(August 5th) #UkraineWar Update (Day 163) – Multiple #News Sources

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Zaporizhzhia: Russian rockets damaged part of nuclear plant, Ukraine says

August 5th 2022

Ukraine’s nuclear agency says Russian rockets have damaged part of a giant Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, but there has been no radiation leak. Enerhoatom said a nitrogen-oxygen unit and a high-voltage power line had been damaged at the Zaporizhzhia plant – Europe’s largest – in southern Ukraine. Local Russian-appointed officials blamed Ukraine for shelling earlier. Ukraine also accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics”. “Every morning we wake up and see that they have hit only residential homes,” a local businessman told the BBC. The BBC was unable to verify the reported damage at the nuclear plant. Enerhoatom says there were two rounds of Russian rocket fire on Friday, which prompted the site’s operators to disconnect a reactor from the power grid. Enerhoatom said “there is a risk of hydrogen leakage and dispersal of radioactive particles”. “The fire danger is high. Currently there are no injuries,” it added. Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia plant in March but kept its Ukrainian employees. Russia controls the plant and surrounding areas, close to Ukrainian-held territory. It consists of six pressurised water reactors and stores radioactive waste.

Western officials have sounded the alarm about Russia’s tactics there. The plant is in the city of Enerhodar, in the south-east of Ukraine along the left bank of the River Dnieper (Dnipro in Ukrainian). The Russian-appointed officials in Enerhodar said Ukrainian forces shelled the plant twice on Friday “from the opposite bank of the Dnieper”. “The second time the nationalists managed to hit the target – shells landed in the plant’s industrial site,” their statement said. The plant’s Moscow-installed management was quoted by Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency as saying two of the plant’s power lines had been hit by a Ukrainian artillery strike, causing a fire. It is not clear how many power lines still operate at the plant, and the contrasting claims have not been independently verified. Earlier, in its daily intelligence update, the UK defence ministry said Russia was using the area to launch attacks – taking advantage of the “protected status” of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk of overnight attacks from Ukrainian forces. The head of the UN’s nuclear agency, Rafael Grossi, warned this week that the plant was “completely out of control”.

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SOURCE = BBC News

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Putin and Erdoğan meet for secretive talks in Sochi

August 5th 2022

Vladimir Putin has met Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks expected to focus on Russia’s war in Ukraine and that are being rumoured to include Kremlin efforts to circumvent western sanctions. Putin welcomed the Turkish president to Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea, by thanking him for his help in securing an international deal that resumed exports of grain from Ukraine that had been disrupted by the Kremlin war machine – as well as Russian foodstuffs and fertilisers – to world markets. The deal ended a standoff that had threatened a global food crisis, as Ukraine and Russia are some of the world’s largest exporters of grain. Another three ships carrying almost 60,000 tonnes of grain between them departed Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Friday and are on their way to Britain, Ireland and Turkey respectively. “This is a very pressing problem for many countries, first and foremost, the developing ones that are on the brink of big problems with food and fertiliser supply. The decisions made with your direct participation are very important for all these countries,” Putin told Erdoğan as their closed-door meetings began.

But reports have warned that the meeting may serve an ulterior motive. A Ukrainian government report described by the Washington Post said Putin would seek Russian stakes in Turkish oil refineries, terminals and reservoirs in order to help disguise the origin of Russian oil exports ahead of a planned EU oil embargo. The newspaper also reported that Russia could seek correspondent accounts for large Russian banks to circumvent financial sanctions. The Russian government did not confirm the report and there was no indication that Turkey would entertain the proposals, which would put the Nato member at considerable risk of secondary sanctions. At least publicly, economic cooperation led the agenda at the talks. Putin noted that the TurkStream pipeline had continued operating “smoothly … in contrast to every other route supplying our hydrocarbons”. Erdoğan brought up plans for a nuclear power plant to be built with Russian help.

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SOURCE = The Guardian

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Amnesty International report accuses Ukraine of ‘using schools and hospitals as bases’

August 5th 2022

President Zelensky has vehemently rejected claims by Amnesty International that accuse Ukraine’s military of turning schools and hospitals into targets for Russia’s invading forces. The Ukrainian leader attacked the human rights group — which published a full report on the accusations — for “shifting the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”. “There is and cannot be — even hypothetically — any condition under which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified. Aggression against our state is unprovoked, invasive and frankly [an act of terror],” he said. The Amnesty report has caused a fracture within the group between London and Ukrainian officials. While London claims it will expose alleged rights abuses in any country, Kyiv argues that the allegations are effectively naive…

Rest of Article is behind a Paywall

SOURCE = The Times

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Amnesty International scandal: Ukraine office head resigns

August 5th 2022

Amnesty International Ukraine Head Oksana Pokalchuk has decided to leave her post due to scandal over Amnesty International’s statement about the Ukrainian Army’s actions in the war with Russia. The relevant statement was made by Amnesty International Ukraine Head Oksana Pokalchuk on Facebook, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “It is painful to admit but I and the leadership of Amnesty International have split over values. Hence, I decided to leave the organization. I believe any work for the good of society should be done taking into account the local context and thinking through consequences. Most importantly, I am convinced that our surveys should be made thoroughly and with people in mind, whose lives often depend directly on the words and actions of international organizations,” Pokalchuk wrote.

n her words, the Ukrainian office tried to convey information about the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine to the leadership of Amnesty International. “Even yesterday, I had a naïve hope that I would be able to fix everything. That we would hold even 200 meetings but explain, reach out and convey our opinion. And that text would be deleted, and another one would appear in its place. Today I have realized this will not happen,” Pokalchuk noted. In her words, the press release issued by Amnesty International on August 4, 2022, should have considered two parties and taken into account the position of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Amnesty International asked the ministry for a commentary but provided very little time to respond. Hence, the organization created material that sounded as support for Russian narratives. Seeking to protect civilians, that survey became an instrument of Russian propaganda instead.

SOURCE = UkrinForm

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Ukraine war: Outrage in Kyiv after Amnesty accuses it of endangering civilian life

August 5th 2022

Ukraine has reacted furiously to an Amnesty International report that accuses it of riding roughshod with civilians in the country’s fight against Russia. In a report, the humanitarian organisation claimed the Ukrainian military has endangered civilians by placing bases and weapons in residential areas — including schools and hospitals — as it has sought to repel the Russian invasion. “Ukraine’s tactics have violated international humanitarian law as they’ve turned civilian objects into military targets,” said Amnesty. “The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure.” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced the findings. Amnesty “transfers the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim,” he said in his daily video address, accusing the NGO of “attempting to grant amnesty to the terrorist state” of Russia.

“The aggression against our state is unjustified, invasive and terrorist,” Zelenskyy added.”If someone writes a report in which the victim and the aggressor are in some way put on an equal footing, if some data on the victim is analysed and the actions of the perpetrator ignored, this cannot be tolerated.” In its report, which was based on several weeks of research in the Kharkiv, Donbas and Mykolaiv regions, Amnesty called on Ukraine’s armed forces to adhere to the law. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law,” said Agnès Callamard, the NGO’s secretary general. International humanitarian law requires that all parties to a conflict should avoid locating, to the maximum extent feasible, military objectives within or near densely-populated areas. There are other obligations to shield civilians from harm by removing them from areas near military objectives and giving effective warning of attacks, which could affect the civilian population. 

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SOURCE = EuroNews

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Collaborator urges Russia to hit Bandera monument in Lviv with rockets – SSU

August 5th 2022

The Security Service of Ukraine has notified two Russian supporters that they are suspected of war propaganda, one of whom, in particular, provided the militants with coordinates for a missile strike on the monument to Stepan Bandera in Lviv.

Quote: “The Security Service of Ukraine has announced the suspicion to two supporters of Putinism [the social, political, and economic system of Russia consolidated under the political leadership of Vladimir Putin] who called for war. In social networks, they actively supported the aggression against our state and called on Ukrainians to join the occupation authorities of the aggressor country.

The Special Service has detained the traitors, who openly carried out collaboration directives. And during the collection of evidence, operatives found that in addition to spreading destructive propaganda, one of the attackers corresponded with an active militant of the so-called ‘DPR’.

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SOURCE = Ukrainska Pravda

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Spoofing attack From Belarus Is Considered to Be an Indicator of a Possible Assault Readiness In the North of Ukraine

August 5th 2022

Detection of the GPS signal replacing with a fake one (GPS spoofing) in the north of Ukraine may indicate preparations for an attack by Belarus on Ukraine. Such a conclusion was made by researchers from the monitoring group of the Belaruski Hajun project. Thus, it was discovered that at least since the beginning of March, in the area near the Minsk National Airport (where the command center of the Belarusian group of the russian army was probably located), the EW system was actively working, it interfered with the work of the GPS/GLONASS systems. At the same time, Twitter user John Wiseman, who actively monitored GPS jamming around the world, recently published his data. According to that, Belaruski Hajun concluded that this EW system on the territory of Belarus began to work at least since 2022.

And was stopped after the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the north of Ukraine and the russian army was forced to flee from that direction. So, signs of GPS spoofing in Belarus may well be an indicator that a possible repeated attack on the territory of Ukraine is being prepared from this direction. At the same time, Defense Express previously reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to meet the russian army in the north of Ukraine and have already prepared a complex system of fire damage for the enemy.

SOURCE = Defense Express

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Canada relaunched the training of the Ukrainian servicemen, which will be conducted in Great Britain

August 5th 2022

Canada relaunches Operation Unifier for the Ukrainian servicemen. The training will be conducted in Great Britain, where up to 225 Canadian servicemen will be deployed. Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine announced this.

“Up to 225 Canadian service members will be deployed to the UK to train the Ukrainian troops. With their help, our soldiers will become an unstoppable force,” the Minister noted and added that he is grateful to Canada for its staunch support of Ukraine.

The majority of the Canadian military will serve as trainers with the support of the command and control element for an initial deployment of approximately four months. The first servicemen will be arriving next week. Anita Anand, Canadian Defense Minister, shared most of the soldiers serving as training instructors will be drawn mainly from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Edmonton. The first Canadian-led courses will be rolled out at a military base located in South East England. The training will follow a flexible curriculum focusing on the individual skills of the soldier required for frontline combat, including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, and the Law of Armed Conflict, the country’s government website claims. The Canadian government stressed that the operation UNIFIER was launched back in 2015 at the request of the Ukrainian government, and early this year, was expanded and extended until March 2025. The training mission helps to form and increase the capacity of Ukraine’s law enforcement institutions while working towards achieving interoperability with NATO.

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SOURCE = Mil.in.ua

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Inside Russia’s ‘Kafka-esque’ Mass Kidnapping Scheme

August 5th 2022

Nearly six months into Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, with up to 1.6 million Ukrainians forcibly taken to Russia so far, Ukrainian authorities say Russian forces are now using civilians as cannon fodder on the front line and faking artillery attacks to trick them to cross the border. Just this week, Ukrainian authorities in Kozacha Lopan, a village occupied by Russian forces in the Kharkiv region, said residents were herded up and forcibly “evacuated” to Russia’s Belgorod region after being tricked to board buses by soldiers who told them they had to leave to escape “intense shelling” in the area. There was no such shelling, authorities said. In the occupied Luhansk region, authorities say 80 civilian men in the city of Starobilsk were forcibly sent to the front line this week alone, sent to die for the Russian forces who violently took control of the area. It’s all part of a “Kafka-esque system” Russia has set up to systematically wipe out the Ukrainian population by forcibly “Russifying” hundreds of thousands of citizens, according to a new report extensively detailing Russia’s network of “filtration” camps for refugees.

The Centre for Information Resilience, a nonprofit that uses open source intelligence to track Russia’s activities in Ukraine, has compiled a new dossier—shared with The Daily Beast—on the network of camps and temporary accommodation centers Moscow is using to literally kidnap hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in plain sight. “Ukrainian refugees are presented with the illusion of choice from the moment of their capture until their involuntary settlement in Russian territory. They are trapped in a Kafka-esque system working against them. Their forced displacement is just the beginning of the long-term impact of the war on the Ukrainian population. Kept under the watchful eyes of the invading forces from the moment of their capture until their forceful placement in Russian territory, there is no safe way to escape a process in which the wrong answer can cost them their lives,” the report reads.

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SOURCE = Daily Beast

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Huge relief as Ukrainian grain shipped out, but the food crisis isn’t going anywhere

August 5th 2022

(CNN)As the Razoni left the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Monday with the first shipment of grain since the early days of Russia’s war in Ukraine, there were sighs of relief from Somalia to Turkey, Indonesia and China, given how reliant these countries have been on Ukrainian grain to meet their daily needs. Millions of people have been pushed into hunger as the Russian blockade fueled soaring grain commodity prices, which reached record highs this year as more than 20 million metric tons of Ukrainian wheat and corn remained trapped in Odesa. But even as the UN-brokered agreement to lift the blockade has eased grain prices, experts say the belated shipments from Ukraine are no quick fix to the crisis, accelerated by years of pandemic-related disruptions, the climate crisis, conflict, food export restrictions and spiraling costs. All these interacting factors “are going to remain for some time,” Laura Wellesley, a senior research fellow at think tank Chatham House’s environment and society program, told CNN. “It may be that we see peaks in food prices again, and peaks in food insecurity, but certainly not a resolution of the situation anytime soon.”

Global hunger has increased massively, from 135 million people acutely food insecure in 2019 to 345 million in 2022, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). It includes “50 million people in 45 countries that are knocking on famine’s door,” David Beasley, WFP’s executive director, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 20, as he called on other donor countries, like Gulf nations, to step in an “avert catastrophe.” Today’s crisis is far worse than the previous food price spikes of 2007 to 2008 and 2010 to 2012, which both fueled riots around the world, including revolutions in the Middle East. Food security experts have warned of huge geopolitical risk if action is not taken. This year has already witnessed political destabilization in “Sri Lanka, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, riots and protests taking place in Kenya, Peru, Pakistan, Indonesia … these are only signs things to come is going to get worse,” Beasley said.

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SOURCE = CNN

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Latvia stops issuing visas to Russian citizens

August 5th 2022

The Latvian Embassy in Russia has stopped accepting visa applications for Russian citizens indefinitely, the embassy said on Friday (August 5), public broadcaster LSM reported. Visa applications will only be accepted in cases relating to funerals of close relatives, according to LETA news agency, LSM wrote. After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine this spring, Latvia stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, except for special humanitarian reasons. Exceptions were made for Russian journalists who were no longer able to work in Russia due to the censorship and criminal responsibility imposed. The State Security Service (VDD) claims that, in the current geopolitical circumstances, Russia has waged an increasingly aggressive foreign policy against Western countries, so Latvia’s internal and external services are stepping up the security measures, LSM said. Estonia has called for the suspension of Schengen area tourist visas for Russians, and Finland is considering taking similar steps.

SOURCE = ERR News

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