Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Hopes rise that grain exports from Ukraine could resume as talks begin

This aereal picture taken on July 7, 2022 shows farmer harvesting wheat near Kramatosk in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. (

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Ukraine’s foreign minister has expressed optimism that a deal to secure grain exports from Ukraine is within reach as a meeting gets underway to break an impasse over the exports, contributing to global food price rises.

“We are two steps away from a deal with Russia. We are in the final phase and now everything depends on Russia,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Spanish newspaper El Pais ahead of four-way talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and UN officials that have begun in Istanbul.

More than 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain are stuck in silos at the Black Sea port of Odesa, according to Reuters estimates, and many cargo ships have been stranded due to Russia’s blockade.

Russia has in turn blamed Ukraine for the stoppage of exports, accusing Kyiv of mining the Black Sea. Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters, as well as other vital products such as fertilizer and sunflower oil, respectively.

– Holly Ellyatt

Death toll rises to 47 after apartment block missile strike

Rescue operation is underway after a missile strike, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at a location given as Chasiv Yar, Ukraine.

Donetsk Region Governor Pavlo Ky | Via Reuters

The death toll from a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine has risen to 47.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said in a Telegram post earlier today that another body of a woman had been recovered from the rubble of the apartment block that was struck on Saturday.

“In total, since the beginning of rescue works, the bodies of 47 dead people, including a child, have been found and removed from the scene. Nine people have been rescued from the rubble. Rescue works are underway,” Tymoshenko said.

Firefighters and members of a rescue team clear the scene after a building was partially destroyed after shelling, in Chasiv Yar, eastern Ukraine, on July 10, 2022.

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Russian forces hit the five-storey apartment building in Chasiv Yar. Ukraine has said that the destruction was caused by Russian Uragan rockets. Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilian targets despite a large number of instances in which civilian infrastructure was targeted, causing death and more displacement for ordinary Ukrainians.

Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine says it has repulsed attack near Sloviansk, a key Russian target

Ukraine says it has successfully repulsed a Russian assault toward the settlements of Dovhenke and Dolyna, near the city of Sloviansk, a key target for Russian forces trying to advance in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said on Wednesday that Russian forces were shelling Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv and surrounding settlements, and also reported non-stop artillery shelling of areas around Sloviansk further south in Donetsk.

A car destroyed by Russian shelling at the entrance of the village of Dolyna in the Donbas. Dolyna is near the front line between Russian and Ukrainian armies.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

“Ukrainian defenders successfully repulsed an assault in the direction of Dovhenke and Dolyna. It is not excluded that the enemy will continue to conduct offensive operations to improve their tactical position and create favorable conditions for conducting an offensive towards Izium – Sloviansk,” general staff spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun said in the armed forces’ latest update on Facebook.

Widespread shelling was also taking place in the areas around nearby city Kramatorsk and Bakhmut, Ukraine said.

Ahead of a meeting in Istanbul between Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey on unblocking grain exports from Ukraine, the armed forces said that in both the Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov, Russia’s navy “focuses its main efforts on blocking civilian shipping. warships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles are kept ready for missile strikes. “

Ukraine’s armed forces added that the “morale and psychological state of the personnel of the occupiers remains low, systematic consumption of alcoholic beverages and desertion are noted. The occupiers complain about the ineffectiveness of their attacks on Ukrainian positions.”

CNBC was unable to verify the information in the report.

– Holly Ellyatt

Russian advances to continue this week as anti-Russian sentiment grows, UK says

In the Donbas, Russian forces will likely focus on taking several small towns during the coming week, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday. Siversk and Dolyna are likely to be targets for Russian forces as they approach their bigger objective – the capture of cities Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

A home that was struck by a missile, on July 3, 2022, in Sloviansk, Ukraine.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

“Russia continues to seek to undermine the legitimacy of the Ukrainian state and consolidate its own governance and administrative control over occupied parts of Ukraine,” the ministry said on Twitter.

“Recently this has included an initiative to twin Russian and Ukrainian cities and regions to develop post-conflict administrations and a decree to make it easier for Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship.”

There is, however, a backlash in Ukraine, the ministry said, with anti-Russian sentiment in occupied parts leading to Russian and pro-Russian officials being targeted. The Russian-appointed administration in Velykyy Burluk acknowledged that one of its mayors was killed on July 11 by a car bombing.

“The targeting of officials is likely to escalate, exacerbating the already significant challenges facing the Russian occupiers and potentially increasing the pressure on already reduced military and security formations,” the UK said.

Holly Ellyatt

A ‘really difficult road lies ahead,’ Zelenskyy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned there is a “really difficult road” ahead for his country as Russian forces continue to make small, incremental advances in eastern Ukraine.

In a Telegram post Tuesday evening, Zelenskyy said “a really difficult road is ahead. Everyone understands that. But it is also clear that what lies ahead is the success of our state.”

“When millions of people work sincerely for this – each and everyone at their own level – the result will be inevitable,” he added.

A Russian serviceman patrols a destroyed residential area in the captured Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk on July 12, 2022.

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Zelenskyy’s comments come as Russian forces make slow but steady progress in occupying the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have already seized the Luhansk region of the Donbas and are now advancing into neighboring Donetsk.

Images published on Tuesday showed Russian soldiers patrolling areas of Severodonetsk, a major city in Luhansk and one of the last Ukrainian-held places to fall to Russia in the last few weeks.

Holly Ellyatt

A ‘really difficult road lies ahead,’ Zelenskyy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned there is a “really difficult road” ahead for his country as Russian forces continue to make small, incremental advances in eastern Ukraine.

In a Telegram post Tuesday evening, Zelenskyy said “a really difficult road is ahead. Everyone understands that. But it is also clear that what lies ahead is the success of our state.”

“When millions of people work sincerely for this – each and everyone at their own level – the result will be inevitable,” he added.

A Russian serviceman patrols a destroyed residential area in the captured Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk on July 12, 2022.

Facebook Facebook logo Sign up for Facebook to connect with Olga Maltseva Afp | Getty Images

Zelenskyy’s comments come as Russian forces make slow but steady progress in occupying the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have already seized the Luhansk region of the Donbas and are now advancing into neighboring Donetsk.

Images published on Tuesday showed Russian soldiers patrolling areas of Severodonetsk, a major city in Luhansk and one of the last Ukrainian-held places to fall to Russia in the last few weeks.

Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian ministry says ships are passing through newly opened Danube rivermouth

A dockyard worker watches as barley grain is mechanically poured into a 40,000 ton ship at a Ukrainian agricultural exporter’s shipment terminal in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev.

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Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said in a statement that 16 ships had passed through the Danube’s newly-reopened Bystre rivermouth in the last four days and that the opening up of the Bystre was an important step towards speeding up grain exports.

– Reuters

Ukraine, UN, Russia and Turkey to discuss sea corridors for grain exports

A farm implement harvests grain in the field, as Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Odesa, Ukraine on July 04, 2022.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would participate in a four-party meeting with the United Nations, Turkey and Russia on efforts to restart Ukrainian grain exports.

The meeting is slated for Wednesday in Istanbul.

Andriy Yermak from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said on his Telegram channel that the parties will discuss sea corridors for the export of grain, along with security issues.

For months, Russian war ships have blocked Ukrainian ports on the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea.

– Amanda Macias

Death toll from Russian attack on apartment block rises to 41

Firefighters and members of a rescue team clear the scene after a building was partially destroyed following shelling, in Chasiv Yar, eastern Ukraine, on July 10, 2022.

Facebook Facebook logo Sign up for Facebook to connect with Miguel Medina Afp | Getty Images

The death toll from a Russian rocket attack that hit a five-story apartment block in the town of Chasiv Yar in the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk has risen to 41, according to Ukraine’s emergency service.

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.

The service said that nine people had been rescued from the rubble as of Monday night.

“Work in progress,” Ukraine’s emergency services said in a Facebook post as search and rescue teams continued to look for survivors.

– Amanda Macias

Ukraine claims missile attack on Russian ammo depot near occupied Kherson

Ukraine’s military says it carried out a missile strike on an ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Kherson in southern Ukraine.

The strike hit a depot in Russian-held Nova Kakhovka, roughly 35 miles east of Kherson. Ukrainian officials had previously talked about launching counteroffensives to retake land that Russia has occupied since its invasion began in late February.

Moscow denies the Ukrainians hit an ammunition depot, saying it was a fertilizer storage facility that was struck and blown up. Russia also said that the strike damaged houses, a hospital and a market, causing deaths. The information has not been independently verified.

The Associated Press reported significant damage from the blast, seen in satellite imagery, and said in its analysis that the precision of the strike suggested it was carried out with US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.

– Natasha Turak

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