World News

Russia-Ukraine live updates: 15 killed in Russian missile strike on residential building in Donetsk region

Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jul 10, 11:41 am
15 killed in Russian missile strike on residential building in Donetsk region

At least 15 people were killed and two dozen more are feared trapped in rubble after Russian Uragan rockets slammed into a five-story apartment building in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, local officials said on Sunday.

McDonalds Is Hiring

Search-and-rescue workers were combing through the rubble for survivors on Sunday.

The missile strike came as Ukrainian officials reported clashes with Russian troops on the frontline in the eastern and southern Ukraine.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the strike on the apartment building occurred Saturday evening in the town of Chasiv Yar. The regional emergency service said Sunday that the death toll had climbed to 15 and that 24 more people could still be buried under the rubble.

“We ran to the basement, there were three hits, the first somewhere in the kitchen,” a local resident, who gave her name as Ludmila, told rescuers as they removed a body wrapped in a white sheet and cleared rubble using a crane as well as their hands. “The second (strike), I do not even remember, there was lightning, we ran towards the second entrance and then straight into the basement. We sat there all night until this morning.”

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a Telegram post that the strike was “another terrorist attack” and that Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism as a result.

Russian officials claimed its forces struck Ukrainian army hangars storing U.S.-produced M777 howitzers, a type of artillery, near Kostyantynivka in Donetsk region, but, so far, has not claimed responsibility for the missile strike on the residential building in Chasiv Yar.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Jul 10, 11:21 am
Blinken claims world food insecurity ‘significantly exacerbated’ by Russian invasion

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has “significantly exacerbated” a global food insecurity crisis and may have contributed to the economic collapse of Sri Lanka.

“What we are seeing around the world is growing food insecurity that has been significantly exacerbated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and as we’ve had opportunity to discuss in recent days, there are more than 20 million tons of grain that are sitting in silos in Ukraine that can’t get out can’t get out to feed people around the world,” Blinken told reporters during his first official visit to Thailand.

He noted that he discussed the global food insecurity crisis during meetings with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and said a memorandum of understanding the two leaders signed commemorating a new collaboration will “make it easier for Thailand and the United States to quickly share information and consult on possible supply chain disruptions so that we can actually take early action to mitigate problems.”

Blinken added that the impact of this Russian invasion of Ukraine is being felt around the world, particularly in Sri Lanka, where the prime minister said late last month that the island nation’s debt-laden economy had “collapsed” and run out of money to pay for food and fuel. The economic turmoil has prompted massive protests in Sri Lanka and over the weekend demonstrators stormed the president’s residence in the capital of Colombo.

“So we’re seeing the impact of this Russian aggression to play out everywhere,” Blinken said. “Again, it may have contributed to the situation in Sri Lanka. We’re concerned about the implications that it has around the world.”

-ABC News’ Lauren Minore

Jul 08, 3:27 pm
US announces new $400M aid package for Ukraine, including more HIMARS

The Biden administration announced a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine on Friday that includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.

Ukraine will now have a total of 12 of these precision rocket launcher systems, which have been “especially important and effective in assisting Ukraine in coping with the Russian artillery battle in the Donbas,” a senior defense official told reporters Friday.

The rockets have a range of 43 miles. The official said that Ukraine has been striking at Russian targets deep behind enemy lines but has not used them to strike inside Russia.

The new aid package also includes 1,000 new “greater precision” artillery. The name of the system was not shared for security purposes, the official said.

The new aid package is the 15th use of the presidential drawdown authority to give existing U.S. military stocks to Ukraine.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Jul 07, 9:26 am
Moscow views nuclear weapons only as a deterrent, Russian official says

Russia considers nuclear weapons only as a deterrent, according to Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council.

“Russia views nuclear weapons only as a deterrent,” Matviyenko said Thursday at a press conference.

The official noted that Russia has “clearly and strictly prescribed those exceptional cases when [nuclear weapons] can only be used in response to — God forbid that this never happens — a nuclear attack.”

“We behave like a civilized country, and we do it openly,” Matviyenko added.

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yulia Drozd, Max Uzol, and Fidel Pavlenko

Jul 07, 8:16 am
Russia claims no new ground for first time since invasion’s start

Russia claimed no territorial gains in Ukraine on Wednesday for the first time since the beginning of its invasion in late February, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest report.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed territorial gains every day from the start of the war but has not done so since completing the encirclement of the eastern town Lysychansk on July 3, the ISW said.

