Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | Russian defence minister tells Putin Ukraine’s Luhansk region has been ‘liberated’ 

A general view of the aftermath of a missile strike at a location given as Serhiivka village, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district, Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout image released on July 1, 2022.

A general view of the aftermath of a missile strike at a location given as Serhiivka village, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district, Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout image released on July 1, 2022. | Photo Credit: STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES OF UKRAINE

Russia said on July 3, 2022 its forces and their allies had taken control of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, after capturing the final Ukrainian holdout of Lysychansk, although Ukraine had yet to comment. Ukrainian forces hit a Russian military logistics base with over 30 strikes in the occupied southern city of Melitopol, the city’s exiled mayor said. A Russian-installed official confirmed that strikes had hit the city.

At least three people were killed and dozens of homes damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said on Sunday. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported a number of blasts in the city of nearly 4,00,000. At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 houses were damaged, including five that were destroyed, Mr. Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

Powerful explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early on July 2, the mayor said, a day after authorities said at least 21 people were killed when Russian missiles struck an apartment building near the Black Sea port of Odesa. Air raid sirens sounded across the Mykolaiv region, which borders the vital port of Odesa, before the blasts.

Data | India’s imports from Russia soar amid sanctions

Here are the latest updates:

Ukraine

Shelling hits eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, ‘many killed’

The eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk was hit by powerful shelling from multiple rocket launchers on Sunday and many people were killed and wounded, the city’s mayor Vadim Lyakh said.

“There are 15 fires. Many killed and wounded,” Lyakh wrote on Telegram. He said it was the most powerful recent shelling of the city.- Reuters

Germany

Germany discussing Ukraine security guarantees with allies - Scholz

Germany is discussing security guarantees for Ukraine with its allies, in preparation for a time after the war in Ukraine, German Chancellor Scholz told broadcaster ARD on Sunday.

“We are discussing with close friends the question of the security guarantees we can give. This is an ongoing process. It is clear that it will not be the same as if someone were a member of NATO,” Mr. Scholz said.

“It is quite clear that this is a matter which is being carefully prepared in the diplomatic sphere, for the day we hope to see soon, when the war is over,” he added.- Reuters

Ukraine

Australia’s PM visits Ukraine’s Kyiv region- governor

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited three war-ravaged towns in Ukraine’s Kyiv region, the local governor said on Sunday.

Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram that Mr. Albanese visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, where Ukraine says Russia committed atrocities against civilians. Russia denies the allegations.

“Australia supports Ukraine and wants to see justice meted out for the crimes committed here,” Mr. Kuleba quoted Mr. Albanese as saying.- AP

Russia

Russian defence minister tells Putin Ukraine's Luhansk region has been 'liberated'

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin that all of Ukraine's Luhansk region had been "liberated" by Russian and separatist forces, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

After being beaten back in its initial attempt to capture the capital Kyiv, Russia has focused its efforts on driving Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east of the country, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia's first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014. -- Reuters

Russia

Russia’s defence minister reports capture of Ukraine city

 Russia’s defence minister says Moscow’s forces have taken control of the last major Ukrainian-held city in Ukraine’s Luhansk province.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that “as a result of successful military operations, the armed forces of the Russian Federation, together with units of the People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic, have established full control over the city of Lysychansk,” Russian news agencies reported.

Ukrainian fighters spent weeks trying to defend Lysychansk and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. A presidential adviser predicted late Saturday that the city’s could be determined within days.- AP

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Russia

Russia says its troops have encircled Ukrainian city of Lysychansk 

Russian troops have encircled the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, Ukraine’s last major stronghold in the Luhansk region, TASS news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Sunday.

Russia is focussed on driving Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.- Reuters

Ukraine

 Russians gaining foothold in pivotal Ukraine city

Russian forces are strengthening their positions in a grueling fight to capture the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, the region’s governor said Sunday.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city of Lysychansk, and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. A presidential adviser predicted its fate could be determined within days.

“The occupiers threw all their forces on Lysychansk. They attacked the city with incomprehensibly cruel tactics,” Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said on the Telegram messaging app. “They suffer significant losses, but stubbornly advance. They are gaining a foothold in the city.”- AP

Ukraine

No casualties in Ukraine’s strike on Melitopol, some damage to houses - local official

There have been no casualties from the strikes by Ukrainian forces on Melitopol, a local Moscow-installed official in the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia region wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Shells fell on the territory of the airfield. There were no casualties,” Evgeny Balitsky, head of the Russia-installed council in the Zaporizhzhia region, wrote.

He added that several private residential houses near the airfield were damaged.- Reuters

Ukraine

Ukraine hits Russian base in occupied Melitopol, exiled mayor says

Ukrainian forces hit a Russian base with over 30 strikes in the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol on Sunday, the city’s exiled Ukrainian mayor said. A Russian official confirmed strikes had hit the city.

“At 3 o’clock (1200 GMT) and 5 o’clock (0200 GMT), there were over 30 strikes exclusively on a military base,” Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, who is currently on Ukraine-controlled territory, said in a video address on Telegram, adding that the base had been “taken out of action.”

Mr. Fedorov also said that resistance activity had caused a Russian armoured train carrying ammunition to derail on Saturday near Melitopol.

Russia’s RIA news agency reported that Ukraine had hit the Aviamistechko area of Melitopol where the city’s airport is located, but did not specify what had been hit.- Reuters

Moscow

Lukashenko says Ukraine fired missiles on Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday said his army had shot down missiles fired into their territory from Ukraine and vowed to respond “instantly” to any enemy strike.

“We are being provoked,” Mr. Lukashenko was quoted as saying by state news agency Belta. “I must tell you that around three days ago, maybe more, they tried to strike military targets in Belarus from Ukraine.

“Thank God, our Pantsir anti-air systems intercepted all the missiles fired by the Ukrainian forces.”

Ukraine last week said missiles fired from Belarus had struck a border region inside its territory. - AFP

Ukraine

Blasts kill three in Russian city near Ukraine border

At least three people were killed and dozens of homes damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said on Sunday, as Kyiv acknowledged it could lose its last big bastion in eastern Ukraine to Kremlin forces.

Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported a number of blasts in the city of nearly 4,00,000 some 40km (25 miles) north of the border with Ukraine.

At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 houses were damaged, including five that were destroyed, Mr. Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

Senior Russian lawmaker Andrei Klishas accused Ukraine of shelling Belgorod and called for a military response. - Reuters

TH Explains

Explained | Is NATO stronger after Ukraine invasion?

NATO appeared to be weakened during the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who frequently threatened to exclude from the U.S.’s protective umbrella any member states that did not pay enough for that privilege. A further blow, and brickbats for botched management, came when U.S. President Joe Biden pulled his country’s troops out of Afghanistan, a NATO military mission, more or less unilaterally. Meanwhile, Russia had steadily been upping the ante against NATO publicly, since the late 2000s, railing against NATO expansion, and since its annexation of Crimea in 2014, threatening further territorial expansion into Ukrainian territory.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 6:21:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-crisis-live-updates-blasts-kill-three-in-russian-city-near-ukraine-border/article65594980.ece