Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska, Anna Dovha
Photo: consequences of the shelling of Kharkiv/ Head of Kharkiv regional military administration Oleh Synehubov
The European Union approved the seventh package of sanctions against Russia due to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The sanction list includes a partial embargo on Russian gold and freezing of Sberbank assets. Forty-eight individuals and nine entities have also been targeted, says the Guardian. According to a draft paper circulated before formal approval, they include Russia’s biggest lender, SberBank, and the actors Vladimir Mashkov, accused of disinformation and propaganda sharing, and Sergey Bezrukov. The list also includes the All-Russian Children’s and Youth Military-Patriotic Public Movement, an organization engaged in popularizing the Russian language and culture, the “Russian World” Foundation, the O.M. Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Support Fund, and the motorcycle club “Night Wolves”.
The speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi urged Blinken to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. “Designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism — otherwise, Congress will,” she said. Also, a draft resolution recognizing Russia’s actions as genocide of Ukrainian people was submitted in the US Senate. The resolution calls on the US, along with NATO and EU, to support the government of Ukraine to prevent further acts of Russian genocide against the Ukrainian people and supports tribunals for a war of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Ukraine.
The fourth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group took place this week. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov highlighted his key messages, including strengthening the mission-oriented approach. Namely, for partners to concentrate their efforts on increasing the capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces to carry out certain missions. Secondly, to systematize the maintenance and repair of foreign equipment supplied to us. Ukraine needs coordination of many countries in the legal, financial and organizational sphere including at the level of production capacities. Thirdly, to increase efforts ensuring transparency in registering and using international military aid. In particular, to accelerate the implementation process of the NATO LOGFAS program. The international partners indicated that there is an understanding that the security of the whole Europe is at stake, not just Ukraine. Also, a lot of partners expressed readiness to train Ukraine’s soldiers.
On Friday, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey will sign an agreement proposed by the United Nations on the export of Ukrainian grain. Turkey’s defense minister said the delegations agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul and agreed on “main technical issues” including “joint control at points of departure and arrival”.
The first million tons of grains were collected in the Dnipropetrovsk region. However, it’s impossible to harvest from some fields because of Russian ammunition or field fires caused by military actions in the region. The harvest has begun in the Zaporizhzhia region. However, due to Russian aggression, farmers find it difficult to sell the harvested grain.
Cities under attack
The Russians shelled one of the most densely populated districts of Kharkiv, said City Mayor Ihor Terekhov. The occupiers hit public transport stops and a medical facility. 23 people were injured and 3 died. The head of the Huliaypole community, Zaporizhizhia region, Serhii Yarmak reports that due to enemy shelling 1000 private houses have been damaged and all of the infrastructure facilities of his community have been destroyed since February. 13 residential buildings in the center of Mykolaiv were damaged from the shock wave and debris as a result of the night shelling of the city – Oleksandr Sienkovych, the mayor of Mykolaiv. As a result of an attack with two missiles on humanitarian aid storage in the city, thousands of tons of products, intended for children, elderly people and those who are in need, have perished in a fire. During the night, the Russians fired 100 shells at Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region from an anti-aircraft missile system, one person was killed.
Cities under occupation
Russian occupiers take documents from people they have forcibly mobilized – General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed. It makes it impossible to identify people in case of their death which can be used to commit financial fraud by the command of the Armed Forces of Russian Federation. The General Staff of Ukraine also stated that in this way the occupiers are trying to suppress desertion.
Russian administration began forced mobilization in the recently occupied Starobilsk, Luhansk region. “Forced conscription by an enemy power” is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and therefore a war crime. This is not for the first time, as similar cases were recorded at the temporarily occupied territories, especially in so-called DPR and LPR.
The Russian occupiers plan to demolish 35 residential buildings in Mariupol before winter. This will make 8000 residents homeless, at least 1500 of them remain in the city.
War crimes prosecution
Ukraine is considering launching a project to establish an international tribunal that will hear cases of crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The preliminary title for it is Tribunal for Russia. Anton Korynevych, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, there are two levels of responsibility when it comes to Russia’s war against Ukraine: the responsibility of the state and the responsibility of individuals, that is, citizens of the Russian Federation. Currently, the UN and other international organizations are seeking ways to bring the war criminals to justice, however, there is no international court or tribunal that can try the political and military leaders of the Russian Federation precisely for the crime of aggression.
The Russian occupiers pulled at least 14 units of heavy military equipment with ammunition, weapons, and explosives into the engine room of the first power unit of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Energoatom emphasizes that this is extremely dangerous. In case the ammunition accidentally detonates and a fire breaks out, the scale may be equal to what occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Greenpeace experts stated at the press conference in Kyiv that Russia’s military occupation of the Chornobyl zone was a crime against the environment and the global scientific approach to radiation risks. The Greenpeace investigation team has found radiation levels in areas where Russian military operations occurred that classifies it as nuclear waste to be at least three times higher than the estimation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Meanwhile, Greenpeace is concerned that the IAEA is severely compromised in its role on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by its ties to Russia’s nuclear state agency, ROSATOM, including its current IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov, a long term ROSATOM official. The Greenpeace team also documented that as a result of Russia’s military actions, serious damage was caused to important laboratories, databases and radiation monitoring systems that can cause a threat for current and future generations.
The enemy carried out assaults with the aim of taking over the territory of the Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Station. The Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed the assault of the Russians.
A cyber attack was carried out on the servers and networks of TAVR Media radio stations. Russian hackers spread a fake on Ukrainian radio about “Zelenskyi’s serious condition”. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi recorded a video message in which he refuted the information spread by hackers: “I have never felt as strong as I am now […] And, with all due respect to old age, 44 is not 70 [referring to the age of Putin].”
Second Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen
On the initiative of the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, the second Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen dedicated to the post-war reconstruction of the country will be held on July 23, says the statement. The event is planned in the format of a telebridge between different countries of the world: Ukraine, Poland, Belgium, Great Britain, and the United States. In the framework of the Summit, the First Lady will raise funds for C-type ambulances, which will help save the lives of thousands of people in Ukraine. The fundraising will take place through the United24 platform.
- How a handful of LEGO minifigs can support the medics and other Ukrainian heroes on the frontlines of Russia’s invasion [Feature] | The Brothers Brick (brothers-brick.com) – read the story of the LEGO activists who have come up with the series of the LEGO versions of some of those defending Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine. The series includes women serving as combat medics or soldiers who held out in the Azovstal steel plant.
- Africa Is the New Front in Russia’s Information War | The Atlantic – Opening a new front in its disinformation campaign, Moscow blames the West for food shortages and presents itself as Africa’s savior. “Russia is now directing its disinformation in parts of the world where anti-Western sentiment is already strong, countries that include former colonies of the West—above all, in Africa. Anticipating a looming world food crisis, Moscow has coordinated its media outlets and social-media accounts to spin this message: Western sanctions against Russia are to blame for causing the shortages, and Ukraine is deliberately destroying grain supplies.”
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., July 20, 2022: personnel – around 39 000, tanks ‒ 1704, APV ‒ 3920, artillery systems – 863, MLRS – 251, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 113, fixed-wing aircraft – 221, helicopters – 188, operational-tactical level UAV – 713, cruise missiles – 167, boats and light speed boats – 15, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 2803, special equipment – 72.
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