According to the Ukrainian army, its counter-offensive in the east of the country has been successful. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of more than 30 recaptured settlements in the Kharkiv region. "Everywhere we bring back the Ukrainian flag and protection for our people," he said in his evening video address. However, the "fierce fighting" continued both in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine and in the south of the country, the president said.
After more than half a year of war, the Ukrainian troops have recently advanced in their counter-offensives in the Kharkiv region and in the Cherson region in the south. Only on Thursday did Selenskyj confirm the recapture of the district town of Balaklija in the Kharkiv region. Advances continue to target the city of Kupyansk, which is crossed by several railway and road lines. The small town is therefore considered strategically important for the supply of Russian troops marching towards the Donbass in the north.
Meanwhile, the Russian occupiers announced the evacuation of other places in the Kharkiv region. First, Izyum and Kupyansk are to be cleared, as the head of the military administration deployed by Russia, Vitaly Ganchev, said, according to the state news agency TASS. The town of Welykyj Burluk is also under fire, where the civilian population is also to be taken to safe places.
During the night there were air strikes in regions in the south and east of Ukraine.
EU countries approve more billions in aid for Ukraine
Ukraine may soon receive another five billion euros in loans from the EU. On Friday, the finance and economics ministers of the EU countries approved the billions in aid, as announced by the Czech Council Presidency. The new loan will be used for the day-to-day operations of the state and to ensure that the country's critical infrastructure such as schools and hospitals can continue to run, said Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura.
The money is part of an aid package announced in May totaling nine billion euros. Before the five billion euros can be paid out, the European Parliament still has to agree, which, however, is considered a formality. One billion euros was already paid out at the beginning of August.
The Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz has sued the Russian gas company Gazprom because of the abolition of transit fees. "We demand that Gazprom pay in full," Naftogaz boss Yuriy Vitrenko wrote on Facebook on Friday. The Russian company has reduced its transit since May and has therefore transferred less. However, the contract signed in 2019 provides for a minimum transit volume in a clause. This must be paid independently of the real physical transport.
The place of jurisdiction is Zurich. In 2019, in a similar case, Naftogaz had already won the equivalent of more than three billion euros from Gazprom before a Swedish arbitral tribunal.
Poland is interested in more nuclear power from Ukraine
In view of the high electricity prices in Europe, Poland could soon be purchasing significantly more nuclear power from neighboring Ukraine. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Kyiv on Friday for his willingness to supply energy from the Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant. Selenskyj has shown that he understands the situation in Poland very well, he said, according to the PAP agency.
Ukraine has been connected to the European power grid since mid-March and, according to Ukrenergo, should deliver 210 megawatt hours of electricity to Poland on Friday. The EU and NATO member state Poland with its more than 38 million inhabitants does not have an active nuclear power plant itself.
That will be important on Saturday
In the Kharkiv regions in the east of Ukraine and Cherson in the south, Ukrainian troops are still trying to recapture towns and regions with counter-offensives. In particular, the focus is on the strategically important small town of Kupjansk in the Cherson region.