LIVE TEXT The war in Ukraine, day 169. The Russians continue to kill civilians daily, including children / Latvia declares Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, Moscow’s reply / Mass evacuations decreed for the regions of Zaporozhye, Kherson and Kharkiv

Kyiv, mass evacuation from Zaporozhye, Kherson and Kharkiv

Kiev ordered the forced evacuation of the population, as well as from Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson and Kharkiv regions. Deputy Prime Minister Irina Veresciuk announced this on Telegram, without specifying how Kiev intends to proceed with the evacuations.

Zelensky: risk of nuclear disaster in Zaporozhye

“Russia is a terrorist state that has taken the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant hostage as a blackmail weapon,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking on video at the donors’ conference in Copenhagen. “In Zaporozhye”, he warned, “there is a risk of a nuclear disaster like the one at Chernobyl in 1986, we must protect Europe from this threat”.

The Russians continue their attacks on civilians. Several dead and injured, including a child, following a bombing in the Dnipropetrovsk region

At least two people have been killed and nine others injured, including a 13-year-old girl, after Russian forces bombed the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk. The attack took place in the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

The governor of Dnipropetrovsk, Valentin Reznichenko, said on Telegram that more than a hundred Russian missiles hit four districts in the region, Nikopol, Chervonohrihorivska, Kryvorizka and Synelniky, damaging dozens of buildings and leaving thousands of residents without electricity.

Latvia’s parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”

The Latvian parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” because of attacks on civilians in Ukraine, according to CNN.

Latvia’s unicameral parliament met on Thursday, and lawmakers decided to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism.” The decision was made following attacks on civilians during the war in Ukraine.

“The Sejm adopted a statement regarding Russia’s targeted military attacks against civilians and public areas in Ukraine, recognizing Russia’s violence against civilians as terrorism and Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism,” the representatives of the Latvian Parliament announced on Thursday.

Latvian MPs also urged EU countries to immediately stop issuing tourist and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.

Fire in Belarus, near the border with Ukraine. Authorities say a piece of equipment caught fire

The fire that broke out overnight at a Belarusian air base near the border with Ukraine was caused by equipment that caught fire, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The statement was issued in response to reports of lights and noises at Zyabrovka Air Base, near the southeastern city of Gomel.

“There are no victims. The staff took the respective measures on time,” the statement says.

Belarus is one of Russia’s closest allies and played a key role in the invasion of Ukraine.

The Institute for the Study of War (think tank from the USA) sends a report on the situation of the war in Ukraine

Russian officials remain confused about the Aug. 9 attack on the Saki air base in Russian-held Crimea, more than 140 miles (225 km) behind Russian lines, which destroyed at least eight Russian planes and several buildings.

The changing plans of the Kremlin suggest that the occupation forces most likely they will postpone the date of the so-called annexation referendum of the occupied territories. The annexation makes it harder to imagine any negotiated settlement of the war on any terms that Ukraine or the West could accept. This shows that the Kremlin is not serious about anything other than the surrender of Ukraine to end the war.

Iran has begun training Russian forces with Iranian drones in recent weeks, demonstrating the deepening military cooperation between Iran and Russia.

Russian forces carried out ground attacks west of Izyum. The soldiers conducted limited ground attacks northeast and west of Bakhmut and probably made marginal gains in these areas.

The invaders have made marginal gains northwest of Donetsk city and are continuing attempts to push northwest from their current strongholds on the outskirts of Donetsk city.

The Russians then led several unsuccessful offensives north and northeast of the city of Harkiv/Harkov. At the same time, they carried out an unsuccessful reconnaissance operation in the northwest of the Kherson region.

The Ukrainian army says it has repelled Russian attacks in several localities in Donetsk and near the city of Kharkiv

The Ukrainian army says it has managed to prevent the Russian advance towards the towns of Avdiivka and Bakhmut in Donetsk, as well as near the city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian General Staff announced on Wednesday evening, according to CNN.

“Russia tried to advance in the areas of the settlements of Bahmut, Kodema, Spirne, Yakovlivka and Soledar with offensive and assault actions, it did not succeed, it retreated”, stated the general staff.

The General Staff said Russia continued to use artillery to try to attack Ukrainian lines accusing Moscow of targeting civilian infrastructure.

The Ukrainian army said that Russian forces also tried to advance on certain positions around Kharkiv to “improve their tactical position”, but failed.

“Ukrainian soldiers inflicted significant losses on the invaders and forced them to flee back,” the Ukrainian General Staff said.

Ukraine aims to liberate Kherson occupied by the Russians in the shortest possible time

A senior Ukrainian commander said the goal is to liberate the Kherson region by the end of the year.

“Unfortunately, I cannot give you a deadline or a date. But I want to convey to the residents of Kherson … it will not take as long as everyone expects. It will be quick,” said Major General Dmytro Marchenko in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

Asked if the objective is to liberate Kherson by the end of the year, Marchenko replied: “100%”, specifying that it is the objective of ending the Russian occupation in Kherson and “the end of the active phase of the war”.

“And then there will be some local military operations. But by the end of the year we have to finish the main phase of this war,” he added.

Marchenko also insisted that Ukraine intends to liberate Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

“Crimea is Ukraine. It is our land, there are our people, who are still forced to live under occupation. Nobody gave Russia the right to come, take a piece of land and say that ‘this is a mine’. We will retake Crimea, just as we will retake Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk,” he declared.

Initial news

Ukraine said 13 people were killed and 10 wounded when Russia fired rockets at the town of Marhanets. “The armed forces of Ukraine, our intelligence services and our law enforcement agencies will not let today’s Russian bombing of the Dnipropetrovsk region go unanswered“, Zelenski declared in a night speech, informs Reuters.

The attack, he said, underscored the need for allies to provide more powerful weapons to the Ukrainian military. “The more losses the occupiers suffer, the faster we will be able to liberate our country and ensure the security of Ukraine,” he said.

“All those who defend our state and help Ukraine should think about this, how to inflict the greatest possible losses on the occupiers in order to shorten the war.”

The war that began with the invasion of its neighbor by Russian forces on February 24 has displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians and left cities, towns and villages in ruins. Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian forces of attacks on civilians and war crimes, charges Russia denies.

  • Meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant
  • At least six people were killed, and others were injured, following the Russian bombing of the Ukrainian city of Bahmut
  • The group of G7 countries accuses Moscow of “endangering” the Ukrainian region around the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, occupied by Russian troops, and demands the return of the plant to Ukrainian officials
  • Creditors of Ukraine accept the two-year freeze of the debt of 20 billion dollars abroad
  • The administration in Beijing confirmed, on Wednesday, the intensification of relations with Moscow and accused Washington of being the “initiator” and the “main instigator” in the conflict in Ukraine
  • Polish schools are set to receive up to 300,000 Ukrainian refugee children in the new school year starting in September
  • Putin recruits from the prisons to strengthen his army
  • By the end of the summer, a first Russian war tribunal will be established in Mariupol to try “Ukrainian nationalists”, including soldiers from the Azov Battalion
  • Ukrainian special forces are behind the explosion at the Saki airbase in Crimea that killed one person and injured 13 others, a senior military official in Kyiv has told Sky News

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