Damage to the Ukraine port of Izmail from Russian drone strikes, August 2, 2023
Map: Institute for Study of War
UPDATE 1704 GMT:
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has criticized the joint declaration of G20 leaders (see 1214 GMT) as “nothing to be proud of”.
Spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said the declaration should have named Russia when it referred to states acting in a manner not “consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN charter in its entirety” and called on them refraining from “threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state”.
He wrote, “It is clear that the participation of the Ukrainian side would have allowed the participants to better understand the situation.”
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry speaker Oleg Nikolenko published "edits" to the G20 statement
The speaker said that the wording in the document should have been changed from "war in Ukraine" to "war against Ukraine", from "all countries must refrain from threats of force" to… pic.twitter.com/PRvGDX1RaM
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 9, 2023
With Russia vetoing a firmer text, Nikolenko expressed gratitude to Western countries who pressed for condemnation of Moscow.
An EU diplomat confirmed thata Russia objected to much of the wording and blocked a compromise that was “acceptable otherwise for everyone else”.
UPDATE 1330 GMT:
A 48-year-old man has been killed in Russian shelling of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
UPDATE 1214 GMT:
Meeting in India, leaders of the G20 countries have adopted a declaration on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which calls on all states to act in a manner “consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in its entirety”.
All states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition which violates the integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any other state.
The declaration implicitly noted Russia’s veto of a stronger text by citing “different views and assessments”.
The document said the G20 is not the forum to resolve geopolitical and security issues. However, it claimed authority in in calling for “timely and effective” implementation to ensure “immediate and unimpeded” deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia.
UPDATE 1011 GMT:
The UN human rights office reports on Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s education system.
It cites Yana, an English teacher from Mariupol, “Like hundreds of other teachers, in a blink of an eye I lost the opportunity to work within the walls dear to my heart. When I look at the pictures of another destroyed school, I don’t see destroyed walls, I see shattered dreams.”
According to our mission, a staggering 851 educational facilities have been damaged or destroyed due to the war. Today, as we mark the International Day to #ProtectEducationFromAttack, we remember that every child has a right to education. pic.twitter.com/LUeltY2jvY
— UNHumanRightsUkraine (@UNHumanRightsUA) September 9, 2023
UPDATE 1006 GMT:
A civilian injured in Friday’s Russian rocket attack on the Sumy region in northern Ukraine has died.
Russian forces shelled seven communities with 61 explosions on Friday. Overnight and into Saturday morning, three communities were attacked five times with 37 explosions.
The toll from Friday’s Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine, with the destruction of a police administrative building, is now one killed and 74 wounded.
The fatality was a police officer. Three of his colleagues were buried under rubble and seriously injured.
UPDATE 0655 GMT:
An attack destroyed the headquarters of United Russia — the party of Vladimir Putin in the Russian-occupied city of Polohy on Friday, claims the exile mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov.
Fedorov said local residents described Russians being “burned out” of the headquarters during the “hellish pseudo-elections” in the Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine.
Russia is staging “elections” this week in an attempt to consolidate Vladimir Putin’s “annexation” of four Ukrainian regions: Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south, and Luhansk and Donetsk in the east.
Fedorov claimed casualties among Russian proxy officials, “Some went to the hospital, and some went straight to the morgue.”
The Ukraine State security service SBU also reportedly struck a village headquarters of the “elections” administration.
Two drones flew to the #Russian headquarters in the occupied village of Skelki, Vasilyevsky district. The building was used to store ballots and documents.
After the… pic.twitter.com/FFl1VXYODN
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 9, 2023
UPDATE, 0630 GMT:
The first 10 Leopard 1 tanks donated by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands have arrived in Ukraine.
The Danish Armed Forces said in a statement, “The first 10 tanks have been sent to Ukraine. And more are on the way. A further 10 tanks have been delivered from the factory”.
The three countries have commmitted 100 Leopard 1s. Danish troops in Germany are training Ukrainian forces to use the tanks.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Indicating that it has no intention of lifting the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, Russia has rejected UN proposals to renew the July 2022 grain deal.
On Wednesday, a letter from UN Secretary General António Guterres addressed Russia’s supposed concerns over the deal, which Vladimir Putin shredded on July 17.
Guterres offered the reconnection to SWIFT, the global transaction system, of a Russian Agricultural Bank subsidiary within 30 days; the creation of an insurance platform for Russian cargo and ships in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov; the unblocking of Russian fertilizer assets in the European Union; and approval for Russian ships carrying food and fertilizers to dock in European ports.
Guterres told reporters on Thursday that the UN is “actively engaged” to improve Russia’s grain and fertilizer exports, “We believe that it’s necessary to create a system of mutual guarantee — guarantee that the Russian Federation is able to overcome difficulties that still exist, even if many have been solved, and at the same time guarantees that we that we will have the restoration of the Black Sea initiative.”
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said dismissed the proposals as a “workaround” that does not create a real solution to the problem.
The Foreign Ministry added in a statement:
Instead of actual exemptions from sanctions, all Russia got was a new dose of promises from the UN Secretariat. These recent proposals do not contain any new elements and cannot serve as a foundation for making any tangible progress in terms of bringing our agricultural exports back to normal.
Guterres, speaking on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations summit in Indonesia, described how Russia was threatening grain supplies not only with the blockade but also with missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s ports.
“The difficulties we are facing to get the goodwill of the other partners around the world are dramatically increased when the Russian Federation bombs harbor installations and warehouses of grain,” Guterres said.
A “Protected Grain Corridor” in the Black Sea?
On Thursday, Ukraine submitted an official proposal to Turkey for a protected grain corridor in the Black Sea.
Kyiv’s Ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, noted that cargo vessels are already breaking the Russian blockade. He said the ships are sailing through the territorial waters of Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey without restrictions.
At least four vessels have passed through the temporary corridor since August 16.
UK insurance firm Lloyd’s of London has confirmed that it is in discussion with the UN to provide coverage for shipments, and
Ukraine Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said grain is being moved through Croatian ports.
On Friday, Russia attacked port infrastructure in the Odesa region for the fifth time in six days, launching 20 drones. The Ukraine Air Force said 16 were downed.
But Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal assured that Kyiv will use Danube River ports to ship humanitarian aid to African and Asian countries.
This is our contribution to global food security. We are working with the UN and our other partners to fully restore agricultural exports from Ukraine and finally unblock our Black Sea ports.