War in the neighborhood: IPN update

Baltics – yes, Scholz – no

Latvia’s parliament on Thursday declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for its targeted military attacks against civilians and public places. The Saeima approved a resolution noting that Russia has supported and financed terrorist regimes and organizations for years.

The Latvian lawmakers called on the European Union and the West to “urgently intensify and implement comprehensive sanctions against Russia, as well as call on European Union member states to immediately suspend the issuance of tourist visas and restrict the issuance of entry visas to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus, among other measures.”

The Latvian Foreign Ministry announced that amendments will be made to the law, providing that the residents will have to leave the country if they obtain Russian nationality.

Estonia will ban Russians with Estonian-issued Schengen visas from entering the country, the government announced on Thursday. The rule does not affect permanent residents and will enter into effect on August 18.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he opposed the idea of an EU-wide entry ban for Russians. “It is Putin’s war. And that’s why I have a hard time with this idea,” Scholz said, noting that punitive measures should be aimed at people who make decisions in Moscow rather than all Russians.

HIMARS could have struck harsher

An investigation by the media company CNN revealed that the Russian version of the explosion at the Olenovsky prison, which killed Ukrainian prisoners of war, was fabricated: HIMARS had nothing to do with it. Journalists analyzed video footage and photos of the crime scene, satellite images before and after the attack, and also involved forensic experts and weapons specialists.

Everything at level of “ZIL-130”

Russia’s military could be unable to operate the high-tech weapons and communications systems it has been using in Ukraine if the West were to tighten export controls, says a report.

Almost all Moscow’s modern military systems depend on western-made microelectronics, says the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) report. Moscow has found ways to bypass sanctions and export controls. If the loopholes are closed, Russia's military might be permanently degraded.

In order to cut off what the report calls this "silicon lifeline" and permanently degrade Russia's ability to wage the kind of warfare it has in Ukraine, the West now has a unique window of opportunity to tighten export license controls before it is too late. Russia, it concludes, is scrambling to procure what it can in bulk before the net closes.

It is interesting to know if they smoked “Prima” or another “rahat lucum” at airdrome in Saki

The American Institute for the Study of War said the Russian officials remain confused about the August 9 attack on the Saki Air Base in Russian-occupied Crimea, over 225km behind Russian lines, which destroyed at least eight Russian aircraft and multiple buildings.

The Kremlin’s changing plans suggest that occupying forces are most likely to move up the date of the annexation referenda in occupied Ukraine. Annexation makes it harder to imagine any negotiated settlement to the war on any terms that Ukraine or the West could accept, demonstrating that the Kremlin is fundamentally unserious about ending the war on any terms short of a Ukrainian surrender.

At least seven Russian warplanes were destroyed after explosions rocked annexed Crimea on Tuesday, new satellite images show, in what CNN research found could be Moscow’s biggest loss of military aircraft in a single day since World War II.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said the blasts were caused by aviation ammunition -- but did not say how it had been detonated. Russia warned again that it could resort to nuclear weapons if Ukraine tried to retake Crime

Europeans realize that Ukrainians are fighting for them

Western countries on Thursday committed more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in cash, equipment and training to boost Ukraine’s military capabilities in its war against Russia, Danish Defence Minister Morten Bodskov said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told defense leaders at the conference that the consequences of a radiation accident at Zaporizhzhia “could be even more catastrophic than Chernobyl, and essentially the same as the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, but without a nuclear strike.”

“It is our duty to our nations, to all future generations of free people, to do everything we can to stop Russia, to ensure that it loses this war and that no other state can repeat this terror. And I believe that we will fulfill our duty!”.

Criminals know to arrange unfair trials

Mayor of Mariupol Vadim Boychenko shared information about the plans of the invaders to arrange a show trial of prisoners of war in Mariupol on the Independence Day of Ukraine.

“The Mariupol Philharmonic, the pearl of the city, where only festive events took place, the invaders are turning into a place of trial for our prisoners of war and civilians. Now there are about 10,000 Mariupol residents in Russian prisons, as well as a large number of prisoners of war,” said Boychenko.

Belarusians also want to free Ukraine of Ukrainians

Up p to 13,000 Belarusian active and former military have signed an agreement to participate in the war against Ukraine, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexey Gromov said. According to him, Russia continues to draw Belarus into a full-scale war.

“Six battalions of the Armed Forces of Belarus are deployed along the state border of Ukraine and are performing tasks in the areas bordering Ukraine. According to available data, Russia continues to draw Belarus into a full-scale war against Ukraine. According to preliminary data, up to 13 thousand people from among the active and former military units of the Belarusian special operations forces and OMON signed an agreement to participate in the war against Ukraine,” Gromov said.

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