Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 531

Here is the situation on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

Ukrainian soldiers fire a M109 self-propelled howitzer towards Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on August 7, 2023 [Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters]


  • Two Russian missiles killed five people and injured 31 when they hit residential buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said. One woman was also killed in Kherson, while two others were killed in the border areas of the Kharkiv region due to Russian shelling, officials said.
  • Russia said its troops have advanced 3km (2 miles) along the Kupiansk front in northeastern Ukraine over the past three days as Moscow’s troops try to regain territory lost to Ukraine.

  • Ukrainian forces lost up to 135 soldiers during fighting in the Donetsk region in the previous 24 hours, Russia’s TASS news agency reported, citing Russian commanders.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said United States-built Patriot and Germany’s IRIS-T air defence systems had produced “significant results” and Kyiv had repelled a significant number of Russia’s air attacks over the past week, including shooting down 65 missiles and 178 assault drones.
  • Russia’s air defences shot down a drone over the Ferzikovskyi district in the country’s Kaluga region, close to Moscow, Governor Vladislav Shapsha said.
  • The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said Russia released 22 Ukrainian soldiers in the latest prisoner-of-war exchange between the two countries.

Peace talks

  • China’s foreign ministry said the Ukraine peace talks held in Saudi Arabia over the weekend helped “consolidate international consensus” regarding the conflict. China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, “had extensive contact and communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis”, the foreign ministry said.
  • A spokesperson for Germany’s government said the Saudi Arabia conference showed the international community’s willingness to work towards ending the war in Ukraine.
  • The peace talks in Saudi Arabia had dealt a “huge blow” to Russia, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff Yermak said. No other peace initiatives were discussed at the meeting apart from Zelenskyy’s and all the attendees fully supported Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity, Yermak said. Participants agreed to hold another meeting of political advisers in about six weeks, he added.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on the phone to discuss the peace talks in Saudi Arabia as well as “long-term security arrangements”.
  • Russia said a peace deal with Kyiv based on Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan was “impossible”. Foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the 10 points represented a “senseless ultimatum” to Russia, claiming that Ukraine and the West were trying to “downplay” peace proposals by other countries.


Military aid

  • Ukrainian legislator Yehor Chernev said parliamentary factions in Germany have “reached a consensus” to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles but an official decision has yet to be announced.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said he asked for the ATACMS long-range missiles in his phone call with his US counterpart Blinken.


  • Well-known Russian sociologist and activist Boris Kagarlitsky has been labelled a “terrorist” by authorities in Russia. Kagarlitsky had repeatedly spoken out against the war in Ukraine in a magazine he edited and on YouTube. Teaching at the private Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences, he was designated a “foreign agent” in 2018.

  • Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky has been sentenced to eight years in jail after being found guilty in absentia of spreading false news about the Russian army, the state news agency TASS reports. According to the prosecution, Glukhovsky posted videos and text from outside Russia that had falsely created evidence of Moscow’s forces allegedly committing crimes in Ukraine.


  • Ukraine’s security services detained a woman who they accused of helping Russia plot an attack on Zelenskyy when he visited a flood-hit region of the country following the Kakhovka dam breach. The SBU security service said the government was aware of the plot ahead of time and put in additional security measures during Zelenskyy’s visit.
  • As many as 7,000 fighters from Russia’s Wagner mercenary force are stationed in Belarus, the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said.

  • Poland’s Border Guard has asked the country’s defence ministry to send a further 1,000 troops to the border with Belarus amid increased attempts by people to cross the frontier “illegally” and amid concerns over the arrival of Russian Wagner Group fighters in the neighbouring country.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies