EA on Australia’s ABC: Will US Rockets Help Ukraine Stop The Russians?

Wednesday’s Coverage: US Sending Medium-Range Rocket Systems to Kyiv

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine has raised its benchmark interest rate to 25% from 10%, hoping to protect its currency and to check double-digit inflation.

The increase sets the rate at its highest level since September 2015 and makes it the highest in Europe.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says the Ukrainian economy needs $5 billion per month to stay afloat.


The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 partners, including Russia, have agreed a larger-than-expected increase in output, three days after the European Union agreed a sharp reduction in imports of Russian oil.

OPEC+ said in a statement, “The meeting highlighted the importance of stable and balanced markets for both crude oil and refined products,” with an addition of 648,000 barrels per day to the market in July — up from 432,000 in previous months.

Reports had circulated that OPEC might suspend Russia from the output deal.


A “classified US report” says Vladimir Putin underwent “treatment in April for advanced cancer”, according to “three US intelligence leaders who have read the reports”.

The sources — one from the office of the Director of National Intelligence, one a retired Air Force senior officer, and one from the Defense Intelligence Agency — told Newsweek that the assessments also confirm an assassination attempt on Putin’s life in March.

“Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,” said one of the officers. “The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near.”

However, the sources caution that the assessments may be limited in their information:

What we know is that there is an iceberg out there, albeit one covered in fog.

One source of our best intelligence, which is contact with outsiders, largely dried up as a result of the Ukraine war. Putin has had few meetings with foreign leaders. Putin’s isolation has thus increased levels of speculation.

The retired Air Force officer says, “We need to be mindful of the influence of wishful thinking.”


The European Parliament is banning entry to lobbyists representing Russian interests.

President Roberta Metsola tweeted:

The EU’s sixth package of sanctions includes a full ban on providing consulting and accounting services to Russia.

The Parliament has also called on the European Commission and Council to block any access by Russia-linked lobbyists.

“These lobbyists still have access to other EU buildings via the EU lobby register,” a petitions by the Greens/EFA. “We call on Charles Michel as Council president to make sure they are banned from all EU premises.”


The US has added Russian individuals — including Sergey Roldugin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin — 16 entities, seven vessels, and three aircraft to its sanctions list.

Putin “has an interest” in two of the vessels, the Russia-flagged yacht Graceful and the Cayman Islands-flagged yacht Olympia, according to the US Treasury.


Acceding to a Hungarian demand, the European Union has dropped the head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, from its sixth list of sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, EU leaders agreed to the package of aid to Ukraine and sanctions, after a compromise with Hungary over imports of Russian oil. However, several diplomats said Budapest — with President Viktor Orbán close to Vladimir Putin — was holding up the completion of the arrangements with further demands.


About 800 civilians, including children, are sheltering underneath the Azot chemical factory in Sievierodonetsk as Russian forces shell the plant (see Original Entry).

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said, “There are locals there who were asked to leave the city, but they refused. There are also children there, but not many of them.”

Earlier today, local officials said the Russians had “hit one of the administrative buildings and a warehouse where methanol was stored”.


Sweden will provide Ukraine with more economic aid and military equipment, including anti-ship missiles, rifles, and anti-tank weapons, the government has announced.

Stockholm sent 5,000 anti-tank weapons, helmets and body armour in February and another 5,000 anti-tank weapons in March.

Slovakia said it will deliver eight self-propelled Zuzana 2 howitzers to Ukraine under a commercial contract.


Addressing the Luxembourg Parliament, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian forces currently occupy about 20% of Ukrainian territory.

He said the invasion’s frontlines are across more than 1,000 km (620 miles):

We have to defend ourselves against almost the entire Russian army. All combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in this aggression.


Isobel Koshiw writes in The Guardian of the efforts of relatives to find out the fate of family members amid the mass killings, devastation, and makeshift graves in Russian-occupied Mariupol in southern Ukraine:

In one Ukrainian Telegram group for those who have lost loved ones in Mariupol, its more than 26,000 members have one objective: ensuring the thousands who died during the Russian assault on the port city are given a proper burial, and in many cases finding their remains in the first place.

The number of bodies in Mariupol is overwhelming. Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian mayor, estimated that 22,000 died in the two months of fighting. However, a person among several coordinating burials in the city who spoke on condition of anonymity said they believed the total was closer to 50,000.

Some of those in the messenger app group know where their loved ones are buried and are navigating the chaotic burial process under the new authorities. Others spend their days scrolling through social media groups for news, and fear they may never find them, while fellow members post photos and videos of grave markers, as well as photos of handwritten lists of the dead, occasionally with burial locations, written by unknown authors.


The local authority of Mariupol in southern Ukraine has accused Russian occupiers and Russian proxy officials of war crimes.

