Military Expert: An event “automatically initiates the end of this offensive”
8:50 a.m: According to Markus Reisner, Colonel of the Austrian Armed Forces, Ukraine is also fighting against time in its counter-offensive. Because the mud period “Rasputiza” is just around the corner, explains Reisner in an interview with ntv. This should start with the next autumn rains, which are usually expected between the end of September and the beginning of October. The initially dry ground then turns to mud, making it much more difficult to move forward.
“That doesn’t change the possibility of deploying the troops on foot,” said the expert. But it has “a major disadvantage” in that Ukraine “cannot develop the thrust like armored formations that need dry ground.” Rasputiza “automatically initiates the end of this offensive – no matter how she is doing at the moment,” predicts the colonel.
Regardless of the outcome of the offensive, Ukraine will then have to “consolidate”. “We will try to defend ourselves locally so that the Russians don’t have the opportunity to attack themselves,” said Reisner. The winter will be ushered in by “a period of pause” before the next military action is prepared, in which F-16 jets can then be used “possibly in the spring”.
London: Pay in the Russian army has risen sharply since the beginning of the war
8:15 a.m.: Since the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine, pay in the Russian army has increased significantly, according to British sources. “Military service in the Russian armed forces has become increasingly lucrative since the invasion,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. Wages and bonuses are strong motives for joining the military, “especially for those from the poorer areas of Russia”. At the same time, the authority emphasized: “However, it is still unlikely that Russia will achieve its goals in recruiting volunteers for the armed forces.”
The British ministry referred to statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on February 4, 2022 – just under three weeks before the start of the war – gave a lieutenant’s salary at 81,200 rubles a month. In the meantime, however, even privates who had already been mobilized received 195,000 rubles (currently 1,887 euros) according to official figures. And many NCOs fighting in Ukraine earn more than 200,000 rubles a month. “This is more than 2.7 times the Russian median wage of 72,851 rubles,” it said in London. Applied to the UK, that means an annual salary of more than £90,000 (€105,000).
Russia: Two Ukrainian drones destroyed
5:55 a.m.: According to official information, Russia has repelled another Ukrainian drone attack on its territory. Air defense destroyed two unmanned aerial vehicles over the Tula region south of Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on its Telegram channel on Tuesday morning. The information could not be independently verified.
Moscow has repeatedly reported similar drone attacks in recent weeks and speaks of Ukrainian terrorist attacks. However, the attacks bear no relation to the mass attacks by Russia in its 18-month war of aggression against Ukraine.
Ukrainian defense minister rejects renewed allegations of corruption
Tuesday, August 29, 12:12 a.m.: The Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has rejected renewed allegations of corruption against his house. He calls on everyone to “handle information more critically and responsibly,” Resnikov told journalists on Monday, referring to reports in the Ukrainian media about winter uniforms that were allegedly overpriced. Several media outlets had previously reported that the Ministry of Defense in Kiev signed a deal with a Turkish company to supply winter uniforms at the end of 2022, the price of which tripled after the deal was signed.
According to media reports, one of the owners of the company is Oleksandr Kassai, a nephew of Gennady Kassai, who in turn belongs to the party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Reznikov dismissed the reports, saying they “misled society.” Worse still is the impact on Ukraine’s partners, as such reports create the impression of a “disaster”. When purchasing the uniform, everything was done “in accordance with the law on public procurement” and “on tendering procedures,” Resnikov said.
In January, several senior Ukrainian military personnel were fired after journalists revealed that soldiers had been buying food rations at inflated prices. At the beginning of August, head of state Selenskyj dismissed all those responsible for the recruitment of soldiers in the region. Cases of corruption in recruitment had previously become known. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the leadership in Kiev has been trying to take more consistent action against corruption and bribery in the country. The European Union has made progress in fighting corruption a condition of Ukraine’s bid for EU membership.
Zelenskyj announces ramping up of weapons production “to a maximum”.
10:43 p.m.: After more than a year and a half of war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced a maximum increase in arms production to fight the Russian invasion. In addition to artillery weapons and ammunition, drones, rockets and armored vehicles should also be manufactured in the country. “We are increasing the production volume to a maximum. Ukraine can do that. The funding is in place. Our defense industry will bring good results,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video message broadcast in Kiev on Monday.
The Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly announced plans to turn the country into one of the largest arms producers. According to Selenskyj, he met with representatives of the defense industry so that production could be further ramped up.
The country is dependent on huge quantities of ammunition and weapons in its counter-offensive to liberate the occupied areas, which has been sluggish for weeks. The country relies primarily on the military aid of Western allies.
Zelenskyj once again reiterated that Ukraine must also create the conditions for the new combat aircraft. Kiev is hoping for the early delivery of the F-16 fighter jets announced by the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Everything had been done politically for the delivery. But now the infrastructure for accommodating the fighter jets must also be prepared. “It’s a military task,” said the President.
Russia: Two US drones intercepted near Crimea
8:55 p.m.: Russia says it has intercepted two US reconnaissance drones over the Black Sea. According to the Ministry of Defense in the Telegram online service, the incident happened near the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. In order to “prevent a possible violation of the border”, two Russian fighter jets were dispatched. The drones then changed course.
In recent months, there have been an increasing number of incidents involving Russian aircraft, US drones or aircraft from other NATO countries, both in the Black Sea and over the Baltic Sea. Moscow says it intercepted a US drone approaching Russian airspace over the Black Sea on Sunday. A similar incident happened in early August.
Crimea, which is vital to the logistics of Russian forces fighting in southern Ukraine, has come under repeated attacks from Ukrainian drones since the conflict began.
For Wahl, the Kremlin is looking for sparring partners who don’t make Putin look old
6.40 p.m.: The Russian Presidential Administration (AP) is already considering who will run against Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential elections. In order not to jeopardize his already established electoral success and to enable a particularly good result, according to the Russian exile portal “Meduza” paid close attention to the selection of candidates.
As the portal claims to have learned from sources close to the Kremlin, none of the registered candidates is said to be younger than 50 years old. This, according to AP officials, could lead voters to conclude that 70-year-old Putin “is no longer the man who came to power with a firm hand.” Rather, “sparring partners” are sought.
The AP currently assumes that, in addition to Putin, representatives of three parliamentary parties – the KPRF, the LDPR and the New People – will stand for election. The Kremlin sees Gennady Zyuganov as the KPRF’s candidate. “Zyuganov is used to the president, he has a high status as a party leader, his surname is familiar to every voter. At the same time, he has an upper limit – the traditional electorate of the CPRF; it will not attract new voters,” explained one of Meduza’s interlocutors, who is close to the AP.
In the 2008 presidential election, Zyuganov received 17 percent of the vote, in 2012 it was 18 percent. Such stability of poll numbers is important for the Kremlin – it is planned that Putin will achieve a “record result” in the upcoming elections.
Several regional officials interviewed by Meduza confirmed that Russians have been concerned about Putin’s age in recent years. “Isn’t it time to start thinking about a successor?” a senior regional official quoted a question from residents. Officials themselves have also begun to look at him differently after Putin’s 70th birthday. While Meduza’s interlocutors used to call the incumbent president “first”, “boss”, “supreme” or “dad”, they now mostly call him “grandfather”.
Erdogan wants to travel to Russia “soon” for talks with Putin
5.30 p.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will visit Russia “soon” to discuss a possible resumption of the grain deal with Ukraine with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The meeting will take place in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi, spokesman for Erdogan’s AKP party, Ömer Celik, said in Ankara on Monday. Turkey hopes the talks will prevent an “looming food crisis,” Celik added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that “intensive” work was being done to prepare for the meeting, but like Celik he did not give a date. The Bloomberg news agency reported that the Turkish president could stop in Russia on September 9 on his way to the G20 summit in India.
In mid-July, Moscow withdrew from the grain agreement that had allowed Ukraine to transport grain across the Black Sea despite the war. Ukraine then opened sea lanes to merchant ships from several Black Sea ports in early August, despite Russia’s announcement that it would target any ship originating from Ukraine or heading to Ukraine in the Black Sea after the Grains Agreement expires.
On Monday, the second ship since the end of the grain deal with Russia arrived in Istanbul after leaving the southern Ukrainian port of Odessa. According to ship tracking portals, the Liberian-flagged freighter “Primus” reached the Turkish port on Monday. The ship of a shipping company from Singapore had left Odessa on Sunday.