Ukraine-Russia war: Latest updates (2024)

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  • Big picture: What you need to know this week


What's been happening today?

While we are not running our usual updates, here is a rundown of the main events:

Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a ceasefire that recognises current battlefield lines, four Russian sources have told the Reuters news agency.

Three of those sources claimed the Russian leader had expressed frustration about what he views as Western-backed attempts to hinder ceasefire negotiations.

"Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire - to freeze the war," a senior Russian source who has reportedly worked with Mr Putin and has knowledge of top-level conversations in the Kremlin, told Reuters.

Read more here...

Zelenskyy visits Kharkiv

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has travelled to the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has been facing intensive Russian air attacks.

The Ukrainian president met senior military leaders and travelled to the site of a major printing house - a day after it was destroyed in a Russian missile attack that killed at least seven people.

Further developments:

  • Russian forces have had partial success near the village of Ivanivka in the east of Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian military said. Ukraine's general staff said 10 battles took place, with one successfullyrepelled and more ongoing near the villages of Petropavlivka,Ivanivka, Stelmakhivka, Nevske and Druzhelyubivka;
  • VolodymyrZelenskyy will travel to Spain on Sunday, Spanishradio station Cadena SER reported. The Ukrainian president postponed visits toMadrid and Lisbon earlier this month because ofintense fighting in Kharkiv;
  • Vladimir Putin is planning to visit North Korea, Russian state news agencyRIA said.


Our coverage remains paused

Our live coverage will remain paused today, but let's catch you up on where things stand and on any updates overnight.

  • Russia said 35 rockets and three drones were fired into Belgorod and overnight, claiming to have destroyed all of them;
  • Blasts were heard in Kherson as Russia shelled the city, said its regional governor Roman Mrochko;
  • The leader of Russia's Chechnyaregion, Ramzan Kadyrov, met Vladimir Putin and offered to send morefighters to the frontline;
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy issueda fresh plea for upgraded defence systems toprotect Ukraine's cities against guided bombs, which hedescribed as the "the main instrument" now used by Moscow';
  • A Russian airstrike onUkraine's northeastern city of Kharkiv yesterday destroyed acafe, damaged a nearby residential building and set a petrolstation ablaze, with local officials saying ten people werewounded.


What's been happening today

As we've not been providing rolling coverage of the war in Ukraine today, here is a quick update on what's been happening since this morning.

One of the most significant new stories is the UK accusing China of providing or preparing to provide lethal aid to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told a news conference this morning that US and British defence intelligence had evidence "lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine".

He called this a "significant development".

We also heard from the Kremlin this morning, which said "in-depth dialogue" was needed to reduce rising tensions between Russia and the West - particularly with regards to nuclear issues.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused the "collective West" of refusing to engage with Russia despite the potential dangers.

Here are more of the top stories:

  • Russian forces have taken over the village of Klishchiivka in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, close to the city of Bakhmut, according to Russian news agencies
  • At least nine people have been injured in a Russian air attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv
  • Russia accused Ukraine of using a drone to attack a non-nuclear facility at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, causing no critical damage
  • Moscow said it is bolstering its efforts to protect its energy infrastructure from drone attacks
  • Six children were handed over to Ukraine by Russia and reunited with their families, after a deal was brokered by Qatar.


We're pausing our live coverage

We're pausing our coverage of the Ukraine war for the moment.

Scroll through the blog below to catch up on today's developments.


Putin calls late Iranian president a 'reliable partner'

Vladimir Putin has praised the late president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, and said he was a "reliable partner".

Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash near the Azerbaijan border over the weekend along with his foreign minister and seven others.

Speaking on the leader, Mr Putin said he was "a man of his word" who carried out any agreements the pair made.

"He was truly a reliable partner, a man sure of himself, who acted in the national interest," Russian news agencies quoted Mr Putin as telling Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia's lower house of parliament.

"He was, of course, a man of his word and it was always good to work with him. What I mean is if we came to an agreement on something, you could be sure the agreement was carried out."

The Kremlin leader asked Mr Volodin, who will be attending memorial events in Iran, to pass on "words of our sincere condolences in connection with this tragedy".

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia has strengthened political, trade and military ties with Iran in a deepening relationship that the US and Israel view with concern.


Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine forcing troops to engage in 'manoeuvres'

Heavy fighting in the Pokrovsk area in eastern Ukraine has forced Ukrainian troops to engage in "manoeuvres," the Ukrainian military's general staff have said.

Their report said Pokrovsk, northwest of the Russian-held city of Donetsk, remains the front's "hottest" sector.

"In some areas, the situation requires our troops to engage in manoeuvres," the general staff report reads.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has referred to the region and adjacent areas as "extraordinarily difficult" in his nightly video address.


Western allies taking too long on military support decisions, Zelenskyy says

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said allies are taking too long when it comes to decisions on military support for Ukraine.

In an interview with Reuters, the Ukrainian leader said every decision which everyone came to was "late by around one year".

"But it is what it is: one big step forward, but before that two steps back. So we need to change the paradigm a little bit," he said.

"When we're quick, they fall behind. And then there's a gap - six, eight months of unpassed (aid) packages, and then two-three months of supplies - and a year goes by. We would like not to lose the advantage."

Mr Zelenskyy also said Ukraine had never used Western weapons on Russian territory.


EU will have to return what it 'stole' in frozen asset plan, Russian diplomat says

A senior Russian diplomat has said that the EU plan to channel profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine would have "unpredictable" consequences, according to the TASS news agency.

According to TASS, Kirill Logvinov, Russia's acting permanent representative to the EU in Brussels, told Russia journalists: "The only predictable thing is that those in the EU will be obliged sooner or later to return to our country what has been stolen."

For context: In March the European Commission proposed transferring to Ukraine profits generated by Russian central bank assets frozen in Europe.

The plan would see 90% channeled through the European Peace Facility fund to buy weapons for Ukraine.

The rest would be used for recovery and reconstruction.


Russia begins drills involving nuclear weapons

Russia's defence ministry has said it has begun a round of drills involving tactical nuclear weapons.

The exercises were announced by Russian authorities this month in response to remarks by senior Western officials about the possibility of deeper involvement in the war in Ukraine.

It was the first time Russia has publicly announced drills involving tactical nuclear weapons, although its strategic nuclear forces regularly hold exercises.

According to the ministry's statement, the first stage of the new drills include nuclear-capable Kinzhal and Iskander missiles.

The maneuvers are taking place in the southern military district, which consists of Russian regions in the south.


Russian journalist who covered Navalny trial to remain in custody

A Moscow court has ordered a Russian journalist who covered the trials of the late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and other dissidents must remain in custody pending an investigation and trial on charges of extremism.

Antonina Favorskaya was arrested in March.

She is accused of collecting material, producing and editing videos and publications for Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which had been outlawed as extremist by Russian authorities, according to court officials.

Today, Moscow's Basmanny district court ordered that she remain in custody until at least 3 August.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman, said earlier that Ms Favorskaya did not publish anything on the foundation's platforms and suggested that Russian authorities have targeted her because she was doing her job as a journalist.

Ukraine-Russia war: Latest updates (2024)
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