What happened in the Russia-Ukraine war this week? Catch up on must-read news and analysis | Ukraine

Each week we round up the must-reads from our coverage of the Ukraine war, from news and reports to analysis, visual guides and opinion.

‘I don’t see justice in this war’: Russian soldier exposes rot at heart of Ukraine invasion

Pavel Filatyev knew the consequences of what he said. The former paratrooper understood that he risked going to prison, that he would be called a traitor and would be rejected by his former comrades-in-arms. His own mother had urged him to flee. Russia while he still could. She said it anyway.

“I see no justice in this war. I don’t see the truth here.” he said andrew roth Y Pjotr ​​Sauer on a hidden coffee table in Moscow’s financial district. It was the first time she had sat down with a journalist in person since he returned from the war in Ukraine.

Pavel Filatyev has fled his homeland after publishing a 141-page account detailing his experiences on the front lines.
Pavel Filatyev has fled his homeland after publishing a 141-page account detailing his experiences on the front lines. Photography: Egor Slizyak

Two weeks ago, Filatiev published a 141-page bombshell: A day-by-day account of how his paratroop unit was sent to mainland Ukraine from Crimea to enter Kherson and capture the seaport. It is the most detailed voluntary account of a Russian soldier who participated in the invasion of Ukraine.

Filatyev described how his exhausted and ill-equipped unit stormed the mainland. Ukraine behind a hail of rockets in late February, with little in terms of logistics or concrete targets, and no idea why the war was being waged. “It took me weeks to understand that there was no war on Russian soil and that we had just attacked Ukraine,” he said, his fingers trembling with stress as he lit another cigarette.

“We were sitting under artillery fire from Mykolaiv,” he explained. “At that moment I already thought that we are just here doing nonsense, what the hell do we need this war for? And I really had this thought: ‘God, if I survive, I’ll do everything I can to stop this.

Ukraine hints it was behind Crimea attack

A series of Mysterious and devastating strikes in occupied Crimea destroyed a key rail crossing used to supply Russian troops and a military airbase this week, lucas harding reports.

Smoke rises above a transformer power substation, which caught fire after an explosion in Dzhankoi, Crimea, on August 16.
Smoke rises above a transformer power substation, which caught fire after an explosion in Dzhankoi, Crimea, on August 16. Photograph: Obtained by Reuters/Reuters

The smoke rose into the sky near Dzhankoi on Tuesday, while several explosions appeared to have destroyed a Russian ammunition depot and an electrical substation some 125 miles (200 km) from the front line with Ukrainian forces.

According to Russian media, another explosion occurred at a military airfield in the village of Hvardeyskye, not far from the Crimean regional capital Simferopol.

While not formally confirming responsibility for the attack, Kyiv officials reacted jubilantly on social media.

“The reasons for the explosions in the occupied territory can be different, very different, in particular, I quote the definition of the occupiers themselves, ‘botched'”, said the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiyhe reflected in an evening speech.

Kyiv has hit Crimea three times in a week, in a clinical and flamboyant style. Russia’s logistics and weapons depots have been severely affected.

Smoke rises over the site of the explosion at a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea.
Smoke rises over the site of the explosion at a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea. Photograph: AP

‘It’s crazy’: Putin turns nuclear plant into frontline

The situation in Ukraine Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant it is dangerous, lucas harding Y christopher cherry he reported from Nikopol, the Ukrainian-controlled city 7 km away on the opposite bank of the Dnieper River.

The plant, the largest in Europe, is now on the front line between the territory occupied by Russia and that controlled by Ukraine. Russia is using the sprawling site as a military base from which it has been shelling the nearby cities of Nikopol and Marhanets.

According to Ukraine’s state energy company, Energoatom, Russia has fired on the plant several times. The shells landed near the fire station and the director’s office, not far from a storage unit for radioactive sources.

A Russian soldier stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar.
A Russian soldier stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

The International Atomic Energy Agency has demanded access and has asked the Russians to demilitarize it for avoid a possible nuclear disaster.

A former senior employee, who spoke with lucas harding Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the Russians were shelling the plant from surrounding towns and roads with the aim of raising the stakes in negotiations with Kyiv.

