- Washington promises to provide nearly $368m in further humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Kyiv’s ambassador to Germany as well as several other top foreign envoys, the presidential website says.
- A Russian rocket has hit a residential building in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, according to regional authorities.
- Ukraine says Russian troops are pursuing “relentless” shelling on its eastern Donetsk region.
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These were the updates on Saturday, July 9:
Canada to return repaired turbine for Nord Stream 1
Canada will grant a sanctions waiver to return repaired Russian turbines to Germany needed for maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Canada’s minister of natural resources has said in a statement.
Canada also announced it would expand sanctions against Russia’s energy sector to include industrial manufacturing.
Zelenskyy thanks US for $400m aid package
Zelenskyy has thanked the US for approving the new $400m aid package for Ukraine in his address.
Zelenskyy said the package, which includes high-precision weapon systems, will “allow us to take exact needed anti-terrorist steps to reduce the number of Russian missile strikes on our people”.
He also commented on a series of dismissals of some of Ukraine’s ambassadors on Saturday, calling it “a regular rotation, a normal part of diplomatic practice”.
Russian troops trying to advance towards Kharkiv: Report
Ukraine’s General Staff has said “Ukrainian troops had repelled a Russian offensive towards the villages of Kochubeivka and Dementiivka north of Kharkiv”, the Kyiv Independent reported.
“Ukrainian forces also routed a Russian reconnaissance group near the villages of Male Vesele and Petrivka in Kharkiv Oblast, the General Staff said.”
Zelenskyy fires governor of Kherson Oblast: Report
Zelenskyy has fired Hennady Lahuta, governor of Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast, the Kyiv Independent reported.
Dmytro Butriy, a member of the oblast’s legislature from Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party, was appointed as the acting governor, it said.
Sheltering in place: Defiant grandmother refuses to leave Ukraine
The United Nations says more than 12 million Ukrainians were displaced by the Russian invasion.
Some are starting to return and rebuild, but some never left. In the village of Moschun, one 72-year-old great-grandmother survived the assault by sheltering in her basement with her cat. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from Moschun, Ukraine.
US pledges Ukraine $368m in humanitarian aid
Washington has promised to provide further humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“Today, I can announce the United States will provide nearly $368m in additional support, including food, safe drinking water, cash assistance, emergency health care, shelter, as well as support to coordination among humanitarian organisations that are doing so much of this critical work on the ground,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement after the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali.
So far, the US, as the main donor country, has pledged more than $1.28bn in humanitarian aid to Ukraine since Moscow began the war, he said.
Plenkovic and Kuleba speak at Dubrovnik forum
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba have said democracy is being threatened as they addressed the Dubrovnik Forum.
“If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, which I hope he won’t, he will certainly go further and not only him but all other malicious forces in the world which think that changing rules or borders by force is acceptable or at least one can get away with it,” Kuleba said.
“Today, Ukrainians are fighting, risking and giving their lives to remain an independent country based on European values, democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, equality and the rule of law. But we fight not only for the free, peaceful and democratic future of Ukraine, we fight also for Europe as a whole.”
Report: Germany secures long-term supplies of ammunition to Ukraine
The German government has secured long-term supplies of ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft systems promised to Ukraine, Der Spiegel magazine has reported citing government sources.
The office of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, together with the Ministry of Defence, has found a manufacturer in Norway that can produce more ammunition for the anti-aircraft system, according to the report.
The additional ammunition from the Norwegian manufacturer is to be tested as early as next week at the Bundeswehr shooting range in Putlos in the Schleswig-Holstein state, Der Spiegel further reported.
The delivery of the Gepard anti-aircraft systems, which are to help Ukraine protect critical infrastructure, is to start in July.
Counting the cost: How much could it cost to rebuild Ukraine?
The challenge of rebuilding a nation, post-conflict, is a complex one. Businesses, as well as politicians, have a crucial role to play, and billions of dollars are at stake.
When rebuilding Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, which nations and firms will benefit from an economic rescue deal?
We look at who the financial winners might be and examine previous failures by governments and private investors to successfully rebuild a fragile war-torn country.
Zelenskyy sacks Ukraine’s envoy to Germany, other ambassadors
Zelenskyy has dismissed Kyiv’s ambassador to Germany, as well as several other top foreign envoys, the presidential website says.
In a decree that gave no reason for the move, he announced the sacking of Ukraine’s ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.
It was not immediately clear if the envoys would be handed new jobs.
Zelenskyy thanks France for supporting Ukraine’s EU bid
Zelenskyy has met a delegation of senior officials from France, led by the president of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher.
During the meeting in Kyiv, Zelenskyy thanked France and in particular, President Emmanuel Macron, for supporting Ukraine’s bid to join the EU.
“I would also like to thank France for supporting Ukraine’s status as a candidate for membership in the European Union. And this was also influenced by the recent visit of respected state leaders, among whom was President Emmanuel Macron; I would also like to thank him personally for his high-level support for Ukraine’s candidacy,” Zelenskyy said.
Rocket hits residential building in Kharkiv
A Russian rocket has hit a residential building in the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, injuring six people, according to regional authorities.
“The enemy rocket hit near the two-storey residential building, the building is partially ruined. The total area of destruction is around 400 square metres (4,305 square feet),” Yevgen Vasylenko, spokesperson for the Department of Emergency Situations in Kharkiv Oblast said.
“Representatives of the emergency services and national police have arrived at the site. Two men, a woman and a 12-year-old child were rescued from the ruins.”
Russia trying to ‘raise true hell,’ Ukrainian governor says
Russian forces are managing to “raise true hell” in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland despite reports of them taking an operational pause, a regional governor has said.
Deadly Russian shelling was reported in Ukraine’s east and south.
The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai said Russia launched more than 20 artillery, mortar and rocket attacks in the province overnight and its forces were pressing towards the border with neighbouring Donetsk.
“We are trying to contain the Russians’ armed formations along the entire front line,” Haidai wrote on Telegram.
Read more here.
Russia might take ‘harsh’ measures over Kaliningrad transit
Russia has warned Lithuania and the EU 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.
“If the situation does not stabilise in the coming days, then Russia will take harsh measures against Lithuania and the European Union,” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of the Russian foreign ministry, said in a statement. “The issue has taken too long to resolve.”
Lithuania has banned the transit of goods subject to EU sanctions across its territory to and from the Baltic exclave. Russia has pledged to retaliate.
Kuleba: Sanctions against Russia are working
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that sanctions on Moscow are working, and echoed calls for more deliveries of high-precision Western weapons.
“Russians desperately try to lift those sanctions which proves that they do hurt them. Therefore, sanctions must be stepped up until Putin drops his aggressive plans or simply loses resources to fill or execute them,” he told a forum in Croatia by videolink.
‘Relentless’ Russian shelling pounds east Ukraine
Russian troops have begun a “relentless” shelling of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, according to Ukrainian officials.
“The entire frontline is under relentless shelling,” Donetsk military administration chief, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said in a Telegram message on Friday night.
Having endured long battles to capture cities in the neighbouring Luhansk region, Russia is now seeking to push deeper into Donetsk to consolidate its hold over the entire Donbas region.
Five killed in Donetsk in 24 hours: officials
Ukrainian officials have said five people were killed in the Donetsk region in the past 24 hours while seven were injured.
Kyrylenko said the city of Sloviansk, on which Moscow’s troops have now set their sights, is being “shelled day and night”.
Ukrainian army recruits begin UK military training
The first batch of up to 10,000 inexperienced Ukrainian military recruits set to train in the UK over the coming months has started drills, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The new British-led programme involves 1,050 UK service personnel training the Ukrainian volunteers, who have little to no military experience, in England for several weeks.
The crash course is based on the UK’s basic soldier training, covering weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and the laws around armed conflict.
Biden calls sister of US prisoner in Russia
US President Joe Biden has called the sister of Paul Whelan, an American who is serving 16 years in a Russian prison on espionage charges that he has denied.
The US leader told Elizabeth Whelan that “he is committed to bringing Paul home as soon as possible,” a White House official quoted by the AFP news agency said.
Whelan was convicted on spying charges in Russia in 2020 and was sentenced to 16 years of hard labour.
Blinken says raised concerns with China’s Wang Yi over Russia
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he discussed Russia’s aggression in Ukraine during talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during which he also raised concerns about Beijing’s alignment with Moscow.
Blinken made the comments at a news conference on the Indonesian island of Bali after talks with Wang that lasted a little more than five hours.
HIMARS ‘hasn’t been used’ to attack Russian territory
Ukraine has not used advanced US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to attack Russian targets outside of Ukraine territory, according to a senior US defence official disputing Russian accusations.
“The Russian claims about using HIMARS to strike outside of Ukrainian territory – those claims are false,” the official told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Ukraine is using those capabilities to fight the battle that its forces are facing, and they are using them effectively in that battle.”
Russia assembling reserve forces near Ukraine: UK
Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations, according to British military intelligence.
A large proportion of the new Russian infantry units are probably deploying with MT-LB armoured vehicles taken from long-term storage as their primary transport, the UK’s Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular bulletin.
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Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 9, 2022
Blinken meets China’s Wang after leading pressure efforts on Russia
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali after a G20 ministerial meeting on the Indonesian island where the top US diplomat led efforts to pressure Russia over its war in Ukraine.
Blinken is expected to repeat warnings to China not to support Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine and the two sides will address contentious issues that include Taiwan, China’s extensive South China Sea claims, Beijing’s moves to expand its influence throughout the Pacific, human rights, and trade tariffs.
Ukraine pleads for weapons at G20 meeting
Ukraine has urged its allies to send more weapons as its forces dig in, saying that a turning point has been reached in the war.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the Ukrainian chief negotiator in stalled talks with Moscow, said Russia’s military had been forced to take an operational pause due to losses and to resupply.
“It is clear that they have to redeploy things, bring forward new troops and weaponry, and this is very good. A certain turning point is beginning to take shape because we are proving we are going to attack storage facilities and command centres,” Podolyak told Ukraine’s 24 Channel television.
Biden lauds US intelligence for Putin warnings
US President Joe Biden has thanked staff at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency for warning the world about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine.
Marking the CIA’s 75th anniversary, Biden said, “It was thanks to the incredible work of our intelligence professionals that we were able to forewarn the world what Vladimir Putin was planning in Ukraine.”
He added, “Exposing Putin’s playbook punched a gigantic hole in the pretence, and discredited his lies about what we were doing in Ukraine.”