These are the main developments as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 517th day.
Here is the situation on Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
- Russian air defences “suppressed” an attack on Moscow by two Ukrainian drones, the Russian defence ministry said, accusing Kyiv of launching a “terrorist act” against the country’s capital. One of the drones crashed close to the defence ministry in the centre of Moscow, while the other hit an office building in the southern part of the city, according to Russian officials.
- Ukraine claimed responsibility for the “special operation” on Moscow, which did not cause any casualties. Moscow said it reserved the right to take “tough retaliatory measures” in response.
- A child was killed and six people wounded in a Russian attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka, the Donetsk region’s governor said. Russian forces fired Smerch rockets at “a local pond where people were resting”, Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram.
- The Russian defence ministry said Ukraine tried to attack Crimea on Sunday night using 17 drones. It said 11 of the drones crashed into the Black Sea after being repressed by anti-drone equipment, three fell on Crimean territory and three were destroyed by air defences. An ammunition depot was hit during the attack on Dzhankoi and a residential building was damaged, said Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-installed governor of the Crimean Peninsula.
- A Russian drone strike on port infrastructure in Ukraine’s Odesa region destroyed a grain hangar, Kyiv’s military said.
- The White House in the United States said it does not support attacks inside Russia “as a general matter” after being asked about the drone attack on Moscow.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded as “unacceptable” and “anti-European” any move by the European Union to extend curbs on Ukrainian grain to protect local farmers from competition. Zelenskyy said he hoped Europe would “fulfil its obligations” after the current restrictions on Ukrainian grain lapse on September 15.
- Lithuania urged the EU to use Baltic ports to export Ukrainian grain. A letter by three Lithuanian ministers to EU commissioners said Baltic ports could “serve as a reliable alternative for transiting Ukrainian products, including cereals”.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Russia to return to the Black Sea grain export deal. “For my part, I remain committed to facilitating the unimpeded access to global markets for food products and fertilisers from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation and to deliver the food security that every person deserves,” Guterres said at a UN summit.
- Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsbergis said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “feels emboldened to escalate” after the Vilnius NATO summit.
- Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has condemned Russia’s attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure along the Danube River, near Romania. “This recent escalation pose[s] serious risks to the security in the Black Sea. It also affects further [Ukrainian] grain transit and thus the global food security,” he said in a tweet.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev accused the US of planning cyberattacks against Russia’s “critical information infrastructure”, according to Russian state media.
- The Kremlin said it would press on with its “special military operation” in Ukraine and achieve all of its aims despite Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia.
- The Kremlin denied that Russian forces had struck a cathedral in the Ukrainian city of Odesa and accused Ukraine of hitting it. On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a Russian missile struck Odesa’s Transfiguration Cathedral.
- Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow should broaden its range of targets in Ukraine. “We need to choose unconventional targets for our strikes. Not just storage facilities, energy hubs and oil bases,” Medvedev said on the Telegram messaging app.
- Ukraine claimed that its forces had recaptured more than 16sq km (6.2sq miles) from Russian forces in the south and east of the country over the past week.
- A media investigation revealed that China has been sending military gear to equip Russia’s army. Chinese companies like Shanghai H Win have been supplying hundreds of thousands of bulletproof vests and helmets, according to the investigation by Politico. Beijing has not condemned Moscow’s actions in Ukraine but has proposed a 12-point peace plan to end the war.
- Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation said it detained a former senior Ukrainian military official for suspected corruption following reports his family bought real estate worth millions of dollars in Spain after the Russian invasion. Yevgen Borisov was in charge of mobilisation and conscription in the southern region of Odesa until his dismissal in late June.
- Thousands of Russian Wagner Group mercenaries arrived in Belarus after the group’s short-lived rebellion against Moscow, according to the military monitoring group Belaruski Hajun. Between 3,450 and 3,650 soldiers have travelled to a camp close to Asipovichy, a town 230km (140 miles) north of the Ukrainian border, according to the group.
- Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov said the defence industry is now producing more ammunition per month than it did during all of last year, according to a report by Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
- Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov told CNN that Kyiv will share a report with the Pentagon on the country’s use of cluster munitions in the coming days. Reznikov said he expects the ammunition will be effective against Russian infantry in particular.
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