The day of the war at a glance: Russia is preparing offensives - Three grain carriers leave Ukrainian ports

Fighting in Ukraine is increasing again.

The day of the war at a glance: Russia is preparing offensives - Three grain carriers leave Ukrainian ports

Fighting in Ukraine is increasing again. Russia is shelling cities and is also possibly preparing ground offensives in southern and eastern Ukraine. Three more cargo ships with grain are making their way to the Black Sea, and there are also positive developments with the raw material gas. The 163rd day of the war at a glance:

Russia intensifies shelling of Ukrainian cities

According to Ukrainian information, Russian attacks have resumed in various Ukrainian regions. This was reported by "The Kyiv Independent". Accordingly, outskirts of Zaporizhia were hit by rockets, and the Sumy region was also shelled. According to Yevhen Yevtushenko, the head of the Nikopol district military administration, Russian forces also attacked Nikopol in the Dnepropetrovsk region. At least 22 people were injured in the Russian shelling of the city of Mykolayiv, according to Ukrainian sources.

Ukraine suspects Russian offensive in east

In the fighting on the ground, however, there are different assessments of the actions of the Russian armed forces. Just a few days ago, the Ukrainian military leadership suspected a Russian offensive in the south of the country, but this is now being seen again in the east. "In the Donetsk area, the enemy is conducting an offensive operation in the direction of Bakhmut and Avdiivka," the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report. With the fighting, the Russian troops tried to put themselves in a good starting position to capture the cities of Soledar and Bakhmut and to expand their control to the area west of Donetsk. According to their own statements, the Russian armed forces can report a small success in the east. They can therefore bring the village of Pisky, which has been heavily fought over in the past few days, under their control.

US think tank: Russia is massing troops in the south

The American "Institute for the Study of War", on the other hand, sees a stronger focus of the Kremlin in the Cherson and Zaporizhia regions, i.e. in southern Ukraine. Accordingly, material and troops would still be moved there. This suggests that Russia is currently giving up on ambitions in the East, for example in the region around Siversk and Sloviansk. In particular, Russian aircraft and artillery would be concentrated on the Crimean peninsula. From the think tank's point of view, the Russian military is significantly weakened, especially in Cherson.

Russia recruits male fighters in Luhansk

The information that Russia is to recruit more men for combat in the conquered Luhansk region fits in with this. As governor Serhiy Hajdaj wrote on Telegram, teachers are said to have been ordered back from summer break, so they are being forced to issue summonses. In Bryanka, around 300 men were conscripted directly from the street, from bus stops and from public transport. "The same situation applies in Kadiivka," Hajdaj continued.

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling near nuclear power plants

A worried look is also directed at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia. Experts, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have recently expressed concern about the condition of Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Military experts also accuse Russia of building up artillery to protect the power plant and shelling it from Ukrainian positions. Images of a fire near the power plant emerged in the afternoon. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling the factory premises. Two power lines were broken, according to the occupation administration of the city of Enerhodar. Ukraine, on the other hand, accused Russia of making the situation even more threatening by shelling it.

Amnesty chief rejects criticism of report

One day after the publication of the Amnesty International report, criticism of it continues. Secretary-General Agnes Callamard denied criticism that her organization had "victimized perpetrators" and referred to extensive investigations that had been carried out. According to Callamard, the report that Ukraine is repeatedly endangering civilians with its military actions is based on facts. She was less diplomatic on Twitter, where she lumped Russian and Ukrainian trolls together: "Ukrainian and Russian social media mobs and trolls: they are all attacking Amnesty investigations today. It's called war propaganda, disinformation, misinformation " she tweeted. Meanwhile, the head of Amnesty's Ukraine office, Oksana Pokalchuk, announced her resignation on Facebook. The day before she had also sharply criticized the report and, among other things, complained that Ukrainian representatives would not have been involved afterwards.

Grain shipments: positive news from Ukraine, concerns in Russia

On the other hand, positive developments can initially be reported in the matter of grain transports from the Ukraine. Three more ships with 58,000 tons of corn on board were able to leave the ports of Chornomorsk and Odessa today. However, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (lfw), it is illusory to transport all Ukrainian grain by ship. For the stored 20 million tons, 570 shiploads would be needed. Therefore, other transport options would have to be exhausted, according to the experts. Russia's announcement that it may reduce its grain exports is likely to put further pressure on grain prices. Should the harvest target of 130 million tons not be reached, the planned exports of 50 million tons of grain would be capped. The harvest is in danger of being weaker because the spring was very cold and Russia lacks spare parts for repairing agricultural equipment.

German gas storage facilities continue to fill - target in sight

Progress has also been made with gas as a raw material. On the one hand, the filling level in German natural gas storage facilities is slowly approaching the 75 percent mark. As can be seen from the data from the European gas storage operators, the value last Wednesday was 70.4 percent. The fill level is always reported two days late. A new regulation stipulates that German storage facilities must be at least 75 percent full by September 1st. In addition, the European emergency plan for a possible stop to Russian gas supplies cleared the last formal hurdle and can now come into force next week. According to this, all EU countries want to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption between August and March by 15 percent compared to the average consumption of the last five years.

No VAT on gas surcharge

German consumers can also breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to gas. The Ministry of Economics, headed by Robert Habeck, said that no VAT should be payable on the gas levy decided by the Federal Cabinet. However, Christian Lindner's Ministry of Finance has the last word. The federal government wants to use the levy to prevent importers from collapsing as a result of severely curtailed Russian gas supplies. It should take effect from the beginning of October and benefit gas suppliers such as Uniper, who have to buy replacements for the missing, cheaper gas volumes from Russia at high prices.

Russia wants to negotiate about basketball player Griner

In the case of the American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison, Russia is ready for talks. "We are ready to discuss this issue within the channel agreed by Presidents Putin and Biden," said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. A Russian court sentenced the US basketball player to nine years in prison on Thursday for drug smuggling. US President Joe Biden called the verdict "unacceptable" in an immediate reaction and called for the athlete's "immediate" release.

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