Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 155 of the invasion

Missiles strike northern regions of Ukraine from Belarus; UK says Ukraine counter-offensive in Kherson gathering momentum

  • A barrage of 25 missiles has been fired by Russian forces at northern regions of Ukraine from neighbouring Belarus. The early morning wave of missile strikes launched from the territory of Russia’s key ally hit targets in the Chernihiv region, including an apartment block, as well as locations outside Kyiv and around the city of Zhytomyr, according to Ukrainian officials and Belarusian opposition figures.

  • The Chernihiv regional governor, Viacheslav Chaus, said nine missiles had struck close to the village of Honcharivska with some falling in the forest nearby. Activists who track Russian military moves in Belarus said the missile launches came from Ziabrauka airfield near Gomel, prompting calls for increased sanctions against Belarus.

  • Vitaliy Kim, governor of Mykolaiv, said “On the morning of 28 July, a massive rocket attack was launched on Mykolaiv. It is known that as a result of three rocket strikes, the building of the secondary school in Korabelny district was almost completely destroyed. One person was injured.”

  • The strikes came as Ukraine celebrated Statehood Day for the first time. In a national message, the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “Restless morning. Again – missile terror. We will not give up. We will not give up. Do not intimidate us. Ukraine is an independent, free, indivisible state. And it will always be like that.”

  • Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. In an intelligence report issued this morning, the ministry said: “Their forces have highly likely established a bridgehead south of the Ingulets River, which forms the northern boundary of Russian-occupied Kherson. Ukraine has used its new long range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges across the Dnipro River which Russia relies upon to supply the areas under its control.”

  • Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in the occupied Kherson region has posted to Telegram to say that “all stories about successful ‘Ukronazi’ counter-offensives in the Kherson region are sheer lies.”

  • Russian forces are undertaking a “massive redeployment” of troops to three southern regions of Ukraine in what appears to be a change of tactics by Moscow, a senior adviser to Zelenskiy said on Wednesday. Oleksiy Arestovych said Russia was sending troops to the Melitopol and Zaporizhzhia regions and Kherson, signalling a change in tactics to strategic defence from offence.

  • Russian forces have also reportedly taken over Ukraine’s second biggest power plant in eastern Ukraine, an adviser to Zelenskiy said on Wednesday, after an earlier claim by Russian-backed forces to have captured it intact. “They achieved a tiny tactical advantage – they captured Vuhlehirsk,” Oleksiy Arestovych said. Unverified footage posted on social media appeared to show fighters from Russia’s Wagner private military company posing in front of the plant.

  • Residents of Russian-occupied areas in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region have been urged to evacuate. Deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said people risked being cut off from “power, water, food and medical supplies, heating and communication” if they stayed in the area. “Be wise and get ready for evacuations” she said

  • Zelenskiy said Ukraine would rebuild the Antonivskyi Bridge and other crossings in the region after Ukrainian forces struck the strategic Russian supply route in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region. “We are doing everything to ensure that the occupying forces do not have any logistical opportunities in our country,” he added.

  • A former state TV journalist charged with discrediting Russia’s armed forces by protesting against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine was found guilty on Thursday, after she told a court that the charge against her was absurd. Marina Ovsyannikova defiantly repeated her protest, refused to retract her words and said she did not understand why she was there and what she was being judged for. She faces up to 15 years in jail for discrediting the armed forces under a law passed in March.

  • Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has filed a lawsuit to revoke the registration of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Novaya Gazeta, a pillar of Russia’s beleaguered independent media since 1993, said in March it would suspend operations inside the country until the end of the war after receiving warnings from the communications regulator for allegedly violating the country’s “foreign agent” law, and being forced to remove material on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from its website.

  • As of Monday, 104,000 people had arrived in the UK under Ukraine visa schemes, figures published by the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration show.

  • Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has warned Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia under Nato’s current support strategy. “This war in this form cannot be won,” he said, adding that Nato’s current strategy of supplying Ukraine with weapons and training “has shown until now that it will not lead to success”. Hungary has been holding up a tranche of European sanctions banning Russian oil imports into the EU by the end of the year.

  • The UN Security Council has been unable to agree on a statement welcoming last week’s deal to get grain and fertiliser moving from Ukraine and Russia to millions of hungry people around the world, Norway’s UN ambassador has said. The statement also would have commended secretary-general Antonio Guterres and Turkey’s government for their key roles in arranging the agreement.

  • Preparations are continuing for the first ships to leave Ukrainian ports as Turkey unveiled a centre in Istanbul to oversee the process. Ukraine’s navy also confirmed that work has started at three Ukrainian Black Sea ports to prepare for renewed grain exports. The first shipment is expected to depart within days, Turkish defence minister, Hulusi Akar, said.

  • US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said he will speak with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov by phone - the first between the two diplomats since before the start of the war. The call would not be “a negotiation about Ukraine,” he added.

  • Russia delivered less gas to Europe on Wednesday as physical flows via Nord Stream 1 tumbled to 14.4m kilowatt hours an hour (kWh/h) between noon and 1pm GMT from around 28m kWh/h a day earlier, already just 40% of normal capacity. Germany accused Moscow of engaging in “power play” over energy exports after network data from the gas transfer station in Lubmin, north-east Germany, showed only about 17m kilowatt hours of gas arrived between 8am and 9am, compared with more than 27m kWh between 6am and 7am.

  • Ukraine has approved the appointment of a new prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin. “The person is decent, professional, he knows how to work systematically,” Zelenskiy said.


Samantha Lock, Peter Beaumont, Jedidajah Otte and Martin Belam

The GuardianTramp

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