Here is the situation on Saturday, August 5, 2023.
- Ukraine damaged a Russian naval vessel during a sea drone attack at the Russian port of Novorossiysk that was conducted by the security service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian navy, a Ukrainian intelligence source said. “As a result of the attack, the Olenegorsky Gornyak received a serious breach and currently cannot conduct its combat missions,” the source told the Reuters news agency. Russia’s defence ministry said the drones were destroyed by Russian warships but port facilities were not damaged.
- Russian air defences downed 10 Ukrainian drones over the Crimean Peninsula and suppressed three more with electronic countermeasures, the TASS news agency quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying. There were no casualties or damages in either attack, the ministry said.
- Ukraine accused Russia of preparing to stage a “false flag” attack at the Mozyr oil refinery in Belarus in an effort to draw Belarus into the war. In a statement, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said its allegations were based on information from several sources, including a captured Russian serviceman.
- Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited a combat zone in Ukraine to inspect a command post and meet senior military officers, the army said.
- Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told Al Jazeera that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is not a Hollywood movie. “Every success of the Ukrainian army is a great effort, [a] great sacrifice of Ukrainian soldiers, and we understand what it means for the whole world. We [are] stopping the aggressor, we do not give the ability of Russia to attack freedom and democracy in the whole world,” Poroshenko said.
- The British defence ministry said Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian grain ports in the past few weeks are likely an attempt to stop international trading via the ports. In the ministry’s daily intelligence update, it found that “OWA UAVs have struck targets as close as 200 metres from the Romanian border, suggesting that Russia has evolved its risk appetite for conducting strikes near NATO territory”.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 04 August 2023.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 4, 2023
- Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was sentenced to an additional 19 years in a case that he and his supporters say was engineered to keep him out of politics.
- Lithuania declares more than 1,000 citizens of Russia and Belarus living in the country to be threats to national security. The move comes after the government asked the Russians and Belarusians to answer a questionnaire with questions about their views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the status of Crimea.
- The Kremlin has published a joint statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of several African countries participating in a peace mission to end the war, the TASS news agency reported. In the statement, the leaders pointed out the progress made on proposals in their first meeting on June 17 on humanitarian issues, including children in war zones and prisoner exchanges.
- Russia said it needs actions, not promises, from the United States to meet the conditions it has set to return to the Black Sea grain deal. Moscow quit the deal on July 17 after saying not enough had been done to remove obstacles to its exports of food and fertiliser.
- Chinese Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui will visit Jeddah for talks on a Ukraine peace settlement, China’s foreign ministry said.
- US Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie visited Ukraine, met with Zelenskyy and emphasised Washington’s support for Kyiv. The former New Jersey governor met with Zelenskyy at the presidential palace in Kyiv after visiting a mass grave in Bucha and touring the damage in Irpin outside the capital.