As expected today was a long day with an early start. Tomorrow will be an even longer day with an even earlier start. So tonight’s post will be brief compared to normal. This may be the case for the rest of the week until things start to settle back into a rhythm. So I beg your pardons and ask for your indulgence in advance.
Here is tonight’s address by President Zelenskyy. Video below, English transcript after the jump (emphasis mine):
These days, people remember the Russian war against Georgia in 2008. There are many talks about the prerequisites of that war, about its consequences. About how that year’s refusal to provide Ukraine and Georgia with a NATO Membership Action Plan increased the audacity of the Russian leadership. But still, the war of that time has not yet become history, has not completely receded into the past. Therefore, it is necessary to talk more about what can be done than about what happened.
The challenges of that time are still very relevant today. And not only because the threat of further Russian aggression in this part of the Caucasus still exists, even though it is frozen. Only now has the world begun to realize the need for real, effective tools to prevent such aggressions and to bring any aggressors to justice.
2008, 2014, 2022 – the wars that started in these years have a different scale and nature, but there is one meaning of what happened: regional and global security mechanisms did not work.
That is why the principle of prevention, which we have been insisting on for a very long time even before February 24, is so necessary in international relations. If it is already clear that a state is preparing aggression – unjust, unprovoked, illegal, then the world’s reaction to its preparation should be the same as to the aggression that happened. It is necessary to act to prevent war, not to wait for strikes and victims.
After this Russian war against Ukraine, neither smoldering nor frozen conflict should remain. This is an important conclusion. Ukraine must return everything that Russia temporarily seized, and the aggressor state must be punished for the crime of aggression. And this is important not only for justice.
Only the obvious defeat of the aggressor, their loss of everything captured and their international legal responsibility for aggression are safeguards against any war.
This is what our diplomats, the Office, government officials and absolutely everyone involved in organizing a global political, economic and legal response to Russian aggression are working on. By protecting our state, we automatically protect everyone who has already been threatened or may still be threatened by a terrorist state.
And, of course, the greatest contribution is now made by the military – all Ukrainian heroes who are breaking the Russian terrorist machine on the battlefield.
Today I especially want to thank the Ukrainian anti-aircraft fighters of the Air Command “Center” and Air Command “South” for the successful destruction of Russian missiles that were launched from the Black Sea in the morning. The four downed Kalibrs are dozens of Ukrainian lives saved. Our military also managed to shoot down some of the missiles that Russian terrorists launched at Ukraine in the afternoon and in the evening.
Yes, our military means are still not enough to guarantee the downing of all Russian missiles. And we will do everything to ensure that such means appear in our country. But even now, the skill of our heroes makes it possible, at least partially, to reduce the Russian terrorist threat. I am grateful to everyone who ensures that!
We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail – about shelling and mining of the Zaporizhzhia NPP facilities. There are already appropriate reactions from the international community. But it is necessary to speed up actions in response. Russia will not pay attention to words and concerns. New sanctions are needed against the terrorist state and the entire Russian nuclear industry for creating the threat of a nuclear disaster. The world should not forget about Chornobyl and remember that the Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest in Europe. The Chornobyl disaster is an explosion in one reactor, the Zaporizhzhia NPP is six power units.
I held negotiations with the President of Botswana – the first in the history of our bilateral relations. We discussed cooperation within the UN and other international organizations. I expressed gratitude for the condemnation of Russian aggression and assured Mr. President that Ukraine is ready to continue being the guarantor of world food security.
Implementation of the grain export initiative continues – today, for the first time since February 24, a loaded ship left the Pivdennyi port. Currently, there is every chance to ensure the rhythmic nature of such exports. However, as in previous days, the key thing is the ability of the partners to prevent any attempts by Russia to disrupt exports and exacerbate the global food crisis again.
And I want to remind all our agrarians, all workers of our ports, all those involved in related industries and all those who comment on this that sea export was restored primarily thanks to our warriors who protected the relevant water area: our intelligence, our special operations forces and “Alpha” of the Security Service of Ukraine, gunners, the Navy, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, border guards and our entire heroic army that defends the state.
A new package of American support for Ukraine in the amount of one billion dollars was announced today. These are, in particular, rockets for HIMARS, ammunition for artillery and many other really useful things. I am grateful to President Biden and the people of the United States for this support, 100% of which is used to protect freedom, our common freedom.
I signed a new decree on awarding combatants. 183 of our defenders were awarded state awards, four of them posthumously.
Eternal memory to all those who gave their lives for Ukraine!
Gratitude to everyone who fights for the country!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here are the details of the US military aid package announced today:
Additionally, Finland will be joining Sweden and Britain in training the Ukrainian military in Britain.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 8, 2022
Here is the British MOD’s assessment for today:
And here is their updated macro level map for today:
Here’s a hypothetical range map of a single HIMARS reposted by former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer:
DEEP REACH: Friend and colleague J. comme JéJé @HeliosRunner has posted this ‘range map’ of a hypothetically placed HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket System. Highly mobile, a HIAMRS battery could operate anywhere in this circle and hit RU targets from Kherson to Donetsk. https://t.co/d0VwPMlLdw pic.twitter.com/nw1mgFitZp
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 8, 2022
The Ukrainian Security Service has rolled up a Russian assassination cell operating in Ukraine:
They were promised $100-150K for each murder.
