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16:24 Russia interferes with Elon Musk's Starlink transmission to the front line

Ukraine Conflict in Real-Time Update

Putin (right) is received by Lukashenko at the airport in Minsk.
Putin (right) is received by Lukashenko at the airport in Minsk.

In the lead-up to Russia's offensive in the Kharkiv region, they cut off the Starlink satellite service. This was revealed by the New York Times, quoting Ukraine's military. Starlink is a service provided by Elon Musk's company SpaceX, and has been essential to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's aggression. The military relies on it heavily for communication, surveillance, and drone strikes. The Ukrainians detected the interruption in the Starlink signal just before Russian troops entered Ukraine from the north. As a result, they switched to text messages.

16:02 Sellering Steps Down as Chair of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Climate Protection FoundationEx-Minister President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Erwin Sellering (SPD), has resigned as Chairman of the Board of the state's climate foundation. This foundation is a point of contention due to its connection to Nord Stream II. According to a statement by the foundation, Sellering stepped down because the foundation had successfully fended off all attempts to dissolve it. With no more attacks on the horizon, he felt it was the right time to retire early. The climate foundation was formed by the state at the start of 2021 with the additional goal of aiding the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through underhanded deals due to pressure from companies involved in its construction. The Nord Stream 2 consortium funded the foundation with 20 million euros. After Russia started its war against Ukraine, the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania government, led by Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, attempted to disband the foundation with the support of the state assembly. The foundation, however, resisted this.

15:42 Potential Use of Russian Assets for Ukraine: Germany Open to Secure StepsThe leading industrialized nations are still debating how to utilize frozen assets of Russia's central bank to support Ukraine. As per Finance Minister Christian Lindner, Germany would be willing to take more action to use the interest income from these assets for the benefit of Ukraine. Nevertheless, Lindner made it clear at the meeting of G7 finance ministers in northern Italy that these measures "would not involve any legally detrimental or economically risky consequences." There is mutual enthusiasm among Europeans to thoroughly investigate the US proposal. Negotiations are currently at a standstill because several issues remain unresolved. The EU has decided to use the interest income from the assets froze by the EU to fund military support for Ukraine in the future. The US, on the other hand, has proposed a large loan to Ukraine, secured by the interest income. This could result in significantly higher funding than the planned three billion. Lindner emphasized, however, that the specifics of who would shoulder which guarantees and risks are yet to be determined. The path to resolution is still long and fraught with challenges.

15:20 Ukraine Stops Russian Offensive in Kharkiv, Might CounterattackUkraine claims it has halted Russia's offensive in the eastern region of Kharkiv. According to the Ukrainian army, online services state that their troops "have stopped the Russian troops in the Kharkiv area and are engaging in counter-offensives." A representative of the General Staff characterized the situation as "difficult," but "stable and under control." The Army Chief, Oleksandr Syrskyj, had previously stated that the Russian army's advancement in the region had stalled. In street battles around the border town of Vovchansk, the Russian troops were "stuck and suffered heavy losses among the attack units," added Syrskyj, discussing online platforms. According to him, Russia is currently deploying "reserves from various areas" to seize the city - but without success.

15:02 Germany Provides More Leopard Tanks and Equipment to UkraineGermany has transferred additional Leopard tanks and other equipment to Ukraine. As per the German government's update on military assistance, 40 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles with ammunition and spare parts from the Bundeswehr and industrial reserves, and 18 Leopard 2 A6 main battle tanks with ammunition and spare parts have been delivered. Additional Dingo transport vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles, and armored transporters have also been provided. The report states that Germany will provide a total of around 28 billion euros in military aid to support Ukraine throughout the years. Here is a comparison of the recent shipments with the ones provided the previous week.

14:15 Incident at the Estonian-Russian border: Estonia summons the Russian ambassador's representative
The Russian ambassador's representative in Estonia is summoned by Estonian officials due to the removal of buoys marking the fairway in the border river, Narva. During the meeting, Estonia made it clear that these actions were seen as "provocative and unacceptable," according to Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna. Estonia is now demanding an explanation for the removal of the border markings and their immediate return. On Thursday night, Russian border guards took out 24 buoys used by Estonia to mark the shipping route in the Narva river, which runs between the two countries and also serves as the EU and NATO's eastern external border.

13:49 Ukrainian army commander: Russian army "lost its way" in Vovchansk
The Ukrainian army's commander, Oleksandr Syrskyj, claims that the Russian army's advances in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine have stalled. In combat around the border town of Vovchansk, Russian troops "got completely bogged down and suffered heavy losses," Syrskyj wrote on social media. Moscow is now deploying "reserves from various areas" in an attempt to capture the city, but without success so far. Located just five kilometers from the Russian border, Vovchansk is the focus of the ground offensive Russia launched two weeks ago in the northeastern part of Ukraine. The Russian forces have made their largest territorial gains since the end of 2022.

