Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Zelenskiy Official/ Telegram channel
The United Nations and Turkey hailed progress at talks in Istanbul that aim to resume Black Sea grain exports blocked by Russia and ease the risk of starvation faced by millions. The agreement is planned to be signed next week according to Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar. Ankara will ensure the safety of shipments in transit and the parties will jointly check grain cargoes in ports, he added, still an end to the war remains far off as heavy shelling continues. At a meeting regarding the export of Ukrainian grain, the parties agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul and hold a second meeting of Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Turkey next week, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.
Russia has stolen $613 million worth of agricultural products from Ukraine since February. According to Roman Neyter, a researcher at the Kyiv School of Economics, this is the estimated worth of the grain and agricultural oils Russia has stolen from Ukraine. The total losses of the agricultural sector due to the war can reach $27.6 billion, according to the expert. This includes the losses inflicted by the blockade of Ukrainian ports.
Cities under attack.
Two rockets hit one of the enterprises in the Dnipro district of the city of Zaporizhzhia on the afternoon of July 13. Explosions were recorded in Mykolaiv early in the morning. Shelling of the border communities of the Sumy region remains unchanged. Two people were injured as a result of shelling in Sloviansk, Donetsk region. The mayor urged people to evacuate. Two people died in Chasiv Yar and one in Mukolaivka, Donetsk region. Five more people were injured due to the Russian attacks. Russian troops fired on residences in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, using Uragan multiple rocket launchers. At least eight houses were damaged. As a result of the attack, one civilian was killed and five more injured.
The U.S. think tank Institute for the Study of War said in its July 13 report that in an attempt to continue war efforts, but prevent general mobilization, Russia called upon its 85 federal regions (including occupied Sevastopol and Crimea) to create ‘volunteer battalions’ through high pay and benefit incentives. Each region must provide at least one unit with the volunteers, men up to 50 years old, signing up for six month contracts. The experts cited Russian media who confirm the creation or deployment of volunteer battalions in 10 oblasts, including the city of Moscow, in late June and early July.
The European Union along with 43 countries supported Ukraine’s intention to sue the Russian Federation under the Genocide Convention. ‘We reiterate our support for Ukraine’s Application instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation before the International Court of Justice under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which seeks to establish that Russia has no lawful basis to take military action in Ukraine on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations of genocide,’ reads the statement.
US Secretary Antony Blinken called Russia to immediately halt its systematic ‘filtration’ operations in Ukraine, which have reportedly disappeared, detained, or forcibly deported from their homes approximately up to 1.6 million innocent Ukrainians, including 260 000 children.
Around 60% of refugees from Ukraine expect to stay in their host countries until hostilities subside and the security situation improves after Russia’s invasion, a survey by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has found, Reuters reports. Most of the refugees from Ukraine, mainly women and children, hope to return home eventually, according to the survey of around 4 900 people from Ukraine now living in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The survey was conducted between mid-May and mid-June. UNHCR reports more than 5.6 million refugees are now recorded across Europe, with nearly 8.8 million people crossing out of Ukraine and nearly 3.3 million crossing back in since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
War crimes investigation.
The UN will set up a team of experts to help investigate sexual violence as a weapon of war. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova met with Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflicts, in The Hague. During the meeting, they discussed providing assistance to Ukraine in the investigation of crimes of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Pramila Patten reported that she is ready to organize a group of permanent experts to work in Ukraine in the near future. Experienced specialists will assist prosecutors and investigators and cooperate with civil society. Iryna Venediktova added also that Russian troops in Ukraine use rape as a weapon of war. Prosecutors document and together with other law enforcement agencies investigate such war crimes in the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv regions.
Denis Pushilin, leader of the Kremlin’s proxies in the Donetsk region, said North Korea, following Russia and Syria, recognized the occupied Ukrainian region as an ‘independent state.’ North Korea itself has not yet confirmed the fact of recognition, BBC reports. In response, Ukraine has announced breaking off diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in connection with its recognition of the independence of the so-called ‘L/DPR’, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.
The European Commission published additional instructions for EU member states on the transit of goods from the Russian Federation. According to the document, transportation of the sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region is allowed by rail and is subject to the necessary control. At the same time, the transit of sanctioned Russian goods by road remains prohibited.
From August 1, Germany will stop purchasing Russian coal on August 1 and Russian oil on December 31. Russia previously supplied 40% of Germany’s coal and 40% of its oil, he said.
EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin’s decree to simplify the procedure for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship is ‘yet another flagrant violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.’ The simplified procedure was previously used to hand out Russian passports in Russian-occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts where Russia has distributed almost a million passports since 2019.
Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are currently suspended, says Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. ‘The goal of Ukraine in this war launched against us by Russia is to liberate our territories and restore our territorial integrity and full sovereignty in the east and south of Ukraine. This is the end point of our negotiating position,’ he added. Ukraine’s objective in this war is ‘to liberate our territories and restore our territorial integrity and full sovereignty in the east and in the south of Ukraine. This is the end point of our negotiating position’.
Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov is bypassing sanctions by using intermediaries, Ukrainian online newspaper European Pravda reported. Kalashnikov has also tried to acquire cartridge production facilities in the European Union through intermediaries in Russia.
European Commission allows Russia to transit sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad by rail. The EU said Russia may continue the transit of sanctioned goods destined for the enclave through the bloc’s territory by rail but EU states must inspect goods being transported. The transit of goods by road with Russian operators is not allowed, the statement said.
The EU is negotiating more ambitious laws to push countries to replace Russian gas with clean energy this decade and reduce planet-warming CO2 emissions. The European Parliament Energy Committee backed a proposal on Wednesday to raise the EU’s target for primary and final energy savings to 14.5% by 2030 compared with expected levels, and set binding contributions for every country. The lawmakers want a far higher goal than the 9% energy savings the Commission originally proposed last summer, although Brussels hiked that to 13% in May in a bid to quit Russian fuels faster after Moscow invaded Ukraine, reports Reuters.
- Russia’s War Against Ukraine Has Turned Into Terrorism | The Atlantic – ‘In truth, Russian forces are also targeting the values that lie behind them, the principles and even the emotions that led people to create them in the first place. Compassion, a sense of shared humanity, an instinct that children do not deserve to be victims of war, an assumption that people who are not harming you or your nation deserve to live normal lives – all of these moral assumptions have been cast aside by an army determined to create pointless, cruel, individual tragedies, one after the next. The Serhiivka bombing alone created so many of them. The middle-aged woman, six months pregnant, whose legs were burned by the bomb. The elderly woman, disoriented, waiting for her Red Cross package because she could do nothing else. The refugee from the first Donbas war in 2014, who was knocked unconscious by the bombing, taken to a hospital and never recovered. The beloved soccer coach who was visiting Serhiivka to run a summer camp, and was hit by one of the bombs while he slept.’
- Russia’s long history of show trials in Ukraine | Politico – Capture, sentence, exchange: Russia’s long-standing practice since 2014 in Ukraine’s occupied east is now becoming a critical means to influence the war.
- 349 children were killed, another 652 were injured as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.
- As of the morning of July 13, Russia has already fired almost 2960 of different missiles at Ukraine.
- Russian missiles destroyed 600 hectares of grain in the Zaporizhzhia region in a day
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., July 14, 2022: personnel – around 37 870, tanks ‒ 1667, APV ‒ 3822, artillery systems – 840, MLRS – 247, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 109, fixed-wing aircraft – 219, helicopters – 188, operational-tactical level UAV – 681, cruise missiles – 155, boats and light speed boats – 15, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2720, special equipment – 67.
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