Ukraine War News from August 12
- The arrival of howitzers and Western rocket systems has enabled Ukraine to begin turning the tables on Russian forces that have pounded the defending troops with their larger array of heavy artillery in a summer push to occupy more territory in Donbas.
- New satellite images released Thursday show the aftermath of an attack that destroyed a Russian air base in Crimea. Russian officials denied that the damage resulted from any attack and insisted three near-identical craters at the Saki air base were due to “accidental” explosions on Tuesday.
- Satellite photos of Saki airfield in occupied Crimea show extensive damage to Russian warplanes and hint at expanded Ukrainian offensive capabilities. The images, released Thursday by private imaging company Planet Labs, showed what appeared to be precision strikes on buildings at the base, and the charred ruins of at least eight warplanes.
- Ukraine’s head of nuclear power warned Tuesday about the “very high” risk of Russian shelling at Zaporizhzhia in the Russian-occupied South. Petro Kotin from Energoatom, the chief of the company, said that Russian shelling last week had damaged three lines connecting the Zaporizhzhia facility to the Ukrainian grid, and that Russia was interested in linking the facility to its grid.
- At least one Democrat and six Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa), have traveled to Ukraine independently between April and July. The U.S. lawmakers have made the trips without bothering to get permission from the Biden administration, which has warned of security risks.
- A formation of battle-weary troops enjoyed only a brief period in the relative safety of western Ukraine before receiving “a sudden order to start to move” last week, likely ahead of a major counteroffensive. “They had only arrived 10 days before that from the eastern front,” a senior European official said. “they got a sudden order to start to move. And, of course, they didn’t tell us which direction. So it’s interesting. Something’s going to definitely happen.”
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More Ukraine War News
- The European Space Agency has begun preliminary technical discussions with Elon Musk’s SpaceX that could lead to the temporary use of its launchers after the Ukraine conflict blocked Western access to Russia’s Soyuz rockets. The private American competitor to Europe’s Arianespace has emerged as a key contender to plug a temporary gap alongside Japan and India.
- China has called on both Russia and Ukraine to resume negotiations and expressed concerns over the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
- Russian authorities have blocked the social media account for police watchdog OVD-Info over its coverage of the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine. OVD-Info said its account on VKontakte had been blocked on the orders of prosecutors. The group is a nongovernmental organization whose compilations of arrests and detentions nationwide are widely followed inside Russia.
- 98% of Ukrainians believed Ukraine will definitely or likely win the war against Russia in a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute. Most Ukrainians do not believe in conceding any territory and support for NATO membership has spiked. 98% of Ukrainians believe Ukraine will definitely or likely win the war against Russia, up from 97% in April, while roughly 1% did not think Ukraine will win and 1% didn’t answer. East Ukraine is the least optimistic, but even there, 94% think Ukraine will win.
- In his meeting in Tehran with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Islamic Republic’s “Supreme Guide” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised what he called “Your Excellency’s pre-emptive initiative” in launching “Special Operations “ against Ukraine.
- The Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar plans to build not only a factory for the production of Bayraktar TB2 attack drones in Ukraine, but also to assemble Bayraktar Akıncı and Bayraktar Kizilelma — a new unmanned fighter jet — in Ukraine, Haluk Bayraktar, Baykar CEO, said in an interview with Come Back Alive Fund.
- As war approached, Fedir Haidai and his family left their home in Kyiv to stay with a sponsor family more than 1,500 miles away in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Now, he is preparing to set up a new a business bringing Ukrainian vodka to the UK market.
- The EU has coordinated the delivery of 66,224 tonnes of in-kind assistance to Ukraine from 30 countries via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The assistance includes 180 ambulances, 125 fire-fighting vehicles, 300 power generators, 35 heavy machinery vehicles, and 4 pontoon bridges. To support this operation, logistics hubs have been set up in Poland, Romania and Slovakia where assistance is then channelled directly to Ukraine.