Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 516

11 months ago 25

Church personnel inspect damages inside the Odesa Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Ukraine, on Sunday, July 23, 2023.

Church personnel inspect damages inside the Odesa Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Ukraine, on July 23, 2023 [Jae C Hong/AP]

Published On 24 Jul 2023

Here is the situation on Monday, July 24, 2023.

Fighting

  • A Russian air attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa killed two people and severely damaged a historic Orthodox cathedral. UNESCO condemned the “brazen” attack as an “escalation of violence against the cultural heritage of Ukraine”.
  • The missile attacks wounded 22 people, including four children, and destroyed six houses and apartment buildings, according to Ukrainian officials.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged to retaliate for the attack, saying “they [Russia] will definitely feel this”.
  • Russia, however, blamed the cathedral damage on Ukrainian air defence. It said it had hit all its intended targets in the Odesa strike, claiming the sites were being used to prepare “terrorist acts” against Russia.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN that Ukraine has recaptured half the territory Russia seized in its invasion but said Kyiv faced a very hard fight to win back more.
  • In Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv, Governor Oleh Synyehubov reported that two people were killed in Russian strikes on the northeastern province on Saturday when Russia attacked populated areas of the Kharkiv, Chuhuiv, Kupiansk and Izium districts.
  • In front-line Donetsk, the Russian army shelled the city of Chasiv Yar with cluster munitions, destroying the Palace of Culture, which had been used as a humanitarian headquarters, according to Ukrainian media reports.

Diplomacy

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, for talks in Saint Petersburg and claimed Ukraine’s counteroffensive had “failed”.
  • Lukashenko said Wagner troops, who relocated to Belarus after their short-lived rebellion against Moscow, wanted to go west “on an excursion to Warsaw, to Rzeszow” in Poland, but that Minsk would not allow the mercenary force to relocate.
  • “I am keeping them in central Belarus, like we agreed … We are controlling what is happening” with Wagner, Lukashenko said.
  • The two men also suggested Poland had ambitions to capture parts of western Ukraine for itself, prompting an immediate rebuttal from Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “Putin’s attempts to drive a wedge between Kyiv and Warsaw are as futile as his failing invasion of Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
  • Poland, which has strengthened its border with Belarus after the Wagner relocation, said a new battalion of sappers would be formed in the country’s northeast.

Military Aid

  • The United States’ top diplomat told CNN that he believed Ukraine will get US-made F-16 fighter jets. “The important focus is on making sure that when they do, they’re properly trained, they’re able to maintain the planes, and use them in a smart way,” Blinken said.

Source

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Al Jazeera and news agencies

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