Ukraine has said it will not agree to any ceasefire deal that involves ceding territory to Russia, as Moscow stepped up its attack in the eastern Donbass region. “The war must end with the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak.
The comments came like Russia said he was ready to resume peace negotiations – but its chief negotiator also said on Sunday that the initiative to pursue them was with Kyiv. Kremlin wizard Vladimir Medinsky claimed in an interview with Belarusian television that “Russia has never refused the talks.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda has become the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament in person since the start of the invasion, supporting Ukraine’s position on territorial concessions and warning the international community that ceding any territory to Russia would be a “serious blow” to the entire West.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 50-100 Ukrainians were dying every day on the eastern front of the war in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties. The heaviest fighting is centered around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up Donbass. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched earth” tactics in the region.
Ukraine tops agenda of four-day World Economic Forum in Davoswhich kicks off Monday with a video address by Zelensky. This year, Russia’s ‘house’ at the event was transformed by Ukrainian artists into a ‘Russian war crimes house’, depicting images of misery and devastation.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on Sunday evening with Zelenskiy about the Russian blockade of Odessa, The largest seaport in Ukraine. The blockade of Ukrainian ports is of growing concern to world leaders, as many continue to warn against global food security, especially for developing countries.
The Moscow-based mayor of Enerhodar, a city in southern Ukraine and the location of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, was injured in an explosion. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Andrei Shevchik was in intensive care.
Ukraine’s application for membership of the European Union would not be finalized for “15 or 20 years”, declared the French Minister for Europe. “We have to be honest. If you say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months, or a year or two, you are lying,” Clément Beaune said. “It’s probably in 15 or 20 years. This takes lots of time.
Zelenskiy extended Ukrainian martial law for three months until August 23. The Ukrainian parliament also banned the symbols “Z” and “V”used by the Russian military to promote its war in Ukraine, but accepted Zelenskiy’s appeal to allow their use for educational or historical purposes.
Olena Zelenska gave a rare interview to Zelenskiy, only their second public appearance together since Russia launched its invasion. She recounts the “anxiety and bewilderment” she felt on February 24 and says that although she has hardly seen her husband since, “no one, not even the war, has been able to take him away from her” .
Technicians linked to the infamous Syrian army barrel bombs that wreaked havoc across much of the country have been deployed to Russia to potentially help prepare for a similar campaign in the Ukrainian war, European officials believe. According to intelligence officers, more than 50 specialists have been in Russia for several weeks, working alongside officials from President Vladimir Putin’s army.
YouTube has removed over 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels related to the war in Ukraine for violating content guidelines, including removing videos that called the invasion a “liberation mission.”