Ukraine war – voices and developments: “If the dynamics don’t change, you have to ask yourself whether that was it”

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There have been explosions near Moscow, the authorities are declaring a disaster. Several people died in an attack on Zaporizhia. A military expert sees no success in the Ukrainian offensive – if the dynamics do not change. All news about the war against Ukraine in the ticker.

Injured by Russian shelling during aid distribution in Kherson

3 p.m.: According to official sources, at least six people were injured by Russian fire during the distribution of humanitarian aid in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. One of the victims in the village of Biloserka suffered serious injuries, the head of the regional military administration, Olexander Prokudin, said on Telegram on Thursday. The people were then taken to a hospital.

According to Prokudin, Russia shelled the Kherson region a total of 65 times over the past 24 hours. In the process, 16 projectiles are said to have hit the district capital of the same name alone. Information from the war zone often cannot be checked directly independently. However, the Russian occupiers, who are stationed on the other side of the Dnipro River, regularly shell the Ukrainian-controlled part. Again and again there are civilian victims.

Violent attacks on Kupyansk – Ukraine evacuates 37 places

12:44 p.m.: In the face of fierce fighting near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kupyansk, the Ukrainian authorities have ordered the evacuation of 37 towns in the region. According to a list published by the city’s military administration on Thursday, these include smaller villages in the northern and southern outskirts as well as parts of the city on the east bank of the Oskil River. More than 11,000 people, including 600 children, were affected, wrote the head of the regional military administration, Oleh Synyehubov.

Ukraine liberated the city of Kupyansk in the Kharkov region from Russian occupation last year. The city and the surrounding area were then repeatedly the target of Russian shelling. On Thursday night, a Fab-25 aerial bomb is said to have damaged the city administration building, as Synyehubov reported on his Telegram channel. In addition, two civilians are said to have been injured by Russian fire that same night in the village of Kindrashivka, just a few kilometers away. The village is now also on the list of towns to be evacuated.

Russian attacks were also reported far away from the front in western Ukraine. According to the local authorities, an oil depot near Dubno in the Rivne region was destroyed by a Russian drone attack during the night.

According to the Ukrainian air force, Russia deployed ten Iranian-made kamikaze drones against the neighboring country during the night. Seven of them were shot down by the air defenses. Information from the war zone often cannot be checked directly independently.

Military Expert: “If the dynamic doesn’t change, you have to ask yourself if that’s it”

11.20 a.m.: The Ukrainian army has changed tactics in its counter-offensive. The Russian army is to be worn out. But Ukraine can hardly regain territory. “We don’t know exactly how much the Russian troops have already been worn out,” military expert Michael Kofman told the Tagesspiegel in an interview. Recaptures by Ukraine are therefore still possible, “but at a slower pace. That would be the optimistic view.”

According to Kofman, Ukraine deployed the second squadron of US-trained brigades. “If, after two months of fighting and attrition, the dynamics of the battlefield don’t change much over the next few weeks, you have to ask yourself, will that be it and will we continue with minor territory gains,” Kofman said.

Kofman sees three criteria for the success of the Ukrainian offensive: the liberation of a large part of the territory, at best as far as the Sea of ​​Azov, the impression of a defeated Russian army, and proof that Ukraine can conduct war efficiently with Western-trained brigades without just looking at attrition to put. “So far, only the latter has clearly failed.”

Three dead in air raid on Zaporizhia

8:42 p.m.: At least three people were killed in a Russian airstrike on the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia on Wednesday, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He expressed his condolences to the family. Russia will be sentenced for such crimes, the head of state wrote on Telegram.

According to information from the city near the front in southern Ukraine, a residential area was hit. A church and several small shops were damaged. The Ukrainian side did not provide any information about the type of weapon used to shell the city. Russia has been waging a war of aggression against its neighbor for 17 months.

Explosion near Moscow: Authorities declare a disaster

7:03 p.m.: After a violent explosion on the site of a suspected armaments factory near Moscow, the Russian authorities declared a disaster on Wednesday. This was announced by the city administration of Sergiyev Posad, a city about 70 kilometers northeast of the capital. The official number of injured rose to 56 by the evening. One worker at the plant died of her injuries, according to state media reports. Five other injured are said to be in mortal danger. Eight people have not yet been found, mayor Dmitry Akulov said, according to the Interfax agency.

