Ukraine war latest: Chinese troops arrive in Belarus for military drills near E border; 'highly unstable scenario' with Western powers and Ukrainian military funding (2024)

Key points
  • China and Belarus launch joint military drills near Polish border on eve of NATO summit
  • 'Highly unstable scenario' with West and Ukrainian military funding - but 'major Russia unlikely'
  • Day of mourning follows Russian attack on Kyiv children's hospital and four other cities, killing 41 and injuring 150
  • Modi issues rebuke to Putin over death of children during state visit
  • Russia used 'new and noteworthy' tactic in deadly wave of missile strikes
  • Ukraine attacks several Russian regions with dozens of drones
  • NATO leaders to be warned of North Korean threat to Europe
  • Deborah Haynes analysis:Russia sending a message to NATO
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?
  • Live reporting by Brad Young

14:10:01

Doctor killed in Russian strike on children's hospital named

Yesterday we reported how a Russian strike on Ukraine's largest children's hospital, Okhmatdyt, Kyiv, killed two people.

A further 32 people were wounded, among them eight children requiring hospital treatment, said Ihor Klymenko, minister of internal affairs.

One of those killed has been named as 30-year-old Svitlana Lukyanchuk, from Lviv.

Orphaned as a child, she was raised by her aunt before she went on to study at the Bogomolets National Medical University.

After graduating, she worked as a paediatric nephrologist at Okhmatdyt.

Ms Lukyanchuk will be buried in Lviv near her parents at Holoskiv Cemetery.

13:50:01

Fire leaps into sky in footage of Russian oil refinery blaze

Russia may be loathe to admit the impacts of Ukrainian attacks on its territory, but footage emerging from its southern Volgograd region speaks for itself.

Explosions were heard in the town of Kalach-on-the-Don overnight, said the Baza Telegramchannel, which has sources in Russian law enforcement.

Then, video of an oil depot set ablaze - fire leaping into the air and smoke visible from a distance.

Regional governor Andrei Bocharov said it was causedby falling drone debris destroyed by air defence systems - but the region was not included in a Russian defence ministry list of repelled attacks.

The refinery was hit by Ukrainian drones, an unnamed security source told Reuters, alongside the Akhtubinsk airfield in Russia's southern Astrakhan region and an electricitysubstation in the Rostov region.

13:31:38

Switzerland announces new sanctions against Russia

Switzerland has announced new sanctions against Russia.

Pointing to a package of measures adopted by the EU against Russia on 24 June, the Swiss economy ministry said in a statement that it would impose sanctions within its jurisdiction on a further 69 individuals and 86 entities.

These sanctions mainly target "businesspersons, propagandists, members of the armed forces and judiciary, persons responsible for the deportation of Ukrainian children" and members of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), it said.

The newly sanctioned entities include companies operating in Russia's defence industry and firms in the financial and trade sectors involved in circumventing sanctions, it added.

This means that more than 2,200 individuals and entities are now subject to the sanctions listings, the ministry said.

The Swiss government also said that it had placed an advertising ban on media outlets Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta "owing to Russia's continuous propaganda and disinformation campaigns".

In contrast to the EU, these media are not subject to a broadcasting ban in Switzerland, the ministry added.

13:10:01

North Korean, Chinese and Indian support means Putin's behaviour will continue, says former Navy chief

Vladimir Putin is showing that "norms of behaviour do not apply to him" by attacking a Ukrainian children's hospital ahead of the NATO summit, said a former head of the Royal Navy.

Combined with his dealings with the North Korean leader and Hungarian prime minister, Mr Putin is putting on a "show of strength", Admiral Lord Alan West told Sky News.

The Russian leader is also "annoyed" his so-called peace deal has been flatly rejected.

"He has effectively said: 'I don't agree with the world order that has worked so well since 1946. I will make my own world order'."

For this reason, an emergency meeting of the UN security council taking place today over the strikes will not make "any difference at all to him", Admiral Lord West said.

Mr Putin will continue his actions so long as he has "got the Chinese supporting him, he's able to get weapons from the North Koreans and there are still some large countries that won't condemn him, for example India".

