Top news stories about the Russia-Ukraine war on Russia's Channel One on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

By Madeline Roache

What follows is NewsGuard’s summary and translation of the top stories about the Russia-Ukraine war from Russia’s state TV Channel One. NewsGuard presents these stories in the order that they appear on the program.

Lugansk People’s People’s Republic fighters and the Russian military liberate Severodonetsk


The liberation of Severodonetsk, along with Lisichansk, is one of the top priorities. The Lugansk People’s Republic fighters and our military are pushing the nationalists out of the city. The mission is not easy, because the radicals hide behind the residents, and retreat, but they are still fired at. The film crew of Channel One is at the very center of the events. Dmitry Kulko, Pavel Romanov, Ilya Repnin are convinced that sometimes only luck helps them to escape from a sudden attack.

One fighter said: “[The Ukrainian army] launches one attack after another, and then waits until people are calm again. Then they fire again.”

Kulko said: “The firing from Lugansk People’s Republic fighters is managing to destroy the enemy, and residents of the liberated areas of Severodonetsk come out of hiding to join their people — the troops wearing St. George’s ribbons, who finally rescued them.”

One resident said: “We waited for the Russian army to come and for all of this to be over.”

The Ukrainian army set up strongholds and ammunition depots in a school and the House of Culture in Kharkiv


They set up firing points where civilians hide. Ukrainian radicals are not changing their tactics. These latest events were reported by our National Defense Control Center. In a school and in the House of Culture in Kharkiv, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have equipped strongholds and ammunition depots containing artillery and multiple rocket launchers, while they keep local residents in basements. People in the Borovsk village were also taken hostage. There are snipers in the houses, and no one is allowed to be evacuated. In Kramatorsk, a stronghold and an ammunition depot was set up in a boarding school. In Avdiivka, Ukrainian soldiers have stationed themselves on the first floors of houses, in a school, and a clinic. 

And here is another example of how radicals operated. Said Mikhail Mizintsev, Colonel General, head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center: “In the Kharkiv region, militants of the nationalist unit Kraken, comprised mainly of radicals and rapists and murderers released from prisons, conduct punitive raids in the Kharkiv Region, during which the so-called death squads at night break into the houses of local residents that are suspected by the SBU [Ukrainian security services] of pro-Russian sentiments, subject them to physical violence and take them away to unknown locations.”

The Ukrainian army is again launching attacks in Donbas. The nationalists fired heavy artillery at the Petrovsky district in Donetsk. Also, this morning, the radicals launched projectiles at the Gorlovka village.

​​The Defense Ministry showed footage of the Su-35S and Su-30SM fighters


Our combat aviation is in the sky: Su-35S and Su-30SM fighters of the Western Military District. They are reliable and highly maneuverable, making them masters of the sky day and night, in all weather conditions. With pinpoint precision, they strike at military infrastructure facilities and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thanks to smart on-board technology, the planes actually become invisible to Ukrainian radars. At the same time, our pilots are aware of all the locations of enemy air defenses. Another important task of the Su-35S and Su-30SM crews is to protect our units from the air.

The first cargo ship in several months leaves the Mariupol port


The event is significant. Until recently the harbor was a death trap as the Ukrainian militants had mined almost every meter of it. But now that the city is being protected by the Russian military, it is safe there again. Peaceful life is being established, and this transport route will open up great opportunities for the entire region. Cargos needed for the restoration of Donbas will go through the Mariupol port.

The EU agrees to a sixth package of sanctions against Russia


Leaders of the EU countries at the summit in Brussels approved a partial embargo on the import of Russian oil. The restrictions apply to oil delivered by sea. But the oil that goes through the Druzhba pipeline [a pipeline from Russia to Europe, operated by Russia’s state-owned Transneft] has not been banned. Hungary, which depends on such oil, opposed a full embargo. Also, thanks to Cyprus, a ban on the purchase of real estate in the EU has been excluded from the new package of sanctions. Now, the restrictions must be approved by the EU Council at the ministerial level. The document will enter into force after it is published in the EU’s official journal.

Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova met with children from Mariupol and Donetsk

Orphans from Donbas will be given all the help they need to find relatives, recover documents, and get an education. Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights, met with children from Mariupol and Donetsk, who are now being rehabilitated in a boarding house near Moscow. She spoke with everyone and listened to their requests. Their main dream, of course, is to have a family again. And now everything will become much easier. Yesterday Vladimir Putin signed a decree to simplify the process for gaining Russian citizenship for orphans or children left without parental care from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic and Ukraine.

Lvova-Belova said: “This decision will help us deal with a whole range of problems faced by children — family arrangements, social guarantees, education, medicine, rehabilitation, children’s recreation. We asked the president about it, and he supported us. This is the best gift on the eve of Children’s Day.

Refugees from Donbas receive Russian passports at a festive ceremony on Rostov-on-Don

A simplified process also applies to those refugees who have already applied for citizenship of our country. Those who have already received a passport say that the whole procedure lasted only a couple of months. But the event itself is so long-awaited. Yulia Pogorelova talked to the new citizens of Russia. 

Pogorelova asks a young boy: “What are your grades?” The boy said “Mostly fours and fives, but I have one three in physics… I’m very good at Russian.”

Pogorelova: “Everyone here, in this temporary accommodation, is very good at Russian. After all, refugees from the Donetsk People’s Republic speak Russian. They know Ukrainian and they have Ukrainian passports. But they can’t and don’t want to live as Ukrainians anymore.”

A refugee said: “I want to be a Russian citizen, since Ukraine, as they say, doesn’t need me anymore. Everything has been destroyed, what joy can I have there.”