Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Nokia and Ericsson end business operations in Russia

Finnish mobile phone companies Ericsson and Nokia will cease business operations in Russia by the end of this year, company representatives have said.

“By the end of the year, the vast majority of our employees in Russia will have left Nokia, and we have left all of our offices,” a Nokia spokesperson said. “We will maintain an official presence in the country until the legal shutdown is over.”

Ericsson announced in April that it was indefinitely suspending operations in the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while Nokia said it would leave the country entirely.

Ericsson had about 400 employees in Russia and put them on paid leave earlier in the year, and reported a $95 million loss as it halted operations there. He said he would provide financial assistance to his employees affected by the departure. Nokia had around 2,000 employees in Russia and says its remaining presence in the country is tied to critical maintenance work and meeting contractual obligations.

Finnish companies are among hundreds of Western and foreign companies that have left Russia since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

—Natasha Turak

Ukrainian forces launch counter-offensive to retake Kherson

Ukrainian troops are beginning their long-awaited counter-offensive to retake the southern region of Kherson from Russian forces, the Ukrainian military command has announced.

“Today we launched offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region,” spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Command, Natalia Humenyuk, was quoted by local media as saying.

Ukraine’s strikes on some of Russia’s vital supply routes and bridges in the south, as well as several ammunition depots, have “unquestionably weakened the enemy”, she added, without giving further details. details of the counter-offensive.

Ukrainian gunners from the military assembly center check weapons and special equipment to prepare them before taking up duty on the frontline in Kherson, Ukraine, on July 15, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Kherson is highly strategic for Russia, as it provides a land bridge to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Ukrainian and American officials have warned that Moscow is planning a “mock” referendum to justify the annexation of Kherson. The Kremlin denies this, saying it will simply follow the will of the people.

Sporadic acts of resistance by Ukrainians have been reported in Kherson since its occupation, including several demonstrations in the early months of the war.

—Natasha Turak

The UN announces at least 5,663 dead in Ukraine since the start of the war

An Orthodox priest serves on the graves of unidentified civilians during their funeral at a local cemetery in the town of Bucha, Kyiv region, on August 11, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 5,663 civilian deaths and 8,055 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor on February 24.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, as armed conflict may delay death reports.

The international organization said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery fire and multiple rocket launchers, as well as missiles and air strikes.

—Amanda Macias

Eight civilians killed in Russian strikes on Donetsk: regional governor

Several towns in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine came under fire from Russian forces overnight, the Ukrainian military said, resulting in civilian deaths. The Russian shelling hit civilian and military infrastructure around the towns of Bakhmut, Kodema, Shumy, Zaytsevo and Yakovlyvka, Reuters reported, citing the military.

Firefighters try to put out a fire after the Russian shelling of a house at Bakhmut in Donetsk, Ukraine, July 27, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The attacks killed eight civilians in the battered province of Donetsk, its governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said. Moscow says it does not target civilians.

By July, Russia occupied about half of Donetsk and the whole of Luhansk province, giving it majority control of the long-disputed Donbass province, which the Kremlin calls an “unconditional priority”.

—Natasha Turak

Ukraine could face its coldest winter in decades, says head of state gas company

Ukraine could experience its coldest winter in decades over the next few months, the head of its national gas company Naftogaz has said, as centralized heating infrastructure will come on later in the season and be turned off later in the season. earlier than normal.

Temperatures inside will be kept around four degrees cooler than in previous years, Naftogaz chief Yuriy Vitrenko said, between 62 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (between 17 and 18 degrees Celsius) as the country grapples with shortages of electricity – and revenue to pay for that power – due to the Russian invasion, now in its seventh month.

Vitrenko said people should make sure they have a supply of warm clothes and blankets. Average winter temperatures in Ukraine can drop below 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius).

Ukraine’s central heating figures also hinge on the financial aid they receive from allies to be able to import enough gas, as well as whether Russian forces are harming vital gas and electricity infrastructure. .

—Natasha Turak

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu sidelined, UK MoD says

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has lost some of his authority as commanders begin to report directly to President Vladimir Putin, the UK Ministry of Defense wrote in its daily intelligence update on Twitter, citing independent Russian media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a wreath laying ceremony, marking the anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany in 1941, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia June 22, 2022.

Mikhail Metzel | sputnik | Reuters

“Recent independent Russian media reports claimed that due to the problems Russia is facing in its war against Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is now sidelined within the Russian leadership, with operational commanders directly briefing President Putin on the course of the war,” the ministry writes.

He added that “Shoigu probably struggled for a long time to overcome his reputation for lacking substantial military experience, as he spent most of his career in the construction industry and in the Ministry of Emergency Situations.”

—Natasha Turak

IAEA nuclear inspection team ‘en route’ to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, points to a map of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as he briefs the press on the situation of nuclear power plants in Ukraine during a special press conference at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on March 4, 2022.

Joe Clamar | AFP | Getty Images

A team from the UN’s nuclear watchdog is finally on its way to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, after months of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces around the facility and amid the growing fear of a possible nuclear catastrophe.

“The day has come, the IAEA Support and Assistance Mission in Zaporizhzhia (ISAMZ) is now on its way,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said via Twitter.

“We must protect the safety and security of the largest nuclear facility in Ukraine and Europe. Proud to lead this mission which will take place at ZNPP later this week.”

The mission will inspect physical damage to the plant and assess its safety and security, assess staff conditions and implement urgent security protocols, the agency said.

—Natasha Turak

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