Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska, Anna Dovha
Photo: Arden Petrov
The situation around Zaporizhzhnia Nuclear Power Plant remains critical and tense after active shelling of the plant. The Parliament of Ukraine appealed to the world community to condemn the act of nuclear terrorism committed by Russian troops at the captured Zaporizhzhya NPP and to apply sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry. The UN Secretariat has assessed that there is the logistics and security capacity to be able to support any IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia NPP by Kyiv, should both Russia and Ukraine agree, says the statement. Facing the life risk, Ukrainian technicians stay at the nuclear power plant under the barrels of Russian guns and face huge pressure, in order to make sure there is no Chornobyl-style disaster. Meanwhile, on August 16, 2022, the most powerful hacker attack on the official Energoatom website since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation took place. It was conducted from the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Ukrainian state company ‘Ukrhydroenergo’ in the first half of the year produced electricity by 40% more than in the same period last year. In the first half of the year, fuel, oil, and products of its distillation were imported to Ukraine for a total of $6.3 billion, which is 25.8% more than in the same period last year.
Cities under attack.
On August 15, the Russian occupiers shelled districts of Kharkiv. As a result of the shellings, the residential buildings, the bus stop, and playground were damaged, the fire started in the garage cooperative, one person was killed and 8 people were injured. Also, on August 15, in Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region, the occupiers fired 20 rockets. Warehouses, shops and administrative premises of the industrial enterprise were destroyed. At the same time, the Russian troops launched a massive shelling of the Chernihiv region. Since 8 in the morning, more than 70 explosions have been recorded on the outskirts of the village of Kamianska Sloboda. The civilian buildings were damaged. On the same day, the Russian military again shelled Mykolaiv. As a result, an educational institution and a hotel on the outskirts of the city were damaged.
On the night of August 16, the Russian army shelled five out of nine districts of Kharkiv overnight. As a result of the shelling, infrastructure and other facilities, roads were damaged. During the day, the Russian occupiers fired again at a garage cooperative, several private garages were destroyed and were on fire. Transport infrastructure has also been damaged. On the same day, the Russian invaders shelled Orikhiv, Zaporiahzhya region. One person was killed, 6 people were injured. As a result of the attack, dozens of private houses and objects of civil infrastructure were destroyed. On the night of August 16, the Russian occupiers shelled two districts of the Dnipropetrovsk region. As a result of the attack. two people were injured, private houses, cars and garages were damaged. The shelling hit two warehouses with grain and machinery of a local agricultural enterprise. The gas pipeline and powerline were cut off. Up to two thousand people were left without electricity. On the same day in the Donetsk region, the Russian army shelled 13 settlements. The Russians hit the residential sector, there are losses among the civilian population. During the day, 19 objects were destroyed and damaged: 14 residential buildings, a boarding school, a dormitory, an outbuilding, a hangar, a cafe. In the Mykolaiv region, two missiles hit the local university early on Wednesday morning.
Cities under occupation.
Kherson. The Armed Forces destroyed all the logistics chains of the occupiers in the region. In the Kherson region, the Russian occupiers kidnapped Oleksandr Chistyakov, the director of communal enterprises of the Kakhov community. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
Mariupol. Russia is carrying out reverse deportation of civilians from Russia back to the city. Ukrainians are being returned from Pskov to Mariupol because they have ‘become a problem’ for the local authorities. The Mariupol mayor’s adviser Petro Andryushchenko said that houses of most of these people are destroyed and they will be forced to live on the street or break into the apartments of other Mariupol residents who are currently being evacuated. Meanwhile, the occupiers forbade teachers from leaving Mariupol. Passes are not issued for them. Moreover, facts of ‘conviction’ of going to work due to beatings are becoming widespread.
Melitopol. Propaganda television stopped working in occupied Melitopol due to explosions, where the propaganda TV channel ‘Za TV’ created by the occupiers had been broadcasting since the beginning of August. The Mayor of Melitopol reported that at least 6000 people are waiting in line for evacuation from the temporarily occupied territories in Southern Ukraine.
Crimea. Volodymyr Zelenskyy created the Advisory Council on Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Crimea and Sevastopol to coordinate measures to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine and overcome the consequences of Russia’s armed aggression. Heavy traffic has been recorded at the Crimea bridge in the direction of Russia after a series of the explosions recorded at the military infrastructure of the peninsula. Reportedly, as of 10:00 on 16 August, about 2000 people have already left after explosions at an ammunition storage site near Dzhankoi.
