- The mayor of Ukrainian city Mykolaiv warns residents to stay in shelters as powerful explosions rock the city.
- Ukraine says 21 people were killed when missiles hit the southern coast near Odesa on Friday.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says sites have been deliberately targeted by Russia.
- Moscow denies targeting civilians in Ukraine with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov telling reporters that Russian Armed Forces “do not work with civilian targets”.
- The United States is sending Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.
Here are the latest updates:
US to send Ukraine advanced surface-to-air missile systems
The United States has said it will send Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four counter-artillery radars, and about 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition to assist Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
The Pentagon on Friday said the additional material will come as part of the latest US assistance package for Ukraine, announced by US President Joe Biden at a gathering of NATO leaders and expected to total about $820m.
The package announced on Thursday will also reportedly include more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
Read more here.
Top Russian general inspects troops involved in Ukraine operation
The chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, has inspected divisions of Russian troops involved in Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, the defence ministry said.
The ministry published still photographs of Gerasimov at work. It was not immediately clear when the visit took place or if Gerasimov had visited Ukraine itself.
The ministry issued a similar statement about Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu last week.
Russia’s Gazprom says gas exports to Europe via Ukraine at 42.15 mcm
Russian gas producer Gazprom has said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point was seen at 42.15 million cubic metres (mcm) compared with 42.1 mcm on Friday.
An application to supply gas via the Sokhranovka entry point had again been rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said.
Two more Britons in Ukraine charged with being mercenaries by Russia
Russian state media has reported two British men have been captured by Moscow’s forces in separatist-held Ukraine and charged with being mercenaries.
Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic said, according to Tass.
The outlet reported both men were refusing to co-operate with investigators.
It comes after a video shown on Russian television in April featured a man speaking with an English accent who appeared to give his name as Andrew Hill from Plymouth.
A pro-Kremlin website said Mr Healy and Mr Hill would face the same mercenary charges as Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, two British military volunteers captured in Mariupol who have been condemned to death in Donetsk.
Russia’s messages with missiles tell West to back off
The latest in a litany of horrors in Ukraine came this week as Russian firepower rained down on civilians in a busy shopping mall far from the front lines of a war in its fifth month.
The timing was not likely a coincidence.
Were the attacks a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin as the West sought to arm Ukraine with more effective weapons?
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko suggested as much when missiles struck the capital on June 26, three days after EU leaders unanimously agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for membership.
It was “maybe a symbolic attack” as the Group of Seven leading economic powers and then NATO leaders prepared to meet and apply further pressure on Moscow, he said. At least six people were killed in the Kyiv strike, which pummeled an apartment building.
Ukraine requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship
Ukraine has requested that Turkey detain and arrest the Russian-flagged cargo ship Zhibek Zholy carrying a cargo of Ukrainian grain taken from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, according to a Ukrainian official and document seen by Reuters.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry official, citing information received from the country’s maritime administration, said the 7,146 dwt Zhibek Zholy had loaded the first cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdyansk, which the official said belonged to Ukraine.
In a letter dated June 30 to Turkey’s justice ministry, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office separately that the Zhibek Zholy was involved in the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” from Berdyansk and headed to Karasu, Turkey, with 7,000 tonnes of cargo, which is a larger cargo than cited by the official.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office asked Turkey to “conduct an inspection of this sea vessel, seize samples of grain for forensic examination, demand information on the location of such grain”, the letter said, adding that Ukraine was ready to conduct a joint investigation with Turkish authorities.
Blasts rock Ukraine’s Mykolaiv
Powerful explosions have rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, the mayor said, a day after authorities said at least 21 people were killed when Russian missiles struck an apartment building near the Black Sea port of Odesa.
Air raid sirens sounded across the Mykolaiv region, which borders the vital exporting port of Odesa, before the blasts.
“There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in shelters!” Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevich wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
It was not immediately known what caused the explosions.
Explosions flattened part of an apartment building while residents slept on Friday, the latest in a series of what Ukraine says are Russian missile attacks aimed at civilians.