Here are the key events so far on Wednesday, August 3.
Grain ships and diplomacy
- The first grain-carrying ship to leave Ukrainian ports in wartime anchored off Turkey’s coast on Tuesday, while a senior official said Ankara expected roughly one grain ship to leave Ukraine daily as long as the export deal holds.
- “A first success is the grain deal, perhaps that can be slowly expanded to a ceasefire,” Germany’s ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said.
- Russia has said the United States was directly involved in the conflict because US spies were approving and coordinating Ukrainian missile strikes on Russian forces.
- The US has imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast the Treasury Department described as having a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The G7 is looking at blocking the transportation of Russian oil, among other options, to deprive Moscow of bumper revenues.
- The Russian trial of US basketball star Brittney Griner is expected to conclude this week.
- Ukraine’s military has reported heavy Russian shelling of Kharkiv and other towns and villages in its vicinity, and air and missile strikes on civilian installations. Russia denies targeting civilians.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that despite arms supplies from the West, his country’s forces could not yet overcome Russian advantages in heavy guns and manpower.
- The British Defence Ministry said that the rail link connecting Russian-occupied Kherson in southern Ukraine with Crimea is highly unlikely to be operational due to a Ukrainian strike against a Russian ammunition train.
- Russia’s top court designated Ukraine’s Azov Regiment as a terrorist group paving the way for captured soldiers to be tried under stringent anti-terror laws and jailed for up to 20 years.
- Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian forces had destroyed six US-made HIMARS missile systems since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Interfax has reported.
- The Pentagon denied the claims, saying Russia regularly says it has hit HIMARS but has not shown proof.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies