Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 152 of the invasion

Ukraine predicts it will recapture the southern region of Kherson by September; Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, embarks on a charm offensive in Africa

  • Ukraine warned that grain exports would not restart as hoped after the signing of a landmark deal aimed at easing the food crisis if a Russian airstrike on a key port on Saturday was a sign of things to come. The attack on Odesa, which the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, denounced as “barbarism” and as a sign that Moscow could not be trusted to implement the freshly inked deal, drew international condemnation. Turkey, which helped broker the accord allowing exports to resume, said immediately after the double cruise missile hits on the strategic southern port that it had received assurances from Moscow that Russian forces were not responsible.

  • Contradicting the claim that Russia had not been responsible, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has denied that cruise missile strikes on Odesa will have any impact on the export of grain. He told the media “These strikes are connected exclusively with military infrastructure. They are in no way related to infrastructure that is used for the export of grain. This should not affect – and will not affect – the beginning of shipments.”

  • Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has embarked on a four-day tour of several countries in Africa. On his first stop in Egypt he sought to reassure his counterpart Sameh Shoukry that Russian grain supplies would continue and met with the secretary-general of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, where he spoke of deepening cooperation between Russia and the Arab League. “We are at the beginning of a new era, which would be a movement towards real multilateralism, not the one which the west tries to impose,” Russia’s foreign ministry quoted Lavrov as saying.

  • Ukrainian military officials have claimed a “turning point” in the battle to retake the southern region of Kherson, saying they will use western weapons to liberate by September the first major city captured by Russian forces. Sergiy Khlan, an aide to the administrative head of the Kherson region, said in an interview with Ukrainian television on Sunday: “We can say that a turning point has occurred on the battlefield. We are switching from defensive to counteroffensive actions.”

  • Ukraine will continue doing all it can to inflict as much damage on Russian forces as possible and will not be cowed, Zelenskiy has vowed. “Even the occupiers admit we will win,” he said in his nightly video address on Sunday. “We do everything to inflict the highest possible damage on the enemy … we will celebrate against all odds. Because Ukrainians won’t be cowed.”

  • Russia’s ministry of defence has claimed that it repelled two Ukrainian landing craft attempting to cross the Dnieper river into the occupied southern part of the Kherson region. The ministry also claims to have shot down six unmanned drones, and to have destroyed a depot being used as a transport hub for US-supplied Himars ammunition in the last 24 hours.

  • Another school in Mykolaiv was almost completely destroyed overnight, according to the city’s mayor. Oleksandr Syenkevych stated that “the ceilings between the first and second floors were destroyed, classrooms were damaged”. Five people have been wounded, including a teenager, in shelling on the city in the last 24 hours.

  • The UK’s Ministry of Defence has said in its daily intelligence breifing that “Inconclusive fighting continues in both the Donbas and Kherson sectors. Russian commanders continue to face a dilemma; whether to resource the offensive in the east, or to bolster the defence in the west.”

  • One of the Russian-imposed officials in Ukraine’s occupied Zaporizhzhia region has said that a referendum on the region joining the Russian Federation will most likely take place in September, alongside a similar one in occupied Kherson.

  • The head of Russia’s investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin, said Moscow had charged 92 members of Ukrainian armed forces with crimes against humanity and proposed an international tribunal backed by countries including Bolivia, Iran and Syria.

  • The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said Russia’s war against Ukraine is also a “war against the unity of Europe”. “We must not let ourselves be divided, we must not let the great work of a united Europe that we have begun so promisingly be destroyed,” he said in a speech in the western German city of Paderborn. “This war is not just about the territory of Ukraine, it is about the double shared foundation of our values and our order of peace.”

  • Nearly half a million Ukrainian children are going to school in the European Union, according to the European Commission’s department of migration and home affairs. A total of 492,647 Ukrainian children had been integrated into the national school systems of the European Union, the department said.

  • Ukraine’s health ministry has said that least 18 medical personnel have been killed and nearly 900 medical facilities damaged or destroyed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ministry said more than 50 medical workers had been wounded by Russian attacks and 123 medical facilities in Ukraine were totally destroyed by the invasion, while another 746 needed repairs.

  • A Canadian citizen has died in Ukraine, Canada’s foreign ministry confirmed. Media reports suggested the Canadian was with two US citizens who recently died in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The US and Canadian governments have not given details on how recent the deaths were, or their circumstances.


Samantha Lock and Martin Belam

The GuardianTramp

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