Wagner Group accused of deadly rocket attack | Duda and Xi Jinping discuss Ukraine and regional security | Potential credit holiday for mortgage payers | Świątek out of Poland Open | Tour de Pologne kicks off today

(Fot. EPA/PAP/SERGEY KOZLOV)

A Russian mercenary group has been accused of orchestrating a deadly rocket attack on a “filtration camp” in eastern Ukraine that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the occupied city of Olenivka.

According to the Ukrainian military intelligence service (HUR), the attack was ordered by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Russian-controlled private military Wagner Group, and was not coordinated with Russia’s military command.

The blast was reportedly intended to destroy evidence that the Wagner Group had embezzled state funds allocated for the upkeep of Ukrainian prisoners. With an inspection from Moscow scheduled for August 1, “the ‘problem’ was solved by blowing up the prison, together with the Ukrainians locked up inside,” HUR said.

It added that the strike was also “designed to sow tensions in Ukrainian society” by killing the heroic defenders of Mariupol’s Azovstal plant, who had been held prisoner in Olenivka.

According to Ukraine’s General Prosecution Office, at least 40 Ukrainian POWs were killed, and 130 people were injured in Friday morning’s attack, which Russia has blamed on Ukraine.

Today marks Day 157 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Source: Radio Poland


Polish president Andrzej Duda held a phone call on Friday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine and global food security.

According to the Polish president’s office, Duda “outlined the Polish stance on the Russian aggression against Ukraine” during the hourlong meeting, noting “the negative impact of Russia’s war on the security of the region, and on Poland’s trade cooperation with other partners, including China.”

For his part, Xi Jinping expressed China’s readiness to work with Poland on finding peaceful ways to solve the conflict, reporters were told.

Both presidents stressed “the importance of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine,” according to Duda’s office. Other topics broached during Friday’s meeting included economic cooperation and increasing flight services between Poland and China as the pandemic eases.

Source: Radio Poland, PAP


Mortgage payers in Poland can apply for a temporary suspension of installment payments as part of a new government financial relief package.

The program officially launched on Friday and aims to help individuals affected by a sharp rise in interest rates. Under the new program, applicants with mortgage loans in PLN can apply for the postponement of four mortgage installments in 2022 and a further four in 2023 at no additional cost.

Applications for a credit holiday must be submitted to the bank that granted the mortgage before the day of repayment of the principal and interest installment for that month. Loans granted after July 1 or in other currencies, such as euros or Swiss francs, are not eligible for the program.

The Ministry of Finance also announced it would launch a helpline through the Financial Ombudsman’s Office for residents to speak with an expert or report any issues with the program.

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Radio Poland


Iga Świątek’s hopes of tennis glory on home soil were cut short yesterday by France’s Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals of the Poland Open tournament in Warsaw.

The 21-year-old Polish world No. 1 was seen off by the French fifth-seed 1-6, 6-1, 4-6, leaving the home crowd disappointed. The tournament continues throughout the weekend, wrapping up on Sunday evening in Warsaw.

Last Saturday, Świątek helped raise more than PLN 2 million (EUR 425,000, USD 425,000) for Ukraine during an exhibition tournament in Kraków.

Source: Radio Poland


More than 150 riders from 22 teams based in various countries are set to compete in Poland’s largest cycling race, the Tour de Pologne, which begins today.

This year’s Tour de Pologne will be almost 1,300 km long and will take place from July 30 to August 5. Thirteen Polish cyclists are among those expected to compete.

The first leg of the annual race will see cyclists cover a 218.8 km route starting in Kielce and ending in Lublin. The remaining stages of the 79th Tour de Pologne will go through Zamość, Przemyśl, Sanok, Rzeszów and Bukowina Tatrzańska before the race concludes in Kraków on August 5.

Source: Radio Poland


Weather

Today will be partly cloudy and cool, with a slight chance of rain throughout the day and a gentle breeze coming in from the northeast. Temperatures will peak around a high of 21°C, or 70°F, dropping to an overnight low of 15°C or 59°F. Slightly cooler weather is expected for tomorrow, with warmer weather and sunshine returning on Monday.

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