, using the example of the eventual indictment of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

In the short term, she also said it's important to send a message to certain countries and politicians, even in some developed democracies, that there can be "no return to business as usual" with Russia.

"It's not possible for democratic leaders in democratic countries to shake hands with the biggest child kidnapper in the world," she said.

Skip next section Hungary won't block NATO from helping Ukraine, says Stoltenberg
June 12, 2024

Hungary won't block NATO from helping Ukraine, says Stoltenberg

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will not hinder NATO from assisting Ukraine's fight against Russia's invasion, according to the military alliance's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

"What the prime minister and I have agreed today is that Hungary will not block other allies to agree a pledge for financial support to Ukraine and the leading role for NATO in coordinating support to Ukraine," Stoltenberg told reporters in Budapest after meeting with Orban.

Nevertheless, Stoltenberg said the NATO chief did say that Budapest will not be aiding that support for Ukraine.

Russia's war in Ukraine: Could NATO get even more involved?

Skip next section North Korea's Kim reportedly planning to welcome 'comrade-in-arms' Putin to Pyongyang
June 12, 2024

North Korea's Kim reportedly planning to welcome 'comrade-in-arms' Putin to Pyongyang

Russian President Vladimir Putin could pay a visit to North Korea as early as next week, according to several reports from the region.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Putin a congratulatory message to mark Russia's National Day in which he hailed the growing relationship between the two countries.

"Thanks to the significant meeting between us at the Vostochney Spaceport in September last year, friendly and cooperative relations [between North Korea and Russia] developed into an unbreakable relationship of comrades-in-arms," Kim said in the message which was carried bv Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and referred to Kim's visit to Russia's far east last year.

Their "meaningful" ties will "further consolidate the eternal milestone" in the new era, Kim added.

The message came as Japanese public broadcaster NHK and South Korea's Yonhap news agency both reported on Wednesday that Putin could visit Pyongyang "as early as next week" as part of a trip to North Korea and Vietnam.

NHK cited unidentified diplomatic sources including high-ranking Russian officials while Yonhap said that satellite images showed possible signs of a "large structure" being installed in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

Neither Russia nor North Korea have officially confirmed any plans, but Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did tell a briefing in May that a visit is "in the pipeline, and we will make an announcement in due time."

Should the visit materialize, it would be the third in-person meeting between Kim and Putin. During their September meeting in Vostochney, Kim invited the Russian president to visit North Korea at "a convenient time," which Putin accepted.

Kim's visit to Russia's main space launch site in September was significant since western intelligence agencies believe that Moscow is providing Pyongyang with advanced technologies for its space program in return for artillery and missiles for use in Ukraine.

Both North Korea and Russia deny allegations of arms transfers, which would be a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

In the last month, tensions between North and South Korea have escalated as the two have traded trash-filled balloons and loudspeaker propaganda.

Kim Jong Un in Russia for talks with Putin

Skip next section Ukraine downs 5 out of 6 missiles, all 24 drones launched by Russia
June 12, 2024

Ukraine downs 5 out of 6 missiles, all 24 drones launched by Russia

Ukrainian air defense forces say they shot down five out of six missiles and all 24 drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack.

All five missiles aimed at the capital Kyiv, including a hypersonic Kinzhal missile, were shot down, according to Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk, while one Iskander ballistic missile did get through in the south of the country.

In Kyiv, air raid sirens sounded twice for a total period of two hours.

"Missiles came at Kyiv from the south in several waves," local authorities said. "Almost simultaneously enemy attack drones were moving toward the capital from the same southern direction."

Several fires were started outside the city due to falling debris from rockets, including at an unspecified industrial location. A petrol station, several garages and one private building were said to have been damaged.

The regional governor said that one person was injured.

Skip next section US to send another Patriot missile system to Ukraine — reports
June 12, 2024

US to send another Patriot missile system to Ukraine — reports

The US will provide Ukraine with another Patriot missile system, The New York Times and the Associated Press reported citing officials familiar with the matter.

President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of the Patriot system, the officials said, but an official announcement is yet to be made.

This would be the second Patriot system supplied by the US to Kyiv following Russia's invasion of full-scale Ukraine in 2022.

The new system will come from Poland and could be deployed to Ukraine's front lines in the next several days, The New York Times reported.

The Pentagon has supplied Kyiv with an undisclosed number of missiles for the system since the war began to help Kyiv fend off Russian aerial assaults.

Last month, Zelensky urged the US to send US-made Patriot systems, arguing that they will help his forces fight the close to 3,000 bombs that he said Russia launches into the country every month.

Skip next section Germany to send 100 Patriot missiles to Ukraine
June 12, 2024

Germany to send 100 Patriot missiles to Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius  announced the country will send another 100 Patriot air defense missiles to Ukraine in a joint effort with Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

The announcement on Tuesday came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended a Ukraine recovery conference in Berlin.

Germany is the second-largest supporter of Ukraine behind the US and the biggest supporter in Europe.

Skip next section Explosions heard in capital Kyiv, DW reports
June 12, 2024

Explosions heard in capital Kyiv, DW reports

Russia launched an air attack on Kyiv in the early hours of Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said on Telegram.

Ukrainian defense systems were repelling the strikes, it added, without giving further information. Several blasts were heard in Kyiv, DW's Emmanuelle Chaze reported.

Air raid alerts were announced across the country after midnight.

mf/rm (Reuters, AP, AFP)