News Home » Europe » July 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

Around the World

July 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

Andre 2 Jul 2

5 hr 53 min ago

Follow the latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine here and read more about today's developments in the posts below. 

5 hr 18 min ago

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

As the US prepares to send a new shipment of ammunition to Ukraine for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) advanced rocket system, a senior US defense official says Ukrainian forces are having “a good deal of success” using the system to target Russian command posts and degrade their capabilities on the battlefield.

“The Ukrainians are able to carefully select targets that will undermine the effort by Russia in a more systematic way certainly than they would be able to do with the shorter range artillery systems,” the official said, speaking to a group of reporters Friday.

The official acknowledged that Ukraine is still in the very early days of using the HIMARS, but they have so far used it effectively after a brief training period that recently ended. At least four HIMARS entered Ukraine already, with four more promised.

The HIMARS have a range of approximately 40 miles (about 64 kilometers), allowing the Ukrainians to strike from afar and with more accuracy than the shorter-ranged artillery.

“What you see is the Ukrainians are actually systematically selecting targets and then accurately hitting them, thus providing this precise method of degrading Russian capability,” the official said.

The official also said Russia was well aware that it hit a shopping mall earlier this week in the town of Kremenchuk, rejecting Moscow’s claims that it does not strike civilian targets.

“They certainly knew what it was and they would’ve known that it could’ve had this collateral damage or this effect,” the official said. 

The official added that the missile used in the attack, designed as an anti-ship weapon, was not intended for use in crowded urban environments.

6 hr 23 min ago

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad, Jonny Hallam and Josh Pennington

The UK Foreign Office condemned on Friday the “exploitation” of prisoners for “political purposes” after Russian-backed separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) charged another two British citizens with being “foreign mercenaries.”

“We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia,” a spokesperson for the British Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office told CNN late Friday.

“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,” the spokesperson added.

More background: Pro-Russian investigators in DPR said earlier Friday that they have charged another two British citizens with being "mercenaries," according to the Donetsk News Agency.

"An investigation is now underway against British mercenaries Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill. They are charged under the same articles as the three previously convicted mercenaries. An investigation is under way and charges have been brought," the Donetsk News Agency reported quoting an unnamed DPR official.

On June 9, Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, along with Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune, were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of being “mercenaries” for Ukraine by a court in DPR, Russian state media reported at the time. 

DPR authorities said that the three men were foreign fighters who had been apprehended by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in April. RIA Novosti said that Pinner, Aslin and Saadoune will be shot by firing squad, and they have until July 9 to lodge an appeal.

5 hr 20 min ago

From CNN staff

Russia continues its attacks across multiple areas of Ukraine. The death toll from Moscow's overnight strikes in the Odesa region rose to 20, Ukraine's emergency services said. At least 16 people were killed in a residential building, and four more – including one child –were killed in another strike on a recreation center.

Moldova's minister of health said one of the buildings struck in the Odesa attack was a rehabilitation center for treating Moldovan children with health problems. One employee was killed and five were injured following the strike. The center had been closed to patients since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the official said, and no children are thought to have been at the center at the time of the attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Russia is conducting terrorism against Ukraine’s cities and people. "This is a targeted Russian missile attack, Russian terror against our cities, towns, our people — adults and children," Zelensky said.

Following Russia's withdrawal from Snake Island in the Black Sea, Ukraine hopes that strikes on the territory around Odesa will decrease, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Andrii Demchenko, said Friday.

Here are the other key headlines to know:

  • NATO: After Finland was formally invited to join the NATO this week, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto spoke to CNN about the new world order where Finland could not maintain neutrality as its neighbor Russia becomes a security threat. He told CNN that "of course" war in Europe beyond Ukraine is a possibility.
  • US support: The US is providing more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) advanced rocket system in the latest $820 million aid package to Ukraine, the Pentagon said Friday. So far, the US has committed to sending in eight HIMARS systems. At least four of HIMARS have already entered the fight against Russia. The Biden administration had faced criticism for not sending enough ammunition for the HIMARS.
  • Aid from Norway: The country has pledged one billion euros in funding to support the "brave people" of Ukraine, the country's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced during a trip to Kyiv on Friday. The funding will be used to provide humanitarian aid and support Ukraine's defense and reconstruction efforts, according to Gahr Støre. 
  • Hacks on energy: Russian hackers carried out a "cyberattack" on Ukraine’s biggest private energy conglomerate in retaliation for its owner’s opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the firm said Friday.  DTEK Group, which owns coal and thermal power plants in various parts of Ukraine, said the goal of the hack was to “destabilize the technological processes” and “to leave Ukrainian consumers without electricity.”
  • Brittney Griner's case: The prosecutor in the trial of WNBA player Brittney Griner announced the charges against her during a hearing in a court near Moscow, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Griner is accused of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage — a substance that is classified as a narcotic drug, according to TASS. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that officials from the US embassy in Russia "attended Brittney Griner’s trial today in Moscow."

