Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 508

Female Ukrainian cadets, wearing new military uniforms designed specially for women, take part in a training on the outskirts of Kyiv on July 12, 2023.
Female Ukrainian cadets, wearing new military uniforms designed specially for women, take part in a training on the outskirts of Kyiv on July 12, 2023 [File: Sergei Supinsky/AFP]

Here is the situation on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Fighting

  • The Russian forces thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack on the port of Sevastopol in the annexed-Crimean Peninsula, according to the Moscow-installed governor of the region. The drones caused no damage.
  • Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling of an administrative building killed three civilians in the village of Stepnohirske in the southern Zaporizhia region. “There are three wounded: two women and a man,” said Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration.
  • Moscow-backed officials in Zaporizhia, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces destroyed a school in the village of Stulneve, while air defence forces intercepted a drone over the city of Tokmak.
  • Ukrainian and Polish officials said fighters from the Wagner Group arrived in Belarus from Russia, a day after Minsk said the mercenaries were training the country’s soldiers southeast of the capital.
  • Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, said a group of neo-Nazis was arrested in connection with a Ukrainian plot to kill Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the state-funded RT international television channel, and journalist and celebrity Ksenia Sobchak. The FSB did not say how many people were arrested, but Russian media later said seven suspects had been put in detention by a Moscow court.
  • Russia’s defence ministry said it had completed its planned spring call-up of 147,000 military conscripts, 12,500 more than in the previous year’s draft.

Diplomacy

  • South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol made a surprise visit to Ukraine and pledged to expand non-lethal aid to Ukraine, including body armour and helmets. Yoon, who toured the Kyiv suburbs of Irpin and Bucha, said South Korea will provide humanitarian aid worth $150m this year, up from $100m last year.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in which they discussed the Black Sea grain deal. The Russian leader said the main objective of the deal, “namely the supply of grain to countries in need, including on the African continent, has not been implemented”. The agreement is due to expire late on Monday.
  • Ukraine criticised Bulgarian President Rumen Radev over his claims that Kyiv is to blame for Russia’s ongoing war and that supplying arms to Ukraine only prolongs the conflict. Blaming the war on Ukraine, which “was treacherously attacked by its northern neighbour, is one of the most common supporting theses of Russian propaganda and hybrid warfare in Europe”, the Embassy of Ukraine in Sofia said.
  • Brokering peace between Russia and Ukraine is beyond the remit of the G20 and such efforts will be best undertaken by the United Nations and through bilateral negotiations, India’s sherpa to the bloc told the Reuters news agency.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies