Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below, English transcript after the jump (emphasis mine):
Dear Ukrainians, I wish you health!
I will brief you on the past week.
First of all, I want to thank all our soldiers, who are extremely bravely – and in the hottest points of the frontline, with simply superhuman efforts – holding back the enemy.
The Russian army will not change its tactics. The occupiers know that they will lose to the Ukrainians in direct struggle, they are inferior in skill, and that is why the enemy is counting on artillery and indiscriminate shelling.
They try to destroy everything in front of them and enter the ruins. And I am grateful to everyone who, even in such conditions, still is containing the occupiers in Donbas, in Kharkiv region, in the Mykolaiv direction – wherever the confrontation is the most acute.
During this week, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our intelligence have achieved powerful results in destroying the logistics of the Russian army, the rear bases of the occupiers. And every strike on the enemy’s ammunition depots, on their command posts, on accumulations of Russian equipment saves the lives of all of us, the lives of Ukrainian military and civilians.
Of course, I thank the partners – everyone who supplies Ukraine with the necessary weapons. In particular, another package of support from the United States was approved this week, which also includes ammunition for the HIMARS systems. Thank you very much. All of them are used as accurately and beneficially as possible for the overall strategy of our defense. We are doing everything to get yet more effective and modern weapons.
It was possible to restore the sea export of Ukrainian agricultural products. Our ports on the Black Sea are operating again. And although it is still too early to give general assessments of the process, we can still say that it is positive both for our state and for all our partners.
However, the key security risk has not yet been removed. The threat of Russian provocations and terrorist attacks remains. Everyone should be aware of this.
But if the partners fulfill their part of the commitment and guarantee the security of the supply, it will really solve the global food crisis.
And we must not forget that the restoration of our sea exports was made possible primarily thanks to our soldiers – all those who defend Odesa and secured the liberation of Snake Island. These are simply heroes.
During the week, opportunities for Ukraine in the African direction were significantly expanded. There were new contacts with state leaders and communication with journalists. I will continue this work next week – another series of negotiations is planned.
Unfortunately, we have a significant worsening of the situation around the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Russian terrorists became the first in the world to use a nuclear plant for terror. The biggest in Europe! We will draw the world’s attention to this and insist on new sanctions against Russia for creating such a global threat.
And despite the fact that the Russian shelling of the nuclear plant is one of the most dangerous crimes against Ukrainians and all Europeans, against the right to life of every person, for some reason there is no report or even a simple notification from Amnesty International about it. A very eloquent silence, which once again indicates the manipulative selectivity of this organization.
This week there are new sanction steps from Canada and the United States. Switzerland made an important decision regarding support for the seventh EU sanctions package. The general tendency to strengthen sanctions remains unchanged and will continue increasing the price for this terror, terror against our people, for the terrorist state.
I want to thank everyone who develops our UNITED24 public charity platform, and all the ambassadors of this platform – Andriy Shevchenko, Elina Svitolinia, Liev Schreiber, the band Imagine Dragons, Demna. This week we summed up the three-month results of work the UNITED24 platform. More than UAH 6 billion were raised in contributions for reconstruction, equipment for hospitals, for the purchase of ambulances – dozens of ambulances were purchased. There is already the first helicopter bought using the funds raised by UNITED24. It will be used to rescue the wounded. It was possible to attract help from more than a hundred countries.
One of the most important areas for August and September is the implementation of our Fast Recovery Plan. What needs to be done in the territory liberated from the enemy to give people conditions for a normal life and to prepare for the autumn and winter season. In total, 1,060 settlements have already been liberated, and the absolute majority of them require significant restoration work, demining, and the construction of social facilities. And I thank all our partners who joined the relevant work.
In particular, this week the delegation of Estonia visited the districts of Zhytomyr region, which the country is helping with recovery. Estonia was the first within the Fast Recovery Plan to choose objects for financing.
We work with diplomats and companies in all other areas that need support and restoration.
We believe in our defenders! We help the defense!
Let’s remain united and do everything for the victory of Ukraine! It will be!
Eternal glory to our soldiers!
Glory to Ukraine!
The operational update regarding the russian invasion on 06.00, on August 6, 2022
Glory to Ukraine! The one hundred sixty fourth (164) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
russian occupiers continue to carry out air and missile strikes on military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine.
