World Ukraine round-up: Russia's tech weakness and latest fighting
Ukraine’s Push to Take Back This City Could Make or Break the War
The war in Ukraine could be breaking out into a new phase in the coming days, as Ukrainian forces gear up to launch a make-or-break counteroffensive against Kherson, a key city which Russian forces have occupied since the early days of the war. Ukrainian forces have been preparing for weeks to to run an attack on Kherson, a key city in the south, close to Russia’s strongholds. The counteroffensive is “gathering momentum,” according to a British intelligence analysis issued Thursday.But some American officials and lawmakers are hesitant to say the Ukrainian forces are guaranteed a victory if they go all in now.
Russia is running low on key Western-made components for its hi-tech weapons and military communications, defence experts say, advocating tighter export controls.
The Russian military is exhausting those weapons stocks in Ukraine and tighter controls would leave it permanently short, the Royal United Services Institute argues in a new report.
The study says Moscow has been using shipments through third-party hubs such as Hong Kong to secure the supplies it needs - which it calls Russia's "silicon lifeline".
Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says
One of the Russian pilots' fathers revealed that he believed his son's death was caused by HIMARS, a long-range weapons system from the US.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.
It examines modern military systems used by Russia, including cruise missiles and electronic warfare technology. It says Russian intelligence officers are trying to build new routes to access Western microelectronics.
BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner
Ukraine's push towards Kherson
On the ground, fighting grinds on at several fronts.
Ukraine says it is planning a counter-offensive in the Russian-occupied south of the country, and its forces have been shelling a key bridge in the occupied city of Kherson.
The Antonivskiy crossing is one of only two points where Russian troops can gain access to territory they hold west of the Dnieper (Dnipro) river.
Russian forces meanwhile are still trying to gain full control of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
Report: Bears WR N'Keal Harry could miss six weeks with high-ankle sprain
On Sunday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport provided an update on Harry's status and what could lie ahead for the former first-round pick. According to Rapoport, Harry has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. From Inside Training Camp: #Bears WR N'Keal Harry was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and he's seeing a specialist to learn how long he's out, sources say. pic.twitter.com/iij00WbH4R— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 7, 2022 Rapoport said Harry would likely see renowned specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who will help determine the severity of the injury and his timeline for return.
Russians 'using nuclear plant as base'
North-east of Kherson, the shelling of Europe's biggest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia has caused international alarm.
Video: Ukraine under pressure in east as NATO chief says Russia must not win (Reuters)
Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling the plant and the International Atomic Energy Agency has warned the fighting risks a "nuclear disaster".
The head of Ukraine's nuclear power company, Petro Kotin, told the BBC the Russians had turned the Zaporizhzhia plant into a military base, using it to launch attacks against Ukrainian positions.
The complex has been under Russian occupation since early March, although Ukrainian technicians still operate it.
Mysterious explosions that rocked a Russian military base suggest Russian positions far behind the front lines are no longer safe, officials and experts say
"The psychological impact of this is much larger" than the damage to the base and the loss of aircraft, one expert told Insider.Russia now has over 130,000 troops, as well as a significant amount of weaponry and other hardware, in positions around Ukraine. Though Russia has denied having plans to attack, many in the West remain skeptical. Russia has troops in Belarus, western Russia, and Crimea.
Meanwhile, the Moscow-installed head of Zaporizhzhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, says he has signed a decree to hold a referendum there on "reunification" with Russia.
It was through such a referendum - declared illegal by Western governments - that Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. The Russian occupation authorities in Kherson have similar plans.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said there can be no peace talks with Russia if it holds such referendums in occupied territory.
More US weapons for Ukraine
The US has stepped up its military aid for Ukraine with a new $1bn (£828m) package including munitions for long-range artillery.
US high mobility rocket systems (Himars) have helped Ukrainian forces to hit Russian military targets behind front lines.
The package also includes other weapons and armoured medical transport vehicles.
The US has now given Ukraine security assistance worth more than $9bn since Russia invaded in February.
Russia suspends nuclear treaty inspections
In another sign of deteriorating relations with the West, Russia has told the US it has.
US F-22 Raptors are on their way to Poland to boost NATO's air shield against Russian threats
The fifth-gen jets are able to bolster NATO's eastern shield with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities amid increased Russian aggression.The fifth-generation stealth fighter jets of the 90th Fighter Squadron, which just arrived at RAF Lakenheath, England from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, will soon make their way to the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Lask, Poland, according to a statement from US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.
It said sanctions opposed by the US had changed conditions between the two countries, depriving Russia of the right to carry out inspections on US territory.
The New START treaty, which came into force in 2011 after years of negotiations, is the last remaining arms reduction treaty between the two rivals.
It caps at 1,550 the number of long-range nuclear warheads that each country can deploy.
War in Ukraine: More coverage
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The president of Ukraine's Athletics Federation, who is fighting in the war, says he feels 'great' dropping bombs on Russian soldiers .
Yevhen Pronin is part of a drone team known as the "Tactical Busters" which has a Russian bounty on its head because of its success. "If we do not kill them, they can kill our children, they can kill us," he told The Times of England.