Fierce fighting between Kiev and Moscow continues on the 166th day as more ships carrying Ukraine's grain set out for safe transportation in the Türkiye-brokered deal.

Fresh US military aid for Ukraine will also include additional Himars system missiles.
Fresh US military aid for Ukraine will also include additional Himars system missiles. (Reuters)

Monday, August 8, 2022

US announces $1B in new arms aid for Ukraine

The Pentagon has announced $1 billion in fresh military aid for Ukraine, including additional Himars system missiles that have helped Kiev's forces attack Russian troops far behind the front lines.

The package also includes more surface-to-air missiles for defence against Russian aircraft and rockets, more Javelin anti-armour rockets, and other ammunition, according to a statement from the US Department of Defense.

World Bank announces additional $4.5B in Ukraine aid

The World Bank has said it was mobilising another $4.5 billion in financial support for war-torn Ukraine.

The funds will help Kiev pay for services and pensions, key to easing economic impacts of the Russian invasion, the bank said in a statement.

"Ukraine needs continued government services, including health, education, and social protection to prevent further deterioration in living conditions and poverty," World Bank President David Malpass said.

Moscow: Kiev 'taking Europe hostage' by shelling nuclear plant

Russia accused Kiev of trying to "take Europe hostage" by shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

In a statement, Russia's foreign ministry said it wanted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the plant, Europe's largest nuclear facility, but that Kiev was blocking a potential visit. 

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling the power station in recent days.

Kremlin: No basis for meeting between Putin and Zelenskyy

The Kremlin said there was no basis for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents at the moment. 

In response to a question about Turkish proposals to broker peace talks, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy could meet only after negotiators from both sides had "done their homework."

Negotiations between Moscow and Kiev have been stalled for months, with each side blaming the other for a lack of progress.

Ukraine says it caught hitmen on Russian mission to kill top officials

Ukraine arrested two people working for Russian intelligence services who planned to kill Ukraine's defence minister and the head of its military intelligence agency, Ukraine's domestic security service, the SBU, said. 

The Security Service of Ukraine foiled the plot by the Russian GRU military intelligence agency to use a sabotage group to carry out three murders including that of a prominent Ukrainian activist, the agency said in a statement.

The suspects, one a resident of the eastern Luhansk region held by Russia-backed separatists and the other a resident of Ukraine's capital Kiev, were promised up to $150,000 by Russian handlers for the murder of each of their targets, the SBU said.

Ukraine's nuclear chief calls for military-free zone at Zaporizhzhia plant

The head of Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom has called for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be made a military-free zone, warning of the risk of a Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster after the site was hit by shelling.

He called for a team of peacekeepers to be deployed at the site in comments on television after Ukraine and Russia accused each of shelling the nuclear power plant - Europe's biggest - which lies in Russian-controlled southern Ukraine.

"The decision that we demand from the world community and all our partners...is to withdraw the invaders from the territory of the station and create a demilitarised zone on the territory of the station," Petro Kotin said on television.

Ukraine bombs key bridge at Russian-held Kherson

Ukrainian forces have bombed a strategic bridge over the Dnipro river overnight in the Russian-held city of Kherson, the army announced.

"What a night for the occupiers in the Kherson region. Strikes in the area of the Antonovskiy bridge," regional deputy Sergei Khlan wrote on Facebook.

Southern army command spokeswoman Natalia Gumeniuk confirmed the attack, saying "the firing system we have developed in recent days shows results."

Kremlin accuses Kiev of nuclear plant strike, warns of 'catastrophic consequences'

The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian forces of firing on the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant, warning against potential "catastrophic consequences" for Europe.

"The shelling of the territory of the nuclear plant by the Ukrainian armed forces is a potentially extremely dangerous activity... fraught with catastrophic consequences for a vast area, including the territory of Europe," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Finland records record refugee numbers after Ukraine conflict

Finland has registered a record number of asylum seekers following the start of Russia's attacks on Ukraine, beating a previous high set during the 2015 migrant crisis.

"By August 4, those fleeing Ukraine due to the Russian military attack had submitted 35,074 applications for temporary protection," the Finnish Immigration Service said in a statement.

More than 37,000 people are currently registered in the reception system, "which is more than ever before". The previous record in the Nordic country was 32,000, during the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe.

Medvedev: Russia will achieve its aims in Ukraine

One of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies has said that Russia would achieve its aims in the conflict in Ukraine on its own terms, warning that the West had a long-term plan to destroy Russia.

"Russia is conducting a special military operation in Ukraine and is attaining peace on our terms," former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman of Russia's security council, told TASS in an interview.

Medvedev cast the 2008 war in Georgia, the enlargement of the NATO military alliance westwards and the Ukraine offensive as part of an attempt by the United States and its allies to destroy Russia.

Any attack on a nuclear plant 'suicidal' — UN

Any attack on a nuclear plant is "suicidal", United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned after fresh reports suggesting shelling hit a huge atomic power complex in Zaporizhzhia, southern Ukraine.

The fighting on Friday at the plant has prompted the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to warn of "the very real risk of a nuclear disaster".

"Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. I hope that those attacks will end, and at the same time I hope that the IAEA will be able to access the plant."

We support the IAEA on their efforts in relation to create the conditions of stabilisation of that plant.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies