MGiven the energy crisis in Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has offered EU support through electricity from his country. “We are preparing to increase our electricity exports to consumers in the European Union,” the head of state said in his evening video message in Kyiv on Wednesday evening.
“Our exports not only earn foreign exchange, but also allow our partners to withstand Russian energy pressure,” he said, adding that gas supplies from Russia have been significantly reduced. Gas is also used to generate electricity.
“Step by step we are turning Ukraine into a guarantor of European energy security, precisely through our domestic electricity production,” Zelenskyy said. Before Russia’s war of aggression, which Moscow launched in February, Ukraine met 50 percent of its electricity needs with nuclear power. The country also relied on electricity imports from Russia and Belarus.
All Improvements in Live Ticker:
08:18 – Zelenskyy hopes to win Ukraine’s statehood day
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has shown hope for victory in a new holiday celebrating the country’s constitution, given the Russian war of aggression. It was a turbulent morning with rocket terrorism, but Ukraine did not give up, Zelenskyy said in Kyiv. He congratulated the citizens on the first celebration of the Ukrainian State Day, which is celebrated on August 24 along with the Independence Day.
“Ukraine is a free, independent and indivisible country. It will remain so forever,” Zelensky said. He also released an emotional video about the country’s struggle against Russian invaders. The country is fighting for freedom.
Earlier, pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian separatist leader Denis Bushilin said it was time to take the cities of Kharkiv, Odessa and Kiev as well. According to Zelensky, Ukraine has lost control of 20 percent of its territory in the war, which has entered its sixth month so far. He demanded more heavy weapons from the West to stop Russian attacks and liberate the occupied territories.
07:55 – UK: Counter-attack gains momentum in Gerson
According to British military intelligence, a Ukrainian counter-offensive on the Russian-occupied city of Cherson is gaining momentum. Ukrainian troops may have set up a beachhead south of the Inhulets River, which forms Kherson’s northern border, the Defense Ministry in London said on Twitter, citing the latest intelligence bulletin.
Russia’s 49th Army is on the west bank of the Dnieper and now looks very vulnerable. Cherson is practically cut off from the rest of the occupied territories. In addition, the strategically important and one-kilometer-long Antonievsky Bridge over the Dnieper near Cherson was attacked again and is now unusable.
00:33 – Ukraine reports massive Russian troop deployment
A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was carrying out a “massive redeployment” of troops towards the three southern regions of Kherson, Melitopol and Zaporizhia. Consultant Oleksy Arestovych confirms earlier reports by pro-Russian forces that the country’s second largest power plant is in Russian hands.
11:19pm – Separatist leader calls for takeover of Ukraine
The leader of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region has called on Russia to seize large parts of Ukraine. “Today is the time to liberate Russian cities founded by Russians: Kyiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Odessa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Lutsk,” separatist leader Denis Pushilin wrote on the online service Telegram on Wednesday. The Belarusian city of Brest by the Nazis.
Cities identified as “Russian” by Bushil cover almost the entire territory of Ukraine. Russia has seized much of southern and eastern Ukraine since late February, but has failed in its assault on the capital, Kiev.
Before the offensive began in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the two self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. In his view, Ukraine was artificially separated from Russia.
10:15 PM – Blinken wants to talk to Lavrov for the first time since the war started
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine. Blinken said Wednesday in Washington that the goal was to free U.S. citizens Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who are imprisoned in Russia. Whelan, a former US soldier who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage, and a basketball player currently on trial for possession of cannabis oil were also wrongfully detained.
“We came up with a detailed plan weeks ago to secure their release,” Blinken said. Blinken did not confirm reports that the two would be exchanged for US-imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Regarding the planned talks with Lavrov, the US Secretary of State emphasized: “There will be no talks about Ukraine.” The two foreign ministers last spoke to each other in mid-February, just days before the outbreak of war. At the recent G-20 meeting in Indonesia, Blinken avoided meeting Lavrov.
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