Here’s President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below, English transcript after the jump (emphasis mine):
Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
The visit of the President of Guatemala to Kyiv took place today – the first in all the years of our independence. And the thing is not only that we received full support from this Latin American state, but also that our relations with it are a bridge to the entire region of Latin America.
Ukrainian diplomacy is gradually opening up new broad directions for our society – Central and South America, Africa, countries of the Arab world, South and Southeast Asia.
Unfortunately, there was not enough attention paid to these macro-regions. And this is tangible when it is necessary to accumulate support for Ukraine, in particular on international platforms.
I am grateful to Guatemala and Mr. President Giammattei, with whom I held talks today, for the principled and consistent condemnation of Russian aggression and participation in the defense of the international legal order.
Crises created by Russia affect everyone in the world, and no one will manage to stay aside when Russia provokes chaos in the food market, in the energy markets or simply in international relations.
Following the negotiations, I am sure that Ukraine’s position will be heard in Latin America. We agreed with Mr. President on the abolition of visa restrictions and the reboot of trade and economic relations between our countries.
Today we saw another gas threat to Europe. Even despite the concession regarding the Nord Stream turbine, Russia is not going to resume gas supplies to European countries, as it is contractually obligated to do. All this is done by Russia deliberately to make it as difficult as possible for Europeans to prepare for winter. And this is an overt gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe – this is exactly how it should be perceived. And they don’t care what will happen to the people, how they will suffer – from hunger due to the blocking of ports or from winter cold and poverty… Or from occupation. These are just different forms of terror.
And that’s why it is necessary to hit back. Do not think about the way to return some turbine, but strengthen sanctions. Do everything to limit Russian revenues not only from gas and oil, but also from any remaining exports. And sever trade ties with Russia as much as possible, because every such tie is Russia’s potential tool of putting pressure.
The gas blackmail of Europe, which only gets worse every month, is needed by a terrorist state to make life worse for every European. And this can actually be perceived as an incentive for the EU’s eighth sanctions package to be significantly stronger than the recently approved seventh.
I have adopted important personnel decisions today. In particular, Head of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov will also chair the Committee on Intelligence under the President of Ukraine. Combat General Viktor Khorenko has been appointed the new Commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And General Hryhoriy Halahan was transferred to another direction and, with the aim of updating the Security Service of Ukraine, was appointed the First Deputy Head of the Special Operations Center “A” of the Security Service of Ukraine.
And separately, I would like to express gratitude today to our airborne assault troops, the Sicheslav brigade, which “landed” two Russian military aircraft and one helicopter – in a little more than one day. We must do everything to extend such a “landing” experience to all Russian aircraft and missile products in our skies.
Eternal glory to all who fight for Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!
There was no operational update today from Ukraine’s MOD.
Here is today’s assessment from Britain’s MOD:
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recent analysis and updated map for the battle for Kherson:
KHERSON / 2145 UTC 25 JUL / UKR forces have consolidated earlier gains, and the Forward Edge of the Battle Area( FEBA) is now stable. RU artillery has continued indiscriminate shelling of villages and crossroads along the M-14 HWY axis. pic.twitter.com/L4cl0YinTi
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) July 25, 2022
Here’s audio and video, with English subtitles of a Russian soldier speaking to his mother about the casualty recovery and clean up mission he was sent on. Ukraine intercepted the call and released the audio as well as the video of the strike that caused those Russian casualties.
Ukrainian drone drops a bomb on 15 Russian soldiers who had gathered on top of a tank to watch a movie at night.
A Russian soldier who was sent to clean up the mess later called his mother to tell her what he saw.
Ukraine intercepted his call and released it with a video. pic.twitter.com/gVVhECwXBS
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) July 24, 2022
I’ve got two different items on Germany and Chancellor Scholz for you tonight. The first is a policy statement, for lack of a better term, written by Chancellor Scholz and published on the 19th of July:
By Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Policy begins with a close look at reality. Particularly when we do not like that reality. Part of the new reality is that imperialism is back in Europe. Many had hoped that close economic integration and mutual dependence would also ensure stability and security. With his war against Ukraine, Putin has now visibly crushed that hope for everyone. The Russian missiles have not only caused massive destruction in Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson, but also shattered the European and international peaceful order of the past few decades.
What is more, the state of our Bundeswehr and civil defence structures, as well as our over-dependence on Russian energy, suggest that we were basking in false security after the end of the Cold War. Government, business and large sections of our society were only too happy to draw far‑reaching conclusions from the dictum of a former German defence minister, who declared that Germany was surrounded only by friends.
That was a delusion.
