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Punjabi: Russia and Ukraine War Like Situation


Jul 22, 2023
President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons if Western powers send soldiers to within striking distance of Russia.
His comments on Thursday, in a state of the nation address, were the kind of remarks usually uttered by Dmitry Medvedev, a Putin ally who served as Russia’s president from 2008-2012 and prime minister until becoming a top security official in 2020.
Putin has warned of nuclear action and penned countless social media posts showering Western leaders and nations with slurs and threats.
“Medvedev used to write posts about the riders of the apocalypse in the style of [US filmmaker Quentin] Tarantino, and Putin brought his threats back to the limits of sanity,” Kyiv-based analyst Aleksey Kushch told Al Jazeera.
Putin has now upped the ante, responding to French President Emmanuel Macron’s assumption on Monday that a deployment of European troops to Ukraine cannot be “ruled out”.
Putin issued his threats during his annual national address – a carefully choreographed ceremony broadcast live to be chopped into soundbites and quotes that Russian media will likely repeat and comment on for days.
The West has “announced the possibility of sending Western military contingents to Ukraine,” Putin said on Thursday. “The consequences for possible interventionists will be way more tragic. “They should eventually realise that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. Everything that the West comes up with creates the real threat of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons, and thus the destruction of civilisation,” he said.
Moscow has the world’s largest nuclear {censored}nal including a new generation of hypersonic missiles and several times more tactical nuclear weapons than the collective West.

“Now it is Putin who clearly draws a red line about using the nukes,” Kushch said, adding that Macron had probed Putin’s reaction on when Moscow would be ready to launch the nukes. But to Boris Bondarev, a senior Russian diplomat who quit his job to protest against Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there was “nothing new” in Putin’s menacing diatribe.
The threats were Putin’s “usual scares and aprojection of his own unrealised desires on to the West,” Bondarev, who served in the United Nations office in Geneva until 2022, told Al Jazeera.
This was not the first time Moscow bared its teeth in a confrontation with the United States and Europe.

Soviet helmsman Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe on the podium in the United Nations headquarters in New York in 1960 ranting about “toady American imperialism” and promising “further interventions”.
Two years later, Khrushchev provoked the Caribbean Missile Crisis that nearly triggered a nuclear apocalypse.
Soviet leaders in the late 1970s and early 1980s routinely hinted at the possibility of a nuclear war until Mikhail Gorbachev started his perestroika reforms that prompted a sign of relief in the West, but buried the USSR.
During the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin pulled out of nuclear arms control treaties with Washington in moves that many predicted would start a new arms race.
“This is not a bluff,” Putin said in 2022 when announcing the possibility of a nuclear strike.

“Putin’s regime has not once used the scare of a nuclear war to frighten the West and convince it not to provide military aid to Ukraine,” Alisher Ilkhamov, head of Central Asia Due Diligence, a think tank in London, told Al Jazeera.
“In the past, the scare was usually voiced over by Medvedev and all sorts of propagandists, now it’s Putin’s turn to announce them,” he said.
And it wasn’t Macron’s assumption that irked Putin – it was Ukraine’s success in striking airfields, fuel depots, warships and military planes deep in Russia and Russia-occupied areas, Ilkhamov said.
So far, the West has been able to raise the stakes in providing increasingly effective weaponry to Ukraine and ignore the Kremlin’s threats, he said.
And Putin will chicken out of a direct duel because Russia’s military-industrial potential is too exhausted to support an all-out confrontation with NATO, he said.

“The power of [both] sides is too unequal,” Ilkhamov said. “Putin has nothing to lean on in the confrontation with the West. He understands it very well and won’t go farther beyond the scares.”
The widow of Russia’s most outspoken opposition leader offered a useful insight into how Putin issues his threats and acts upon them.
“You’re dealing not with a politician but with a bloody monster. Putin is the head of an organised criminal group,” Yulia Navalnaya, whose husband Alexey Navalny died on February 16 in an Arctic prison, said in a video on Wednesday.
“It’s impossible to harm Putin with yet another resolution or yet another batch of sanctions that are no different from previous ones. You can’t win over him thinking he is a man with principles, with morals and rules,” she said.

During his speech, Putin seemed in denial about his own role in the war that grinds into its third year.
“I noticed during Putin’s speech that he said Russia did not start the war,” Ivar Dale, a senior policy adviser with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, a human rights group, told Al Jazeera.
“He thought about the risks, he decided to do it, and he failed. The right thing to do now is to withdraw all troops from Ukraine, and not continue to threaten innocent people with a nuclear holocaust,” Dale said.
Putin’s blackmail is not his first and probably not his last, and the West should indeed deploy NATO troops to aid Ukraine, said an expert on Eastern Europe.
“The emergence of Western servicemen in Ukraine will, of course, cross yet another ‘red line,'” Nikolay Mitrokhin of Germany’s Bremen University told Al Jazeera.
“Although it would very much help Ukraine and give it a chance to free several brigades that are currently guarding the rear and the border with [breakaway and pro-Russian Moldovan region of] Transnistria.”


Jul 22, 2023

Russia is in a ‘state of war’ in Ukraine, Kremlin says for the first time​

The Kremlin has for two years referred to its invasion of Ukraine as a ‘special military operation’, not a war.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the conflict in Ukraine 'has become a war for us' [File: Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via Reuters]
Published On 22 Mar 202422 Mar 2024

More than two years after invading Ukraine, the Kremlin has said that Russia regards itself to be at “war” due to the West’s intervention and support of its neighbour.
So far, the Kremlin has insisted that the attack on Ukraine ordered on February 24, 2022, was only as a “special military operation” to ensure the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Russia’s neighbour. This term implied that the operation had a limited scope, while the use of the broader term “war” was effectively banned.
“We are in a state of war. Yes, it started out as a special military operation, but as soon as this group was formed, when the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, it became a war for us,” Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov told Arguments and Facts, a weekly newspaper based in the country.
“I am convinced of that. And everyone should understand this, for their internal motivation.”
Peskov’s comments came five days after Russian President Vladimir Putin was re-elected for six more years and after what Kyiv said was Russia’s largest air raid on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
The remarks appeared to signal that Russia was digging in for an even longer standoff over Ukraine with the United States and its allies.
Russian officials have gradually also started to use the word “war” more often, having conceded that fighting is now set to go on for longer than initially thought.


Jul 22, 2023
Russia fired cruise and ballistic missiles and Shahed-type drones at six regions across Ukraine on Wednesday morning, authorities reported, killing at least five civilians and wounding almost 50 others, including a pregnant woman.
The attacks hit at least three major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, where the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, was discussing military aid and financial support for Ukraine. He said that he started his day in an air raid shelter, calling it part of Ukraine’s “daily reality” after almost two years of war.

The West’s help is desperately needed by Ukraine, which is struggling with ammunition and personnel shortages. Some long-term foreign funding is also in doubt as the latest effort to clinch a deal on Ukraine aid in the U.S. Senate collapsed Tuesday.

Though the roughly 1,500-kilometer (900-mile) front line has barely budged in recent months, the Kremlin’s forces have the upper hand in stocks of missiles and artillery ammunition used for long-range strikes. Russia has repeatedly used missiles to blast civilian targets during the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last month that air defense and electronic warfare systems that can stop drones are Kyiv’s top priorities.

Russia targets Ukraine’s power facilities with wave of missiles, drones​

Attacks leave more than one million people without power as Zelenskyy renews pleas for Western air defence systems.

Rescue teams work at residential buildings destroyed by a Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 22, 2024 [Stringer/Reuters]

Russia has launched massive drone and missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities, one of the largest attacks of its kind in the two-year war.
Kyiv officials said on Friday the attacks killed at least five people and left more than a million others without power, forcing Ukraine to seek emergency electricity supplies from Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia hit his country with 90 missiles and 60 Iranian-made drones in a “war with people’s everyday lives”, reiterating his calls for Western partners to supply air defence systems.
“Russian missiles have no delays, unlike aid packages for Ukraine. ‘Shahed’ drones have no indecision, unlike some politicians. It is critical to understand the cost of delays and postponed decisions,” he posted on X.
“Patriot systems must protect Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia; air defence is required to protect people, infrastructure, homes, and dams. Our partners know exactly what is needed. They can definitely support us. These are necessary decisions. Life must be protected from these savages from Moscow,” he said of the large-scale overnight strikes.

Oleksiy Kuleba, deputy head of the presidential administration, said the strikes had left more than one million consumers across the country without power, including 700,000 residents in the eastern region of Kharkiv, at least 200,000 in the southern region of Odesa, 200,000 in the southeastern region of Dnipropetrovsk and another 110,000 in the central region of Poltava.
Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Facebook that the barrage was “the largest attack on the Ukrainian energy industry in recent times”. Shelling had knocked out “one of the power transmission lines feeding” the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear energy site, which was seized by Russian troops in the first days of the war but is powered by Ukrainian lines.
“The goal is not just to damage, but to try again, like last year, to cause a large-scale failure of the country’s energy system,” Galushchenko said.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal later said the situation in the energy sector was under control and there was no need for blackouts throughout the country.
As he echoed the president in calling for “more weapons”, he said, “Russia needs more sanctions and greater isolation. War must become an unbearable burden for the aggressor.”


The capital of the Kharkiv region, also named Kharkiv, lies just 30km (19 miles) from the border with Russia and has come under frequent bombardment since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Friday that 15 blasts had been heard and that missiles had “completely” cut off the electricity and heat supply.

“The city is completely without power, and as a result, the water and heating supply are not working,” he said in a video posted on Telegram.
“Utilities and power engineers need time to cope with the challenges posed by this hostile shelling … I ask everyone to stay calm and remain patient.”
Ukrainian officials said Russian missiles had also hit Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy’s hometown, and Vinnytsia, both in central Ukraine, damaging a “critical infrastructure object” in the latter city.
Ukraine’s state hydropower company said on Friday that a Russian strike hit Ukraine’s largest dam, the DniproHES in Zaporizhzhia, but there was no risk of a breach.
“There is currently a fire at the station. Emergency services and energy workers are working on the spot, dealing with the consequences of numerous air strikes,” the utility said.

The administration of Zaporizhzhia reported eight missile attacks in the city and said some residents had been wounded.
Russia's air attack, in Zaporizhzhia
A rescue team member takes a picture of an apartment building damaged during a Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 22, 2024 [Reuters/Stringer]


The attacks follow closely on the heels of Russia’s strikes on Kyiv the previous day, the largest attack on the Ukrainian capital in weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin promised retribution for strikes and incursions into Russia’s border regions.
The Kremlin described the attacks as “revenge strikes” to punish Kyiv for the incursions.
The defence ministry said in a statement its forces had successfully struck a number of power grid objects, railway nodes, military factories, ammunition depots and concentrations of Ukrainian troops and foreign mercenaries.
“As a result of the strike, the work of industrial enterprises producing and repairing weapons, military equipment, and ammunition was disrupted,” the statement said.
“In addition, foreign military equipment and lethal weaponry delivered to Ukraine from NATO countries was destroyed, the transfer of enemy reserves to the front line was disrupted, and Ukrainian army units and mercenaries were hit.”

In Belgorod, a Russian region along the border with Ukraine, one woman was killed and several were wounded in a Ukrainian attack on Friday, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. The Russian Ministry of Defence said it downed eight rockets fired on Belgorod from Ukraine with Vampire rocket launchers.
After the assault on Kyiv, Zelenskyy called on the West to deliver air defence systems.
Addressing the 27 leaders of the European Union via videolink as they met in Brussels for a two-day summit, he told them the shortfall in ammunition facing his troops was “humiliating” for Europe.
“Europe can provide more – and it is crucial to prove it now,” he said.
EU leaders on Thursday agreed to push ahead with a plan to use the profits from frozen Russian Central Bank assets to arm outgunned Ukraine, days after Putin tightened his grip over his country by winning a new six-year term in the presidential election.

The proposal, at the heart of talks between bloc leaders, could unlock about 3 billion euros ($3.3bn) a year for Ukraine. “I’m glad that leaders endorsed our proposal to use the extraordinary revenues from immobilized Russian assets. This will provide funding for military equipment to Ukraine,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told reporters.
The push by the EU to find more funds for Ukraine comes as a $60bn support package from the United States, Ukraine’s other main backer, remains blocked in Congress.


Jul 22, 2023
The ISIS-K (ISIL) group has claimed responsibility for after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall that killed at least 133 people and wounded more than 180. Russia’s Interior Ministry says four detained suspected gunmen are all foreign citizens. A total of 11 people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

IThe terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim.

Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said.

State media Russia 24 reported the roof of the venue has partially collapsed.

The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram.

The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century.
With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls.

The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24.

“Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS.


Jul 22, 2023
A 47-year-old man from Kalimpog Urgfen Tamang , has made a desperate plea to the Indian government to rescue him from being forced to fight in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Tamang, a former Indian Army havildar who had retired in 2018 and was working as a security guard in Gujarat, was allegedly misled by recruitment agents who promised him a job as a security guard in Moscow, Russia. However, upon reaching Moscow on January 19, he was taken to an army camp and trained for combat.

