Aspen Security Forum: Top officials discuss Ukraine war
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said the country’s “gain” is to push Russian forces back into Russian occupation and that Kyiv expects more military help from its allies, including the US.
Mr Zelensky has asked allies to supply fighter jets and more long-range missiles, and Washington plans to announce a new military package for Ukraine soon.
The US national security adviser told the same security forum in Colorado that the results of the counterattack would not be clear until Kyiv fully commits its forces, saying this has not yet happened.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin accused NATO member Poland of having territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union, and said any attack against Russia’s neighbor and close friend Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia.
Moscow would respond to any attack against Belarus “with all the resources available to us”, Putin said at a meeting of his Security Council in televised remarks.
And a South African court has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Putin ahead of the Brics summit in Johannesburg next month. The Kremlin says Mr Putin will not attend.
US to unveil new military aid package to Ukraine – report
The US is reportedly planning to announce a new military package worth up to $400m for Ukraine that will include artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and ground vehicles.
The new package will not include the controversial cluster munitions and could be announced as early as Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing officials close to the matter.
It is also expected to include armored personnel carriers, mine clearance equipment, and anti-tank weapons but the list may change before the announcement.
Once approved, this would mark the 43rd such military aid package the US has provided to Ukraine since Russia intervened in February 2022.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 08:00
Zelensky says counteroffensive is about to ‘gain speed’
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky says the country is going to push back the Russian forces in occupied Ukraine to “get fast.”
The expected start of the effort was much later than Kyiv had hoped due to a lack of sufficient ammunition supplies from allied countries.
But Mr Zelensky said yesterday that the week-old counteroffensive is about to change in momentum, with Ukraine ready to get more weapons.
He called on his allies to supply the war-torn country with more long-range missiles as well as advanced fighter jets, speaking to international leaders at the Aspen Security Forum.
“We are approaching a moment when relevant actions can accelerate because we are already going through several mine sites and we are describing those areas,” said Mr. Zelensky.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told an audience in Colorado that the results of Ukraine’s military effort would not be clear until Kyiv had fully committed its forces.
“It’s at that point when they make that commitment that we’ll really see what the results of the counteroffensive will be,” Mr. Sullivan said.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 07:22
Russian attack on Ukrainian ports will further blow ‘global food security,’ says United Nations
United Nations political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said yesterday that Russia’s bombing of Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea could have further impacts on global food security.
Condemning the Russian aerial strikes on the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv, Mr. DiCarlo said that this new wave of attacks would have “far-reaching effects on global food security, especially in developing countries.”
“Any risk of spillover conflict as a result of a military incident in the Black Sea – whether intentional or accidental – must be avoided at all costs, as this could have devastating consequences for all of us,” she said.
“We strongly condemn these attacks and urge Russia to stop them immediately,” Mr. DiCarlo said.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 07:00
The United Nations warns millions if the Black Sea grain market is cut off
When Russia ends the agreement allowing the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea “millions of people could face starvation and worse,” the UN aid chief said yesterday.
The landmark deal, brokered a year ago to tackle a potential global food crisis, allowed Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea but by pulling out of the agreement on Monday, higher prices will be “felt acutely by families in developing countries,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN Security Council’s chief aid executive.
The United Nations said the deal benefited poor countries by helping lower food prices around the world.
But Russia effectively scuttled the deal on Monday, saying it considers any ship traveling to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports likely to carry military cargo.
“Some will starve, some will starve, many may die as a result of these decisions,” Mr Griffiths said, according to Reuters.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 06:30
Zelensky says Ukraine will respond to Russia’s recent attacks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video speech yesterday that Ukraine would respond to Russia’s recent deadly attacks.
On Friday, Russian shelling killed two children in Donetsk, two women in Chernihiv, and missiles also hit Odesa, according to The Kyiv Independent.
The president said that more than 20 people, including two children, had been injured in attacks on Odesa in the past week.
Responding to the shelling, Mr Zelensky said that Ukraine would “respond” to the attacks, adding that “there will be punishment.”
“Also, there will be more consolidation in the world for defense and joint action, even more energy for victory, even more desire for justice, and just punishment of Russia for all the crimes of this war,” the Ukrainian president said.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 06:00
South Africa agrees to issue warrant for Putin’s arrest
A South African high court has confirmed that it has finally issued a warrant against Russian president Vladimir Putin, ahead of the African country hosting a summit of BRICS countries that includes Russia.
As one of the signatories of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which issued a warrant against Mr Putin on war crimes charges, South Africa is expected to detain the Russian president when he defends himself in the African country.
But officials from both countries had previously said Mr Putin would be allowed to attend the summit despite the ICC warrant.
South Africa then said on Wednesday that Mr Putin would not attend the summit, and that Russia would be represented by foreign minister Sergei Lavrov instead.
A high court in Pretoria confirmed on Friday that the department had finally sent the warrant.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 05:30
Zelensky calls for ‘neutralization’ of Crimean bridge
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called for the Crimean bridge to be taken down during his speech at the Aspen Security Forum.
He called the bridge a legitimate target for Ukraine that must be “neutralized”.
“The Crimean Bridge is not just a logistics road. This is the road used to feed the war with ammunition. And he sends Military to the Crimean Peninsula. This is an enemy facility built outside of international law, and therefore understood, it is a [military] purpose,” said Mr. Zelensky.
“And any target that is bringing war must be neutralized,” he said.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 05:00
Russia builds fake trenches to lure Ukrainians into mines – report
Russian forces are said to have built fake trenches to lure the Ukrainians into mine-laden traps.
Insider reported that Russia has built a huge network of trenches ahead of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, including fake ones containing mines.
“They build fake trenches. They have my trenches,” Michael Kofman, a Russia expert at the Center for Naval Analysts, said in a podcast Thursday.
Mr. Kofman, who recently visited Ukraine with other war experts, said Russian forces are trying to “lure Ukrainian forces into mined trenches… and then blow up these mines” with remote controls.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 04:30
Video shows Ukraine confirms first use of US cluster bombs
A new video reveals for the first time Kyiv’s use of controversial US cluster bombs against Russian forces.
In the video, smaller bombs can be seen fired from the bomb shelter near the city of Krasnohorivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
The US had previously announced that it would send the cluster bombs to Ukraine as part of an $800m package.
More than 100 countries have banned the use of these bombs because there is a chance that some of the bombs will not explode and will turn into mines on the battlefield, which will be a threat for a long time.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 03:57
Zelensky condemns the Russian artillery attack in Donetsk
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the Russian artillery attack in Donetsk which he said killed two children.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Zelensky said: “Russia killed two more children today. Artillery attack on Druzhba village, Toretsk community, Donetsk region. A girl born in 2007 and a boy born in 2013 died. Chernihiv region, the village Honcharivske – hit by a missile. Two women were killed, the demolition of the rubble is in full swing… A cultural center, a school and residential buildings were damaged”
Holly Bancroft22 July 2023 03:48