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Putin to visit Tehran; Russia, Ukraine to discuss Black Sea 'grain corridor' – The Washington Post
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Putin to visit Tehran; Russia, Ukraine to discuss Black Sea 'grain corridor' – The Washington Post 

UN: Confirmed civilian deaths in Ukraine now top 5,000, but real figure is far higher
Russia holding 400 passenger jets hostage in global sanctions fight
Within the war between Russia and Ukraine, a war between Chechens
Brazil closes deal ‘as recently as yesterday’ to buy Russian diesel
Photos show Ukrainians gathering at food bank in Kramatorsk
Recording reveals life in captivity for American held by Russian group
Battleground updates: At least six killed in Kharkiv strikes; Chasiv Yar death toll hits 38
Ukraine strikes Russian ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka, military says
Ukraine to consider legalizing same-sex marriage
Russia, Ukraine to discuss Black Sea ‘grain corridor,’ Turkey says
Photos show wreckage from Monday’s strikes in Kharkiv
Russian missiles hit Mykolaiv, injuring at least 12, officials say
Russian forces may use ‘non-traditional recruitment’ to fill gaps, U.K. says
Kremlin says Putin will visit Tehran next week
Poland calls on Ukraine to face past atrocities as the two stand against Russia
UN: Confirmed civilian deaths in Ukraine now top 5,000, but real figure is far higher
Russia holding 400 passenger jets hostage in global sanctions fight
Within the war between Russia and Ukraine, a war between Chechens
Brazil closes deal ‘as recently as yesterday’ to buy Russian diesel
Photos show Ukrainians gathering at food bank in Kramatorsk
Recording reveals life in captivity for American held by Russian group
Battleground updates: At least six killed in Kharkiv strikes; Chasiv Yar death toll hits 38
Ukraine strikes Russian ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka, military says
Ukraine to consider legalizing same-sex marriage
Russia, Ukraine to discuss Black Sea ‘grain corridor,’ Turkey says
Photos show wreckage from Monday’s strikes in Kharkiv
Russian missiles hit Mykolaiv, injuring at least 12, officials say
Russian forces may use ‘non-traditional recruitment’ to fill gaps, U.K. says
Kremlin says Putin will visit Tehran next week
Poland calls on Ukraine to face past atrocities as the two stand against Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran next week to discuss deepening economic ties with Iran, according to the Kremlin.
Iran plans to provide Russia with “up to several hundred” drones to be used in the war in Ukraine, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday. The move indicates Moscow is running out of precision weapons, according to U.S.-based military analysts, who added that closer cooperation between two U.S. adversaries is likely to encourage the West to step up military assistance to Kyiv.
The death toll continues to rise from Russian strikes in eastern and northern Ukraine. At least 41 people were killed in Chasiv Yar, a city in the eastern Donetsk region, when a Russian missile hit a residential complex over the weekend, according to officials. Three others were also killed Monday in Kharkiv when Russian airstrikes damaged a shopping center and residences.
Here’s what else to know
The United Nations on Tuesday announced a terrible new milestone in Russia’s war in Ukraine: Fighting has now officially killed more than 5,000 civilians — and those are just the confirmed deaths. U.N. and international experts agree the real toll is far higher.
Still, the U.N. figure, from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, offers a useful baseline for observers and advocates to measure the conflict’s increasingly deadly impact on noncombatant bystanders. It is yet more confirmation of what report after report has shown: Moscow’s indiscriminate missile strikes continue to level homes, hospitals and schools, killing thousands of civilians and injuring many more.
The U.N. data counts 5,024 civilian deaths, including more than 300 children. More than 6,500 others have been confirmed injured.
There appears to be no end in sight. Over the weekend, a Russian rocket attack destroyed an apartment complex in the city of Chasiv Yar, Ukrainian officials said, leaving at least 38 people dead.
Early last month, an employee of Sri Lanka’s court system walked into the nation’s biggest airport brandishing a judicial order grounding an Aeroflot flight that was about to take off for Moscow.
The aircraft’s nearly 200 passengers were deplaned and taken to local hotels, their travel foiled by an Irish company that had leased the jet to Aeroflot and was now demanding its return to comply with Western sanctions on Russia.
The incident kicked off a diplomatic row on the tropical island south of India, which is heavily dependent on Russia for tourist income and, of late, for fuel. First, Aeroflot halted all flights to the island, blocking the flow of leisure travelers. Then, in private talks, according to a European official familiar with what took place, Moscow threatened to cut off energy deliveries as well — something that would have worsened an economic crisis that was already causing food and fuel shortages and widespread unrest.
KHERSON REGION, Ukraine — The long table was set with sliced vegetables, bottles of Coca-Cola and juice, boiled lamb hearts and kebabs cooked over a fire. Sitting at the head was the man of the hour — the birthday boy. His arms were crossed in front of his broad chest as he leaned back in his chair and observed the rare party.
Joining him at the table were soldiers with beards that matched his. Some were the sons of men he had fought alongside in a different war that felt very much like this one. Now he was their commander.
