“Russian invaders bombed Kharkiv this evening.” This was reported by Oleg Sinekubov, head of the regional military administration, as quoted by Ukrainska Pravda. “Aggressors attacked Shevchenkivskiy and industrial districts. First aid teams went to the scene and there are preliminary reports of three victims,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Russian military continues to focus on artillery to weaken the Ukrainian resistance in the Donbass, but inevitably the risks to civilians increase. This time bullets hit a bus stop in Doretsk killing at least 8 people and injuring 4, including children. Further south, concerns center on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which poses a threat to the fighting zone. According to the IAEA, the situation is “totally out of control” because safety standards are not being respected. The Russian attack on Doretsk, a city of 30,000 people in southeastern Ukraine, was one of several to hit the Donetsk region, near the front lines of the conflict. Kiev authorities have been appealing for weeks for people to abandon their homes, which, among other things, now lack water and heat.
In Doretsk, the Ukrainian governor condemned another mass massacre, guilty only of wanting to go on a bus, but the enemy responded using the same arguments: the continuous bombing of the capital by the Ukrainian army killed six people. The raids would have taken place during a farewell ceremony for Lt. Col. Olga Kachura: the first female officer in the ranks of Russians killed in the conflict. In the south, if a missile or mortar attack hits Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the consequences of the war will be devastating in Zaporizhia. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Raffaele Grossi, warned that the plant, which is still operating despite the Russian occupation, is in urgent need of inspection and repair. “The situation is very fragile. Every security principle has been violated in one way or another and it cannot be allowed to continue like this.” At this point, the only hope for a slowdown in the conflict lies in signals sent by Vladimir Putin, who is willing to negotiate with Kiev. At least as former German Chancellor Gerard Schröder said after a visit to the Kremlin. From this point of view, attention is focused on tomorrow’s scheduled meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin in Sochi. The precedent of the tripartite event in Tehran on July 19 is encouraging, as on that occasion the Turkish leader was able to persuade the Tsar to open Ukrainian ports and resume shipments of grain.
In Kiev, on the other hand, suspicion of Moscow prevails (“They want to impose their peace on us,” the government asserts), meanwhile a banking investigation is underway in Beijing. Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted a “direct interview” with Xi Jinping. “It’s a very powerful state. It’s a powerful economy. So it can influence Russia politically and economically,” the Ukrainian leader said in an interview with Chinese media. Hopefully, Xi’s interest in international stability (which is good for business) will prevail over an alliance with Moscow. Beijing’s help could be a turning point for Ukrainians, who now also have to deal with accusations that they are not protecting citizens, coming from an international body that certainly does not support Moscow. After research in the Kharkiv, Donbass and Mykolayiv regions, Amnesty condemned that “Ukrainian forces have set up bases in built-up areas, including schools and hospitals, putting people at risk.” A surprise attack on Kiev, which reacted strongly. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thundered that the report was “unjustified and shameful and feeds the disinformation and propaganda created by the Russians.”
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