In a video message spoken in Hindi, Tamang expressed his anguish, stating that he was initially accommodated in a hotel by a Gorkha/Nepali individual before being transferred to a group of Tamil Agents s. After a brief stay, he was moved to an army camp where he underwent training on handling guns and ammunition, indicating his preparation for frontline combat in the Ukraine war.

Tamang's wife, Ambika Tamang, revealed that she last spoke to her husband on March 22, and he mentioned that the Russians were taking them further from the camp, although she is unsure of the exact location. She described her husband as a man of few words who did not elaborate on his plans to relocate to Russia.

Earlier some Punjabi and Haryanavi youth reported having been recruited into Russian Army and a case of an Indian having died in war was also reported. 4 individuals from Kerala were also retrieved from the battlefield.


Jul 22, 2023
Russian investigator said that the claim of ISIS of having attacked in Russia was not correct. It appears to be originated from Ukraine.
Ukraine’s navy said it damaged four Russian naval ships in a weekend missile attack on Crimea. Among those hit was the Konstantin Olshanskya large landing warship that Moscow captured from Kyiv when it annexed the peninsula in 2014. Ukraine also struck the Ivan Khurs, a Russian naval reconnaissance vessel. There was no comment from Moscow. Ukraine’s navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk told the Associated Press news agency that Ukrainian forces had sunk or disabled a third of all Russian warships in the Black Sea.
Belgorod regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said five people, including two firefighters, were injured in Ukrainian shelling of two villages in the border region. Russia’s Ministry of Defence said air defence systems shot down 13 Ukrainian rockets.
Ukraine shot down 12 Iranian-made Russian attack drones over the southern Mykolaiv and eastern Kharkiv regions. No injuries or damage were reported. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it arrested two people suspected of acting on behalf of Russia as they tried to blow up a railway line used to supply weapons to the east of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy named 51-year-old Oleksandr Lytvynenko to head the National Security and Defence Council. Lytvynenko takes over from Oleksiy Danilov who had been in the job since October 2019.
A Russian court extended the pre-trial detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Greshkovich by a further three months. The 32-year-old US journalist was arrested and accused of espionage nearly a year ago. Gershkovich, the Journal and the United States government deny he is a spy.
Ukraine beat Iceland 2-1 to qualify for the Euro 2024 finals starting in June, their fourth successive appearance in Europe’s top international football tournament.

French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said France will soon be able to deliver 78 Caesar howitzers to Ukraine and will boost its supply of shells to meet Kyiv’s urgent needs for ammunition.
Lecornu also said he was prepared to use his powers to requisition industrial capacities or order manufacturers to prioritise military over civilian orders to speed up the production of arms and shells needed on the battlefield in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Ten people, including a teenage girl, were injured after Russia hit with missiles in the third bombardment in five days. Air defence shot down the missiles but people were hurt when the debris crashed to the ground in several central districts. Almost a dozen people were injured after Russia attacked the southern region of Mykolaiv and Odesa with drones. The authorities said eight of nine drones were shot down but that a fire at a plant in Odesa forced an emergency power shutdown. Authorities in the northeastern Kharkiv region said a 65-year-old man was killed in the courtyard of his home during Russian shelling.
Oleg Kalashnikov, a press officer for Ukraine’s 26th Artillery Brigade, said the eastern city of Chasiv Yar was facing a “difficult and tense” situation, with Russian forces trying to “push through” Ukrainian defences. Kalashnikov said Moscow was dropping powerful guided bombs “on populated areas and on our fortified positions”.
A fire broke out at a major Russian power plant in the southwestern Rostov region after a Ukrainian drone attack. Two power units at the Novocherkassk power station, one of the largest in the region, were shut down while the blaze was brought under control.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said “radical Islamists” were behind Friday night’s attack on Crocus Hall but added, without evidence, that Ukraine had a role. The Afghan branch of ISIL, also known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province or ISKP, has said it was responsible for the attack, which killed 139 people and injured 182.
Speaking in his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again dismissed Putin’s claim. Ukraine has denied any role in the attack and Zelenskyy has accused Putin of seeking to divert blame.
Poland’s Foreign Ministry said that Sergey Andreev, the Russian ambassador in Warsaw, failed to show up for a diplomatic summons issued after a Russian missile breached Polish airspace over the weekend.
The wife of jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza said she was in favour of prisoner exchanges to rescue him and other political detainees in Russia. Kara-Murza, who also has United Kingdom citizenship, was jailed for 25 years last year after saying Russia had committed “war crimes” against Ukraine.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned Australia’s chargé d’affaires in Moscow to complain about a social media post that said Russia’s staging of presidential elections in occupied parts of Ukraine, which Moscow claims to have annexed, was a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reiterated his call for international allies to supply more air defences, particularly Patriot systems and missiles, after Russia’s latest attack on Kyiv.


Jul 22, 2023
Kharkiv regional governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said three emergency workers were killed in a Russian attack on Ukraine’s second-largest city. The three had gone to help after a Russian drone struck some residential buildings and were caught in a second Russian attack. Syniehubov said a total of four strikes had hit the city. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia fired more than 3,000 guided aerial bombs, 600 drones and 400 missiles at Ukraine in March, as it stepped up its long-range air strike campaign on the country’s energy infrastructure. Ukraine’s air force said it shot down all four drones Russia used in an attack on the central regions of Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Khmelnytskyi and Zhytomyr. The attack caused a fire in Kirovohrad, but no other damage or injuries were reported. Zelenskyy said he believed Russia was “preparing to mobilise 300,000 military personnel by June 1”, but provided no evidence. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the claim was untrue.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said more than 100,000 people had enlisted for military service in the Russian armed forces so far this year, 16,000 of them in the 10 days after the attack on the Crocus City Hall. ISIL (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the March 22 attack.

France denied Russian claims that it expressed willingness to hold dialogue on Ukraine or discuss possible peace negotiations when the two countries’ defence ministers spoke on Wednesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country’s support for Ukraine was unwavering during a phone call with Zelenskyy.
FInland's President Alexander Stubb meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Zelenskyy is welcoming him and they are shaking hands. A Ukrainian flag is behind them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, welcomes Finland’s President Alexander Stubb to Kyiv [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service via AFP]Visiting Kyiv, Finland’s President Alexander Stubb signed a 10-year security deal with Ukraine. Stubb said Finland would also send 188 million euros ($203m) in additional military aid, including air defences and heavy-calibre ammunition.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow viewed South Korea’s decision to impose sanctions on Russian individuals and entities as “unfriendly” and will respond. South Korea imposed sanctions against two Russian ships it says were carrying military cargo to North Korea. It has also sanctioned those it says have links to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Germany said it detained the Atlantic Navigator II, a cargo ship sailing from Russia, that made an unscheduled stop at the German port of Rostock. Customs said it was investigating the vessel, carrying 251 containers of birch wood, on suspicion of breaching European Union sanctions against Russia.

NATO foreign ministers, meeting for a two-day summit in Brussels, agreed to start planning military support for Ukraine on a long-term basis. A proposal to establish a $107bn, five-year fund, drew mixed responses.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the country’s Western allies were not providing enough air defence for Ukraine to protect itself against Russian aerial attacks. Kuleba said he would press NATO members for 5-7 Patriot systems during the Brussels summit.


Jul 22, 2023
Ukraine’s military said that fighting around the front line city of Chasiv Yar was “difficult” and “tense” but that its forces were resisting Russian air and infantry attacks. Ivan Fedorov, the head of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhia region, said three people died in the town of Huliaipole after their house was hit by a Russian shell.A woman was killed in a Russian attack that hit an apartment block in Kupiansk, in the northeastern Kharkiv region. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, five people were injured in a Russian attack.
In Russia, meanwhile, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said one woman was killed after shrapnel from a shot-down Ukrainian drone hit a car. Authorities said they brought down 12 drones in the Belgorod region and three over Bryansk.
Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine denied the claim. Russia seized the facility shortly after launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, and hold talks with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Foreign Ministry said the “Ukrainian crisis” would be discussed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine would lose to Russia and other countries would be at risk of attack if the United States Congress did not approve a $60b military aid package that Republicans have blocked for months
At least three people were killed and eight injured in the southern city of Zaporizhzia after a Russian missile hit several apartment blocks, an industrial building as well as medical and educational facilities.
One woman was killed and three others injured after Russia attacked the town of Bilopillia in the northern Sumy region with guided bombs. The attack struck the centre of the town of 15,000 people, damaging shops and a city council building. One person was killed and five injured, including three children, after Russian shelling triggered a fire and the collapse of a building roof, officials said.
Officials in Zvyahel in Ukraine’s central Zhytomyr region urged people to stay indoors amid fears of “air pollution” after a Russian drone attack hit infrastructure. No casualties were reported. Russia launched 24 drones on targets across Ukraine, authorities said, with 17 brought down.
Moscow requested an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s 35-nation Board of Governors over alleged Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant . Kyiv has denied attacking the plant, accusing Russia of spreading disinformation.
Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said Russia had struck as much as 80 percent of Ukraine’s conventional power plants and half its hydroelectric plants in recent weeks in the heaviest attacks since Moscow began its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

United Kingdom Foreign Minister David Cameron will meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday during a trip to the United States where he will urge Congress to pass a $60b aid package for Ukraine that has been blocked by Republicans.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova posted a photo on Telegram showing Lavrov meeting Wang but gave no information on the content of their discussions.


Jul 22, 2023
The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission said it verified at least 604 civilians killed or injured in Ukraine in March, a 20 percent increase from February. The toll included at least 57 children killed or injured, double the number from February, it said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy inspected fortifications and trenches in the northeastern Kharkiv region and issued a new appeal for military support to protect the country’s second-largest city from Russian attacks. Russia fired a guided bomb at the city just as Zelenskyy announced his visit, injuring at least three people.
Zelenskyy has asked its troops to continue with no age bar and fight till they die.
Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said Ukraine’s air defence systems destroyed 20 attack drones launched by Russia overnight aimed at critical infrastructure and power facilities in seven Ukrainian regions. Damage was reported in Lviv, Odesa and Poltava.
Russia and Ukraine continued to trade accusations over attacks on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhizhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power station. Moscow claimed Kyiv struck the site with a drone for a third day. Kyiv reiterated that it does not take any military action against nuclear facilities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday at the request of both Ukraine and Russia to discuss the Zaporizhzhia plant. The atomic watchdog earlier said the situation was “extremely serious”.

Alexander Bogomaz, the governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, said a woman and a child were killed when Ukrainian shelling hit the village of Klimovo, about 10km (six miles) from Russia’s border with Ukraine. Bogomaz said three people were injured.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing where he met China’s President Xi Jinping and top diplomat Wang Yi. Lavrov and Wang said the two countries aimed to deepen security cooperation. China and Russia declared a “no-limits” partnership just before Moscow invaded Ukraine and have deepened their relationship since. Beijing says it is neutral in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron met United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and urged members of the US Congress to pass a $60bn aid package for Ukraine, which has been blocked by right-wing Republicans. He also travelled to Florida for talks with presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump’s office said the two discussed “ending the killing in Ukraine” among other issues.
The US military said it transferred weapons to Ukraine, including more than 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, as well as more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition that were seized as they were being shipped by Iran to Houthi forces in Yemen.
The US State Department approved $138m to provide critical repairs and spare parts for Kyiv’s HAWK air defence missile systems.


Jul 22, 2023
The commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskii, said the situation on the eastern front “has deteriorated significantly in recent days” in the face of a heightened Russian offensive.
Ukraine has said the situation around the eastern front-line city of Chasiv Yar is “difficult and tense” with the area under “constant fire”. It lies 20km (12 miles) west of Bakhmut, which was flattened by months of artillery fire before it was captured by Russia last May.
Six people, including a child, have been killed after Ukrainian troops shelled Russian controlled Ziporizhzhia a southern region of Ukraine. Vladimir Rogov, a Russia-installed official, said 20 people were injured in the strike.
An aborted 2022 peace deal between Russia and Ukraine could be the basis for new negotiations but there is no sign that Kyiv is ready for talks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Russia and Ukraine were on the verge of agreeing to a deal to end hostilities at talks in Istanbul in April 2022, but that Ukraine backed away from it once Russian troops fell back from near the Ukrainian capital.The United States and the United Kingdom have imposed new sanctions prohibiting metal-trading exchanges from accepting new aluminium, copper and nickel produced by Russia, which is one of the world’s major producers of such minerals.
The US has accused China of backing Russia’s war effort in Ukraine by helping Moscow in its biggest military buildup since the Soviet era, providing drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools. Unnamed senior US officials said US President Joe Biden reportedly raised the issue during his recent phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Prosecutors in Belgium are investigating suspected Russian interference in the upcoming European Parliament elections with the goal of affecting Ukraine policy, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said.
Russia has summoned French Ambassador Pierre Levy over French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne’s “unacceptable” comments on the Kremlin. Sejourne was quoted as saying this week that France had no interest in talking to the Kremlin, a few days after a telephone conversation between the two nations’ defence ministers ended in an argument.
Ukrainian fighter pilots likely to fly US F-16 aircraft are receiving their initial training with France’s air force, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu told the newspaper Ouest-France. Other countries including the Netherlands, Denmark and Romania are seeking to help Ukraine train its F-16 pilots after the United States gave the go-ahead.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence says Moscow had conducted a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile at the Kapustin Yar rocket launch complex in the southern Astrakhan region.


Jul 22, 2023
Following a barrage of drone strikes fired by Iran on Saturday towards Israel, a New York Times report states that Israel decided to carry out a retaliatory attack on Tehran on Sunday morning, however it was cancelled after a phone call took place between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation.


IMAGE: US President Joe Biden meets with members of his national security team in the Situation Room at the White House, in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2024. Photograph: The White House/Handout via Reuters

After Israel successfully intercepted Iranian missiles and drones, the Biden administration cautioned Tel Aviv to avoid escalation in the Middle East, The Jerusalem Post reported citing NYT.

More than 300 drones and missiles were intercepted by Israel, which United States officials called a major strategic win while advising that further retailition is not required.

Israel's war cabinet is set to convene later on Sunday to evaluate a response to Iran's attack.
Notably, Netanyahu spoke with Biden, following meetings with the Security Cabinet and the War Cabinet, after Iran launched drones towards Israel on Saturday night in response to the air strike on its embassy in Syria.

The authorities , however, did not disclose the exchange between Biden and Netanyahu.

According to Jerusalem Post, Biden's conversation with Netanyahu reiterated the US' commitment to Israel's security, which following the attacks, Biden called 'ironclad'.
In his subsequent public statement, President Biden hinted at a preference for restraint and the need for careful consideration of the situation before any steps taken further.

Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, meanwhile said on Sunday that the confrontation between Iran and Israel is 'not over yet'.

His remarks came after Iran launched an attack on Israel the previous night.


Jul 22, 2023
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Sardar Bagheri, has said that the military operation against Israel has 'concluded' from Tehran's side, while issuing warning that if the United States helps Israel in their possible next actions, their bases will 'not have any security', and will be dealt with, according to CNN.
Gallant said that Israel was attacked with missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles and Israel Defence Forces (IDF) thwarted the attack.
He urged Israelis to remain 'alert and attentive' to the instructions issued by the IDF and Homefront Command, according to a CNN report.
He said, "The State of Israel was attacked with hundreds of missiles and [unmanned aerial vehicles], and the [Israel Defence Forces] thwarted this attack in an impressive manner."

He emphasised that Israel 'must be prepared for every scenario'.

Earlier, Bagheri, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, said, "Israel's actions in the consulate were condemned so a response should have been given."

He also noted that, although the operation is concluded, Iranian forces continue to remain on high alert.

Iranian officials have made it apparent that the strikes this weekend were reprisals for an Israeli strike on April 1 that destroyed an Iranian consulate facility in Damascus.

Israel has not taken responsibility for the attack, which Iran claims cost the lives of several officials, including Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammed Reza Zahedi.

Following its attack on Israel, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander declared that a 'new equation' has been developed.

He stated that as a result, Iran will henceforth immediately retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, resources, or citizens.

"We have decided to create a new equation, which is that if from now on the Zionist regime attacks our interests, assets, personalities, and citizens, anywhere and at any point we will retaliate against them," CNN quoted the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami as saying to Iranian state TV.

"The Honest Promise operation is a prominent and very clear example of this new equation," Salami said.

Gallant, meanwhile, said, "Together with the United States and additional partners, we managed to defend the territory of the State of Israel."

He added, "Very little damage was caused - this is the result of the IDF's impressive operations."

Gallant is one of three members of Israel's war cabinet, alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.

An Israeli official said that the war cabinet has been authorised to make a decision on Israel's response to the Iranian attack, CNN reported.


Jul 22, 2023
In order to keep the pot boiling for the purpose of weakening Russia US and NATO keep on pouring weapons into Ukraine. They are also getting their new weapons tested this way and use Ukraine as a trial ground. America's trillion dollar arm industry goes on thriving this way.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the US House of Representatives’ passage of a long-delayed bill to provide $61bn in foreign aid for Ukraine and urged the United States to quickly turn the bill into law and start the transfer of weapons.
European Union foreign ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss bolstering Ukraine’s air defences.
Global military spending rose by 6.8 percent to an all-time high of $2.4 trillion, driven by conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia boosted spending by 24 percent, reaching $109bn in 2023, according to SIPRI’s estimates. Ukraine’s military spending rose by 51 percent, reaching $64.8bn, while it also received $35bn in military aid from its allies, mostly the US.
One person was killed and four others were injured in Russian shelling in the town of Ukrainsk, according to the prosecutor’s office in the partially-occupied Donetsk region. In the Odesa region, four people were injured in a Russian missile attack, Governor Oleh Kiper said.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence said its forces had taken control of the settlement of Bohdanivka in the Donetsk region. Bohdanivka is located just to the west of the Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, in its evening report, mentioned Bohdanivka as one of a series of villages where it said Ukrainian forces repelled 13 enemy attacks. It gave no specific details.
Ukraine’s Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said the navy had struck and damaged the Kommuna, a Russian rescue vessel, in Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea. The Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol said Russian forces had repelled an antiship missile attack on one of its vessels in the port, and that there was a small fire.​


Jul 22, 2023
Ukraine pulls back from three villages in east as Russia claims gains. .In recent months, Ukrainian forces have been slowly retreating in the eastern Donbas region amid excruciating losses, and top brass warn that the front line may burst open because of dire shortages of ammunition and manpower.
For the first time since the war began in February 2022, fewer than half – 45 percent – of Ukrainians believe that their nation could return to its borders before the 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to a survey by Rating, an independent pollster, released in early April. A year ago, the figure was 74 percent, Rating said.
At the time, Ukraine was riding high on the success of its counteroffensive in the fall of 2022, when daring maneuvering forced Russian forces to hastily retreat from most of the northeastern Kharkiv region.Months earlier, Moscow withdrew its forces from around Kyiv and all of northern Ukraine, and many Ukrainians and observers were confident that Ukrainian forces would swiftly reach the Sea of Azov to bisect Russia’s land bridge between Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists carved out one of two “People’s republics” in 2014, and Crimea.
But the counteroffensive’s failure filled Ukrainians with pessimism – especially in Russian-occupied areas.

“No one is coming to the rescue, there’s no way we can become part of Ukraine again,” Halyna, who lives in the town of Henichesk in the southern region of Kherson that has been occupied since March 2022, told.

Two Russian journalists arrested over alleged work for Navalny group. ...Russia and Ukraine target each other's energy sectors. ...US to provide Patriot missiles to Ukraine as part of $6bn defence aid.Sunak to announce UK’s ‘largest ever’ military support package for Ukraine At least eight killed in Russian strikes on Ukraine’s Kharkiv Ukraine’s agriculture minister suspected of corrupt land grab


Jul 22, 2023
The spokesman for Ukraine’s border service told the Ukrinform news agency that about 30 Ukrainian men had died trying to cross Ukraine’s borders illegally in an attempt to avoid fighting in the war since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Under Ukrainian law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country as they may be mobilised to fight.
At least three people were killed and three injured after a Russian missile struck the Ukrainian port city of Odesa early on Wednesday. At least one man was killed and nine injured in the northeastern city of Kharkiv after Russia struck a railway line with a guided bomb damaging nearby residential buildings in the latest attack on Ukraine’s second-biggest city. Ukraine’s railway company said the 24-year-old victim was one of its employees. One woman was killed and three people injured in Ukrainian shelling along the border in Russia’s Kursk region, according to the regional governor there.
Ukrainian soldiers discovered Lidya Stepanovna, a 97-year-old Ukrainian woman, who said she had walked 10km (6 miles) under shelling to escape Ocheretyne in Donetsk, now occupied by Russia, and reach areas controlled by Kyiv. Stepanovna is now in a shelter for evacuees.

Moscow said Ukraine had attacked Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed from Ukraine in 2014, with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS). The Russian Ministry of Defence said six of the missiles were shot down, along with 10 drones and two guided bombs. It did not say where the weapons were brought down or whether there was any damage. Ukraine did not comment.

Andrzej Szejna, the Polish deputy foreign minister, said Poland would not “protect” Ukrainian men on its soil who had escaped the draft. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men of military age are living in the country, according to UN figures.
The OVD-Info rights group said Stanislav Netesov, a man who went to a Moscow police station after he was attacked at a bus stop, was instead accused of “discrediting” the Russian army because his hair was dyed in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. Netesov, whose hair is dyed blue, yellow and green, was also given a notice for a draft enlistment centre, OVD-Info said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed “a significant acceleration” in deliveries of weaponry from its partners, particularly the United States, to enable its troops to face advancing Russian forces along several sectors of the front line. Top Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrskii has said the Russians are intent on seizing the town of Chasiv Yar to coincide with the commemoration on May 9 of the Soviet victory in World War II.
Norway said it would increase its aid to Ukraine this year by 7 billion Norwegian crowns ($633m). Some 6 billion crowns ($540m) will go to air defence and ammunition. “It’s a matter of life and death for the people of Ukraine,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told a news conference.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Washington had been encouraging countries with Patriot missile systems to donate them to Ukraine. Austin did not name the countries but Spain, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden are among the European nations that have Patriots.

Months of relentless Russian artillery pounding have devastated a strategic city in eastern Ukraine, new drone footage obtained by The Associated Press shows, with barely a building left intact, homes and municipal offices charred and a town that once had a population of 12,000 now all but deserted.

The strategically important city Bakhmat has been under attack by Russian forces for months. Capturing it would give Russia control of a hilltop from which it can attack other cities that form the backbone of Ukraine’s eastern defenses.
That would set the stage for a potentially broader Russian offensive that Ukrainian officials say could come as early as this month.


Jul 22, 2023
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy fired the head of the state guards, the unit that provides protection to top officials, after the intelligence services said two of its members were involved in a Russian plot to assassinate him. Zelenskyy appointed Brigadier General Oleksandr Trepak as the commander of Ukraine’s special forces replacing Colonel Serhiy Lupanchuk. It is the second time in six months that the president has changed the head of the unit that operates in Russia-occupied territories. No reason was given.
Ukraine’s popular former army chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who led Ukraine’s defence in the first two years of Moscow’s full-scale invasion, was named Kyiv’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. The previous ambassador was fired in July 2023 after criticising the president.
Ukraine’s parliament backed a bill to crack down on voted-on draft dodgers. The legislation includes raising fines for anyone caught trying to avoid the call-up and allowing authorities to detain draft dodgers for up to three days.

Two people were killed in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s southern city of Nikopol, while Ukraine’s air force said air defence systems destroyed 17 out of 20 Russian attack drones targeting the southern Odesa region. No casualties were reported from those attacks. Eight people were injured and dozens of buildings damaged in a Ukrainian air attack on Russia’s Belgorod, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s army was facing “a really difficult situation” against Russian forces on the eastern front, but that the US’s $61 bn military aid package was coming and would turn the tide. Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrhydroenergo said two hydropower plants were no longer operating after Russian attacks earlier this week caused “devastating damage”. Unnamed intelligence sources in Kyiv told the Reuters and AFP news agencies that a Ukrainian drone struck a major oil refinery in Russia’s Bashkortostan region on Thursday from some 1,500km (932 miles) away in the longest-range attack since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

Russia’s emergency services said a building at Gazprom’s Neftekhim Salavat oil processing, petrochemical and fertilizer complex in Bashkortostan was damaged, the RIA state news agency reported.
Speaking at Russia’s Victory Day military parade, President Vladimir Putin accused “arrogant” Western elites of forgetting the decisive role played by the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II, and of stoking conflicts across the world. Putin ordered Russia’s full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow currently occupies about 18 percent of the country.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Seoul would maintain strong ties with Ukraine and a “smooth” relationship with Russia but ruled out direct weapon shipments to Kyiv.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said Ukraine’s Western allies would deliver three more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). The system can launch multiple guided missiles in quick succession. Ukraine claims it foiled Russian plot to assassinate President ZelenskyyRussia unleashes ‘massive’ barrage targeting Ukraine energy infrastructure Ukraine parliament passes bill for prisoners to join army Russia’s Putin says ‘arrogant’ West risking global conflict

Russian forces continued to exploit a window of opportunity to make small, tactical gains during the past week, as Ukraine began to receive parcels of long-delayed US military aid for the first time in weeks.
Ukraine also reported that Russia was building up worrying numbers of troops on its northern border, and prepared to face a potential new front.
Against this tense background, Europe sought to boost Ukraine’s own defence industrial base to ensure political problems among its allies never interfere with weapons deliveries again.

Russian forces managed to steal another march on Ukrainian defenders in Ocheretyne. The village sits at the western point of a salient the Russians have gradually built west of Avdiivka after taking that city in February.

They took advantage of a poorly executed substitution of Ukraine’s defending battalion to enter Ocheretyne in late April, but faced fierce resistance.