The occupiers imprison and shoot Ukrainian volunteers and officials. All of them refused to cooperate with collaborators and the occupation authorities.

The fake “Donetsk People’s Republic” court sentenced the head of one of the Azov villages to ten years in prison. At least one civil servant was executed by firing squad.

Dozens of volunteers are also being held in the Olenivka prison. In March-April, they helped evacuate Mariupol residents and tried to deliver food and water to the blocked city.

A [detained] Ukrainian judge, who has heard several high-profile separatist cases, is also awaiting the verdict of the fake republic. There are reports of torture.


Canada has joined the US and UK in sanctioning Vladimir Putin’s long-time partner Alina Kabaeva.

The Canadians also added 21 Russian officials, and four financial institutions to the blacklist in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re targeting banks, oligarchs close to the Putin regime as well as his, I don’t know what to call her, his partner,” said Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.

Western countries say Putin has hidden his personal wealth by putting much of it in the name of Kabeeva; his ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, whom he divorced in 2013; and other relatives and associates.

Kabaeva is the chair of the board of directors of the National Media Group, a holding company with significant shares in almost all Russian State media.

During the Russian invasion, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,050 individuals and entities from and in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

UPDATE 0747 GMT: The UK is following the US in provision of multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine.

The Foreign Office said Britain will send track-mounted M270 systems, each carrying 12 rockets with a range of 80 km (50 miles).

The move has been “coordinated closely” with the Washington, the statement said.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace added:

The UK stands with Ukraine and has taken a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country.

As Russian’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine. These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against Russia’s brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities.

UPDATE 0649 GMT: Ireland’s Senate has declared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “genocide”.

The acts carried out by the Russian military meet the criteria for genocide set out in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and as such, the illegal invasion of Ukraine by by the Russian Federation is an act of genocide.


While focusing their assault on Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk oblast in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces also continued bombardment of the neighboring Donetsk oblast.

Russian attacks on Tuesday killed at least three people and wounded six in eastern Donetsk. In Slovyansk, missiles struck a residential area, damaging and burning nearby vehicles.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has noted that 200,000 children are among Ukrainians who have been forcefully deported to Russia.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy said the deported include children from orphanages, children taken with their parents, and children separated from their families.

The purpose of this criminal policy is not just to steal people but to make those who are deported forget about Ukraine and unable to return.

He added that 243 children have been killed during the Russian invasion, 446 have been wounded, and 139 are missing — with the actual figure likely to be far higher.

But he closed with the message, “Ukraine cannot be conquered, our people will not surrender, and our children will not become the property of the occupiers.”


Amid the military and security realignment spurred by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Danish people have voted to join the European Union’s common defense policy.

The outcome was 66.9% to 33.1%.

Denmark is the last of the 27 EU members to sign up to common defense. The step follows the applications by Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

See also EA on TRT World: Putin’s War on Ukraine — The Latest from Mariupol to Finland

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a cheering crowd after the vote:

Tonight Denmark has sent a very important signal. To our allies in Europe and NATO, and to Putin.

We’re showing that when Putin invades a free country and threatens stability in Europe, we others pull together.

Denmark now can partake in the European cooperation on defence and security.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Local officials say a Russian offensive now holds about 60% of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, after levelling the city with artillery shells.

Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said 20% of Sievierodonetsk, the easternmost city held by Ukraine, is still controlled by Ukrainian forces. The other 20% is “no-man’s land”.

The 20% is being fiercely defended by our armed forces. Our troops are holding defensive lines. Attempts are being made to drive out the Russian troops.

We have hope that despite everything we will free the city and not allow it to be completely occupied.

He noted that Russia’s artillery bombardment is threatening the lives of about 13,000 remaining civilians, with evacuations no longer possible amid street fighting: “The situation is very serious and the city is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block.”

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said about 52 houses had been damaged on Tuesdday, with many more families left homeless if destroyed apartments were counted. The region is losing 50-60 houses per day, he noted.

They targeted the Azot Association several times yesterday morning. They hit one of the administrative buildings and the warehouse where methanol was stored. In Lysychansk, the city hospital building was damaged.

The Russians are simply destroying and plundering our region.

Earlier this week President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that “all critical infrastructure has been destroyed”. On Tuesday, a Russian airstrike hit a tank with nitric acid at a chemical plant, putting sheltering civilians at risk from the pink cloud’s dangerous effects.

Russia’s last-gasp offensive — after failure to capture Kyiv and other cities and a withdrawal from northern Ukraine — is trying to seize more territory in the Donbas, adjacent to Russian proxy areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.

Sievierodonetsk and nearby Lysyansk are in the remaining pocket of Luhansk held by Ukraine.