Between shelling and nibbling, the week of conflict in four infographics

Three new merchant ships loaded with grain left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports this weekend, beginning a series of regular rotations to supply agricultural markets. This wheat flight closes on a note of hope in a warm week on the front of diplomacy and the farm.

While President Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron have not spoken on the phone for two months because France is an “unfriendly” country, Turkish President Erdogan was in Sochi on Friday to talk about the war and peace with number one from the Kremlin. A peace that does not seem ready to announce, because Russian forces continued this week to attack the south and east of Ukraine, trying with missile forces to stop the kyiv offensive…

Here’s a look at four infographics of this new week of war in Ukraine, which ended this Friday, the 163rd day of the conflict.

“In Pisky, Avdiivka, and elsewhere. There’s hell out there”

Map of the situation in Ukraine on August 5 at 9 am. – SIMON MALFATTO, SOPHIE RAMIS, KENAN AGEARD

In the south, in the Kherson region, the first major city to fall on March 3, the Russian army is trying to prevent a slow counter-offensive from Ukraine, which announced on Tuesday that it had captured 53 localities there. “Russian forces launched two attacks in the northern region of Kherson and continued to redeploy troops in the south,” according to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). In vain… for now.

While in the South every opponent is floundering, elsewhere in Ukraine missiles and other precision artillery continue to wreak havoc. “Russian high-precision missiles” were thus destroyed near Radekhiv, in the Lviv region, a “depot of foreign weapons and ammunition”, declared the Russian army, without further indication. The previous day, the Ukrainian Air Force reported eight Russian cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea.

Arms deliveries continue to allow kyiv to balance Russia’s numerical superiority. The Ukrainian president thus thanked his American counterpart Joe Biden in his daily speech on Tuesday night for the provision of highly mobile Himars systems, which fire GPS-guided missiles that has a distance of 80 kilometers. “The word ‘Himars’ has almost become a synonym for the word ‘justice’ for our country,” assured Volodymyr Zelensky. However, Russia’s superiority in artillery and manpower remains patent, especially in the fighting raging in eastern Donetsk, one of the two regions of the Donbass basin, Zelensky acknowledged: “In Pisky, Avdiivka, and everywhere else. Hell outside.”

Ukraine is (finally) exporting its released wheat

The chart showing the amount of wheat exported by the country in 2020, in million tons, according to FAO data.
The chart showing the amount of wheat exported by the country in 2020, in million tons, according to FAO data. – PAZ PIZARRO, SYLVIE HUSSON

Five days after the departure from the Ukrainian port of Odessa cargo Reason, first grain shipment since the start of the Russian invasion, three new grain shipments left Ukraine in a convoy on Friday. the Navistar, flying the flag of Panama, left Odessa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of corn; the Rojenunder Maltese flag, bound for England from Chernomorsk with 13,000 tons and Turkish cargo Polarnetwaiting at the port of Chernomorsk, bound for Karasu, a Turkish port on the Black Sea, with 12,000 tons of corn.

These ships, loaded with corn essential for global food security, are moving under the supervision of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) established in Istanbul under the terms of the international agreement signed in Istanbul last July 22. This agreement, which was validated by Turkey and the United Nations, should make it possible to alleviate the global food crisis that has seen an increase in prices. Note that world food prices fell significantly in July, driven by the prices of cereals and vegetable oils, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Friday. For example, the FAO Cereals Index sank by 11.5%, “the biggest drop in wheat prices in the world, which lost no less than 14.5% in response to the agreement concluded between Ukraine and the Russian Federation to unblock the main port of the Black Sea”.

According to kyiv, 16 other boats full of grain are waiting to leave Odessa.

Zelensky against Amnesty

Map of Ukraine showing fighting that has caused casualties since the start of the conflict on February 24, 2022.
Map of Ukraine showing the fighting that has claimed victims since the start of the conflict on February 24, 2022. – Paz PIZARRO, Jean-Michel CORNU, Sophie STUBER

The growth in grain exports was partly covered by a report from theAmnesty International accused kyiv of endangering the lives of civilians.
In a document released Thursday after a four-month investigation, Amnesty International accused the Ukrainian military of building military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from residential areas, a tactic which is said to be in violation of international humanitarian. Volodymyr Zelensky responded strongly Thursday night, in his daily video statement, accusing the NGO of “attempting amnesty to the terrorist state” in Russia and “shifting responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.

In its report, Amnesty International nevertheless insists on the fact that the Ukrainian tactics do not “in any way justify the indiscriminate attacks by Russia” that hit the civilian population. Eight people were killed and four injured on Thursday in a Russian strike that hit a bus stop in Toretsk, eastern Ukraine. However, after 163 days of war, there is still no comprehensive assessment of the civilian victims of the conflict. At the military level, about 15,000 Russian soldiers lost their lives, according to American and British intelligence agencies, while Kyiv reported 10,000 deaths among its troops. No independent statistics are available.

Finland and Sweden are relatively close to NATO

Map of NATO member countries and contenders for membership in the organization, including Finland and Sweden, whose membership ratification process was formally launched on July 5.
Map of NATO member countries and contenders for membership in the organization, including Finland and Sweden, whose membership ratification process was formally launched on July 5. – SIMON MALFATTO, SOPHIE RAMIS, KENAN AUGEARD

Sweden and Finland, which have so far held off joining NATO to avoid antagonizing neighboring Russia, presented their candidates after Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. It was approved at a NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June.

And, this Wednesday, the United States approved the access protocols. The US Senate approved this resolution by a single vote by an overwhelming majority (95 votes for, 1 against). “This historic vote is an important sign of the enduring and cross-partisan commitment of the United States to NATO, and the will to ensure that our Alliance is ready to face the challenges of today and tomorrow”, welcomed the President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration enthusiastically supports this ratification, which should demonstrate the strength of the Atlantic Alliance in the face of Russian expansion. As for the American vote, it happened a day after the approval of the access protocols in the French parliament, as well as in Italy. Including the United States, 23 States have already approved the accession of Finland and Sweden out of the 30 required.

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