He was presented a cake covered in chocolate frosting and decorated with the images of two flags — one for the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the home to which he and his comrades hope to return one day, and one for Ukraine, the country they are fighting for now. What the two have in common is their enemy: Russia.
“There are very few of us — my people have been evicted and exterminated,” said the commander, who asked to be identified only by his call sign, Makhno. He leads a reconnaissance platoon that is part of Ukraine’s military intelligence service.
“The Russians are destroying our population,” he said. “How can we not fight them?”
But often the forces on the other side of the front line are also from Chechnya, the small Muslim-majority republic under Russian rule in the Caucasus Mountains. Within a war between Russia and Ukraine is another war: between Chechens who have pledged their loyalty to Moscow and Chechens who say those fighters are traitors for joining forces with the country that bombarded their towns and cities decades ago.
Brazil is looking to buy as much diesel from Russia as possible, amid high fuel prices that could hurt Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chances of reelection ahead of an October vote.
Speaking to the press at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said deals with Russia were finalized “as recently as yesterday.”
Franca said supplying diesel to Brazil will be essential for aiding agribusiness and Brazilian drivers. “So that’s why we were looking for safe and very reliable suppliers of diesel,” he said, adding that “Russia is one of them.”
It’s not clear how Brazil would buy Russian diesel without coming up against Western sanctions that the country imposed on Moscow on Feb. 24.
“Russia is a strategic partner of Brazil. We are partners at BRICS,” Franca said, referring to the group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a bloc seen as a rival emerging market to the West.
“We rely heavily on fertilizers exported from Russia and from Belarus as well. And of course, Russia it’s a great provider of oil and gas. You can ask Germany about that. Can ask Europe about that. So Brazil, we are in short supply of this,” he added.
Ongoing fighting in Ukraine has cut off access to food and other basic commodities for many. With households in dire need, 1 in 3 Ukrainian families are not able to obtain adequate food. In some areas in the east and south, 50 percent of families are in need, according to the World Food Program.
In the city center of Kramatorsk, volunteers helped to hand out food rations at a distribution center. Despite the rain, hundreds of residents patiently lined up.
An American military veteran captured by Russian forces in Ukraine is being held in solitary confinement but appears hopeful the U.S. government is pursuing his release, according to a phone call with his mother that was recorded last week and provided to The Washington Post by his family.
Friday’s call between Alexander Drueke and his mother, Lois Drueke, offers new insight into the Biden administration’s efforts in what has become a high-stakes showdown with Moscow over U.S. involvement in the war. It was their fifth conversation since Drueke and another U.S. military veteran, Andy Tai Huynh, were taken into custody in June, his family said. Both men are from Alabama and traveled overseas as volunteers, joining the campaign despite public warnings from top U.S. officials that doing so was dangerous and ill-advised.
Chasiv Yar: At least 38 people have been found dead after a Russian missile strike on a residential complex in this eastern city over the weekend, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said Tuesday. One child was among the dead, according to Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Nine survivors have been found, and rescue efforts are ongoing, the agency said.
Kharkiv: Strikes in the northeastern city, Ukraine’s second-largest, killed six people and injured 31 others, the prosecutor general’s office said. Regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said a residential building was hit. A 4-year-old was injured, and among the dead were a 17-year-old boy and his father who were driving by, according to the prosecutor’s office, which said a shopping center also came under fire.
Novaya Kakhovka: Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych shared a video Monday evening that showed an explosion at what he claimed was a Russian weapons depot in the occupied Kherson region. Arestovych said Ukrainian forces have been deploying on a daily basis the advanced rocket launchers provided by the United States in an effort to take back territories in the country’s occupied south. The Russian state-run news agency Tass reported several fatalities and injuries from a Ukrainian strike on Novaya Kakhovka. The strike also led to an explosion at a fertilizer warehouse, and local authorities will begin to assess the scale of the damage on Tuesday, Tass said.
Slovyansk: Russian forces continued to shell the outskirts of this strategically key eastern city and fired heavily at Ukrainian-held outposts along a highway, according to the latest assessment from the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.
Ukraine’s South Operational Command said Tuesday that it struck an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka, a town in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson.
According to authorities there, Ukrainian rocket artillery units killed 52 Russian military personnel, and destroyed a Msta-B howitzer and several other vehicles overnight.
Russian state media outlet TASS provided a different account, saying seven people are missing following the huge explosions in the Russian-occupied town.
TASS quoted the head of the town’s civil-military administration, Vladimir Leontiev, saying the strike “led to an explosion in warehouses with mineral fertilizers. There are victims, the market, hospital and houses are damaged.” He said that the launch targeted civilians and not military population, adding that the area was full of warehouses, stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
Ekaterina Gubareva, another official in the Russian-backed administration, said Ukraine fired using American High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
Ukraine is inching one step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage, with a nationwide petition receiving more than 28,000 signatures, according to the BBC.
