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Latest Developments in Ukraine: August 8

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Emergency Service on Aug. 8, 2022, shows firefighters working to put out a fire after a missile was shot down and landed on civilian infrastructure in Uman district.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia's war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

11:45 p.m.: The United Nations released a revised humanitarian appeal for more funds toward the crisis in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in New York that financial requirement increased from $2.25 to $4.3 billion, and that more than a quarter of Ukraine's population will need humanitarian assistance by year's end.

"During the first five months of the war, at least 2.3 million Ukrainians received cash assistance," he said, according to AP. "Our humanitarian colleagues warn that during the forthcoming winter the situation can deteriorate as more people will be displaced from areas with limited access to gas, fuel or electricity. Supporting them is a priority.”

10:45 p.m.: The European Union has called on member states to cut natural-gas use by 15 percent under a new plan intended to prepare the bloc for a possible halt in Russian supplies, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The plan, approved two weeks ago and published as a European Council regulation on Monday, will apply for one year and is reportedly expected to go into force Tuesday.

"Considering the imminent danger to the security of gas supply brought about by the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, this regulation should enter into force as a matter of urgency," according to the text of the regulation.

Under the plan, EU countries are expected to do their best to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent between August 1 and March 31 compared to the average consumption over the same period the past five years.

9:50 p.m.: Ukraine is deploying its relatively new, locally built Bureviy multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) against Russian targets near Kharkiv. The Bureviy (Stormy, or Hurricane) is a modernized version of the Soviet Uragan system. An RFE/RL photographer captured a frontline unit as it went on the attack.

8:21 p.m.: Current Time joined a Ukrainian Army crew manning a German Panzerhaubitze 2000, a self-propelled, long-range howitzer, as it opened fire on Russian positions. After firing a salvo, the crew hid the weapon system among trees and broken branches. They told reporters the Russian drones were hunting the highly effective howitzers, which had forced Russian artillery to pull back to positions farther from the front line.

7:29 p.m.: Russian troops shelled positions held by Ukrainian troops and several populated areas in various directions, Ukraine's General Staff said as Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said it had foiled a plot to kill two top government officials, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

In the Donetsk region, Russian troops are trying to inflict "maximum losses" on Ukrainian units and prevent their transfer to other fronts, the General Staff said in its evening assessment of the day's fighting.

"Our soldiers repelled enemy assaults in the direction of the settlements of Bakhmut, Zaytseve, Vershina, and Kodem," the General Staff announced.

6:15 p.m.:

5:20 p.m.: A lack of running water in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk means that residents must fill bottles by hand at public pumps throughout the city, The Associated Press reported. The city's remaining population has adapted to this new way of life. But local officials warn that the coming of winter could set the stage for a humanitarian crisis. Most of the eastern Donetsk region is without gas for heating and public wells and municipal water pipes are likely to freeze in winter. The head of the city military administration in nearby Kramatorsk said that this lack of utilities would prompt people to use other means to heat and light their houses. And that raises the risk of fires.

4:31 p.m.:

3:15 p.m.: A judge has authorized U.S. prosecutors to seize a $90 million Airbus plane owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said, according to a Reuters report.

Skoch, a member of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, was initially sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2018 for alleged ties to Russian organized criminal groups. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued further sanctions against Skoch in the wake of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Washington has sought to pressure President Vladimir Putin to stop the military campaign by freezing and seizing assets belonging to wealthy Russians.

2:30 p.m.:

2 p.m.: The United States on Monday pledged $1 billion in new military aid to Ukraine, according to a statement released by the State Department.

“Nearly six months into the unprovoked and brutal assault on Ukraine, Russia continues its destruction of Ukrainian towns and villages,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “President Biden has been clear that we will continue to support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country from Russian aggression, for as long as it takes,” he added in the statement, noting that this is the 18th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment as part of a delegation of authority from the President.

“This package provides a significant amount of additional ammunition, weapons, and equipment that Ukrainians are using so effectively to defend themselves and will bring total U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to approximately $9.8 billion since the beginning of this Administration,” Blinken said.

1:35 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted Monday about his official visit to South Africa. Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition between Russia and Western powers for support from African countries over the war in Ukraine. His trip to Africa follows recent tours by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron.

1:10 p.m.: Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has been reelected as the head of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), defeating a Ukrainian challenger who said the incumbent was part of Moscow's "war machine," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

A total of 157 out of 179 national chess associations voted for Dvorkovich on August 7 at FIDE's general assembly in India, the international governing body said in a statement. Ukrainian grandmaster Andriy Baryshpolets, who challenged Dvorkovich, won just 16 votes.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov welcomed Dvorkovich's victory. "The election of the head of FIDE is very important, it's a global event, and of course we were rooting for Dvorkovich, a Russian citizen," Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian media.

