Bulgaria's Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov engaged in high-stakes discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv, solidifying Bulgaria's commitment to support Ukraine on multiple fronts
Day 524 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv promised more Drones on Moscow, Zakharova compared the Attacks to 9/11
Day 524 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Kyiv promised more drones on Moscow, Zakharova compared the attacks to 9/11
- Russian ministries switch to remote work due to drone attack in Moscow
- Ukraine says it has thwarted an attempt by Russian saboteurs to cross its northern border
- "The Russians were waiting for us": Ukrainian soldiers describe a tougher-than-expected battle
- A drone struck in Kharkiv, a skyscraper in Moscow was also hit
- Three cargo ships broke through the Russian blockade to Ukraine through the Black Sea
- Radman and Kuleba agreed: Croatia will provide Ukraine with ports for the export of Ukrainian grain
Kyiv promised more drones on Moscow, Zakharova compared the attacks to 9/11
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak threatened Russia with more "unidentified" drones, "more destruction, more war" on the platform known until recently as "Twitter", hours after another drone attack against Moscow since the end of last week.
Ukraine is usually careful about how it claims responsibility for attacks on internationally recognized Russian territory. With his publication, the adviser to the head of the president's office, Volodymyr Zelensky, did not say that Kyiv was behind the latest attack, but explained: "Moscow is quickly getting used to a full-scale war, which in turn will soon move finally to the territory of the 'creators of the war' to collect all debts."
"Everything that will happen in Russia is an objective historical process. More unmarked drones, more destruction, more civil conflicts, more war," continued Podolyak, a day after Zelensky himself declared that war had returned to Russia.
There was an attack on "Moscow City" on the night of August 1 and two days earlier. Today's drone attack was against the headquarters of the e-governance ministry.
Since July 24, this is the fourth drone attack against Moscow, there have been others for which Russia blames Ukraine, but outside the capital: in Bryansk Oblast, in Rostov-on-Don, in the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia.
The Russian televisions this time showed the attack, unlike the previous one on Saturday night. The media in the country were also cautious in covering the other attacks on Crimea and Rostov-on-Don.
On the subject, the spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Maria Zakharova, compared the attacks to the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed thousands of civilians.
Zakharova's argument is in the "methodological" coincidence with the attack on the twin towers. "A colossal number of victims, but the methodology is exactly the same. 'Moscow City' is a civilian area, in which there are not only offices, but also residential premises, and administrative buildings that have nothing to do with the military block," she explained.
On the subject, Russian diplomacy and the presidency seem to be at odds. "Indeed, there is a threat, it is obvious and measures are being taken," said Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, but explained that he saw no similarities.
Russian ministries switch to remote work due to drone attack in Moscow
Officials from Russian ministries have been sent to work from home after a drone struck a building in Moscow's financial center early Tuesday.
The same skyscraper was also attacked by a drone on Sunday, and the mayor of the Russian capital, Sergei Sobyanin, said the second strike on Tuesday shattered 150 square meters of the building's glass cladding. According to the Ministry of Defense, the drone was destroyed, but its debris broke the windows.
Reuters reports that the affected building houses government offices.
An adviser to Russia's economy minister said on Tuesday that ministry officials were continuing to work remotely as experts assessed damage to buildings in Moscow city.
A Telegram channel run by Russian online media group "Mash" showed photos of the damage to the headquarters of the e-governance ministry, saying staff had been asked to be patient but most employees would be allowed to work temporarily from home.
So far, economic sanctions have been the biggest headache for the Russian business elite, but now companies must also think about the safety of their employees, writes Reuters.
After the first attack, tech giant Yandex, whose offices are spread across the Russian capital, including in Moscow City, asked staff to leave their offices at night, when attacks tend to occur in the Russian capital.
"Given the situation, we ask you not to be in the office at night (from 1 to 6 in the morning). The restriction applies to all Moscow offices. Be careful!", Yandex said in a message to employees.
Many companies in Russia continue to allow employees to work in a hybrid mode, split between home and office, following the lockdowns imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Ukrainian attacks on Moscow and other Russian targets were "acts of desperation" and that Russia was taking all possible measures to defend against strikes.
Kyiv generally does not claim responsibility for specific incidents on Russian territory, although President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war was "gradually returning to the territory of Russia - to its symbolic centers".
Reuters spoke to several people on condition of anonymity to gauge the business community's reaction to Sunday's first drone incident, with some expressing fear and concern, while others remained unfazed, saying they were continuing to operate as normal.
Ukraine says it has thwarted an attempt by Russian saboteurs to cross its northern border
Ukraine thwarted an attempt by a Russian subversive group to cross its northern border, Interior Minister Igor Klimenko announced on Telegram, Reuters reported.
"Last night in Chernihiv region, border guards stopped an attempt by an enemy sabotage-reconnaissance group to cross the state border of Ukraine within Semenivka municipality," he said.
