The financier of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is to be set up as the face of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. This is reported by the US think tank Institute of the Study of War. Prigozhin gave a recruitment speech on September 14, in which he said that Russian prisoners have been taking part in the war since July 1, when they were instrumental in the capture of the thermal power plant Vuhlehirska were involved.

One Russian milblogger – bloggers about wartime everyday life, often soldiers – noted that Prigozhin is adopting a “Stalinist” method that allows the Kremlin to avoid a general mobilization that could trigger social tensions in Russian society.

Prigozhin is a close confidant of Putin. His ties could further scapegoat Shoigu and the Russian Defense Ministry for the defeat in the Kharkiv region.

According to his spokesman in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was involved in a car accident. A vehicle collided with the head of state’s car and the escort vehicles, spokesman Serhiy Nykyforov wrote on Facebook early Thursday morning. Selenskyj was examined by a doctor. “No serious injuries were found.”

No further details about his state of health were initially given. Paramedics took care of the driver of the other car and took him to a hospital. The police are investigating the circumstances of the accident. On Wednesday, Selenskyj visited the city of Izyum in eastern Ukraine, which had been recaptured a few days ago.

After the Kremlin admitted failures in the Kharkiv area for the first time, the Russian government is now trying to pass the troop withdrawal on to the Ministry of Defense and “uniformed military advisers” from Putin’s circle. That’s what analysts at the US think tank Institute for the Study of War said.

The ISW noted that the Russian Defense Ministry’s initial explanation for the defeat in Kharkiv, after which the troops were withdrawing from the region to regroup,” was quickly and loudly criticized on the internet.

The Kremlin’s acknowledgment of defeat is now part of an effort to tone down criticism and shift it “from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Russian Defense Ministry and the military command in uniform.”

Kremlin sources “are now working to absolve Putin of any responsibility for the defeat,” it said.

According to various Ukrainian reports, seven or eight rockets were fired at Kryvyi Rih. The reservoir serves to supply the city with 625,000 inhabitants with drinking water. Due to the damage to the pumping station, the water supply had failed in large parts of the city, it said. Despite the high water level on the river, the situation is under control, said Zelenskyy’s deputy chief of staff Kyrylo Tymoshenko. The situation in the parts of the city where there is a risk of flooding is constantly being monitored.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the attack a war crime and an act of terrorism. In his evening video speech, Zelenskyy called the Russians weaklings: Such attacks on civilian objects are one reason “why Russia loses”.

However, according to the Ukrainian media, the tidal wave on the Inhulez also has possible military effects. Further south at Cherson, the Dnipro tributary currently forms the front line between Ukrainian and Russian troops. The high water level could make crossing the river difficult.

At the start of his visit to Germany, the President of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefantschuk, called on the federal government to play a leading role in supplying main battle tanks to Ukraine. “Germany should live up to its leadership role and be the first country to deliver battle tanks,” Stefantschuk told the German Press Agency late Wednesday evening after his arrival in Berlin. “A country like Germany doesn’t wait for what others do.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has repeatedly emphasized that he does not want to go it alone with the arms deliveries. So far, no NATO country has delivered Western-style main battle tanks to Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has been demanding tanks like the German Leopard 2 ever more vehemently since its military successes in recapturing areas occupied by Russian forces.

Nikita Yuferev, one of the Russian deputies from Smolninskoye district in St. Petersburg, who on September 7 called for indicting Russian President Vladimir Putin on treason, is not giving up. He has already been fined in court, and next he faces jail time. “We will continue to insist on his resignation,” he told US broadcaster CNN.

The presidents of Russia and China want to meet for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are attending the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, which begins on Thursday.

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