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Ukraine: Zelenskyy accuses Russia of ‘deliberate’ missile ‘terror’ — live updates

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described missile attacks on Odesa as “deliberate, purposeful Russian terror.” DW has the latest.

  • Zelenskyy denounces ‘deliberate’ Russian missile ‘terror’
  • Explosions hit southern city of Mykolaiv
  • Slovyansk mayor says four killed in Russian cluster munitions attack

This article was last updated at 09:27 UTC/GMT

Russian forces destroy Ukrainian military sites in Donbas, Mykolaiv, Moscow says

Five Ukrainian army command posts in the eastern Donbas and the southern Mykolaiv region have been destroyed by Russian troops using high-precision weapons, the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted as saying.

Russian forces also struck three storage sites in the Zaporizhzhia region to the northeast of Mykolaiv, the ministry said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. It also said the Russian air force had struck a Ukrainian weapons and equipment base at a tractor factory in Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine.

The reports cannot be independently verified.

Cluster munition attack reported in Slovyansk

Slovyansk Mayor Vadym Lyakh said on Telegram on Saturday that four people were killed in a Russian cluster munitions attack on Friday night.

The city is still under Ukrainian control and is a major stronghold in the region of Donetsk.

Lyakh said that the neighborhoods that were hit had no military targets.

Cluster munitions are bombs that release several smaller explosives and they are banned under an international convention.

Infographic showing Russian troop movements

Russia making ‘minor advances’ in Lysychansk — UK defense intelligence

The UK’s Ministry of Defense said in its intelligence update on Saturday that Russian forces “continue to achieve minor advances around Lysychansk” — one of the main Russian targets in the east of Ukraine after their forces took Sievierodonetsk.

The update also claimed that Russian forces have likely been using less precise missiles due to “dwindling stockpiles of more accurate modern weapons.”

It said that the strike that hit the Kremenchuk shopping center appeared to have been an air-launched anti-ship missile being used in “a secondary land-attack role.”

The lack of precision for such missiles “greatly increases the likelihood of collateral damage when targeting built-up areas,” the UK ministry said.

German regulator fears complete Russian gas cut-off

A German official has warned that Russia could be planning to use a regular maintenance break on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline as an opportunity to cut the gas supply to Germany completely.

Klaus Müller, the head of the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzwerkagentur), said that made it crucial to save as much gas as possible.

He told Saturday newspapers from the Funke Media Group that the question was whether the planned 11-day maintenance period, due to start July 11, will “become a longer [period] of political maintenance.”

He said that if the gas supply from Russia “was reduced longer for political reasons, we have to talk more seriously about ways to cut consumption.”

Russia has already cut or reduced its gas supply to several European countries amid tensions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Heavy explosions reported in Mykolaiv

Powerful explosions rocked the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early Saturday, the mayor said, a day after at least 21 people were killed when Russian missiles hit the neighboring Odesa region.

“There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in shelters!” Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not immediately known what caused the explosions.

Pentagon dismisses Russia’s explanation for Snake Island withdrawal

The US Defense Department does not believe there is any credence to Russia saying its retreat from Snake Island was a gesture of goodwill, said a senior American official on Friday.

“We view this development as that the Ukrainians were very successful at applying significant pressure on the Russians, including by using Harpoon missiles that they recently acquired to attack a resupply ship,” the official said.

According to him, the Ukrainians made it very hard for the Russians to sustain their operations there and made them very vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes. “So, that of course, is why Russia left the island,” the official said.

The official, who was not named but whose comments were published on the DOD website, said that reclaiming Snake Island would make it easier for Ukraine to defend Odesa and to open shipping lanes in the future with Russia no longer controlling the island in the Black Sea.

Zelenskyy denounces ‘deliberate’ Russian missile ‘terror’

In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced Friday’s Russian missile strikes in the southern Odesa region that left 21 dead and dozens wounded.

“Three missiles hit an ordinary residential building, a nine-story building in which no one hid any weapons, military equipment or ammunition, as Russian propagandists and officials always tell about such strikes,” Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian president called the attack “a deliberate, purposeful Russian terror, not some mistakes or an accidental missile strike.”

Zelenskyy also said that he was grateful to the United States of America and personally to US President Joe Biden for the new support package for Ukraine announced today, which includes NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems.

“An anti-aircraft missile complex that will significantly strengthen our air defense. We have worked hard for this supply. In total, this package is worth 820 million dollars and, in addition to NASAMS, also includes artillery munition and radars,” Zelenskyy said.

Recap of key events on Friday

Ukraine’s army accused Russia of carrying out strikes using incendiary phosphorus munitions on Snake Island Friday, just a day after withdrawing its forces from the rocky outcrop in the Black Sea.

Norway has announced almost a billion euros of aid to Ukraine, over two years. News of the aid worth 10 billion Norwegian crowns (roughly €960 million or $1 billion) came as Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store visited the country.

Ukraine has called on Turkey to detain a Russian-flagged ship carrying several thousand tons of grain which Kyiv claims Russia has stolen.

The Ukrainian soup borscht — which in 2023 was set to be added to the UN’s list of endangered cultural heritage items — has had its inscription hastened by the “negative impact on this tradition” caused by the war, UNESCO said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that “massive investments” would be needed for the reconstruction of Ukraine, but the country’s path to EU membership would go “hand in hand” with that process.

Russian missile strikes in the southern Odesa region left 21 dead and dozens wounded.

 

ab,dh/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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