The main street in Kyiv, with destroyed Russian tanks and other vehicles, ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on August 24, 2022 (CNN)
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1652 GMT:
The German Government approved a bylaw restricting the heating of public buildings and banning illuminated advertising hoardings.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, “We want to free ourselves as quickly as possible from the vice of Russian energy imports.”
UPDATE 0843 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed one civilian and injured two.
Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said at least 759 people have been slain during the Russian invasion.
The toll does not include the Russian-occupied cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha, where tens of thousands reportedly were killed during a 12-week Russian assault and siege.
UPDATE 0835 GMT:
Another Russian proxy official has been assassinated in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine.
Ivan Sushko, the head of administration in Mikhailovka in the Zaporizhzhia region, was killed by a car bomb.
Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Mikhailova council, sai Sushko was critically injured in the blast and died in hospital.
Ukrainian partisans have carried a series of assassinations and sabotage attacks in southern territory seized early in the Russian invasion. On Tuesday, Igor Telegin, deputy head of the department of internal policy of the Kherson region, survived a car bombing.
UPDATE 0812 GMT:
Norway and the UK are jointly supplying Teledyne Flir Black Hornet microdrones to Ukraine.
The drones, used for reconnaissance and target identification, have a value of up to 90 million Norwegian crowns ($8.75 million).
Norway Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said, “[The drones are] easy to operate, robust, difficult to detect and particularly well suited for combat in urban areas.”
UPDATE 0735 GMT:
Standing in front of Kyiv’s monument of independence, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said:
A new nation appeared in the world on February 24 at 4 in the morning. It was not born, but reborn. A nation that did not cry, scream or take fright. One that did not flee. Did not give up. And did not forget….
What for us is the end of the war? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory….
We don’t care what army you have, we only care about our land. We will fight for it until the end.
We have been holding strong for six months. It’s tough but we have clenched our fists and we are fighting for our destiny. Every new day is a reason not to give up. After such a long journey we do not have the right not to go on to the end.
UPDATE 0726 GMT:
UK military intelligence posts the latest assessment of Russia’s stalling offensive in eastern Ukraine:
The Donbas offensive is making minimal progress and Russia anticipates a major Ukrainian counterattack. Operationally, Russia is suffering from shortages of munitions, vehicles and personnel.
Morale is poor in many parts of its military and its army is significantly degraded. Its diplomatic power has been diminished and its long-term economic outlook is bleak. Six months in and Russia’s war has proven both costly and strategically harmful.
Russia Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu claimed on Wednesday, at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Uzbekistan, “Everything is being done to avoid casualties among civilians. Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but we are doing this deliberately.”
UPDATE 0714 GMT:
Ukraine intelligence services warn Russian forces are trying to shell the “ash pits” of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to “raise clouds of radioactive dust”.
Officials noted mortar attacks on the nearby suburbs of the city of Energodar.
These are places where ash is stored, which is formed during the operation of thermal power plants. This waste has a high concentration of toxic substances and a level of radiation that is at least 2.5 times higher than the natural background. When drying, they form dust that can move over considerable distances.
As a result of mortar strikes on ash pits, clouds of dust are formed, which are blown by the wind in the vicinity of Energodar. Monitoring of the radiation background, which is carried out near the nuclear plant, indicates an increase in the level of radiation. The occupiers are trying to present these data as the results of mythical “strikes by the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.
UPDATE 0709 GMT:
Russia has detained another prominent opponent of the invasion of Ukraine.
Yevgeny Roizman, a former mayor of the city of Yekaterinburg, is being investigated for “discrediting the Russian army”. A law enforcement official said, “A criminal case has been initiated under Article 280.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation….Investigative actions are underway.”
Roizman said he is being charged for his use of the word “invasion”. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
Video showed masked police in bulletproof vests storming into Roizman’s apartment building.
As the politician was led journalists in the stairwell, he was asked where he had used the word “invasion”. He replied: “I say it everywhere.”
UPDATE 0642 GMT:
The US is expected to announce another $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday.
American officials said the assistance is to prepare Kyiv for a war of attrition, securing its medium- to long-term defense. There are funds for three types of drones and other weapons, ammunition, and equipment.
The work continues. It never stops. Our servicemembers are working around the clock to make sure the Ukrainian people have the equipment they need to defend their country. https://t.co/CmddSbSy9X
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) August 23, 2022
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukrainians mark both the 31st anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union and six months of resistance against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The day has been anticipated with mixed emotions. Pride in the nation and its refusal to surrender is accompanied by fear of Russian attacks on civilian areas.
Speaking at a press conference alongside visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda in Kyiv on Tuesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pledged a “powerful response” if Russia strikes. He cited information from Ukraine and international intelligence services of the increased threat.
Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation:
Tomorrow is an important day for all of us. And that is why this day, unfortunately, is also important for our enemy. We must be aware that tomorrow hideous Russian provocations and brutal strikes are possible.
Mass gatherings in the capital Kyiv have been banned. The parade down the main street has been replaced with captured and destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment, a gathering points for residents since last week.
Russia and the Putin regime “are really obsessed with dates and symbols, so it would be logical to be on the lookout and be prepared for independence day to be attacked”, said Andriy Yusov, the head of the Defense Ministry’s intelligence directorate.
The US State Department echoed the warning that “Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days”. The US Embassy in Kyiv urged American citizens to leave Ukraine if it is safe to do so.
Zelenskiy: “It Started in Crimea and Will End in Crimea”
Addressing an online international conference on Russian-occupied Crimea, Zelenskiy stressed that the Government will not agree to freeze frontlines to “calm” Moscow: “If the world shows fatigue with the war in Ukraine, it will be a big threat to the whole world.” He pledged:
To overcome terror, it is necessary to gain victory in the fight against Russian aggression. It is necessary to liberate Crimea. This will be the resuscitation of world law and order.
Therefore, we need to free Crimea from occupation as well. It started in Crimea and it will end in Crimea.
Ukrainian forces have rattled the Kremlin with a series of successful attacks this month on the peninsula, far from the frontline in southern Ukraine. One explosion, at the Saky airbase in southern Crimea, destroyed more than half of the warplanes of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.