Photos and videos showed a large column of smoke rising over the city in the morning. There was speculation on the Internet that the Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Plant (SOMS) was the target of a drone attack. The company manufactures optical equipment for military use. According to Russian authorities, the explosion happened in a warehouse of the pyrotechnics manufacturer Piro-Ross. The company was founded in 1994 by four armaments companies. According to the address, the company is located on the SOMS site.

The city administration spoke of a violation of security measures as the cause. The version of a drone attack was rejected by official bodies, and the information cannot be independently verified. Russia has been systematically shelling the neighboring country’s territory since the start of its war of aggression against Ukraine 17 months ago. For several months there have been suspected Ukrainian counterattacks with drones, which have hit border regions, but also Moscow.

Moscow announces “reasonable response” to Western threats

6:46 p.m.: Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has warned of increasing “threats” from the West. These required a “quick and appropriate response,” he said Wednesday at a meeting with senior military officials. Shoigu named the “indirect war” that the West is waging against Russia through the support of Kiev as the greatest threat.

“The West’s willingness to invest a significant part of its resources in Ukraine in order to reverse the situation on the battlefield creates serious risks for the conflict to escalate,” Shoigu said.

Schoigu also called Finland’s accession to NATO and Sweden’s impending accession a “serious factor in destabilization”. This would double the land borders between Russia and the defense alliance. In addition, the Russian defense minister accused Poland of wanting to recapture areas in western Ukraine.

The Russian authorities meanwhile reported that one person died and four were injured in the bombing of a community on the border with Ukraine. Five grenades exploded near a school in the center of Gorkowski. According to Moscow, the border region around the city of Belgorod is regularly shelled by the Ukrainian armed forces and attacked by drones.

Wagner mercenaries from Belarus apparently sent back to Russia – “on vacation”

12.40 p.m.: Are the soldiers of the Wagner group being systematically expelled from Belarus? News on Telegram channel “VChK-OGPU” from which British military historian Chris Owen Twitter cited at least suggest so. Accordingly, in the past few days, they had been taken by bus in groups of 500 to 600 people to Voronezh, Rostov and Krasnodar in Russia. Now the first phase of the withdrawal ends, the second begins after August 13th.

The responsibility for this lies with the ruler Alexander Lukashenko. This should refuse to be further involved in the financing of the mercenaries. Instead, the Russian Federation must take care of this itself. For fighters who are currently not needed for new missions such as in Libya, it is therefore first going back to Russia. Only a small group of trainers will remain in Belarus.

Officially, it is communicated that they want to “send the fighters on vacation”. However, a return to Belarus is not planned. Instead, the fighters are recommended to stay in contact with the mercenary group and to be available for new missions.

After a failed mutiny by Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, thousands of gunmen were sent to the neighboring country, where their status and role are unclear. The military in Poland and Lithuania recently estimated that there are around 4,000 Wagner fighters in Belarus.

Knowledge of the Ukraine war: Russia under Putin

London: Drones increasingly important in naval warfare

11:00 a.m.: According to British assessments, Ukrainian sea drones remain a threat to Russia. The British Ministry of Defense looked at the attacks against the Russian tanker “Sig” and the landing ship “Olenegorski Gornjak” in its daily update on Wednesday. The British wrote on Twitter that an attack on Russian patrol boats, which were probably escorting the Russian merchant ship “Sparta IV”, had apparently also been foiled beforehand.

Although the ships are flying civil flags, the “Sparta IV” and the “Sig” have long been tasked with transporting fuel and military goods between Russia and Syria, it said. Since Russian military ships have been unable to transit the Bosphorus since February 28, 2022, Russian forces in Syria and the Mediterranean are dependent on the “Sig”, the “Sparta IV” and a handful of other civilian ships.

“The attacks show that UAV operations are fast becoming an important part of modern naval warfare and can be deployed against vulnerabilities in Russia’s sea supply routes,” the ministry wrote in London.

You can read more news about the war in Ukraine on the following pages.

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