Following the watershed that was Putin’s attack, nothing remains as it was. And for that reason things cannot remain as they are! However, ascertaining a watershed moment is not in itself the same as setting an agenda. This watershed is a call to action – to our country, to Europe, to the international community. We must make Germany more secure and more resilient, the European Union more sovereign and the international order more fit for the future.
The new reality includes the 100 billion euro special fund agreed for the Bundeswehr. This sum marks the biggest turnaround in security policy in the Federal Republic of Germany’s history. We are giving our soldiers the equipment and skills they need to rigorously defend our country and our alliance partners in this new era. We are simplifying and accelerating the all too ponderous procurement processes. We are supporting Ukraine – and will do so for as long as necessary – in economic, humanitarian and financial terms and by delivering weapons. At the same time, we are ensuring that NATO does not become a party to the war. Finally, we are ending our dependence on Russian energy supplies. We have already succeeded in doing so when it comes to coal. We want to stop importing Russian oil before the end of the year. In terms of gas, the proportion of imports from Russia has already fallen from 55 to 30 per cent.
This is not an easy road, not even for such a strong, prosperous country as Germany. We will need stamina. Already, many people are suffering because of the war’s repercussions, particularly the high prices for petrol and foodstuffs. Many are worried about their next electricity, oil or gas bills. The Federal Government has therefore launched financial assistance totalling well over 30 billion euro to help. The various measures are now starting to have an effect.
Nonetheless, it is true that the global economy is facing challenges it has not seen for decades. Interrupted supply chains, scarce resources, the uncertainty on the energy markets caused by the war – all this is driving prices up all over the world. No country in the world can overcome such developments on its own. We must stand united and join forces, as we have done here with the concerted action agreed upon between employers, trade unions, science and political decision-makers. If we do so, I am convinced that we will emerge from the crisis stronger and more independent than we were at its outset. That is our goal.
When we took over in government, we decided early on to shake off our dependence on Russian energy as soon as at all possible. Last December, so two months before the start of the war, we looked at how we could secure our country’s energy supply in the worst case scenario. When Putin unleashed his war in February, we were able to act. The plans, to diversify suppliers or build LNG terminals, for example, were already on the table. They are now being vigorously implemented. Temporarily and with a heavy heart, however, we will have to restart coal‑fired power plants. We have stipulated minimum fill levels for gas stores – strangely, no such rules were already in place. Today the gas storage facilities are much fuller than they were this time last year. At the same time, current developments make us even more determined to expand renewable energies much faster than hitherto. That is why the Federal Government has considerably sped up planning procedures, for solar installations and wind turbines, for instance. And it is also true that the more energy we can save in the months ahead, the better. This applies to all of us – industry, private households, cities and municipalities.
We are not alone in this situation. We are united in the European Union, and within NATO part of a strong military alliance. And we are acting out of firm beliefs: out of solidarity with Ukraine, whose very existence is at stake, but also to protect our own security. If Putin cuts back the gas supply, he is using energy as a weapon, including against us. Not even the Soviet Union did that in the Cold War.
If we do not counter Putin’s aggression now, he could go further. We have already seen it: he marched into Georgia in 2008, annexed Crimea in 2014, then attacked eastern Ukraine and finally, in February this year, extended the war against the whole country. Letting Putin get away with it would mean that violence can break the law practically without any consequences. In the end our own freedom and security, too, would be in jeopardy.
“We cannot discount the possibility of an attack against Allies’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.” This sentence appears in NATO’s New Strategic Concept, which was adopted by the 30 Allies at their Summit in Madrid at the end of June. We are taking it seriously and acting accordingly. Germany will significantly increase its presence in the Alliance’s eastern territory – in Lithuania, Slovakia, the Baltic Sea. We will do so in order to deter Russia from attacking our Alliance. And, at the same time, we are making it clear that yes, we are prepared to defend every part of Alliance territory, just as we are our own country. This is our pledge. Equally, we can rely on each and every one of our Allies making the same pledge.
Another aspect of the new reality is that the European Union, too, has become more united over the past few months. It responded with great unity to Russia’s aggression, imposing unprecedentedly tough sanctions. And they are biting, a little more each day. Putin should not deceive himself: it was clear to us from the outset that we might have to keep our sanctions in place for a long time. It is also clear to us that not a single one of these sanctions will be lifted with a victor’s peace dictated by Russia. For Russia there is no way round an agreement with Ukraine that can be accepted by the people of Ukraine.
Putin wants to divide our continent into zones of influence, great powers and vassal states. We know what disasters that brought for us Europeans in times gone by. So, at the most recent European Council, we gave an unequivocal response, A response that will change the face of Europe forever: we granted Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova candidate status and reaffirmed Georgia’s European perspective. And we made it clear that the prospect of accession must at last become a reality for all six countries of the Western Balkans. This pledge remains. These countries are part of our European family. We want them in the European Union. Of course, their path to the EU is conditional on many things. It is important to state this openly, because nothing would be worse than to give millions of citizens false hope. But the way is open and the goal is clear!
