Ukraine calls on the West to impose a blanket travel ban on Russians as angry Moscow steps up its fierce military offensive against Kiev on the 168th day of the conflict.

Russia has intensified attacks near the cities of Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region in recent days.
Russia has intensified attacks near the cities of Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region in recent days. (AFP PHOTO / UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY SERVICE)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Six killed in Russian strikes on eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut

Russian strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut have killed at least six people and left three others injured, the regional governor said.

"The Russians bombed the city with a multiple rocket launcher, hitting a residential area.

According to initial information, 12 residential buildings have been damaged and four are on fire," Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

First Ukrainian wheat shipments expected next week: UN

The first wheat since the conflict should ship next week from Ukraine under a landmark deal also signed by Russia aimed at tackling the global food crisis, a top UN official has said.

The first 12 ships to leave the three Black Sea ports designated by the agreement were carrying 370,000 tonnes of corn and foodstuffs, according to Frederick Kenney, interim UN coordinator at the joint centre in Istanbul overseeing the deal.

The ships have been docked in Ukraine since Russia began its offensive in February. Once all the ships carrying corn and foodstuffs leave their ports, new ones can come in to pick up wheat that has accumulated with this year's harvest, Kenney said.

Georgia troops return after deploying amid conflict in Ukraine

More than 3,800 army soldiers are returning to Georgia five months after their rapid deployment to Europe after Russia started its offensive in Ukraine.

The soldiers from Georgia went to Germany to train alongside NATO allies in a show of force intended to deter further Russian aggression in Europe. Fort Stewart commanders say the rest of the 1st Brigade should be home by the end of August.

The US military is sending another unit to take its place - the 3rd Armored Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Estonia protests Russia's 'unacceptable' violation of its airspace

Estonia has summoned the Russian ambassador and formally protested the violation of its airspace by a Russian helicopter on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.

"Estonia considers this an extremely serious and regrettable incident that is completely unacceptable," the ministry said in a release, saying the helicopter had flown over a point in the southeast of the small Baltic nation without permission.

Estonia made an identical complaint to Moscow in June.

Ukraine's creditors agree to payment freeze on international bonds

Ukraine's overseas creditors have backed its request for a two-year freeze on payments on almost $20 billion in international bonds, according to a regulatory filing, a move that will allow the war-torn country to avoid a debt default.

With no sign of peace or a ceasefire on the horizon nearly six months after Russia's offensive began on February 24, bondholders have agreed to postpone sovereign interest and capital payments for 13 Ukrainian sovereign bonds maturing between 2022 and 2033.

The government in Kiev launched a consent solicitation, which is a formal request to agree with creditors on changes to sovereign debt contracts, on July 20. 

Ukraine says nine Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts

Ukraine's air force has said that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in massive explosions at an air base in Crimea amid speculation they were the result of a Ukrainian attack that would represent a significant escalation in the conflict.

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday's blasts — or that any attack took place.

Ukrainian officials have stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while poking fun at Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused munitions at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up.

Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume

Oil shipments from Russia through a critical pipeline to several European countries should resume soon after a problem over payments for transit was resolved, Slovakia’s Economy Minister Richard Sulik has said.

“I expect the oil shipments to resume in hours,” Sulik said. Russian state pipeline operator Transneft cited complications due to European Union sanctions for its action on August 4, saying its payment to the company’s Ukrainian counterpart was refused.

Sulik said the payments would be made Wednesday by Slovak refiner Slovnaft after both the Russian and Ukrainian sides agreed to the solution. Slovnaft is owned by Hungary’s MOL energy group.

Denmark to train Ukrainian soldiers in UK

Denmark will send military instructors to Britain to help train Ukrainian soldiers and also offer to train Ukrainian officers on its soil, the Danish defence ministry has said.

The announcement preceded a conference in Copenhagen on Thursday when British, Danish and Ukrainian defence ministers are expected to discuss long-term support for Ukraine, including military training, mine clearance and weapons supplies.

"Denmark will support a British-led training project with 130 Danish soldiers and at the same time offer to train Ukrainian soldiers in Denmark," a ministry statement said.

Deadly Russian strikes hit Dnipropetrovsk - local governor

At least 13 civilians have been killed by Russian strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine, the local governor says.

"It was a terrible night. 11 people were killed," Governor Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram, adding in a later post that two more people had died of their injuries overnight.

Reznychenko initially put the casualties at 21, with 11 killed in the district of Nikopol and 10 in Marganets, but said in a subsequent message on the Telegram messaging app that 11 was the total number, without clarifying which initial details were incorrect.

G7: Russian control of Ukraine nuclear plant endangers region

The Group of Seven industrialised nations has condemned Russia's occupation of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and called on Moscow to immediately hand back full control of the plant to Ukraine.

Ukrainian staff operating the plant "must be able to carry out their duties without threats or pressure. It is Russia's continued control of the plant that endangers the region," the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.

Philippines cancels Russia helicopter deal over US sanctions

The Philippines has scrapped an order for 16 Russian military helicopters, an official confirmed, following reports former president Rodrigo Duterte decided to cancel it due to US sanctions on Moscow.

Manila — a longtime Washington ally — agreed in November to pay $228 million for the Mi-17 helicopters, as it seeks to modernise its military hardware.

The United States and its allies imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Moscow in the wake of its attacks on Ukraine.

Ukraine: Russia trying to connect Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to Crimea

Russian forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeast Ukraine are preparing to connect to Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and are damaging it by reorienting its electricity production, Ukrainian operator Energoatom has warned.

"The Russian military present at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is implementing the programme of (Russian operator) Rosatom aimed at connecting the plant to the Crimean electricity grid," Energoatom president Petro Kotin told Ukrainian television.

"To do this, you must first damage the power lines of the plant connected to the Ukrainian energy system. From August 7 to 9, the Russians have already damaged three power lines. At the moment, the plant is operating with only one production line, which is an extremely dangerous way of working," he said.

"When the last production line is disconnected, the plant will be powered by generators running on diesel. Everything will then depend on their reliability and fuel stocks," Kotin warned.

Russian airbase explosions could be the work of 'partisan saboteurs'

A senior Ukrainian official has suggested a series of explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea could have been the work of partisan saboteurs, as Kiev denied any responsibility for the incident deep inside Russian-occupied territory.

The adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also suggested Russian incompetence as a possible cause of Tuesday's blasts. They killed one civilian and injured eight, according to the health department in Russia-annexed Crimea.

Mykhailo Podolyak, asked by the Dozhd online television channel whether Kiev was responsible, replied: "Of course not. What do we have to do with this?"

For live updates from Tuesday (August 9), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies