War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

It is not clear if Moldova was shelled in Zatoka

The Ukrainian resort town Zatoka situated near Belgorod-Dnestrovsk in Odessa Oblast, where Moldova had possessions, but their fate is not known, was shelled by the Russian troops (in the picture) on Tuesday morning. A person was hurt, five residential buildings, 15 recreational centers and 80 commercial pavilions were partially or fully destroyed and 60 summer cottages were affected.

There are no military units in the area. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, criminal proceedings were instituted over violation of the laws and customs of war (Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

“Counter-operation” can be found for each “operation”

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will begin to conduct a „special military counter-operation.” In social networks, he noted that the plan of the Kyiv leadership consists of five steps. First, in his opinion, Russia should be expelled from the territory of Ukraine. Podolyak also announced the need to eliminate gray zones. He called the “demilitarization of Russia” the third point. Further, Podolyak announced the intention to destroy the reputation of the “evil empire.” The fifth point implies “the transformation of Russia into an isolated camp”.

Attacks no longer change front line

In the fighting against Russia, the first sign of a positional war appeared, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Rostislav Smirnov stated.

“We see that for a week and a half the front line is static, starting in the south of our country, ending in the north, in the Kharkiv region. That is, the enemy is making some attempts at assaults, but they are not successful. That is, the front line does not change. This is the first indicator of positional war,” he said.

Smirnov explained this situation at the front is also due to the correct plan of the General Staff to destroy the enemy’s military depots.

“Over the past two weeks alone, we have destroyed more than 30, and in general, we have destroyed more than 50 ammunition depots. Also, 17 command posts have been destroyed. This is a large number of destroyed their rear support, which changes their logistics chains and the ability to take offensive actions,” the spokesman said.

Gazprom further slashes gas supplies to Europe

Gazprom said it is halting one more turbine at the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for maintenance which would result in a reduction of gas flows.

Gazprom said that due to the turbine stoppage, daily production capacity at the Russian Portovaya compressor station will be cut to 33 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas per day from 0400 GMT on July 27, down from its full capacity of more than 160 mcm per day.

European Union energy policy chief Kadri Simson said the decision is politically motivated: “We know that there is no technical reason to do so. This is a politically motivated step, and we have to be ready for that. And exactly for that reason, the pre-emptive reduction of our gas demand is a wise strategy.”

European Union member states reached an agreement in Brussels on Tuesday on an emergency proposal to reduce gas consumption as concerns grow that Russia might ultimately cut off already reduced deliveries. The agreement was announced by the Czech Republic, which is currently heading the EU’s rotating presidency. 

The ministers agreed that all 27 member states should cut down their gas consumption by 15% from August until March 2023. The first phase will be voluntary, based on coordination, fuel switching, temperature limits and information campaigns.

Tanks first and obligation to say “yes” afterward

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has documented the fact that Russia has begun an active phase of preparing a pseudo-referendum on the illegal ‘accession’ of temporarily occupied territories in the east of Ukraine. Previously, it operated only on the territory of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (‘DPR’), but now its geography is being expanded.

According to the SSU, more than 1,000 ‘activists’ are already active in this organization and they are holding daily meetings with the population of the temporarily occupied territories. Among them are campaigners, bloggers and vigilantes who collaborate with the occupiers.

Ukraine asks for gas lend-lease

The Cabinet of Ministers decided to address the United States Government requesting the “Gas Lend-Lease Plan” for Ukraine in order to help the country survive through the upcoming heating season, as Denys Shmyhal announced on July 26.

“The draft appeal of the government of Ukraine to the government of the United States of America regarding the provision of a gas lend-lease to our state for a stable heating season was approved. Preparation to the most difficult winter in the history of our country continues, and as part of this preparation we are exploring every possible tool and considering every potential scenario,” he said.

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