The Ukrainian army says it has deployed combat drones at the Enerhodar nuclear power plant, which is occupied by the Russian army. “An attack on a tent city and enemy technology was carried out with kamikaze drones,” the military intelligence service said in Kyiv on Friday. Air defenses and a Grad (Hail) multiple rocket launcher were said to have been destroyed. According to the intelligence service, three Russians were killed and twelve injured. A video released shows tents and people fleeing an explosion.
The Russian occupation administration for the Zaporizhia region had previously reported on the attack around 440 kilometers south-east of the capital Kyiv. Accordingly, eleven power plant employees are said to have been injured, four of them seriously. The information provided by both sides cannot be independently verified.
With six blocks and an output of 6000 megawatts, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was captured by the Russian army in early March. Over half of Ukraine’s electrical energy is generated from nuclear power. The 1986 explosion of a power plant unit at the then Soviet Chernobyl power plant in northern Ukraine is considered the worst nuclear accident in history. (dpa)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sees a ceasefire without the return of the Russian-occupied territories as critical.
Freezing the conflict will only give the Russian Federation a respite.
According to the US government, it is considering a possible delivery of American fighter jets to Ukraine. However, the National Security Council communications director, John Kirby, stressed on Friday “that these are exploratory considerations that cannot be implemented in the near future”. The tests are not about machines from the ex-Soviet Union, but about American-made aircraft.
Kirby told reporters on the phone that operating modern fighter jets is “a difficult proposition.” Factors such as crew training, maintenance or the delivery of spare parts also have to be taken into account – “an entire supply chain” is necessary to keep an aircraft in the air. He stressed that the US would support Ukraine in the fight against the invading Russian forces for as long as necessary. (dpa)
The US has approved an additional $270 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four new Himar missile launchers. In response to the “atrocities” committed by Russia, US President Joe Biden made it clear “that we will support the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people for as long as is necessary,” White House spokesman John Kirby said on Friday .
This brings the number of Himars missile launchers sent to Ukraine to 20. Ukraine said the missile launchers, which can fire at targets up to 80 kilometers away, are crucial in the fight against Russia.
The newly released aid will also include 500 Phoenix Ghosts drones, which will detonate at their target location, according to Kirby. Artillery ammunition will also be supplied.
Most of that aid comes from a $40 billion package for Ukraine approved by the US Congress in May. (AFP)
The Russian state-owned companies Rosneft and Gazprom can again supply oil to third countries because of an adjustment to the EU sanctions against Russia. According to a statement, the member states of the European Union (EU) have agreed on this. Such a decision was made to “avoid negative consequences for food and energy security in the world.” According to traders, the EU sanctions have caused the Russian oil trade to move into a gray area with weak accident insurance and older ships. (Reuters)
Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy support from Britain beyond his own term in office. His country’s continued determination to support Ukraine in the current war will not waver regardless of who becomes his country’s next prime minister, Johnson said in a phone call with Zelenskyy on Friday, according to a spokeswoman. Among other things, they want to further expand the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Great Britain.
A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Johnson announced his resignation following pressure from his conservative faction after a number of scandals. His successor is currently being chosen. The outgoing British head of government is popular in Ukraine – partly because Great Britain is one of the largest arms suppliers. (dpa)
The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, together with Poland and Romania, have called on the EU to do more to counter Russian misinterpretations and distortions of history. In a joint letter released on Friday, the five Central Eastern European countries also called on the EU institutions to take a leadership role in preserving historical memory and preventing the manipulation of facts.
“Russia has never condemned the crimes of the Soviets, and its current leadership tolerates and even enthusiastically supports the Soviet legacy. It is necessary to step up efforts at the EU level to counter Russia’s attempts to rewrite history and use the narratives of totalitarian regimes in the context of the war against Ukraine,” the letter said. “Legal, political and awareness-raising instruments” should be used for this purpose.
Unlike the atrocities of the National Socialists, the memory and knowledge of Soviet crimes have yet to find their place in European consciousness. “Without an accurate, honest and comprehensive assessment of the past, we will not be able to effectively prevent future crimes on our continent or investigate the current ones in Ukraine,” the five leaders said in a letter.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were alternately occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany during World War II. After the end of the war, the three Baltic states remained involuntarily part of the Soviet Union until 1991. (dpa)
This agreement can benefit millions of people around the world.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip expects grain exports from Ukraine to start soon. “With the shipping traffic starting in the coming days, we will open a new airway from the Black Sea to many countries around the world,” Erdogan said on Friday in Istanbul when signing an agreement to end the grain blockade as a result of the Ukraine war. It was a “historic day”.
Both Russia and Ukraine separately signed an agreement with Turkey in Istanbul that makes the export of Ukrainian grain possible again. Among other things, a coordination center is to be set up in Istanbul. (dpa)
Ukraine and Russia have agreed to export grain and fertilizer through the Black Sea war zone. The agreement is a “beacon of hope,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday in Istanbul during the signing ceremony. It will bring relief to developing countries and starving people.
According to senior UN officials, these are two agreements on safe export corridors for cargo ship traffic through the Black Sea. One is about food shipments from Ukraine. The other includes agricultural exports and fertilizers from Russia. The parties agreed that the ships should not be attacked.
The two signed agreements are therefore initially valid for 120 days, but are to be extended. According to the information, the Ukraine deal regulates exports via the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yushni. The mines in the waters around Ukraine are not to be cleared because such an operation would be too time-consuming. Instead, Ukrainian pilots are supposed to navigate the ships safely past the explosive devices. Ukraine and Russia are among the largest grain exporters in the world. (epd)
Authorities in Russia have launched an investigation into a Siberian opposition politician who criticized the lavish funerals for soldiers killed in Ukraine. As the Russian investigative committee responsible for prosecuting serious crimes announced on Friday, city councilor Chelga Pirogova has been accused of “publicly disseminating misinformation about the deployment of the armed forces”. You face three years imprisonment.
On July 15, Pirogova responded to an article on the independent Russian-language website Mediazona on Twitter. It reported on lavish funerals for Russian volunteers killed in Ukraine. “These luxurious funerals are organized for nothing,” the 33-year-old wrote. She wanted to “revive” the dead, “beat them and send them back to their graves”.
Pirogova’s comments sparked a scandal, which was picked up by the pro-Kremlin media. They demanded a punishment for the young politician, who has since deleted the tweet in question. In a message on Facebook, Pirogova wrote that she had reacted “too emotionally” to the report. She was shocked by the authorities, who tried to compensate for the pain of relatives living “in poverty” with opulent funerals.
Pirogova is a city councilor in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia. In 2020 she campaigned there with supporters of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. She attracted attention back in March by appearing at a meeting of the Novosibirsk City Council in a blue blouse and a wreath of yellow flowers, Ukraine’s national colors. (AFP)
The EU is providing another 500 million euros for the supply of arms and equipment to Ukraine. On Friday, the Council of the European Union formally decided on the support measures after the foreign ministers had already agreed on them in Brussels on Monday. With what is now the fifth tranche, EU military aid has risen to 2.5 billion euros.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU remains firmly committed to supporting Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and independence. “Ukraine needs more weapons; we will deliver them,” Borrell said.
As with the previous package, 490 million euros are earmarked for arms and ammunition, 10 million for personal protective equipment, first aid kits and fuel.
The funds come from the so-called European Peace Facility, which was set up in March 2021 and has a volume of almost 5.7 billion euros by 2027. According to the approach, the money should primarily be used to prevent conflicts, maintain peace and strengthen international stability and security. The fund is financed outside the actual EU budget by contributions from the member states. According to the federal government, the German compulsory contribution is just over a quarter. (KNA)
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Russian army of torture, illegal arrests and deprivation of liberty of civilians in southern Ukraine. “Russian troops have turned the areas they have occupied in southern Ukraine into an abyss of fear and wild anarchy,” said HRW Ukraine representative Yulia Gorbunova.
In addition to torture, Gorbunova also mentioned “inhuman treatment”, “arbitrary arrests” and “deprivation of liberty” in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. The Russian authorities must ensure that this abuse ends immediately.
According to HRW, they interviewed more than 70 Ukrainians, who described more than 40 cases of abuse and torture. They therefore testified that they were tortured or witnessed torture. The victims were beaten or electrocuted, they suffered injuries to their ribs or teeth, burns or concussions.
More than a million people lived in the Kherson region before the Russian invasion. After the invasion began on February 24, the region was almost completely occupied by Russians.
Around 1.7 million people lived in the Zaporizhia region east of Cherson before the war. The region is now partially controlled by Russian troops, in particular the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. (AFP)
According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the billion-euro rescue of the gas importer Uniper can also be a success story for taxpayers. He referred to the discounted purchase of Uniper shares by the federal government and the example of the Lufthansa rescue, said the Chancellor on Friday in Berlin. In this case, draw a success story. “Of course we hope for the company and for all of us that it will be like this again here.” (Reuters)
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees Russia as an unsafe gas supplier. It won’t be any safer than it is, Scholz said on Friday in Berlin. He made it clear that Germany could no longer rely on Russia. “That’s why we prefer to play it safe.” Scholz referred to measures that have already been decided to reduce gas consumption. We will do everything we can to get through this situation as a country. (dpa)