As the war enters its 497th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
- At least 43 people, including 12 children, were injured after a Russian attack on the town of Pervomaiskyi in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region. Prosecutors said a three-month-old baby was among those hurt. Their condition was not immediately clear.
- The local prosecutor’s office said two people were killed in Kherson after the southern Ukrainian city was shelled by Russian forces.
- Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Moscow forcing the Vnukovo airport to be closed temporarily. Russian authorities said five drones had been shot down and later escalated its rhetoric saying such attacks would “not be possible” without help from the United States and NATO. No casualties were reported in the attacks.
- Russia’s defence ministry spokesperson Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said Russian troops repelled 10 Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Donetsk in the previous 24 hours, according to state news agency TASS.
- Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said the country’s military had had a “particularly fruitful” few days. He did not elaborate.
- The Ukrainian government accused Russia of planning a “provocation” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russian troops soon after their full-scale invasion in February. Russia, meanwhile, claimed that Kyiv was planning to “attack” the facility.
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said 185,000 new recruits had joined the Russian army as professional contract soldiers since the start of the year. Almost 10,000 signed up in the week after the abortive Wagner Group mutiny, he added.
- Dozens of Ukrainians filled Kyiv’s St Michael’s Cathedral for the funeral of Victoria Amelina. The prominent writer and war crimes researcher died on July 1 from injuries she sustained when a Russian missile hit a busy restaurant in the front-line city of Kramatorsk last month.
- Jens Stoltenberg will remain as NATO secretary general for an additional year, after his contract was extended. Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, will remain in office until October 1, 2024. He has led NATO since 2014.
- The Russian foreign ministry said Moscow sees no basis for renewing the Black Sea grain deal, which expires on July 18.
- Pope Francis’s peace envoy for Ukraine, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, said he was working on a “mechanism” that could ensure the return of Ukrainian children taken to Russia since February 2022. In March, a United Nations inquiry accused Moscow of forced deportations of Ukrainian children in areas it controls.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation the Russian people were “united as never before” following last month’s short-lived revolt by the Wagner mercenary group. He also said Moscow would stand up against Western sanctions and “provocations”.
- Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there were “certain contacts” with the US over the case of jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich but that it did not want to make them public. Gershkovich was arrested in March and accused of espionage. He denies the charges.
- Italy’s central bank said it had frozen assets belonging to Russian oligarchs valued at about 2 billion euros ($2.2bn) since last year’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Italy has seized assets including bank accounts, luxury villas, yachts and cars.