War in Ukraine: latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 09:35 PM, 2 Aug, 2022
War in Ukraine: latest developments
Caption: Communal workers remove the debris of a student hostel destroyed as a result of shelling in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Russia labels Azov 'terrorist' group 

Russia's Supreme Court designates the Ukrainian army's nationalist Azov regiment, which held out for weeks under siege in the port of Mariupol, a "terrorist" organisation, meaning captured Azov members face lengthy jail sentences.

Under Russia's criminal code, members of "terrorist" groups face up to 10 years in jail, while their leaders and organisers face up to 20 years.

Moscow has for months called the Azov regiment, which began as a volunteer battalion before being integrated into the army, a "neo-Nazi" group. Russia's embassy in Britain last week sparked outrage by calling for fighters from the Azov regiment to be hanged.

Ukraine grain shipment nears Turkey 

The first official shipment of Ukrainian grain to leave Odessa since Russia's invasion is expected in Istanbul on Wednesday, after charting a path through the mine-infested waters of the Black Sea.

The Sierra Leone-registered ship Razoni set sail from the Ukrainian port for Lebanon on Monday under an accord brokered by Turkey and the United Nations aimed at getting millions of tonnes of produce blocked by the war to world markets.

It will be inspected by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations at sea in the mouth of the Bosphorus, before being allowed to progress to the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

Sanctions 'crippled' Russian economy: Yale report 

A report by Yale University's School of Management in the United States says Russia's economy has been deeply damaged by Western sanctions and the departure of multinationals since the invasion.

"Not only have sanctions and the business retreat worked, they have thoroughly crippled the Russian economy at every level," concludes the report compiled using data from companies, banks, consultants and Russian trading partners.

The report challenges the belief that Russia is riding out the economic storm thanks to the tens of billions of dollars the country reaps each month from oil and gas exports.

It estimates that Russian retail sales and consumer spending have fallen at an annual rate of 15-20 percent, and that car sales have shrunk from 100,000 a month to 27,000 a month.

Hacked Medvedev post slams ex-Soviet states 

An aide to former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev claims the politician's account on the social network VKontakte was "hacked" after a post questioning the sovereignty of former Soviet countries.

The message, which was taken down shortly after publication, called ex-Soviet Kazakhstan an "artificial state" and accused the Central Asian country of committing "genocide" on its Russian population.

The post -- shared with Medvedev's 2.2 million followers on the platform -- also said Georgia, which Russia invaded in 2008, "didn't exist" before becoming part of the Russian empire.

Medvedev, who is deputy head of the Security Council, served as president between 2008 and 2012. Since the invasion of Ukraine, he has repeatedly lashed out at the Kremlin's critics on social media.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.