12:25 p.m.:

12:05 p.m.: A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to 10 years in jail on Monday after finding him guilty of violating the laws and customs of war by firing a tank at a multi-story apartment block, Reuters reported.

The court in northeast Chernihiv found Mikhail Kulikov, who was captured while fighting, guilty of hitting the residential building on February 26, two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, said Anton Herashchenko, an aide to Ukraine's interior minister.

Kulikov pleaded guilty at the trial and sought a more lenient punishment because he said he had been following orders, the Ukrainian general prosecutor's office said.

The residential block that was hit in the city of Chernihiv was not a military target or being used for military purposes, it said.

11:35 a.m.:

11:15 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that if Russia were allowed to bully Ukraine, to invade and take territory without being opposed, then it would be "open season" around the world, Reuters reported.

The United States' top diplomat was speaking at a news conference alongside South Africa's foreign minister Naledi Pandor as part of a visit that will also take him to Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

"If we allow a big country to bully a smaller one, to simply invade it and take its territory, then it's going to be open season, not just in Europe but around the world," Blinken said.

Blinken said the United States felt it was important to stand up to Russia because its aggression against Ukraine threatened the foundational principles of the international system.

Pandor said no one in South Africa supported the war in Ukraine but that the prescripts of international law were not being applied evenly. "We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine, as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine," she said.

10:55 a.m.:

10:40 a.m.: Staff at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex are "working under the barrels of Russian guns," Ukraine's ambassador to the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday, calling for an international mission to the plant this month, according to Reuters.

Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk said Russian forces want to cause electricity blackouts in southern Ukraine by shelling the Zaporizhzhia complex, adding that damage to the facility from Russian attacks means any radiation could not be detected.

Tsymbaliuk spoke in Vienna as international alarm over weekend artillery attacks on the Zaporizhzhia complex grew with Kyiv warning of the risk of a Chornobyl-style catastrophe and appealing for the area to be made a demilitarized zone.

The Zaporizhzhia region's Russian-installed authority has said Ukrainian forces hit the site with a multiple rocket launcher, damaging administrative buildings and a storage area. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Kyiv of trying to "take Europe hostage" by shelling the plant.

Reuters could not verify either side's version of what happened.

10:10 a.m.:

9:35 a.m.: Ukraine has formally requested a new program from the International Monetary Fund and hopes to receive aid under the program from November to December, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Monday.

"We expect to receive the corresponding assistance from the IMF already in November-December of this year," he said in a statement on the government website, according to Reuters.

9:10 a.m.:

8:50 a.m.: Amnesty International said on August 7 it "deeply regrets the distress and anger" caused by a report accusing Ukraine of exposing civilians to Russian fire, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday.

The August 4 report said the Ukrainian military is endangering civilians by basing themselves in residential buildings, schools, and hospitals and launching counterattacks from heavily populated areas.

The head of Amnesty's Ukraine office resigned in protest, accusing the rights organization of parroting Kremlin propaganda. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the rights group had tried to "amnesty the terrorist state and shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim."

"We fully stand by our findings," the rights group said, but it stressed that "nothing we documented Ukrainian forces doing in any way justifies Russian violations."

"This does not mean that Amnesty International holds Ukrainian forces responsible for violations committed by Russian forces, nor that the Ukrainian military is not taking adequate precautions elsewhere in the country," it said.

8:25 a.m.:

8:10 a.m.: More than 450 foreign-made components have been found in Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine, evidence that Moscow acquired critical technology from companies in the United States, Europe and Asia in the years before the invasion, according to a new report by Royal United Services Institute defense think tank.

Since the start of the war five months ago, the Ukrainian military has captured or recovered from the battlefield intact or partially damaged Russian weapons. When disassembled, 27 of these weapons and military systems, ranging from cruise missiles to air defense systems, were found to rely predominantly on Western components, according to the research shared with Reuters.

It is the most detailed published assessment to date of the part played by Western components in Russia's war against Ukraine.

7:50 a.m.:

6:40 a.m.: Ukraine has received its first three German Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft systems and will use them to defend important infrastructure facilities, the southern military command said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The air defense systems, which are operated by three-person crews and can hit targets at up to 4kms, are one of various pieces of Western military kit being supplied to Ukraine to help it fend off the Russian invasion that began on February 24.