12:59:49

12:47:01

'Highly unstable scenario' with West and Ukrainian military funding - but 'major Russia unlikely'

Russia's defence ministrysays its forces have taken control of a small village west of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.

State news agency Tass cited the ministry as saying it had captured the Yasnobrodivkasettlement in the Donetsk region.

Russian troops have attempted to capitalise on their seizure of Avdiivka with a renewed push in the east.

But US officials believeRussia is unlikely to make any significant territorial gains in the coming months as Western weapons finally arrive to shore up Ukraine's defences, according to reports.

Michael Kofman, a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the New York Times that a "major Russian breakthrough is now unlikely".

Neither Russia nor Ukraine "possesses the capabilities to significantly change the battle lines", added Eric Ciaramella, a former intelligence official.

He and US officials told the newspaper that Western allies need to make long-term investments in Ukraine's military capacity if it is to wear Russia down in the conflict.

"That's still a highly unstable scenario," he said.

"That's why Western leaders also really need to focus on integrating Ukraine into European and trans-Atlantic security structures."

However, there are doubts: US officials, speaking anonymously to the NYT, said their predictions could be undermined by a large expansion of Russia's military draft or a change of policy under another Trump administration should he win the presidency in November.

12:17:10

Modi issues rebuke to Putin during state visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have made a veiled criticism of Russia's deadly strikes on Ukraine yesterday - while visiting Vladimir Putin.

Mr Modi, who has not condemned Russia's invasion, told the Russian president that the death of innocent children in war, conflict or a terrorist attack "is very painful".

"Whether it is war, conflict or a terrorist attack, any person who believes in humanity, is pained when there is loss of lives," Mr Modi said.

"But even in that, when innocent children are killed, the heart bleeds and that pain is very terrifying."

The comments came just hours after Ukraine revealed four children - two as young as eight - were killed by a wave of Russian attacks yesterday, including on apaediatric hospital.

Mr Modi told Mr Putin that a solution to the war in Ukraine "cannot be found on the battlefield... we have to find peace through talks".

While it is down to interpretation how Mr Modi's comments are read, they do not seem to indicate any souring in relations.

Indeed, the pair have spent the day praising their countries' relationship and expressing intent to deepen it.

11:51:12

In pictures: Efforts begin to rebuild children's hospital

While rescuers search through the rubble, other crews are rebuilding the Kyiv hospital attacked by Russia yesterday.

Pictures taken by Reuters photographers on the ground show steel reinforcing bars being cut and windows replaced at the 720-bed Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital.

A two-story wing treating children with cancer was destroyed in the attack.

The paediatric hospital is Ukraine's largest, treating more than 20,000 people annually and performing 10,000 surgeries a year.

Some of these surgeries were interrupted by the attack, with health officials saying debris fell into patients open chest cavities during heart operations.

11:12:28

Ukraine publishes 'unequivocal evidence' of Russian missile at hospital

Ukraine's security service has published what it says is "unequivocal" evidence a Russian missile hit Kyiv's largest children's hospital.

Photographs from Okhmatdyt hospital show fragments of a Kh-101 cruise missile engine, hull, tail androcket wing opening mechanism, says the SBU.

Fragments of the engine casing were also recovered, including serial numbers.

The proportions, shape, dimensions and flight path of the missile seen in videos correspond to a Kh-101 missile, it said.

The security service said the destruction of a two-story building could not be achieved by a NASAMS air defence system, as was claimed by the Russian ministry of defence.

SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk said: "A terrorist state is not an abstract concept. There are specific names of the killers. And nothing will save them from justice."

10:49:08

Four children as young as eight killed by Russia's missile barrage

Among the 41 Ukrainians killed by Russia's widespread airstrikes yesterday were four children, according to Kyiv.

Russian missiles killed two girls aged eight and 14 and two boys aged eight and 10, said the office of the prosecutor general

Another 12 children aged between two and 17 were injured, it said.

The casualties bring the number of children killed in Russia's invasion to 559, and the number injured to 1,449.

Ukraine war latest: Chinese troops arrive in Belarus for military drills near E border; 'highly unstable scenario' with Western powers and Ukrainian military funding (2024)
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