But the Kremlin is also trying to do something unprecedented: steal another state’s nuclear reactor, he adds. Engineers are working to connect the facility to the power grid in occupied Crimea and isolate it from Ukrainian homes. One reactor has already been destroyed. It is a macabre game of radioactive Russian roulette, in a country that has known the Chernobyl atomic disaster in 1986.

and saturday in Kyiv covered the moment when Zelenskiy swore his forces would target russian soldiers who fired at or from the plant.

Russia is resorting to “unconcealed nuclear blackmail,” Zelenskiy alleged. A “terrorist state” threatened the “whole world” with Armageddon. He urged the UN and the international community to do something.

Ukraine aims to create chaos within Russian forces, says Zelenskiy adviser

Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within the Russian forces” by attacking the invaders’ supply lines deep in the occupied territories, according to a key adviser to the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mykhailo Podolyak said and saturday Y lucas harding could have more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to those that hit Crimea.

Speaking from the presidential offices in Kyiv, Podolyak said: “Our strategy is to destroy logistics, supply lines and ammunition depots and other objects of military infrastructure. He is creating chaos within his own forces.”

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, in the sandbagged corridors of the presidential administration building.
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, in the sandbagged corridors of the presidential administration building. Photograph: Christopher Cherry/The Guardian

The adviser, often described as the country’s third most powerful figure, said Kyiv’s approach ran counter to Moscow’s use of blunt artillery power to gain territory in the Donbas region to the east, where Russian troops They have destroyed cities like Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk to gain territory.

“So, Russia has taught everyone that a counteroffensive requires a lot of manpower like a giant fist and only goes in one direction,” he said, but “a Ukrainian counteroffensive looks very different. We don’t use the tactics of the ’60s and ’70s, of the last century.”

‘A referendum is not right’: Occupied Kherson looks ahead to uncertain future

“A city with Russian history,” proclaim billboards throughout the Ukrainian city of Kherson, occupied by the Russian army since the first days of March. Others display the Russian flag or quotes from Vladimir Putin.

In the past five months, Moscow has appointed an occupation administration to run the Kherson region and mandated that schools teach the Russian curriculum. Local people are encouraged to apply for Russian passports to access pensions and other benefits.

the the next stage of the Kremlin’s plan is a referendumto add a dubious sense of legality to these facts on the ground, and create a pretext to bring Kherson and other occupied parts of southern Ukraine into Russia, using an updated version of the 2014 Crimea playbook.

“You have to remember that there was never any talk in Kherson of a referendum; no one thought of it before the war. Now it will be a referendum at gunpoint,” said Kostyantyn, who worked in the IT sector before the occupation. shaun walker Y Pjotr ​​Sauer.

A Russian soldier guards an area in Kherson as a replica of the victory banner marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II flies in the background.
A Russian soldier guards an area in Kherson as a replica of the Soviet victory flag marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II flies in the background. Photograph: AP
A replica of the Soviet victory flag flies next to a World War II memorial in the city of Kherson.
A replica of the Soviet victory flag flies next to a World War II memorial in the city of Kherson. Photograph: Andrey Borodulin/AFP/Getty Images

Calls grow for a Russian visa ban

Thousands of Russians have flocked to Europe on short-term visas since the country invaded Ukraine, andrew roth Y Pjotr ​​Sauer report.

Some were looking to escape the crackdown, while summer has brought Russian tourists just looking to escape to the beach. Now some European politicians are calling for an end to short-term visas that allow Russians to spend their holidays in the EU while the war in Ukraine continues.

“They need to see a free world,” said Ilya Krasilshchik, a Russian online publisher who has been threatened with prosecution in Russia for opposing the war and is currently in Europe. “The experience of the Soviet Union shows that closing the borders does not lead to the overthrow of the regime.”

The son of a Russian businessman with a British passport said wealthy Russians would likely find a way around any ban. “The elite will always find a way to get to Europe,” he said. “Many of my generation went to school here. We have lived long enough in the West to receive residence permits or a second passport… There will always be loopholes for those with money.”

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