Russian rockets kill 15 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region: Official

  • At least 15 people have been killed after Russian rockets hit a building in Donetsk, according to a Ukrainian official.
  • Canada says it will return to Germany the Russian turbine needed to maintain the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Ukraine had lobbied against the move, saying it would weaken Western sanctions on Russia.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Kyiv’s ambassador to Germany as well as several other top foreign envoys.
  • The United States promises to provide nearly $368m in further humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
  • Ukraine says Russian troops are pursuing “relentless” shelling on its eastern Donetsk region.

Here are all the latest updates:

Efforts ongoing to find survivors in bombed apartment buildings

Ukrainian emergency workers are still working to pull people out of the rubble after Russian missiles hit apartment buildings in Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine, AP reported. The strike killed at least 15 people and scores are thought to be still trapped a day later.

The strike late Saturday evening destroyed three buildings in a residential quarter of town, which is inhabited mostly by people who work in nearby factories.

Ukraine’s emergency services said Sunday they have rescued five people from the rubble so far and have made contact with three others still trapped alive beneath the ruins. Another man was pulled alive from the rubble Sunday night.

Cranes and excavators worked alongside the rescue teams to clear away the ruins of one building, its sides completely shorn off by the impact of the strike. The rescuers kept on working in the rain despite the dangerous conditions.


Russia claims Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina as ‘our product’

The Russian Tennis Federation claimed Elena Rybakina as “our product” in her run-up to the women’s title at Wimbledon.

The organisation then praised her training programme in the country after she won the Venus Rosewater Dish as Wimbledon champion while representing Kazakhstan.

“It’s the Russian school, after all. She played here with us for a long time, and then in Kazakhstan,” Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishchev told sports website Championat on Saturday after Rybakina beat Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court.

The 23-year-old Rybakina was born in Moscow and played in the Russian system until 2018, when financial issues led to her nationality switch.

There’s been no official reaction from the Kremlin on Rybakina’s Wimbledon success, but some commentators have claimed her victory as a symbolic snub to the All England Club’s ban on players representing Russia and Belarus.

Players from those countries were banned from the Wimbledon tournament because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


UN: Ukraine forces share blame for nursing home deaths

A new United Nations report has found that Ukraine’s armed forces bear a large, and perhaps equal, share of the blame for a March 11 attack that struck a nursing home near Stara Krasnyanka, which is about 580km southeast of Kyiv.

A few days before the attack, Ukrainian soldiers took up positions inside the nursing home, effectively making the building a target.

The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “A fire started and spread across the care house, while the fighting was ongoing”.

Dozens of elderly and disabled patients were trapped inside without water or electricity. At least 22 of the 71 patients survived, but the exact number killed remains unknown.


Rescue efforts under way in Chasiv Yar apartment building

Rescue efforts are under way after Russian missiles destroyed a five-storey apartment building in the eastern Ukraine town of Chasiv Yar, killing at least 15 people.

Chasiv Yar is about 20km southeast of Kramatorsk, a city that is expected to be a major target for Russian forces moving west.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk oblast, said the rocket struck on Saturday evening.

Five people were reportedly pulled from the rubble alive and the regional emergency service said that 24 more people could still be trapped.

Chasiv Yar
Local residents wait for news about relatives trapped under the rubble of a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike in the town of Chasiv Yar, in the Donetsk region, July 10, 2022 [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Ukrainian soldiers begin UK-run military training

The first cohort of Ukrainian soldiers taking part in a new military training programme have arrived in the UK.

British forces have begun training Ukrainian soldiers in the new programme to help in their fight against the Russian invasion, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, visited the military camp in the northwest where up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers are expected to arrive for military training.


Russia’s Gazprom says gas exports to Europe via Ukraine at 42.15 mcm

Russian gas producer Gazprom has said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point was seen at 42.15 million cubic metres (1.49 billion cubic feet) compared with 41.9 mcm on Sunday.


US sees Russia food blockage as factor in Sri Lanka

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Russia’s restriction on Ukrainian grain exports may have contributed to recent turmoil in Sri Lanka triggered by severe shortages of food and fuel.

“We’re seeing the impact of this Russian aggression playing out everywhere,” Blinken told reporters in Bangkok.

Renewing a demand that he has made repeatedly, he called on Russia to let an estimated 20 million tonnes of grain leave Ukraine, which Moscow invaded in February.


Death toll after strike on east Ukraine building hits 15, say rescuers

Rescuers have recovered 15 bodies after a Russian missile strike hit a residential building in Chasiv Yar town in eastern Ukraine,  according to officials, increasing the death toll the third time since the morning.

“During the rescue operation, 15 bodies were found at the scene and five people were pulled out of the rubble [alive]”, the local branch of the Ukrainian emergency service said on Facebook, adding that rescuers were in contact with three people alive under the rubble.


Russia hits hangars storing US-made artillery weapons

Russian forces struck two Ukrainian army hangars storing US-produced M777 howitzers, a type of artillery weapon, according to the Russian defence ministry.

The hangars are located near Kostantinovka in the Donetsk region, the defence ministry said.


Ukraine: 10 dead in rocket attack on apartment building

The number of people killed in the Russian rocket attack that destroyed a five-storey apartment building in the eastern Donetsk region has increased to 10, according to officials.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said about three dozen people could be trapped in the rubble. Rescuers have made contact with two people who are under the wreckage, he said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Ukrainian emergency services initially gave a death toll of six, but later said it has risen to 10. They did not say how many people may still be in the rubble.


Russia restricts access to website of German daily Die Welt

Russia has restricted access to the website of Germany’s Die Welt newspaper at the request of prosecutors, according to the country’s communications regulator.

Russian officials accuse the West of spreading false information about Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Since sending troops to the neighbouring country on February 24, Russia has blocked or limited access to BBC, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle and other media outlets.


Zelenskyy sacks several Ukrainian envoys

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that he dismissed several of Kyiv’s senior envoys abroad, including the country’s outspoken ambassador to Germany.

Zelenskyy announced the sacking of Ukraine’s ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary and said new candidates were being readied for the positions.

“This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice,” he said in a statement.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a press conference in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a press conference in Kyiv [File: Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP]

Russian rocket attack kills six in Donetsk: Official

At least six people have been killed and more than 30 are feared trapped after Russian Uragan rockets brought down a five-storey apartment block in the Donetsk region, according to an official.

Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram that the strike took place on Saturday evening in the town of Chasiv Yar.

He said six people had been confirmed killed and five wounded, and that according to information from residents, at least 34 people were likely trapped in the ruins.


Russian gas cutoff most likely scenario: French FM

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said a cutoff of Russian gas shipments is currently the most likely scenario.

“Let’s prepare for a cutoff [of] Russian gas. Today it’s the most likely scenario,” he told a business and economics conference in southern France.


Russia intends to annex part or all of Kharkiv region: Think-tank

A US-based research institute is warning that the Russian government has broader territorial aims than capturing Ukraine’s Donbas and likely intends to annex part or all of the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) based its assessment on statements by Russia-backed authorities in the region claiming Kharkiv is an “inalienable part of Russian land”.

It said the Russia-backed authorities made the claim while unveiling a new flag for the region, which contained the Russian imperial double-headed eagle and symbols from the 18th century Kharkiv coat of arms.

It added, “The Kharkiv Oblast occupation government’s speed in establishing a civilian administration on July 6 and introducing martial law in occupied Kharkiv Oblast on July 8 further indicates that the Kremlin is aggressively pursuing the legitimization and consolidation of the Kharkiv Oblast occupation administration’s power to support this broader territorial aim.”


Navigation resumes on Danube-Black Sea Canal

Ukraine’s Ports Authority has said that ships carrying agricultural products can now use the Bystroye Canal that links the Danube River with the Black Sea.

The move was made possible by the Ukrainian recapture of Snake Island from the Russians, it said.

INTERACTIVE_Ukraine_SnakeIsland Map


Ukrainian soldiers begin UK training programme

The United Kingdom has announced the start of a new military programme that aims to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the coming months.

In a statement, it said the first cohort of Ukrainian participants has now arrived in the UK.

“Using the world-class expertise of the British Army, we will help Ukraine to rebuild its forces and scale up its resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and their right to choose their own future,” said British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who visited the training programme this week.

The training will give volunteer recruits with little to no military experience the skills to be effective in front-line combat. Based on the UK’s basic soldier training, the course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and the laws of armed conflict.


Anger over Canadian decision to return repaired turbine

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has denounced the Canadian government’s decision to return a repaired Russian turbine to Germany for maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said in a statement, “Our community is deeply disappointed by the Canadian government’s decision to bow to Russian blackmail.”

He said Canada is setting “a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia”.


Canada to return repaired Russian turbine

Canada has decided to return to Germany a repaired Russian turbine that is needed to maintain the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

“Canada will grant a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nord Stream 1 turbines to Germany, supporting Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas,” said Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

“Absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches,” he said in a statement.

The decision came after Russia’s Gazprom cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Europe to just 40 percent of usual levels last month, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy in Canada, and not market conditions amid the Ukraine war.

Germany wants Canada to return the turbine to Gazprom, but Ukraine had urged Ottawa to keep the turbine, saying a return would violate sanctions on Moscow.

The turbine would be sent to Germany first, which will then deliver it to Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom, a government source told the Reuters news agency earlier this week.


Sacking of envoys ‘normal part of diplomatic practice’: Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s president says the dismissal of several of the country’s senior ambassadors was a rotation that was a “normal part of diplomatic practice”.

It was not clear if the envoys would be assigned new positions.

Those sacked included Ukraine’s ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.


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Read all the updates from Saturday, July 9, here.

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