Serhiy Nayev commander of the combined forces of Ukraine's armed forces, said four gunmen tried to cross the border but were repelled by Ukrainian fire.
Klimenko indicated that the four people were detected coming from Russian territory.
He added that reserves of the State Border Service and the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been deployed to strengthen the area.
Ukraine has strengthened its northern military sector following the arrival of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in Belarus.
"The Russians were waiting for us": Ukrainian soldiers describe a tougher-than-expected battle
They entered an area where they could be struck. The weather wasn't right. Many men were lost. They eventually recaptured the destroyed village of Staromayorske, marking Ukraine's biggest advance in weeks.
Soldiers on the front lines of Ukraine's counteroffensive say last week along the frontline in the country's southeast proved more difficult and bloodier than expected, with plans falling apart and the enemy being well-prepared.
"The Russians were waiting for us," said a 29-year-old soldier, using the code name Bulat, from a unit sent into battle with armored vehicles during last week's attack.
"They were shooting at us with anti-tank weapons and grenade launchers. My car went through an anti-tank mine, but everything was fine, the vehicle took the hit and we all survived. We got off the car and ran to cover. Because the most important thing is to find cover and after it's to move on," he said. Accounts of the battle for Staromayorske, given to Reuters near the front line in southeastern Ukraine, give insight into why Kyiv's boldest counteroffensive in this war, soon to enter its third month, has proved slower and more bloodier than expected. "Our mission was planned to last two days. However, we could not drive in the dark at the right time for several reasons. So we entered later and missed the right moment," Bulat said.
Kyiv, which received billions of dollars in arms and training from Western nations to launch its counteroffensive and retake occupied territories this summer, admitted its campaign was progressing more slowly than expected. Commanders say the slower pace is necessary to avoid multiple casualties.
The Russians had months to prepare their fortifications and minefields. The Ukrainian attackers do not have the air superiority that their NATO allies usually expect when they conduct their training.
Russian defenders had set up "pre-observed areas" in anticipation of the advance, said a 24-year-old Ukrainian marine using the code name Dub.
"They were methodically destroying the roads. They made pits that prevented entry and exit from the village, even in dry weather. Even walking was quite difficult. You can't use flashlights at night, but you still have to go forward," he said.
"We tried to do our best. We succeeded," another soldier using the codename Pikachu said of his unit.
"The disembarkation wasn't the hardest part. We made progress slowly but surely. They were shooting, everything was flying. It was scary, but we kept going. No one backed down. Everyone did great," stated Pikachu.
"Many of us who went will never return home," he said.
A drone struck in Kharkiv, a skyscraper in Moscow was also hit
A skyscraper in the Russian capital Moscow has been hit by a drone again, announced the mayor of the city, Sergey Sobyanin. Earlier, the authorities in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv also announced a drone attack. The US has said that its representatives will participate in a meeting on peace in Ukraine in Saudi Arabia.
What Moscow doing? Early in the morning, Ukraine managed to hit the same Moscow IQ-quarter building that hosts several departments of Russian ministries with a UAV. The damage this time looks minor.— NOELREPORTS ???????? ???????? (@NOELreports) August 1, 2023
The Russian ministry of defense claims several UAVs were shot down. pic.twitter.com/HwfGB2a7ed
Several drones were shot down overnight by anti-aircraft systems in the Moscow region. According to the mayor of the Russian capital, Sergey Sobyanin, one of them crashed into the high-rise business building in the Moscow City business area, which was attacked on Sunday. The facade of the building on the 21st floor was damaged. No people were injured.
The same "#Moscow City" tower that was attacked at the werkend became once again a target of a drone. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation is located there. The Vnukovo airport was temporarily closed, but then its work was resumed.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 1, 2023
The Ministry of… pic.twitter.com/ZVMBl3lC9o
"One of the drones crashed into the same building in Moscow City as last time," Sobyanin told Telegram, referring to the drone attack that hit Moscow City on Saturday night.
The Russian Ministry of Defense also made a statement regarding the attack.
"On the night of August 1, an attempt of a terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime with unmanned aerial vehicles against objects in the city of Moscow and in the Moscow region was thwarted. Two Ukrainian drones were destroyed in the air, with means of air defense," said a statement of the department.
The ministry reported that a third drone was silenced with means of radio-electronic warfare and crashed on the territory of the complex of non-residential buildings "Moscow City".
Mayor Sobyanin stated that when the drone crashed into the business building, the facade of the building on its 21st floor was damaged. No one was injured as a result of cutting into the building, explained Sobyanin.
Vnukovo Airport was temporarily closed. Flights have been diverted to other airports.
The authorities of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv said today that a drone attack was carried out against the city, Reuters reported.
