A Russian missile has killed Ukraine’s ninth richest man. A Russian soldier apparently castrated a Ukrainian prisoner while he was fully conscious. All news about the war in Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.

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four other suspected nuclear powers India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have either not joined the treaty or have withdrawn from it.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.

6:22 p.m .: After the attack on a prisoner of war camp in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian secret services assume a targeted demolition by Russian forces. There are said to be dozens dead. “The explosions occurred in a newly constructed building specially prepared for Azovstal prisoners,” Ukrainian military intelligence claimed in a statement on Friday. Azovstal is the steelworks in Mariupol where the Ukrainian soldiers holed up before they gave up and were taken prisoner by the Russians.

With the explosion in the town of Olenivka in the Donetsk region, the Russian mercenary group Wagner allegedly wanted to cover up traces of embezzlement during construction before an upcoming inspection, according to Kyiv. The Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow knew nothing about it. The ministry had previously accused Ukraine of shelling the camp with the prisoners, which Ukraine denies.

The domestic secret service SBU also assumed a targeted demolition and presented an allegedly bugged phone call from the breakaway area. “Not one of the eyewitnesses heard that any missile flew to the correctional facility,” the agency said. There was no characteristic whistling. Russian claims that the Ukrainian army shelled the facility are “lies and provocation”.

The Russian-backed separatists, on the other hand, presented alleged US-made Himar missile fragments. According to them, the prisoner’s accommodation was targeted by the Ukrainian armed forces late Thursday evening. More than 50 prisoners were killed and over 100 injured. The information cannot be independently verified.

2:21 p.m .: According to local authorities, more than a dozen civilians have been killed and numerous people injured in the Ukrainian war zones within two days. Eight people were killed and 19 injured on Thursday, the military governor of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on Friday. There were fatalities in the Russian shelling of the towns of Bakhmut, Torezk, Orliwka, Hirnyk and Soledar. On Friday, at least two people died and six were injured in the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, according to the regional administration, several rockets hit the eastern city of Kharkiv. Two people were killed and eight injured. Officials said at least five civilians were killed and seven others injured when a bus stop was shelled in Mykolaiv, a southern port city. Civilians also came under fire in the part of the Donetsk region occupied by Russian troops. Local media spoke of one dead and at least 28 injured. The authorities’ information on the number of victims could not be independently verified.

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began in late February. According to a United Nations count, at least 5,200 civilians have been killed since then.

10.15 a.m .: According to the pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region, at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed by artillery fire from the Kiev troops. 130 were injured. “A direct hit in a barracks with prisoners of war,” said a representative of the separatist leadership in Donetsk on Friday, according to the Interfax agency. There is no confirmation from Kyiv of the shelling. The information cannot be verified independently.

The separatist representative warned that the number of victims could still increase. People are still being searched for under the rubble. According to him, the Olenivka detention center, where troops loyal to Moscow are holding Ukrainian prisoners of war, was fired on by Himar-type multiple rocket launchers.

The rocket launchers from the USA are considered precision weapons. So far, only photos from the city of Ilovaysk, around 40 kilometers east of Olenivka, where there were violent explosions in the night, have been circulating on social networks.

Many Ukrainian soldiers are being held captive in Olenivka, who fell into the hands of troops loyal to Moscow during the capture of the port city of Mariupol three months after the start of the Russian war of aggression. Among them are fighters of the nationalist Azov regiment. The separatists have threatened them with the death penalty on charges of war crimes. According to media reports, prison conditions in Olenivka are inhumane.

Friday, July 29, 7:53 a.m.: The Wagner mercenary group is apparently operating in coordination with the Russian military in the Ukraine war. This is reported by the British Ministry of Defense in its daily update. The mercenaries were probably assigned responsibility for certain areas of the front line. “This is a significant change from the group’s previous deployment since 2015, when it typically conducted missions distinct from overt, large-scale regular Russian military activities.”

The problem for Russia: the cooperation undermines attempts by the country to deny ties between the private army and the Russian state. “Wagner’s role has probably changed because the Russian Defense Ministry has a major shortage of combat infantry. However, it is highly unlikely that Wagner’s forces will be sufficient to decisively influence the course of the war,” the ministry continued.

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