Today’s developments in Russia’s war against Ukraine | Ukraine war news | Al Jazeera

  • Eight people have been killed after Russia shelled a public transport stop in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk, the regional governor said.
  • The governors of Ukraine’s Nikolayev, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk said their areas were shelled by Russian troops at night.
  • The United States said Russia was targeting fabricated evidence about last week’s deadly attack on a prison in the separatist region of eastern Ukraine.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevrut Cavusoglu said the food export agreement signed by Ukraine in Turkey must be “sustainable”.
  • Zelensky called for direct talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Russian-Ukrainian War
Which powers control the different regions of Ukraine?
According to the Institute of War, as a counteroffensive against Ukraine, Russian troops are building a military build-up in northern Kherson Oblast, and in Avdivka, Russian troops have launched a frontal attack, but without progress (Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest developments since the war entered today:

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Russian court finds US basketball star guilty of drug smuggling

A Russian court on Thursday found American basketball star Brittney Greener guilty of smuggling and storing drugs after prosecutors asked for the athlete to be sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

Judge Anna Sotnikova told a court in the town of Khimki outside Moscow that the court “found the accused guilty” of smuggling and possessing “a large amount of drugs”.

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U.S. approves Finland and Sweden to join NATO

The U.S. Senate has approved Sweden and Finland to join NATO, strongly backing the expansion of a transatlantic military alliance in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The United States became the 23rd country to nod after all 30 NATO members agreed, before the hitherto non-aligned Finland and Sweden were able to join NATO.

Of the seven member states that have yet to formally agree, only Turkey has challenged the two countries to make certain concessions in support of its membership.

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Estonia’s Soviet monument to be demolished: PM Karas

The Prime Minister of Estonia has announced that all monuments in the country dating back to the Soviet era will be removed.

“The main thing has been decided – the Soviet monument must be removed from the public space, and we will do it as soon as possible,” Kaya Karas said in Tallinn.

Estonia still has between 200 and 400 Soviet-era monuments, according to Karas.

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Ukrainian army uses houses, schools to endanger civilians: Amnesty International

According to Amnesty International, the Ukrainian military has sometimes placed civilians in schools, residential buildings and other places in densely populated areas, exposing them to Russian attacks.

Amnesty International said in a report released on Thursday that its researchers “discovered Ukrainian military forces in densely populated neighbourhoods in three regions of the country and civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages” between April and July. evidence of the attack.”

Amnesty International also said it found Ukrainian troops were using hospitals as military bases in five locations, in what the human rights group said was a “clear violation of international humanitarian law”.

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Russian prosecutors ask for 9.5 years in prison for US basketball player Greene

Russian prosecutors are demanding nine-and-a-half years in prison for American basketball player Britney Greener on drug smuggling charges.

“I ask the court to find Greener guilty and sentence her to nine years and six months in prison,” said prosecutor Nikolai Frasenko, who also demanded a 1 million ruble (16,590 ruble) fine against the 31-year-old athlete. US dollars) fine.

Greener, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, was arrested on February 17 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport with luggage containing cannabis oil, a potent form of marijuana. of electronic cigarettes.

Marijuana is illegal in Russia for medical and recreational purposes.

“The verdict is expected to be announced tonight,” said Maria Blagovolina, Grena’s attorney.

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Moscow says Norwegian consul should leave after ‘Russian-phobic’ insults

Moscow says she can no longer stay in Russia after a Norwegian consul was filmed declaring “I hate Russians” during an outburst of anger at a hotel reception.

“It is impossible for Elizabeth Ellingson to be present in Russia following this incident,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the foreign ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador, Rune Resaland, to protest Ellingson’s “insulting Russophobic remarks”.

Norwegian diplomats were filmed insulting Russians at a hotel reception in the Arctic city of Murmansk.

The video, posted over the weekend by the Mash Telegram channel, is said to have close ties to Russian security services and sparked outcry in the country.

Ellingson said in English, “I hate Russians…give me a room…I’m used to cleaning, I’m from Scandinavia.”

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EU aims to provide Ukraine with $8.15 billion in aid by September

A German government source said the EU intends to draw up another financing package for Ukraine by September, totalling about $8.15 billion (8 billion euros).

A government official told reporters that part of it will consist of grants that do not need to be repaid, while the other part will consist of loans.

The envisaged aid should support the Ukrainian government’s budget, while military, humanitarian and reconstruction aid would be funded from other sources.

Germany will also contribute to the new aid package, the sources said, adding that other EU countries such as Italy and France have so far blocked, and Berlin is in close contact with its European partners and the European Commission on the matter.

In May, the financial leaders of the G7 agreed to provide Ukraine with $9.5 billion in new aid, mostly from the United States, and Germany provided 1 billion euros (about $1 billion) in the May package, which has been paid off. .

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NATO chief says Russia must not be allowed to win in Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia should not be allowed to win the war in Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said in a speech in his native Norway that “it is in our interest that this radical policy will not succeed.”

Stoltenberg added, “If President Putin even considers doing with some NATO countries what he has done with Georgia or Moldova or Ukraine, then the entire NATO will be immediately involved.”

Stoltenberg added that in order to prevent Moscow from succeeding, NATO and its members may have to continue sending arms and other aid to Ukraine for a long time to come.

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Eight killed in Russian shelling in eastern town of Toretsk

Regional Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said at least eight people were killed and four injured in Russian shelling in the eastern Donetsk town of Toretsk.

The shelling hit a public transport stop where people gathered, and three children were among the wounded.

Ukraine’s chief of staff Andrei Yermak said the attack was “another act of terrorism” by Russia and reiterated his call for other countries to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that would trigger further sanctions on Moscow .

Russia has previously denied targeting civilians and has denied war crimes charges.

A still image taken from a handout video provided by the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense shows a Russian Tornado-G multiple rocket system firing a rocket during a battle at an undisclosed location in Ukraine on August 3, 2022 (European News Agency)
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Ukrainian shelling kills 5 in Donetsk, Russia-backed separatists say

Ukrainian troops shelled the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, which is controlled by Russian-backed separatists, killing at least five people and wounding six others, officials in the breakaway region said.

Videos on social media showed bodies lying on the side of a road in central Donetsk, some blown up and blood-stained pavements.

The Donetsk People’s Republic said in a statement that five people were killed and six wounded in the city’s Voroshilovsky district under shelling.

Russian-Ukrainian War
Which forces are under the control of the different parts of the Donbass?
Russian forces continue to conduct limited ground attacks northwest of Slovensk and continue to strike Bakhmut from the northeast, east and southeast, the Institute of War says (Al Jazeera)
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WHO: Health crisis in Ukraine worsens, medics working under shelling

The World Health Organization said Ukraine was facing a growing health emergency, with exhausted staff, increased shelling and the approach of winter adding to the agency’s concerns.

Of the 615 such attacks reported globally this year, the country has seen 434 attacks on healthcare facilities, according to the WHO tracker.

Heather Papowitz, the WHO’s emergency coordinator for Ukraine, said medical teams in many regions had become accustomed to shelling outside their windows.

“It’s kind of out of the news in a way…but this is a public health emergency,” Popovitz told Reuters on Wednesday.

Russia denies it is targeting civilians, but many Ukrainian towns have been destroyed and thousands killed.

View of destroyed buildings after Russia attacked Mikolevka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on August 4, 2022 (Anadolu Agency)
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Ukraine says ship with stolen grain leaves Lebanon

Ukraine said a Syrian vessel carrying stolen Ukrainian grain had left a Lebanese port after Lebanese officials allowed it to sail following an investigation, Lebanon’s transport minister tweeted on Thursday.

The Syrian-flagged cargo ship Laodicea has been at the port of Tripoli since its arrival last Thursday, carrying 10,000 tons of wheat flour and barley, which Ukraine says was stolen by Russia, which Moscow denies.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ihor Ostash, urged Lebanon not to let the ship leave the port.

A judge said on Wednesday that the Laodicea could sail, a day after Lebanon’s prosecutor general decided to allow the ship to leave after an investigation showed it was not carrying stolen Ukrainian grain.

“The Syrian-flagged Laodicea is now outside Lebanese territorial waters,” Transport Minister Ali Hamie tweeted.

Translation: All utilities under the Lebanese Ministry of Ports and Public Works and Transport are within safe limits as long as they respect Lebanese sovereignty and laws.

It is unclear where the ship is heading, but Marine Traffic, a website that monitors vessel traffic and the position of ships at sea, shows it is moving towards the coast of Syria.

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UN regulator calls for access to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has called for access to Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, now controlled by Russian forces, to determine whether it is a hazard.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, told the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger that the link with Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye and operated by Ukrainian technicians was “fragile”, And cannot communicate on a daily basis.

“In security-related areas, we cannot afford false communications with factories, we are aware of allegations of live ammunition stored in factories, and attacks on power plants,” Grossi said in the interview, published in German.

“Frankly, if I don’t have access, I can’t be sure of that. There’s a contradiction between the Russian and Ukrainian sides, I’ve received information, and I’ve mentioned it in my situation report, but I can’t be sure of it whether it conforms to the facts.”

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Panoramic view (AFP) of Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Enerhodar, Russian-controlled area, seen from Nikopol on April 27, 2022
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Ukrainian grain export deal must be ‘sustainable’: Turkish foreign minister

As the first vessel carrying Ukrainian grain continues to head for Lebanon, Turkey’s foreign minister said the food export deal signed in Istanbul must be “sustainable” and could be the basis for a “comprehensive ceasefire” to end the war in Ukraine.

“It has to be sustainable and the agreement has a duration of four months,” Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu told a joint news conference in Kuala Lumpur with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah.

To monitor Ukrainian grain exports, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was officially launched in Istanbul on July 27, comprising representatives from Turkey, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine to ensure that merchant ships can safely travel from the three main black sea ports in Ukraine Transport commercial food and fertilizers.

Cavusoglu noted that the vessel carrying Ukrainian corn continued to leave for Lebanon after the inspection by the joint coordination center, adding that if there is no objection, the agreement will be extended at that time, then, “Russia will also be able to export its own food and related products and fertilizers”.

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Russian troops shelled several parts of Ukraine overnight

The governors of Nikolayev, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk reported that their areas were shelled by Russian troops at night, the governors said no civilian casualties were reported, but civilian infrastructure and houses were damaged destroy.

According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Russian army carried out a large number of military activities, firing tanks, “barrels and rocket launchers” in several areas of the country.

Russian troops shelled three towns on Wednesday, firing a total of 55 missiles, said Dmitro Zwitsky, governor of the Sumy region bordering Russia.

Eight shells hit a residential area in the Krasnopilska neighborhood, Dmitro Zwiecki said.

The mayor of Nikopol, west of Zaporozhye in central Ukraine, posted on his Telegram account that his city was also shelled at night.

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US says Russia aims to falsify prison death evidence

Officials from the United States believe Russia is working to falsify evidence of a deadly attack on prisoners of war in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine last week.

U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia is seeking to create false evidence that Ukrainian troops are responsible for the July 29 attack on Olenivka prison, a U.S. official familiar with the intelligence findings told The Associated Press. , according to news media reports, the incident killed 53 people and injured dozens more.

Russia claims the Ukrainian military used U.S.-supplied missile launchers to attack the Olenivka prison, which is controlled by the Moscow-backed so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.

The Ukrainian military has denied any missile or artillery strikes in Olenivka, and Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s intelligence service claimed in a statement on Wednesday that there was evidence that Kremlin-backed local separatists were engaged with Russia’s FSB and Wagner. The military colluded, “using flammable substances, causing the fire to spread rapidly in the room”.

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Zelensky urges Chinese President Xi Jinping to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for direct talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, urging Beijing to use its political and economic leverage over Russia to help end the war in Ukraine.

Zelensky told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) in an interview published on Thursday that he has been asking for talks with the Chinese president since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February, but it has not yet taken place.

The report quoted Zelensky as saying, “This is a very powerful country, this is a strong economy… So (it) can influence Russia politically, economically, and China is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”

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In this July 8, 2022 photo provided by Ukraine’s Presidential Press Office, Zelensky meets with military officials during a visit to the war-torn Dnipropetrovsk region (AP)
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Ukraine warns Russia of new offensive in southern regions

Kyiv has warned that Moscow may be preparing a new offensive in southern Ukraine, targeting Kriverich, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Russian army is conducting extensive military activities, using tanks, “barrels and rocket launchers” to fire in several areas of the country.

Zelensky’s hometown is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the southern front.

Meanwhile, the governors of Nikolaev, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk reported nighttime shelling in their areas and damage to civilian infrastructure and houses.

Click here to read all August 3 updates.



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