As tensions rise in Ukraine, one piece of news is showing signs of Russian backlash. A Polish journalist has launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy a Bayraktar TB2 drone for Ukraine from the Turkish arms maker Baykar. He says the money will go toward humanitarian aid for Ukrainians displaced by the war. Other recent stories include news that the European Union is considering banning Russian oil partially. Let’s take a look at these stories and see if they are representative of reality.
Russia’s Withdrawal From Kyiv Is A Sign Of Its Scaled Back Ambitions
While the Russians have been pulling out of the city of Kiev, they are not going home. Instead, they have been pushing back and regrouping. In the midst of the fighting, areas they previously held are now opening up around Kyiv. Among the images emerging from these contested territories are rape and the blood of three Russian prisoners of war, and destroyed homes.
Ukraine has already won in some ways, but the Russians may not be able to sustain this position. Even if the war continues, the Russian military is unlikely to collapse completely, so it is very unlikely that the Ukrainians will have the leverage to retake the Crimea. Indeed, a senior Ukrainian official privately said in September 2014 that the country should allow Donbas to fall, “because they do not think like we do.”
But Russia’s decision to pull out of Kyiv could be a sign that the Russian leadership is scaling back its ambitions. In March, CIA Director Bill Burns said that Putin believed he would be able to capture Kyiv within a few days of his televised war declaration in Ukraine. But the Russians underestimated the Ukrainian army, failed to establish secure supply lines, and botched attempts to disable Ukraine’s air defense. According to the latest news from NATO, the Russian military is repositioning to focus on the eastern Donbas region.
The Russian military has shifted its focus from its ground offensive in Ukraine to the liberation of Donbas, a region of Ukrainian territory that is industrial in nature. In addition, they have also taken up defensive positions, acknowledging the surprisingly resilient resistance within the Ukrainian country. The military has shifted their attention to this region in the east of the country to avoid the destruction of Kyiv.
Ukraine’s Military Is Softening Up Russian Positions
Ukrainian troops have been driving back Russian forces near the capital, Kyiv, and have contested areas such as Hostomel and Irpin. Russia says that it has decided to “dramatically reduce” hostilities in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv. CNN first reported on Russian battalions moving eastward. Ukraine’s military has been advancing on Russian targets in response to the advances.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine has been primarily artillery fire. While the Ukrainians are short of artillery shells, Russia is firing more than 60,000 shells per day, about ten times as many. The Russians’ artillery has been used against Ukraine for months, but their numbers are still far outstripping those of Ukrainian troops. That has led to Ukraine’s military’s ability to soften up Russian positions and halt their advances.
Ukrainian forces are making gains in the south of the country. A Ukrainian soldier has said that morale has increased since the fall of Lysychansk. The military has also destroyed a Russian base near Lazurny in the Kherson region. Meanwhile, the State Emergency Service has saved at least 55 acres of wheat from burning. And Germany is restarting 16 coal and oil power plants as a way to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
While Russia is trying to take control of Donbas, Ukraine’s military has been defending itself against their advances. Ukraine claims it still controls two small villages in the Luhansk region, one of the two provinces in Donbas. Ukraine’s troops are successfully repelling Russian attempts to advance deeper into the Donetsk region. On Sunday, Ukraine’s General Staff stated that its troops have thwarted Russian attacks on Ukrainian military targets.
Ukraine’s Plan To Retake Kherson From Russia
A counter-offensive against Kherson would require a massive number of troops and offensive weapons systems. Ukraine currently expends about 6,000 to 8,000 shells a day. A large-scale active attack would require three to four times that amount. Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, has spoken of raising a million-man army in order to protect Kherson. Retaking the city could result in fierce urban fighting.