6:15 a.m.:

5:45 a.m.: The Kremlin said on Monday there was no basis for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents at the moment, Reuters reported.

In response to a question about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offers to broker peace talks, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy could meet only after negotiators from both sides had “done their homework.”

Negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv have been stalled for months, with each side blaming the other for a lack of progress.

“The Ukrainian delegation has gone off the radar, there is no negotiation process now,” Peskov said on Monday. “As for a meeting between Presidents Putin and Zelenskyy, it is possible only after all the homework has been done by the delegations. This is missing, so there are no necessary prerequisites for the meeting.”

5:30 a.m.: The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom called on Monday for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be made a military-free zone and said there should be a team of peacekeepers present at the site.

He made the comments on television after Ukraine and Russia accused each of shelling the nuclear power plant — Europe's biggest — which lies in Russian-controlled southern Ukraine.

4:55 a.m.: The Kyiv Independent reports that, according to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Russian military killed one civilian in Bakhmut, two in Soledar, one in Mariinka and one in Selydove on August 7.

3:50 a.m.: Two more ships, carrying corn and soybeans, departed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Monday, Reuters reported citing Turkey and Ukraine, taking the total to ten since the first ship sailed last week under a deal with Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month after warnings the halt in grain shipments caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

The Sacura, which departed from Pivdennyi, is carrying 11,000 tons of soybeans to Italy, Turkey's defense ministry said on Monday, while the Arizona, which left Chornomorsk, is carrying 48,458 tons of corn to Iskenderun in southern Turkey.

Separately, the Polarnet, which departed on Friday, reached its final destination in northwestern Turkey’s Derince on Monday morning to be unloaded, marking the completion of the first shipment since the exports were re-launched.

So far, around 243,000 tons of corn has been exported from Ukraine on seven ships since the first departure on August 1, according to a Reuters tally of data from Turkey’s defense ministry. The other ships carried 11,000 tons of soybeans, 6,000 tons of sunflower oil and 45,000 tons of sunflower meal.

2:25 a.m.: Russia is highly likely to be deploying anti-personnel mines along its defensive lines in the Donbas region of Ukraine, Britain said on Monday, without citing evidence.

In Donetsk and Kramatorsk, Russia has highly likely attempted the employment of PFM-1 and PFM-1S scatterable anti-personnel mines, commonly called the ‘butterfly mine,’ Britain’s defense ministry said on Twitter.

These are “deeply controversial, indiscriminate weapons,” the ministry said in the regular bulletin.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

1:45 a.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe’s largest atomic plant at the weekend, Reuters reported.

“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” Guterres told a news conference in Japan, where he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.

Ukraine said renewed Russian shelling on Saturday had damaged three radiation sensors and hurt a worker at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the second hit in consecutive days on the site.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of waging “nuclear terror” that warranted more international sanctions, this time on Moscow's nuclear sector.

“There is no such nation in the world that could feel safe when a terrorist state fires at a nuclear plant,” Zelenskyy said in a televised address on Sunday.

Russian forces captured the plant in southeastern Ukraine in early March, but it is still run by Ukrainian technicians.

The Russian-installed authority of the area said Ukrainian forces hit the site with a multiple rocket launcher, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a storage facility. The Russian embassy in Washington also released a statement itemizing the damage.

“Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the specified object on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling. Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military in covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected,” the embassy said.

Reuters could not verify either side's version.

12:10 a.m.: The scheduled arrival Sunday of the first grain ship to leave Ukraine and cross the Black Sea under a wartime deal has been delayed, The Associated Press reported citing a Lebanese Cabinet minister and Ukraine’s Embassy.

The cause of the delay was not immediately clear and Marine Traffic, which monitors vessel traffic and the locations of ships at sea, showed the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni at anchor in the Mediterranean Sea near Turkey.

Lebanon’s transportation minister, Ali Hamie, tweeted the ship “that was supposed, according to what was rumored, to reach Tripoli port in Lebanon” changed its status. Hamie refused to comment further when contacted by The Associated Press.

The ship left Odesa last Monday carrying Ukrainian corn and later passed inspection in Turkey. It was supposed to arrive in the northern port of Tripoli at about 10 a.m. Sunday. According to Marine Traffic, the ship Saturday changed its status to “order” meaning the ship was waiting for someone to buy the corn.

The Ukrainian embassy in Beirut said the arrival of the ship has been postponed adding that an “update for the ceremony will be sent later when we get information about exact day and time of the arrival of the ship.”

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.