The situation as of 8:00 a.m. on September 8, 2022
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have seized the initiative in several sectors of the front at once, forcing the Russian command to respond to their counteroffensive. They have taken the offensive in Kharkiv region and have achieved success here, posing a threat to the flank of the Russian grouping near Izium. The Ukrainian military also continues to attack in the south, where they keep military infrastructure and important logistical routes of the Russian troops under fire control. Active combat operations continue in Donetsk region near Donetsk, Bakhmut, and Sloviansk.
The report of the IAEA expert mission on the results of the inspection at Zaporizhzhia NPP recorded the presence of Russian equipment and military on the territory of the nuclear power plant. The IAEA experts called for the creation of a “nuclear safety protection zone” around the NPP.
Battle for Donbas
Russian troops continue their offensive attempts to establish full control over the territory of Donbas. They are trying to advance in the Bakhmut direction and near Donetsk.
The shelling of civilian infrastructure in the Donetsk region is ongoing. On September 5, a gymnasium building was destroyed in Kurakhove. On September 7, Russian forces shelled a school and an apartment building in Sloviansk, and a hospital in Kramatorsk was hit. In total, 10 people were killed and 8 civilians were injured as a result of the shelling in the region between September 5 and 7.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. They attacked Russian positions near the temporarily occupied town of Balakliia. As a result, they managed to advance 20 km and liberate several settlements. Successful actions in this direction open up opportunities for the AFU to attack Izium and Kupiansk. This poses a threat to the Russian grouping, which in recent months has attempted to advance on Sloviansk from the north.
Russian troops keep shelling Kharkiv and other settlements in the region. On September 5, 2 civilians were killed as a result of the shelling on the territory of Kharkiv region. On the night of September 6, at least 1 Kharkiv resident was killed in a rocket attack; on September 6, 2 people were injured on the territory of Kharkiv region. Rocket attacks on the territory of the regional center are carried out every night.
Artillery shelling in the territory of Zaporizhzhia region continues unabated. On September 6, a powerful explosion was recorded in the temporarily occupied Enerhodar. The mayor of the town, Dmytro Orlov, stated that the shelling of the town was carried out by Russian troops for the purpose of provocations.
The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported a special operation in the temporarily occupied territories. As a result, a warehouse with ballots prepared for a pseudo-referendum on the annexation of Zaporizhzhia region to the Russian Federation was destroyed.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to pressurize the grouping of Russian troops on the right bank of the Dnipro River, striking at bridges and pontoon crossings. Representatives of the occupation administration confirmed that key bridges (in Kherson and Nova Kakhovka) were put out of action. In addition, Ukrainian forces liberated several settlements in the Kherson region.
As a result of the AFU offensive in the Kherson direction, a postponement of the pseudo-referendum on the region’s annexation to the Russian Federation was announced.
Russian troops continue shelling. On September 5, 1 civilian was killed and 3 people were wounded in the Kryvyi Rih direction. In the night of September 6, Nikopol was shelled from MLRS. As a result, 2 people were wounded. Significant damage was caused to the civil infrastructure of the town. During September 5-6, missile strikes were launched against an oil depot in Kryvyi Rih. Russian troops’ strikes on Mykolaiv continue unabated.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
Russian troops keep launching missile and air strikes against Ukraine. The Ukrainian air defense system demonstrates high efficiency. In particular, on September 6, the air defense shot down 5 out of 6 air-to-ground Kh-101 missiles fired at the territory of Ukraine. Four of these missiles were destroyed in the Mykolaiv region. The Air Force of the AFU emphasizes that the Russian army has significantly exhausted its military arsenal and is using the newest missiles increasingly rarely, preferring outdated Soviet models.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has updated civilian casualties as a result of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of September 5, the confirmed casualties are 13917 (5718 dead, 8199 wounded). According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, as of the morning of September 7, the number of children affected by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine rose to 1,125 (383 children killed, 742 injured). According to the government platform Children of War, as of September 7, 7,343 children had been deported and 236 were missing.
On September 6, another process of handing over the bodies of fallen military personnel took place in accordance with the rules of the Geneva Convention, as a result of which the Ukrainian side managed to return the bodies of 25 more dead. After more than a month and a half of negotiations, the body of British volunteer Paul Ury was returned. Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that his death was violent and traces of torture were found on his body, which constituted a war crime.