Russian troops continue to attack the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine much more often than military facilities. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian army has hit more than 22000 civilian objects and about 300 military ones.
Mandatory evacuation from the Donetsk region continues. 75% of Donetsk region residents have already been evacuated. Since the beginning of mandatory evacuation, 5,575 people have been evacuated to safe regions. Regional authorities report that 45% of the region still remains under Ukrainian control regardless of the heavy fighting.
Another round of the body exchange between Ukraine and Russia took place. Ukraine returned the 19 bodies of its defenders.
Russia is exploiting gender fault lines to diminish the societal cohesion and resilience of Ukrainians considering that gender issues are seen as the most polarizing ones for the Ukrainian population. A new research of the Atlantic Council underlines that since the February invasion, the Kremlin has intentionally targeted Ukrainian civilians in bread lines, apartment buildings, schools, churches, and hospitals, while employing disinformation campaigns to obfuscate the reality of Putin’s ‘special military operation’ from the Russian public. From the gender persepctive, the report indicated that current Kremlin hybrid warfare is focusing on ‘weaponising’ gender narrative as well targetting disinformation attacks on LGBTIQ+ community, as well as direct sexual violence. Russian forces are using sexual violence to instill fear and to cause psychological and physical damages on the Ukrainian population, and then it leads to long-term trauma impacts on the whole population.
The Government of Ukraine has approved the State Strategy for ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men for the period up to 2030. The document is focusing on four key directions – effective and coordinated functioning of the national mechanism for ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men; effective countermeasures against all forms of violence, including conflict-related; providing women and men with equal rights and opportunities for human development in the field of education, health care, social protection, culture and sports, etc; ensuring the equal participation of women and men in various spheres of economic activity, which will create the basis for slowing the growth of the poverty level of the population, associated with the aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Lviv on Thursday, a UN spokesman said, and on Friday visit the Black Sea port of Odesa, where grain exports have resumed under a UN-brokered deal, Reuters reports. Reportedly, the meeting in Lviv is to touch on the issue of possible solutions to the war and the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The French government will help in demining the Chernihiv region. France will involve its specialists and equipment for this and also train Ukrainian specialists.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has announced a significant reduction in visas for Russian citizens from September 2022. The number of visas issued for tourist purposes will decrease by 10 times. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opposed the ban on issuing visas to Russian tourists. ‘Many people are fleeing Russia because they do not agree with the Russian regime,’ he said on August 15 after a meeting with Nordic leaders in Oslo.
The Joint Coordination Center within the framework of the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative has allowed six vessels arriving for inspection to pass through the Maritime Humanitarian Corridor in the Black Sea. Meanwhile, the ship BRAVE COMMANDER with grain for Africa has left the port ‘Pivdenny’ and is heading to Ethiopia.
According to the Public Opinion Survey of the International Republican Institute, 93% of the Ukrainian population see the future of Ukraine ‘rather promising’. 81% of Ukrainians believes Ukraine will definitely win the war. Also, Ukrainians from all categories define the restoration of the territorial integrity and elimination of corruption as the main development aims for Ukraine over the next 10 years. Strong support remains regarding EU and NATO integration. 80% believe Ukraine should join the EU and 72% support joining NATO.
- Six Weeks of ‘Hell’: Inside Russia’s Brutal Ukraine Detentions | The New York Times – Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, mainly men, have gone missing in the five months of the war in Ukraine, detained by Russian troops or their proxies, held in basements, police stations and filtration camps in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine and ending up incarcerated in Russia.
- Opinion | Why I quit Amnesty International in Ukraine | The Washington Post – open letter of Oksana Pokalchuk is a Ukrainian lawyer and human rights activist. She was the executive director of the Ukrainian office of Amnesty International from 2016 to Aug. 5. She stepped down from her position in response to the controversial report of Amnesty International.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., August 15, 2022: personnel – around 44 100, tanks ‒ 1886, APV ‒ 4162, artillery systems – 993, MLRS – 263, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 136, fixed-wing aircraft – 233, helicopters – 196 operational-tactical level UAV – 792, cruise missiles – 190, boats and light speed boats – 15, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 3054, special equipment – 93.
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