Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, August 17

Ukraine to prepare for possible attacks on Independence Day -- Explosions reported at military air base in occupied Crimea -- Russian forces launch missile attacks on Odesa Oblast -- Attacks on Russian positions in Crimea likely part of larger Ukrainian counteroffensive -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Wednesday, August 17

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Russia’s war against Ukraine


This picture taken on August 16, 2022, shows a damaged room of the State Research Institute of Coal Chemistry following a night missile strike on the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, amid the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

Dear readers, we recently launched a new newsletter, Belarus Weekly. To receive the Belarus Weekly newsletter in the future, subscribe via this link.

Zelensky explains why government didn’t warn Ukrainians about Russian invasion. In his interview with the Washington Post, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that if the authorities had warned Ukrainians about the Russian invasion in advance, Russia would have captured Ukraine in three days. According to Zelensky, chaos and panic without martial law would have led to a significant weakening of the economy and mass departure of people, which would have made the invasion easier.

Air Force: Ukraine to prepare for possible attacks on Independence Day. According to Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force Command, intelligence data shows that Russia is building up military capacity in the Belarusian territory. Ihnat also said that Russia has been using Belarus’ territory to launch missiles at Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, and Ukraine needs to be prepared for possible attacks on Aug. 24. “Independence Day, Ukraine’s big national holiday is coming soon. The enemy always uses such dates to give ‘congratulations,’ and we must be ready for this,” he said.

Explosions reported at military air base in occupied Crimea. Several explosions were heard at a military air base in the village of Hvardiiske, not far from Simferopol, on Aug. 16, Russian media Kommersant reported. According to the media, the Russian military is currently “checking the version of an attack by a small unmanned aerial vehicle on an ammunition depot (at the base).” Earlier today explosions were also reported at another Russian ammunition depot in Crimea, located in the village of Maiske.

Zaluzhnyi: Russia uses up to 60,000 rounds of ammunition daily. Valery Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said that the Russian forces carry out approximately 700-800 shellings each day. Russia’s main task is to occupy the entire Donetsk Oblast. The most intense situation is now near the settlements of Avdiivka, Pisky, and Mariinka, he added.

Official: Russian forces launch missile attacks on Odesa Oblast. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for Odesa Oblast’s administration, reported that Russian forces have launched several missiles at the region. Details are reportedly being clarified.

Zelensky: EU visa ban for Russians is the only way to influence Putin. “This is the only way to influence Putin. Because this person has no other fear but the fear for his life. And his life depends on whether he is threatened by his internal population or not. Nothing else is threatening to him,“ President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Washington Post.

Institute for the Study of War: Attacks on Russian positions in Crimea likely part of larger Ukrainian counteroffensive. The U.S. think tank reported that the explosions near Russian positions in and around Crimea on Aug. 16 are “likely part of a coherent Ukrainian counter-offensive to regain control of the west bank of the Dnipro River.” While Ukraine has not confirmed involvement, the ISW suggests Ukraine’s targeting of Russian positions in Crimea is consistent with other efforts to disrupt Russian supply lines directly supporting Russian forces further within Ukraine.

A massive cyberattack hits Ukraine’s nuclear monopoly. Energoatom said that the cyberattack was conducted from Russia. Over seven million bots were simulating hundreds of millions of pageviews of Energoatom’s home page for three hours, the state nuclear power company said.

UK intelligence: Russia’s Black Sea Fleet struggles to ‘exercise effective sea control.’ The U.K. Defense Ministry said on Aug. 16 that surface vessels of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet continue to pursue an “extremely defensive posture,” with patrols generally limited to waters within sight of the Crimean coast, which contrasts with typical for this time of year “heightened Russian naval activity in other seas.” According to the ministry, the current “limited effectiveness” of the Black Sea Fleet undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy, “in part because the amphibious threat to Odesa has now been largely neutralized.” “This means Ukraine can divert resources to press Russian ground forces elsewhere,” the ministry said.

Read our exclusives here

A series of explosions were reported in the northern part of Russian-occupied Crimea early on Aug. 16. According to the Crimea Inform news site, a fire broke out at a transformer substation in the town of Dzhankoi, and in the nearby village of Maiske ammunition detonated at a depot. Find out more about situation in Crimea from our story.

Martial law, introduced on Feb. 24 and extended until Nov. 21, prohibits Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, except under special circumstances. It created a dilemma: whether to allow the country’s male tech specialists to temporarily leave the country during the war. As IT industry is one of the few that still brings in money for the country, tech industry representatives hope some solution could be find. Read our story on what does Ukraine’s tech industry need to survive Russia’s war.

The human cost of Russia’s war

1 person killed, 10 injured in Russian shelling of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovska Oblast, Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. In both cities, residential areas were targeted, according to reports from the governors of the two oblasts. According to the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor, a residential area in Nikopol suffered 30 artillery hits in just one attack.

Body of civilian killed by Russian forces 5 months ago discovered in Kyiv Oblast. The person was killed by Russian troops during their march on Kyiv in February, according to Andriy Nebytov, the chief of police in Kyiv Oblast. A man, his wife and their 17-year-old son were killed when Russian soldiers shot at their car. The bodies of two members of this family were found in April, and on Aug. 15, a third body was found and identified. The family’s 5-year-old daughter was hit in the head by a bullet, but the doctors managed to save her life.

Bodies of 19 fallen soldiers return to Ukraine. The Ministry for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories reported on Aug. 16 that Ukraine had returned the bodies of 19 more fallen defenders. Details have not been disclosed. According to Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, as of July 3, Ukraine has returned the bodies of more than 400 fallen defenders since the beginning of the full-scale war with Russia.

Governor: Russian forces kill 2, injure 7 in Donetsk Oblast on Aug. 16. Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported that Russian forces killed two people in the communities of Avdiivka and Zaitseve. These numbers do not include casualties in Russian-occupied Mariupol and Volnovakha.

1 killed, 8 injured in Russian shelling of Kharkiv. According to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov, one of the largest shellings of Kharkiv occurred on Aug. 16. Russian rockets damaged houses and roads.

International response

Lithuanian FM: EU should only issue humanitarian visas to Russians. According to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania has stopped issuing all visas to Russian tourists and only issues visas for humanitarian reasons, Deutsche Welle reported. Landsbergis believes the countries of the European Union should follow the example of Lithuania and introduce a visa ban for Russian tourists.

Finland limits visas to Russians. According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, Finland will cut the number of visas issued to Russians to 10% of the current amount starting Sept. 1, Reuters reported. Haavisto said Russians were using Finland and its Helsinki-Vantaa airport to access other European holiday destinations.

Estonia removes Soviet WWII monuments. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said the move is intended to prevent their use by Russia to sew disinformation and stoke tensions amongst the Estonian population, nearly a quarter of which are Russian speakers. “We know the Russian Federation and its security services want to foment tensions here in Estonia,” she said. “Hostile forces have always used the monuments to spread disinformation.”

In other news

Ukraine wins 8 gold medals at European Aquatics Championships. The Ukrainian artistic swimming team “triumphantly” completed its performance at the 2022 European Aquatics Championship, having won a gold medal in every discipline it had participated in, according to Vadym Gutzeit, Ukraine’s sports minister. According to the Suspilne media outlet, Ukrainian female swimmers have won in the competition’s medal count for the first time in history. “Such incredible achievements are inspiring. They give a feeling of victory and pride to Ukrainians!” Gutzeit said.

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Alisa Soboleva, Alexander Khrebet, Toma Istomina, Olga Rudenko, Asami Terajima, Daria Shulzhenko, Oleksiy Sorokin, Teah Pelechaty, Olena Goncharova, and Sergiy Slipchenko.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.