Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 518 | Russia-Ukraine war News

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These are the main developments as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 517th day.

Here is the situation on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

Fighting

 

  • The Russian defence ministry said one of its Black Sea Fleet ships destroyed two unmanned Ukrainian naval drones that attempted to attack it overnight. The ministry said its patrol ship had been monitoring shipping in the southwest of the Black Sea at the time and there were no casualties.
  • The Ukrainian military reported making small advances against Russian forces. Andriy Kovaliov, the spokesperson for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said Ukrainian troops had moved forward in the direction of the southeastern village of Staromayorske and had driven Russian units from positions near the village of Andriivka in the east.
  • Russia launched its sixth air attack on Kyiv but all incoming drones were shot down and early reports indicated no damage or casualties, according to officials. “The air alert lasted for 3 hours … All air targets were detected and destroyed on the approach to Kyiv,” Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, wrote on Telegram.
  • The United Kingdom’s defence ministry, in its latest update on the situation in Ukraine, said Russia conducted greater numbers of long-range strikes against Odesa and other areas of southern Ukraine, damaging several grain silos at Chornomorsk Port as well as the historic city centre.
  • The United States Department of State said it is aware that Trevor Reed, a former US marine who was detained in Russia before being released in a prisoner swap in April 2022, was injured while fighting in Ukraine. A State Department spokesperson said Reed was not engaged in “any activities on behalf of the US government”.

Diplomacy

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko discussed the Wagner mercenary group, economic cooperation and external threats during two days of talks. While the two leaders did not set out to reach any new agreements, “within the framework of very close relations, the presidents synchronise their positions, synchronise their watches”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Putin Lukashenko
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko recently held talks on the Wagner mercenary group and economic cooperation [File: Sputnik/Alexei Danichev/Kremlin via Reuters]
  • Senior Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov said Putin plans to visit China in October, while a visit to Turkey by the Russian leader is also on the cards at some point, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
  • The Kremlin said it would be impossible for Russia to return to the Black Sea grain deal for now as Russian interests were “not being implemented”.
  • The European Union’s Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said the bloc is ready to export almost all of Ukraine’s agriculture goods via “solidarity lanes”. Transporting grain through the EU is sensitive for Poland and some other Eastern European countries due to resistance from farmers.
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed during a phone call on the importance of ensuring Ukraine can export grain, Sunak’s office said.
Sunak
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed during a phone call on the importance of ensuring that Ukraine can export grain [File: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters]
  • Moldova’s foreign ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Oleg Vasnetsov after media reports that spying equipment has been installed on the Russian embassy’s roof in Chisinau. Local media said 28 satellite dishes, masts, and transmitting and receiving devices had been installed in the embassy.
  • Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said sanctions against Moscow threatened “catastrophic consequences” for the global food market.
  • The Kremlin accused the West, specifically the US, of trying to sabotage the Russia-Africa summit later this week by pressuring African countries not to take part.
  • Ukraine’s prime minister said Kyiv received another 1.5 billion euros ($1.6bn) in macro-financial assistance from the EU. On Twitter, Denys Shmyhal wrote: “Support of partners will enable us to provide necessary services to Ukrainians, restore infrastructure and continue reforms on the road to EU accession. Thanks to Ursula von der Leyen & Valdis Dombrovskis for [their] support.

    Military developments

  • The UK has information indicating the Russian military may expand their targeting of Ukrainian grain facilities to civilian shipping in the Black Sea, UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said. Sunak shared the information with Zelenskyy during a phone call, Woodward said.
  • Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum conscription age to 30 years from 27. The new legislation, which comes into effect on January 1, means men will be required to carry out a year of military service, or equivalent training during higher education, between the ages of 18 and 30
  • The Russian-installed head of the Donetsk region said Ukrainian forces have lost about 30 percent of Western-supplied equipment on the front line, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

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