Here are the key events so far on Wednesday, July 20.
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- Russia’s offensive in Ukraine’s Donbas region continues to make minimal gains as Ukrainian forces hold the line, British military intelligence said.
- Russia is laying the groundwork for the annexation of Ukrainian territory, using the same tactics as it did in Crimea in 2014, according to the White House.
- Ukraine’s general staff reported widespread shelling and attacks in various areas of the country.
- At least one person was killed in a Russian missile strike on the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, authorities said.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei in Tehran, his first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the February invasion of Ukraine.
- Putin said Moscow does not see any desire from Ukraine to fulfil the terms of what he described as a preliminary peace deal agreed to in March.
- Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska will address the United States Congress at 11am local time (15:00 GMT), according to a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
- Ukraine’s parliament dismissed the domestic security chief and prosecutor general two days after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suspended them for failing to root out Russian spies.
- Ukraine joined the US-aligned International Energy Agency as an association country, the watchdog said, binding Kyiv closer to the mostly Western countries which oppose Russia’s invasion.
- Alexander Matsegora, Russia’s ambassador to North Korea, suggested the country’s construction workers could be sent to occupied Donbas to help rebuild after North Korea last week recognised the Kremlin-backed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics as “independent”.
- Portugal’s Sines port is ready to start the onward shipment of liquefied natural gas, which arrives in large tankers and will be transferred to smaller vessels to head to other European states, a government spokesperson has said.
- Putin said it is the West’s own fault the flow of Russian natural gas to European Union customers has dwindled and warned that it could continue ebbing.
- The Belarusian finance ministry said Western sanctions that have limited Minsk’s ability to deal in foreign currencies were pushing the country into default, despite Minsk being able to service its debts.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies