Ukrainian War in the live ticker: +++ 02:30 Selenskyj justifies the extension of martial law +++

Ukrainian War in Live Ticker
+++ 02:30 Zelenskyj justifies extension of martial law +++

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is preparing the population for a longer war. “Kherson, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Enerhodar, Mariupol and all our towns and villages that are under occupation, under temporary occupation, should know that Ukraine will return,” he says in his daily video address. How long it will take depends on the situation on the battlefield. “We are trying to do this as soon as possible. We have an obligation to drive out the occupiers and ensure real security for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. In this context, he also postpones the announced extension of martial law and general mobilization for another 90 days until August 23. “Our army and all those who defend the state must have all legal means to act calmly,” Zelensky said.

+++ 01:20 Melnyk: “Ukraine’s NATO membership would reduce the risk of nuclear war” +++
Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk believes his country could join NATO as quickly as Finland and Sweden. “One thing is clear: we want to join NATO quickly. It can happen as quickly as in the case of Sweden or Finland. It would only take a purely political decision to quickly integrate Ukraine into the alliance,” Melnyk told the Funke media group newspapers. “If Ukraine were part of the alliance, the risk of a nuclear war would decrease. Then Putin would know: if Ukraine were attacked with nuclear weapons, he would have to reckon with a nuclear response. This would prevent him from do it.”

+++ 00:31 Ukraine reports gaining territory near Kharkiv +++
According to the Ukrainian army, it has made a further gain of territory near the eastern Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv. Due to an advance, the village Dementijivka was liberated in the north of the megalopolis, the general staff announced on Facebook. The village is about eight kilometers from the Russian border. In recent weeks, the Ukrainian army has pushed back Russian troops in the north and northeast of Kharkiv. However, the Russian army would attempt a counterattack near Ternowa, northeast of Kharkiv.

+++ 23:43 Selenskyj promises victims of Russian occupation state aid +++
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised all victims of the Russian occupation in his country special state assistance. He signed a corresponding law, he explains in his evening video address, without going into details. The aid also applies to “all prisoners in the Kremlin”, in Crimea or in the part of Donbass occupied by Russia. Zelenskyj recalled May 18, 1944, an important day of remembrance in Ukraine. At that time, the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin deported Crimean Tatars because of alleged collaboration with the German occupation. When Russia annexed it in 2014, a second wave destroyed “everything that was free on the Crimean peninsula”, the president said.

+++ 23:07 Russia plans drop in oil and gas production +++
Given Western sanctions, the Russian government expects production of its main export goods, oil and gas, to decline in 2022. Production of oil and oil condensates could fall by around 9 % to 475.3 million tons against 524 million tons in 2021. Oil exports will remain almost stable at 228.3 million tons after 231.0 million tons in 2021, according to the forecast of the Russian Ministry of Economy . Last year, however, significantly higher exports were expected for 2022. Gas and gas condensate production could fall to 721 billion cubic meters from 764 billion cubic meters last year, Russian agencies report.

+++ 22:14 Turkish Foreign Minister confirms veto against NATO enlargement +++
Despite the talks with the United States, Turkey is sticking to its position of blocking Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO accession process. He had once again clarified Turkey’s position on expanding the military alliance north to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday evening after a briefing. a meeting with Blinken in front of the Turkish press.

+++ 21:58 UN Secretary General: War could trigger years of food crisis +++
UN Secretary General António Guterres has increased pressure on Russia over the blockade of Ukrainian grain in the face of historic numbers of hungry people around the world. “Russia must allow the safe export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports,” António Guterres told a meeting of foreign ministers hosted by the United States at the United Nations in New York. According to the German government, Russia is blocking the export of 20 million tonnes of grain to Ukraine, a large part of which in the port of Odessa. Guterres goes on to say that there is a need to bring Ukraine’s all-important grain producer – as well as food and fertilizers produced by Russia and Belarus – back to the world market. The war unleashed by Russia threatens to plunge tens of millions of people into food insecurity and trigger a crisis “that could last for years”.

+++ 21:20 Russia wants to allow cryptocurrencies – is there a risk of circumventing sanctions? +++
According to Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Russia will allow cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. As the central bank and government work on it, the question now is how these currencies would be regulated, Manturov told an event. Transactions with an estimated volume of five billion dollars are processed annually in Russia via cryptocurrencies. The Moscow government also plans to introduce a digital ruble. The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 made the matter even more explosive. Industry service CryptoCompare reported in early March that 15.3 billion rubles ($140 million) worth of cryptocurrencies had been traded in one day, three times the amount of the previous week. ECB President Christine Lagarde has warned against using cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions against Russia.

+++ 8:55 p.m. kyiv: Russian troops shell places in northeastern Ukraine +++
According to kyiv sources, Russian troops fired on the northeastern Ukrainian regions of Sumy and Chernihiv from Russian territory on Wednesday. Ukrainian border guards reported seven attacks using heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and rocket and tube artillery. The village of Shostka near the border in the Sumy region was bombarded with mortars for more than an hour. But there were no casualties. The reports were initially not independently verifiable.

You can read previous developments of the conflict in Ukraine here.

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