Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told officials to stop talking to reporters about Kyiv’s military tactics against Russia, saying such remarks were “frankly irresponsible”. The president’s comments come after news outlets quoted unidentified officials as saying Ukrainian forces were responsible for explosions that destroyed a Russian airbase in Crimea on Tuesday, though Kyiv declined to say whether it was the cause. origin of the explosions.
The devastation at the Russian airbase in Crimea suggests that Kyiv may have gained a new long-range strike capability that could change the tide of the war. The base is well beyond the range of the advanced rockets Western nations admit they have sent into Ukraine so far, with some Western military experts saying the scale of the damage and the apparent accuracy of the strike suggested a powerful new capability with potentially important implications.
The UN has called for a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of further bombing the plant Thursday. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company said it was bombed five times by Russian forces on Thursday, which left staff unable to change shifts. However, Russian news agency Tass reported that Russian-imposed local authorities in occupied Zaporizhzhia said the factory had come under fire from Ukrainian forces. Ukraine’s Energoatom agency said the plant was operating normally.
US backs calls for demilitarized zone around Zaporizhzhia plant after fighting involving Russian and Ukrainian forces near planta State Department spokesperson said Thursday. “Fighting near a nuclear power plant is dangerous and irresponsible and we continue to call on Russia to cease all military operations in or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities and to return full control to Ukraine, and to support the Ukrainian calls for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear power plant,” the spokesperson said.
The British Defense Secretary has said that Vladimir Putin now has little chance of succeeding in occupying Ukraine. Ben Wallace says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has ‘weakened’ and ‘started to fail’ as he pledges more financial and military support for the Eastern European nation’s defense .
Russia doubled the number of airstrikes against military positions and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine compared to the previous week, Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov said Thursday. “Enemy planes and helicopters avoid flying within the range of our air defenses, and therefore the accuracy of these strikes is low,” he told a news conference.
Ukraine aims to evacuate two-thirds of people from areas it controls in the eastern battlefield region of Donetsk before winter, partly out of fear that people will not be able to stay warm amid war-damaged infrastructure, the deputy prime minister said on Thursday. The government plans to evacuate some 220,000 people out of an estimated 350,000, including 52,000 children, Iryna Vereshchuk told a news conference.
Ukraine expects a ship to arrive on Friday to load grain for delivery to Ethiopia under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, Reuters reports.
Ukraine expects $3 billion in US financial aid to arrive in August and another $1.5 billion in September, said its finance minister, Serhiy Marchenko, on Thursday. Marchenko said the payments were part of the $7.5 billion financial aid package agreed by Ukraine and the United States earlier this summer and would be used to finance “critical expenditures” such as health care and pensions.
Belarus said explosions heard overnight at one of its military bases 30 km from Ukraine were caused by a “technical incident”. At least eight explosions were heard after midnight near Zyabrovka military airport, according to reports on Telegram Messenger. Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.
McDonald’s will begin reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine in the coming months, in a show of support after the withdrawal of the American fast food chain from Russia. The burger giant closed its Ukrainian restaurants after the Russian invasion nearly six months ago, but continued to pay more than 10,000 McDonald’s employees in the country.