Saturday, July 2
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
A resort in the community of Serhiivka, Odesa Oblast, was hit in a Russian missile strike on July 1, 2022. (Kyrylo Tymoshenko/Telegram)
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Zelensky, Shmyhal, Stefanchuk sign joint statement as ‘sign of unity’ on Ukraine’s way to EU. On July 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk signed a joint statement that Zelensky called a “sign of unity of all branches of government” on Ukraine’s way to the EU. Zelensky also addressed the parliament, encouraging lawmakers to support even unpopular laws required for Ukraine’s integration.
Poll: 90% of Ukrainians support EU integration. According to a recent poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, 73% of Ukrainians say they want Ukraine to join NATO. The survey was conducted on May 2-11.
UK Intelligence: Russia likely withdrew from Snake Island due to garrison’s isolation, vulnerability to Ukrainian strikes. According to a recent intelligence update by the U.K. Defense Ministry, Ukraine’s military conducted attacks against Russia’s garrison on the Snake Island in the past few weeks using missile and drone strikes. Ukraine also used anti-ship missiles to interdict Russian vessels attempting to resupply the garrison.
Commander: Russia launches phosphorous bombs on Snake Island. Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said Russian forces carried out two airstrikes on July 1 with phosphorous bombs on Snake Island. Russian troops were forced to withdraw from the island on June 30.
Pentagon confirms vulnerability to Ukrainian strikes as reason for Russian retreat from Snake Island. The U.S. Defense Department stated on July 1 that there is no credence to Russia claiming its withdrawal from Snake Island was a “gesture of goodwill.” According to a senior U.S. defense official, Russian forces left the island because “Ukrainians made it very hard for the Russians to sustain their operations there (and) made them very vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes.”
Putin: West pushes Russia, Belarus towards unification. Russian President Vladimir Putin added that Western sanctions are forcing Moscow and Minsk to work together to minimize economic damage and maximize production. Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, in turn, said that former Soviet republics should seek “alignment” with Russia and Belarus “if they want to preserve their sovereignty and independence.“ Russia and Belarus created the Union State, a binational confederation, in 2000. It remained a formality until recently but the two countries have stepped up talks on merging their state institutions and markets since 2019.
Reuters: Ukraine requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship carrying Ukrainian grain. According to a Ukrainian foreign ministry official who spoke with Reuters, a 7,146 dwt Zhibek Zholy loaded the first cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Russian-occupied Berdiansk, which the official said belonged to Ukraine.
Zelensky on missile strike in Odesa Oblast: ‘This is not a random attack, but terror against our people.’ During a briefing with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, President Volodymyr Zelensky called the July 1 Russian missile strike on Mykolaiv a terror against Ukrainian people. Twenty-one people were killed in the attack and at least 34 other were injured.
Institute for the Study of War: Kremlin likely preparing to mobilize Russian economy to sustain war effort. The U.S. think tank said on July 1 that the Kremlin proposed an amendment that would introduce “special measures in the economic sphere” which would require Russian business to “supply Russian special military and counterterrorist operations.” The ISW also reported that Russia is likely trying to directly merge the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant into the Russian energy system, in contrast to previous Russian claims that the nuclear plant would sell electricity to Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces attack two ammunition warehouses, destroy $7 million drone. According to Ukraine’s Operational Command “South,” Ukrainian soldiers carried out airstrikes on two ammunition warehouses located in Kherson Oblast and destroyed a “Forpost” drone in Mykolaiv Oblast.
Ukraine launches fundraising campaign for ‘Army of Drones’. The UNITED24 fundraising platform, together with the General Staff and Digital Transformation Ministry, announced the start of a fundraising campaign to buy drones and repair them, as well as to organize pilot training courses. People from around the world can donate money for the program, as well as their own drones if they meet the requirements.
Energoatom restores connection between IAEA, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company reported that it restored the connection between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant’s surveillance systems, which had been down due to Russian occupation of the plant. The restored connection will reportedly allow for the monitoring of nuclear material.
Zelensky: Competition for position of head of National Anti-Corruption Bureau to be announced soon. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the competition for the position of head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) will be announced in the next few weeks. While the bureau is often praised by civil society organizations and Ukraine’s Western partners, it has so far failed to bring high-profile suspects to justice. The NABU’s work has been constantly obstructed by other law enforcement bodies, and the authorities have made many attempts to eliminate its independence.
Governor: Russian forces attack Sumy Oblast with over 270 mines, shells, missiles on July 1. Sumy Oblast Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said seven communities in the region were attacked: Bilopillia, Shalyhine, Krasnopillia, Novoslobidske, Esman, Hlukhiv, and Velykopysarivska District. A 64-year-old woman in Shalyhine was reportedly injured due to Russian shelling while working in her garden. Zhyvytsky said residential buildings, farms, electrical grids, and water towers were also destroyed.
