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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 160 [10.00 am, 02.08.2022 🇯🇵🇫🇷🇦🇪]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska, Anna Dovha 

Photo: Mykolaiv/Kostiantyn Liberov and Vlada Liberova

Foreign policy.

As of August 1, Latvia suspended the simplified travel regime for residents of Russia’s border regions. The relevant decision was made by the Latvian government in mid-July. In connection with Russia’s decision to close the Latvian consulate in Pskov, issuing border permits is no longer possible, as it was the only diplomatic and consular representation of Latvia abroad that issued such permits to citizens of the Russian Federation.

Russia secretly exports gold from the African state of Sudan, disguising it as the export of other goods, including boxes of cookies, to finance the war against Ukraine. Over the year and a half, at least 16 planes with gold have been sent from Sudan to Russia. The scheme involves the military authorities of Sudan, which makes concessions to Russia in exchange for support from the Kremlin.

Ukraine demands from the Russian Federation the return of a third of the foreign property of the former USSR. ‘Now we demand from Russia: you must return at least a third of what is abroad. In particular, premises that are in Britain and were illegally, in our opinion, registered to the Russian Federation,’ the Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK Vadym Prystaiko said.

U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his willingness to negotiate with Russia and China a new nuclear arms control treaty. The new treaty should replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START III), which expires in 2026. The main condition for conducting negotiations, as the US president emphasized, is the presence of a bona fide partner. ‘Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine has disturbed the peace in Europe and is an attack on the fundamental principles of the international order. In this context, Russia must demonstrate that it is ready to resume nuclear arms control work with the United States,’ Joe Biden said.

The Commission of the European Union stated that it cannot decide to restrict the issuing of Schengen visas to Russian citizens after the sanctions target both the Russian elites and authorities. However, the EU Member States may separately adopt such measures. ‘There is always a group of people who should be granted a visa, such as in humanitarian cases, family members, journalists, and dissidents,’ the European Commission pointed out.

Economy.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced that the European Union directed Ukraine 1 billion euros of exceptional macro-financial assistance. The first tranche of EUR 500 million has already been credited to the National Bank of Ukraine account. The funds will be used for priority budgetary needs.

The National Bank of Ukraine initiated the ‘Brave Hryvnia’ charity campaign. The amount of collected funds will be transferred to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The NBU stated that currently, more than 14 billion coins worth more than 5 billion UAH are in circulation. A significant number of changeable coins is often not used by citizens for cash payments. At the same time, these funds can help Ukrainian defenders to defend the country from the Russian invader.

Cities under attack.

The Mykolaiv Regional State Administration reported that Mykolaiv again came under massive shelling. Private houses and yards were damaged, as a result of which three people were injured. As a result of the shelling, a fire broke out on the territory of the medical dispensary. A humanitarian warehouse with medical preparations and food burned down. No victims. The trauma center of one of the hospitals was also destroyed, four buildings, a medical vehicle were damaged, and windows were broken. As a result of shelling of the Mykolaiv region, mass fires occurred in open areas, grain fields, dry grass and a forest strip.

At night, the Russian invaders again shelled two districts of the Dnipropetrovsk region – Nikopol and Kryvorizky. As a result of the shelling, people were injured, private houses and cars, factories were damaged, and power lines were disabled.

Cities under occupation.

46 settlements were liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kherson region. According to the acting Head of the Regional Military Administration of the Kherson Region, Dmytro Butrii, in the de-occupied territory there are villages that are almost 90% destroyed. They are still under constant shelling, and the population has mostly left. Serhii Khlan, adviser to the head of the Kherson regional military administration reported that in the Kherson region, the Russian command isolates its troops in Henichesk instead of the promised rotation. ‘The invaders are placed at the recreation centers (hotels) of the Arabat Spit, where they are offered to rest for several weeks, and then they are sent back to battle. The command fears that the soldiers will scatter if they are allowed to leave for the Crimea,’ Khlan said.

The Security Service of Ukraine reported the interception of Russian documents regulating the holding of a fake referendum of the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region. According to available information, the invaders plan to give the main role in the organization and holding of the pseudo-referendum to the pro-Kremlin organization ‘Volunteers for Ruzzia’. Under the supervision of the special services of the Russian Federation, its participants are to disperse in the region to simulate the support of the occupiers by local residents, as well as to create staged stories for Russian media. The final date of the voting itself has not yet been set. 

Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Serhii Gaidai informed that in Severodonetsk, occupied by Russia, a public shower without hygienic conditions was installed for the residents of the city. The occupiers set up dirty tents with dirty water. People bathe only according to the schedule. 

Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration, reported that Russian troops fired from close range at a minibus with civilians trying to evacuate from the occupation in the Kherson region: two people were killed. Five people were evacuated to Kryvyi Rih. Two of them are in a very serious condition with burn shock.

General director of Ukrainian Post company ‘Ukrposhta’ Ihor Smilyanskyi reported that the company stopped its work on the occupied territory. The company is no longer able to guarantee the safety of its employees due to the pressure of the Russian occupiers. 

Human rights.

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine stated that Russian invaders use the tactics of ‘scorched earth’ and hit civilian targets 60 times more often than military ones. Russians shelled 17,300 civilian objects, compared to 300 military objects. In addition, more than 830 health care facilities, 2,129 educational institutions, and more than 530 objects of culture and art were damaged across the country according to the NSDC.

The fighters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are going to bring to trial five more foreigners who fought in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and were captured near Mariupol. The militants did not give the names of the prisoners, only saying that two are Swede and Croat, and three more are British.

The United Nations received requests from the Ukrainian and Russian sides regarding the investigation of the attack on the colony in occupied Olenivka, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were held. General Prosecutor of Ukraine Andriy Kostin stated that according to preliminary conclusions of international experts, thermobaric weapons could have caused the explosion in the colony in Olenivka, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were held.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center conducted an analysis of human rights violations in the occupied Crimea in March 2022. Categories of human rights violations that occurred in the occupied Crimea in March include detentions, searches, arrests, interrogations, fines, violation of the right to a fair trial, violation of the right to health, violation of the rights of political prisoners. According to the results of the analysis, the Crimean Tatars are subjected to human rights violations, which confirms discrimination against citizens of Crimean Tatar origin in the occupied Crimea. 

Energy security.

An embargo on the import of coal from Russia came into force in the EU. Such a measure was included in the fifth package of sanctions adopted on April 7, 2022. ‘From August 2022, a ban on the purchase, import and transportation of coal and other types of fossil fuels in the EU is foreseen, if they originate from Russia or are exported from Russia,’ the press service of the Council of the EU reported.

US. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia’s actions around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant ‘the height of irresponsibility,’ accusing Moscow of using it as a ‘nuclear shield’ in attacks on Ukrainian forces, Reuters reports. Previously Russia was already accused several times of firing shells dangerously close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as its forces took it over in the first weeks of the invasion of Ukraine.

Food Security.

For the first time since February 24, the vessel with Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa. The ship RAZONI with a cargo of 26 thousand tons of Ukrainian corn under the flag of Sierra Leone is heading to the port of Tripoli in Lebanon. It will move along a corridor whose safety has been confirmed by the guarantor partners of Ukraine – the United Nations and Turkey. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated ‘There are already 16 ships waiting in line for departure, and we are ready to make a proper contribution to stabilizing the world food market’.

Heritage.

In the Zaporizhzhya region, the Russian invaders shelled the 130-year-old estate of Yakov Kriger, the founder of the agricultural machinery factory, for the second time. Over the past four years, the building has been restored in order to later open a branch of the local history museum there.

Digital security.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine reported that the Data.gov.ua Open Data Portal has resumed its work after a forced pause due to the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine. ‘We analyzed the published datasets and temporarily removed from public access information that could pose a threat to national security and opened the portal for public access,’ the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine noted.

The cyber police of Ukraine warns of the danger of using mobile applications developed by the special services of the Russian Federation. Through applications, Russia in the form of a game obtains from users information about the location of military facilities, critical infrastructure, or induces citizens to unknowingly help the occupiers.

In Ukraine, the state portal for the search of minors ‘Children of the War’ has become operational. It will help law enforcement agencies to collect information about children who suffered during the war. The portal is regularly updated by law enforcement agencies and the National Information Bureau and includes a feedback function. This platform performs two main functions: informing and helping to find children.

Recent polls.

The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion telephone survey  ‘How Ukrainians see relations between Ukraine and Russia’. The absolute majority in all regions among all categories – 79% of Ukrainians – believe that the borders with visas and customs should be closed between Ukraine and Russia. According to the results, even among Russian-speaking Russians, 52% are in favor of closed borders. Only 11% are convinced that Ukraine and Russia should be both independent but friendly states with open borders without visas and customs. 

Media

During the five months of the full-scale war, Russia committed 428 crimes against journalists and the media in Ukraine, reports the Institute of Mass Information. As of July 24, the Russian military killed a total of 36 journalists in Ukraine, of which eight journalists were killed while performing their professional duties. 14 journalists were injured. IMI managed to find out that out of 14 journalists who disappeared in Mariupol, the fate of three media persons remains unknown.

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