War ‘about to enter new phase’, UK intelligence warns
We’ve got more from the UK’s MoD.
On what Ukraine’s troops are focusing on, it adds:
Ukrainian forces are focusing their targeting on bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in Ukraine’s southern regions.
Including the strategically important railroad spur that links Kherson to Russian-occupied Crimea, almost certainly using a combination of block, damage, degrade, deny, destroy, and disrupt effects to try to affect Russia’s ability to logistically resupply.
The MoD then adds it believes the war is about to enter a “new phase”.
Russia’s war on Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting shifting to a roughly 350km frontline stretching south-west from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, paralleling the Dnieper River.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed concerns about the shelling the previous day at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, saying the action showed the risk of a nuclear disaster, Reuters reports.
“I’m extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.
He added that military action jeopardising the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia plant “is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs”.
“Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences.”
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office said it had started criminal proceedings against what it said was rocket and artillery shelling by the Russian military of Zaporizhzhia power plant on Friday.
Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant.
Ukraine detains two people accused of being Russian spies
Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) detained two men it accused of being Russian intelligence agents responsible for identifying targets for Russian missile strikes that wrecked shipbulding infrastructure in the southern port city of Mykolaiv, the agency said.
The two men “collected and transmitted intelligence to the enemy about important infrastructure facilities, fuel depots, the deployment and movement of personnel and equipment of (Ukraine’s) Armed Forces,” the SBU said in a post on messaging app Telegram.
As a result, the SBU said several shipbuilding enterprises and fuel depots were damaged or destroyed. The agency said both men were now being held in custody. It did not say when the infrastructure was hit.
The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office has quit the human rights body in a disagreement after the group accused Ukraine’s armed forces of endangering civilians by basing troops in residential areas during the Russian invasion.
Amnesty made the comments in a report published on Thursday that drew fierce criticism from the Ukrainian government, Reuters reports.
Amnesty’s Ukraine head Oksana Pokalchuk said on Facebook late on Friday that she was resigning as she opposed the report’s publication, and now understood that she could not get it changed or removed.
Pokalchuk said the human rights group unwittingly “created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives of the invasion. In an effort to protect civilians, this study became a tool of Russian propaganda”.
“It pains me to admit it, but we disagreed with the leadership of Amnesty International on values. That’s why I decided to leave the organization.”
Asked about Pokalchuk’s resignation, an Amnesty spokesperson quoted Agnes Callamard, the organisation’s secretary general, as saying: *Oksana has been a valued member of Amnesty staff, and has led the Amnesty International Ukraine office for seven years with many significant human rights successes.”
“We are sorry to hear that she is leaving the organization, but we respect her decision and wish her well.
Ukrainian officials say they take every possible measure to evacuate civilians from front-line areas.
Russia denies targeting civilians in what it describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
North Macedonia has agreed to supply tanks and planes to Ukraine, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said. It was previously reported that North Macedonia would supply Soviet-era tanks but there was no mention of aircraft deliveries. Podolyak said: “Many nations are showing more courage today than half of the G20. “Like North Macedonia, giving Ukraine a (supportive) shoulder in the form of tanks and planes.”
It’s 4pm in London and 6pm in Kyiv. Here’s a summary of the latest developments in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The EU has condemned Russia’s actions regarding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The plant has been described as being “a serious risk” by Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company, Energoatom.
Russia is amassing troops in the south of Ukraine but the purpose of the build-up is not yet clear, UK intelligence has warned. The Ministry of Defence says Russian forces could be preparing for a new assault or merely anticipating a counter-offensive from Ukraine.
Meta, formerly Facebook, have removed a network of Instagram accounts operated by a troll farm in St. Petersburg, Russia. 45 Facebook accounts and 1,037 Instagram accounts were removed and the report found that around $1,400 had been spent in rubles to pay for ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Overnight Russian shelling in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast injured three people and destroyed residential buildings,including a kindergarten and a children’s art centre, according to reports from the Kyiv Independent.
Pro-Russian forces in the Russian-occupied cities of the Luhansk region of Ukraine are using humanitarian aid to lure residents to provide personal data to partake in a referendum on joining Russia.
The EU has condemned Russia’s actions regarding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the high respresentative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the EU Commission, tweeted: “This is a serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms”, and called for Russian forces occupying the plant to give open access to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The plant has been described as being ““a serious risk” by Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company, Energoatom.
Vorosheva said she had no doubt Russia “cynically and deliberately” murdered Ukrainian prisoners of war after fighters were blown up on 29 July in a mysterious and devastating explosion. Moscow claims Ukraine killed them with a US-made precision-guided Himars rocket, but satellite images and independent analysis suggest they were obliterated by a powerful bomb detonated from inside the building.
“Russia didn’t want them to stay alive. I’m sure some of those ‘killed’ in the explosion were already corpses. It was a convenient way of accounting for the fact they had been tortured to death,” Vorosheva said.
The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk province, Serhiy Haidai, has posted a photo on his Telegram channel which appears to show the head of a Ukrainian prisoner of war stuck on a pole outside a house in the eastern Ukrainian city of Popasna, which was captured by Russian forces in May and is close to the current frontline in the Donbas.
The Guardian has not confirmed the authenticity of the photo. Geolocation tools suggest it is genuine and was taken in late July, not far from the centre of Popasna.
Pro-Russian forces in the Russian-occupied cities of the Luhansk region of Ukraine are using humanitarian aid to lure residents to provide personal data to partake in a referendum on joining Russia, Sergei Gaidai, the head of Luhansk military administration has reported on his Telegram channel.
The post suggests that campaigning and data collecting is being carried out at events which are being offered to provide support and humanitarian aid to residents of the occupied areas.
“Under the guise of providing food or construction materials, the occupying power and the collaborating public movement organise meetings with the population of the recently captured territories of the region,” Gaidai said in the post.
According to Gaidai the Russian forces “lure out personal data, urge people to go to the so-called referendum” while “forcing people to exchange their will for food or drinking water”.
The Guardian has not been able to independently verify this information.