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Personnel changes in Ukraine, Russians brace for Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south: last night's highlights
26 July, 2022
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Ukrainian military, illustrative photo Photo: Telegram / Zelenskiy Official

Personnel changes have been approved in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, on the southern front the Russian invaders are preparing for a counteroffensive by the Ukrainian troops, and some areas have again been hit by shelling. Here is what you may have missed from the previous night.

Personnel changes

The current head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, Kyrylo Budanov, will now also head the intelligence committee under the president. And Hryhoriy Halahan was dismissed by the president from the post of commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and instead appointed as the first deputy head of the Special Operations Center "A" of the SBU "for the purpose of refreshing the Security Service."

Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about the personnel changes in the security wing approved on July 25 during the traditional evening video address. More on the reshuffle HERE.

Shelling of Ukrainian cities and villages

The Russian army once again carried out a night shelling of one of the districts of Kharkiv. According to Mayor Ihor Terekhov, a shell landed next to the building, which is not related to the military infrastructure. There is currently no information about the injured or the dead.

In addition, Odesa was attacked in the morning by the enemy with missiles using strategic aircraft. Serhii Bratchuk, the spokesman of Odesa regional administration, promised to provide details later.

Powerful explosions were also heard in the morning in Mykolaiv. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych called on locals to stay in shelters.

Strikes on the deployment sites of the occupiers in the south

The army command has said that on July 25, the Ukrainian military carried out seven strikes on the sites of deployment of Russian units in Kherson Oblast. At the same time, the invaders tried to advance, but retreated with losses.

During the day, the enemy lost a command post, warehouse, 48 soldiers, and 12 pieces of equipment. The occupiers are trying to pull reserves of manpower and equipment from the Crimean direction to the south.

Preparation of the Russians for the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces

Russian troops are trying to strengthen their positions in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts in order to prepare for a counteroffensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the American Institute for the Study of War said in its daily report.

Analysts noted, in particular, that the Russians are digging trenches, hiding military equipment in residential areas, partially resuming the operation of a concrete plant to strengthen the frontiers, and also moving tanks and armored personnel carriers in the direction of Kherson Oblast.

"Gazprom" increased the pressure on the border with Ukraine

Russian state oil company "Gazprom" increased the pressure on the gas pipeline "Urengoi-Pomari-Uzhgorod" in the section of the state border of the Russian Federation and Ukraine without warning. Untimely notification of such changes is potentially dangerous for the operation of the Ukrainian gas transmission system.

Attempt to repair the bridge to Kherson

In the temporarily occupied Kherson, the Russian occupying administration is forcing utility firm workers to repair the Antonivskyi bridge, which was damaged by the strikes of Ukrainian troops. Road workers refused to do this, reported Kherson authorities.

Loans for Ukrainian business from Germany

The German state development bank KfW will provide Ukraine with EUR 7.4 million for preferential lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. The Government of Ukraine will attract a loan for 30 years with a 10-year grace period.

This money will be directed by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund through partner banks to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in the national currency. This will allow them to invest in energy-efficient measures under martial law.

US speaks out on grain agreement and the strike on Odesa

The United States will work with partners to get Russia to comply with the agreement to unblock Ukrainian ports for grain export after the Russian strike on the Odesa port.

The US State Department notes that Moscow continues to deliberately prevent the delivery of much-needed food to many of the world's poorest countries with such strikes, but Washington "continues to expect that the Black Sea Agreement will be implemented."

Poland recommends to use the form "in Ukraine"

The Council of the Polish Language, operating under the Academy of Sciences of Poland, recommended Poles to use the phrase "w Ukrainie" ("in Ukraine") as opposed to the traditional "na Ukrainie" ("on Ukraine"), especially in the public sphere. However, both forms remain correct.

"Taking into account the special situation and the special feelings of our Ukrainian friends, who often perceive the expressions 'on Ukraine' as treating their country as non-sovereign, the Council of the Polish Language encourages the wide use of the syntax 'in Ukraine',"  the message reads.