Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 501

As the conflict enters its 501st day, these are the main developments.

This image shows a residential building damaged by a Russian missile strike in the city of Lviv
The aftermath of a Russian missile strike on a residential building in Lviv on July 6, 2023 [Roman Baluk/ Reuters]

Here is the situation on Sunday, July 9, 2023.


  • As the war in Ukraine reached the 500-day mark, the General Staff of the country’s armed forces said Ukrainian troops “continued counteroffensive operations” in two sectors in the southeast of the country.
  • Officials said Ukrainian forces have also taken back areas around the shattered eastern city of Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian forces in May after months of battles.
  • A Russian rocket strike on the town of Lyman killed eight civilians and wounded 13 others early on Saturday, according to Ukraine’s interior ministry. Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the eastern Donetsk region, posted images showing some of the dead, including a body lying under a bicycle and body fragments on the pavement next to a damaged vehicle, saying that “the Russian terrorists are continuing to strike civilians in Donetsk”.
  • Ukraine’s military intelligence claimed that Russian troops have planted more mines around the Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The claim could not be verified independently.


  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned home from a visit to Turkey with five commanders of Ukraine’s Mariupol garrison.
  • Russia denounced the repatriation, saying it violated a prisoner exchange deal under which Ankara had promised to keep the men in Turkey until the end of the war.
  • United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken marked 500 days of the Russia-Ukraine war by describing Russia as “the sole obstacle to a just and lasting peace” and promising to back Kyiv “for as long as it takes”.
  • France’s foreign ministry said the timeframe “must bring Russia to the realisation that it is in an impasse and immediately stop its illegal war of aggression”. 
  • The United Nations confirmed 9,000 civilian casualties so far and said it “deplored the horrendous civilian cost of the war in Ukraine”.
  • The United Kingdom said it will provide 17 specialist firefighting vehicles to Ukraine’s fire and rescue services to help the country’s ability to respond to damage caused by Russian attacks.


  • Canada joined a chorus of US allies opposing Washington’s decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions for its counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces. Germany, Spain and the UK have also voiced opposition to the transfer of the widely-banned bombs.
  • Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, however, hailed Washington’s decision, saying cluster munitions would help the country de-occupy its territories while saving the lives of Ukrainian soldiers.
  • Reznikov pledged that Ukraine would use the munitions only for the de-occupation of its territory and would not fire them at Russia’s proper territory. He also noted that the Ukrainian military would not use cluster munitions in urban areas to avoid hurting civilians.

Wagner Mutiny

  • Poland began moving more than 1,000 troops to the east of the country amid rising concern that Wagner fighters in Belarus could lead to increased tensions on its border.
  • A senior commander of the group said the mercenary fighters were taking vacation until early August, on founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s orders, before moving to Belarus.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies