Here is the situation on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said fighting in the northeastern Kharkiv region was “difficult” but that the country’s armed forces were repelling Russian attacks and had retaken several square kilometres on the eastern front over the past week. The situation was particularly challenging around Kupiansk, she said.
- Maliar said Ukrainian forces had also recaptured about 3sq km (1.2sq miles) of territory around the eastern war-battered town of Bakhmut but had made no notable advances on the southern front. “In the south, the situation has not undergone significant changes. Our defenders continue to advance in the Berdyansk and Melitopol sectors,” she told state television.
- Russia said it foiled several drone attacks, one of which led to the suspension of about 50 flights at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. Two people were also injured when debris from a drone fell on a house near Moscow, according to officials.
- Ukraine lined up the burned-out remains of dozens of Russian tanks and other fighting vehicles along Kyiv’s main street as Ukrainians prepare to mark their second wartime Independence Day on Thursday.
- Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin shared his first video address since leading a brief mutiny in late June, appearing in a clip possibly shot in Africa that was released on Telegram channels affiliated with the Wagner Group. The video showed Prigozhin standing in a desert wearing camouflage and holding a rifle in his hands.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a speech outside the Danish parliament that he was “confident” Russia would lose the war in Ukraine, following Denmark and the Netherlands’s decision to donate F-16 fighters to the country. “I’m sure that we will win because the truth is on our side,” Zelenskyy said. “The main thing is what we prove with our victory, with our cooperation, … together we prove that life is a value, that people matter. Freedom matters. Europe matters.”
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said it was careful not to violate sanctions imposed by its Western allies on Russia over the war in Ukraine after the Wall Street Journal reported the country was aiding Moscow by providing an outlet for Russian money. A UAE official said the country was not flouting sanctions and had a robust process to deal with blacklisted people and companies.
- Denys Marchuk, the deputy head of the Agrarian Council, Ukraine’s largest agribusiness group, said Ukraine was considering using its newly-tested Black Sea export corridor for grain shipments after last week’s successful delivery. Ukraine announced a “humanitarian corridor” near the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria after Russia quit the Black Sea grain export deal in July.
- Russia expanded its blacklist of people working in the United Kingdom’s media, including journalists and executives at the BBC, the Guardian and The Telegraph.
- Danish Defence Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said Ukraine can use the F-16 fighter jets being donated by Denmark and the Netherlands only within its own territory.
- Zelenskyy said Greece will take part in training Ukrainian air force pilots on F-16 jets. He did not provide details of the training programme. Officials from a coalition of 11 nations have said F-16 training will take place in Denmark and Romania.
- Russia’s ambassador to Denmark, Vladimir Barbin, condemned Denmark and the Netherlands’s decision to donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, saying it would escalate the conflict
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies