Zelensky warns Trump : Forcing Ukraine to compromise with Russia would weaken US

In an interview with the Guardian, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cautioned former U.S. President Donald Trump against pushing Ukraine into a ceasefire with Russia, calling it a “trap.” Zelensky’s warning came in response to Trump’s assertion that he could end the Russia-Ukraine war within 24 hours if re-elected, though Trump has not outlined specific steps for achieving peace between Kyiv and Moscow.

Trump, the leading Republican candidate, has suggested that both Russia and Ukraine are looking for a way out of the conflict and claimed that Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territories might accept being part of Russia. This view was reported by the Washington Post in April, based on an unnamed source familiar with Trump’s discussions.

In a clip from the Guardian interview released by his office on June 1, Zelensky elaborated on the potential dangers of a forced ceasefire. He explained that such a ceasefire could allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to demand severe concessions from Ukraine, such as recognizing all occupied territories, abandoning NATO aspirations, and foregoing European integration. “When (Putin) gains strength, he might issue an ultimatum,” Zelensky warned. “Therefore, a ceasefire is a trap.”

Zelensky also expressed doubt that Trump would want to be remembered as the leader who lost to Russia in the war. He asked the Guardian reporters to envision a scenario where Trump, as president, opted to end the conflict at Ukraine’s expense. “Somehow, in dialogue, he might get confirmation from Putin that this is the end, that this is it. Ukrainians will not accept this,” Zelensky said, adding that Trump might then withdraw support, including weapons and financial aid, and potentially influence other partners to do the same.

According to Reuters, citing undisclosed Russian sources, Putin is open to a ceasefire that recognizes the current front lines but will continue fighting if Ukraine and its allies do not agree. Zelensky has consistently stated that Kyiv would not trade territory for peace.

Trump has previously stated that he would not guarantee defense assistance to Ukraine if he wins the 2024 election. In May, Trump suggested that he could resolve the war by pressuring Ukraine to cede Crimea and the Donbas region to Russia, according to sources cited by the Washington Post in April.

Zelensky argued that such an approach would only embolden further Russian aggression and diminish U.S. global influence. “That would be the end of any ceasefire, the beginning of exactly what everyone is so afraid to talk about out loud, the real World War III,” Zelensky asserted.

Death toll of Russia's May 31 attack on Kharkiv rises to 9

In the aftermath of a devastating Russian missile attack on Kharkiv's Novobavarskyi district overnight on May 31, the death toll has risen to nine, according to Governor Oleh Syniehubov on June 1. The increase comes after an earlier update reported seven fatalities; subsequent search efforts revealed two additional bodies.

The victims included four men and three women, with search operations ongoing as two more women are believed to be trapped under the rubble. It remains unclear if the two newly discovered bodies are those of the missing women mentioned by Syniehubov.

The attack targeted three locations within the city: a five-story residential building, a sewing workshop, and a local shop. Syniehubov noted that a follow-up strike occurred at the same site, a tactic known as a 'double-tap' attack. This involves waiting for first responders and law enforcement to arrive before launching a second strike to maximize casualties and damage.

The assault resulted in injuries to at least one emergency medical worker. This recent escalation is part of a broader increase in Russian attacks on Kharkiv, a city with a pre-war population of 1.4 million. These attacks, utilizing missiles, glide bombs, and drones, have targeted energy infrastructure and caused significant civilian casualties.

Russian glide bomb strike in Donetsk Oblast injured at least 5

The scene after Russian glide bomb attack on the city of Myrnohrad, Donetsk Oblast, on June 1, 2024. Donetsk Oblast Prosecutor's Office

On the evening of May 31, Russian forces launched an attack on the town of Myrnohrad in Donetsk Oblast using two glide bombs, injuring at least five people, according to the Donetsk Oblast Prosecutor's Office on June 1.

The attack on Myrnohrad occurred during a broader large-scale Russian offensive targeting various cities and villages across Ukraine overnight. This wave of attacks resulted in at least 20 injuries and caused damage to energy infrastructure.

The prosecutor's office reported that the glide bombs struck a residential area in Myrnohrad, injuring four men aged between 22 and 43 and one 40-year-old woman. The injured received medical treatment following the attack.

Myrnohrad, located approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the Russian-occupied regional capital of Donetsk, has been a frequent target of Russian aggression. A previous strike on March 13 killed two people and injured five more, and three days prior to that, a Russian missile attack on the city injured 10 people.