Russian occupation forces shell Nikopol district four times in one day, injuring civilian

Over the course of today, enemy forces shelled the Nikopol district four times. They fired more than 20 heavy artillery shells and dropped explosives from a UAV. The city of Nikopol and the Marhanets hromada were hit.

A 74-year-old man was injured. He was hospitalised with a head injury and a concussion.

Most Ukrainians think it would be bad if Ukraine was governed by military

The number of supporters of a "military regime" in Ukraine has grown since the beginning of the full-scale war with Russia, but the vast majority of Ukrainians still dislike the idea of having such a government.

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, citing a survey conducted by the Razumkov Centre’s Sociological Service on 23-31 May 2023 as part of the MATRA project funded by the Dutch Embassy in Ukraine

The full-scale war has led to an increase in the share of respondents in Ukraine who consider a government ruled by the military, or a military regime, to be "rather good" or "very good" (up to 28% from 12% in 2017). However, the overwhelming majority (71%) of Ukrainians still consider a military regime to be a bad thing.

At the same time, 26% of respondents in Ukraine consider both the military regime and the democratic system to be good (91% of those who consider the system ruled by the military or military regime to be good also consider the democratic system to be good).

In other words, the military regime appears to be mainly seen as a means of protecting democracy in the context of military confrontation with the aggressor.

Over the past six years, Ukrainians’ assessment of the level of democracy in the country’s governance has been increasing. The average score that reflects people’s perceptions of how democratically Ukraine is governed has increased from 3.8 in 2017 to 5.1 in 2020 and 6.2 in 2023 (on a 10-point scale, where 1 means "not at all democratic" and 10 means "absolutely democratic").

Compared to 2020, the share of Ukrainian citizens who believe that the political system does not allow them to influence government actions has decreased from 34% to 28%. At the same time, the total share of those who believe that the political system "definitely" or "sufficiently" allows people like them to influence the government’s actions has also decreased from 17% to 12%.

In general, Ukrainians’ assessment of the extent to which they are able to influence the course of their own lives has not changed much over the past few years, remaining within the range of 5.8-6.2 points on a 10-point scale.

Reference: Sociologists interviewed 2,020 respondents aged 18 and older. The theoretical sampling error does not exceed 2.3%. Additional sample deviations may be caused by the effects of Russian aggression, especially the forced evacuation of millions of Ukrainian citizens.

The survey was conducted using a stratified multi-stage sampling with the random selection at the first stages of sampling and quota sampling at the final stage (when respondents were selected in line with gender and age quotas). The sample structure corresponds to the demographic structure of the adult population of the surveyed areas as of the beginning of 2022 (by age, gender, and type of settlement).

Hungary violated international law when accepting Ukrainian prisoners of war from Russia – Ukraine's Human Rights Commissioner

Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman), has said that Hungary violates international law when it negotiates with Russia on bringing back Ukrainian prisoners of war without informing Ukraine.

The official has stressed that Hungary had no authority to negotiate with Russia over Ukrainian prisoners of war without informing the Ukrainian side.

The only body that has the authority to raise the issue of the release or exchange of Ukrainian prisoners of war is the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Lubinets has noted that Ukraine had not been informed of the planned transfer of prisoners of war to Hungary. And there were no requests from the Hungarian side saying that they were ready to join peace initiatives or facilitate the return of Ukrainian prisoners of war through their contacts.

"Can such actions by Hungary be interpreted as a violation of international humanitarian law and a violation of the rights of Ukrainian prisoners of war? In my opinion, yes.

Why is Hungary doing this? I see it as playing with Russian propaganda that Ukraine does not want to take back its prisoners of war, which is untrue. Thus, the Hungarian authorities are allowing Russia to show that if there is an initiative, the Russians are ready to hand over prisoners of war," said Lubinets.

At the same time, Ukraine immediately began officially appealing to the Hungarian authorities. Lubinets sent a letter to the Hungarian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights demanding that he inform him, within the framework of his mandate, about the conditions in which they live and the way they are treated.

"I also appeal to the Russian Federation Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova to look into this situation and answer logical questions. How did it happen that 11 Ukrainian army prisoners of war ended up on the territory of Hungary? Why was the Ukrainian side not informed about this?

I would add that Hungary should avoid Russian-style manipulative statements and show more constructiveness. After all, we are talking about people's lives, and respect for their rights and freedoms.

I also appeal to the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) to analyze and assess the actions of the Hungarian Ombudsman," concluded Lubinets.