1.5 billion euros in financial aid, credit rating cuts, and continued AFU successes in Kherson – The New Voice of Ukraine newsletter

15 August, 03:00 PM

This newsletter was compiled by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor of the New Voice of Ukraine, August 15, 2022.

A conference of the defense ministers of 26 countries in Copenhagen, Denmark, named #CopenhagenUkraine, gathered EUR 1.5 billion ($1.55 billion) in aid for Ukraine. According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, these funds, in conjunction with an earlier $4 billion loan guarantee from the United States, will be used to purchase ammunition and urgently needed military supplies, among other necessities.

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The attacks have resulted in civilian casualties, Enerhodar mayor Dmytro Orlov has said. At least two people were killed, with one being an employee of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Another two ZNPP workers have been injured. Conditions at the plant for Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator Energoatom employees are said to be difficult, with accounts of widespread torture and neglect.

As part of the continuing liberation of Kherson Oblast, Ukraine’s military are cutting off the Russian garrison in the oblast, estimated to contain at least 15,000 soldiers, from supplies. According to the press secretary for the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South, Natalia Humeniuk, this latest strike has rendered Russia’s ability to transport heavy equipment and ammunition to its soldiers in the area “impossible.”

  • Likely in response to the Armed Forces continued success in hitting key supply routes in Kherson Oblast, collaborators in the city of Kherson itself are reportedly fleeing to occupied Melitopol instead, the city’s mayor said. 
  • Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Reintegration Ministry, responsible for managing the affairs of reintegrating previously occupied territories back into Ukrainian controls, has advised that all Kherson residents, especially mothers with small children, evacuate ahead of what the ministry deems a “hard winter.”

According to the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War, a recent visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the Uralvagonzavod plant in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, which produces that country’s T-72 main battle tanks, indicates greater attention by the Kremlin to Russia’s wartime manufacturing capabilities. Much of Russia’s ability to built advanced or simply modern weaponry has been severely impacted by Western sanctions, which has cut Russia off from technologies needed to create their most updated weapons.

Rating agency S&P says it cut Ukraine’s rating to SD, indicating a “selective default”, due to the two-year deferral for Eurobond repayments that Ukraine was able to secure. "Given the announced terms and conditions of the restructuring, and in line with our criteria, we view the transaction as distressed and tantamount to default," S&P said. Credit rating agency Fitch, meanwhile, has similarly cut its rating from C to RD, for restricted default, citing similar concerns. Local currency bond ratings have also been cut.

Transit was first cut on Aug. 4, due to Russian state-owned pipeline transport company Transneft’s failure to provide advance payment for an oil shipment, as required by contract between Transient and its Ukrainian counterpart. While Transneft has still not paid the requisite funds, Hungarian oil company MOL took it upon itself to pay the fee in Transneft’s stead, unlocking oil shipments through the Druzhba pipeline.

According to Bloomberg, Turkish exports to Russia hit $3 billion in 2022 – the highest level since 2014. Turkish car exports to Russia have risen by 58% in one example of rising trade between the two countries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resisted calls to join global sanctions on Russia, as Turkey itself is suffering from nearly 80% inflation, and rising trade with Russia may serve as a way to lessen the impact of Erdogan’s monetary policies.

The Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement is an NGO focused on combating wide-spread prejudices against women in combat in Ukraine, with notable success. NV spoke to the organization’s co-founder, Kateryna Pryimak, to learn how Ukraine’s women have answered the call of country, and what remains to be done.

NV interviews UAF spokesperson Yurii Ihnat to learn what the consequences of the Saki airfield explosions are for both Ukraine’s and Russia’s militaries, and how the Crimean theater will change as a result.

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