Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, July 12

Putin forces Russian passports on Ukrainians -- 8 foreign ships enter Ukrainian ports to export grain -- Almost 80% of population evacuated from Donetsk Oblast -- Western weapons are already changing the course of war -- Iran might provide hundreds of drones to Russia -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Tuesday, July 12

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Rescuers dismantle slabs of a destroyed building in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine on July 11, 2022. The house was destroyed in a missile strike by Russian forces. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Zelensky says Canada’s transfer to Germany of turbine for Nord Stream 1 dangerous precedent. “Now there is no doubt that Russia will try not only to limit as much as possible, but also to completely stop the supply of gas to Europe at the most urgent moment. Because every concession in such conditions is perceived by the Russian leadership as an incentive for further, stronger pressure,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

US supports Canada’s decision to return Nord Stream 1 turbine to Germany despite Ukraine’s warning. Ned Price, U.S. State Department spokesman, said on July 11 that returning the turbine would “allow Germany and other European countries to replenish their gas reserves,” thus “counter Russia’s efforts to weaponize energy.”

8 foreign ships enter Ukrainian ports to export grain. Ukraine’s Navy reported that with its help, the foreign ships were able to arrive at Ukrainian ports at the Danube-Black Sea Canal to allow for the transport of agricultural products by civilian vessels. The use of the canal opened up after Ukraine liberated Snake Island from Russian forces on June 30.

Governor: Almost 80% of population evacuated from Donetsk Oblast. According to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, around 340,000 people, or 20% of the local population before Russia’s full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24, remain in the oblast.

Pentagon: Next Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting to take place July 20. According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a virtual group meeting will take place on July 20. Austin also discussed the $400 million aid package announced last week in a phone call with Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov.

Ukraine hits Russian ammunition depot in Kherson Oblast. Serhii Bratchuk, a spokesman for Odesa Oblast’s military administration, said via Telegram that Ukrainian forces hit a Russian ammunition depot in occupied Nova Kakhovka. This is the fourth time the ammunition depots have been destroyed in Nova Kakhovka, according to UNIAN news agency.

Danilov: Western weapons are already changing the course of war. Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, praised Ukrainian artillery accuracy on July 11, saying it was “leveling” the number of Russian troops. “And we haven’t started yet,” Danilov wrote on Twitter, recalling Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s statement on July 7 that Russia didn’t “start anything serious yet.”

Official: 7,200 Ukrainian service people reported missing. Oleh Kotenko, the commissioner for people missing under special circumstances, told the Suspilne media outlet that 7,200 Ukrainian service people have been reported missing. Most of them are in Russian captivity, according to Kotenko’s estimations.

Update: 31 injured in Russia’s recent missile attack on Kharkiv. Russian missiles hit a shopping center and private houses in Kharkiv, killing three people on the morning of July 11, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a deputy head of the President’s Office, reported earlier that Russia attacked Kharkiv with 10 missiles launched with a Smerch multiple launch rocket system.

Putin forces Russian passports on Ukrainians. Previously, the simplified procedure was used to hand out Russian passports in Russian-occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Russia has distributed almost a million passports in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts since 2019. Forcing Russian citizenship on Ukrainian citizens was later used by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as a justification to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

US Congresswoman Spartz calls for Yermak’s resignation, better support for army from Kyiv. U.S. Representative Victoria Spartz said that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak launched a “smear campaign” against her after she voiced concerns over his integrity. In a press release published on July 11, congresswoman responded to the criticism about raising this issue for political benefit. “After trying to resolve this issue internally for some time, I am raising it publicly out of major concern,” Spartz wrote. She also criticized aid allocation, claiming that Kyiv prioritizes reconstruction of the “nonessential infrastructure” over support for soldiers. Earlier today Vitaliy Shabunin, head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center’s executive board, said that the best way to stop attacks undermining the trust in Ukrainian government is to address the key issues, namely to remove Yermak’s deputy Oleh Tatarov, who is responsible for anti-corruption efforts at the Office of the President. Tatarov has been holding up key leadership appointments across several anti-corruption agencies.

G7 ambassadors urge Ukraine to appoint head of Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office vacant since August 2020. According to the G7 Ambassadors’ Support Group, currently led by Germany, the appointment of the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) “is critically important for strengthening Ukraine’s anti-corruption institutions.”

Institute for the Study of War: Russia continues air and artillery strikes around Siversk and Bakhmut. The U.S. think tank reported on July 11 that Russian forces “continued to focus on defensive operations along the entire Southern Axis,” refraining from offensive operations in the region today. Serhiy Khlan, former advisor to Kherson Oblast governor, said that Russian forces have strengthened the security and filtration measures, “preparing for urban warfare in case a Ukrainian counteroffensive does reach Kherson.”

Read our exclusive stories

Russian missile attacks hit several regions of Ukraine on the morning of July 11, killing dozens and damaging or destroying homes and infrastructure. Attacks were reported in Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Odesa oblasts. Read our story here.

After multiple attempts to flee and a treacherous 14-hour trip through Russian-occupied territory, Olena Butiaeva made it out of her village in Kherson Oblast and settled in a dormitory for displaced persons in Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Read our on the ground story of how displaced Ukrainians are starting over in Kryvyi Rih, and helping others who have fled Russia’s war.

Her husband, Azov regiment soldier Oleksiy Lastovych, was killed in combat defending the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. A Russian airstrike on the Azovstal plant in Mariupol killed her mother, the Azov regiment’s psychologist Natalia Luhovska. Read our story on how this mother of three lost her husband and a parent to Russia’s war.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Update: Death toll in Chasiv Yar rises to 33. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service reported that they have retrieved a body of another victim, aproximately a 9-year-old child, on July 11. This brings the death toll from a Russian missile strike on a five-story residential building in the city of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast to 33 people. The rescue operation is continuing.

At least 3 killed, 28 injured by recent Russian missile strike on Kharkiv. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a deputy head of the President’s Office, said that according to preliminary findings, Russia launched 10 missiles from a Smerch multiple launch rocket system, hitting Kharkiv’s residential ### International response

White House: Iran might provide hundreds of drones to Russia. The White House said on July 11 it has information that Russia is turning to Iran to provide the country with hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Iran plans to train Russians in using the drones this month, however, it is unclear whether Iran had already provided any drones to Russia.

Erdogan, Putin discuss grain corridor from Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a phone call with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that it was “time to take action regarding the United Nations plan to establish safe corridors for grain export in the Black Sea,” Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Sephora leaves Russia. The French chain of cosmetic stores Sephora announced the sale of 100% of the shares of its subsidiary in Russia to its local General Manager, reported the press service of the LVMH holding, which owns Sephora and operated stores in 34 cities in Russia. More than 250 different brands are represented in Sephora stores.

Bloomberg: EU to present new sanction package against Russia in coming weeks. Discussions on ways to cap the price of oil are ongoing and unlikely to happen in the near future, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that the new sanction package could include restrictions on the import of gold, fixes to previously introduced sanctions, and further sanctions on individuals and legal entities.

In other news

Akhmetov will not transfer media empire to state, only the broadcasting licenses. Natalya Yemchenko, director of public relations and communications at System Capital Management (SCM), clarified an earlier statement by Ukraine’s oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, in which he said that his Media Group Ukraine will surrender for the benefit of the state all Ukrainian licenses of their television channels for terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, as well as print media licenses. “We will return to the state only what belongs to the state - that is, the licenses (which were issued to us) for broadcasting. This is exactly what is stated in Rinat Akhmetov’s statement. And that is exactly what will be done. We will not transfer any other assets of the media group to the state,” Yemchenko wrote.

Belarus preparing additional restrictions on exit of citizens. A draft law has been registered in Belarus’ parliament proposing to give the country’s KGB the ability to limit citizens’ right to leave the country for a period of up to six months if it “contradicts the interests of national security,“ Belarusian news outlet Reformation reports.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Alexander Query, Daria Shulzhenko, Toma Istomina, Oleksiy Sorokin, Lili Bivings, Brad LaFoy, Olena Goncharova, Anastasiia Malenko, and Alisa Sobolieva.

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