The rapid Russian advance has left Kherson in a haze of destruction. Refugees are pouring in from all directions to find relative safety in front-line towns. Some arrive by foot, others by car, and still others use a train. At one point, more than 1,000 people were arriving daily. But destroyed bridges have reduced the number to a few hundred. In a nearby village, abandoned furniture, clothes, and shoes stand as reminders of the lives that have been left behind. Also Read: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/28/russia-ukraine-live-updates.html
In the aftermath of the Russian attack, the Ukrainian counter-offensive nearly cut off Russian-occupied Kherson, leaving thousands of Russian troops in the area vulnerable. Ukraine has made it clear that it intends to retake the city from Russia. A senior Ukrainian military official has warned that Moscow’s military is shifting towards the southern part of the country to defend the occupied region. It is possible to save 50% of your subscription if you sign up for a three-month membership. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
Meanwhile, fighting is intensifying along the northern and western borders of the region. Ukrainian forces are around 30 miles from Kiev at its closest point. These are laying the groundwork for a massive offensive push. Ukrainian artillery forces are already softening Russian positions by firing rockets and Heavy Artillery Systems. They are also using a range of Western-supplied artillery and rocket systems to knock out Russian positions.
European Union Plans To Partially Ban Oil From Russia
The E.U. plans to ban Russian oil exports by part of the year, but it’s unclear how far the restrictions will go. The crude oil ban will phase out over the next six months, and refined products will be banned by the end of the year. This will give both Europe and Russia time to adjust. In the meantime, the EU is preparing for the ban and making its citizens aware of the changes.
The EU has agreed to impose a partial ban on the sale of Russian oil, a move that seemed unimaginable before Russia’s war in Ukraine. This measure will affect roughly 75 percent of Russian oil imports immediately, and 90 percent by the end of the year. The EU will also block insurance for Russian oil ships, making the export of oil products more difficult. The EU’s Council must now vote on whether to approve the new sanctions.
The EU pledged to implement the ban in an orderly fashion, and to limit the disruptions to the global oil market. But the ban does not have unanimous support among EU member states. Hungary and Slovakia are particularly reliant on Russian energy supplies. Despite these reservations, Hungary and Slovakia were given exceptions to the ban through the end of the year. The EU’s plans to ban Russian oil are part of its sixth round of sanctions over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. also read: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60525350
Initially, the bloc’s members, including Poland and Germany, volunteered to be excluded from the ban. The latter two countries have access to the sea, while Hungary have access to land. The EU leaders did not agree on how long exemptions would last. Instead, diplomats from both sides will have to find a solution that ensures fair competition between the EU countries. However, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban is arguing that the EU should continue to allow Hungary to import Russian oil through tankers or through the Croatian pipeline.
Ukrainian Parliament Approves New Anti-Corruption Prosecutor
Ukraine’s parliament approved a new anti-corruption prosecutor on Friday, and anti-corruption activists call it one of the most significant reforms in the country’s history. The move comes as hundreds of prosecutors appeal their firings in court. Anti-corruption activists consider the dismissal of Ryaboshapka as a travesty, as the prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, was a reformist and a former adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky was elected in April, and has been playing president on television since then.
The appointment of Melnichenko comes just two months after a vacancy in the position was revealed. The appointment of Melnichenko to lead the State Bureau of Investigations has long been under speculation, but has not yet been confirmed. The Prosecutor General must sign off on the nomination before the appointment is final. It’s unclear when the new prosecutor will start work. However, the new prosecutor’s appointment will help Ukraine’s fight against corruption.
The appointment is a result of a long-term commitment between the government and Western partners. A new anti-corruption prosecutor was long overdue, and Kyiv’s efforts to address the issue were thwarted by the Russian invasion. As a result, the newly appointed anti-corruption prosecutor will focus on corruption cases. In the meantime, the government’s focus on the Euromaidan riots will be on re-building the country and bringing its people together. Read Story: https://news.sky.com/story/ukraine-news-live-putin-looting-steel-bound-for-uk-major-deal-to-relieve-food-crisis-to-be-signed-russian-forces-increasing-missile-use-12541713
The newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, submitted an urgent Draft Law No 1031, which reinstates the criminal liability for illicit enrichment. Article 368-5 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine will now punish those who acquire more than UAH6,500 in assets with five to ten years in prison. Those who gain such assets will also be barred from certain positions and activities.