Russia-Ukraine latest updates: Putin warns of energy crisis

Russia-Ukraine news from July 8: Putin says sanctions could have catastrophic consequences” on the global energy market.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with parliamentary leaders in Moscow, Russia [Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin/Reuters]
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Western sanctions could lead to possible “catastrophic consequences” on the global energy market.
  • The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described Russian top diplomat Sergey Lavrov’s behaviour as “not very respectful” after the Russian minister left the G20 meeting early.
  • At least four people were killed after Russian forces fired rockets in northern Kharkiv and eastern Kramatorsk, local authorities say, adding that Sloviansk has also come under fire.
  • Moscow is likely concentrating its equipment in the direction of Siversk, about 8km (4.9 miles) west of the current Russian front line, UK’s defence ministry said.


This live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. These were the updates on Friday, July 8:

FEATURE: ‘Not all refugees are treated the same’

Russia’s war on Ukraine has taken a heavy toll.

At least 10,631 civilians were confirmed killed as of June 26, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) but the actual number of war dead is widely understood to be considerably higher.

More than a quarter of Ukrainians – 12 million – have been forced to leave their homes. While about seven million are internally displaced, five million have sought asylum in neighbouring European countries, the UNHCR says.

Read more here.

Zelenskky praises US for sending more arms

Ukraine’s president has thanked his counterpart Joe Biden for “continuing effective support” for his country in its fight against Russia, including new supply of HIMAR launchers.

“It is what helps us press on the enemy. We appreciate the support! Let’s go to victory together!,” he said.

US sending $400m in military aid to Ukraine

The US will send another $400m in military equipment to Ukraine, including four more advanced rocket systems, a senior defence official has said, in an effort to bolster Ukrainian efforts to attack deeper behind Russian front lines in the eastern Donbas region.

The defense official said that the eight High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, that were previously sent are still being used by Ukraine forces in the fight.

Read more here.

[Al Jazeera]

Sanctions ‘catastrophic’ for energy market: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of possible “catastrophic consequences” of Western sanctions on the global energy market.

“Continuing to use the politics of sanctions can lead to even more serious, without exaggeration, catastrophic, consequences on the world energy market,” he said during a televised government meeting.

Russia ‘blackmailing’ world with starvation: Ukraine ambassador

Ukraine’s ambassador to Indonesia has accused Russia of “directly blackmailing” the world with “starvation and famine” by disrupting food supply chains amid Moscow’s invasion of his country.

“It is inhumane, it is cruel and doesn’t meet any principles of humanity … and any principles of peaceful coexistence,” Vasyl Hamianin told Al Jazeera from the sidelines of the G20.

Zelenskyy awards injured soldiers in Dnipro hospital

President Zelenskyy has presented special awards to wounded troops being treated in a hospital in Dnipro in central Ukraine.

He also thanked the medical personnel for their work.

“The result of your work, which we see, really makes us feel proud that we have such great people in our country,” Zelenskyy told them, adding they “are on the same front line as the armed forces.”

Ukraine expresses gratitude to UK’s Boris Johnson

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukrainians feel “personal gratitude” towards Boris Johnson for the support he gave them during the war with Russia.

The British prime minister’s resignation announcement had been “the main topic in our country”, Ukraine’s president said.

“We all heard this news with sadness,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after Johnson announced his resignation Thursday. “Not only me, but also the entire Ukrainian society, which is very sympathetic to you.”

Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, Johnson has pledged $2.8bn of military aid to Ukraine, including armoured vehicles and anti-tank missiles. He also dispatched economic support, guaranteeing millions in World Bank loans for the country.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet in Kyiv.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet in Kyiv Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters]

Severodonetsk on verge of humanitarian catastrophe

A Ukrainian regional official has warned of deteriorating living conditions in Severodonetsk, which was captured by Russian forces two weeks ago, saying is without water, power or a working sewage system while the bodies of the dead decompose in hot apartment buildings.

Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians were unleashing indiscriminate artillery barrages as they try to secure their gains in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province. Moscow this week claimed full control of Luhansk, but the governor and other Ukrainian officials said their troops retained a small part of the province.

“Luhansk hasn’t been fully captured even though the Russians have engaged all their arsenal to achieve that goal,” Haidai told The Associated Press. “Fierce battles are going on in several villages on the region’s border. The Russians are relying on tanks and artillery to advance, leaving scorched earth.”

Occupied Severodonetsk, meanwhile, “is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe,” the governor wrote on social media. “The Russians have completely destroyed all the critical infrastructure, and they are unable to repair anything.”

Canada announces fresh sanctions on Russia

Canada has announced new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, targeting the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, and other individuals accused of spreading disinformation.

The new package targets 29 individuals accused of being “state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda agents” and 15 Russian government-controlled entities “involved in disinformation efforts”, according to a statement by Canadian foreign minister, Mélanie Joly.

Sumbatovich Gasparyan, the head of the international department of the Russian state-owned media outlet RT, is among those newly sanctioned.

The latest announcement brings to more than 1,150 the total number of individuals and entities in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus that Canada has sanctioned since the beginning of the war.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks to reporters at a microphone
Canada has announced new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine [Patrick Doyle/Reuters]

Russia threatens ‘harsh measures’ over Kaliningrad transit

Russia warned Lithuania and the EU on Friday that it could adopt “harsh measures” against them if the transit of some goods to and from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad did not resume.

In a statement, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “If the situation does not stabilise in the coming days, then Russia will take harsh measures against Lithuania and the European Union.”

The issue has taken “too long to resolve”, she added.

Lithuania has banned the transit of goods subject to EU sanctions across its territory to Kalingrad, on the Baltic sea.

Western plan to isolate Russia at G20 failed: Moscow

The West’s plan to isolate Russia at the G20 summit over Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine did not work out, the foreign ministry has said.

“The G-7’s plan to boycott Russia at the G-20 has failed,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on messaging app Telegram.

She also accused Germany’s foreign minister of “lying” after Annalena Baerbock criticised Moscow for blocking dialogue with international partners.

Mexico to stay neutral on Ukraine: President

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says his administration would maintain its neutral stance on the Ukraine-Russia conflict after his upcoming meeting with US President Joe Biden.

Lopez Obrador was asked a series of questions at a news conference about how his visit next week to Washington could affect Mexico’s position on the conflict. He said Mexico would stay neutral, and that he hoped there would be a ceasefire.

Uniper files for German government support

Power utility Uniper has filed for German government support after running into financial distress due to lower Russian gas supply, majority owner Fortum of Finland has said in a statement.

Germany confirms positive signal from Canada on Nord Stream 1 turbine

Germany’s government spokesperson has confirmed Berlin had received a positive signal from Canada regarding delivery of a turbine needed for the maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany but could not say that the turbine had been delivered.

Russia’s Gazprom cut the capacity along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 40 percent of usual levels last month, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy, in Canada.

Russian forces unlikely to leave southern Ukraine: Ambassador

Russia will defeat Ukrainian forces in the whole of the eastern Donbas region and is unlikely to withdraw from a vast swath of land across Ukraine’s southern coast, Russia’s ambassador to London told the Reuters news agency.

Smoke rises in the sky after shelling, amid Russia's attack, in Donetsk region, Ukraine
Smoke rises in the sky after shelling, amid Russia’s attack, in Donetsk region, Ukraine [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

“We are going to liberate all of the Donbas,” Andrei Kelin told Reuters in an interview in his London residence.

Sooner or later, Kelin said, Ukraine would have to decide: strike a peace deal with Russia or “continue slipping down this hill” to ruin.

Russia city councillor jailed for 7 years for criticising war: AFP

A Moscow court sentenced a city councillor to seven years in prison for denouncing President Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine intervention, an AFP news agency reporter has said.

Alexei Gorinov, 60, was found guilty of spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian army in Ukraine. He appeared in court with a poster that read: “Do you still need this war?”

Moscow city deputy Alexei Gorinov, accused of spreading "knowingly false information" about the Russian army fighting in Ukraine, stands with a poster reading ""Do you still need this war?" inside a glass cell during the vedict hearing in his trial at a courthouse in Moscow
Moscow city deputy Alexei Gorinov, accused of spreading ‘knowingly false information’ about the Russian army fighting in Ukraine during the vedict hearing in his trial at a courthouse in Moscow [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]

Russia says it destroyed two British-supplied anti-ship missile systems

Russian forces have destroyed two British-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missile systems in Ukraine’s Odesa region overnight, Russia’s defence ministry has said in a briefing.

The US-designed missile systems are one of several weapons supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia has used only a small portion of its potential in what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

‘Russia is the global challenge number one’: Ukraine FM

Ukraine’s top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba calls for a “resolute global response” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as he spoke at the G20.

“Putting Russia in its place is the global challenge number one and the meeting today proved it,” he said on Twitter.

Who will pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction?

More than four months of war have destroyed countless cities and towns in Ukraine. Its allies, though, want to start rebuilding as soon as possible.

More than 40 nations and international organisations have outlined priorities for the reconstruction of Ukraine. They met in the Swiss city of Lugano, and agreed on the Lugano Principles.

But it is no small task. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal estimates rebuilding costs will reach $750bn.

Russia’s Lavrov walked out of G20 as German minister spoke: diplomats

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walked out of the Group of 20 session as his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock was criticising Moscow over the Ukraine war, diplomats have said.

Diplomats said Lavrov later also left an afternoon session before a virtual appearance by Ukraine’s foreign minister and was not present as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia in the closed-door meeting in Bali.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives for a bilateral meeting at the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives for a bilateral meeting at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

‘Let the grain out’: Blinken

Speaking at the G20 meetings, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed Russia directly and called on Moscow to allow Ukrainian to get its grain out to the world, a Western official has said.

“He addressed Russia directly, saying: ‘To our Russian colleagues: Ukraine is not your country. Its grain is not your grain. Why are you blocking the ports? You should let the grain out,’” said the official who did not want to be otherwise identified.

Russia’s upper house bars access to UK diplomats: Media

The Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, has barred UK diplomats, including the ambassador, from accessing its building, Russian news agencies report.

Russia continues to shell Luhansk: Governor

Russian forces continue to mercilessly shell areas of the Luhansk region to make their advance into Donetsk, the Luhansk governor has said.

“From all types of heavy weapons, they do not stop firing on Bilohorivka and Zolotarivka,” Serhiy Haidai said about two villages near the border.

“They hit houses, every building that seems to them a possible fortification,” he said. “In order to advance, they do not count personal losses and do not feel sorry for the residents of the region.”

Russian forces took control of Luhansk on Sunday, after Ukraine’s troops withdrew from the region’s last strongholds of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, and are making their way into neighbouring Donetsk.

Lavrov dismisses West’s ‘frenzied’ criticism at G20

Russia’s Lavrov has dismissed what he cast as the West’s “frenzied” criticism of the war in Ukraine at the G20 meeting, scolding Russia’s rivals for scuppering a chance to tackle global economic issues.

“During the discussion, Western partners avoided following the mandate of the G20, from dealing with issues of the world economy,” Lavrov said.

He said the West’s discussion “strayed almost immediately, as soon as they took the floor, to the frenzied criticism of the Russian Federation in connection with the situation in Ukraine. ‘Aggressors’, ‘invaders’, ‘occupiers’ – we heard a lot of things today,” Lavrov said.

Russia to take Sakhalin-1 project under its control: Politician

A senior Russian politician has said that Moscow would take control of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in which ExxonMobil, Japan’s SODECO and India’s ONGC Videsh are partners, a week after taking over the neighbouring Sakhalin-2.

Pavel Zavalny, the head of the energy committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said the move was an obvious next step. “We were forced to make a decision to move Sakhalin-2 from the (production sharing agreement) regime to Russia’s jurisdiction amid sanctions … Obviously, the same will happen to Sakhalin-1.”

Earlier on Thursday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said that oil output at Sakhalin-1 had plummeted to just 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 220,000 bpd due to “restrictions”, a reference to sanctions. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters no decision had been taken on Sakhalin-1.

Japan said in May it would phase out Russian oil imports after agreeing on a ban with other Group of Seven (G7) nations to counter Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

We are ready to negotiate on grain: Lavrov

Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine and Turkey about grain but it is unclear when such talks might take place, Sergey Lavrov has said.

China says US senator’s Taiwan visit undermines relationship

A senior US senator has told journalists in Taiwan he believes “the world has changed” following Russia’s actions in Ukraine, as China has warned of a rift in the Sino-US relationship.

“What Taiwan has to do, Japan has to do, South Korea has to do, they have to continue to build interoperability with those they think will work with them to defend their freedom, they’ve got to continue to do more drills, to make sure they’re ready in case communist China does, or Russia or anyone else, does the wrong thing,” Rick Scott said after meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Scott’s visit to Taiwan had seriously undermined Sino-US relations and escalated tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is ready for war at all times, and will take all necessary measures to resolutely thwart the interference of external forces and the secessionist attempts of ‘Taiwan independence’, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wu said.

Russia plans for attack on town of Siversk: UK

While Russia’s operative goal in Ukraine’s Donbas has shifted to capturing Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Moscow’s more immediate “tactical objective” is likely to be the town of Siversk, the United Kingdom’s defence ministry has said.

“Russia is likely concentrating equipment on the front line in the direction of Siversk, approximately 8km west of the current Russian front line,” the ministry said.

“Its forces are likely pausing to replenish before undertaking new offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast,” it added, in line with what other Western analysts have said in recent days.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia’s immediate tactical objective will be Siversk, as its forces attempt to advance towards its most likely operational goal of the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk urban area,” the UK said.

China military says holds combat exercises around Taiwan as US senator visits

China’s military recently held multi-unit joint combat readiness exercises, patrols and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has said in a statement, as a senior US senator visited Taipei for a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen.

The exercises were organised in response to “collusion and provocations” by the United States and Taiwan, Wu Qian, spokesman for China’s ministry of defence said, according to the ministry’s official Weibo account.

Several Chinese fighter jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Friday in the northern part of the strait, a Taiwan source briefed on the matter told Reuters, adding the aircraft did not enter Taiwan’s airspace.

“It was a clear message of provocation,” the person said, citing Friday’s visit to Taipei by US Senator Rick Scott, a senior Republican who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee and sits on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee.

Snake Island a warning to Russia, Ukraine ‘will not be broken’: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy has said raising the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island in the Black Sea was a sign his country would not be broken and that the two-month operation to retake the island was a warning to all Russian forces.

“Let every Russian captain, aboard a ship or a plane, see the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island and let him know that our country will not be broken,” he said in his nighttime address.

Russia abandoned the island at the end of June in what it claimed was a gesture of goodwill.

On Thursday, Ukraine raised its blue and yellow flag on recaptured Snake Island. Moscow responded with its warplanes attacking the island and destroying part of the Ukrainian detachment there, it said.

Japan minister skips G20 reception

Japan’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi stayed away from the G20 reception in view of the international community’s opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a government spokesperson has said.

‘When will you stop the war?’ audience asks Lavrov at G20

The audience of the G20 meeting was heard shouting, “When will you stop the war?” on the arrival of Russia’s foreign minister.

Another shouted, “Why wouldn’t you stop the war?” as Sergey Lavrov shook hands with Indonesia’s foreign minister.

Underlining tensions in the buildup, Indonesia’s Retno said earlier that G7 counterparts had informed her they could not join Thursday’s welcome dinner where Lavrov was present, decisions the host nation understood and respected.

Indonesian foreign minister urges G20 to find ways to end Ukraine war

Indonesia’s top diplomat has called on the G20 to “find ways to move forward” and end the war in Ukraine sooner rather than later during a speech to open the meeting of foreign ministers from the group.

