Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Ukraine’s economy has suffered a sharp decline due to war with Russia, senior official says

A view of the damage after the market square was hit by Russian attacks as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, July 25, 2022.

Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has had a huge impact on the country’s economy, according to a senior official of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Currently, we expect the Ukrainian economy to show a drop of around 35% to 40%, which is a huge drop,” Zelenskyy’s economic adviser Oleg Ustenko told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.” .

“But why this decline has happened [is] because I would say 50%, half of our businesses are either not operational right now or are not able to operate at full capacity.”

“When the economy declines, budget revenues decline. Again, the reason is the Russian invasion,” he added.

— Sumathi Bala

Germany fears ‘serious’ situation as Russian gas flows set to decline again

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said gas supplies to industry will be cut before private residences or critical infrastructure such as hospitals experience gas shortages.

Image Alliance | Image Alliance | Getty Images

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has warned that the country faces a serious energy situation as Russia prepares to cut gas flows to Europe.

“We have a serious situation. It’s time for everyone to understand this,” Habeck told broadcaster ARD on Monday evening, adding that Germany needed to reduce its gas consumption. “We’re working on it,” Habeck said.

Habeck said gas supplies for industry will be cut before private residences or critical infrastructure such as hospitals experience gas shortages.

“Of course, it is a big concern, which I also share, that this could happen. Then some production lines in Germany or Europe would simply no longer be manufactured. We must avoid this with all our might.” The way is to reduce gas consumption by 15-20% in Germany, he said.

“If we can do that, then with all the steps we’ve taken, we have a very good chance of not having to take that step.”

Just days after gas flows resumed through its Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline last Thursday after a 10-day hiatus for routine maintenance, Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Monday it would again cut daily gas deliveries via the pipeline to 33 million cubic meters from Wednesday.

This means that gas flow, already at only 40% capacity, will further halve from tomorrow.

Gazprom said it was for the purpose of repairing a turbine, but that claim was criticized by Western officials. Germany’s Habeck said the reasoning was a ‘farce’, while Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said Putin was continuing his ‘gas war’ against Europe, a continent that has traditionally depended on Russia for around 45% of its annual gas supplies.

—Holly Ellyatt

‘No indication’ Russian missiles hit Ukrainian warship and munitions in Odessa, UK says

The British Ministry of Defense said that, contrary to Russian claims, there was no evidence that a missile attack on the port of Odessa last weekend actually hit a Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles.

“On July 24, 2022, Russian cruise missiles hit the dock of the Ukrainian port of Odessa. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have hit a Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles. There is no indication that such targets were located where the missiles hit,” the ministry said.

The comments come after Russia claimed it used high-precision Kalibr missiles to destroy a ship repair factory in Odessa, destroying a dockside warship and a depot of US-supplied Harpoon missiles . The strike has crippled the plant’s production capacity for repairing and modernizing Ukrainian navy ships, a Russian general said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack an act of “barbarism”.

The port of Odessa on July 20, 2022.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

In its latest intelligence update, the UK noted that “Russia almost certainly perceives anti-ship missiles as a key threat that limits the effectiveness of its Black Sea Fleet”.

“This has significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to seize Odessa. Russia will continue to prioritize efforts to degrade and destroy capability Ukraine’s anti-ship approach. However, Russia’s targeting processes are most likely regularly undermined by intelligence, poor planning and a top-down approach to operations,” he added.

—Holly Ellyatt

Kharkiv bombarded during the night; Towns and villages in Donetsk are under continuous fire

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, came under fire overnight, with more shelling on the city, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram.

“Again, the night bombardment of the city. One of the districts of Kharkiv, closer to the city center, was hit. Traditionally, it was next to a building that had nothing to do with military infrastructure,” Terekhov said, adding that he was still unsure if there were any casualties after the strikes.

Firefighters carry out search and rescue operations after Russian forces hit a cultural center in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine, July 25, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In its latest military update on Tuesday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said that Kharkiv and its surroundings had been attacked by tanks, guns and rockets as Russian forces continued their assault on the Donetsk region. , in the Donbass, with Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Bakhmut. and surrounding settlements under fire.

A damaged market in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on July 25, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Nearby, Russia was also “focusing its main efforts on trying to improve the tactical position and create conditions for an offensive on the towns of Siversk and Soledar. Enemy units are replenishing stocks of ammunition, fuel and oil,” a spokesman for the Ukrainian General Staff said. on Facebook.

—Holly Ellyatt

At least 100 nuclear plant employees kidnapped by Russian troops, energy company chairman says

A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, seized by Russian forces in March, is in southeastern Ukraine and is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. This photo was taken during a media trip organized by the Russian military.

Andrei Borodulin | AFP | Getty Images

The president of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant company said Russian forces abducted around 100 of its employees.

“There are about 500 Russian soldiers on the territory of the power plant. They are the ones who let employees into their workplaces and control everything that happens on the territory of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant,” Petro Kotin said. of Energoatom, according to a translation by NBC News.

Kotin added that the Russian troops took identification badges and entered a secure area inside the nuclear power plant. He said “what they did there is not known”.

He said they may not have followed the proper security checks and “it’s entirely possible that they received radioactive contamination on their clothes outside the screening area”.

—Amanda Macias

Putin is waging a ‘gas war’ against Europe, says Zelenskyy

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with participants of the national Bolshaya Peremena competition for schoolchildren, via video link in Moscow, Russia, July 20, 2022.

Pavel Byrkin | sputnik | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is waging a “gas war” against Europe.

“Russia is not going to take over the gas supply to European countries, as it is contractually bound to do. And this is an open gas war, which Russia is waging against a united Europe,” Zelenskyy said during the talk. a late-night talk on the Telegram messaging app. .

“They don’t care what will happen to people, how hungry they will be due to blocked ports or winter cold and poverty,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Russia was indulging in ” different forms of terror”.

He also called on world leaders to sever trade ties with Russia “as much as possible” in order to put pressure on Moscow.

—Amanda Macias

Russia’s Gazprom further cuts gas flow from Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing repairs

Nord Stream 1’s supplier said gas flows had resumed after maintenance work.

Hannibal Hanschke | Reuters

Russia’s Gazprom said it would further reduce natural gas flows through a major pipeline to Europe to 20% of capacity, citing equipment repairs.

The Russian state-owned company tweeted that it would reduce “the daily throughput” of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany to 33 million cubic meters from Wednesday. The head of the German network regulator confirmed the reduction.

The move comes after Gazprom raised questions about the return of a party that has been at the center of tensions over natural gas deliveries through the pipeline, saying it is unhappy with the documents it has received .

The company cut gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 60% in mid-June, citing alleged technical problems with equipment that partner Siemens Energy sent to Canada for overhaul and which could not be fired due to sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

Germany has dismissed Gazprom’s technical explanation for the gas cut, repeatedly saying it was just a pretext for the Kremlin’s political decision to sow uncertainty and further drive up prices. energy price.

— Associated Press

Ukraine hopes to start exporting agricultural products on Tuesday, official says

Farmers harvest a wheat field near Melitopol in Ukraine under Russian assault.

Olga Maltseva | AFP | Getty Images

Despite a Russian missile strike on a Ukrainian port over the weekend, Ukraine will start exporting grain and other foodstuffs on Tuesday, the country’s deputy infrastructure minister said.

“From the very next day, we will be ready to work on restoring the export of agricultural products through our ports,” Yuriy Vaskov told reporters on Monday, according to a translation by NBC News.

Vaskov said Chornomorsk will be the first port to reopen, followed by Odessa and Pivdennyi. Vaskov added that in the next two weeks all ports will export agricultural products consistently.

—Amanda Macias

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