A housekeeping note before we start. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and dial it back a notch or two in the comments. I know that several of you have relatives in Ukraine. Some of them are in the Ukrainian military and some are just in harms way because Russia has the ability to bombard all of Ukraine. And I know you’re very concerned and stressed. Both for their safety and for Ukraine’s and Ukrainians in general. I also know that it is incredibly frustrating to watch the majority of Russians seem to, at best, shrug their shoulders at Putin’s genocidal re-invasion and just go on with their lives. Or complain about not being able to travel into and through the EU states easily or at all. I’m incredibly sympathetic. I’m also angry about what is going on for professional reasons, which I’ve already explained here. However, these updates and the comments sections are NOT here for us to advocate for a reciprocally genocidal response against all Russians. No matter how emotionally cathartic that might be. So please, dial it back a bit.
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below, English transcript after the jump (emphasis mine):
And all Europeans whose lives are already endangered by Russian terror.
Russia does not stop its blackmail in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Provocative shelling of the NPP territory continues. Under the cover of the plant, the occupiers are shelling nearby cities and communities. The Russian troops hide ammunition and equipment right in the facilities of the plant. De facto the plant is mined.
All this clearly shows that Russia is rejecting the security demands of the European Union countries and 15 other countries – 42 in total – that called on Russia to withdraw its forces from the plant. In particular, these are Turkey, Georgia, Great Britain, Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, the United States of America.
If a terrorist state allows itself to completely ignore the demands of the international community, especially in such a sensitive topic, this clearly indicates the need for immediate action.
Any radiation incident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP can affect the countries of the European Union, Turkey, Georgia and countries from more distant regions. Everything depends solely on the direction and speed of the wind. If Russia’s actions cause a catastrophe, the consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far.
This issue has already been brought to the highest international level – the UN and the IAEA. Of course, Russian nuclear blackmail is also discussed between states. There is a corresponding statement from the ministers of foreign affairs of the G7. They clearly understand that Russia is responsible for this nuclear crisis.
But we need to move from discussions and calls to new tough sanctions against Russia, against Rosatom and the entire nuclear industry of the terrorist state. All Russian troops must be immediately withdrawn from the plant and neighboring areas without any conditions.
The world has been fighting for many decades for proper control over all activities with nuclear materials and radiation safety. And if now the world lacks the strength and determination to protect one nuclear plant, it means that the world loses. Loses to terrorists. Gives in to nuclear blackmail. And this may be a precedent that other terrorists will see. There is still a chance to prevent this defeat.
I held a meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief today. The main item on the agenda is a thorough analysis of the military-strategic situation. Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Budanov and Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Lytvynenko delivered reports. A separate report was delivered by Commander of the Special Operations Forces Khorenko. Of course, there were Zaluzhny, Shaptala, Monastyrskyi, Danilov, Yermak, Reznikov.
We also considered – from what can be said publicly – the issue of providing our military with weapons and ammunition and the status of implementation of the previous decisions of the Staff – all of them must be implemented 100%, the responsibility for this is personal.
A rather productive meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine took place today. Among other things, the deputies voted for two members of the High Council of Justice.
I continue to establish relations at the highest level with African countries. Today I spoke with the President of Niger – until today there were no contacts at this level between our states. I thanked him for the support within the UN. Of course, the key threats to global security were discussed.
I held a meeting on the preparation of the Crimea Platform. I expect the expansion of geography, level and number of participants. Today, the Advisory Council on the Deoccupation of Crimea was created to coordinate all measures and projects in this direction and ensure the activities of the Crimea Platform.
I met with Andriy Shevchenko and actor Liev Schreiber, ambassadors of our state charity platform UNITED24. We discussed how we can maintain the maximum attention of the world to the needs of our defense. Each week, this task becomes increasingly important.
Russia has created so many crises, including the crisis of the cost of living in many countries, as well as food and energy crises, that spread insecurity and irritation with life throughout the world. We must keep global attention focused on the root cause of these crises, namely: Russian aggression. And we have to remind that it was Ukraine that suffered the most from Russian terror.
I am grateful to all who perform this important function, in particular the UNITED24 ambassadors. Their activity means billions of hryvnias for Ukraine and a constant increase in attention to the needs of our state and people.
