Fragments of U.S.-made HIMARS rockets, according the Russian defence ministry, are shown after the shelling at a pre-trial detention center in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the settlement of Olenivka in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine July 29, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

At least 358 children have been killed during Russia’s war of aggression, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. The value has therefore not increased for twelve days. According to unconfirmed data, at least 693 children were physically injured.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accuses Russia of using the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant as a nuclear shield. He explains that Russian troops have set up positions in the immediate vicinity of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and will open fire on Ukrainian troops from there. “Of course the Ukrainians can’t shoot back to avoid a terrible accident at the nuclear power plant.” (Reuters)

The US government has announced further arms deliveries to Ukraine in the amount of 550 million dollars. This includes, among other things, ammunition for the Himar multiple rocket launcher system and 75,000 artillery shells, the US Department of Defense announced on Monday. Overall, since US President Joe Biden took office a good year and a half ago, the United States has pledged weapons and equipment to Ukraine worth around $8.8 billion. The US would continue to work with its allies and partners to help Ukraine fight the invading Russian army, it said. (dpa)

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) made a jump in profits in the first half of the year, also thanks to the sale of its Bulgarian subsidiary. The group result has more than doubled to 1.71 billion euros after 612 million euros, as the bank, which operates in many countries in Eastern Europe as well as in Russia and Ukraine, announced on Monday evening. This also includes a gain of 453 million euros from the sale of the Bulgarian unit. The bank is thus above the expectations of analysts, who had expected an average net profit of 854 million euros in the second quarter. The bank named a consolidated profit of 1.27 billion euros for the months of April to June.

The bank has not yet made a decision regarding its Russian subsidiary. The different options for Russia and Belarus would be evaluated, it said. The bank is under a lot of pressure because of its activities in Russia. All options up to and including an exit would be examined. Bank boss Johann Strobl has already announced that the test will take a long time. (Reuters)

Should Ukraine’s heroic resistance fail to withstand Putin’s imperial plans, Poland and the Baltic states would be directly threatened by a further expansion of Russia’s sphere of influence into Central Europe.

According to information from Kyiv, the Mars II multiple rocket launchers delivered by Germany have arrived in Ukraine. This was announced by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Twitter on Monday. He would like to thank “Germany and personally my colleague, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, for the systems,” wrote the 56-year-old politician.

In addition, Germany has already handed over anti-aircraft vehicles of the Gepard type and artillery systems of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 type to Ukraine in terms of heavy weapons.

Mars is an abbreviation for Medium Artillery Rocket System and can fire missiles of different modes of action – such as guided rockets with a GPS system or mine-ejecting rockets to block sections of terrain. The launch batteries with a combat load of twelve rockets are mounted on tracked vehicles that can develop speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. The range of the bullets is sometimes more than 100 kilometers.

Mars II is the third long-range artillery system the West is supplying to Ukraine, along with the US-supplied Himars multiple rocket launchers and the UK-supplied M270 MLRS. (dpa)

Russian MPs want to ban citizens from “unfriendly” states from adopting Russian children. A draft law on this was published on Monday on the website of the State Duma, the parliament. A corresponding law for US citizens has been in force since 2012. It was decided at the time in response to US sanctions against Russian officials.

According to the state news agency Tass, only 240 Russian children were adopted by foreigners in 2019, compared to more than 2,600 in 2012.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the West has imposed numerous sanctions on Russia. Moscow then expanded its list of “unfriendly” states. All EU member states, among others, are now on it. (AFP)