Ukraine launched long-range rocket attacks on Russian forces in southern Ukraine and destroyed an ammunition store, its military said, as Russia continued to pound the country’s east.
The strike on Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region killed 52 people, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday. The town’s Russia-installed authorities said that at least seven people had been killed and around 70 injured, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
“Based on the results of our rocket and artillery units, the enemy lost 5️2 (people), an Msta-B howitzer, a mortar and seven armoured and other vehicles, as well as an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka,” Ukraine’s southern military command said in statement.
Pro-Russian officials said the strike killed civilians.
Since Russia started in February what it calls a special operation to demilitarise Ukraine, cities have been bombed to rubble, thousands have been killed, and millions displaced. Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia is engaged in an unprovoked land grab.
Russian forces have seized a big chunk of territory across Ukraine’s south and are waging a war of attrition in the Donbas, the eastern industrial heartland made up of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.
Here are the latest updates
Heavy Russian shelling kills 5 civilians, wounds 18
Renewed Russian artillery barrages across Ukraine killed at least five civilians and wounded another 18 in the past day, the office of Ukraine’s president reported on Wednesday as Moscow attempted to expand and consolidate its gains in the country’s east.
Most of the deaths occurred in Donetsk province, which is part of a region where pro-Russia separatists have fought for eight years and the Kremlin is intent on capturing. The city of Bakhmut faced particularly heavy shelling as the current focus of Russia’s offensive, Donetsk administrative chief Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
In adjacent Luhansk province, which Russian and separatist forces have all but conquered, Ukrainian soldiers battled to retain control of two outlying villages amid the shelling, Gov. Serhiy Haidai said.
Luhansk and Donetsk together make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, a mostly Russian-speaking region of steel factories, mines and other industries vital to the economy.
The Russians are “deliberately turning Donbas into ashes, and there will be just no people left on the territories captured,” Haidai said. - AP
Kremlin critic charged over criticising fighting in Ukraine
Russian prosecutors on Tuesday brought criminal charges against another opposition figure who has criticised Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, his lawyer said.
Ilya Yashin was due to be released after spending 15 days in jail on charges of failing to obey police.
Instead, Yashin was charged under a new law making it a crime to spread false information about the military, said his lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov.
It carries a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison. - PTI
Russian, Ukrainian militaries set to discuss grain exports
Military officials from Russia and Ukraine were set to hold their governments’ first face-to-face talks in months Wednesday during a session in Istanbul devoted to a United Nations plan to export blocked Ukrainian grain to world markets through the Black Sea.
Turkish military officials and U. N. representatives also planned to participate in the discussion focused on finding a way to get millions of tons of grain sitting in silos amid the war in Ukraine shipped out of the country’s ports toward the Mediterranean.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion and war disrupted production and halted shipments, endangering food supplies in many developing countries, especially in Africa, and contributing to higher prices.
Turkey has offered to provide safe Black Sea corridors and worked with the U.N., Russia and Ukraine to reach an agreement. The U.N. would establish a center in Istanbul to control the shipments, Turkish officials have said. - AP
Barclays Research takes stock of the effects of the war
The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have forced European states toward more fiscal and political co-operation, according to the 67th edition of the Equity Gilt Study by Barclays Research. This cooperation, it said, includes a common diplomacy and defense policy, as well as a common energy policy.
Barclays’ analysts note that the war is leading governments and corporations to re-examine the resilience of their supply chains and other economic linkages. That could lead to at least a partial reversal of the multi-decade trend of globalization. - AP
G20 host Indonesia hopes for progress in finance chief talks despite war friction
G20 finance leaders will meet in Bali this week for talks that are due to include issues like global food security and soaring inflation, as host Indonesia tries to ensure frictions over the war in Ukraine do not blow discussions off course.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine overshadowed a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 major economies last week, as Russia’s top diplomat walked out of a meeting and accused the West of “frenzied criticism”.
Indonesia hopes to issue a communique when talks wrap up on Saturday though its central bank governor said the meeting would be summarised in a chair’s statement if that is not feasible.
“We hope for the best, but of course prepare for the worst,” said Indonesia’s central bank governor Perry Warjiyo. - Reuters
52 killed in Russian ammunition depot attack in south
The Ukrainian military on Tuesday reported destroying a Russian ammunition depot in southern Ukraine, resulting in a massive explosion captured on social media, while rescuers said the death toll from a weekend Russian strike in the country’s east grew to 52.
An overnight rocket strike targeted the depot in Russian-held Nova Kakhovka, the Ukrainian military’s southern command said. Nova Kakhovka is about 55 kilometers (35 miles) east of the Black Sea port city of Kherson, which is also occupied by Russian forces.
The precision of the strike suggested Ukrainian forces used U.S.-supplied multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. Ukraine indicated in recent days that it might launch a counteroffensive to reclaim territory in the south as Russia bombards the eastern Donbas region. - AP
U. S., allies aim to cap Russian oil prices to hinder invasion
With thousands of sanctions already imposed on Russia to flatten its economy, the U. S. and its allies are working on new measures to starve the Russian war machine while also stopping the price of oil and gasoline from soaring to levels that could crush the global economy.
The Kremlin’s main pillar of financial revenue — oil — has kept the Russian economy afloat despite export bans, sanctions and the freezing of central bank assets. European allies of the U. S. plan to follow the Biden administration and take steps to stop their use of Russian oil by the end of this year, a move that some economists say could cause the supply of oil worldwide to drop and push prices as high as $200 a barrel.
That risk has the U. S. and its allies seeking to establish a buyer’s cartel to control the price of Russian oil. Group of Seven leaders have tentatively agreed to back a cap on the price of Russian oil. Simply speaking, participating countries would agree to purchase the oil at lower-than-market price.
The idea behind the cap is to lower gas prices for consumers and help bring the war in Ukraine to a halt. However, China and India, two countries that have maintained business relationships with Russia during the war, will need to get on board. The administration is confident China and India, already buying from Russia at discounted prices, can be enticed to embrace the plan for price caps. - AP
Germany to stop buying Russian coal on Aug 1, oil on Dec 31
Germany will completely stop buying Russian coal on August 1 and Russian oil on December 31, marking a major shift in the source of the country’s energy supply, deputy finance minister Joerg Kukies said at a conference in Sydney.
The key challenge ahead will be filling the huge gap that will be left when the European Union weans itself off the 158 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year of gas that Russia supplies, Mr. Kukies said. - Reuters
Ukraine gets $1.7B in fresh aid to pay health care workers
Ukraine is getting an additional $1.7 billion in assistance from the United States government and the World Bank to pay the salaries of its beleaguered health care workers and provide other essential services.
The money coming Tuesday from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Treasury Department and the World Bank is meant to alleviate the acute budget deficit caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal war of aggression”, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said in a statement. - AP
Putin set to visit Iran next week
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Iran next week, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, a day after the United States warned that Tehran could provide Moscow with drones for its action in Ukraine.
During a trip to Tehran next Tuesday, Mr. Putin will attend a trilateral meeting with the leaders of Iran and Turkey, the so-called Astana format of meetings for Syria-related talks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Mr. Putin’s visit to Iran will follow U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week, where Iran’s nuclear programme and “malign activities” in the region will be a key subject of discussion.
Mr. Peskov told reporters that on the visit to Tehran, Mr. Putin will also have a separate meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.