- Croatia allocated $1.1 million for the demining of Ukrainian agricultural lands, Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said Monday.
- Britain added new sanctions Monday against Russia, targeting
judges and officials involved in the trial of political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza. A British-Russian citizen, Kara-Murza lost his appeal Monday of his 25-year jail sentence for treason and for spreading ‘false information’ about Russia’s war in Ukraine, the RIA state news agency reported. He was arrested two months after the war began just hours after CNN broadcast an interview with him in which he said Russia was run by ‘a regime of murderers.’
- Ukraine’s birth rate was 28% lower in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2021, marking the biggest decline since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the Ukrainian data analytics website Opendatabot reports.
- Ukraine’s Defense Ministry signed an agreement with Turkish company Baykar to build a service center for the repair and maintenance of drones in Ukraine, a ministry official said on Monday.
Russian attacks on Ukrainian towns have left a trail of dead and injured, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to stress Ukraine’s need for long-range weapons.
At least six people were killed by two Russian missiles that hit the city of Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine, Zelenskyy’s hometown, Ukrainian officials said Monday.
Regional Governor Serhiy Lysak announced a day of mourning in the city, saying that among the dead were a 10-year-old girl and her mother. Seventy-five others were wounded, including six children ages 4 to 17 years.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the missiles hit an apartment building and a university building.
At the damaged residential building, nearly 150 of the building’s residents managed to get out by themselves, and 30 were helped by rescuers, the governor said.
During his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said preliminary data show that the two missiles were fired at Kryvyi Rih from the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea, from the area of Dzhankoy.
‘This proves again and again that for the safety of our cities, for the protection of the normal life of Ukrainians and our children, our military must have enough long-range weapons, enough means to defeat terrorists. The world’s sanctions pressure against Russia deserves a significant increase,’ he said.
A local woman walks at a site of an apartment building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine July 31, 2023. (Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters)
‘This is already a kind of genocidal everyday reality … Kryvyi Rih,’ Zelenskyy’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on X, formerly known as Twitter. ‘International law will never work if the aggressor does not see a real power behind it. The power begins with closing the Ukrainian skies with missile defense and air defense systems,’ he added.
Russian strikes in Kherson Oblast killed four people and wounded 17 others on Monday, among them a 16-year-old girl. Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said that one of the people killed, as well as six of those injured, were working at a utility company when it came under fire. Five others injured were volunteers.
Later Monday, Russian forces launched another attack against the city, targeting the Korabel district, while another attack on the city of Beryslav killed another man.
Prokudin said the intense shelling is due to Russia replenishing its forces on the east bank of the Dnipro River.
Ukraine drone attacks
The United States is not encouraging or enabling attacks inside Russia, White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told CNN on Monday.
His comments came after several hostile drones hit the heart of Moscow in recent months. There has not been any major damage or deaths in those attacks, but a senior Ukrainian official said last week that there would be more such attacks to follow.
Three Ukrainian drones targeted Moscow on Sunday, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, which called the strikes an ‘attempted terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime.’
This was the fourth such strike on Russia’s capital region this month and the third this week, revealing Moscow’s vulnerability as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags into its 18th month.
Two of the drones struck the capital’s financial district. A skyscraper was damaged, and a security guard there was injured, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing emergency officials. Russia’s Ria-Novosti news agency reported the building’s tenants included several government agencies.
There was no extensive damage, but the attack on the Moskva-Citi business district several miles west of the Kremlin has caused nervousness among employers and employees there, who felt the war’s reach to Russia’s nerve center.
FILE – A view shows the damaged facade of an office building following a reported Ukrainian drone attack in Moscow, Russia, July 30, 2023.
Tech giant Yandex, which has offices around the Russian capital including in Moskva-Citi, asked employees to vacate offices at night when strikes on the Russian capital have tended to occur.
Flights were suspended at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport while the airspace over Moscow and outlying regions was temporarily closed.
Ukrainian officials did not acknowledge the attacks, but Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address, ‘Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centers and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.’
A Ukrainian air force spokesperson also did not claim responsibility but said the Russian people were reaping the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
U.S. government officials will attend a Ukraine summit in Saudi Arabia, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller announced during a briefing on Monday, saying that he could not provide more details.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Saudi Arabia would invite Western states, Ukraine and major developing countries to the high-level talks.
Saudi Arabia’s summit is reportedly scheduled to be held in Jeddah over the weekend to discuss implementation of Zelenskyy’s peace plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for an end to the ‘irrational’ war in Ukraine and urged the upcoming peace talks in the Middle East to include representation from both Ukraine and Russia.
FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference in Mexico City, March 9, 2023.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico would only participate in the peace talks if both sides were present.
The Mexican president has tried to keep his country neutral in the war, though his government has backed some major U.N. resolutions against Russia. Mexico has refused to send arms to Ukraine and has not imposed sanctions against Russia.
The Kremlin said Monday it would ‘follow’ the meeting but did not currently see conditions for peace talks with Kyiv.
Andriy Yermak, head of Zelenskyy’s presidential office, said Sunday the summit would bring together national security advisers for talks that follow an initial round held in Copenhagen in June. Yermak said Ukraine is ‘working hard to involve as many partners as possible from the West and the Global South.’
He did not confirm a date for the summit, but The Wall Street Journal reported it would take place August 5-6 and involve 30 countries. The Associated Press cited officials saying the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa would participate.
‘The Ukrainian Peace Formula contains 10 fundamental points, the implementation of which will not only ensure peace for Ukraine, but also create mechanisms to counter future conflicts in the world,’ Yermak said in a statement. ‘We are deeply convinced that the Ukrainian peace plan should be taken as a basis, because the war is taking place on our land.’
Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.