War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Eight killed ay public transport stop in Toretsk

Eight people were killed and four were wounded in Russian artillery shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk in Donetsk region on Thursday, the regional governor said. The shelling hit a public transport stop where people had gathered, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram. Three children were among the wounded, he said.

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said the attack was “another terrorist act” by Russia, and repeated his calls for other nations to declare Russia a state sponsor of terror, a move which would bring further sanctions on Moscow.

AI says Ukrainian fighting tactics endanger civilians

Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals, as they repelled the Russian invasion that began in February. Such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets. The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure said Amnesty International.

In reply, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the President’s Office, accused Amnesty International of participating in the Russian disinformation and propaganda campaign to discredit Ukraine's military. He noted that the only thing that poses a threat to the lives of Ukrainians is "a Russian army of executioners and rapists coming to Ukraine to commit genocide. “Our defenders protect their nation and families. People's lives are the priority for Ukraine,” he said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba
Dmytro Kuleba said that he was “outraged” by the report by the London-based watchdog, and considered its assessment “unfair.” “This behavior of Amnesty International is not about finding and bringing the truth to the world, but about creating a false balance between the criminal and his victim,” Kuleba said.

Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, said Amnesty International’s report shows that the organization has “lost common sense”, and any attempts to justify the genocide of Ukrainians and call the right to resist it into question are a perversion.

“Any attempts to call into question Ukrainians’ right to resist genocide, to defend their families and homes, to defend their lives and those of their children, and to resist the actions of Russia as a terrorist state, are a perversion, no matter what legal constructions they are dressed up in”.

They do not offer dialogue, but to surrender

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that he does not believe in dialogue with Russia. “They don't offer us a dialogue. They offer us to surrender,” he said on Thursday, answering questions from representatives of the African media.

“I have been president for three years. You will not find a single president of the EU countries who has not received signals from me for three years that I want direct talks with the president of Russia, that we cannot allow a full-scale war, that there will be tens and hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of refugees,” he said.

“I called him many times,”: Zelensky said, noting that "they always found reasons not to allow dialogue.”

“When they came to occupy us here, what should I do? Should I call again? This is not a dialogue or reconciliation. This is an ultimatum. It sounds like this: “If you don't do as we want, we will kill you,” Zelensky said, adding: “They tie our hands, cut off our tongue, and then say they are ready for dialogue.”

Ship with Ukrainian corn passes inspection in Turkey

The first grain ship to leave Ukraine and cross the Black Sea under a wartime deal passed inspection Wednesday in Istanbul and headed on to Lebanon. The ship Razoni carries more than 26,000 tons of corn to Tripoli. Ukraine said 17 other vessels were “loaded and waiting for permission to leave,” but there was no word yet on when they could depart.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky downplayed the importance of his country’s first grain shipment since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, saying the ship was carrying only a small portion of the crop Kiev needs to sell to help save its war-torn economy.

Enemy will not pass same direction anymore...

Comments made by Kremlin and Russian-backed officials, coupled with recent missile strikes on Kyiv, have prompted Ukrainian defense officials to advance their security procedures around the capital city.

“We have analyzed the previous actions of the enemy in the Kyiv direction and, learning from this experience, we have predicted our adequate actions,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Nayev said in a comment posted to Facebook. “The defensive positions are located exactly in the places where [there is the] highest chance of the onslaught of enemy forces.”

Nayev said Ukraine’s defenses have prepared for both close and long-range attacks as Russia ramps up its missile strikes away from the front lines in the east and south. “I am sure the enemy will not pass this direction anymore,” the lieutenant general added.

Even if in theory the enemy stands near Kyiv again, the Ukrainian authorities will still have plans for the return of the peninsula, said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. He noted that under no circumstances will Ukraine abandon the idea of de-occupying Crimea. The diplomatic efforts necessary to that end will be debated at the second summit of the Crimean Platform on August 23.

Only cudgel against another cudgel

Ukraine needs modern weapons to have a “correct negotiating position” with Russia. Wrote about it in Twitter Mykhailo Podolyak is an adviser to the head of the President’s Office and a member of the Ukrainian delegation at the spring talks with the Russian Federation. According to him, in order to speak with the Russian Federation, you need a “correct negotiating position”, which consists of four components: long-range artillery, MLRS and ATAСMS missiles to destroy Russian logistics; air and missile defense to protect cities; “shock drones are the best hunters”; armored vehicles for counteroffensives.

Nothing good from the East

Polish authorities plan to place a continuous line of cameras, sensors and sensors of movement on the border with the Kaliningrad region of Russia, said the representative of the Polish border guard, Lieutenant Anna Mikhalskaya. She noted that the construction of this electronic fence will begin in 2022.

All monuments dating back to the Soviet era in Estonia will soon be dismantled or removed, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced on Thursday.

“The decision has been made; the Soviet monuments must be removed from public spaces, and we will do that as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Kallas said. According to him, between 200 and 400 Soviet-era monuments remain in Estonia, which was a member of the Soviet Union until 1991.

Several people demonstrated on Wednesday in Narva, a town near the Russian border, against the removal of a tank monument after rumors surfaced that the wartime relic could be taken away. The leaders of the city, 90% of whose inhabitants are Russian speakers, have announced that they want to negotiate with the government to avoid its withdrawal.

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