Liveupdated1656781134

Ukraine news – live: Probe over ‘terrible war crime’ after apartment strike near Odesa

Volodymyr Zelensky labels Serhiivka attack ‘deliberate direct Russian terror’

Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

War crime investigators in Ukraine are sifting through the wreckage of a nine-storey apartment block near Odesa destroyed by a Russian strike reported to have killed 21 people.

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said investigators were recovering fragments from missiles and taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons, believed to have been Soviet-era anti-ship missiles.

The UK ministry of defence said it believes Russia was resorting to the chaos-inducing projectiles “likely because of dwindling stockpiles of more accurate modern weapons”.

Germany warned Vladimir Putin must be “held to account” over the strike, which Volodymyr Zelensky described as “deliberate direct Russian terror”. Russia has denied targeting the building, insisting “the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine again accused Russia of dropping phosphorus bombs, this time on Snake Island, just a day after Moscow claimed to have retreated from the Black Sea outpost in a “gesture of goodwill”.

Mykolaiv residents were urged to remain in shelters on Saturday as the mayor warned of “powerful explosions” in the southern city.

1656780351

Smoking out the enemy: How Ukraine is using e-cigarettes to fight a drone war against Russia

Across the country, Ukrainians have launched groundbreaking initiatives to support and even arm the Ukrainian military against Russia, after President Putin’s considerably larger army invaded in February.

A new and unusual one has just been launched by engineer and PhD student Maksym Sheremet and his organisation “Drone Lab”.

His team of volunteers have set up drop-off bins outside the campuses and dorm rooms of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute where Sheremet studies and teaches to collect disposable e-cigarettes and retrieve a valuable commodity inside them: lithium polymer batteries.

Bel Trew reports from a lab in Kyiv wher production has begun:

Smoking out the enemy: Ukraine uses e-cigarettes to fight drone war against Russia

Resourceful Ukrainians are using batteries from discarded vape pens as a way to power drones on the front line. Bel Trew reports from a lab in Kyiv where production has begun

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 July 2022 17:45
1656778513

Ukrainians warn of intense bombardment in Donbas

With Russia reported to to be increasingly relying on heavy fire in its bid to seize eastern Ukraine, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai has warned Moscow’s forces are firing “all available kinds of weapons” in their bid to take the city of Lysychansk, the last stronghold of resistance in the region.

One Ukrainian soldier returning from Lysychansk told Reuters of the Russian barrage: “Definitely they are trying to demoralise us. Maybe some people are affected by that, but for us it only brings more hatred and determination.”

Chiming with this assessment, Russia’s Tass news agency quoted a source close to Russian-backed forces in Luhansk saying Ukraine’s last forces in Lysychansk were under intense attack, claiming: “They will be defeated in the near future if they do not surrender.”

Troops speaking to the news agency in Konstyantynivka, a market town situated some 72 miles west of Lysychansk, said they had managed to keep the supply road to the embattled city open – for now – despite the bombardment.

“We still use the road because we have to, but it’s within artillery range of the Russians,” said one soldier, who asked not to be named, adding: “The Russian tactic right now is to just shell any building we could locate ourselves at. When they’ve destroyed it, they move on to the next one.”

Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike in Lysychansk on 17 June

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 July 2022 17:15
1656776707

Kremenchuk shopping mall blast: 29 body fragments discovered

Ukraine’s state emergency service said: Ukraine work on the demolition of rubble in the “Amstor” shopping center, which was destroyed on June 27 as a result of rocket fire, was completed.

They said: “As a result of shelling, 21 people died and 66 people were injured, of which 26 people were hospitalized. A total of 29 body fragments have been discovered since the beginning of the work.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 July 2022 16:45
1656774000

Ukrainian commander hits out at Russian ‘inconsistency’ over alleged Snake Island attack

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s army has hit out at the supposed “accuracy” of Russia’s strikes as being the “the only thing in which the enemy is consistent”, as he accused Moscow of using phosphorus bombs to attack Snake Island just a day after it claimed to have retreated in a “gesture of goodwill”.

On Thursday, after Kyiv reported launching a barrage of strikes on the strategically significant outpost, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had ceded the territory in conjunction with UN-brokered agreements “in order to organise humanitarian grain corridors”.

The following day, however, Russian Su-30 fighter jets launched from Crimea conducted two strikes on the island using phosphorus bombs, Ukrainian commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi alleged.

“Everyone who talks about agreements with Russia should know these facts. The only thing in which the enemy is consistent is the constant ‘accuracy’ of the blows,” Mr Zaluzhnyi said, in comments made amid claims that Russia is using anti-ship missiles to hit land targets despite their increased threat to civilians.

Control over Snake Island means dominance over the land, and to some extent, air security of southern Ukraine, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov suggested back in May, as he explained why Kyiv would fight for the island “for as long as it takes”.

