Fighting continues and Ukrainian authorities are still lamenting civilian casualties, nearly six months after the start of the Russian invasion. Many observers see the shipment of Ukrainian grain from Odessa, which is a test case for the international agreement on exports. Washington did not relax the pressure on Russia and announced new sanctions.
The Azov regime is designated a “terrorist organization” by Russia
Russia’s Supreme Court has classified the Ukrainian Azov regime, famous for defending Mariupol in Ukraine, as “terrorist organization”. This could lead to heavy prosecutions of fighters captured by Russia, as they are now considered prisoners of war. This decision takes effect immediately, as a judge of the Supreme Court quoted by the Tass agency, afterwards “on an administrative request from the public prosecutor’s office”.
Much of the testing took place behind closed doors. According to TASS, the witnesses were called to the stand and spoke about the alleged crimes committed by the Azov regiment in Ukraine. Under Russian law, the leaders of a terrorist organization risk 15 to 20 years in prison, their simple members between five and ten years. Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, answered that “Russia will bear direct legal responsibility for the ill-treatment of prisoners of war”.
A first Ukrainian grain cargo ship in Istanbul
It carried the first authorized load of Ukrainian grain since the start of the war in Ukraine. the Reason, a cargo under the Sierra Leonean flag, arrived at the northern coast of Istanbul in the Black Sea on Tuesday August 2. From Odessa with 26,000 tons of corn destined for Lebanon, the ship had to spend the night at anchor on the coast in Turkey. It will then be inspected on Wednesday morning by an international team at the entrance to the Bosphorus, the Turkish Ministry of Defense said.
This is the first export allowed under the agreement signed on July 22 in Istanbul between Ukraine and Russia, which was mediated by Turkey and under the supervision of the United Nations, to unblock Ukrainian ports and relieve the agricultural market. The inspection will be carried out by a delegation consisting of Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and UN representatives.
Ukraine deplores new civilian casualties
The Ukrainian Air Force Command announced that Russian forces fired eight cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea into Ukrainian territory. Seven were intercepted, according to this source, but another was intercepted “hit an air defense complex in the Lviv region”in the west of the country.
Mykolaiv, a town near the front in southern Ukraine, once again “mass bombed” in the evening of Monday to Tuesday, in this part the presidency was announced. In the neighboring region of Kherson, the first major city to fall into the hands of the Russian army, on March 3, “the situation remains tense”, he said. But Ukraine, which is now leading a counter-offensive in the south, announced on Tuesday that it had captured 53 occupied localities there.
Also in the Kherson region, the head of the military administration of Kryviy Rih, Oleksander Vilkul, reported the death of two civilians aboard a minibus that tried to leave the village of Starosillya, at the hands of the Russians. Another five people were evacuated, two of them were seriously injured and hospitalized.
The United States punishes new Russian personalities
Washington announced new economic sanctions against Russian companies and oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, including Andrey Guryev, who owns London’s largest private estate behind Buckingham Palace. “Putin’s allies are getting rich and funding opulent lifestyles”said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The steelmaker Magnitogorsk (MMK) is also on the Treasury list, as it is considered “one of the largest taxpayers in Russia, providing a major source of government revenue”. Ditto for two subsidiaries and its main shareholder, oligarch Viktor Rachnikov. Ex-gymnast Alina Kabaeva, head of a “pro-Kremlin” media group, and to whom the media lent a relationship with Vladimir Putin – which the latter denied -, also saw her assets frozen in the United States.
The State Department, for its part, also announced visa restrictions against 893 Russian officials and 31 foreign officials for their role in the war in Ukraine. Also targeted are three oligarchs, Russian state-owned companies, and “24 Russian entities related to defense and technology”.