According to the Ukrainian military, at least seven people were killed and eight injured in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk. At least one person was also killed in a rocket attack on Malyn northwest of Kyiv, according to the Unian agency. The Ukrainian military also reported eleven repelled attacks by Russian troops in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. During the week more than 200 Russian military vehicles were destroyed and 3 airplanes.
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, a Russian military pontoon bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk was again destroyed. A Russian tank was also destroyed.
In particular, the Russians are now attempting to quickly take control of the cities of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Luhansk Oblast. In Moscow, the Ministry of Defense reported more than 580 attacks. The Russian army is continuing “its missile and air strikes on the entire territory” and has “increased the intensity,” the Ukrainian army general staff said on Sunday. Accordingly, Moscow is increasingly using the air force “to destroy important infrastructure”.
The conquest of Mariupol – a city with a population of almost 500,000 – is the biggest success yet for Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the steel mill there, the last of more than 2,400 Ukrainian fighters gave up on Friday evening after many weeks. Her fate is uncertain. As prisoners of war, they are actually under protection. Russian foreign policy expert Leonid Slutsky also suggested an exchange for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. He later said the fighters needed to be brought to justice. The verdict in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial against a 21-year-old Russian soldier is expected this Monday.
In a new video message, Selenskyj appealed to the morale of his own troops. Every day that Russia’s plans are thwarted is a step towards victory. It is believed that Russian soldiers who were previously tied up in Mariupol are now deployed elsewhere. Russia may want to gain complete control over the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in order to secure a land corridor to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.
With the extension of martial law, however, Ukraine has made it clear how little hope there is for peace. The general mobilization was also extended until August 23 – a day later Ukraine celebrates its independence. Martial law gives the military extended rights and restricts freedoms. To date, Zelenskyj had imposed it in three stages for 30 days each. He demanded further sanctions from the West. US President Joe Biden meanwhile implemented an aid package for Ukraine worth almost 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros).
The effects of the conflict are increasingly reaching beyond Ukraine. Russia stopped supplying gas to Finland at the weekend. The state-owned company Gazprom justified this with the refusal of the neighboring country to pay in Russian rubles. However, the delivery stop is also likely to be related to Finland’s decision to want to join NATO together with Sweden. The country of 5.5 million people is less dependent on Russian gas than Germany, for example. The energy supply should not be significantly affected.