Here's a look at the areas in Ukraine that are under Russian control:

7 hr 16 min ago

From CNN'a Arnaud Siad

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference on June 27.
Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference on June 27. (The Presidential Office of Ukraine/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that Russia is conducting terrorism against Ukraine’s cities and people.

Referring to a missile attack in Sergiivka in the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, Zelensky said, “This is not a single strike and not an accident, as the Russian mass media say every day. This is a targeted Russian missile attack, Russian terror against our cities, towns, our people — adults and children.”

Zelensky was speaking during a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in Kyiv.

"The Russian missile was a supersonic cruise anti-ship missile, by the way hit an ordinary residential building in the village of Sergiivka in Odesa region. Such X-22 missiles were created to attack aircraft carriers and other large military ships, and the Russian army used it against an ordinary building with ordinary civilians, a nine-story building,” Zelensky added.

7 hr 19 min ago

From CNN's Cristiana Moisescu in Hostomel, Ukraine

Katerina Titova in her bombed out shed and jewelry station her garden in Hostomel, Ukraine.
Katerina Titova in her bombed out shed and jewelry station her garden in Hostomel, Ukraine. (Dennis Lapin/CNN)

There’s a traffic jam heading into the Ukrainian city of Hostomel today, made worse because the bridge over the Irpin river was destroyed as the Russians advanced back in the early days of war. Now this is just a normal commute from Kyiv toward Hostomel, Irpin and Bucha — the sites of some of the worst atrocities Russians troops committed in Ukraine. 

Bombed out bridge.
Bombed out bridge. (Cristiana Moisescu/CNN)

In Hostomel, life has resumed among the rubble, blown-out windows and blackened buildings. The local street market is back in front of the Hostomel glass factory, which is now destroyed and shuttered. Sounds of banging echo across the street where the corner shop is being rebuilt with all new plywood and colorful lettering. 

"People are living out of a suitcase here; lots lost their work," said Mikhail Neymet, 48, the shop owner.
Shop owner Mikhail Neymet in Hostomel.
Shop owner Mikhail Neymet in Hostomel. (Dennis Lapin/CNN)

He looked on wearily as the work is carried out. It’s only the second day he’s opened the shop, which he said was totaled by the Russian army.

"I hope that things will be OK. Hope dies last," he said.  

With higher prices, it's harder to buy and sell at the market. And all the quality fruit and vegetables from southern regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv, Ukraine's traditional harvest areas, are out of reach now, lost under Russian occupation. 

Neymet has family in the US and in Europe. He could always go there, he said, and leave the country.

"But for what? This is our homeland; we need to restore our homeland," he said.
Mikhail Neymet in his shop.
Mikhail Neymet in his shop. (Cristiana Moisescu/CNN)

Katerina Titova, 35; Alex Titov, 36; and her family are down the road. They fled from Hostomel on March 4, the day after the Russians bombed their garden, destroying her brand-new jewelry workshop as well as a neighbor’s house. The main house had its windows blown out, leaving huge holes in the brick wall and shrapnel embedded inside, among family photographs. 

The couple left their home on foot after that with their two children, 10-year-old Makar and 5-year-old Taisia, and eventually made it to the relative safety of Kyiv. When they returned at the end of May, they couldn’t believe their house was still standing and that the Russians hadn’t gotten inside. 

Katerina Titova and family sit in front of their home.
Katerina Titova and family sit in front of their home. (Dennis Lapin/CNN)

"I went around petting it like a cat, calling it 'my darling; we’ll repair you, my darling,'" said Titova now, laughing at her own fondness for this place she calls home.

There was never a question that they wouldn’t return. 

8 hr 41 min ago

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Josh Pennington

Pro-Russian investigators in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on Friday said they have charged another two British citizens with being "mercenaries," according to the Donetsk News Agency.

"An investigation is now underway against British mercenaries Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill. They are charged under the same articles as the three previously convicted mercenaries. An investigation is under way and charges have been brought," the Donetsk News Agency reported, quoting an unnamed DPR official.

On June 9, Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, along with Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune, were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of being “mercenaries” for Ukraine by a court in DPR, Russian state media reported at the time. 

DPR authorities said that the three men were foreign fighters who had been apprehended by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in April. RIA Novosti said that Pinner, Aslin and Saadoune will be shot by firing squad, and they have until July 9 to lodge an appeal.

Pinner's lawyer Yulia Tserkovnikova on Friday said, acting on her client's behalf, she will appeal for clemency and leniency on humanitarian grounds so that the execution does not go ahead. But Tserkovnikova said she will not challenge the guilty verdict decided by the court.

"We will appeal to humanity, as the guilt of my client has been proven by the court in full. To say that the complaint will be based on any evidence of innocence, it is not necessary," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Tserkovnikova as saying.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, granted "interim measures" to Pinner and Aslin, calling on the Russian Federation to ensure the death penalty is not carried out. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian Federation no longer complies with the instructions of the ECHR and suggested the court makes direct contact with the DPR to discuss it. 

CNN has reached out to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for comment.

5 hr 30 min ago

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

The US is providing more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) advanced rocket system in the latest $820 million aid package to Ukraine, the Pentagon announced Friday. 

The Pentagon did not say how many rounds of ammunition would be provided for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, capable of launching a barrage of guided rockets approximately 40 miles (about 64 kilometers), but Ukraine has made the request for more systems and more ammo one of its top priorities.

The HIMARS ammunition will be part of the 14th presidential drawdown authority (PDA), meaning it will come directly from existing US inventories. This PDA totals $50 million. 

More on US aid to Ukraine: So far, the US has committed to sending in eight HIMARS systems. At least four of HIMARS have already entered the fight against Russia. The Biden administration had faced criticism for not sending enough ammunition for the HIMARS.

The remaining $770 million falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) where the US will contract directly with arms manufacturers to make weapons for Ukraine. This includes two advanced anti-aircraft and aerial defense systems, called the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS). It also includes 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition for the howitzers the US has already sent, as well as four counter-artillery radars.

The US has now committed $6.9 billion of equipment and aid to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24 and a total of $7.6 billion since the start of the Biden administration.

5 hr 59 min ago

From CNN's Sean Lyngaas

Russian hackers carried out a "cyberattack" on Ukraine's biggest private energy conglomerate in retaliation for its owner's opposition to Russia's war in Ukraine, the firm said Friday.

DTEK Group, which owns coal and thermal power plants in various parts of Ukraine, said the goal of the hack was to "destabilize the technological processes" of its distribution and generation firms, spread propaganda about the company's operations, and "to leave Ukrainian consumers without electricity."

The actual impact of the hack, and what computer systems were breached, is unclear. There have been no reports of outages caused by the incident. DTEK did not respond to requests for comment.

The hacking incident was disclosed days after Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man and DTEK's owner, sued Russia at the European Court of Human Rights for allegedly costing Akhmetov billions of dollars in property rights damages.

A Russian-speaking hacking group known as XakNet claimed to have breached DTEK's networks this week and posted screenshots on the Telegram app of purported DTEK data as proof. The hacking group surfaced in March, according to a US and allied government advisory, and has claimed to target Ukrainian officials in support of Russia's war.

XakNet has had access to data belonging to an organization that was likely hacked by a Russian cyber espionage group, suggesting a possible link between XakNet and the Russian government, said Alden Wahlstrom a senior analyst at US cybersecurity firm Mandiant, which has investigated some of XakNet's activity.

On its Telegram channel, XakNet has mocked and denied the suggestion that it works with the Russian government.

CNN has requested comment from the Russian Embassy in Washington.

The hacking incident coincided with Russian shelling this week of a DTEK-owned thermal power plant in Kryvyi Rih, in central Ukraine, according to DTEK, whose websites says it employs 56,000 people.

Microsoft in an April report made the case that Russian hacking has sometimes been used in tandem with kinetic military strikes. A cyberattack hit a Ukrainian broadcast company on March 1, the same day as a Russian missile strike against a TV tower in Kyiv, the report said.

Read more here.