Russia’s defence ministry claims its forces have repelled Ukrainian attacks in the southern Kherson region and eastern Luhansk region of Ukraine.
Russian-installed officials in Kherson are evacuating tens of thousands of civilians eastwards across the Dnipro river, facing a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has already seen Kyiv retake swathes of land seized by Russian forces in the first days of the war.
Reuters was unable to verify battlefield reports.
Alleged recordings of the head of a major Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer accused of aiding the Russian military – saying he “completely understands” why a Russian missile was fired at his factory – have been released by Kyiv’s security services after his arrest at the weekend.
Vyacheslav Boguslaev, the president of Motor Sich, has been charged with treason after a raid at the weekend on his home in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia. The manufacturing heavyweight is suspected of selling engines – before and after the invasion – for Russian attack helicopters that have been used extensively against Ukrainian troops.
The release of the alleged recordings have served as a reminder of the historic ties between veteran figures in the two countries’ arms industries and Ukraine’s internal battle to root out collaborators.
Answering questions from journalists at a Kyiv courthouse about whether or not he had contracts with companies that work with the Russia military, Boguslaev said he was not “in the loop” and that Motor Sich produced some of the “best helicopters”.
A lawyer for Boguslaev said his client had poor hearing and had not yet listened to the recordings released by Ukraine’s security services . The lawyer added that Boguslaev would explain his position during the trial. A judge ordered for Boguslaev to be held for two months without the possibility of bail.
Firefighters work at the site of a car bomb explosion outside a building housing a local TV station in Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia oblast.
Today so far
The Donetsk oblast was hit hard in the past day, with at least 15 Russian strikes killing seven civilians and injuring three more. The Ukrainian national police said the strikes also destroyed 19 residential buildings and one power line.
Further south, a car explosion near the office of Russian propaganda channel ZaTV in Russia-occupied Melitopol has injured at least five people, including company employees, authorities said. While investigators are still looking into the blast, Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed occupied Zaporizhia oblast official, has purportedly told Russian state media that the car explosion near the office of Russian propaganda channel ZaTv in Russian-occupied Melitopol was a terrorist attack stemming from an “improvised explosive device”. He wrote on Telegram that the power of the explosion was the equivalent of 2 kilograms of TNT.
Amid air raid sirens, Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, arrived in Kyiv for his first trip to Ukraine since Russia invaded. His surprise visit comes six months after the Ukrainian government snubbed the Social Democrat’s offer of a visit over his past role in brokering closer economic ties between Germany and Russia.
Meanwhile, in Berlin, European leaders convened for a conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the conference in a video address that more than a third of the country’s energy sector has been destroyed by rockets and Iranian drones. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, spoke strongly about the need to aid Ukraine in its reconstruction, especially as it pertains to the country’s ascension into the European Union.
Ukrainian authorities are now estimating that Russian forces have lost nearly 68,420 personnel since the start of the invasion.
A look at the impact of the Russian invasion on food prices:
15 Russian strikes in last day kill seven in Donetsk oblast
Seven civilians were killed and three wounded amid 15 Russian strikes on eight settlements in the Donetsk oblast in the past day, authorities said.
The Associated Press is reporting that the attacks came as Russian forces pressed their offensive on the strategically placed towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Ukraine’s industrial heartland of Donbas. Ukrainian national police said the strikes destroyed 19 residential buildings and one power line.
The surprise visit by the German president to Kyiv on Tuesday comes six months after the Ukrainian government snubbed the Social Democrat’s offer of a visit over his past role in brokering closer economic ties between Germany and Russia.
Only last week, Steinmeier had aborted a trip to Kyiv due to security concerns, which led to the former foreign minister being criticised as cowardly by opposition parties in Germany.
“I am looking forward to my meeting with [Ukrainian] President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv,” he said, according to a confirmation sent by his spokesperson.
Before meeting Zelenskiy, Steinmeier will visit a town in the north of the country near the Belarusian border, which Ukraine says has been liberated from Russian troops but left with its infrastructure destroyed.
Steinmeier will provide aid to the municipality for its energy infrastructure, he said. “My message to Ukrainians: you can count on Germany”, Steinmeier said.
The German president has shown contrition since the start of the war in Ukraine. “My sticking to [the Baltic Sea pipeline project] Nord Stream 2, that was definitely a mistake,” he said in Berlin on 4 April. “We held on to bridges that Russia no longer believed in, and of which our partners warned us.”
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, spoke strongly about the need to aid Ukraine in its reconstruction, especially as it pertains to the country’s ascension into the European Union.
Zelenskiy: more than a third of Ukraine’s energy sector has been destroyed
Meanwhile, while German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is in Ukraine for his first trip since the Russian invasion, European leaders are convening in Berlin for a conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the conference in a video address that more than a third of the country’s energy sector has been destroyed by rockets and Iranian drones, Reuters is reporting.
But despite Ukraine’s great need for funds to rebuild, Kyiv has not received a cent of the $17bn rapid recovery funds that the European Commission and World Bank determined that Ukraine would need for the first stage of recovery.
German president arrives in Kyiv amid air raid sirens
Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is in Kyiv for his first trip to Ukraine since Russia invaded and Moscow has since escalated with unsubstantiated warnings of a “dirty bomb”.
He touched down in Kyiv as air raid sirens began to sound around the capital.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed occupied Zaporizhia oblast official, has purportedly told Russian state media that the car explosion near the office of Russian propaganda channel ZaTv in Russian-occupied Melitopol was a terrorist attack stemming from an “improvised explosive device”.
He wrote on Telegram that the power of the explosion was the equivalent of 2kg of TNT.
A car explosion near the office of ZaTV in Russian-occupied Melitopol has injured at least five people – including some company employees, officials said.
ZaTv is a Russian propaganda channel that began broadcasting to the occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia oblast on 1 August. It’s unclear yet if the blast was an accident or deliberate, or if anyone is taking responsibility for the incident.
No one told the 108 female Ukrainian prisoners of war, why, after five months in the most notorious jail in occupied Ukraine, their Russian captors were leading them to a bridge in the small south-west village of Kam’yans’ke.
But when they saw their own soldiers, heard their own language being spoken, and realised that they were to be taking part in a prisoner exchange, they could not hold back their emotions, said 25-year-old Alina Panina, one of the Ukrainian soldiers. “They shouted glory to Ukraine. Some girls began to sing the national anthem of Ukraine,” Panina said. “Some girls could no longer hold back tears and cried. They fell to their knees on the ground.”
Panina spoke exclusively to the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey. Read more of her extraordinary account here: