War against Ukraine: That’s the situation

Russian invasion

War against Ukraine: That’s the situation

Russian President Putin is ready to replace Ukrainian grain supplies. Meanwhile, the recent Russian attack on Odessa has met with widespread outrage. The news at a glance.

Moscow/Kyiv. A few days after Moscow halted the grain deal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to replace Ukrainian grain supplies.

“I want to assure that our country is able to replace Ukrainian grain on both a commercial and gratuitous basis, especially as we expect another bumper harvest this year,” Putin wrote in an article published on the Kremlin’s website for African media on the occasion of an upcoming Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, starting Thursday.

Despite the sanctions imposed by the West, Russia will continue to work “vigorously” to supply African countries with grain, food, fertilizers and more, it said. In 2022, Russia exported 11.5 million tons of grain to Africa, almost 10 million tons in the first six months of this year. “And this despite the sanctions imposed on our exports, which actually make it significantly more difficult to export Russian food to developing countries,” Putin continued.

Regarding the grain agreement blocked by Moscow, which allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported across the Black Sea for around a year, Putin wrote that the export corridor had lost its humanitarian significance. Of the almost 33 million tons of grain exported under the agreement, the majority went to countries with high and upper middle income levels. In reality, the grain deal was “shamelessly used exclusively to enrich large American and European companies that exported and resold grain from Ukraine,” Putin claimed.

Russia, which has been waging a war of aggression against the neighboring country since February 2022, allowed the international grain agreement to expire a week ago despite many international appeals. The United Nations has repeatedly campaigned for the agreement to be reinstated, and China has also called on both sides to resume exports quickly. It is feared that famines in poorer countries will otherwise become even worse.

Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine

According to the general staff, the Ukrainian army encountered heavy Russian resistance in the east of the country during its counteroffensive. The General Staff’s evening situation report on Sunday spoke of ongoing Russian attacks between Donetsk in the east and Kupyansk in the northeastern region of Kharkiv. According to this, 27 battles took place over the past 24 hours along a front length of around 230 kilometers. The Russian side used more artillery and air force, it said. More than 60 towns in the front section are said to have come under Russian rocket and artillery fire. The information could not be independently verified.

Russia has been waging a war of aggression against its neighbor for 17 months. A Ukrainian counter-offensive to recapture occupied areas has been underway for several weeks, but is not progressing as quickly as many had hoped.

Kiev: Ukraine retakes 227 square kilometers

According to their own statements, the Ukrainian troops recaptured 227 square kilometers of land from Russia in about seven weeks of counter-offensive. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar announced on Monday that 192 square kilometers of territory had been gained on the southern sections of the front. Twelve square kilometers of this had been freed within the past week. For comparison: 227 square kilometers corresponds approximately to the area of ​​the city of Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In the section around the Russian-controlled city of Bakhmut, Ukraine recaptured a total of 35 square kilometers. In the past week, four square kilometers have been added in the eastern region of Donetsk. Such statements by the warring parties cannot be independently verified. The Russian war of aggression has lasted for 17 months. According to Ukrainian military observers, Russia still controls more than 100,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory, including the Crimea peninsula annexed in 2014.

Russia reports drone attack on Moscow

According to official information, Moscow was again attacked with drones on Monday night. The Russian Ministry of Defense blamed Ukraine. There was no confirmation of this from Kiev. According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, no one was injured in the attack with two drones.

The Ministry of Defense spoke of a “terrorist attack”. According to the military, the drones were brought down with interference radio. Accordingly, a drone was discovered over the center of Moscow, another in the south of the city. According to an emergency services worker, a high-rise office building was hit, possibly also by debris. Mayor Sobyanin spoke of two buildings hit.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, drones were shot down over Moscow in early July. The ministry also blamed Ukraine at the time. There had also been drone attacks on the capital in May. According to the authorities, houses were damaged. There were also injuries. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin then called for an improvement in Russian air defense.

Ukraine is currently conducting a counter-offensive to retake occupied territories. Attacks have also been increasing in Russia for weeks – mostly in the immediate border region with Ukraine.

Attack on Odessa: Selenskyj thanks rescuers and supporters

After the recent Russian attack on the port city of Odessa, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to his own people and international allies. “Thank you to everyone who is in Odessa,” he wrote on Telegram in the evening, praising the work of the volunteer rescuers, doctors and local authorities.

According to the authorities, at least one person was killed and 22 others injured in the attack on the Ukrainian city on the Black Sea on Sunday night. The Old Town, which is listed as a World Heritage Site, and the Orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral also became targets of the Russian shelling.

The attack sparked numerous international reactions. The EU condemned him as another Russian war crime. Pope Francis included Odessa in his prayers for peace. Moldovan President Maia Sandu tweeted that it was heartbreaking to watch the scenes of destruction in Odessa. Representatives of the USA, Great Britain, Italy and France also expressed their sympathy in view of the destruction. President Zelenskyy expressly thanked everyone who had condemned the Russian crimes on Telegram.

Selenskyj also found words of praise for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the quick reaction of the new NATO-Ukraine Council. The NATO-Ukraine Council established at the NATO summit in Vilnius is intended to improve cooperation between the defense alliance and Ukraine. At the request of the Ukraine, Stoltenberg convened the first council meeting for Wednesday.

What is important today

Putin wants to continue the meeting with the allied Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko on Monday.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230724-99-507727/5 (dpa)

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