Russia Ukraine war: Zelensky says counteroffensive against Putin’s troops about to ‘gain pace’ as Ukraine ambassador to UK sacked

Aspen Security Forum: Top officials discuss Ukraine war

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said the country’s counteroffensive to push back occupying Russian forces is set to “gain pace” as Kyiv expects more military aid from its allies, including the US.

Mr Zelensky called on allies to provide fighter jets and more long-range missiles, with Washington planning to announce a new military package to Ukraine imminently.

US national security adviser told the same security forum in Colorado that the results of the counteroffensive would only become clear once Kyiv fully commits its forces, saying this has not yet happened.

Meanwhile, president Vladimir Putin accused Nato member Poland of having territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union, and said any aggression against Russia‘s neighbour and close ally Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia.

Moscow would react to any aggression against Belarus “with all the means at our disposal”, Putin told a meeting of his Security Council in televised remarks.

And a South African court has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Putin ahead of a Brics summit in Johannesburg next month. The Kremlin says Mr Putin will not be attending.


Traffic resumes on Kerch Bridge

According to reports, the traffic has resumed following a brief suspension.

Drivers passing over the bridge were halted earlier for an unspecified reason.

A satellite image shows a view of the Crimea bridge, in Kerch Strait


Matt Drake22 July 2023 09:49


Russia claims Ukraine tried to attack with a drone

According to the Russian-installed governor of the occupied peninsula, Ukraine attempted to attack Crimea infrastructure.

Matt Drake22 July 2023 09:25


People stuck on Crimea Bridge told to ‘remain calm’

No reason has so far been given for the traffic being halted.

An official Telegram channel said: “Those on the bridge and in the inspection area are asked to remain calm and follow the instructions of transportation security officers.”

Two civilians were killed in the drone attack this week and part of the road bridge was out of service.

It had only recently returned to full operation after being severely damaged in a similar attack in October by Ukraine.

Pictured, traffic resuming on the bridge last Tuesday following an attack the previous day

(Marat Khusnullin/Telegram)

Matt Drake22 July 2023 09:20


Traffic on Crimea Bridge temporarily blocked – reports claim

Russian state-owned TASS news agency said traffic on the Crimean bridge is temporarily blocked.

The reports have not been independently verified and the situation remains unclear.

It comes only two days after Russia lifted cargo vessel restrictions along the Kerch Strait following a drone attack on the bridge last Monday.

Pictured, the Crimean Bridge also called the Kerch Straight Bridge


Matt Drake22 July 2023 08:44


Supermarket fuel margins have more than doubled since Ukraine war started

The margins on fuel at supermarkets, including Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons have more than doubled since the start of the war in Ukraine, a new analysis suggests.

From making an average of about 4.7p per litre on fuel sales in February 2022, the fuel margins in these supermarkets are now around 10p per litre, leading to higher pump prices, the RAC noted.

“While we accept the cost of running forecourts might have increased, these bloated margins must make difficult reading for the millions of drivers who are already battling the rising cost of living,” RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said.

“In short, this means everyone is paying more than they should be to a lesser or greater extent depending on where they live,” he said.

Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 08:30


UK fuel margins have more than doubled since start of Ukraine war

Supermarkets have more than doubled their margins on fuel since the start of the war in Ukraine, new analysis suggests.

The RAC said Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s were making an average of around 4.7p per litre on fuel sales when the Russian invasion began in February 2022.

The motoring services company found this had increased to around 10p per litre, leading to higher pump prices.

Supermarket fuel margins were 2.3p per litre in 2016.

Lower fuel prices helped drive a drop in the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation last month to 7.9%, down from 8.7% in May.

Matt Drake22 July 2023 08:29


US set to unveil new military aid package to Ukraine – report

The US is reportedly planning to announce a new military package valued up to $400m to Ukraine consisting of artillery, air defence missiles, and ground vehicles.

This new package will not include the controversial cluster munitions and may be announced as early as Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing officials close to the matter.

It is also expected to include armoured personnel carriers, mine-clearing equipment, and anti-tank weapons but the list may undergo changes before the announcement.

Once approved, this would mark the 43rd such military assistance package provided by the US to Ukraine since its invasion by Russia in February 2022.

Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 08:00


Zelensky says counteroffensive about to ‘gain pace’

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky says the country’s counteroffensive to push back Russian forces in occupied Ukraine is set to “gain pace.”

The much-anticipated effort began later than Kyiv had expected due to a lack of sufficient ammunition supplies from allied countries.

But Mr Zelensky said yesterday that the now weeks-old counteroffensive is about to shift in momentum, with Ukraine set to receive more weapons.

He called on his allies to provide the war-torn country with more long-range missiles as well as advanced fighter jets, as he addressed international leaders at the Aspen Security Forum.

“We are approaching a moment when relevant actions can gain pace because we are already going through some mines locations and we are demining these areas,” Mr Zelensky said.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told the audience in Colorado that the results of Ukraine’s military effort would only become clear once Kyiv had fully committed its forces.

“It is at that moment when they make that commitment that we will really see what the results of the counter-offensive will be,” Mr Sullivan said.

Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 07:22


Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ports will deal further blow to ‘global food security,’ UN says

UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said yesterday that Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea could have further impacts on global food security.

Condemning Russia’s aerial strikes of Ukraine’s ports in Odesa, Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv, Ms DiCarlo said these new wave of attacks would have “far-reaching impacts on global food security, in particular, in developing countries.”

“Any risk of conflict spilling over as a result of a military incident in the Black Sea – whether intentional or by accident – must be avoided at all costs, as this could result in potentially catastrophic consequences to us all,” she added.

“We strongly condemn these attacks and urge Russia to stop them immediately,” Ms DiCarlo said.

Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 07:00


Ending Black Sea grain deal risks ‘hunger and worse’ for millions, UN warns

Russia quitting the deal allowing safe export of Ukraine grain via the Black Sea “potentially threatens hunger and worse for millions of people,” the United Nations’ aid chief said yesterday.

The landmark deal, brokered a year ago to combat a potential global food crisis, allowed Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea but by pulling out of the agreement on Monday, higher prices will be “acutely felt by families in developing countries,” Martin Griffiths, the aid chief told the UN Security Council.

The UN said the deal had benefited poorer countries by helping lower food prices globally.

But Russia effectively quit the deal on Monday, saying it views any ships traveling to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports as likely carrying military cargoes.

“Some will go hungry, some will starve, many may die as a result of these decisions,” Mr Griffiths said, according to Reuters.

Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 06:30

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