Russia accuses US of direct involvement in Ukraine conflict while the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets since Moscow's onslaught anchors safely off Türkiye's coast after a problem-free journey.

Ukraine has said it operates up to a dozen HIMARS systems, whose accuracy and long-range have allowed Kiev to reduce Russia's artillery advantage.
Ukraine has said it operates up to a dozen HIMARS systems, whose accuracy and long-range have allowed Kiev to reduce Russia's artillery advantage. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Pentagon: Russia's HIMARS claims 'false'

US Department of Defense has denied Russian claims that the country had destroyed six American HIMARS missile systems since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to Interfax, has said that Russia had destroyed the HIMARS.

"We are aware of these latest claims by Minister Shoigu and they are again patently false," said Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon's acting spokesperson.  "What is happening, however, is that the Ukrainians are employing with devastating accuracy and effectiveness, each of the fully accounted for precision missile systems the US, our Allies, and partners have provided them to defend against Russia's brutal, criminal invasion," Breasseale added.

"What is happening, however, is that the Ukrainians are employing with devastating accuracy and effectiveness, each of the fully accounted for precision missile systems the U.S., our Allies, and partners have provided them to defend against Russia’s brutal, criminal invasion."

Todd Breasseale, Pentagon's acting spokesman

Russia's supreme court designates Ukraine's Azov Regiment a 'terrorist' group

Russia's supreme court has designated Ukraine's Azov Regiment as a 'terrorist' group.

The Azov Regiment, which has far-right and ultra-nationalist roots, has been one of the most prominent Ukrainian military formations fighting against Russia in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has regularly cited Azov in support of its assertion that Ukraine is controlled by "fascists".

Kremlin: Talks with Erdogan will address Ukraine grain deal

The Kremlin has said that talks scheduled for Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will address, among other things, the Turkish-brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a call that the talks will address how effectively the deal, which must be renewed after 120 days, is working.

UN: Border crossings from Ukraine passes 10M mark

The number of border crossings from Ukraine has surpassed 10 million for the first time since Russia attacked the country.

A total of 10,107,957 border crossings from Ukraine have been recorded since Feb 24, the UN Refugee Agency's tally showed. 

Russian ex-president questions independence of ex-Soviet states in 'hacked' post

An aide to former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said that the politician's social media account had been "hacked" after a post was published questioning the sovereignty of former Soviet countries.

The message, on popular Russian social network VKontakte, was taken down shortly after publication, but it called ex-Soviet Kazakhstan an "artificial state" and accused the Central Asian country of committing "genocide" on its Russian population.

The post — shared with Medvedev's 2.2 million followers on the platform — also said that the Caucasus nation of Georgia "didn't exist" before becoming part of the Russian empire in the 19th century.

New Zealand imposes new sanctions on Russian armed forces

New Zealand has announced more sanctions on the Russian armed forces and military-industrial complex over the Ukraine conflict which is in its sixth month now, officials said.

In a statement issued late on Monday, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military of violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, saying Moscow has breached fundamental international law.

“Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine is enabled by its extensive military-industrial complex which encompasses a large web of defence entities,” she said.

Russia uses Ukraine's nuclear plant as 'shield' — US

The United States said Russia was using Ukraine's biggest nuclear power plant as a "nuclear shield" by stationing troops there, preventing Ukrainian forces from returning fire and risking a terrible nuclear accident.

"Of course the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant," Blinken told reporters after nuclear nonproliferation talks at the United Nations in New York on Monday.

Russia's actions went beyond using a "human shield" Blinken said, calling it a "nuclear shield."

US announces $500M additional weapon supply

The United States announced a new tranche of weapons for Ukraine's forces fighting Russia, including ammunition for the increasingly important rocket launchers and artillery guns.

The new $550 million package will "include more ammunition for the high mobility advanced rocket systems otherwise known as HIMARS, as well as ammunition" for artillery, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

This brings the total of military assistance committed to Ukraine since President Joe Biden took office to more than $8 billion, he said. Fierce fighting between Moscow and Kiev continues on the 160th day as the US announced more weaponry support to Ukraine

For live updates from Monday (August 1), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies