Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2022

September 02, 2022

Maganov, Chairman Of Russian Oil Giant That Asked Putin To End Ukraine War, Dies After Falling From Hospital Window

The chairman of Russia's Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has reportedly died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow.

Lukoil died on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Ravil Maganov, 67, fell from the sixth-floor window of the Central Clinical Hospital.

The businessman is the second Lukoil executive to have died in recent months. Chief executive Alexander Subbotin, died 

after suffering from “cardiac arrest,” reports stated at the time.

In early March, Lukoil called for an end to the conflict with a statement saying the board “expresses its concern over the 

ongoing tragic events in Ukraine and its deepest sympathy to all those affected by this tragedy”.

The statement added: “We stand for the immediate cessation of the armed conflict and fully support its resolution through 

the negotiation process and through diplomatic means.”

Maganov had worked in Lukoil since 1993, shortly after the company's inception, and overseen its refining, production and 


He became the chairman in 2020. His brother Nail is the head of mid-sized Russian oil producer Tatneft.

Ravil Maganov was a close associate of one of Lukoil's founders, Vagit Alekperov.

Alekperov, a former Soviet deputy oil minister, resigned as president of Lukoil in April, a week after Britain imposed an 

asset freeze and travel ban on him as part of sanctions over Russia's military actions in Ukraine.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

August 30, 2022

Ukraine launches offensive to reclaim Russian-occupied region

Ukrainian forces pressed their counter-offensive to retake the Russian-occupied southern region of Kherson, while a team of UN experts was en route to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant which was targeted by fresh shelling over the weekend.

The coastal region of Kherson and its capital city of the same name have been contested by Russian troops since the war broke out six months ago.

“Ukrainian armed forces have launched their offensive in several areas in the south,” the head of the regional administration, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said on the Telegram app.

In his daily address Monday night, President Volodymyr Zelensky did not specifically mention the counter-offensive but said they would oust the occupying forces “to the border”.

“If they want to survive, it is time for the Russian military to flee. Go home,” he said.

Russian forces seized Kherson, a town of 280,000 inhabitants, on March 3.

It was the first major city to fall following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“Today there was a powerful artillery attack on enemy positions in… the occupied Kherson region,” local government official Sergey Khlan told Ukraine’s Pryamyi TV channel.

“This is what we have been waiting for since the spring — it is the beginning of the de-occupation of Kherson region.”

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Ukraine’s move was already having an impact on Russian military capabilities as it forced them to reposition forces and deplete some units in the east.

“Because the Russians have had to pull resources from the east simply because of reports that the Ukrainians might be going more on the offence in the south,” Kirby told reporters Monday, CNN reported.

A senior Pentagon official said Russia was struggling to find soldiers to fight in Ukraine and that many new recruits were older, in poor shape and lacking training.

– ‘Ukraine regaining its own’ –

Russia’s defence ministry meanwhile claimed it had repulsed attacks in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions and inflicted “heavy losses” on Ukrainian forces.

The spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command, Nataliya Gumenyuk, had said Kyiv’s forces were attacking from many directions to push the Russians back to the other bank of the Dnipro river.

In an update on Facebook early Tuesday, the Southern Command said the situation remained “tense” in its area of operations.

“The enemy attacked our positions five times, but was unsuccessful,” it said. The city of Mykolaiv, just northwest of Kherson, had come under “massive bombardment” from Russian anti-aircraft missiles, with two civilians killed and 24 wounded, it said.

“Ukraine is regaining its own. And it will regain the Kharkiv region, Lugansk region, Donetsk region, Zaporizhzhia region, Kherson region, Crimea,” Zelensky said in his address.

Kherson city lies some 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — Europe’s largest atomic facility — which has also been occupied by Russian troops since early March.

Regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said early Tuesday that Russia had launched a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia city.

“According to preliminary information, there are no casualties,” he said. “So far, no significant damage to infrastructure facilities has been detected.”

– UN team to assess damage –

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday he was en route with a team of experts to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The team would assess the damage to the facilities and determine the functionality of the main and backup safety and security systems, the UN nuclear watchdog said.

“At the same time, the mission will undertake urgent safeguards activities to verify that nuclear material is used only for peaceful purposes,” it said.

The IAEA has for months been asking to visit the site, warning of “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.

The plant was targeted over the weekend by fresh shelling, its operator said, with Moscow and Kyiv trading blame for attacks around the complex of six nuclear reactors in Energodar, a town on the banks of the Dnipro River.

Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom has warned of the risk of a radiation leak.

The United Nations has called for an end to all military activity in the area surrounding the complex.

Ukraine initially feared an IAEA visit would legitimise the Russian occupation of the site, before finally supporting the idea of a mission.

Ukraine was the site of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe in 1986, when a reactor at the northern Chernobyl plant exploded and spewed radiation into the atmosphere.

