Almost six months after the start of the war in Ukraine, where his army was performing less well than expected, President Vladimir Putin on Monday, August 15, praised Russia’s armament. Her defense minister spoke to the Secretary-General of the United Nations about the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, which has been the target of shootings.
For its part, Kyiv claimed to have attacked a base of the Wagner paramilitary group in eastern Ukraine and destroyed a bridge near the occupied town of Melitopol in the southeast.
In the east of the country, the Russian-backed Donetsk separatist court has accused five foreign nationals captured in fighting with Ukrainian forces of being mercenaries and announced that three of them face the death penalty, according to Russian media transmitted by Portal became.
In addition, in Oslo there were signs of a split between the Nordic countries and Germany over restricting the issuance of tourist visas to Russians.
Here’s what to remember on the 173rd day of the war in Ukraine.
Kremlin boss praises Russian weapons
Amid a military intervention in Ukraine that has seen his troops suffer setbacks, President Vladimir Putin on Monday praised Russian-made weapons to his foreign allies and assured them they had proven themselves on the battlefield.
“We stand ready to offer our allies and partners the most advanced types of weaponry, from infantry weapons to armored vehicles, including artillery, fighter jets and drones.”said the head of the Kremlin.
” Around the world, [ces armes] are appreciated by professionals for their reliability, quality and above all for their high efficiency. Almost all of them were repeatedly used in real combat conditions.he continued on the first day of an international arms fair organized for a week in Kubinka, Moscow region, which is expected to draw around 1,500 participants.
Vladimir Putin assured that Russia did this “many allies”especially in relation to Latin America, Asia and Africa. “These are states that do not give in to a so-called hegemony”he guessed.
Foreign military training in Russia is also an option “great views”he also said invitingly Moscow’s allies take part in joint military maneuvers with Russia.
But so far the war in Ukraine has not been a convincing showcase for the Russian defense industry. The Russian leader’s forces were repulsed in several places in Ukraine and advanced slowly and with heavy casualties in the east of the country.
Western military analysts believe that the “poor performance” Russian troops and weapons in Ukraine could make arms exports from Moscow less attractive to potential buyers.
Despite these difficulties, the director of Russia’s Federal Agency for Armaments Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev, told the Ria-Novosti agency on Monday that Russia has signed $16 billion worth of new arms export contracts in 2022.
Between 2017 and 2021, Russia was the second largest arms exporter with 19% of the world market, according to the Stockholm Institute (Sipri), figures which the source says have been steadily declining in recent years.
Negotiations between Russia and the United Nations to secure the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
Russia and the United Nations spoke by phone on Monday about better securing the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, which has been the target of bombing raids and fueled fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
“Sergei Shoigu conducted telephone negotiations with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the conditions for the safe operation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, was captured by Russian troops in early March at the start of their large-scale offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24.
Since the end of July, several strikes, which both parties accuse each other of, have been targeting the site and provoked an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last Thursday.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of using the plant as an attack base and equipment depot. Backed by its western allies, Ukraine is demanding the demilitarization of the area and the withdrawal of armed forces from Moscow.
Ukraine claims to have destroyed the base of the Wagner group
Ukraine said on Monday it had attacked a base in the east of the country belonging to the Wagner paramilitary group, whose men are accused of fighting alongside Russian troops, and destroyed a bridge near the occupied town of Melitopol in the southeast.
According to the governor of the Luhansk region, the base of the Wagner group was in the city of Propasna “destroyed by precision strike”. The shooting took place on Sunday, Serguiï Gaïdaï said on Telegram.
The very opaque Wagner group is said to be linked to the Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigoyine, who is himself considered close to Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian authorities also claimed that pro-Kyiv saboteurs managed to blow up a railway bridge near the Russian army-held town of Melitopol (Zaropijya region, south) in order to disrupt the logistics of troops from Moscow.
“One less railway bridge southwest of Melitopol means a total lack of military trains from Crimea”Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 and is essential for supplying the Russian army, the mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov said by telegram.
Ukraine has attacked several bridges in recent weeks, mainly in the occupied Kherson region (to the south), where Kyiv says it is waging a counteroffensive that has enabled it to recapture dozens of villages and is now threatening Russian troops who have done so have crossed the river Dnieper.
Three dead in the Odessa region and bombing raids on Kharkiv
Also on Monday, three summer guests were killed and two others injured by one “unknown explosive device”while bathing on a beach in Zatoka, a popular seaside resort in the Odessa region (south), a spokesman for the regional authorities Serguiï Bratchouk announced on Telegram.
In the morning, Russian bombings on Kharkiv (northeast), the country’s second largest city, left at least one dead and six wounded, Serguiï Bolvinov, a senior local police official, said on Facebook.
Five foreigners are accused by a separatist court in Donetsk of being mercenaries
A Russian-backed separatist court in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday accused five foreign nationals captured in fighting with Ukrainian forces of being mercenaries and said three of them face the death penalty, according to Russian media transmitted by Portal .
Briton John Harding, Croatian Vjekoslav Prebeg and Swede Mathias Gustafsson, who were arrested in and around the port city of Mariupol, face the death penalty under the laws of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the Russian news agency TASS said.
Two other Britons, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, have also been charged but do not face execution. All five of the accused have pleaded not guilty, TASS reported. According to her, the judge said the trial would resume in early October.
Scandinavia and Germany are at odds over Russian tourist visas
The Nordic countries and Germany showed signs of division in Oslo on Monday over restrictions on tourist visas issued to Russians in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“Ordinary Russians did not start the war, but at the same time we must understand that they support the war.”said Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin after a meeting of Nordic and German heads of government.
“It is not fair that Russian citizens can enter Europe, the Schengen area, as tourists […] while Russia kills people in Ukraine”she said at a joint press conference.
Finland’s foreign ministry unveiled a plan in early August to restrict issuing tourist visas to Russians wishing to travel to the country, and Helsinki wants a European-level decision.
Since the flight ban from Russia to the EU, more and more Russian tourists are traveling to the Nordic country, which shares a long border with Russia, to travel to other European countries.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has expressed reservations about such a measure.
“It was an important decision on our part to impose sanctions on those responsible for the war […]he pointed out. We will continue to do this, but I think it’s not the Russian people’s war, it’s Putin’s war. »
According to him, a restriction on tourist visas would also penalize “all people are fleeing Russia because they don’t agree with the Russian regime”.
Through the voice of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Sweden indicated that it had not accepted its position on the issue, while Denmark called for maintaining European unity vis-à-vis Moscow.