Russian media: 2 British citizens charged as ‘mercenaries’ by Russian proxies in Donetsk Oblast. Russian state-controlled news agency TASS said Britons Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill have been charged with “mercenary activities” for their participation in the defense of Ukraine against Russian aggression. Earlier, one Moroccan and two British citizens received similar charges and are sentenced to death.
Russian proxies: Russia issues passports in Donetsk Oblast. According to Russian proxies in Donetsk Oblast, Russia has started to issue passports from two locations for residents in the region.
The human cost of Russia’s war
Death toll in Russian missile attack on Odesa Oblast up to 21, including a child. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for Odesa Oblast’s administration, said that those killed in the attack on the village of Serhiivka in the region include a 12-year-old child. The State Emergency Service said earlier that 38 people had been injured.
Prosecutor General’s Office: Russia’s war has killed at least 343 children since Feb. 24. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Russia’s war has also injured at least 635 children. The figures are expected to be higher since they do not include casualties in areas where hostilities are ongoing and in the Russian-occupied areas, the prosecutors said.
General Staff: Russia has lost 35,750 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on July 1 that Russia had also lost 1,577 tanks, 3,736 armored fighting vehicles, 2,610 vehicles and fuel tanks, 796 artillery systems, 246 multiple launch rocket systems, 105 air defense systems, 186 helicopters, 217 airplanes, 645 drones, and 15 boats.
US Defense Department announces $820 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine. The U.S. Defense Department announced on July 1 $820 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine, including additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and four additional counter-artillery radars.
EU proposes 1 billion euros in immediate support for Ukraine. “The first part of the macro-financial assistance package was announced in May. The EU will keep on providing relief to Ukraine and, in the longer-term, support its reconstruction,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Bloomberg: EU considers Russian gold ban in next sanctions package. The European Union may target Russian gold in a new sanctions package, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. U.S. President Joe Biden earlier announced that the G7 countries would ban imports of Russian gold, which is “a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.” Gold is a crucial asset for Russia’s central bank, which has restricted access to some of its assets abroad because of the Western sanctions.
Australia imposes new individual sanctions against Russia. Australia added 16 Russian individuals to its sanctions list on July 1. The new targeted persons include family members of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, his alleged mistress Alina Kabaeva, and three Russian ministers, among others.
Reuters: At least 14 Russian weapons companies have faced no Western sanctions. According to a Reuters investigation, nearly three dozen leaders of Russian weapons firms and at least 14 defense companies have not been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union, or the United Kingdom. These include Alan Lushnikov, the largest shareholder of arms producer Kalashnikov, and Yan Novikov, CEO of missile producer Almaz-Antey. Degtyarev Plant, which makes machine guns, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant, also faced no sanctions.
EU imports more gas from US than from Russia for first time in history. According to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, the European Union imported more liquefied natural gas from the United States than natural gas by pipeline from Russia in June. “The drop in Russian supply calls for efforts to reduce EU demand to prepare for a tough winter,” he wrote on Twitter.
Germany grants Ukraine 1 billion euros. Ukraine’s Finance Ministry announced on July 1 that it received the 1-billion-euro grant promised by Germany on June 25, which will be used to “finance priority social and humanitarian expenditures during martial law.”
Norway to provide 1 billion euros in aid to Ukraine for 2022, 2023. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store made the announcement during his visit to Kyiv on July 1. “I’m here to say that Ukraine’s fight is not only for Ukraine. This is about some fundamental principles of the world we are going to offer to our children. This is about security in Europe, this is about the fate of your neighbour,” he said.
In other news
Lubomyr Luciuk: A Promethean Dream. Read the op-ed here.
Ukrainian borscht included in UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko welcomed the decision: “Victory in the war for borscht is ours.” Last year, Ukrainian chef Yevhen Klopotenko tried to convince the authorities to put borscht, a traditional Ukrainian soup, forward for nomination but this caused controversy as in many places it is perceived as a Russian soup. “A lot of things have been taken away from Ukraine, but they will not take our borscht,” he said then.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson becomes Honorary Citizen of Odesa. Odesa Mayor Henadiy Trukhanov signed an order on July 1 awarding Boris Johnson with the Hryhoryia Marazly Honorary Badges of I, II, III degrees. With the order, Johnson automatically receives the title of Honorary Citizen of Odesa. Trukhanov said that if the entire world community took the same position as the people of Britain, Ukraine would have defeated Russia long ago.
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