Sat, 18 May 2024

War in Ukraine: Day 207

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  • A top U.S. general visited a military base in Poland hosting U.S. troops. U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for vigilance saying the war was “not going too well for Russia right now” and it was unclear how Moscow might react. read more
  • The Russian army, seeking contract soldiers for what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine, is using mobile recruiting trucks to attract volunteers, offering nearly $3,000 a month as an incentive. read more

  • Four medics have been killed and two patients injured after Russian forces fired at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Strelechya, the governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, has said. The facility was in the process of being evacuated and medical staff were removing patients from the hospital while under heavy fire, Syniehubov said. He added on Telegram: “During the evacuation, the Russians started a massive shelling. According to preliminary data, unfortunately, 4 medical workers died, 2 patients were injured.”
  • Vladimir Putin is “failing on all of his military strategic objectives”, the Britain’s chief of the defence staff has said. Adm Sir Tony Radakin said the conflict was likely to “grind on for a long time”, despite recent successes by Ukrainian military forces. Asked about the situation in Ukraine, he told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “At the very outset, we said that this was a strategic error by President Putin and strategic errors lead to strategic consequences. And in this instance, it’s strategic failure. Putin is failing on all of his military strategic objectives. He wanted to subjugate Ukraine, that’s not going to happen.”
  • Russia has reacted to its military setbacks in the past week by increasing its missile attacks on civilian infrastructure even if they do not have any military impact, according to the latest intelligence report from the British Ministry of Defence. It says in a post on Twitter that the move is intended to destroy the morale of the Ukrainian people.

    Damaged buildings are seen, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine September 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
  • Ukraine’s counteroffensive has advanced farther into the partly recaptured northeast as pressure mounted on Russian forces. Ukraine has continued an offensive to retake territory in the south, where it hopes to trap thousands of Russian troops cut off from supplies on the Dnipro River’s west bank and retake Kherson, the only big Ukrainian city Russia took in its entirety since the start of the invasion.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nighttime speech: “Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territory. That’s what the Nazis did. That’s what [the Russians] do.”
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to stay the course in his campaign against Ukraine, warning of a “more serious” military response if counterattacks continue.
  • One of the four main power lines at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was repaired and is supplying electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down.
  • Russia’s defence ministry accused Kyiv of shelling near the Zaporizhzhia plant, which Ukraine denied. The ministry said its forces launched attacks on Ukrainian positions in several parts of the country.
  • Prosecutors in an area of Ukraine where Russian forces recently retreated in the face of a Ukrainian counter-offensive are accusing Russia of torturing civilians in one freed village. Prosecutors in the Kharkiv region said, in an online statement, that they had found a basement where Russian forces allegedly tortured prisoners in the village of Kozacha Lopan, near the border with Russia, Associated Press reports. They released images showing a Russian military TA-57 telephone with additional wires and alligator clips attached to it. Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of using the Soviet-era radio telephones as a power source to electrocute prisoners during interrogation.
  • Beloved Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has posted a message on her Instagram account asking the country’s justice ministry to list her as a foreign agent alongside her husband, Maxim Galkin. The post called for an end to “the deaths of our boys for illusory aims that make our country a pariah and weigh down the lives of its citizens”. Pugacheva’s message comes a day after Galkin – a comedian who has repeatedly spoken out against the war with Ukraine – was designated a foreign agent by Russia for political activities. Russia’s ministry of justice says that his source of foreign funding is from Ukraine.
  • The US president, Joe Biden, urged his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine. Asked by CBS what he would say to Putin if he was considering using such weapons, Biden said: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since world war two.” Biden said the US response would be “consequential”, but declined to give detail.
  • A total of 165 ships with 3.7 m tonnes of agricultural products onboard have left Ukraine under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian infrastructure ministry has said. The ministry said 10 ships with 169,300 tonnes of agricultural products were due to leave Ukrainian Black Sea ports, reports Reuters.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene at the United Nations in New York this week. “It would be naive to think that we are close to the possibility of a peace deal,” said the UN secretary general, António Guterres, before the high-level meeting of the 193-member UN general assembly, which starts on Tuesday. “The chances of a peace deal are minimal, at the present moment.”
  • The Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU presidency, has called for a “special international tribunal” after a mass grave was discovered in Izium, a town in north-eastern Ukraine. “In the 21st century, such attacks against the civilian population are unthinkable and abhorrent,” said Jan Lipavský, the foreign minister of the Czech Republic. Ukrainian officials have discovered more than 440 bodies, some found with their hands tied behind their backs.
  • Satellite imagery has emerged of the recently discovered mass grave site near Izium. The images, taken from March to August this year and released by Maxar Technologies, show the entrance to the “forest cemetery” where many bodies have been discovered.
  • One of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s four main power lines has been repaired and is supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down, the UN nuclear watchdog has said. Even though the six reactors at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, have been shut down, the plant needs electricity to keep them cool.

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