HomePoliticsLatest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Russian forces are making incremental gains in Donetsk as they regroup, UK says

Russian troops continue to make small, incremental territorial gains in the Donetsk region of the Donbas, with Russia claiming to have seized control of the town of Hryhorivka, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

Russian forces also continue their assault along the E-40 main supply route toward the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the ministry said in its latest intelligence update on Twitter.

Russian forces are using tanks, cannon and artillery to pound various settlements in eastern Ukraine, the country’s armed forces said on Tuesday, with the U.K. adding that “Russian forces are likely maintaining military pressure on Ukrainian forces whilst regrouping and reconstituting for further offensives in the near future.”

A serviceman of pro-Russian militia walks nest to a military convoy of armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) on a road in the Luhansk region, Ukraine February 27, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

The U.K. also noted that Russian Armed Forces’ personnel shortages may be forcing its defense ministry to turn to non-traditional recruitment. That includes recruiting personnel from Russian prisons for the Wagner private military company, a state-linked Russian paramilitary organization.

“If true, this move likely indicates difficulties in replacing the significant numbers of Russian casualties,” the U.K. said.

Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine’s forces try to repel Russian tanks, cannon and artillery

Ukrainian forces are facing fresh assaults in the area around Kharkiv as well as a barrage of attacks from Russian tanks, cannon and rocket artillery on numerous settlements in the Donetsk region, an area now on the front line as Russia advances.

Russian forces have been using artillery and multiple launch rocket systems near the city of Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast of the country — and surrounding settlements, Alexander Shtupun, the spokesperson for the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, said on Facebook Tuesday morning.

A Ukrainian military officer walks by a residential building that was destroyed by a missile strike from Russian forces in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 11, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In the area around Sloviansk in the Donetsk region, which is a key target as Russian forces try to seize the rest of the Donbas, Ukraine said Russian forces were continuing assault operations to improve their tactical position to the north of Sloviansk.

To the south of the city, toward Bakhmut, Ukraine said Russian forces were using tanks, cannon and rocket artillery to fire on various settlements as they tried to improve their position, Ukraine said. CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information in the operational report.

— Holly Ellyatt

Death toll from Russian attack on apartment block rises to 33

The death toll from a Russian rocket attack that hit a five-storey apartment block in the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine has risen to 33, with a child among the civilians killed in the attack, according to the latest information released Monday night.

Search and rescue teams were racing to reach survivors trapped in the rubble after the residential building was struck by Russian rockets over the weekend.

Rescuers clear the scene after a five-storey residential building was struck in Chasiv Yar, Bakhmut District, in eastern Ukraine, on July 10, 2022.

Miguel Medina | Afp | Getty Images

So far, nine people have been rescued from the rubble. “Work in progress,” Ukraine’s emergency services said in a Facebook post last night as search and rescue teams continued to look for victims and survivors.

— Holly Ellyatt

U.S. says Iran is set to supply Russia with drones

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan said Iran is preparing to provide Russia with hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles.

He said there are signs Iran is planning to train Russian forces to use these drones, which could begin as early as this month.

Sullivan said the information illustrates the kind of costs Russia has had to endure on the battlefield and how Moscow could turn to countries like Iran for support.

The U.S. will continue to work with Ukraine on a strategy that “achieves their objectives both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” he said.

Sullivan made his comments ahead of President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East, where he is expected to discuss a number of security issues, including a regional policy toward Iran. Relations with Iran have been strained as the two sides struggle for progress on a new nuclear deal.

— Natalie Tham

Zelenskyy says Europe must prepare for Russia to cut off all gas supplies

Russia says it stands ready to supply gas to Europe, describing ongoing disruption concerns as a “man-made crisis” created by Europe.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Europe needs to prepare for the possibility that Russia cuts off gas supplies.

“Russia has never played by the rules in energy and will not play now unless it sees strength,” Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app, according to an NBC News translation.

“Now there can be no doubt that Russia will try not only to limit as much as possible but also to completely stop the supply of gas to Europe,” Zelenskyy said, adding, “this is what we need to prepare for now.”

Earlier, Russia suspended deliveries of gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for annual summer maintenance. The planned maintenance of the pipeline has stoked fears that Russia could lengthen the work and further delay gas supplies to Germany.

— Amanda Macias

Putin expands fast-track Russian citizenship to all Ukraine

A local resident walks past a Ukrainian rescuer working outside a building partially destroyed after a Russian missile strike in Kharkiv on July 11, 2022, amid Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine.

Sergey Bobok | AFP | Getty Images

As Russian missiles struck a key Ukrainian city, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree expanding a fast-track procedure to make Russian citizenship available to all Ukrainians, yet another effort to expand Moscow’s influence in war-torn Ukraine.

Until recently, only residents of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as residents of the southern Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions, large parts of which are now under Russian control, were eligible for the simplified passport procedure.

Ukrainian officials haven’t yet reacted to Putin’s announcement. The decree also applies for any stateless residents currently in Ukraine.

Between 2019, when the procedure was first introduced for the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk, and this year, more than 720,000 people living in the rebel-held areas in the two regions — about 18% of the population – have received Russian passports.

— Associated Press

UN official says there is mounting evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

A war crimes prosecutor (C) and a rescuer (R) and a civil, look at a destroyed building after being hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian town of Serhiivka, near Odessa, killing at least 18 people and injuring 30, on July 1, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | AFP | Getty Images

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said her office has mounting evidence that Russian forces carried out unlawful killings and summary executions in Ukraine.

Bachelet said that UN investigators have verified the recovery of more than 1,200 civilian bodies from Kyiv.

She added that her office is working to corroborate more than 300 allegations of killings by Russian armed forces in situations that were not linked to active fighting.

The Kremlin has previously denied that its forces have committed crimes against civilians in Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

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