The National Police is discovering new evidence of crimes committed by the Russian military in the temporarily occupied territories that were liberated in the spring. Andrii Niebytov, the head of the Main Department of the National Police in the Kyiv region, said that the remains of at least two tortured citizens were found in the town of Bucha.
As a result of the full-scale Russian invasion and the approaching cold weather, there has been an intensification of the internal migration movement on Ukrainian territory. In the last month alone, 330,000 people were internally displaced. Mandatory evacuations organized by the authorities from parts of the Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia regions are underway. However, not everyone can evacuate – de facto, tens of thousands of people are being held hostage by Russian forces, including those near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukrainian authorities requested a humanitarian corridor to evacuate them, but received no response. Meanwhile, Ukrainian intelligence reports that in Enerhodar, the Russian military is intensifying its harassment of the so-called unreliable population, which includes former military personnel, activists and citizens with a pro-Ukrainian stance.
At a Security Council meeting, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for creating a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP and withdrawing Russian military personnel and equipment from the site. An IAEA report after an inspection of the nuclear power plant noted that Ukrainian personnel work under constant high stress and pressure, which can lead to human error with consequences for nuclear safety. British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward declared that the Zaporizhzhia employees “are no longer workers, but hostages held at gunpoint.”
In the temporarily occupied city of Berdiansk (Zaporizhzhia region) the car of the so-called “commandant of the city,” Artem Bardin, was blown up. Russian sources report that he survived, but lost both his legs.
In temporarily occupied Melitopol (Zaporizhzhia region) another headquarters of the organization “We are with Russia,” which cooperates with the occupation administration, was destroyed. Explosions of unknown origin were also recorded in Mariupol (Donetsk region).
In August, for the first time since the full-scale war began, foreign funding fully covered Ukraine’s additional monthly budget needs. A total of $4.7 billion in grants and loans were received, against a need of $4.2 billion. But overall, since February 2022, foreign funding has covered only 55% of the additional budget needs. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine has begun consultations with EU countries on macro-financial assistance in 2023 in the amount of €12 billion.
The National Bank indicated that on the background of moderate debt payments of the country in foreign currency, fewer NBU interventions to sell currency and due to the receipt of a significant amount of international aid in August, international reserves of Ukraine increased by 13.6% reaching $25.4 billion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced that more than UAH 1 trillion (about EUR 25 billion) in the 2023 budget will be allocated for the security and defense sector. The necessary resources will be obtained through a program to reduce non-critical expenditures, in particular for state-owned enterprises and the state apparatus. At the same time, social obligations will be fulfilled in full.
Volodymyr Zelenskyi virtually opened stock trading at the New York Stock Exchange and presented the Advantage Ukraine portal with opportunities to invest in the Ukrainian economy. The platform contains investment projects and opportunities in ten areas (defense industry, metallurgy, energy, agrocomplex, woodworking and furniture manufacturing, innovative technologies, logistics and infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, natural resources, industrial production).
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum that most Ukrainian grain is exported to Europe and not to developing countries. This calls into question the continuation of the 120-day “grain agreement”. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denied this, saying that two-thirds of Ukraine’s grain is destined for markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
On September 5, 2022 in Brussels, the European Union and Ukraine held the 8th meeting of the Ukraine-EU Association Council, chaired by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. At the meeting the sides discussed an algorithm of actions for the transition to the negotiation process of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine is actively working on the implementation of the Association Agreement, and also plans to implement the seven EU recommendations by the end of the year, which were granted together with the status of candidate. As a result of the Ukraine-EU Association Council meeting five agreements were signed between Ukraine and the European Union, in particular the agreement on Ukraine’s participation in the EU program “Digital Europe”, agreements on cooperation in customs sphere and on cooperation in tax sphere. The European Commission also decided to provide Ukraine with €500 million of budget support and €122 million of grant financing as part of its emergency support for Ukraine.
On 6 September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi was the first foreign leader to hold a telephone conversation with the newly elected British Prime Minister Liz Truss. The leaders discussed, among other things, Britain’s involvement in the continued support and reconstruction of Ukraine.
Zelenskyi also had conversations with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and with the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on coordinating steps to counter Russia, increase sanctions pressure on the aggressor, security and macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. For his part, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the president discussed plans to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities.
On 6 September, the European Commission officially proposed to completely suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. The European Council should vote on the decision next.
The information in the digest is collected from official sources — reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.