Ukraine reports defense against around 15 drones over Kiev
Thursday, August 03, 7:02 a.m.: According to their own statements, the Ukrainian air defense repelled around 15 drones that were moving towards Kiev during the night. Ukrainian forces “detected and destroyed nearly 15 air targets” as they approached Kiev, military administrator Serhiy Popko told Telegram on Thursday. He added that they were Iranian-made Shahed drones.
“According to the information available so far, there were no casualties or damage in the capital,” said Popko. It was the 820th air alert in Kiev since the Russian invasion began in February 2022 and it lasted three hours.
According to its own statements, the Ukrainian army had already intercepted more than ten Shahed drones over the capital on Wednesday night. The falling debris caused minor property damage, but no one was injured.
Also on Wednesday, Kiev reported an attack on the Ukrainian Danube port in Izmail, directly on the border with Romania. Warehouses and administration buildings were damaged. Izmail has been the top export port for Ukrainian grain since Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal last month.
Protection of ports: Selenskyj insists on more help with air defense
10:31 p.m.: In view of repeated Russian attacks on Ukrainian port infrastructure and grain storage facilities, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has again called for more international support for air defense. “Together with our partners, we are doing our best to increase the supply of air defense systems,” Zelenskyy said in his evening address on Wednesday. “Every attack is a common problem. Not only for Ukraine, but also for all those in the world whose stability Russia is trying to destroy.”
With its war of aggression, Moscow wants to bring about a “global catastrophe,” Zelensky said. The Russian attackers are speculating on food market crises and rising prices from which they could then benefit, he added. “These are very, very dangerous hopes.”
Russia restricts traffic through Kerch Strait near Crimea
9:41 p.m.: Russia further restricts shipping through the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday evening that the airspace over the strait was also closed. In an area marked as “temporarily dangerous”, ships are prohibited from passing through the strait – unless they are traveling in officially recommended fairways during the day, it said. Exceptions apply, for example, to watercraft of the Russian Navy and border guards.
An official reason was not given. However, the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Moscow and the Russian mainland, crosses the Kerch Strait. The 19-kilometer structure was damaged just a few weeks ago – Moscow attributes this to a drone attack and blames Ukraine.
Ukraine, which has been defending itself against a Russian war of aggression for more than 17 months, wants to liberate all occupied areas – including Crimea, which Russia annexed in violation of international law. In addition to the peninsula, the Ukrainian mainland also borders the Sea of Azov. However, the coastal regions are currently occupied by Russian troops.
Russian shelling in the Danube Delta destroys 40,000 tons of grain
6.35 p.m.: According to Ukrainian sources, almost 40,000 tons of grain were destroyed in drone attacks on Ukrainian grain ports in the Danube Delta. The deliveries were intended for African countries, China and Israel, writes Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov on news platform X.
Expert on decimated Russia: “Chaos everywhere”
08.09: According to the research director of the German Society for Foreign Relations, Christian Mölling, the Ukrainian counter-offensive is progressing. “We have seen significant changes in the last few weeks,” he said on Tuesday in the “Stern” podcast “Ukraine – the situation”. Ukraine has stepped up attacks on logistics and transport in the south and decimated Russian artillery. “The first parts are breaking out of the wall,” said the expert.
The Russian units should actually be replaced, says Mölling. But that is not possible because Russia “has no more reserves”. Putin cannot abandon the fighting around Bakhmut to deploy troops elsewhere, as the city has become a symbol. Here the Russian President is “in a dilemma”.
According to Mölling, the drone attacks on Moscow were intended to show that Putin no longer had the situation under control. The Russian regime makes an unstable impression: “A little chaos always swells out from every nook and cranny.”
Ukraine and Poland appoint ambassadors to each other
10:46 p.m.: In the dispute over statements by a Polish state secretary, Ukraine and Poland have summoned each other’s ambassadors. The foreign policy advisor to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Marcin Przydacz, defended import restrictions for Ukrainian agricultural products on television on Monday – and in this context called for more gratitude from Kiev. “Ukraine should start appreciating what Poland has done for them,” he said. As a result, the Polish ambassador was summoned to Kiev on Tuesday. He was told that Przydacz’s statements were “unacceptable”.
Warsaw, which has actually been considered one of Kiev’s most important supporters and closest partners since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine more than 17 months ago, reacted angrily: “In international politics, under war conditions and taking into account Poland’s huge support for the Ukraine not to make such mistakes,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Poland, for its part, summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw.
The background to the debate and Przydacz’s statement is a Polish ban on imports of cheaper Ukrainian grain. This should ensure that grain prices in the EU country remain stable for its own farmers. However, the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products to third countries is unaffected by the import ban.
Resistance against Crimean occupiers grows – numerous pro-Ukrainians “missing”
7.15 p.m.: Clashes between the Crimean occupiers and pro-Ukrainian civilians continue to escalate on the peninsula. As the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense reports, systematic attacks on military bases with “Molotov cocktails” – ie bottles with a flammable mixture – are now a system. The attacks would usually be perpetrated by civilians supporting Ukraine.
To ward off the attacks, the responsible Russian armed forces were put on high alert. “Suspicious” people would be monitored, the use of force and weapons and mass arrests were the order of the day. Also, scores of citizens who refused to take Russian citizenship would be considered “missing.” Arrests, large fines or dismissals are common.
Among those arrested, most of whom are Crimean Tatar people, are Nariman Dzhelial, Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar People’s Mejlis, journalist Timur Ibragimov and public figure Rustem Seitmemetov.
Howitzers co-financed by Germany handed over to Ukraine
5.20 p.m.: Slovakia has handed over to Ukraine the first two of 16 Zuzana-2 howitzers, the production of which is jointly financed by Denmark, Norway and Germany. This was announced by the Ministry of Defense in Bratislava on Tuesday. The state-owned company constructa-Defense wants to deliver the remaining copies by the end of 2024 for the fight against the Russian invasion. The total value of the armaments amounts to around 92 million euros.
“Today is the result of excellent international cooperation and proves that Slovakia can produce modern and reliable technology,” said acting Prime Minister Ludovit Odor. They are also currently working on a design for a new howitzer that could be manufactured in Ukraine itself.
Zuzana 2 is an artillery piece mounted on an armored wheeled chassis. It fires 155mm NATO ammunition. In addition to this order, Ukraine will receive a total of eight more howitzers of this type as part of a commercial armaments deal.