In the past few years, there have been calls, and rightly so, for the EU to become a geopolitical actor. An ambitious goal, but a correct one! With the historic decisions of recent months, the European Union has taken a big step in this direction. We have said, with unprecedented resolve and unity, that Putin’s neo-imperialism must not be allowed to succeed. But we must not be content with that. Our aim must be to reach unity in all areas where we in Europe have been struggling for too long to find solutions: migration policy, for example, or the evolution of European defence, or technological sovereignty and democratic resilience. Germany will make concrete proposals on these issues in the next few months.
We are very much aware of the consequences of our decision in favour of a geopolitical European Union. The European Union is the practical antithesis to imperialism and autocracy. That is why it is a thorn in the side of political strongmen like Putin. Constant disagreement and constant dissension among the member states weaken us. For this reason, Europe’s most important response to this watershed moment is this: unity. We must preserve and deepen our unity. In my view, that means there must be an end to individual member states egotistically blocking European decisions. And an end to nations going it alone and thus damaging Europe as a whole. We simply can no longer afford national vetos – in foreign policy, for example – if we want our voice still to be heard in a world of competing great powers.
At global level, too, the watershed is magnifying existing problems, such as poverty, hunger, disrupted supply chains and energy scarcity, as well as brutally highlighting the consequences of an imperialist and revanchist power play. Putin’s treatment of Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe bears neo-colonialist hallmarks. His dream, which he doesn’t conceal, is to build a new empire along the lines of the Soviet Union or Tsarist Russia.
The world’s autocrats are watching very closely to see whether he succeeds. What holds sway in the 21st century – the law of the strong or the strength of the law? In our multipolar world, is a multilateral global order being replaced by lawlessness? These are questions directly facing us.
From talks with our partners in the Global South, I know that many of them see the danger. Despite this, the war in Europe is, for many of them, very distant, even though they are feeling its direct impact. In this situation, it is worth looking at what unites us with many countries of the Global South: A commitment to democracy, different as it may look in our countries, to the Charter of the United Nations, the rule of law, fundamental values of freedom, equality and solidarity, the dignity of every individual. These values are not tied to the West as a geographical space. We share them with people all around the world. In order to defend these values against autocracy and authoritarianism, we need a new form of global cooperation among democracies – going beyond the traditional West.
For this to succeed, we must make the Global South’s concerns our concerns, avoid double standards and keep our promises to these countries. Too often have we claimed to be speaking as equals, but were not really. We need to change that, not least because many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, measured against their population and economic strength, have long been equal with us. I very deliberately invited my colleagues from India, South Africa, Indonesia, Senegal and Argentina to the recent G7 Summit in Germany. We are working with them and with many other democratic countries to develop solutions to the problems of our age – the food crisis, climate change or the pandemic. We made tangible progress in all these areas at the G7 Summit. This progress produces trust, including trust in our country.
We can build on this when Germany takes on responsibility for Europe and in the world in these difficult times. Leading can only mean leading together – in both senses. By working together with others to find solutions and by not going it alone. And, as a country at the centre of Europe, a country that lay on both sides of the Iron Curtain, by leading East and West, North and South, together in Europe.
Germany and Europe are ossified in self‑confident saturation, post‑heroic societies, unable to defend their values against resistance – so runs Putin’s propaganda. A view shared by some observers here, too, just a short while ago. In the past few months, we have experienced a different, a new reality.
The European Union is more attractive than it has ever been; it is opening up to new members and will at the same time reform itself. NATO has rarely been as lively, and in Sweden and Finland is admitting two strong friends. Around the world, democratic countries are standing together, and new alliances are emerging.
Germany, too, is changing in the wake of this watershed: we have become more conscious of how precious democracy and freedom are, and of the value of defending them. That releases new strength. Strength that we will need in the coming months. Strength with which we can together shape the future. Strength that lies within our country – in reality.
The second is from the 23rd of July:
As the Federal Security Council is led by Olaf Scholz, this could provide a window into broader frictions between the German Chancellor and Germany's Ministry of the Economy on Ukraine policy pic.twitter.com/pdu8tmpiR3
— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) July 23, 2022
I honestly don’t know how you square the delay from the second item with the detailed policy statement in the first. It’s like Scholz has multiple policy personality disorder.
Gyunduz Mamedov, the former Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, has a detailed column in The Kyiv Independent about what it both means and will take for Ukraine to secure the peace. Which, as I’m sure you’re away, is a policy and strategy issue near and dear to my professional heart.