“Whoever controls the island can at any moment block the movement of civilian vessels in all directions to the south of Ukraine,” he said, adding: “This is a strategically important point in order to open trade sea routes, import weapons to us, and exclude any possible military actions by Russia on the territory of the PMR [Moldova’s Transnistria region], from which they can attack the western part of Ukraine.”

Russia accused of dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island after claiming retreat

Moscow’s stockpiles of more accurate weapons may be dwindling, UK Ministry of Defence claims

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 16:00
1656771425

Chance of fair trial of captured Britons ‘vanishingly small’, Amnesty says

Amnesty International has urged an immediate halt to the “sham judicial process” to which two Britons captured by Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk People’s Republic are being subjected.

Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, local officials were quoted as saying by Russian state news outlet Tass.

“As with Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saaudun Brahim, this is a sham process designed to exert diplomatic pressure on the UK, not least as it comes shortly after Britain announced a large shipment of weapons for Ukraine,” said Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty International UK’s crisis response manager.

“Under the Geneva Conventions, captured combatants and other protected persons should be humanely treated at all times. In exploiting their capture of Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill like this, Russia and its proxies in the Donetsk People's Republic are already adding to a huge catalogue of war crimes they're committing in this war.

“The chances of Healy and Hill receiving a fair trial in either the Donetsk People's Republic or in Russia itself are vanishingly small. Unless the authorities present clear evidence that Healy and Hill are implicated in war crimes, this sham judicial process should be halted immediately.”

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 15:17
1656769805

German consumers urged to save energy amid fears of Russian gas cut-off

People in Germany have been urged to save energy and prepare for the winter amid fears that Russia might cut off natural gas supplies.

The head of Germany’s energy regulator has urged people to save energy and prepare for winter, when use increases, fearing Russia might cut off natural gas supplies.

The president of Germany’s energy regulator, Klaus Mueller, urged house and apartment owners to have their gas boilers and radiators checked and adjusted to maximise their efficiency, telling the Funke Mediengruppe news group: “Maintenance can reduce gas consumption by 10 per cent to 15 per cent.”

Mr Mueller said residents and property owners need to use the 12 weeks before cold weather sets in to get ready, urging families to start talking now about “whether every room needs to be set at its usual temperature in the winter or whether some rooms can be a little colder”.

Earlier this month, Russia reduced gas flows to Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 14:50
1656768143

Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city of Lysychansk rages

Our international editor David Harding has more details on the battle currently raging over Lysychansk, the last stronghold of resistance in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk province:

Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city rages

Lysychansk is the last Ukrainian stronghold of resistance in the province of Luhansk, in the east of the country

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 14:22
1656764045

UK condemns ‘exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians’

The UK government has condemned “the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes”, after two British men were charged with being mercenaries in Ukraine.

Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic said, according to Russian state media Tass. The outlet claimed both men were refusing to co-operate with investigators.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is understood to be actively investigating and is providing support to the men’s families, with a spokesperson saying: “We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia.

“We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 13:14
1656762665

Turkey urged to detain Russian ship carrying ‘thousands of tonnes of Ukrainian grain'

Kyiv has urged Turkey to detain a Russian-flagged cargo ship carrying grain mounted from a Ukrainian port seized by Russia, my colleague Namita Singh reports.

Ukrainian foreign ministry officials believe that the 7,146 deadweight tonnage (DWT) Zhibek Zholy had loaded the cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdyansk, reported Reuters citing Ukraine’s foreign ministry officials.

Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain stalls in Turkey’s waters

Earlier in a letter dated 30 June, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office had written to Turkey’s justice ministry informing them about the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” on its way from Berdyansk to Turkey’s Karasu.

The prosecutor general’s office also requested Turkey to “conduct an inspection of this sea vessel, seize samples of grain for forensic examination, demand information on the location of such grain” in the letter, as it offered a joint investigation with the Turkish authorities.

Yevhen Batytskyi, Russia’s newly appointed governor of the occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia took to Telegram to announce the departure of the ship from Berdyansk, on the Sea of Azov, the BBC reported. He added that 7,000 tonnes of grain would be shared with “friendly” countries.

Turkey urged to detain Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain

Ukraine suspects grain was loaded from a port seized by Russia

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 12:51
1656760943

Investigators probe ‘terrible war crime’ after Odesa apartment strike

Investigators have sifted through the wreckage from the Russian airstrike on an apartment building in the village of Serhiivka, near Odesa, which killed 21 people.

Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said investigators were recovering fragments from missiles and taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons.

“We are taking all the necessary investigative measures to determine the specific people guilty of this terrible war crime,” Venediktova said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said three anti-ship missiles struck “an ordinary residential building, a nine-story building” housing about 160 people. The victims of Friday’s attack also included four members of a familystaying at a “typical” seaside campsite, he said.

‘I emphasise – this is a deliberate direct Russian terror, and not some mistake or an accidental missile strike,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Friday.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 12:22

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in