The essentials in brief:
- Again drone attacks in the Moscow area
- Deaths in Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine
- Majority of Ukrainians against compromises for peace with Russia
- Medvedev names new goals
Russia’s capital region has apparently again become the target of suspected Ukrainian drones during the night. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that three of the unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down. The debris of one of the intercepted drones damaged a building in central Moscow, the other two were shot down by air defense systems west of the Russian capital.
Because of the attack, Moscow airports have once again suspended air traffic, reports the Russian news agency TASS, citing people familiar with the matter. The major airports around the Russian capital have been repeatedly closed in recent days due to Ukrainian drone attacks.
After the reports from Moscow, the US government made it clear that the United States would not support or facilitate attacks within Russia. It is up to Ukraine to decide how to defend itself against the Russian invasion, a State Department spokesman said in Washington. Russia could end the war at any time by withdrawing from Ukraine.
Deaths in Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine
Three people were killed in Russian artillery attacks in two villages near the small Ukrainian town of Lyman on Tuesday evening. Two other people were injured, said the head of the military administration of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko.
According to the Donetsk Prosecutor’s Office, the village of Torske was hit first, followed by the village of Sakitne half an hour later. The fatalities in Torske were sitting on a bench when the shelling took place.
In another attack in the village of Seredyno-Buda in northeastern Ukraine near the border with Russia, four people were injured in a grenade attack and a house was hit by drones, the regional military authority said.
Zelenskyj is happy about military aid and commitments for reconstruction
After his return from Greece, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked European countries for new commitments regarding military and reconstruction aid. “There are planes for Ukraine. There is additional armor and we are strengthening air defenses,” he said in his daily evening video address.
This time, the video was recorded on a train that Zelenskyy was taking back to Kiev after a several-day journey through various countries of the European Union. According to Zelensky, he visited Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and finally Greece, where he spoke to several heads of state and government from the Balkan region. In the past few days, Denmark and the Netherlands had promised Ukraine the delivery of Western F-16 fighter jets.
Zelenskyy thanked Greece not only for the arms aid, but also for the promise to take over the patronage for the reconstruction of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, which had been hit several times by Russian rocket and drone attacks. “This is not only a meaningful decision, but also a very symbolic one,” with historical and cultural significance, he said. In ancient times, the Greeks had opened up the Black Sea region. Ancient settlements also existed in the territory of today’s city of Odessa.
More help is also to come from Great Britain – for the electricity sector: At a meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Herman Halushchenkoin in Kiev, British Energy Minister Grant Shapps announced export financing of £192 million (around €225 million) for nuclear fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants. “With this guarantee, we want to help Ukraine to stop having to get its nuclear fuel from Russia in the future,” Shapps told Reuters. The sum guarantees that the fuel will come from much safer sources in the future. One of them is Urenco, a partly British consortium.
Ukraine’s energy system has been badly damaged by massive Russian airstrikes, making the country even more dependent on its aging nuclear power plants. The largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Zaporizhia, has been occupied by Russia since March last year. Since then, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of endangering the safety of the facility.
Majority of Ukrainians against compromises for peace with Russia
According to a poll, an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians are against making compromises with wartime opponents Russia in favor of a peace deal. According to the results of two well-known institutes published on Tuesday, more than 90 percent of the approximately 2,000 respondents were against the transfer of territory. Almost 74 percent ruled out renunciation of NATO membership. A reduction in the number of troops in the army in peacetime was rejected by 80 percent.
At the same time, only just under 49 percent of Ukrainians saw a positive development of events in their own country. In December last year, after the successful expulsion of the Russian occupiers from northern Ukraine and large parts of the Kharkiv and Cherson regions, almost 60 percent still believed that.
The survey was conducted from August 9 to 15 in the regions controlled by the Ukrainian government excluding Luhansk Oblast, Donetsk Oblast and the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. In total, 2019 adult Ukrainians were personally interviewed. The error tolerance should not exceed 2.3 percent.
Medvedev names new goals
Apparently, Russia is toying with the idea of annexing areas in neighboring countries other than Ukraine. According to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia could annex the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
“The idea of joining Russia remains popular in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council writes in an article published by the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty early Wednesday. “It could well be implemented if there are good reasons for it,” said Medvedev. The ex-president is now deputy head of the Russian Security Council and is considered a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin.
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.
AR/wa (dpa, afp, rtr)