- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
An armed Russian serviceman is seen on the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant located in the steppe zone on the shore of the Kakhovsky reservoir in the city of Energodar - Sputnik International

UPDATES: Six Biggest European Countries Made No New Military Pledges for Ukraine in July

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In February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics appealed for help to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops.
The Russian Armed Forces as well as allied forces of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk are continuing to advance as part of the special operation in Ukraine. However, Kiev's forces persist in their attacks on the territory of Donbass, targeting civilians.
Earlier this month, the head of the Zaporozhye region signed a decree on holding a referendum to join Russia.
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02:58 GMT 18.08.2022
Six Biggest European Countries Made No New Military Pledges for Ukraine in July - Reports
The six biggest European countries made no new military pledges for Ukraine in July for the first time since the start of the Russian military operation, media reported.
Moreover, the EU countries have been reducing their military commitments for Ukraine since April, Politico reported, citing the Ukraine Support Tracker of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
“Despite the war entering a critical phase, new aid initiatives have dried up,” the head of the team in charge of the Ukraine Support Tracker, Christoph Trebesch, said, as quoted by Politico.
The United States, the EU nations and some their allies took a tough stance toward Russia over the military operation as well as provided Ukraine with massive military support.
01:22 GMT 18.08.2022
Total of 53 Foreign Vessels Still Blocked in Ukrainian Ports - Russian Defense Ministry
Fifty-three foreign vessels from 14 countries are still blocked in six ports of Ukraine, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said.
"In six ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odesa and Yuzhne), 53 foreign ships from 14 states remain blocked," Col. Gen. Mizintsev said.
He said that under the UN-brokered grain deal, since August 1, 2022, a total of 21 vessels have left Ukrainian ports, 563,318 tonnes of food have been exported, including: 451,481 tonnes of corn, 50,301 tonnes of flour, 11,000 tonnes of soybeans, 6,000 tonnes of sunflower oil, 41,622 tonnes of wheat and 2,914 tonnes of sunflower.
00:03 GMT 18.08.2022
Kiev understates losses, which reached about 200 thousand people - militia commander
23:40 GMT 17.08.2022
Russia Supplied Some 56,500 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine, Donbas - Ministry
Since March 2, Russia has delivered about 56,500 tonnes of humanitarian cargoes to Ukraine and the Donbas republics, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said.
"A total of 56,421.9 tonnes of humanitarian aid has been supplied to Donbas and Ukraine since March 2, 2022," Col. Gen. Mizintsev said.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for protection from Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the goal of the operation, which targets Ukrainian military infrastructure, is to "demilitarize and denazify" Ukraine, and to completely liberate Donbas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the operation aims to "protect people subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." As of March 25, the Russian Armed Forces completed the main tasks of the first stage, significantly reducing the combat potential of Ukraine. Western nations have imposed numerous sanctions on Russia and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
23:03 GMT 17.08.2022
Over 26,000 People Evacuated From Ukraine, Donbas to Russia in Past Day - Defense Ministry
More than 26,000 people have been evacuated to Russia over the past 24 hours from dangerous areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) and Ukraine, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said.
"Over the past day, without participation of the Ukrainian authorities, 26,079 people, including 4,500 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from dangerous areas of Ukraine and the Donbas republics," Col. Gen. Mizintsev said at a briefing.
He added that since the start of Russia's special military operation, more than 3.44 million people, including over 540,000 children, have been evacuated to Russia.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for protection from Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the goal of the operation, which targets Ukrainian military infrastructure, is to "demilitarize and denazify" Ukraine, and to completely liberate Donbas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the operation aims to "protect people subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." As of March 25, the Russian Armed Forces completed the main tasks of the first stage, significantly reducing the combat potential of Ukraine. Western nations have imposed numerous sanctions on Russia and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
21:34 GMT 17.08.2022
US, European Allies Request Open Meeting on Ukraine at UN Security Council on August 24
The United States, Albania, France, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom have requested an open meeting on Ukraine to be held on August 24, a diplomat at the United Nations told Sputnik.
The goal of the meeting is to discuss the impact of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, given that six months have passed since the beginning of the conflict, the diplomat said on Wednesday.
This last UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine was held on August 11 at the request of Russia and discussions covered the developments concerning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The UN Security Council member states try to hold regular meetings on Ukraine to review the situation in the country and keep the issue on the agenda.
21:01 GMT 17.08.2022
Russia in 'Serious Dialogue' With IAEA, UN on Visit to Zaporizhzhia NPP - Foreign Ministry
Russia is involved in a deep dialogue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Secretariat to make sure that IAEA is able to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Deputy Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry Igor Vishnevetsky said on Wednesday.
“I will explain right now, during these very days, Russia is involved in some very serious dialogue with the IAEA and the UN Secretariat in order to ensure that a delegation of the IAEA headed by Director General Grossi, so that the delegation could visit the Zaporizhzhia power plant and ensure safeguards actions in line with its mandate, and we're very interested in that happening and we already said that that was practically organized,” Vishnevetsky said during a debate in the United Nations.
20:49 GMT 17.08.2022
Ukraine violates the main principle of the IAEA by shelling nuclear facilities - Russian diplomat
17:28 GMT 17.08.2022
UN Chief Aims to Lower Tensions Between Russia, Ukraine in Lvov
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres aims to decrease tensions between Russia and Ukraine during his trip to Lvov, United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq said told reporters Wednesday.
"He [Guterres] has made clear the issues that have been of concern regarding Ukraine. So, he's dealing with issues including the movement of ships and the food and grain issue, the concerns about the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, the concerns about the fact finding activity concerning all the Olenivka prison and also his overall efforts to do what he can to essentially lower the temperature as much as possible with the various authorities," Haq said during a press briefing.
More details about his trip will hopefully be available on Thursday, Haq said.
After visiting Lvov, Guterres will then head to Odessa, one of the three ports from which Ukraine exports grain under the United Nations-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative.
17:17 GMT 17.08.2022
Canada Loans $348Mln to Ukraine to Purchase Winter Heating Fuel
The Canadian government has disbursed a C$450 million (US$348 million) loan to Ukraine as the country requires funding to purchase heating fuel before winter, Canada’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Today, the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced the disbursement of $450 million in loans to Ukraine to support the purchase of necessary heating fuel before winter,” the statement said.
This loan completes the $1.51 billion Canada had planned for Ukraine in its 2022 federal budget, the statement said.
Kiev will receive the through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) multi-donor administered account for the Ukraine, the statement said, adding that Ottawa has now fulfilled the commitments it made during the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and prime ministers meetings in May and June.
During the G7 finance ministers meeting on May 18-20, Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pledged $193 million in loans to Ukraine to be disbursed through the IMF.
15:31 GMT 17.08.2022
Ukrainian Troops Opened Massive Fire on City of Energodar Where Zaporozhye NPP Located, City Authorities Say
Ukrainian troops opened massive fire on Energodar in the Zaporozhye region, the city administration reports.

"The armed formations of the Kiev regime opened massive fire on the area of ​​the city of Energodar," the says.

Authorities urged residents to take cover in safe places. Information about the places where the shells burst, as well as the victims and damage to civilian infrastructure, is being specified.
13:28 GMT 17.08.2022
Russia Approves New Territorial Division of Kherson Region
The Russian administration of the Kherson region said Wednesday it had approved a new territorial division that would streamline its integration and economic development.

"The urban districts of Kherson and Novaia Kakhovka and 18 municipal districts have been created. Kherson will remain the administrative center [of the Kherson region]," the de facto administration said.

This will allow Russia to integrate the southern region more quickly, give more powers to local authorities, improve the quality of life, and develop Kherson socially, economically, politically and culturally, the statement read.

Russia has taken Kherson region under full control and captured parts of Zaporozhye region, effectively cutting off Ukraine from the Black Sea. Transport and water connection between southern Ukraine and Russia’s Crimea have been restored after eight years of division.
12:13 GMT 17.08.2022
Russian Foreign Ministry Says DPR, LPR to Make Own Decision on Inviting UN Chief
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) are sovereign states and make their decisions independently, including on the invitation of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a visit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"Let me remind you that Donetsk and Luhansk [people's republics] are sovereign states that undoubtedly have their own policies. Of course, now they are fighting the [Ukrainian] threat with the help of our country, which came to their aid at their request, but these are sovereign states. Therefore, it is up to the relevant structures of the DPR and LPR whether to invite the UN Secretary General or to send him a message," Zakharova said on air of Radio Sputnik while answering a listener's question on Guterres' invitation to the republics.

Guterres is expected to take part in a trilateral meeting with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish leader Recep Erdogan in Lvov on Thursday.
11:15 GMT 17.08.2022
Moscow Surprised IAEA Delaying Visit to Zaporozhye NPP
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday she could not understand why the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) still has not visited the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), routinely shelled by Ukraine, while other high-ranking delegations, including UN chief Antonio Guterres, can come to the country without issue.

On August 2, Zakharova said that the UN Secretariat had blocked an IAEA mission to the Zaporozhye NPP, which went under Russian control during hostilities and has since been attacked several times by Ukrainian troops. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi denied the accusations, saying the mission was not blocked but rather the Secretariat needed to secure the consent of all sides and that was not possible at the time.

"If the UN Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] can make it to Ukraine, I honestly do not understand why the IAEA delegation — which is in the UN system and is one of the branches of the 'big UN family' — cannot go to the ZNPP, according to the UN Secretariat," Zakharova told Radio Sputnik.

Zakharova noted that not only the ZNPP workers but the whole world awaits the IAEA mission, given the tense security situation at the facility caused by continued Ukrainian attacks.

The ZNPP has recently been targeted by multiple missile strikes, prompting fears of a possible nuclear disaster.

Guterres will visit Ukraine on Thursday, where he is scheduled to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Lviv. The UN chief will also travel to Odesa, which is one of the three ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative to export foodstuff out of Ukraine.
08:50 GMT 17.08.2022
Four Ships With Ukrainian Grain Leave Ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk - Turkish Ministry
Four dry cargo ships loaded with Ukrainian agricultural products left the ports of Odesa and Chernomorsk, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

"Grain shipments from Ukrainian ports continue as planned. As of morning, four more ships with agricultural products departed from the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Chernomorsk," the ministry said on Twitter.

On July 22, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey signed UN-brokered agreements to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships with food and fertilizer exports from the Black Sea ports. Three key Ukrainian ports – Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhne – were unblocked to resume exports amid ongoing hostilities. A joint coordination center was set up in Turkey to monitor the implementation of the initiative, including ensuring that cargo ships do not carry unauthorized goods or personnel.
04:49 GMT 17.08.2022
Ukrainian Forces Continue to Shell Donetsk - DPR
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