In July, Ukraine received fewer commitments for military and financial aid than in the previous months, according to the “Ukraine Support Tracker” of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Accordingly, between July 2nd and August 3rd, only commitments of around one and a half billion euros were made. Norway promised the country the lion’s share – around one billion euros. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the tracker has recorded commitments of 84.2 billion euros.
“In July, the donor countries mainly delivered what they had promised and launched few initiatives for new aid,” agrees Christoph Trebesch, who is responsible for the tracker at the IfW. For example, Germany did not announce any further military support during the investigation period. However, the federal government has delivered many of the promised weapon systems to Ukraine.
“Financial and military support is still well below Ukraine’s needs. It also remains small in relation to what some of the donors are mobilizing in their own countries to avert the crisis,” says Trebesch. (tsp)
Russia rejects UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposal to demilitarize the area around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops. This is unacceptable, says Moscow Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechaev. The nuclear power plant is located near the course of the front. Projectiles have repeatedly fallen on the site in recent days, fueling fears of a nuclear catastrophe. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling the facility. (Reuters)
A number of Russian opponents of the war are in Limassol on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and are being confronted with attempts at intimidation. However, they do not want to be intimidated by this. “Threats of this kind are common in Russia,” says activist Evgeny Elesin about posters with the faces of nine Russian opponents of the war, which were provided with black ribbons.
The posters were put up by unknown persons on Limassol’s seafront promenade and later removed by the police. Russian opponents of the war regularly protest in Limassol, and the nine people pictured take part. “These threats cannot stop us,” explains Elesin. (Reuters)
Russia has deployed three fighter jets armed with hypersonic missiles to its Kaliningrad exclave. The Mig-31i aircraft with Kinzhal missiles were stationed at the Shkalovsk base in Kaliningrad, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on Thursday. They formed a combat unit there that was “ready for action around the clock”.
Like the Zircon missiles, the Kinzhal missiles belong to a new type of weapon developed by Russia that President Vladimir Putin has described as “invincible”. According to Russia, it has already used the hypersonic missiles several times as part of its offensive in Ukraine, which began at the end of February.
The deployment of the Kinzhal missiles in Kaliningrad came amid tensions over the past few months over trade between Russia and its exclave. This traffic runs through the territory of EU member state Lithuania.
In June, Lithuania banned the transit of certain goods from main Russian territory to Kaliningrad. The government in Vilnius referred to the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia. In mid-July, however, the EU Commission made it clear that there was no general ban on the transport of goods to Kaliningrad by train, only the transit of sanctioned military equipment was prohibited. Lithuania then allowed the blocked movement of goods again.
Kaliningrad – the former East Prussian Königsberg – is located on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Poland and has no direct land connection to Russia. (AFP)
The Russian military leadership appears to be increasingly losing confidence in the peninsula’s security after the recent Ukrainian attacks on Russian military assets in Crimea. According to Russian media reports, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet currently stationed in Crimea has been replaced. The Institute for the Study of War suspects that the Russian armed forces have been put on high alert by the attacks and have undertaken a restructuring of troop composition, logistics and command accordingly. (tsp)
Ahead of a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited a military hospital in Lviv. Zelenskyi spoke to the wounded and doctors in the western Ukrainian city, according to photos released by his press service on Thursday. He praised the fighters as “heroes”.
“Russia will not win this war. Thank you for protecting the Ukrainian land,” Zelenskyy said, according to a message on his Telegram channel. The 44-year-old awarded medals to several soldiers. (dpa)
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has arrived in Ukraine for a two-day visit. Guterres visited the western city of Lviv on Thursday. According to the UN, a meeting planned there with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan will primarily deal with the implementation of the agreement on Ukrainian grain exports. (AFP)
According to official information, at least eleven people were killed in massive Russian rocket attacks on the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine on Thursday night. The Ukrainian military governor, Oleh Synyehubov, told the Telegram news service that these were exclusively civilians. Another 35 people were injured. There were also attacks in the city of Krasnohrad, around 80 kilometers to the south-west. According to the authorities, two people were killed and two others injured. The information could not initially be verified independently.
According to the authorities, at least three civilians were killed and another six injured in towns in the neighboring region of Donetsk, which are under Ukraine’s control. The pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region also report deaths and injuries from rocket attacks on an almost daily basis. The Russian war of aggression on the neighboring country has now lasted almost half a year. The United Nations has registered more than 5,500 civilian deaths, but assumes the number of victims to be far higher. (dpa)
An aid network for third-country nationals who have fled Ukraine has called for extended residence permits for this group of people. Nationwide, the visa-free stay in Germany for these people will expire at the end of August. A follow-up regulation is missing, criticized Juliane Gebel from the Berlin aid organization “BIPoC Ukraine and Friends” in the “tageszeitung” (Thursday).
Gebel called a corresponding decision by the Berlin Senate on Tuesday not sufficient. War refugees from third countries who have studied in Ukraine receive a residence permit extended by six months. According to the organization, it looks after so-called “people of colour”, including students and families who fled Ukraine after February 24. “BIPoC” stands for “Black, Indigenous and People of Color”.
Gebel emphasized that it was largely unrealistic to meet the requirements for a place at university within six months. Among other things, she referred to the requirement for proof of language proficiency and a blocked account of 11,000 euros, which foreign students must prove. She also criticized the fact that the Berlin Senate decision only affected students. (epd)
In connection with the shelling of the southern Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, Russia warns that radioactive material could reach Germany, Poland and Slovakia if an accident occurs. The Ministry of Defense announced that the backup systems of the nuclear power plant were damaged by the shelling. If the Ukrainian armed forces continue to shell the plant, the nuclear power plant may be shut down. The nuclear power plant was captured by Russian troops in March. It has come under fire several times in recent weeks. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for this. (Reuters)
Four people were killed in Russian attacks on the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and nearby Krasnograd, according to Ukrainian sources. According to regional governor Oleg Synegubov, 20 other people were injured in the artillery shelling early Thursday morning, including children. Several residential buildings were badly damaged. The attack came just hours before UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were expected for talks in western Ukraine.
Seven people were killed in a Russian attack on Kharkiv on Wednesday. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke of a “disgraceful and cynical attack on civilians” that was “completely unjustified” and showed the “powerlessness of the aggressor”. (AFP)