The Washington-based think tank said the lull in Russian ground force movements supports its assessment that Russian forces “have largely initiated an operational pause.”

The break in operations is not equal to a complete ceasefire, however, as Russian troops still conducted a number of unsuccessful attacks on all frontlines, the experts added.

Russian troops are instead trying to set up conditions for a bigger offensive as they rebuild their combat power, the ISW report said.

Russia has already increased its fleet in the Black Sea on the shores of Ukraine, local media reported on Wednesday. The Russian naval presence grew by several missile carriers, as well as submarines and an amphibious assault ship.

Ukrainian officials refuted Russian claims on Wednesday according to which Russian troops destroyed two HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems supplied by the U.S.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy added that the Western supplied artillery “started working very powerfully” and at full capacity.

“Finally, it is felt that the Western artillery, the weapons we received from our partners, started working very powerfully,” Zelenskyy said in his Wednesday evening address. “Its accuracy is exactly as needed,” the president added.

Zelenskyy said the Western weapons have carried out strikes on depots and areas of logistical importance to Russian troops. “And this significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army,” Zelenskyy noted, adding that Russian losses “will only increase every week, as will the difficulty of supplying [Russian troops].”

Ukrainian forces celebrated another symbolic victory on Thursday when they raised their national flag on Snake Island, a recaptured Black Sea isle located 90 miles south of the Ukrainian port of Odesa that became a symbol of defiance against Moscow, according to local reports.

Images released by Ukraine’s interior ministry on Thursday showed three Ukrainian soldiers raising the blue and yellow national flag on a patch of ground on Snake Island next to the remains of a flattened building.

But Russia responded to the flag-raising ceremony fast. It said one of its warplanes had struck Snake Island shortly afterwards and destroyed part of the Ukrainian detachment there.

Russia abandoned Snake Island at the end of June in what it said was a gesture of goodwill, raising Ukrainian hopes of unblocking local ports shut off by Russia.

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yulia Drozd, Max Uzol, and Fidel Pavlenko

Jul 06, 10:02 am
Blinken to urge G20 to press Russia on grain deliveries

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to appeal to G20 countries to put pressure on Russia to make it support the U.N. initiative on unblocking the sea lanes for Ukraine and allow grain exports, according to local media reports.

“G20 countries should hold Russia accountable and insist that it supports ongoing U.N. efforts to reopen the sea lanes for grain delivery,” said Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

Toloui referred to a U.N. campaign aiming to expedite Ukrainian and Russian exports of harvest and fertilizer to global markets.

Around 22 million tons of grain remain blocked in Ukrainian ports due to the threat of Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday.

Ukraine is in active negotiations with Turkey and the U.N. to solve the grain export stalemate, Zelenskyy added.

Blinken is also expected to once again warn China against backing Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

“[The upcoming G20 summit] will be another opportunity … to convey our expectations about what we would expect China to do and not to do in the context of Ukraine,” the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, said.

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yuriy Zaliznyak, Max Uzol and Nataliia Kushnir

Jul 06, 8:42 am
Russia aims to seize territory far beyond the Donbas, Putin’s ally suggests

Russia’s main objective in its invasion of Ukraine is still regime change in Kyiv and the dismantling of Ukrainian sovereignty, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev suggested in a speech on Tuesday.

Patrushev said the Russian “military operation” in Ukraine will continue until Russia achieves its goals of protecting civilians from “genocide,” “denazifying” and demilitarizing Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Russian official added that Ukraine must remain permanently neutral between Russia and NATO. Petrushev’s remarks nearly mirrored the goals Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at the onset of the war to justify the military invasion.

Patrushev, a close Putin ally, repeated the Russian President’s stated ambitions despite Russia’s military setbacks in Ukraine and previous hints at a reduction in war aims following those defeats, the ISW pointed out.

Patrushev’s explicit restatement of Putin’s initial objectives “strongly indicates” that Russia does not consider its recent territorial gains in the Luhansk region to be sufficient, the ISW experts said.

Russia “has significant territorial aspirations beyond the Donbas” and “is preparing for a protracted war with the intention of taking much larger portions of Ukraine,” the observers added.

Patrushev’s comments dampened hopes for a “compromise ceasefire or even peace based on limited additional Russian territorial gains,” the experts concluded.

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yuriy Zaliznyak, Max Uzol and Nataliia Kushnir

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Back to top button