These are the main developments as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 521st day.
Here is the situation on Saturday, July 29, 2023.
- A Russian missile struck a multi-storey residential building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, Ukraine’s interior minister has said. At least five people were injured.
- Russia said it intercepted two Ukrainian missiles over its southern Rostov region bordering Ukraine, with at least a dozen people wounded by debris falling on the city of Taganrog.
- Russia’s defence ministry said its forces captured several Ukrainian strongholds in the Luhansk region, state news agency TASS reported.
- Ukrainian troops will receive a consignment of 1,700 attack and reconnaissance drones to help with the counteroffensive, officials said. Mykhailo Fedorov, a deputy prime minister, said 1,700 drones were on their way to the front lines to help the offensive.
- Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces advanced near the southern occupied cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk and were successful in attacking in the east outside the city of Bakhmut.
- The Ukrainian president’s chief of staff said Russia is threatening civilian vessels in the Black Sea. On the messaging platform X, Andriy Yermak wrote: “Russian warships threaten civilians in the waters of the Black Sea, violating all norms of international maritime law.”
- Speaking on the second day of the Russia-Africa summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia and African leaders had agreed to promote a multipolar world order.
- African leaders expressed concern about the consequences of the war in Ukraine, especially rising food prices. “This war must end, and it can only end on the basis of justice and reason,” African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said.
- Putin repeated that Russia is ready for negotiations with Ukraine, but Kyiv is refusing to join them.
- Azali Assoumani, the chair of the African Union, said Putin had shown readiness to negotiate with Ukraine and that “the other side” now needed to be persuaded.
- Russia and African countries agreed to cooperate to seek compensation for the damage caused by colonialism and to pursue the return of cultural artefacts, according to the final declaration of a Russia-Africa summit, published on the Kremlin’s website.
- Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that Qatar would provide Ukraine with $100m in humanitarian aid to support health, education and demining as Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Ukraine.
A Kremlin spokesperson said Kyiv’s position to resolve the Ukraine conflict is “irreconcilable”. Speaking at a press briefing in St Petersburg, Dmitry Peskov said Russia remains open to finding a peaceful solution.
- Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan was awarded a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics after earlier being disqualified at the world championships for refusing to shake the hand of her Russian opponent. IOC President Thomas Bach said the organisation allocated a place for Kharlan despite her breaking of the rules given her “unique situation”.
- Russia has not offered the UN World Food Programme (WFP) any free grain, WFP deputy chief Carl Skau said, nearly two weeks after Moscow quit a deal that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea.
- Ukraine will move its Christmas holiday to December 25 in a break with the Russian Orthodox Church, which celebrates it on January 7. The changes highlight the deepening rift between churches in Kyiv and Moscow since the onset of the war.
- The European Union Council said it will sanction seven Russian individuals and five entities over a “digital information manipulation” campaign.
- Ukraine marked its day of statehood, a celebration created by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2021 to commemorate its independence.
- Poland and Lithuania are considering closing their respective borders with Belarus amid concerns about the presence there of the Wagner mercenary group, a Lithuanian deputy interior minister said.