This newsletter was compiled by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor of the New Voice of Ukraine, August 26, 2022.
Due to a fire at the nearby Zaporizhzhia Thermal Power Plant, the last line connecting the ZNPP to the Ukrainian grid has been damaged. Three of the other connecting lines had already been severed by Russian shelling. Ukraine’s nuclear operator, Energoatom, says that all systems are nominal, and that they are working on repairing the connection. This interruption of service is the first the plant has seen since it became operational.
The attack struck the town’s train station on Ukraine’s independence day, causing damage to a nearby passenger train as well as to houses and parked cars in the vicinity. Ukraine’s presidential administration confirmed that two children had also been killed as a result of the strike - one under the rubble of a house, while another died in a car set ablaze.
Ukraine’s Independence Day saw 189 air raid sirens go off nearly constantly throughout the day in every Ukrainian oblast, setting a record for Russian attacks on Ukraine. The largest amount of sirens went off in Kirovohrad Oblast (12 alarms), Poltava Oblast (12 alarms), Zaporizhziya (11 alarms), and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast (11 alarms). The previous record was set on the eve of Orthodox Easter on April 23rd, when 109 alarms sounded.
The decree, set to take effect by Jan. 1, 2023, would see the Russian military expand to 1,150,628 total combat personnel. The Ukrainian military puts current Russian KIA at around 45,000 – typical combat statistics suggest that KIAs are a third of overall combat losses, meaning that Putin’s decree may simply be a call to patch the holes the Ukrainian military has already caused. However, Russia has found it difficult to replenish its manpower in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and has resorted to mass use of forcibly conscripted Ukrainian nationals from the Donbas as cannon fodder, as well as covert mobilization efforts, to plug the gap.
According to global steel trade body WorldSteel, Ukraine’s steel production contracted by 85% in July 2022, compared to a similar period in 2021, due to the destruction of steelworks and facilities by Russian forces. In total, for the first seven months of 2022, Ukraine has recorded a drop in steel production of 62.1%, though production has been steadily recovering.
Aslund believes Ukraine’s recent successes in Crimea and Belgorod have begun to sow panic among ordinary Russians, and laid out the top six peace conditions Ukraine will need to demand in peace talks.