Finland: Russian troops have not yet been deployed to the border
Wednesday, August 16, 1:21 am: According to Finnish information, Russia has not yet implemented the announced transfer of troops to the border with Finland. As early as December last year, Russia announced the creation of new units in north-western Russia in response to NATO expansion, the Finnish foreign minister told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. “These efforts don’t seem to be progressing very quickly,” she stressed, adding, referring to the war in Ukraine, “Russian resources appear to be tied up elsewhere at the moment.”
Finland and Russia share a 1,340-kilometer border. In the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Finland – together with Sweden – gave up its decades of neutrality last year and applied to join NATO. In April, the Nordic country was admitted to the alliance. Russia described the move as an “attack on our security” and announced “tactical and strategic countermeasures”.
Finland is currently constructing a fence on a 200-kilometer section of the Finnish-Russian border, which should be ready in 2026.
Zelenskyj to front visit in the south ukrainian Area Zaporizhia
6:09 p.m.: Shortly after his trip to the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also visited positions close to the front in the south-eastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia. “Thank you for the service, thank you for defending Ukraine on this important southern stretch,” the head of state said in a field hospital, according to a statement on Tuesday.
According to the information, up to 200 wounded people receive their first aid in the hospital every day. The president had visited the staffs of eight different brigades, it said. As on the previous day in Donetsk, he was accompanied this time by the head of his office, Andriy Yermak, and his deputy Roman Mashovets. Brigadier General Olexander Tarnavskyj, who is responsible for the entire front section, wrote on Telegram: “Together with the President and the fighters, we talked about our offensive.”
Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion for over 17 months with Western help. Around ten weeks ago, the Ukrainian army launched a counter-offensive, focusing on the Zaporizhia region. So far, however, this has fallen short of the high expectations. Russia continues to occupy more than 100,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014.
Two dead after argument between drunk Russians: “He shot everything he saw”
2:34 p.m.: Several people were killed in a shootout in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian village of Urzuf over the weekend. The conflict reportedly erupted between a Russian soldier and a Russian military police officer. Both are said to have been drunk.
The Telegram channel “VChK-OGPU” quoted an allegedly leaked report that said “drunken Defense Ministry criminals assigned to a military unit stationed in Chechnya and a drunk military policeman” attacked each other with weapons.
What happened? According to the report, a Russian military unit made up mostly of convicted criminals was in Urzuf, near Mariupol on the Black Sea, at the time. One evening, the unit’s soldiers sat with other soldiers next to a group of locals and drank whiskey together. Then a dispute broke out between one of the convicted criminals and a military policeman from the Russian republic of Dagestan.
In the course of the argument, the military policeman drew his AK-47 and killed the soldier. Another soldier tried to come to his aid, he was badly wounded. The military policeman continued to shoot wildly through the area. As the report put it, “He shot indiscriminately at everything he saw.” Eventually, he also opened fire on the emergency response team that had rushed to the scene. The shooter was then killed in the process.
Three suspected Russian spies arrested in Britain
1:05 p.m.: According to the BBC, investigators in the UK have arrested three suspected Russian spies. The two men and one woman – all Bulgarian citizens – have been in custody since February, the public broadcaster reported on Tuesday. They are said to have worked for Russian secret services. They are accused of having possessed identification documents with “unfair intentions”. Accordingly, the trio has led passports, identity cards and other documents from several countries, including Great Britain, Italy and France.
The suspects have lived and worked in the UK for many years – one man and the woman in north-west London and the other man, who has business connections in Russia, in Great Yarmouth on England’s east coast. The trial of the suspected spies is scheduled to begin in January 2024, the BBC reported.
At the request of the German Press Agency, the responsible London Metropolitan Police confirmed that charges had been brought against two men aged 42 and 45 and a 32-year-old woman for possession of false identity documents. The police initially did not comment on possible espionage allegations.
Night Russian air raid on western Ukraine
Tuesday, August 15 at 7:41 am: According to the authorities, western Ukraine was heavily fired at on Tuesday night with Russian cruise missiles. At least three people were killed in the city of Lutsk, according to the head of the administration of the Volyn region, Yuriy Pohulyaiko. Several injured were taken to hospitals. The city of Lviv and its environs were also hit, as Mayor Andriy Sadowy announced. In Lviv, the attic of an apartment building caught fire. The cruise missiles were reportedly fired by Russian fighter bombers over the Caspian Sea. The affected areas of western Ukraine border on Poland and thus on NATO and the EU.
Russian fighter jet crashed in southern Krasnodar Territory
11:11 p.m.: According to official information, a fighter jet crashed in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar. According to initial findings, one inmate died, the Interfax agency reported on Monday evening, citing the Ministry of Defense in Moscow. The L-39 training aircraft was about to land during a training flight when it crashed onto the airfield for reasons that have not yet been clarified. In the course of the Russian war against Ukraine, fighter planes repeatedly launch attacks on the neighboring country from Krasnodar.
Since the beginning of the war, Russian fighter jets have crashed on their own territory several times. Technical problems are often given as the official reason. Just a few days ago, the crew of a Su-30 aircraft died when it crashed over the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad.
Luftwaffe intercepts Russian bombers flying “towards NATO territory”.
3 p.m.: On Monday morning, the Dutch and Danish air forces forced two Russian bombers that were headed “toward NATO territory” to turn back. This is reported by the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Accordingly, F16 jets rose as part of a so-called “Quick Reaction Alert” (QRA) to intercept the planes before they reached Dutch airspace. However, that was no longer necessary because the bombers had already turned around when the Danish Air Force had launched jets.
Kiev Mayor Klitschko talks to Lindner about further help
1:45 p.m.: During his visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) met the mayor of the city of three million, Vitali Klitschko, for talks. Further financial support for Ukraine and Kiev was discussed, Klitschko said on Telegram on Monday.
The delivery of anti-aircraft systems and long-range weapons was also an issue. Klitschko insisted that there shouldn’t be any delays. Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion for over 17 months with massive Western aid.