The situation on the frontline has not undergone significant changes over the past day. The heroic resistance of our military continues in Donbas, the Kharkiv region. We are putting pressure on the enemy in the south of our country.
I would like to especially thank all our gunners, our intelligence officers, the Security Service of Ukraine and all others who ensure the successive destruction of the occupiers’ command posts and their ammunition depots. All Russian terrorists should know that every meter of Ukrainian land is an absolute danger for them. No matter how they try to hide. No matter where it is. They will be found and destroyed.
Eternal glory to all who fight for Ukraine!
Eternal gratitude to everyone who helps our state!
Glory to Ukraine!
The Russian military is basically using its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as a psychological occupation to threaten and terrorize the Ukrainians. And everyone else who doesn’t want to be irradiated for that matter. President Zelenskyy is being very forceful, and appropriately so, in pushing back against Russia’s nuclear blackmail and terror. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is trying to get an inspection team into the plant to do an assessment, but is having trouble. The UN had to issue a clarification today refuting Russian claims that the UN was preventing the IAEA from doing an inspecting. Ukrainska Pravda has the details:
he UN has denied Russia’s allegations that the UN Secretariat is blocking International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) access to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), which remains under the control of Russian occupying forces.
Source: European Pravda, quoting Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General
Details: Dujarric said that in the past few days various Russian officials have made repeated comments that the UN Secretariat was cancelling or blocking visits from the IAEA to the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Quote from UN Secretary-General’s spokesman: “I want to clarify a few points. First, the IAEA is a specialised agency that acts in full independence in deciding how to implement its specific mandate.
Second, the UN Secretariat has no authority to block or cancel any IAEA activities.
Third, in close contact with the IAEA, the UN Secretariat has assessed that it has in Ukraine the logistics and security capacity to be able to support any IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant from Kyiv, should both Russia and Ukraine agree.”
Background: A total of 42 countries have called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Zaporizhzhia NPP, stressing that their presence there poses a threat to the safe operation of the nuclear plant.
On Thursday, 11 August, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a warning over ZNPP; he called for withdrawing any military personnel and equipment from the plant and refraining from any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has joined the calls to demilitarise the zone around the ZNPP.
Meanwhile, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, did not support the offer to create a demilitarised zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s assessment of the fight over the ZNPP:
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR PLANT: Ukraine and Russia blame each other for shelling that has caused fires in the vicinity. Moldovan Civil Defense authorities have imported anti-radiation pills for distribution to civilians in the event of a nuclear incident. https://t.co/RDcnFKsHzm pic.twitter.com/mkkpUNz1yd
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 15, 2022
I want to just take a moment to also note something, which I’ll deal with more fully over the weekend: President Zelenskyy’s diplomacy with African states. Russia’s attempts to create a food crisis will severely effect Africa and Zelenskyy is trying to get ahead of the problem by directly opening up diplomatic relations with as many African states as possible.
The operational update regarding the russian invasion on 06.00, on August 15, 2022
Glory to Ukraine! The one hundred seventy third (173) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The situation has not undergone significant changes in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions.
The enemy fired artillery shells in the areas of Lyute, Iskryskivshchyna and Bilovody settlements of the Sumy oblast.
In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy shelled the areas of Svitlychne, Shapovalivka, Prudyanka, Dementiivka, Pytomnyk, Velyki Prohody, Ruski Tyshki, Peremoha, Verkhniy Saltiv, Husarivka, Bazaliivka, Stara Hnylytsia and Protopopivka settlements from tanks and rocket artillery. Carried out airstrikes near Rtyshchivka and Verkhnyi Saltiv.
In the Slovyansk direction, the enemy carried out fire damage from artillery of various types near Velyka Komyshuvakha, Brazhivka, Zalyman, Virnopilla, Mazanivka, and Bohorodychne.
It led an assault in the direction of Tychotske – Dolyna, was unsuccessful, suffered losses, withdrew. In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy is trying to conduct offensive actions. Actively uses assault and army aviation. Shelling was recorded near Bilohorivka, Hryhorivka, Starodubivka, Vesele, Fedorivka, and Siversk.
In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy intensified reconnaissance of the front edge of our defense, carried out shelling from artillery and tanks near Toretsk, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Kurdyumivka, Vasylivka, Zaytseve, and Zalizne. It carried out airstrikes in the area of the settlement of Soledar. It led offensive battles in the direction of Soledar and Kodema, had no success, withdrew.
In the Avdiivka direction, shelling was recorded near Sribne, Krasnohorivka, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Novobakhmutivka, and Maryinka, as well as an airstrike near Krasnohorivka.
In order to improve the tactical position, the occupiers conducted offensive battles in the direction of Pisky and Pervomaiske, they did not succeed, they retreated.
In the Novopavlivske and Zaporizhzhia directions, the enemy fired tanks, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of the settlements of Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, Novomykhailivka, Novodanylivka, Ternuvate, Burlatske, Charivne, Zelene Pole, Mala Tokmachka, Poltavka, Novoandriivka and Privilne.
Conducted aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs near Stepnohirsk, Shcherbaky, Stepove and Hulyaipole. In the direction of the settlement of Vremivka, our soldiers neutralized a reconnaissance group of the occupiers. The enemy waged offensive battles in the direction of Pavlivka, had no success, and retreated.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on holding the occupied areas. It carried out shelling from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Stepova Dolyna, Lymany, Prybuzke, Novomykolaivka, Kotlyareve, Partyzanske, Pervomaiske, Blahodatne, Kobzartsi, Vesely Kut, Ternivka, Andriivka, Lozove, Tokareve, Zarichne, and Olhyne. Airstrikes near Bilohirka and Andriyivka.
Conducted aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs near Snihurivka, Chervony Yar and Bila Krynytsia. Two Kalibr sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
russian propaganda continues to lie, inventing non-existent victories and covering up the crimes of its army and mercenaries. Therefore, we urge you to trust information only from verified sources and not to spread russian fakes and disinformation.
We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Together we will win!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here is the British MOD’s assessment for today:
Here is their updated map for today:
Euromaidan Press provides us with a map and assessment of the battle in Kherson:
Most of Russian military command escaped from occupied Kherson – Oblast Council
No safe supply routes left,H 🇺🇦as fire control over all main roads, after Ukraine's latest strike, crossing Antonivskyi bridge is impossible even by foot -Deputy council headhttps://t.co/pxDilTUHMP
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 15, 2022
And the Russian military command has fled:
⚡️Russian military command has left Kherson – first deputy head of the Kherson Oblast Council
— UkraineWorld (@ukraine_world) August 15, 2022
The Ukrainians also demolished the Wagner base in Poposna:
Prigozhin, whose death was rumored in the Ukrainian media, walks among the ruins of the Wagner base. pic.twitter.com/ZmfUWB6jKn
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 15, 2022
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 15, 2022
Ihor Terekhov, the Mayor of Kharkiv said that the Russian aggressors were shelling the city with artillery and called on everyone to stay in shelters.
Source: Ihor Terekhov in Telegram
Quote: “Kharkiv is under artillery fire again. Currently, [Russian troops are firing on] Kyivskyi district. I call on everyone to be cautious, to follow the rule of two walls [it is much safer for people to stay in the space between two walls during artillery and rocket attacks, – ed.].”
Details: Kharkiv residents used social networks to report that the city came under fire at about 23:00.
The Ukrainian Air Force lost another fighter pilot:
Anton Lystopad, one of the best pilots in Ukrainian Army, died in combat.
A first class pilot, he defended Ukraine for years. Anton led the aviation column during the 30th Independence Day parade last year.
It is a great loss for Ukraine. RIP, Hero. pic.twitter.com/MWiSG6maLq
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 15, 2022
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
Mary C. D. Hamilton (1915)
That’s enough for tonight!
Your daily Patron!
Are you on fire this Monday? pic.twitter.com/GwzizbN0is
— Patron (@PatronDsns) August 15, 2022
And here’s a bonus: apparently Patron called in assistance from an Australian ally!
Apparently a kangaroo attacked the gates of the Russian embassy in Australia. I guess now we know where kangaroos stand on the war. pic.twitter.com/f6b0s03itf
— Bakhti Nishanov (@b_nishanov) August 11, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok:
The caption translates as:
Oh🙈 #pespatron #patrondsns #slavaukraini