There are no major changes on the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions. The enemy carried out artillery shelling in the areas of the settlements of Hai and Mykhalchyna Sloboda of the Chernihiv oblast, as well as Nova Huta of the Sumy oblast.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy conducted defensive combat operations with the aim of holding the occupied lines and preventing the offensive of Ukrainian units. Conducted remote mining of the area.
In the Kharkiv direction, the districts of Prudyanka, Slatyne, Pytomnyk, Petrivka, Korobochkyne, Mospanove and Zamulivka were shelled with barrel and rocket artillery. Carried out airstrikes near Verkhniy Saltiv and Lebyazhe.
Conducted aerial reconnaissance by UAVs in the areas of Lisne, Pytomnyk, Ryasne, Protopopivka, Pryshyb and Nortsivka settlements.
In the Slovyansk direction, the enemy carried out fire damage from artillery of various types near Mazanivka, Krasnopilla, Sulihivka, Karnaukhivka, and Virnopilla.
The enemy is conducting an offensive operation in the Donetsk direction, concentrating its main efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. Uses attack and army aviation.
In the Kramatorsk direction, shelling was recorded near Spirne and Ivano-Daryivka.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy from tanks, barrel and jet artillery shelled the areas of the settlements of Bakhmutske, Toretsk, Bilohorivka, Krasnopolivka, Pivnichne and Vershyna. Airstrikes near Zaitseve, Soledar, Bakhmut and Berestove.
It led offensive battles in the direction of Yakovlivka – Vershyna and Kodema – Zaitseve, it was unsuccessful and left. Leads an offensive in the direction of Bakhmut, hostilities continue.
In the Avdiyivka direction, the enemy fired from barrel and rocket artillery in the vicinity of New York, Pervomaisky, Vodyane and Opytne. Carried out airstrikes near Novohradske, Pavlivka, and Prechistivka. It led an offensive in the direction of Lozove – Nevelske, was unsuccessful, withdrew. Conducted regrouping.
On the Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia directions, enemy shelling from barrel, rocket artillery and tanks was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Vuhledar, Pavlivka, Shevchenko, Novodanylivka, Vilne Pole, Burlatske, Zelene Pole, Zeleny Hai, Chervone, Stepove and Vremivka. Airstrikes were carried out near Maryinka, Mali Shcherbaky, Novoandriivka, Novosilka and Temyrivka.
The enemy was conducting aerial reconnaissance by BpLA near Krasnohorivka, Novosilka, and Tavriyskyi.
The enemy is conducting a defensive operation in the South Buz direction. The main efforts are focused on holding the occupied areas and inflicting maximum losses on the units of the Defense Forces.
The enemy fired tanks and various types of artillery in the areas of Lymany, Prybuzke, Tavriyske, Luch, Myrne, Partyzanske, Blahodatne, Shyroke, Kyselivka, Kvitneve, Kavkaz, Bila Krynytsia, Bilohirka, Dobryanka, Osokorivka, and Mykolaivka. It carried out airstrikes in the Andriyivka area, as well as the Khutorska valley and the Plotnytsky tract.
Reconnaissance actions of enemy UAVs were recorded in the vicinity of Bila Krynytsia, Nyzhni Sirohozy, Lozove and Andriivka.
In the waters of the Black Sea, the enemy’s ship group continues to perform the specified tasks. There remains a threat of missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine.
Four sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Together to victory!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here is today’s assessment from the British MOD:
They did not post an updated map for today.
Marine veteran and current FPRI senior fellow Rob Lee is not completely on board with the force strength projections the British MOD is using for Russia:
I’m skeptical that Russian BTGs are 800-1,000 man strong at this point. https://t.co/lhMoNGVE1T
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 6, 2022
Battalions raised with volunteers will need more leadership to function, which probably means they have to be smaller (no time to train NCOs). I've been skeptical of BTGs as a metric since April, and the variance is only greater now with volunteer units.3/https://t.co/kaGF9qnDQg
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 6, 2022
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recently updated map and assessment for the battle for Kherson from earlier today:
KHERSON AXIS / 1830 UTC 6 AUG / UKR Partisans and deeply inserted SOF continue to provide targeting data on RU ammo storage. RU media reports that an assassination attempt was carried out against Vitaliy Hur, deputy head of occupation authorities in Nova Kakhovka. pic.twitter.com/crgL3iO1vP
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 6, 2022
Imagery from Poposna emerged earlier today. It is graphic – so WARNING – and seems to indicate further Russian war crimes. The imagery is of a Ukrainian POW’s severed and decaying head mounted on a pike.
We saw today people’s heads on a spike in Russian-occupied Popasna.
This is only a fraction of the Russian war crimes committed. I’m terrified when I think of what we’ll see when we retake the Russian-occupied cities and villages.
— Oleksiy Sorokin (@mrsorokaa) August 5, 2022
Multiple colleagues say this is authentic.
Because it’s so sickening that I had to ask.
I’m sure Amnesty is sending thoughts and prayers. https://t.co/uoRnvPLHKa
— Natalia Antonova 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@NataliaAntonova) August 5, 2022
We also have further details of Russia’s attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant:
Why russians are doing this if they have seized the ZNPP? They try to stage a false flag, to accuse Ukraine of attacking a nuclear facility ofc, & also probably to justify the disconnection of the plant from the UA electricity system, what they have threatened earlier to do
— Olena Halushka (@OlenaHalushka) August 6, 2022
- Ukrainian staff who run the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant & try to ensure its safe operations are real Heroes. They work under huge pressure. Energoatom has just reported that russians occupied all basements & in case of new russian shellings Ukrainians will be in danger
- russia is a nuclear terrorist #russiaIsATerroristState
- Energoatom issued a statement that russians aim at ruining the plant’s infrastructure & damaging of the power lines through which the energy is supplied to the UA electricity system. They call on the UN, @iaeaorg & entire int’l community to ensure prompt demilitarization of ZNPP
- ZNPP is covering the south of Ukraine. Given that russians not only fail to advance in that direction, but AFU are de-occupying villages, russians may aim to blackout the region, amplifying the humanitarian catastrophe. That’s in addition to the huge risk of radiation emergency
Yesterday, Bellingcat published their report on the Russian soldier who castrated and executed the Ukrainian POW:
Editor’s note: this article contains descriptions of sexual violence and murder which readers may find disturbing.
On July 28, a series of horrifying videos circulated on pro-Russian social media which depicted an act of sexual violence and execution of what appeared to be a Ukrainian prisoner of war. Bellingcat has not linked to these videos due to their extremely graphic nature.
The three videos (hereafter ‘the violent videos’) were initially posted on a Russian telegram channel whose name translates as ‘Cargo 200, death to Ukrainians’, which extolls casualties among Ukrainian armed forces. The videos were subsequently reposted on the popular Rosich Telegram channel run by a nationalist Russian mercenary group.
The videos were initially celebrated by the channel administrators and most of the commenting users, until several hours later they were suddenly disowned by the same as “likely forgeries”, allegedly planted in the pro-Russian channels by agents of Ukraine aiming to discredit the Russian army.
A description of the act in the videos, which each show a part of the same sequence of events, follows in the closed drop-down box below.
Description of the Three Videos (Caution: disturbing content)
In recent days, journalists and open source researchers have sought to identify the culprits of this apparent war crime, with mixed success. Several incorrect identifications of the man who committed the act – a soldier wearing a cowboy-style hat – were made by various media outlets and individuals online.
Bellingcat researchers have reviewed the footage, which does not contain visible signs of editing or tampering. However, the authenticity of the videos cannot be validated with purely technical means due to the low resolution of the video and the absence of metadata.
Bellingcat’s investigation into visual clues in the videos using the available open source evidence corroborates the authenticity of the three violent videos and indicates that fighters from ‘Akhmat’, a Chechen paramilitary formation serving with the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, were present at the scene of the murder.
The link to ‘Akhmat’ was uncovered while investigating a man who appeared in multiple news broadcasts about the group who wore the same distinctive hat, bracelet and military fatigues as seen worn by one individual in the mutilation video. Several visual clues in these news broadcasts also suggested that they could have been filmed near, and in the same time frame, as the murder videos, including one filmed at the same location in July of this year.
The identity of the individual who wears the cowboy hat in the videos of the ‘Akhmat’ fighters is known to Bellingcat. However, Bellingcat has obscured his image and name as while there are numerous commonalities, the face of the alleged perpetrator cannot be clearly seen in the videos of the act itself.
Bellingcat contacted this individual to offer him a right of reply. In a conversation with reporters, he acknowledged that he had been deployed to Ukraine as a member of the ‘Akhmat’ group, and that he was “the man in the cowboy hat” seen in the news broadcasts. While he denied that he appeared in the mutilation and execution videos, he did confirm that he had been detained and questioned by the Russian security services over the footage, who had told him that it actually depicted Ukrainian soldiers mutilating one of their own comrades.
If you’re interested, click across and read the rest. There’s a lot more in the report include both the imagery they used to do the analysis and a full methodological description. WARNING: SOME OF THIS IS GRAPHIC!!!!
Also yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Putin has turned to Erdogan to bail him out on the economic and sanctions regime:
Russia and Turkey announced Friday that they will strengthen their economic cooperation, amid Western fears that Moscow is seeking new avenues to circumvent sanctions imposed for its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed to boost bilateral trade and take steps to work more closely in the transportation, agriculture, industry and finance sectors, according to a joint statement the leaders released after four hours of talks in Sochi, the Russian resort city on the Black Sea. It was the second time the two men had met in just over two weeks.
The statement did not mention the bilateral trade and economic pact that Putin had called for beforehand. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not respond to questions Friday evening about whether a deal had been signed.
Concerns are increasing in both the West and Ukraine that Moscow is seeking Erdogan’s assistance to bypass restrictions on its banking, energy and industrial sectors, which are biting deeper into its economy. Though a NATO nation, Turkey has not joined other member states in levying the sanctions.
A Russian proposal intercepted ahead of the meeting and shared with The Washington Post by Ukrainian intelligence called for Erdogan’s government to permit Russia to buy stakes in Turkish oil refineries, terminals and reservoirs — a move that economists say could help disguise the origin of its exports after the European Union’s oil embargo kicks in fully next year. Russia also requested that several state-owned Turkish banks allow correspondent accounts for Russia’s biggest banks — which economists and sanctions experts say would be a flagrant breach of Western sanctions — and that Russian industrial producers be allowed to operate out of free economic zones in Turkey.
There was no indication after the talks that Turkey had agreed to such arrangements, which would leave the country’s own banks and companies at risk of secondary sanctions and cut off their access to Western markets. Alexander Novak, Russia’s deputy prime minister, said the two countries had reached new agreements in the financial and banking sphere but did not give specifics.
A senior Turkish official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic meeting, said Friday morning that the country remains “committed to Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty.” He added that Turkey “as a matter of principle … exclusively joins sanctions that are imposed by the United Nations.”
Western government officials, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, told The Post that they were not aware of the intercepted proposal but said they fearRussia is seeking ways to circumvent the war-related sanctions and their growing economic damage. Russian officials are traveling the world trying to find people who would be willing to do business with their financial institutions, they said, noting that Turkey is among a group of jurisdictions being approached because of their lax regard to enforcement.
With Russia cut off from much of the global economy, such overtures are a sign of the regime’s increasing worries, those Western officials and economists say. Putin has derided Western sanctions as a failure — a steady stream of revenue from energy sales has propped up the Russian ruble and the country’s financial system — and the International Monetary Fund now forecasts Russia’s economy to fall only 6 percent this year.
But economists say headline numbers mask a collapse across a large swath of Russian manufacturing, and they call the banking sector a “zombie system,” with the withdrawal of hard-currency deposits banned. Though Russia has sought to divert trade flows through countries like India and China, the Western-imposed block on imports of high-tech components has brought some industries to a standstill.
“The situation will be darker next year,” said Sergei Guriev, professor at France’s Sciences Po and former chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “No one knows how things are going to function when the European oil embargo kicks in. We’re in unchartered territory.”
More at the link!
Finally, wait for it, wait for it…
This would have never happen if they just stayed home kissing their wives in Russia pic.twitter.com/8v6J1ZCnjf
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) August 6, 2022
Your daily Patron!
Namaste! Evening yoga with Patron. Relax your body and soul, and try not to think about the blue squirrel. Don’t! Oh, no. Now you can’t think about that😨 #patron #patronthedog #dog #squirrel pic.twitter.com/p6X2pPwaWc
— Patron (@PatronDsns) August 6, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok:
The caption translates as:
😎 #pespatron #patrondsns #slavaukraini
And just because I’m feeling generous, here’s a Chef Jose Andres update:
Already crossing from Poland into @Ukraine and first thing I See? A @WCKitchen truck bringing some of the things that we can not buy inside Ukraine. Remember over 120 million meals served already all across! Amazing #FoodFighters this Ukranians… pic.twitter.com/sqlevkZBg8
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) August 6, 2022