Russo-Ukraine War - August 2022
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
The UK Ministry of Defence announced on 27 August 2022 that it would be giving six autonomous minehunting vehicles to Ukraine to help detect Russian mines in the waters off its coast. Three of these were to be provided from UK stocks, with a further three to be purchased from industry. The lightweight autonomous vehicle is designed for use in shallow coastal environments, operating effectively at depths of up to 100m to detect, locate and identify mines using an array of sensors so the Ukrainian Navy can destroy them. As part of that effort, dozens of Ukrainian Navy personnel are to be taught to use the underwater drones.
Poland's Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced ton 27 August 2022 hat the country had sealed a weapons deal worth $5.8 billion with South Korea for the purchase of 180 K2 Black Panther tanks made by Hyundai Rotem and worth $3.4 billion, as well as 212 K9 Thunder howitzers -- built by Hanhwa Defense and worth $2.4 billion, with the aim to replace armaments shipped to Ukraine. The deals also include training, logistics and ammunition.
The Czech Republic and Poland signed on 27 August 2022 an agreement to protect Slovakia's airspace in anticipation of the country ceasing the use of its old Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets at the end of the month. There is speculation that Slovakia's 11 MiG-29s may be offered to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed, on 25 August 2022, a decree to increase the number of Russian combat military personnel by 137,000 to 1,150,628. The decree is due to take effect on 1 January 2023.
Ukraine informed the IAEA, that the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) had temporarily lost connection to its last remaining operational 750 kilovolt (kV) external power line. As a result, the facility's two operating reactor units were disconnected from the electricity grid and their emergency protection systems were triggered, while all safety systems remained operational. All six units remained disconnected from the grid also after the power line was restored.
On 24 August 2022, the day marking Ukraine's 31st anniversary of its independence, the United States announced another approximate $3 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). As the biggest tranche of security assistance for Ukraine to date, the package included Six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) with additional munitions for NASAMS, up to 24 counter-artillery radars; Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and support equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems; VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems; Laser-guided rocket systems, as well as ammunition.
UK PM Boris Johnson announced a new assistance package it, along with Norway, was providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a £54 million package of 2,000 state-of-the-art drones and loitering munitions. Among these are 850 hand launched, Norwegian-developed Black Hornet micro-drones, which are specifically designed for use in towns and villages, and are deployed to detect approaching enemy forces
The Second Summit of the Crimea Platform was held on 23 August 2022, with Joint Statement issued by its 60 or so international participants. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reaffirmed that Crimea's status as an integral part of Ukraine, stating that "Crimea is an integral part of our state, Crimea is Ukraine. Crimea is an integral part of our people. And we will certainly come to our cities in Crimea, to our people in Crimea and return to them the freedom that belongs to them by right, as well as to all our other people."
Ukrainian General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, during a veterans event on 22 August 2022, said that nealy 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Zaluzhniy said the entire country, and not just the army, is taking part in the war, as children and wives have seen their fathers and husbands "go to the front lines and are maybe among the nearly 9,000 heroes who have been killed" in battle. In April, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had said that up to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and 10,000 injured.
The Netherlands announced it would provide an additional aid package of ~80 million euros to Ukraine for reconstruction, demining among other things, as well as comitting about 90 Dutch troops to the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the UK.
On 20 June 2022, Russia accused Ukraine of conducting "chemical terrorism" and poisoning a number of its troops, saying a number of soldiers had been taken ill and transfered to a military hospital. Subsequent tests showed the presence of botulinum toxin type B in their bodies. Ukraine's Interior Ministry put the blame on Russia, commenting that Russia had failed to "clarify whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat", as Botulinum toxin type B can cause botulism when ingested in contaminated food products. This appeared to refer also to well-documented reports at the beginning of the war, of Russian troops being supplied with expired military rations.
A Ukrainian drone cashed into the roof of the building housing Russia's Black Sea fleet headquarters in Sevastopol; the second assault of its kind against the fleet's headquarters in less than a month. The Russsian-imposed governor of Crimea later climed that the drone had been shot down.
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