13:17 Baerbock warns Russia not to provoke the EU
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warns Russia against provocations on its western borders. "Russia is setting fire to the borders of the European Union," she wrote on Platform X. "We stand together with our friends in Estonia, Finland, and Lithuania, and do not accept this aggressive behavior," she emphasized. "On the contrary: we show solidarity with our allies in the Baltic States and the Baltic Sea." On Thursday, there were reports that navigation buoys had disappeared from the Narva River, the border between Estonia and Russia.

12:52 Romanian spy arrest on suspicion of spying for Russia
A Romanian was arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia. This was announced by the public prosecutor's office in Bucharest. The man had been spying on and photographing military facilities and transports of troops and military equipment belonging to the Romanian army and other NATO countries on the Romanian border near the city of Tulcea since 2022 and sent the data to the Russian embassy in Bucharest. An investigating judge has ordered the man be held in custody for an initial period of 30 days. The investigation is being conducted by DIICOT, the Romanian public prosecutor's office responsible for organized crime and terrorism, in conjunction with the domestic intelligence service SRI and the military intelligence service. House searches at the suspect's home yielded several pieces of evidence, DIICOT reports.

12:22 Putin allegedly ready for ceasefire along current frontlines
Inside sources claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is allegedly prepared to enter into a ceasefire that would recognize the status quo of the current frontlines. One source noted, "Putin can fight for as long as it takes," but the president is also "ready for a ceasefire - to freeze the war." According to these four people familiar with the conversations that have taken place within Putin's inner circle, the Russian leader has expressed his frustration over what he sees as Western attempts to prevent peace talks. However, Putin had previously announced his willingness to negotiate but later reversed his position, saying, "We are in no way prepared for talks based on some kind of 'dreaming' that comes from drug use, but we are ready for talks based on the realities that have taken shape on the ground."

11:51 NATO member countries place a nearly 300 million euro order with Rheinmetall for ammunition
German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has received a significant order for artillery ammunition worth nearly 300 million euros from a NATO member state. The order includes several tens of thousands of artillery shells and several hundred thousand propellant charge modules. Delivery is scheduled between 2024 and 2028. The background for this and other significant orders, reports Rheinmetall, is the need to replenish military ammunition stocks due to the conflict in Ukraine.

11:20 Rumors of corruption in Moscow's Ministry of Defense likely serve as a cover
What's behind the recent wave of dismissals at the Russian Ministry of Defense? The Institute for the Study of War suggests the Kremlin could be using accusations of corruption against high-ranking officials as a smokescreen to conceal the true cause of their departure. A Russian informant reportedly told the think tank that six more ministry officials intend to resign after the termination of their superior, Sergei Shoigu. Additionally, many military bloggers have reasoned that the investigation is not yet finished. Simultaneously, they hail the arrests as a step towards holding corrupt officials accountable under the leadership of new Defense Minister Andrei Belousov. "The Kremlin might tolerate this criticism because it targets individuals targeted by the Ministry of Defense," ISW asserts. This narrative bolsters Belousov's reputation as an effective problem-solver in the defense ministry, in contrast to Shoigu. "The Kremlin also benefits from the military bloggers reminding everyone that no Russian defense or military official is safe from consequences for not meeting Putin's approval."

10:45 Orban dismisses fears of Russian attack on NATO member
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban doesn't believe Russia will target a NATO state. Speaking on a public broadcaster, he said, "The Russian military is fighting a hard and arduous war against the Ukrainians." If they could easily dominate the Ukrainians, they would've already done so. NATO's military dominance makes it highly unlikely for Russia or any other nation to strike as well. "I don't think it's logical that Russia, unable to stamp out the Ukrainians in one fell swoop, would suddenly overtake the entire Western world," he stated.

10:16 FSB holds IS responsible for Moscow concert hall attack
For the first time, Russia has linked Islamic State (IS) to the massacre at a concert hall near Moscow. As reported by state news outlet RIA Novosti, FSB director Alexander Bortnikov stated that investigations showed the attackers were orchestrating their actions through the Internet with IS members in Afghanistan's Khorasan province. IS has repeatedly claimed responsibility for the incident, leaving 140 dead and 360 injured. Moscow often implicates Ukraine in the atrocity, a claim Kiev vehemently denies. Yet, Bortnikov still points to Ukraine's military intelligence being involved. He neglects to clarify how this implicated IS, though.

09:55 Devastation in Vovchansk as Kharkiv continues to suffer
Kharkiv has experienced continuous Russian artillery barrages for weeks. The city, including Vovchansk, faces a grim reality.

09:29 Ukraine reveals alarming Russian losses
The Ukrainian General Staff now reports that Russia has lost nearly half a million soldiers in 2022 alone since the full-scale invasion on February 24th. This staggering number includes 1,240 losses in a single day. In addition, the report states that Russia has lost 7,635 tanks, 14,775 armored combat vehicles, 17,569 trucks and fuel tanks, 12,902 artillery systems, 1,080 multiple-launch rocket systems, 813 air defense systems, 356 aircraft, 326 helicopters, 10,401 drones, 27 ships and boats, and one submarine.

08:57 Kharkiv devastated by latest glide bomb attack
A city under constant Russian air raids, Kharkiv experienced yet another glide bomb assault during the night. Although there were no casualties reported, several residential buildings and an empty building sustained minor damage. One day earlier, seven people perished due to Russian gunfire. Over 15 anti-aircraft missiles, including S-300 and S-400, were fired at Kharkiv and the surrounding area. One of Ukraine's largest printing presses for literature was also destroyed. Renowned Ukrainian author Serhij Zhadan reacted to this tragic event on Facebook: "The Ukrainian book is the Ukrainian strength. That's why the enemy wants to destroy it."

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08:26 FSB Chief: Ukraine Responsible for Terrorist Attack Close to Moscow

The Russian domestic intelligence service, FSB, has accused Ukraine's military intelligence department of being complicit in the deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow in March. The director of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, has made this claim even though the investigation is still ongoing. Russia has made similar accusations in the past, but Bortnikov did not provide any evidence for his statement. Additionally, Bortnikov alleges that NATO facilitated the transfer of "militants and terrorists from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Afghanistan" to Ukraine to fight against the Russian army there. The militant group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the concert hall assault. More than 140 people were killed in the incident.

08:02 Ukraine Complains of "Severe Damage" After Attacks on Crimea

A missile strike on a Russian communications center in the Crimean city of Alushta resulted in significant equipment damage and multiple casualties, according to Ukrainian reports. The pro-Ukrainian insurgent group Atesh and Crimean Wind, a telegram channel, provided this information to the Kyiv Independent. The attack supposedly involved at least six ATACMS missiles supplied by the United States. These missiles allegedly damaged the antenna as well as facilities where "upper-ranking military personnel" were staying.

07:27 Russian Critic: Doomed to Act Like Idiots Indefinitely

Russian writer and former State Duma member Alexander Nevzorov berates his compatriots. He states that people tend to retain the skills they have learned until their death, like dogs, chimpanzees, and circus animals. "The lust for war, decay signs, and other deviations that Russian propaganda instilled in them will not disappear," says the anti-Putin public figure, who now has a Ukrainian passport. "The Russians are destined to live and die as idiots for several generations." Even Putin's death won't change this, Nevzorov says.

07:03 Scholz: "No EU Nuclear Weapons"

The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, backs French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to strengthen European defense capabilities, including nuclear capabilities. In an essay for the Economist, Scholz writes: "We need to explore how we can create the right mix of capabilities to defend Europe and discourage potential attackers." Along with nuclear deterrence, this includes strong conventional armies, air and missile defense, cyber, space, and precision strike capabilities. Scholz wants to invest in the European defense industry and "strengthen the European pillar of our deterrence." Nonetheless, Scholz clarifies that "there will be no 'EU nuclear weapons.' This is unrealistic."

06:38 Washington Stresses Tbilisi Over Controversial Influence Law

In response to Georgia's adoption of a law on "foreign influence operations," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces new visa restrictions and a review of relations with the country. The new visa regulations will apply to individuals "responsible for or involved in undermining democracy in Georgia, as well as their family members." The United States will also initiate a "comprehensive review of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Georgia." Blinken still hopes that Georgia's leadership will reconsider the law and promote the country's "democratic and Euro-Atlantic goals."

06:29 Estonia Assists Children Affected by the War in Ukraine

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing 650,000 euros in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, primarily to support the education system in conflict-affected areas. The Estonian non-profit organization Eesti Pagulasabi will distribute part of the aid, focusing on improving living conditions in vulnerable regions and supporting Ukrainian refugees in Georgia. Part of the money will be used by the non-profit organization Mondo to organize summer camps and provide psychological assistance to children in Zaporizhzhya.

05:57 Russian MP Touts Future Goals

Russian troops plan to seize more than half of the territory in the Ukrainian border town of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, according to Russian parliamentary deputy Viktor Vodolatsky. Then, they intend to target the cities of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk, he said. The Russian news agency TASS reported these statements.

The head of the Russian domestic intelligence service, FSB, accuses Ukraine's military intelligence department of being responsible for a deadly concert hall assault near Moscow. Yet, no evidence supports this claim. Moreover, Bortnikov accuses NATO of facilitating militants' and terrorists' transfer to Ukraine. The extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Ukraine, a missile attack on a Russian communications center in Alushta, Crimea, caused significant damage to equipment and casualties, according to Ukrainian sources. The attack allegedly used six ATACMS missiles supplied by the U.S.

Russian publicist Alexander Nevzorov has critical words for his fellow citizens, comparing them to circus animals and critiquing the brainwashing by Russian propaganda.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supports French President Emmanuel Macron's ambitions for fortifying European defense. He highlights the need to balance nuclear deterrence against conventional forces, air and missile defense, and other capabilities while improving the European defense industry.

The United States responds to a controversial influence law passed in Georgia with visa restrictions and a thorough examination of relations.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has pledged 650,000 euros in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, focusing on the education system in frontline regions and assisting children affected by the war.

A controversial agent law in Georgia, prompting Washington to tighten visa regulations and reevaluate ties.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to aid Ukraine with humanitarian assistance, earmarking 650,000 euros for education in war-stricken areas and children affected by the ongoing conflict.

According to a Russian MP, Russian forces in Ukraine have their eyes set on gaining control over more than half of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv area.

05:29 Putin Visits Belarus for Discussions with Lukashenko

According to Russian news sources, President Vladimir Putin has traveled to Belarus and already participated in preliminary, informal conversations. He reportedly expressed satisfaction with the current situation, stating "There is a lot to talk about. Everything is stable and working out well for us." During his visit, Putin will talk with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko about security and military drills that involve tactical nuclear weapons. Minsk will be present during these exercises, where preparations for the deployment of mini-nuclear warheads will be simulated.

04:33 South Korea Imposes Penalties Against North Koreans, Russian Ships

South Korea has announced sanctions against seven North Korean individuals and two Russian ships in connection with the arms trade between Pyongyang and Moscow.

03:39 United States Prepares Additional Aid for Ukraine Worth 275 Million Dollars

The United States is preparing to provide military aid for Ukraine to the tune of 275 million dollars. According to three US government officials, this includes purchasing artillery shells, precision-guided bombs, and vehicles.

02:34 China and Brazil Steer Clear of Ukraine Peace Conference

China and Brazil are subtly distancing themselves from the proposed international peace conference for Ukraine, organized in Switzerland but at which Russia has not been invited. The Brazilian President's advisor Celso Amorim and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed a statement, urging Russia and Ukraine to initiate peace talks. They emphasized the need for a conference with equal participation of all involved parties, which is acceptable to Russia and Ukraine.

01:15 Moscow Court Sentences Kremlin Opponent to 25 Years in Prison for Sabotage

A court in Moscow has passed a 25-year sentence against a 36-year-old man, Vladimir Malina, for sabotage and membership in a group fighting for Ukraine. According to the prosecution, Malina, a Moscow barman, was a member of the "Legion for the Freedom of Russia," a group of Russians who support Ukraine. Malina supposedly set fire to a railroad control box and plotted sabotage actions. He was arrested in June.

23:55 Poland and Greece Seek EU's Help to Establish Air Defense Shield

Poland and Greece are calling on the European Union to create an air defense shield to secure European countries. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated in a joint letter to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, "Europe will be safe as long as its skies are safe." This project must address the significant vulnerability of European security, the two leaders explained.

22:26 Possible Attacks on Crimea? Suspected Explosions in Video

There may be explosions in Russian-occupied Crimea, with speculation that Ukraine is attacking Crimean targets using the ATACMS missiles provided by the United States a few weeks ago. A video from the Crimean Coast in the town of Alushta possibly shows at least one detonation. However, there is no official confirmation. The Russian air defense system was also activated, as seen in the footage. Crimean Governor Sergei Aksyonov, appointed by the Russian occupiers, stated on Telegram about missile strikes on Simferopol and Alushta. Two people were reported killed and an empty commercial building was damaged. Typically, Russia either denies or undervalues Ukrainian attacks.

22:00 Continued Military Purge? More Arrests in Russia

Pro-Russian channels claim that Vladimir Verteletsky, head of the Russian Ministry of Defense department responsible for ensuring the state defense order, has been detained. He is now accused of large-scale fraud. Shortly before this, Vadim Shamarin, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, was apprehended. Shamarin was the fourth high-ranking military officer to be arrested since April.

To find out more about past events, click here. []

Putin (right) is received by Lukashenko at the airport in Minsk.

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