On this 167th day of the conflict in Ukraine, the words of Volodymyr Zelenskyy resonate. The Ukrainian President warns of a repeat of the largest civilian nuclear disaster after the bombing of the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant occupied by the Russian army. Moscow and Kyiv continue to accuse each other of having carried out this strike not far from a reactor.
Russian strikes in the south, a thermal power plant in Kharkiv damaged
After the Russians suffered a counterattack from the south on Monday, around 4 a.m. on Tuesday, August 9, the Russians shelled the town of Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region, The Kyiv Independent reports, citing the head of the military administration of the Nikopol district, Yevhen Yevtushenko. In the same region, Russian missiles hit agricultural warehouses.
Russian forces also damaged a thermal power plant in Kharkiv. According to the governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Synyehubov, this plant supplies heat to a third of Ukraine’s second largest city.
Updated on Monday 8 August 2022 .
Volodymyr Zelenskyy awakens the ghost of Chernobyl
“The world should not forget Chernobyl and the fact that Zaporizhia is the largest power plant in Europe. The Chernobyl disaster (1986) is the explosion of one reactor and the Zaporizhia power plant has six reactors.”Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Monday evening.
The Zaporijjia power plant site in southern Ukraine has been under Russian control since March 4. It was bombed twice late last week, including near a reactor. Kyiv and Moscow blamed each other for the strikes.
“We need new sanctions against the terrorist state and against the entire Russian nuclear industry that creates the threat of a nuclear catastrophe‘ the Ukrainian President continued.
Reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, causing the largest civilian nuclear accident and releasing a radioactive cloud that spread across Europe.
Nearly 80,000 Russian soldiers killed or injured, Pentagon says
“The Russians probably lost 70,000 or 80,000 soldiers in less than six months” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Political Affairs Colin Kahl told reporters Monday, noting that that number includes the dead and injured.
Russian forces also lost “3000 or 4000”armored vehicles, and precision-guided missiles, including air-to-surface and sea-to-surface missiles, may be missing, he added.
“It’s quite remarkable considering that the Russians failed to achieve any of Vladimir Putin’s goals early in the war.”continued the American official. “They have made slight progress in the East, although very little in recent weeks”he noticed.
“But this came at an extraordinary cost to the Russian army because of the quality of the Ukrainian army and the international aid it received.” . Colin Kahl acknowledged that the Ukrainian armed forces also suffered heavy casualties without quantifying them.
10,000 estimated deaths at the hands of Ukrainian troops
Kyiv reported at least 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded in its troops.
According to a military source who asked not to be identified, the Ukrainian army, which was strong at the start of the war on February 24 with 170,000 active soldiers and 100,000 reservists, has been reinforced to between 300,000 and 350,000 soldiers.
Before the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, some 150,000 to 200,000 Russian soldiers were stationed on Ukraine’s borders, according to Western estimates.
The European plan to reduce Russian gas went into effect on Tuesday
In view of the drastic cuts in Russian gas supplies, the agreement signed by the Twenty-Seven at the end of July to voluntarily reduce their consumption comes into effect on Tuesday. The text provides that each Member State “make an effort”between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 to reduce its gas consumption by at least 15% compared to the average of the last five years in the same period “Voluntary Mitigation Measures”.
In case of “Risk of Serious Deficiency” , the European Council (a body representing Member States) can declare a state of alert on a proposal from the Commission. This mechanism will “Binding” the 15% reduction, but this target is adjusted to the realities of each state, in particular the ability to export the volumes of gas saved to countries in need, and therefore provides for a number of exceptions.
The Airbus of a Russian oligarch in Kazakhstan in the US’s sights
US authorities announced on Monday that they intend to confiscate Andrej Skotch’s Airbus A319 in Kazakhstan. This Russian oligarch and parliamentarian is the target of American and European sanctions.
The American judiciary obtained a “Mandate” for the “seizure” this private Airbus A319-100 owned by Mr. Skotch, an accused member of the Duma “Link to Organized Crime”and subjected to a battery of sanctions from Washington and Brussels.
The press release from the Department of Justice, the Federal Police (FBI) and the Department of Commerce states that the plane has been in Kazakhstan since early March and values the device at “more than $90 million.”
Washington released a photo and aircraft registration.
In late June, the US Treasury Department and its allied governments (Germany, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union) – united in the Repo “Task Force” responsible for tracing the legacy of Russian elites (yachts, planes, cars, real estate…) – had frozen more than $330 billion in Russian assets since the start of the conflict in Ukraine at the end of February.
Russia launches Iranian satellite
Russia launched an Iranian observation satellite into orbit on Tuesday morning. This launch raises concerns. Some Western officials fear Moscow will use it to support its offensive in Ukraine, which Tehran denies.
The launch of the Khayyam remote sensing satellite by a Soyuz rocket is scheduled at 05:52 GMT from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos).
Named in honor of the Persian poet and scholar Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), this satellite aims to do just that “Observe the country borders” Improving agricultural productivity, controlling water resources and natural disasters, according to the Iranian Space Agency.
For the United States, Iran’s space program is for military rather than commercial purposes, while Tehran claims its aerospace activities are peaceful and in line with a UN Security Council resolution.
This time, however, the Iranian authorities had to defend themselves against allegations of a different nature after the American newspaper The Washington Post reported on Russia “plans to use the satellite for several months”as part of its offensive in Ukraine before handing control over to Iran.
“All orders related to the control and operation of this satellite will be issued by Iranian experts based at the Iranian Ministry of Communications from day one and immediately after launch.”the Iranian Space Agency said in a statement on Sunday.
New billion dollar US military aid
The Pentagon on Monday announced new $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, which includes additional missiles for US Himars precision artillery systems.
This new tranche of aid also includes the delivery of additional short- and medium-range missiles for Nasam’s anti-aircraft systems, as well as Javelin anti-tank missiles, the US Department of Defense said in a statement.
Kyiv will also receive 75,000 155mm shells intended for the Western artillery systems that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are now equipped with, and about fifty armored medical vehicles.
New aid brings total US military aid to Ukraine to $9.8 billion since Joe Biden took office and $9.1 billion since inception
The World Bank also releases the wallet
For its part, the World Bank on Monday announced $4.5 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, thanks to funds made available by the United States to help the government deal with the crisis “urgent war-related need”.
In particular, this additional aid should enable the government and local authorities to cover social, pension or health expenditures, according to the World Bank in a press release. That brings the total amount of emergency financial assistance made available to Ukraine by the Washington-based international body to nearly $13 billion.