Source: Security Service of 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/xOhZs3OQ3I
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 8, 2022
Here is the Ukrainian SBU’s official statement (via machine translation):
The Security Service prevented a series of contract killings of representatives of the top military-political leadership and public figures of Ukraine. As a result of a multi-stage special operation, the sabotage and intelligence group of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the USSR (better known as the GRU) was neutralized.
The attackers were preparing for the physical liquidation of the Minister of Defense and the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of our country, as well as a well-known Ukrainian activist.
For the murder of each of them, the Russian “curators” promised a reward in the amount of 100 to 150 thousand dollars. USA.
It was established that the DRG was formed by staff members of the military intelligence of the Russian Federation to carry out subversive activities on the territory of Ukraine. It included a resident of temporarily occupied Luhansk, who as part of the illegal armed formations of the terrorist organization “LNR” took an active part in combat operations against the ATO forces in the east.
On the instructions of the coordinator from Moscow, he, using his connections among criminal circles, was looking for a killer to commit contract killings.
A resident of Kyiv responded to his “offer”. For 5 thousand dollars. He agreed with the USA to eliminate a Ukrainian soldier who, according to the occupiers, was allegedly involved in the physical massacre of Russian prisoners of war.
This assassination was supposed to be a “test trial” before the main tasks of the enemy.
And in order to assassinate the heads of the defense departments, the “liaison” decided to personally arrive on the territory under the control of the Ukrainian authorities. Here, together with an accomplice, they had to prepare a “liquidation” plan and submit it for approval to their managers in the Russian Federation.
The attacker disguised the routes of movement, so he entered Ukraine through the territory of Belarus.
SBU employees documented his arrival in the Volyn region through the Domanove checkpoint and his meeting with an accomplice.
In order to prevent the commission of particularly serious crimes, counter-intelligence officers of the Security Service with the involvement of soldiers of the Central Security Service “A” detained both criminals in Kovel.
During the search, evidence of criminal acts, as well as a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation, were found in the “bondman’s possession”.
Currently, both detainees have been charged with treason committed under martial law and intentional murder. The issue of choosing a preventive measure in the form of detention is being resolved.
“The enemy cannot win on the battlefield, so he resorts to his usual methods – he tries to organize assassination attempts on the military and heads of Ukrainian authorities. And thereby once again proves to the whole world that Russia is a terrorist state that does not follow any civilized rules. But we perfectly understand what to expect from the Russian Federation, so we act in advance and neutralize the enemy’s special operations in advance. We will continue to do this!” – emphasized acting Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Malyuk.
Complex measures are underway to bring to justice the Russian coordinators of subversive activities who are currently hiding in the Russian Federation.
Crime detection measures were carried out by employees of the Main Department of the SBU in Kyiv and the Kyiv region together with units of the SBU of the Volyn region, the National Police and under the procedural guidance of the Pechersk District Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv.
The BBC has more details on what’s going on at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant:
Russian forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have turned the site into a military base to launch attacks against Ukrainian positions, the head of Ukraine’s nuclear power company says.
Petro Kotin told the BBC the threat to the plant was “great”, but that it remained safe.
For days, Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for attacks on the site, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, raising concerns of a major accident.
The complex has been under Russian occupation since early March, although Ukrainian technicians still operate it.
Over the weekend, Ukraine accused Russian forces of attacking the Soviet-era site, saying two workers were taken to hospital with shrapnel injuries and that three radiation sensors had been damaged.
Mr Kotin, who heads Enerhoatom, said 500 Russian soldiers were at the plant, and that they had positioned rocket launchers in the area, claims that cannot be independently verified.
“They [Russian forces] use it [the power plant] like a shield against the Ukrainian forces, because nobody from Ukraine is going to do something,” Mr Kotin said.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces know that these are Ukrainian personnel and this is a Ukrainian plant and there are Ukrainian people [there] so we aren’t going to kill our people, our staff and damage our infrastructure.”
The plant’s staff, Mr Kotin said, were working under pressure and in danger, and some had been captured, beaten and tortured.
He said Russia’s plans were to disconnect the plant from Ukraine’s grid and eventually connect it to Russia’s system.
Oleksandr Sayuk, the mayor of Nikopol, which sits on the opposite side of the Dnipro river, told the BBC last week that his city was under Russian shelling “almost every night”, and that the attacks were being carried out by forces at the nuclear plant.
The tensions have led to growing calls for international inspectors to be allowed to visit the site.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said “any attack [on] a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing”, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Russia’s actions as “nuclear terrorism”.
“There is no such nation in the world that could feel safe when a terrorist state fires at a nuclear plant,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Sunday.
Russia, however, denied the accusations, and blamed the Ukrainian forces for the attacks. The country’s defence ministry said a high-voltage power line had been damaged as a result of the shelling.
More at the link!
Business Insider has reported that Paul Manafort has recently admitting sending the 2016 Trump campaign internal polling data to his Russian GRU handler. Given how extensively I’ve written about this I’m just noting this.
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
This song is not translated into English, but I will tell you here. A "fashion" for Jack Russell Terriers began in Ukraine…because of me. I assure you that not everyone will be able to cope with us. And it is better to take an animal from a shelter: they are adorable 🥰 pic.twitter.com/WRZlYclmIN
— Patron (@PatronDsns) August 8, 2022
It’s the same video at Patron’s official TikTok, so that does it for tonight.