A Russian journalist has reportedly been killed by a petal mine in the Donbas region.
Zemfira Suleymanova, born in 1997, reportedly died in the pro-Russian, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Monday, 15th August.
This has been confirmed by both Ukrainian and Russian sources.
Anton Herashchenko, 43, an official adviser and a former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, labelled Suleymanova a “Russian propagandist” and added that she “was blown up by a mine ‘Petal’ mine in the Kirovsky district of Donetsk and died in a hospital.
“After the incident, Suleymanova was called an employee of RT, but this information was denied on the channel. ‘Petal’ mines are massively used by the occupiers.
“If you shoot staged stories about the war all your career, then it is easy to confuse the usual dummy with a working mine.”
Russian state news agency TASS also reported the journalist’s death, quoting Donetsk Mayor Alexei Kulemzin, 48, as saying: “According to the DPR JCCC [Joint Centre for Control and Coordination], on 15th August, in the Kirovsky district, a woman born in 1997, a reporter for a Russian TV channel, was wounded as a result of the explosion of a Lepestok PFM mine. The victim died in the hospital from her injuries.”
She was reportedly in a car at the time of the explosion, which also killed her unnamed driver, according to both Ukrainian and Russian media.
Ukrainian media also reported on the death of the Russian journalist, with both Russian media and Ukrainian media referring to Suleymanova as a “war correspondent” — Ukrainian media used the quotation marks, the Russian media did not.
Both Ukraine and Russia have accused one another of using ‘petal’ mines in the Donbas. Russia claims that Ukraine is targeting civilian areas with them, while Ukraine claims Russian and pro-Russian forces are using them to make it look like Ukraine is targeting civilian populations.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 174th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 16th August, Russia had lost about 43,900 personnel, 1,880 tanks, 4,152 armoured combat vehicles, 989 artillery units, 263 multiple launch rocket systems, 136 air defence systems, 233 warplanes, 196 helicopters, 790 drones, 190 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,049 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 92 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures. The Pentagon said last week that Russia had suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties – deaths and injuries – since the beginning of its invasion.
Both Ukraine and Russia have reported further shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — Europe’s largest — on Monday. Both sides have blamed each other. A Russian-installed regional official claimed that US-made M777 howitzer heavy artillery strikes had hit near the nuclear power plant but Ukraine said Russian forces had shelled the area to make it look like Ukraine was attacking it.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged world leaders not to “lose to terrorism” or to “give in to nuclear blackmail”. He added: “If now the world does not show strength and decisiveness to defend one nuclear power station, it will mean that the world has lost.” He also said: “If Russia’s actions cause a catastrophe, the consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far.”
The Minister of Defence of Russia, Sergei Shoigu and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the plant’s security situation by telephone on Monday, the Russian Defence Ministry has said.
Ukrainian artillery has reportedly hit the Wagner paramilitary group of mercenaries’ headquarters in eastern Ukraine. Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai has said that the location of the Russian mercenary group’s headquarters was revealed by a Russian journalist, pro-Kremlin Sergei Sreda, who shared a photograph on Telegram of the base apparently showing its address.
Five men, including three from the UK, one from Sweden and one from Croatia have denied being mercenaries fighting with Ukrainian forces against Russia, in a Russian proxy court. Britons John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, Swedish citizen Mathias Gustafsson and Croatian Vjekoslav Prebeg appeared before a court – which is not internationally recognised – in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. Harding, Gustafsson and Prebeg could face death sentences, Russian media have claimed.
The UK military is training 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers to handle weapons, to carry out first aid on the battlefield and to conduct urban warfare, with the goal of turning fresh recruits in soldiers ready for the front in weeks. New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden have also sent military trainers to Britain.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed in a speech at an arms show that Russian weapons are years ahead of its rivals and that the country is prepared to provide its allies with advanced weaponry and work together to develop military technology.
Putin said that his country believes strongly in its ties to countries in South America, Asia and Africa and “and is ready to offer our partners and allies the most modern types of weapons, from small arms to armoured vehicles and artillery, combat aircraft and drones.”
Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have both said since the beginning of the invasion that Russia desired to work with China, India and Iran, among other countries, to form a new international order that is no longer dominated by the United States.