Moscow and Kiev accuse each other of bombing a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners in Russian-held territory amid fierce fighting on day 157 of the military conflict.

Russian army trucks drive across a wheat field in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict near the settlement of Olenivka in the Donetsk region.
Russian army trucks drive across a wheat field in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict near the settlement of Olenivka in the Donetsk region. (Reuters)

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Zelenskyy calls for evacuation of Ukraine's frontline Donetsk

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for the evacuation of the eastern Donetsk region which has seen fierce clashes between his country's forces and the Russian military.

"There's already a governmental decision about obligatory evacuation from Donetsk region," he said in his daily address. 

"Please, follow evacuation. At this phase of the war, terror is a main weapon of Russia."

Russia suspends gas supplies

Russian energy giant Gazprom suspended gas supplies to Latvia, a day after a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war was bombed leaving scores dead.

"Today, Gazprom suspended its gas supplies to Latvia... due to violations of the conditions" of purchase, the company said on Telegram.

Gazprom drastically cut gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline on Wednesday to about 20 percent of its capacity. It had reduced gas flows to Europe twice in June.

Red Cross requests access to Ukraine prison after POWS die

Russia launched nighttime attacks on several Ukrainian cities, Ukrainian officials said as they and Moscow blamed each other for the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in a pro-Russian separatist-controlled area of the country's east.

The International Red Cross asked to visit the prison to make sure the wounded had proper treatment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have a duty to react. 

“It was a deliberate Russian war crime, a deliberate mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war,” Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Ukraine condemns Russian call to 'hang' Azov fighters

Ukrainian officials denounced a call by Russia's embassy in Britain for fighters from the Azov regiment to face a "humiliating" execution.

The Russian tweet came as Moscow and Kiev traded blame over a strike on a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-controlled territory that killed around 50 people, reportedly including members of the Azov regiment.  

"Azov militants deserve execution, but death not by firing squad but by hanging, because they're not real soldiers. They deserve a humiliating death," Moscow's diplomatic mission wrote in an overnight Tweet. 

US envoy: Russia intends to dissolve Ukraine from world map

The US ambassador to the United Nations has said there should no longer be any doubt that Russia intends to dismantle Ukraine “and dissolve it from the world map entirely”.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council that the United States is seeing growing signs that Russia is laying the groundwork to attempt to annex all of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

She said Russia's plans could include installing “illegitimate proxy officials in Russian-held areas, with the goal of holding sham referenda or decree to join Russia”.

UK: Russia to hold referendums in newly occupied areas of south Ukraine

Russian-installed authorities in newly occupied territories in southern Ukraine are under pressure and possibly preparing to hold referendums on joining Russia later this year, Britain military has said.

"Local authorities are likely coercing the population into disclosing personal details in order to compose voting registers," the Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update on Twitter. Russia classifies these occupied areas as being under interim "civil-military administration".

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told the Security Council on Friday that “The de-Nazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine will be carried out in full.”

Russia running out of steam in Ukraine, UK spy chief says

Russia is "running out of steam" in its assault on Ukraine, the chief of Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence agency, Richard Moore, has said in a brief comment on social media.

Moore made the remark "Running out of steam..." above an earlier post on Twitter by Britain's defence ministry, which described the Russian government as "growing desperate" and as having lost thousands of soldiers in its offensive in Ukraine.

Gazprom says it halts gas supplies to Latvia

Russian gas producer Gazprom says it has stopped supplying neighbouring Latvia with gas, accusing it of violating conditions for gas withdrawal.

Russia has already cut off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Netherlands and Denmark, which refused to pay for gas in line with an order by President Vladimir Putin requiring rouble accounts to be set up in a Russian bank as part of new settlement scheme. Russia has also halted gas sales to Shell Energy Europe in Germany.

In a statement on Saturday, Gazprom did not specify which gas withdrawal conditions Latvia had allegedly violated.

Ukraine calls for Russia to be recognised as 'state sponsor of terrorism'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the deaths of dozens of prisoners in a Russian-held jail showed there should be clear legal recognition that Russia was a "state sponsor of terrorism."

"Today, I received information about the attack by the occupiers on Olenivka (the prison's location), in the Donetsk region. It is a deliberate Russian war crime, a deliberate mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war. More than 50 dead," he said in his daily address.

"I am appealing especially to the United States of America. A decision is needed and it is needed now."

For live updates from Friday (July 29), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies