#UkraineWar Update (Day 153) – Multiple #News Sources

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Civilian medic commands respect on Ukraine war’s front lines

July 27th 2022

DONETSK REGION, Ukaine (AP) — All over the Donetsk region, close to the front lines of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Nataliia Voronkova turns up at Ukrainian field positions and hospitals wearing high heels. A colleague bought her running shoes, but Voronkova gave them away. A helmet and a protective vest aren’t part of her uniform, either, as she distributes first-aid kits and other equipment to Ukrainian soldiers and paramedics. She is a civilian, the founder of a medical non-profit, and looking like one is something no one can take from her, even in a combat zone. “I am myself, and I will never give up my heels for anything,” Voronkova said of the red strappy sandals, beige pumps and other elegant footwear she typically pairs with full skirts and midi dresses as she makes her dangerous rounds to secret military bases and mobile medical units. The former adviser to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry with graduate degrees in banking and finance is a familiar sight to officers and troops in eastern Ukraine. For eight years after Moscow seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Voronkova dedicated her life to providing tactical medical training and equipment for Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russia separatists. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February has created exponentially more need for her organization, Volunteers Hundred Dobrovolia, and new challenges.

Working on their own, Voronkova and her assistant, Yevhen Veselov, drive a van filled with donated supplies – everything from night vision goggles and battlefield basics like tourniquets and medical staplers to the advances equipment needed for brain surgery — swiftly through checkpoints, irrespective of curfews. Servicemen recognize Voronkova and with one look, let them through. The smell of her sweet cherry cigarillos fills the air when she gets out of her van to smoke one with her manicured red nails. Although she manages 20 people and lives in Kyiv, Voronkova has been in eastern Ukraine since the Russians focused their attention there in April, and she insists on delivering first-aid kits to the front line herself. “A woman is like the neck of the head. She moves everything,” she said.

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SOURCE = The Columbian

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Poland’s president and Lithuanian intends to visit Ukraine again

July 27th 2022

Andrzej Duda and Gitanas Nausda both intend to make additional trips to Kiev while maintaining their support for Ukraine. “Two days of incredibly insightful discussions with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausda. Both of our nations have plans to increase their activities in Ukraine, and we both want to make additional trips to Kiev. We won’t give in to Russia’s extortion, “Andrzej Duda, the president of the Republic of Poland, tweeted. Poland and Lithuania would also improve their bilateral military cooperation, he added. Russia has been launching full-scale warfare against Ukraine since February 24.

SOURCE = BOL News

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Ukraine loses its best friend Boris. What happens next?

July 27th 2022

LONDON — In capital cities across Europe, politicians have largely celebrated the downfall of Boris Johnson. Not so in Kyiv.  While long-standing protocols mean closely-allied governments rarely comment when a fellow leader loses power, in war-torn Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy immediately broke with tradition to voice deep sadness at Johnson’s imminent exit as U.K. prime minister. Zelenskyy, with whom Johnson has enjoyed a high-profile bromance since the Russian invasion of his country five months ago, told his U.K. counterpart: “We have no doubt that Great Britain’s support will be preserved — but your personal leadership and charisma made it special.” The obvious friendship between the pair has helped cement the U.K.’s reputation as one of Russia’s most strident antagonists over recent years — notwithstanding the view among cynics that Johnson was also seeking a high-profile distraction from his entanglement in multiple domestic scandals.

With Johnson now standing down as prime minister on September 6, one question remains in Kyiv — will the U.K.’s close bond with Ukraine survive? Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, doubts any replacement could match Johnson’s commitment to the cause. “Johnson set a different standard of behavior. No one can replace this,” Kuleba said last week, highlighting a “chemistry” between the two leaders that he said “probably won’t happen” under someone else. Close friends of Johnson, too, fear a new Conservative prime minister could take a softer line. One of Johnson’s longest-standing political allies told POLITICO that the prime minister’s departure was “a real risk” for Ukraine, adding: “Quite a bit of ‘old Europe’ is quite wet on this. And that will show through. It is a loss having somebody like him [depart].”

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SOURCE = Politico

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US approves treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers at US military hospital in Germany

July 26th 2022

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved the treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a US military hospital in Germany, according to a memo obtained by CNN and confirmed by two US defense officials. The plan would allow Ukrainian troops to be treated at a US military hospital for the first time since Russia invaded the country in February. It allows for the treatment of up to 18 wounded soldiers at a time a Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the massive hospital in Germany where the military has for years treated US service members who suffered injuries in combat. Austin offered verbal guidance on May 26 to begin offering treatment to wounded Ukraine soldiers, according to the memo. On June 29, Austin formalized the verbal guidance in a memo entitled “Guidance for Medical Treatment of Wounded Ukrainian Service Members.” Despite the plan receiving final approval nearly one month ago, Landstuhl has not yet received Ukrainian service members for medical care. An official from US European Command told CNN, “We have not treated any Ukraine troops at Landstuhl.”

The official said the purpose of the memo was to remove any red tape that would slow down the process of offering treatment if the need arose. The plan would permit treatment if there was no facility available in Ukraine or in a closer country. Landstuhl is approximately 700 miles from the Ukrainian border. If Landstuhl were to receive wounded Ukrainian troops, the service members would have to leave Ukraine by train or car before the US, which has no troops in Ukraine, could evacuate them by air to Ramstein Air Base. On Monday, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine posted a video on Twitter showing Ukrainian soldiers receiving prosthetic legs at a hospital in Chicago. A second video posted Tuesday showed the soldiers walking on the prosthetic limbs. But this would appear to be the first authorization for Ukrainian troops to receive treatment of military facilities instead of civilian hospitals.

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SOURCE = KYMA News

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British vlogger accused of being ‘Kremlin mouthpiece’ sanctioned by UK over work in Ukraine

July 27th 2022

A pro-Kremlin vlogger who has been accused of spreading Russian propaganda from Ukraine during the war has been put on the UK’s sanctions list. Graham Phillips, a former Whitehall civil servant, was added to the official list for producing and publishing content seeking to “destablise” the eastern European country. Mr Phillips, 43, was namechecked in parliament earlier this year by Boris Johnson, who said he was concerned about the vlogger’s “propaganda messages” featuring Aiden Aslin, a Briton who has been sentenced to death by Russia for fighting in Ukraine. In April Mr Phillips conducted an interview with Mr Aslin after he was captured by Russian forces in Mariupol, the destroyed port city in Ukraine’s southeast on the Sea of Azov. He claimed that the prisoner of war (PoW), who was visibly bound with handcuffed, was not being coerced by his captors.

Graham Phillips (Kremlin Propagandist)

Robert Jenrick, Mr Aslin’s local MP and the former secretary of state for housing and local government, went further than the outgoing prime minister by accusing Mr Phillips of war crimes. The video showing his constituent “handcuffed, physically injured and being interviewed under duress for propaganda purposes” was a breach of the Geneva conventions on the treatment of PoWs. Mr Phillips, from Nottingham, first visited Ukraine in 2009. He moved to the country, from London, permanently the following year and began making YouTube videos, in which he reviewed brothels and commented life in Kyiv. After the outbreak of war in Ukraine’s east in 2014, Mr Phillips began filming videos from the front line and later became a freelance journalist for Russia Today, the state-owned broadcaster and Kremlin mouthpiece.

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SOURCE = The Independent

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Gloating Ukraine parades destroyed Russian equipment as Russia struggle to make gains

July 27th 2022

The exhibition in Saint Michael’s Square marks Russia’s attempt to take the capital city and their failure against Ukrainian defiance. According to Ukrainians who took selfies at the sight and brought their children to see the destroyed relics, the exhibition “makes us believe”. The display in the city centre is placed directly in front of the Ukrainian foreign ministry. Not only are the people of Ukraine taking an interest in the spoils of the conflict, but pet goats have also been seen climbing on some of the damaged equipment. One goat called Myra even went as far to show her dislike of Russia by nibbling a hat that used to belong to a Russian soldier. It features multiple forms of military equipment including a self-propelled howitzer, rusty tanks including a battle tanks turret which has been completely blown off.

Another battle tank in the Square is rusty and its tracks have completely buckled following what is assumed to be an explosion. According to Matthew Chance from CNN a wrecked T-72 Russian Tank is in the Square and has been “absolutely devastated of course by an anti-tank weapon”. An anti-aircraft gun and missile casings are also scattered on the floor and many of the tanks featured writing scratched into it. David Knowles from The Telegraph went to visit the exhibition alongside Anna, a local who featured as a guest on the Telegraph’s podcast ‘Ukraine: The Latest’.

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SOURCE = The Express

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UK Sanctions More Russian Ministers Over Ukraine Invasion

July 26th 2022

The UK on Tuesday announced a new slew of sanctions on Russian ministers, members of Kremlin-linked families and senior figures in the Moscow-backed breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko and his deputy Oleg Sviridenko have both been targeted with travel bans and asset freezes for “suppressing their own people by targeting those speaking out against the war”, the Foreign Office said in a statement. Vitaly Khotsenko and Vladislav Kuznetsov, the Russian-imposed prime minister and first deputy chairman of the so-called “Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics”, have also been sanctioned for “undermining Ukrainian territorial integrity”. The UK has also targeted Sarvar and Sanjar Ismailov, nephews of Kremlin-linked oligarch Alisher Usmanov. Sarvar Ismailov was previously a director at Everton Football Club. “We will not keep quiet and watch Kremlin-appointed state actors suppress the people of Ukraine or the freedoms of their own people,” said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the favourite to become the UK’s next prime minister. “We will continue to impose harsh sanctions on those who are trying to legitimise Putin’s illegal invasion until Ukraine prevails.”

SOURCE = Kyiv Post

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Russia to pull out of International Space Station

July 26th 2022

Russia says it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 and build its own station instead. The US and Russia, along with other partners, have successfully worked together on the ISS since 1998. But relations have soured since Russia invaded Ukraine, and Russia previously threatened to quit the project because of Western sanctions against it. Nasa said it had not yet received any official notice of Russia’s intention to withdraw from the programme. The ISS – a joint project involving five space agencies – has been in orbit around Earth since 1998 and has been used to conduct thousands of scientific experiments. It is approved to operate until 2024, but the US wants to extend that for six more years with the agreement of all partners. At a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Mr Borisov said Roskosmos would fulfil its obligations to its partners, but the decision had been taken to quit the project after 2024.

“I think that by this time we will start putting together a Russian orbital station,” Mr Borisov said, adding that the new station was his agency’s top priority. “Good,” replied Mr Putin. It is not immediately clear what the decision means for the future of the ISS, and the US space agency Nasa says it has not received any formal notice from Russia of its plans. Former ISS commander and retired US astronaut Dr Leroy Chiao believes it is unlikely Russia will decide to leave the project. “I think this is posturing by the Russians. They don’t have the money to build their own station and it would take several years to do it. They’ve got nothing else if they go this route,” he told the BBC.

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SOURCE = BBC News

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President Zelensky receives Winston Churchill Leadership Award

July 27th 2022

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky received the Winston Churchill Leadership Award from the International Churchill Society.  The Head of State took part in the award ceremony in the format of a video conference, the President’s press service informs. As noted, Chairman of the International Society Laurence Geller speaking from the press center of the Office of the Prime Minister of Great Britain (London) noted that these days there are events and phenomena that have not happened since the time of Winston Churchill 80 years ago. Democracy in Europe is now threatened by tyranny, and this threat is stopped by leadership and heroism. Like Winston Churchill, President Zelensky shows that tyranny must not succeed, that people must have the right to choose their own path and their own life,” the President’s press service quotes Laurence Geller as saying. According to Geller, Zelenskyy’s devotion to the fundamental principles of democracy and firmness in defending his country helps Europe understand itself, and “his defense of democracy inspires us all.”

Laurence Geller also praised the role of Great Britain under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in strengthening the ability of democracy to defend itself and deter aggression. For his part, Boris Johnson noted that Volodymyr Zelenskyy proved his leadership after the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. “As the Russians launched their lightning assault on Kyiv, you knew that you were at the top of their target list… And you could have left Kyiv, you could have said – and it would have been hard to contradict you –  that the survival of the Ukrainian state required the survival of the President. But of course Volodymyr you did none of those things: you chose to stay in Kyiv, among the Ukrainian people,  just as Churchill stayed in London in 1940. And when one world leader offered you a way out, you replied ‘I need ammunition, not a ride’,” Johnson said.

The British PM added: “And like Churchill you’ve understood that you are not yourself the lion, the Ukrainian people are the lion, but you have been called upon to give the roar, the roar of freedom against tyranny, good against evil, of light against darkness. And you have delivered that roar magnificently and that’s why it was such a huge stroke of good fortune that you should have been in office at this time of crisis for Ukraine and the world. And inspired by your leadership, I know not just that Ukraine can win but Ukraine will win, and when that day comes, as it will, Ukraine will rise and take its place, as a free sovereign and independent nation.”

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SOURCE = Ukrinform News

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EU to Cut Russian Gas Use as Missiles Strike Ukraine

July 27th 2022

The European Union agreed to reduce gas consumption to break its dependence on Russia on Tuesday, as missile strikes on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast cast doubt on a grain export deal. The effort to help Germany wean itself off Russian gas for the winter came as Turkey announced a meeting in Russia next week between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Erdogan wants Turkey — on good terms with both Moscow and Kyiv — at the center of diplomatic efforts to halt the five-month war, just as the EU took another big step to cut ties to Moscow. The EU gas use cut, approved by energy ministers in Brussels, was hailed as an effective response to Russia’s manipulation of its energy wealth as an economic weapon. The plan nominally commits EU countries to reduce their gas use by 15% during the winter, although exceptions were carved out for some countries and Hungary rejected the deal as “useless.”

“We have made a huge step towards securing gas supplies for our citizens and economies for the upcoming winter,” said Czech industry minister Jozef Sikela, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency. “I know the decision was not easy, but I think at the end, everybody understands that this sacrifice is necessary,” he added. Hungary was the only country to oppose the plan, which passed on a majority vote, further isolating Budapest as the only member state reluctant to go further against Russia. “This is an unjustifiable, useless, unenforceable and harmful proposal that completely ignores national interests,” said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto. The deal “serves purely communication purposes, and aims to save the credibility of some Western European politicians,” he added. 

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SOURCE = The Moscow Times

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