According to preliminary data, one person was injured as a result of the attack, said the head of the police of the Kharkiv region, Volodymyr Tymoshko, quoted by the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.
According to Tymoshko, at least two drone strikes were registered in Kharkiv - one of the drones crashed into the building of a vocational-technical school, and the other - in the city center. According to preliminary data, the school was empty. A man is injured in the center of Kharkiv. Tymoshko stressed that the places hit by drones were not military sites and there was no gathering of Ukrainian servicemen there.
Ukrainian media reported that as a result of the attack, nearly half of the three-story building of the vocational-technical school was destroyed and that two floors of the central building of the school building collapsed.
The authorities of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv announced that a drone attack was carried out against the city. According to preliminary data, as a result of the attack, one person was injured, said the head of the police of Kharkiv region, Volodymyr Tymoshko. At least two drone strikes were registered in Kharkiv - one of the drones crashed into the building of a vocational-technical school, and the other - in the city center. Tymoshko stressed that the places hit by drones were not military sites and there was no gathering of Ukrainian servicemen there.
Official representatives of the American government will participate in a summit in Saudi Arabia dedicated to achieving peace in Ukraine. This was announced by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. No further details have been released. On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia would invite Western countries, Ukraine and some leading developing countries to the talks.
Three cargo ships broke through the Russian blockade to Ukraine through the Black Sea
Three merchant ships have broken through Russia's Black Sea blockade and are heading for Danube ports, data from vessel-tracking sites such as vesselfinder.com show. The vessels move "in the light", with transponders on, hiding neither their route nor their final destinations, and have provoked comments on social networks and specialized forums.
The ships Ams1, Sahin 2 and Yilmaz Kaptan - openly declare points in Ukraine as ports of destination through the automatic ship identification system, reports the Institute for the Study of Warfare (ISW). The vessels are owned respectively by companies from Israel, Greece and one is a Turkish-Georgian company.
"Reports of three civilian vessels sailing unhindered towards Ukraine may indicate that Russia is either unwilling or unable to stop and search these neutral vessels," ISW concluded.
Ams 1 lifted anchor on July 29 from the port of Istanbul, is currently in the Danube Delta and has indicated as its destination the port of Izmail, where it is expected at noon today. The vessel is registered under the flag of Sierra Leone.
"And already today Ams1, spitting Russian threats, enters the Ukrainian arm of the Danube. The security of the passage is provided by the American P8 anti-ship aircraft (refueled in the sky of Romania). Supporting information is also provided by the Forte12 RQ-4 reconnaissance drone," commented Ukraine Front Lines. According to the MarineTraffic tracks, it is very likely that Ams1 will run a set of routes in Ukrainian waters first to the north and then to the coast, possibly testing Russian reactions.
The Vanuatu-flagged Sahin 2 sailed on July 24 from a Greek port, passed through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, and is also currently on a raid outside the port of Sulina in the Danube Delta. Yilmaz Kaptan is also under the flag of Vanuatu and arrives from the Georgian port of Poti.
On July 17, Russia announced the suspension of the so-called Grain Deal, thanks to which, despite the ongoing war, food produced in Ukraine could be exported by sea. The Kremlin also announced it would view cargo ships bound for Ukrainian ports as potential military targets and launched large-scale attacks on infrastructure in Odesa and Danube ports.
Radman and Kuleba agreed: Croatia will provide Ukraine with ports for the export of Ukrainian grain
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Croatia Gordan Gordan Grlić-Radman spoke yesterday with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba within the framework of his official visit to Ukraine, regional TV N1 reported. Radman pointed out that Croatian ports are available to Ukraine.
"In the context of a possible world food crisis, Croatia is making its ports available for the export of Ukrainian grain and this will continue to be the case," stressed Radman.
He noted that Croatian assistance in the project for demining agricultural territories within the framework of the World Food Program is key.
"Croatia realizes the importance of demining as a prerequisite for the renewal and reconstruction of Ukraine, but also as a pledge for Ukraine to remain the granary whose production feeds the world, including the most vulnerable countries," noted Radman.
Kuleba thanked Croatia for its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the help it has offered to Ukraine since the first day of the war.
He announced that Ukraine and Croatia have agreed on the possible use of Croatian ports on the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea for the export of Ukrainian grain, Reuters informed.
"Ukraine feels the support and help of the Republic of Croatia. Our two countries are linked not only by excellent intergovernmental relations, but also by friendly relations between our peoples. Ukraine sees Croatia as a key partner in the demining process," said Kuleba, quoted by N1.
The Croatian minister recalled that Croatia supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. He emphasized that Croatia has come a long way from independence and military aggression to full European and Euro-Atlantic integration and is ready to pass on its experience.
Yesterday, Radman also visited the Ukrainian city of Hostomel, where he handed over 50 electric generators provided as part of Croatia's government development aid and humanitarian cooperation with UNICEF.
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