Ukraine has faced armed military aggression from Russia for eight years, but this should not prevent us from thinking about the restoration of peace.
Soon, the reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories, as well as the struggle toward a new Ukraine, will be on the agenda. Russia will not disappear as Ukraine’s neighbor, so we must look to change the way it is governed and condemn its aggression from both within and outside Russia.
To achieve this, it is necessary to outline a clear “roadmap” for the rebuilding of the Ukrainian nation, the peaceful coexistence of Ukraine and Russia, and Russia’s transition from autocracy to democracy and from war to peace with Ukraine.
Achieving legal clarity
Following the liberation of the temporarily occupied territories, Ukrainians living there must be reintegrated into Ukrainian society. For this purpose, it is critical that those living there do not fear reintegration, but support it. This task proves challenging due to the extensive propaganda by Russia and its proxies in these regions.
Ukraine must make clear that regular citizens in the temporarily occupied territories will not face repercussions, as well as clarify the grounds on which one may face consequences. Are those who worked in the occupying administrations or who maintained community infrastructure guilty? Or those who were given arms but did not kill anybody? How and who will conduct the investigations and ascribe punishment?
Ukraine must achieve comprehensive legal clarity on these issues.
Coexistence between Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus
When the war ends, conditions for the peaceful coexistence of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus will be at the top of the agenda.
Recent polls indicate that most Russians in the country support the ongoing war against Ukraine. At the same time, 92% of Ukrainians hold negative attitudes towards Russia. It is difficult to imagine reconciliation under such circumstances. Peaceful coexistence will depend on policymakers, both present and future, as well as on the readiness of civil society to learn the necessary lessons.
On the path towards reconciliation, similar questions arise. Are all Russians guilty of the atrocities committed in Ukraine without exception? If not, who is guilty and what repercussions will they face? These questions must be answered in legal terms.
Such questions also apply to Belarus which, despite not directly engaging in Russia’s war in Ukraine, has allowed its territory to serve as a bridgehead for Russian aggression.
Transforming Russia and Belarus
The idea that, as a result of the war, Russia and Belarus will undergo irreversible political changes and transition towards democracy has gained popularity. This result is a possibility, but it is not guaranteed.
This transformation will be challenging, but the success of this process will affect the likelihood of another war. It is important that mechanisms of legal responsibility and the identification of those responsible for Russia’s war in Ukraine be developed now.
Mechanisms of lustration should be developed and the truth about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, as well as other leaders, should be revealed. This will require returning to the past, as even Russia’s role in the wars in Chechnya and Afghanistan has not been properly addressed. The answers to such questions should be developed on an international platform with the participation of Russian and Belarusian civil society.
It is extremely important that the implementation of such change not be entrusted to these countries’ authorities. As practice has shown, these authorities are not able to transform themselves and reform will be reduced to a farce.
Defining transitional justice
The questions posed so far can be answered to some extent by the concept of transitional justice, a set of processes in international law that address large-scale human rights violations that have occurred in a military conflict.
The main elements of transitional justice include the right to credible information about crimes committed during a conflict; the right to justice, including legal measures to prevent impunity and the public condemnation of crimes; the restoration of trust in justice and between formerly hostile parties; and, the right to compensation and guarantees of non-repetition of crimes.
The success of transitional justice is determined by several factors, including the transparency and impartiality of authorities tasked with establishing justice, urgency, unity in approaches to the qualification of crimes and definition of responsibility, and ending the process in either fair sentences or amnesty.
Transitional justice will also be useful for Ukraine when it regains control of its temporarily occupied territories.
Much, much, much more at the link! It is well worth your time to read it all.
The Kyiv Post has done a two part interview with Giorgi Kufarashvili, who is one of the founders of the Azov Battalion. Part 1 deals with the Russian propaganda that has been pushed through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Russian state owned or backed media, tankies, and the Greenwald-Tracy-Mate-Taibbi-etc axis of asshats.
Part 2 focuses on the battle for Mariupol and the defense of Azovstal, which Kufarashvilli was a part of:
One of the other child victims of Vinnytsia:
It’s Roma Oleksiv on both photos. He’s 7, he’s a son of musicians &fighting for his life. His mom died in a 🇷🇺missile strike in Vinnytsia. Roma was injured &gets treatment in Dresden. He is in artificial coma &will need long rehabilitation. His father’s PayPal: [email protected] pic.twitter.com/QxHGG7zMhc
— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) July 24, 2022
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
What’s wrong with Mondays? pic.twitter.com/L1DL2BBrUG
— Patron (@PatronDsns) July 25, 2022
If someone asks, you haven't seen me. pic.twitter.com/aAsKQiBVEs
— Patron (@PatronDsns) July 25, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok: