German Mars II rocket launchers arrived in Ukraine on Monday. The Russian army moves troops to a weak point in the south. All news about the war in Ukraine can be found in the ticker.

6:06 p.m .: According to the local governor, the Ukrainian armed forces have recaptured more than 40 places in the Kherson region in the past few weeks. So far, 46 towns in the region have been “liberated,” Ukrainian governor Dmytro Butriy said on state television on Monday. According to him, most of the recaptured places are in the north of the region, others are south near the Black Sea.

For several weeks, Ukrainian forces have been waging a counter-offensive in the southern Kherson region, which borders the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. The region was largely taken by the invading forces in the first days of the war of aggression that Russia began on February 24.

Governor Butriy said some of the villages that have since been recaptured were “90 percent destroyed and are still under constant fire today”. He described the humanitarian situation in the region as “critical”.

In its counter-offensive, the Ukrainian army attacked Russian positions and camps behind the front line and damaged bridges on supply routes for the invading forces. Military experts blame the modern rocket launcher systems supplied from the West for the fact that the Ukrainian army is now able to conduct attacks much deeper into the areas occupied by Russia.

2:13 p.m .: After the German Mars II rocket launchers, other Himars systems have also arrived in Ukraine. “Four more Himars have arrived in Ukraine. Thank you to the US President, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the American people for strengthening Ukraine’s army,” Defense Minister Reznikov wrote on Twitter. “The sound of Himar’s punches has become the summerite on the front lines.”

12:59 p.m .: Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov has announced the arrival of German Mars II rocket launchers in Ukraine. “Thanks to Germany and personally to my colleague Christine Lambrecht,” Reznikow wrote on Twitter.

12:54 p.m .: According to its own statements, the Russian army has again destroyed Western military technology in Ukraine. In the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, two launch sites for US Himars missiles were hit on a factory site, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday. Not far from the Black Sea metropolis of Odessa, Russian troops had destroyed a device for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, also supplied by the United States.

The statements could not be independently verified. Experts point out that the Himar rocket launchers are difficult to locate and destroy. The Ukrainian authorities reported on Sunday that two Russian rockets had been fired from the annexed Crimea peninsula at the Odessa region. According to her account, however, the projectiles hit a quarry.

11.04 a.m .: According to the British Ministry of Defense, the Russian offensive in the east continues to falter. “Over the past four days, Russia has continued to attempt tactical attacks on the Bakhmut Axis northeast of Donetsk and has made slow progress,” a statement said Monday morning.

Britain also sees signs of a redeployment of Russian troops from eastern to southern Ukraine. Russia has apparently identified the front in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia as a “weak point” where reinforcements are needed, the Defense Ministry said, citing intelligence information. Previously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj had reported in his video address on Monday night that Russian troops were being moved south.

Shortly after the war began, Russia occupied large areas in southern Ukraine. Recently, however, Ukrainian troops had started counteroffensives there and put the Russian armed forces under pressure, also thanks to the artillery supplied by the West. “Russia is likely to adjust the operational design of its Donbass offensive after failing to make a decisive operational breakthrough under the plan it has been pursuing since April,” it said. Russia is likely to redeploy a significant number of its armed forces from the northern Donbass sector to southern Ukraine.

Monday, August 01, 05.01. h: Secretary of State Annalena Baerbock leaves for New York on Monday to attend a United Nations conference to review the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The more than 50-year-old agreement, to which 191 countries have joined, forms the basis for nuclear disarmament worldwide. It states that only the US, Russia, China, France and the UK can have nuclear weapons. The four other suspected nuclear powers India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have either not joined the treaty or have withdrawn from it.

At the start of the conference, which lasts until August 26, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak alongside Baerbock. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – officially the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – came into force in 1970. The aim of the agreement is to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promote nuclear disarmament and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

A review of the goals is planned every five years. The tenth review conference was supposed to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the corona pandemic. Nuclear disarmament had stalled even before Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine. Now reducing the nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons worldwide is becoming even more difficult.

In addition to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is also the more far-reaching Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, which, however, was not signed by the nuclear powers or any NATO member state, including Germany. In the coalition agreement, however, the Greens pushed through that Germany, contrary to the NATO line, participates as an observer in a conference of the parties. That was also implemented in June.

In view of the new threat situation in Europe, the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany, which was still being demanded by the SPD and the Greens in the 2021 election campaign, is no longer an issue. Up to 20 US nuclear bombs are still stored at the Büchel air base in the Rhineland-Palatinate Eifel. In an emergency, Bundeswehr fighter jets should use them.

Three weeks ago, during a visit to Nagasaki, Japan, Baerbock campaigned for a world without nuclear weapons, despite the tense security situation. There, in 1945, about 70,000 people were killed and 75,000 others injured by the second drop of a US atomic bomb. However, the Foreign Minister also conceded that concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament “are anything but easy in the current world situation”.

For Baerbock, the nuclear weapons conference is the start of a three-day trip to the United States and Canada. In addition to Guterres, the Green politician also wants to meet Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in New York. On Tuesday she will give a speech there on transatlantic relations and, together with her Swedish colleague Ann Linde, will host a meeting of the so-called Stockholm Initiative, which aims to take concrete steps toward nuclear disarmament. Baerbock will then travel on to Canada for her inaugural visit.

11:53 a.m .: In the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, the owner of one of the largest Ukrainian grain trading companies was killed by Russian shelling. “Last night Hero of Ukraine and general director of Nibulon Oleksiy Vadatursky and his wife Rajissa died tragically as a result of shelling,” oblast governor Vitaly Kim wrote to the Telegram news service on Sunday.

Vadaturskyj was 74 years old. His fortune was recently estimated at the equivalent of more than 400 million euros, he is said to have been the ninth richest man in Ukraine.

The mayor of the city, Olexander Zenkevych, described the nightly shelling on Telegram as “probably the strongest of all time” since the outbreak of the war. Three other civilians were injured. About half of the once almost 500,000 inhabitants are said to be staying in the shipbuilding town.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Since then, the United Nations has recorded over 5,200 civilian deaths, but, like Ukraine, assumes the number of civilian casualties to be far higher.

Sunday, July 31, 9:05 a.m.: The Ukrainian authorities have reported renewed violent attacks on the southern city of Mykolaiv. The city was “massively” and “probably more heavily than ever” shelled on Sunday morning, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said in the online service Telegram. “Powerful explosions were heard after 1am and around 5am.”

A number of residential buildings were damaged. “Several fires broke out at the locations hit.” The mayor initially did not provide any information about the injured or dead.

Two men succumbed to injuries sustained in an attack on a bus stop in Mykolayiv hospital on Friday. The death toll from this attack rose to seven.

The southern regional capital had been attacked almost daily in the past few weeks. The Ukrainian army recently launched a counter-offensive in the neighboring region of Cherson, which had been conquered by Russia. Other Ukrainian cities in the south and east of the country, such as Kharkiv and Sloviansk, were also shelled over the weekend.

7:40 p.m.: Russian troops have launched an attack on a village near Bakhmut. This was announced by the Ukrainian General Staff. According to this, troops have succeeded in penetrating parts of the settlement of Semyhiria and entrenching themselves there.

Saturday, July 30, 8:51 a.m .: A video from Ukraine is currently causing horror. In it, two Russian soldiers can be seen holding a Ukrainian prisoner on the ground while a third Russian soldier cuts off the man’s testicles with a knife. The man is fully conscious during the process. According to “Times” journalist Maxim Tucker, the investigative platform “Bellingcat” classified the video as authentic. The Russian soldier had been identified.

According to the US portal “Vice”, which also classifies the video as genuine, a bounty was declared by Ukrainian fighters on the Russians. Amnesty International classified the incident as a war crime: “This horrific attack is another flagrant example of utter disregard for human life and dignity,” said Amnesty’s Eastern Europe director, Marie Struthers.

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