Experts say any leak at Zaporizhzhia would more likely be on the scale of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Energoatom on Monday warned any leak would scatter radiation over swathes of southern Ukraine and southwestern regions of Russia.

The United States on Monday urged a complete shutdown of the plant and renewed calls for a demilitarised zone around the facility.

Schools in Zaporizhzhia city began distributing iodine pills to reduce medical risk of radiation in the event of a disaster, with some 200 people turning up to collect them on Friday when distribution began, an AFP correspondent said.

“The tablet is taken in case of danger, when the alarm is raised,” said Elena Karpenko, a nurse at the Zaporizhzhia Children’s Hospital.


August 30, 2022

Ukraine students brace for underground school year

Five metres beneath a Kyiv classroom, headmaster Mykhaylo Aliokhin puts the finishing touches on the bunker where his students will spend much of their time once Ukraine’s school term starts later this week.

The study hall above is still littered with school bags abandoned since February 23 — the last day before Russia invaded and school bells fell silent, replaced by the skirl of the air raid siren.

Down here, there are no windows. Desks, display boards, colourful books and globes all remain upstairs. This was once a changing room, but as shelling remains a threat in the capital it now serves as a shelter.

“As soon as a siren goes off, staff will immediately bring the children down to the basement regardless of the activity at the time,” Aliokhin told AFP. “As much as possible, they’ll carry on with their work in a relaxed way.”

Despite the austere conditions he hopes one-third of his 460 pupils, aged between six and 16, will return when schools reopen on Thursday for the first time since the war started.

– Learning to adapt –

There are 4.2 million schoolchildren in Ukraine, according to 2021 figures.

Following Russia’s invasion, more than two million children left the country, while another three million were displaced internally between February and June, according to the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

Nonetheless in Kyiv – now distant from the front line fighting raging to the east and south – 132,000 pupils are preparing to return to school on September 1, according to mayor Vitali Klitschko.

On Kyiv’s left bank, at Aliokhin’s private school, which AFP has chosen not to identify, staff have prepared two scenarios ahead of the first day back.

One will be a normal “overground” programme of learning, 10 metres (33 feet) from the shelter entrance.

The other curriculum will take place underground in case the air raid siren sounds, as it does most days.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that our enemy, who is very fond of symbolic dates, would take advantage of this one,” said 26-year-old Aliokhin.

Regardless of whether or not there are missiles, teachers will stage a party downstairs “to show the children that this is a safe place where they will certainly spend a lot of time this year”.

The bunker will be stocked with enough food and water for 48 hours. Medical staff and psychologists will be available at all times.

“I could never have imagined this, but here we are… in this new reality,” said Aliokhin.

– ‘Live in the present moment’ –

Nationwide, half of the 23,000 schools surveyed by Ukraine’s education ministry – about 51 percent – are equipped with the bunker facilities necessary to begin classes offline. Those without will teach classes online.

The sobering setting does not seem to be dampening enthusiasm for the new school year.

“I live next to my school,” said 16-year-old Polina, enjoying time with friends at a Kyiv cafe the week before school restarts.

“I will be safer there because we will be brought down to the shelter in an organised way.

“To tell the truth, we just want to live our life fully after two years of Covid and six months of war,” she added.

“We are not afraid, we have already lived enough. Our generation has decided to live in the present moment.”

The choice may be more difficult for parents. According to Ukraine’s education ombudsman Sergiy Gorbachov, most parents reject face-to-face education because they fear the risks.

The education ministry says 2,135 schools have been damaged in the war.

“Regions close to the front are going completely online. Face-to-face just isn’t possible there,” said Gorbachov.

Nevertheless, Youlia Shatravenko-Sokolovych – who AFP met in Kyiv – has decided her seven-year-old daughter Myroslava will be back in the classroom on Thursday.

“Of course, we are all scared, but I cannot deprive my child of socialisation,” she said. “I trust the Ukrainian army, which defends us.

“The fact that we are back to more or less normal life gives me hope.”


Sunday, August 14, 2022

August 14, 2022

Ukraine, Russia accuse each other of nuclear plant strikes

Kyiv and Moscow accused each other on Saturday of striking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine, which has been shelled repeatedly in the past week.

Zaporizhzhia is the biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and in Europe.

The plant has been under Russian control since March, and Ukraine has accused Moscow of basing hundreds of soldiers and storing arms there.

“Limit your presence on the streets of Energodar! We have received information about new provocations by the (Russian) occupiers,” Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom said as it shared a message on Telegram from a local chief in Energodar city, where the plant is located.

The city remains loyal to Kyiv.

“According to residents, there is new shelling in the direction of the nuclear plant… the time between the start and arrival of the shelling is 3-5 seconds,” the message said.

But pro-Moscow officials in the occupied areas in Zaporizhzhia region blamed Ukrainian forces for the shelling.

“Energodar and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are again under fire by (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky’s militants,” said Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Moscow-installed administration.

The missiles fell “in the areas located on the banks of the Dnipro river and in the plant”, he said, without reporting any casualties or damage.

Areas occupied by Russia and those under Ukraine’s control are divided by the Dnipro river.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded accusations over several rounds of shelling on the plant this month, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe and led to an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday.

Ukraine said the first strikes on August 5 damaged a power cable and forced one of the reactors to stop working.

Then strikes on Thursday damaged a pumping station and radiation sensors.

Ukraine, backed by Western allies, has called for a demilitarised zone around the plant and for the withdrawal of Russian forces. Guardianng

Friday, August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

Grain ship to dock in Ukraine, leave for Africa

A ship approached Ukraine on Friday to pick up wheat for hungry people in Ethiopia, in the first food delivery to Africa 

under a U.N. plan to unblock grain trapped by Russia’s war on Ukraine and bring relief to some of the millions worldwide 

on the brink of starvation.

Closing in on the half-year mark, the war has sent food prices sky-high and left poorer countries with ever less hope they 

would be getting supplies from the breadbasket of Europe. On Friday, European Council President Charles Michel announced 

though that the first World Food Program transport for Africa was poised to depart.

He said the ship would load in a Ukrainian port and depart for Ethiopia, saying "cooperation of all involved actors is 

key" to avoid food shortage and hunger around the world. Such a move would be a big step in the food crisis caused by 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The ship, Brave Commander, would take more than 23,000 metric tons (27,500 short tons) of grain and export it to Ethiopia.

While Ukrainian and Western officials have repeatedly spoken of the crucial role of grain shipments from Ukraine's Black 

Sea ports in staving off a global food crisis, many of the first dozen vessels to leave the ports were bound for 

destinations in Turkey and Western Europe.

Some analysts attributed this to the need to free up scarce docking space, saying that ships which have been trapped in 

the ports the longest were likely prioritized.

If such news provided a rare glimmer of hope from the gloomiest of surroundings, it was offset by the incessant fighting 

in eastern Ukraine, where the war entered its 170th day. Specifically, the Donbas town of Kramatorsk was hit by 11 rockets 

overnight. Seven people were killed and 14 others were wounded in the region, which remains cut off from gas, running 

water and electricity.

"Three quarters of the population of the region have already been evacuated, because incessant shelling by the Russian 

army doesn't leave civilians any choice — it's either to die from wounds, or from hunger and cold in winter," Donetsk 

regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television.

The world also continued to worry about the threat of a nuclear disaster in eastern Ukraine where shelling has hit the 

area, which is home to Europe's largest nuclear plant.

Shelling near the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia facility continued overnight. Russian forces fired more than 40 rockets 

at the city of Marhanets, which is across the Dnieper river from the power plant. Three people were wounded in the most 

recent shelling, including a 12-year-old boy. The neighboring city of Nikopol was shelled as well, said Valentyn 

Reznichenko, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region.

The U.N. nuclear chief warned late Thursday that "very alarming" military activity at the nuclear plant could lead to 

dangerous consequences.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi urged Russia and Ukraine, who blame each other for the 

attacks at the plant, to immediately allow nuclear experts to assess damage and evaluate safety and security at the 

sprawling nuclear complex where the situation "has been deteriorating very rapidly."

He pointed to shelling and several explosions at Zaporizhzhia last Friday that forced the shutdown of the electrical power 

transformer and two backup transformers, forcing the shutdown of one nuclear reactor. Africanews

Monday, August 8, 2022

August 08, 2022

Ukraine: Igbinedion varsity absorbs 1,500 displaced Nigerian students

No fewer than 1,500 Nigerian students displaced by the Russian invasion in Ukraine are set to commence their studies at Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State by September 2022.

The development came as a result of a partnership agreement signed by the Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas with the management of Igbinedion University.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that a Ukrainian university had signed an agreement with Igbinedion University to help displaced Nigerian students continue their studies in Nigeria.

According to a statement made available by the representative of the Ukrainian University in Nigeria, Cliff Ogbede, on Monday, the cooperation was made under the National Universities Commission trans-educational guidelines.

The statement read, “In their quest to return students who were displaced by the war in Ukraine to class, another top-rated Ukrainian academic institution—Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas—has equally signed a cooperation agreement with Igbinedion University, Okada.

“This cooperation will enable their students who were displaced by the war in Ukraine to resume classroom lectures at Igbinedion University campus on a joint educational programme, under the Nigerian National Universities Commission Transnational Educational Guidelines.

“The joint Transnational Educational programme will enable the undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Ukrainian Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas to continue their academic programme uninterrupted in addition to the existing distance learning mode, as a similar model is applied in particular for the organisation of academic cooperation with universities in Turkey and some other countries.”

Providing further clarification, Ogbede noted that the students were about 1,500 and would resume by September.

“The students are about 1,500 and they will be back by September,” he said. Punchng

August 08, 2022

War: US reveals number of Russian casualties in Ukraine

The United States of America has claimed that Russia already has about 70,000 to 80,000 casualties in the ongoing war between it and Ukraine.

Colin Kahl, Defense Department under secretary for policy, made this claim during an on-camera briefing at the Pentagon on Monday, according to CNN.

According to him, this figure includes both Russian forces killed and wounded in action.

“I think it’s safe to suggest that the Russians have probably taken 70 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months,” he said.

“Now that is a combination of killed in action and wounded in action, that number might be a little lower, a little higher, but I think that’s kind of in the ballpark,” Kahl said.

He went on to suggest that Russia has not achieved any of Vladimir Putin’s objectives for attacking Ukraine.

He said that Ukraine’s morale and will to fight is unquestioned and much higher than that of Russian forces to fight, adding that this may be the key advantage Ukrainians have over the Russians. Dailypost 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Ukraine war felt as far as drought-hit Somaliland

This vast arid land may seem a world away from the war in Ukraine, but communities here are reeling from the impact of Russia's invasion.

Ninety percent of Somaliland's grain comes from Russia and Ukraine.

The state has not had a delivery in three months and there's a risk of people losing one of their most important sources of food - bread.

Adding to this problem is unrelenting heat. The area is seeing its worst drought in 40 years.

UNICEF has told UK broadcaster Sky News there's a risk of many children dying.

In the village of Gideis where two-thirds of the inhabitants have left due to the conditions, mother Ianne, attempts to comfort her malnourished 7-week-old-Decca.

"The drought we are facing you can see is widespread and biting, from east to west. Of all the droughts I've gone through, this one is the worst," said Ismail Mahmood, who lives in Gideis.

Tarek Abulgalil Hayel Saif is General Manager of the republic's main flour mill, the National Flour Mill Company.

He warns of the knock-on effects of the lack of grain.

"Everybody will lose his job also our Somalia population, how will they get food?" he says. "As a company we are affected by this war (in Ukraine). That's it."

The cost is not just felt by villagers and their families, animals such as camels, which play an important part in the livelihoods of the areas, are suffering too.

Sky News traveled to Geyodadheer, where half of its people have been left unable to support themselves after the deaths of livestock.

Two of the three wells have also run dry.

Despite camels being sharply adapted to their own environments, even they are not able to withstand extreme heatwaves

The entire horn of Africa could also be affected and aid agencies have warned that soon a famine will be declared if more funding is not raised.


Friday, April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Will AU give support to Ukraine after Zelensky's second request to address African leaders?

The African Union has said there was need for a "peaceful solution to the conflict with Russia". This comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a fresh request to address African Union (AU) heads of state, according to AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki.

In a tweet, Mr Faki said he received the request during a call with Ukraine's foreign minister. The pair also talked about President Zelensky's "wish to develop closer ties with the AU".

Mr Faki didn't disclose whether the request will be granted but tweeted that he had "insisted on the need for a peaceful solution to the conflict with Russia" thus bringing to question the AU's position in the conflict.

Dalvarice Ngoudjou, a Cameroonian expert in international relations believes there are various aspects to it.

"The first variable is that the Ukrainian president Zaleski realized that a good part of the African states feel much closer to Russia than to Ukraine. And this is an element that is very important in international forums, especially the United Nations, where there is a strong desire on the part of Ukraine and certain Western countries to isolate Russia, and an important element on which this person should lean is the African continent. I think this is one of the reasons why President Zaleski is doing everything he can to be able to speak before the African Union"

Ukraine's Presdient Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken with major western governments and parliaments. He however has not spoken with countries in Africa. The war in his country has now gone past two months.

Ngoudjou shares some more insight:

"For me there is no problem to listen, to listen to a protagonist in a state of crisis, in a state of war. We can listen to the different protagonists. But still, if we look at the timing of the contacts between the authorities of the African Union and the protagonists of the crisis, we realize that the president of the African Union, the Senegalese president Macky Sall, has taken his phone and it is he who takes the initiative. He called Vladimir Putin to discuss the crisis with him and did not call President Zelenski. But it is almost a month later, when President Zelesnki realizes that the trend on the African continent is much closer to Russia that he takes his phone, calls macky sall and expresses the will to speak before the African Union"

It is not yet known whether President Zelensky's request will be granted by the AU but if it does, there are questions on him being able to rally the support of neutral countries on the continent to his cause.

"If we had to rely only on the word of Zelensky, it would be extremely difficult, but given that there are a number of Western powers that exert pressure on states, there is a chance that he may be able to gather a certain amount of support".

With some African nations extending ties to Russia lately, analysts fear having a collective support of the AU may be unattenable for Ukraine. Africanews 


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