Russia’s defence ministry announced Ocheretyne had fallen on May 5, Orthodox Easter Sunday.

Satellite imagery appeared to confirm that, and three days later Russian forces consolidated their catch by advancing four kilometres (2.5 miles) north of the village and extending their gains to its south.

National Guard captain Volodymyr Cherniak told The Guardian the Russian forces did this by flanking defences the Ukrainians had taken too long to dig because they lacked construction crews.

Russian forces made marginal gains as they fought street-to-street in Robotyne, a small town in western Zaporizhia that Ukrainian forces recaptured in last year’s counteroffensive. And on Monday, they swallowed Novoselivske, a village in Luhansk.

Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minister, claimed during a conference call with Moscow’s military leadership that their forces had seized 547sq kms (211sq miles) of territory in Ukraine since the beginning of the year.


Jul 22, 2023
Ukraine has evacuated about 8,000 people from its northeastern Kharkiv region since Russia launched a major ground assault on the area last week, the country’s emergency services agency has said.
The US will back Ukraine until its security is “guaranteed”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on a trip to Kyiv.
Russia says a major airport near the city of Kazan, 1,000km (620 miles) from Ukraine, has been temporarily closed after the region was targeted by a Ukrainian attack drone.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has cancelled Friday’s visit to Madrid, Spanish media reports, with the news confirmed by the Spanish royal palace’s updated agenda.

Zelenskiy says situation is ‘difficult’ on visit to Kharkiv; Putin calls China relationship an international ‘stabilising factor’​



Jul 22, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelenskyy said his country’s troops are achieving “tangible” results against Russian forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region but the situation on the eastern front near the cities of Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk and Kurakhove was “extremely difficult”.
The Ukrainian military said it destroyed the Russian navy’s Tsiklon, a cruise missile carrier, in Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea on the night of May 19.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska said more than 3,000 prisoners had applied to join the military since the law was amended to allow certain convicts to serve in the armed forces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than 14,000 people had been displaced from the Kharkiv region since Russia launched a ground offensive there on May 10. The WHO said some 189,000 people were still living within 25km (15 miles) of the border with Russia and facing “significant risks” as a result of the fighting.
A Russian official said Moscow’s forces controlled “about 40 percent” of Vovchansk, a town near the border with Russia and at the epicentre of fighting.
Moscow began nuclear weapons drills close to Ukraine in exercises the Ministry of Defence said were to test the “readiness” of its “non-strategic nuclear weapons… to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state”.
The European Union formally adopted a plan to use windfall profits from Russian central bank assets frozen in the EU for Ukraine’s defence, the Belgian government said. Under the agreement, 90 percent of the proceeds will go into an EU-run fund for military aid for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, with the remainder providing Kyiv with other forms of support.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made her eighth visit to Kyiv since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]
A court in Moscow ruled that investigators acted lawfully when they refused to look into two alleged attempts on the life of Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza in 2015 and 2017. Kara-Murza, a dual citizen of Russia and the United Kingdom, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for treason over his criticism of the Ukraine war. A media investigation into the 2015 and 2017 incidents suggested he had been poisoned by Russia’s FSB intelligence service.
Russian general Ivan Popov, who was sacked last July after he criticised army leaders and raised concerns about the high casualty rate in Ukraine, was arrested on suspicion of “large-scale fraud”. State news agencies said the 49-year-old was remanded in custody for two months by a military court.

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba urged the country’s allies to consider shooting down Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory to better protect its cities from Russian aerial attacks. Kuleba, who was speaking alongside visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, said Ukraine’s Western backers should not see such a step as “escalatory”.
Baerbock, on her eighth visit to Kyiv since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, acknowledged the situation on the front had “dramatically deteriorated”, and that Ukraine needed air defence as an “absolute priority” amid continuing Russian drone, rocket and missile attacks.


Jul 22, 2023
Russia has intensified its attacks on the strategically important town of Chasiv Yar and other targets in Ukraine’s east, taking advantage of the fact that some Ukrainian units were diverted to fight its new incursion in the northern region of Kharkiv.
But Ukraine held the line during the past week, recapturing Russian footholds in Chasiv Yar. Should the town fall, military observers say, it would put Russian forces in a position to attack the last remaining free cities in Donetsk – Kostiantynivka, Druzhivka, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk – which form Ukraine’s main line of defence in the region.
Ukraine also unleashed waves of aerial and naval drones, striking Russian refineries, oil depots, airfields and ports, and sinking the last missile carrier Russia had in the Black Sea.
Ukrainian officials have warned that they expect further waves of attacks in Kharkiv, and some observed a new build-up of Russian troops on Russian soil north of the city of Sumy, a possible indication of a new incursion.
But so far Ukraine has managed its slender resources efficiently enough to thwart Russia at every turn.

Russian forces unleashed a company-sized mechanised assault in Chasiv Yar on May 17 and 18, including two tanks and 21 infantry fighting vehicles. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at least 20 of the vehicles were destroyed.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington-based think tank, said it was the first assault of such ambition in six weeks, as Russian forces sought to exploit the pressure on Ukraine’s defenders from their incursion in Kharkiv.
“Ukrainian forces have recently transferred elements of a Ukrainian brigade defending in the Chasiv Yar area to the Vovchansk area, and Russian forces have likely intensified offensive operations near Chasiv Yar to quickly take advantage of weakened Ukrainian defences,” said the ISW.
Zelenskyy told Reuters that the Russian incursion in Kharkiv had been stabilised, whereas the real fight was in the east.
“No one even notices that there are actually more battles in the east of the country, specifically in the Donbas direction: Kurakhove, Pokrovsk, Chasiv Yar,” he told the news agency.
The main thrust of the Kharkiv offensive was directed at Vovchansk, about 40km (25 miles) northeast of Kharkiv city, where Russian troops made gradual inroads throughout the week, but still only held about a quarter of the town.
A second Russian line of attack in Kharkiv was trying to reach the village of Lyptsi, but Zelenskyy said Ukraine had stalled both efforts 5-10km (3-6 miles) from the Russian border, less than two weeks after the May 10 incursion.

The Economist revealed details of an undated invasion plan that called for Russian forces to have reached a point 16km (10 miles) from the border within 72 hours, in order to be within shelling distance of Kharkiv.
Details began to emerge about how Russia had managed to get even as far as it did.
A Ukrainian officer told the Washington Post that Russian electronic warfare jamming had blinded the surveillance drones it flies daily along the border in the hours leading up to the invasion, delaying the mobilisation of defences.
The mayor of Vovchansk, Tamaz Gambarashvili, also told the New York Times that for months before the invasion, a combination of Russian drone surveillance and artillery fire harassed Ukrainian soldiers trying to build trenches and concrete bunkers, leaving the first line of defence unprepared.

“Russia was constantly shelling everything we were building,” he said.
Zelenskyy sought to reassure Ukrainians at a media conference: “This is the first line – a line built in the war, under constant fire, by our military. The first and second lines are built by the military, the third line is built by local authorities. It is the most powerful – not because they are better than the military, but simply because it is further from weapons, from shells, from shelling.”
At the same time, Zelenskyy reportedly stepped up pressure on Washington to allow Ukraine to use United States-supplied weapons inside Russian territory.
So far Britain is the only NATO member that has explicitly said Ukraine may do so, and publicly US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated the Washington line.

But military observers say defending Ukraine is impossible if Russia can marshal its forces on the other side of the border immune from strikes.
“The Russian Air Force can strike no fewer than 2,480 Ukrainian settlements in Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv [regions] together without ever leaving Russian airspace,” wrote George Barros at the ISW.
“Ukraine cannot defend its frontline positions from Russian glide bombs so long as Ukraine cannot intercept Russian aircraft in Russian airspace with US-provided air defence systems.”

Ukraine has been able to use its domestically built drones to attack Russia and US-made weapons to attack Russian-occupied Crimea and did so to great effect during the past week.
Ukraine attacked the Belbek airfield in western Crimea on the night of May 14-15, probably using US Army Tactical Missiles (ATACMS).
Russia’s defence ministry said it had shot down 10 of the missiles, but Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov said a MiG-31 aircraft and two air defence systems were destroyed, and three Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft were damaged.
More missiles struck Belbek the following night. The partisan movement Atesh said its agents had confirmed “many hours of subsequent detonation of the main missile and artillery weapons warehouse.”
The following day Ukrainian military intelligence and security sources told Suspilne, the public broadcasting company of Ukraine, that their drones had struck the ports of Novorossiysk in Russia and Sevastopol in Crimea, and the Tuapse refinery in Russia.

The attack was massive. Russia’s defence ministry said it had destroyed 123 aerial drones and 25 naval drones.
On May 19 three ATACMS missiles hit a vessel in Sevastopol, and Ukrainian drones hit the Slavyansk refinery and the Kushchyovskaya airfield, both in the Russian border region of Krasnodar Krai, to the east of Crimea. Intelligence sources told Suspilne the drones had damaged several aircraft and several distillation columns.
Further afield, near Leningrad, a sabotage operation appeared to have detonated fuel tanks at the Vyborg oil depot.
Ukraine’s crowning achievement of the week may have been to sink the Tsyklon, a Karakhut-class missile carrier – apparently the ship that was struck by ATACMS missiles in Sevastopol. Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said it was the last remaining missile carrier of its class in the Black Sea.
INTERACTIVE Ukraine Refugees-1716450308



Jul 22, 2023
Ukrainian president says as the war rages and casualties mount, a plan to end the 28-month conflict is ‘the diplomatic route we are working on’.“It is very important for us to show a plan to end the war that will be supported by the majority of the world,” the Ukrainian president said at a news conference in Kyiv alongside Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar on Friday. The Ukraine Peace Summit failed because the Global South is not buying the Ukrainian claim to colonial victimhood, and has grown more suspicious of US client states after Gaza.

The main aim of the much talked about Ukraine Peace Summit, held in Switzerland on June 15-16, was to rally the Global Majority behind President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “peace formula” – a marketable brand name for a list of demands that include Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine’s entire territory and the formation of an international tribunal to try Putin’s government for war crimes. Of course, realistically, such an absolutist settlement can only be secured through a total victory on the battlefield, which does not appear to be forthcoming. Nonetheless, getting most of the global community to publicly support these demands would have undoubtedly strengthened Zelenskyy’s hand against Putin.

In the end, the only outcome of this perplexing event, which attempted to resolve an armed conflict without the involvement of the side that started it, was the death of the very “peace formula” it strove to promote.
The communique signed by 81 participants at the summit doesn’t even begin to outline the contours of a possible settlement. It only covers three important but secondary issues – Ukraine’s grain export, the safety of nuclear power stations and the return of war prisoners and Ukrainian children removed by the Russians from the warzone into Russia.

But even so, key players like Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia avoided signing it, arguing that a forum aiming to achieve peace with Russia makes little sense in Russia’s absence. China flatly refused to participate. Tellingly, even US President Joe Biden chose not to throw his weight behind the forum. Rather than making the trip to Switzerland himself, he sent Vice President Kamala Harris to represent his administration.

It’s not entirely Ukraine’s fault that it failed to secure the support of the Global South for its war aims at this summit. The Global Majority’s cold-shouldering of the summit reflects the ongoing decline of America’s global influence, which accelerated significantly in the past eight months in light of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and President Biden’s continued backing of Israel in the face of it. Whether Kyiv likes it or not, anyone who is seen as America’s client state is going to be approached with a great deal of skepsis.

There is also the separate case of China, which, according to its own government officials, feels goaded by the United States into an armed conflict over Taiwan. Getting Beijing on board at an event squarely designed as anti-Russian has always been a fool’s errand. Why amid growing tensions in relations with the US would China turn hostile towards its most valuable global ally, Russia?

Ukraine’s own rhetoric, however, has also contributed to the failure. Back in 2022, after the start of Russia’s full-out aggression, Zelenskyy and members of his government attempted to secure sympathy of the Global South by presenting Ukraine as a victim of a colonial war waged by Russia.

At best, this argument falls on flat ears in places like South Africa or Brazil, coming from a European nation that pictures itself as a bulwark of “the civilised world” – a term President Zelenskyy once again unwittingly used at a security conference in Singapore in early June as he tried to persuade Asian countries to attend the summit. The real former victims of European colonialism hardly enjoy being deemed as “uncivilised”.

Global South leaders don’t even need to know that Ukrainian nobility and clerics, like archbishop Feofan Prokopovych, served as ideologues of the Russian imperial project when it was implemented by Peter the Great. Or that much of what we know as Ukraine’s southeast, specifically the territories where the war is raging today, was colonised as a result of Russian imperial expansion in the 18th century, in which Ukrainians played no small role.

While it is undoubtedly a victim of Russian irredentism and ultra-nationalism in its brutal Putinist form, the Ukrainian claim to colonial victimhood sounds as valid to people in Soweto or Salvador de Bahia as that of the Scots. It is just a rhetorical trick coined by its own far right. The fact that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups which took part in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution have now grown to the size of large army units, such as the 3rd Detached Assault Brigade (one of the Azov Movement’s outfits), doesn’t help either.
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