“It is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not at the battlefield,” Retno Marsudi said.

She said multilateralism was the only way to address global challenges and hoped the forum would provide an avenue to address the repercussions of the war, which are rippling across the globe.

War looms large over G20 event as Russia meets rivals in Bali

G20 foreign ministers head to a joint summit on Friday that will put some of the staunchest critics of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the same room as Moscow’s top diplomat, in the first such meeting since the war started in February.

Russia’s invasion has cast a cloud over Indonesia’s presidency of the Group of 20 largest economies this year, with speculation of boycotts from some members and a walkout in April at a finance ministers’ meeting in Washington, DC.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said it was important for the host to “create an atmosphere that’s comfortable for everybody”, and the G20 was an opportunity for progress.

Friday’s agenda includes a closed meeting with top diplomats of G20 countries, including China, India, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and South Africa, as well as bilateral talks on the sidelines. Ukraine’s foreign minister is expected to address the meeting virtually.

Brazil’s president says Western sanctions against Russia have failed

Brazil’s president has said that the economic sanctions imposed by the West against Russia had not worked.

“The economic barriers that the United States and Europe imposed against Russia did not work,” Jair Bolsonaro told supporters, adding that his position towards Putin and the war “was one of balance”.

Bolsonaro said that stance had allowed him to acquire fertilisers, a key input for Brazil’s vast agricultural sector, from Russia. He also said Russia shared Brazil’s concerns over the “sovereignty” of the Amazon. The president has often described criticism by other nations of his stewardship of the rainforest as an infringement on Brazil’s sovereignty.

Bolsonaro’s comments are likely to go down badly with the US and many European countries, which have previously criticised Brazil’s engagement with Russia. In June, Bolsonaro and Putin discussed global food security in a phone call and confirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership.

Black Sea blockade ‘must stop’: Von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the world is “in a defining moment” and decried Russia’s “senseless” war.

“Indeed, we are in a defining moment. We just barely recovered from COVID, the pandemic, when Russia started the senseless and atrocious invasion in Ukraine with terrible knock-on effects not only for the people in Ukraine that are horribly suffering, but also with enormous knock-on effects globally of this senseless war,” von der Leyen said alongside Antonio Guterres in New York.

“Russia is blocking the export of grain from Ukraine and thus bringing hunger to millions of people. The blockade of the Black Sea must stop and I’m very grateful, Secretary-General, for your tireless work to try to create a solution for the export of Ukraine grain via the Black Sea,” she added.

China’s relationship with Russia shows ‘strong resilience’: Foreign minister

China and Russia have maintained normal exchanges, promoted cooperation in various fields and cast aside any “interference”, showing the “strong resilience” and “strategic resolve” of their relations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.

China will also support all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis, Wang told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands as they meet in Denpasar, Indonesia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands as they meet in Denpasar, Indonesia, July 7, 2022 [Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters]

‘Our world is in big trouble’: UN chief

Antonio Guterres has called for “multilateralism” between nations and blocs around the world to deal with ongoing issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Our world is in big trouble. We still have the COVID among us,” Guterres said. “Conflicts are multiplying and we have now the dramatic impact of the Russian invasion in Ukraine that has led to, independently of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, to a terrible crisis, both in food, in energy and in finance.”

“No country can solve these problems alone. We need more than ever, multilateralism, but not any kind of multilateralism, because no organisation can also solve the problems of this world alone. We need the networked multilateralism and the partnership between the EU and the UN is a fundamental pillar of this networked multilateralism,” he said in New York.

UK assures Ukraine of support: Zelenskyy

The United Kingdom has assured Ukraine its support for the embattled country will not change, regardless of the leader, Zelenskyy has said, after thanking Johnson for his support.

“Britain’s role in protecting freedom is truly global. And although this is a reflection of the position of British society, the leadership and charisma of the head of state are always of special importance. Especially at such a time – the time of Russia’s full-scale anti-European war, which started its attack on Europe precisely from our state. So it is not surprising that Ukrainians feel personal gratitude to Boris,” Zelenskyy said in his nighttime address.

“But let’s not forget that we are building relations between states. Great Britain’s support for Ukraine should not change, no matter what happens in London’s power circles, both Boris and all our friends in the United Kingdom assured me of this,” he added.

Griner’s guilty plea will not affect release talks with Russia: White House

A guilty plea by US basketball star Brittney Griner, who was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, will not affect negotiations to bring her home, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has said.

The move also will not affect talks with Moscow to secure the release of former US marine Paul Whelan, who is imprisoned in Russia and accused of spying, Jean-Pierre added.

Zelenskyy sends message of hope to followers

Zelenskyy has sent a message of hope to followers on his social media.

Speaking in barely a whisper in a video message issued on Instagram, Zelenskyy said he wanted to share his thoughts at one minute to midnight after 134 days of war.

“We are Ukrainians, simple people, good people, peaceful people who have found themselves at the top of the world news as superheroes. But at what a price! All we wanted to do was live — free and in our own country.”

“But God has his own plan. And if the dragon that had half the world trembling is to be slain and if it befalls us to be the underdog who was given three days to survive and now we are fighting for the fifth month, that means we are able to do it.”

Ukraine’s negotiator dismisses Putin’s comments

Ukraine’s chief negotiator, Mykhailo Podolyak, has dismissed Putin’s comments in which the Russian leader warned that if the West wanted to attempt to beat Russia on the battlefield, “to the last Ukrainian”, it was welcome to try, but this would bring tragedy for Ukraine.

“There is no ‘collective West’ plan,” Podolyak said, blaming only the Russian army “which entered sovereign Ukraine, shelling cities and killing civilians”.

“Everything else is a primitive propaganda. That’s why Mr Putin’s mantra of the ‘war to the last Ukrainian’ is yet another proof of deliberate genocide,” he added.

Residents of Bakhmut brace for Russian attacks

Residents of Bakhmut, a small town some 50km (31 miles) from Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, say they fear a Russian attack is imminent.

“Looking at what’s happening here, it is exactly how it all started back home. This is only the beginning … The same is going to happen here,” Tetiana Demidova, a 47-year-old evacuee from a village occupied by Russians, told the Reuters news agency.

Others, who like Demidova had to leave their homes before, said they were not going to leave.

“I lived through it all in 2014, I left with my children. And now the same again. I am not going to run again because I have nowhere to run,” 45-year-old Marina Baryshuk said.

Three killed, five injured in Kharkiv: Governor

Three people were killed and another five were wounded on Thursday after Russian forces fired rockets at a district in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the regional governor has said.

“Three civilians were killed and five were wounded as a result of shelling of the Nemyshlianskyi district,” Oleh Synehubov wrote on Telegram.

He said other attacks occurred throughout the Kharkiv region, including populated areas of the towns Chuhuiv, Izyum and Bohodukhiv.

A police officer inspects the body of a woman killed during a Russian military raid in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A police officer inspects the body of a woman killed during a Russian military raid, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, July 7, 2022 [Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters]

One killed, several wounded in Kramatorsk: Officials

At least one person was killed and several wounded in a Russian air raid on the heart of the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Thursday, the mayor said.

Governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said the missile had damaged six buildings including a hotel and an apartment block in the large industrial hub.

The nearby city of Sloviansk, also in the Donetsk region, also came under fire. Mayor Vadym Lyakh said there had been casualties but gave no further details.

Ukrainian officials have said they expect Kramatorsk and Sloviansk to become the next focus of Russia’s offensive.

White House reaffirms ‘strong alliance’ with UK after Johnson quits

The White House has reaffirmed Washington’s “strong alliance” with the United Kingdom, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation on Thursday.

During a briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the United States and the UK will continue to work together on a range of issues, including support for Ukraine against “Putin’s brutal war”.

In a statement, US President Joe Biden said he looks forward to further close cooperation with the UK government, without mentioning Johnson who resigned in the face of scandal.

Read all the updates for July 7 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies