Tuesday, July 26
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
A worker of ArcelorMittal, Ukraine’s largest steel company, performs tests to determine iron quality in the city of Kryvyi Rih on June 22, 2022. (Andrii Gorb)
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Zelensky urges EU to respond to Russia’s blackmail, terror. President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the nation that the European Union should respond to the Russian-manufactured crises by strengthening sanctions and ending trade ties. “Crises created by Russia hurt the whole world, and nobody will be able to stand aside when Russia is provoking chaos in the food and energy markets and in international relations,” he said.
Mayor: Russian strike hits residential area in Kharkiv. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported that a Russian strike hit a residential area close to downtown overnight on July 26. There is no information on casualties at the moment.
Kharkiv authorities to build bomb shelters near bus stops. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on July 25 that the Kharkiv City Council had already picked 25 bus stops where the city will build underground concrete structures to protect civilians from Russian shelling. The constuction will begin in August. Russian troops regularly hit public transport stops in the eastern city, killing civilians on a daily basis.
Mayor: Up to 60,000 people remain in Russian-occupied Melitopol, or one-third of pre-invasion population. Civilians remaining in the city often choose to stay because they don’t have relatives in other regions of Ukraine or abroad that they can stay with, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said on July 25. Some also have elderly or bedridden relatives that need help.
General Staff: Russian troops have partial success near Vuhlehirsk power plant. Russian troops have been trying to seize the plant for weeks. Despite the name, the Vuhlehirsk power plant in Donetsk Oblast is not located in the Russian-occupied town of Vuhlehirsk. Ukraine’s General Staff also said that Ukrainian troops had repelled a Russian offensive towards the village of Pokrovske in Donetsk Oblast.
Reuters: Gazprom is delaying Nord Stream 1 turbine delivery. Siemens Energy said on July 25 that a transfer of the Nord Stream 1 turbine to Russia is stalled as Gazprom needs to provide customs documents for the transportation. Siemens Energy has been servicing the turbine in Canada and is tasked with transporting it back to Russia. Gazprom said in a tweet that it received the Canadian documents from Siemens but concluded that they “do not eliminate the previously identified risks and give rise to additional questions.” Gazprom reportedly requested that Siemens provide “prompt support in obtaining the required documents.”
RFE/RL: Grain prices hike after Russia strikes Odesa. Despite Kremlin statements that Russian military strikes only targeted military facilities and shouldn’t affect grain exports, the wheat futures have increased by 4 percent to $7.86 per bushel after the attack as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on July 25.
Infrastructure Ministry: Ukrainian grain export to begin on July 27. Exports will start from the port of Chornomorsk, followed by the ports of Odesa and Pivdennyi, according to Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. Russia and Ukraine signed United Nations-backed agreements to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea on July 22. The agreements were put at risk by Russia’s missile strike on Odesa port on July 23.
Zelensky fires Security Council deputy secretary Demchenko. President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree to fire Ruslan Demchenko, first deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO), on July 25. Demchenko has occupied the post since June 2020. According to an investigation by RFE/RL’s program Schemes published in November 2021, Demchenko lobbied for the signing of the so-called Kharkiv accords in 2010, an agreement between Ukraine and Russia that in exchange for some discounts on gas allowed Russia to extend the lease of its naval base in Crimea and eventually helped Russia in its 2014 occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula.
Read our exclusives
The country’s industrial heavyweight, Kryvyi Rih is known globally for its metallurgy and iron exports. When Russia’s full-scale war broke out on Feb. 24, most of the city’s production stalled, leaving many families with little means for survival. Read our report from the city here.
The latest global crypto boom is over, which should have been bad news for Ukraine. Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian charities have raised more than $125 million in cryptocurrency donations to spend on military equipment or humanitarian aid. Another $1.2 million came from the sale of non-fungible tokens, NFTs, digital pieces of art. Read our story on how Ukraine’s crypto fundraisers are undeterred by crypto market crash.
Eugene Czolij: Kremlin’s ‘Da’ is useless, but its hybrid aggression against the West is real. Read the op-ed here.
The human cost of Russia’s war
General Staff: Russia has lost 39,700 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on July 25 that Russia had also lost 1,730 tanks, 3,950 armored fighting vehicles, 2,832 vehicles and fuel tanks, 876 artillery systems, 257 multiple launch rocket systems, 116 air defense systems, 188 helicopters, 222 airplanes, 719 drones, and 15 boats.
Erdogan urges participants of grain export deal to comply with their obligations. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the implementation of the grain export deal had turned out to be a “delicate process,” given Russia’s July 23 missile attack on the port of Odesa. The attack took place the next day after Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN reached a deal to unblock grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
Minister: Slovakia may transfer MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said on July 25 that the country would consider transferring eleven MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine after the Slovak Air Force ceases to operate them in late August. Nad added that Slovakia can only give the planes to Ukraine if they are paid for or replaced with other aircraft.
Germany increases support for demining efforts, war crimes investigations. Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy discussed the additional support during German Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser’s visit to Ukraine on July 25. The increased support will span the investigations of war crimes, cyber crimes and demining efforts on the territories previously subjected to military activities. The German delegation got to witness the demining efforts already underway in the destroyed towns in Kyiv Oblast and at the Antonov airport.
EU bank approves 1.59 billion euros in financial assistance for Ukraine. The funds will be provided by the European Investment Bank, the European Commission said. Of the total amount, 1.05 billion euros will be made available immediately. This is the second financial package provided by the EU since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
Ukraine to receive 7.4 million euros for subsidized loans to small business from Germany. Minister of Finance Sergii Marchenko signed an agreement with the German KfW Development Bank to re-finance energy efficient investments of small and medium-sized enterprises on July 25. Credit funds totalling 7 million euros and 400,000 euros of grant aid will be used for the implementation of the project.
Poland sends Ukraine PT-91 Twardy tanks. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak said on July 25 that the Polish tanks have already arrived in Ukraine, but he did not specify the number. Earlier on July 24, Krzysztof Platek, spokesperson for the Armaments Agency of the Polish Ministry of Defense, said that Poland will replace the tanks given to Ukraine with tanks from South Korea, which are “of a much higher and better quality.”
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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Alisa Soboleva, Alexander Query, Olga Rudenko, Daria Shulzhenko, Oleg Sukhov, Toma Istomina, Olena Goncharova, Brad LaFoy, and Anastasiia Malenko.