Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, August 12

Russia must withdraw from nuclear plant to restore Europe's security -- Russia plans sham 'trial' for Ukrainian POWS in occupied Mariupol -- Russia working on campaign to discredit Zelensky -- Ukraine repels Russia’s offensive towards Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Friday, August 12

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


A damaged building following a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Kharkiv Oblast, on Aug. 11, 2022. (Photo by Abdullah Unver/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Zelensky: Russia must withdraw from nuclear plant to restore Europe’s security. “Russia has hit a new low in the global history of terrorism,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the nation. “Nobody else has used a nuclear power plant so brazenly to threaten the whole world and demand some conditions.” He said that Europe’s nuclear security can only be restored if Russia withdraws from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Russian-occupied Enerhodar. “This is a global interest, not just a need for Ukraine,” Zelensky said. Russia has effectively used the nuclear plant as a shield and a tool of blackmail, constantly shelling Ukrainian positions from the plant’s territory.

Amnesty International refutes allegations of interviewing people in Russian ‘filtration camps.’ Amnesty International wrote that the allegations from Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security “have no basis and are entirely false” in an official response released on Aug. 11. Earlier, the Center has accused the organization of interviewing people in Russian “filtration camps” to obtain information for its investigation on Ukraine published on Aug. 4. “Our researchers interviewed all of the witnesses whose testimonies we used themselves, in Ukraine-controlled territories. All testimonies were given to us voluntarily and in safe conditions,” the official response reads.

UK intelligence: Russia unlikely to fulfill export orders for armored fighting vehicles. According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, even though Russia has long considered its defense industry as one of its “most important export successes,” its military-industrial capacity is now under “significant strain,” and the credibility of “many of its weapon systems has been undermined by their association with Russian forces’ poor performance” in the war in Ukraine, the ministry said.

Mayor: Russia plans sham ‘trial’ for Ukrainian POWS in occupied Mariupol. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Aug. 11 that Russians plan to hold a sham “trial” of Ukrainian prisoners of war at a local philharmonic in Russian-occupied Mariupol on Aug. 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day. According to Boychenko, there are over 10,000 Ukrainians in Russian-controlled prisons across Mariupol, and many of them are soldiers.

Kremlin opposes the idea of Switzerland representing Ukraine in Russia. Ivan Nechaev, spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that Moscow rejected Kyiv’s idea for Switzerland to officially represent Ukraine in Russia, saying that the Kremlin no longer considers Switzerland a neutral country. A day prior, Kyiv appealed to Switzerland to represent its interests in Russia and help protect Ukrainian citizens in the country.

Intelligence: Russia working on campaign to discredit Zelensky. According to the Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate, Russia has created a new structure affiliated with the Russian special service, the main task of which is to ruin President Volodymyr Zelensky’s image abroad. As part of the plan, Russia aims to create a website of a fake Zelensky foundation, inviting foreigners to join its activities.

General Staff: Ukraine repels Russia’s offensive towards Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Aug. 11 that Russian troops suffered losses and were forced to retreat after their “unsuccessful” attempt to advance near the villages of Bakhmutske and Zaitseve, not far from the city of Bakhmut. However, hostilities continue in the areas of Vershyna and Dacha settlements in the Bakhmut district, the military said.

UK Defense Secretary: Russia’s invasion falters, starts to fail. U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Russia’s invasion had “faltered” and was “starting to fail” in a press conference on Aug. 11. “Russia is starting to fail in many areas. They have failed so far and are unlikely to ever succeed in occupying Ukraine,” Wallace said. The press conference with the U.K., Danish, and Ukrainian defense ministers followed the international donors conference where the two countries announced additional military aid for Ukraine.

Read our exclusives here

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya learned of Russia’s war against his country in the middle of a UN Security Council session. When Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine and rockets started raining down on Ukrainian cities around 5 a.m. Kyiv time, it was late evening in New York, where the UN is headquartered. Read our story here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Update: 3 people killed, 9 injured in Russian attack on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Following Russia’s overnight attack on the Nikopolsky district, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported that one more person was found dead under the rubble in the city of Nikopol on the morning of Aug. 11. Russian troops shelled the district with Grad missile launchers, damaging at least 40 multistorey buildings, three schools, multiple vehicles, and shops, Reznichenko said earlier.

Governor: Russian attacks killed 11 civilians in Donetsk Oblast on Aug. 10. Six people were killed in Bakhmut, three in Soledar, and others in Krasnohorivka and Avdiivka, according to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Eight people were injured, Kyrylenko said.

General Staff: Russia has lost 43,000 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Aug. 11 that Russia had also lost 1,846 tanks, 4,100 armored fighting vehicles, 3,018 vehicles and fuel tanks, 974 artillery systems, 261 multiple launch rocket systems, 134 air defense systems, 232 airplanes, 193 helicopters, 772 drones, and 15 boats.

International response

Northern European countries agree to allocate 1.5 billion euros to support Ukraine. Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov said at a donor conference in Copenhagen that the funds can be spent on weapons and military training. The participants of the conference also agreed that Iceland would spearhead a demining project in Ukraine. “The struggle of Ukraine is our struggle,” Bodskov said.

Latvia recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to the Latvian public broadcaster LSM, the country’s parliament, Saeima, issued a statement on Aug. 11 in which they recognize Russian violence against civilians in Ukraine as terrorism and Russia as a country sponsoring terrorism. Saeima also called on the EU countries to “immediately suspend the issuance of tourism and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens,” LSM reported citing the statement.

Estonia to bar entry to Russians with Estonian-issued Schengen visas. According to the Estonian government, the rule doesn’t affect permanent residents, employees directly involved in the transportation of goods and passengers, Russian embassy employees and their family members, and people vising close relatives. The decision will enter into effect on Aug. 18.

Scholz opposes idea of EU-wide entry ban for Russians. “This is (Vladimir) Putin’s war. And that’s why I have a hard time with this idea,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Aug. 11. Scholz said that punitive measures should be aimed at people who make decisions in Moscow rather than all Russians. Contrary, the Estonian government announced that it would not allow most Russians with Estonian-issued Schengen visas to enter the country starting on Aug. 18.

US backs creating demilitarized zone around Russian-occupied nuclear plant. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that fighting near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Russian-occupied Enerhodar is “dangerous and irresponsible” and urged Russian forces to cease “all military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the “withdrawal of any military personnel and equipment from the plant“ and said that continued fighting there may lead to a disaster. Russia has effectively used the nuclear plant as a shield and a tool of blackmail, constantly shelling Ukrainian positions from the plant’s territory.

UK, Denmark to provide Ukraine with more military aid. The U.K. plans to send more multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine, as well as a “significant number” of the precision-guided M31A1 missiles “that can strike targets up to 80 kilometers away,” U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Aug. 11, as reported by Reuters. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Denmark will increase its aid to Ukraine by 110 million euros, which will be spent on weapons procurement, support of weapons production, and the supplies of Danish weapons and military equipment.

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