Any petitions that gather more than 25,000 signatures in Ukraine will automatically trigger the president’s consideration, but that does not guarantee changes to the current law. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky now has 10 days to either approve or reject the proposal, and it’s unclear what his move will be.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Ukraine, but same-sex marriages and civil partnerships are not recognized. Under Ukrainian law, if one person in a same-sex partnership dies, the surviving partner cannot collect the body or bury the deceased.
Current laws have also caused problems for those who are part of the LGBT community, eager to join the military in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine introduced an anti-discrimination law in 2015. However, homophobia and violence are still rampant in the country. Ukraine’s first official Pride march was held in Kyiv in 2013. This year’s march was canceled after a gathering of skinheads threatened participants.
Polls, however, show a different reality. According to recent data published by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, over the past six years, the number of people who have a “negative view” of the LGBT community in Ukraine has decreased from 60.4 percent to 38.2 percent
Some 12 percent of people have a positive attitude of the community — up from 3 percent — and 44 percent said they were indifferent.
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s defense minister said Tuesday that military delegations from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey would meet in Istanbul for talks aimed at restarting grain shipments from Ukrainian ports blockaded by Russia.
The minister, Hulusi Akar, said in a statement that the meeting would take place Wednesday and include a delegation from the United Nations.
The announcement of the meeting followed calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the leaders of Russia and Ukraine on Monday that were focused in part on a U.N. plan to establish a maritime “safe corridor” that would allow the resumption of grain exports from Ukraine, according to Turkish readouts. Turkey maintains close ties with both Kyiv and Moscow and has tried to act as a mediator between the two sides since the Russian invasion.
Weeks of negotiations over the issue of a grain corridor in the Black Sea have failed to yield an agreement, as Russia blocks shipments of Ukrainian food, fueling a spike in global prices, fears of famine in countries that depend on imports from Ukraine and financial ruin among Ukraine’s farmers.
Ukraine, which accounted for 10 percent of global wheat exports last year, has also accused Russia of stealing grain from occupied territories to sell on international markets. Last week, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to explain why a Russian ship detained by Turkish authorities and suspected of carrying stolen grain was allowed to leave a Turkish port.
Photos showed the aftermath of strikes in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, where the prosecutor general’s office said six people were killed and 31 were injured on Monday, including children.
Regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said earlier on Telegram that a residential building was hit in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
As emergency workers put out fires and cleared the rubble, victims received treatment for shrapnel injuries, the governor said.
A 4-year-old was injured, and among the dead were a 17-year-old boy and his father who were driving by, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office. It said a shopping center also came under fire.
A village in the wider Kharkiv region was also hit Monday, and several buildings were damaged, its mayor told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne.
The northeastern Kharkiv region was gripped by heavier fighting in recent months before Russian forces ramped up an offensive on the eastern Donbas region.
At least 12 people were injured when Russian airstrikes hit the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early Tuesday, officials there said.
“On the morning of July 12, Mykolaiv was subjected to massive missile fire,” regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram. Two residential buildings and two health facilities were hit, he added, and 12 people were wounded. According to preliminary information, no one was killed in the latest strikes, Kim said.
Videos and photos showed firefighters attempting to put out the flames at the apparent site of the attacks in the southern port city, on the banks of the Pivdennyi Buh River, which feeds into the Black Sea.
The Mykolaiv City Council said the strikes damaged the water supply network, and it warned that residents of some parts of the city would be without water until 5 p.m. local time Tuesday while repairs were underway. Gas pipelines in some homes were also damaged, it said.
Oleksandr Senkevych, the mayor of Mykolaiv, said the strikes hit two hospitals, breaking windows, destroying furniture and causing structural damage. No patients were harmed, but a security guard was injured, he added.
Russia’s armed forces are experiencing personnel shortages as the war in Ukraine continues through its fifth month and may “turn to non-traditional recruitment” sources to fill the gaps, including a controversial private mercenary group, Britain said in its latest intelligence update.
“Russian Armed Forces’ personnel shortages may be forcing the Russian MOD [Ministry of Defense] to turn to non-traditional recruitment,” the British Defense Ministry said Tuesday. “This includes recruiting personnel from Russian prisons for the Wagner Private Military Company.”
The Wagner Group is a Kremlin-linked network of private security contractors whose fighters have joined Russian forces on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. Its fighters first entered Ukraine in 2014 during Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and have fought in Syria and Mali.
On Sunday, the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, said “Russian forces are in the midst of a theater-wide operational pause in Ukraine.” Russian soldiers are resting and regrouping after months of fighting, the institute said, though Ukrainian officials said Russia continued to strike cities over the weekend and on Monday, causing dozens of casualties.
On Monday, the British Defense Ministry cited a video in which the wives of Russian soldiers from the Eastern Military District’s 36th Combined Arms Army “directly appealed to a local politician for their husbands to be returned home from service in Ukraine.” One claimed the soldiers are “mentally and physically exhausted” from months of fighting.
“The lack of scheduled breaks from intense combat conditions is highly likely one of the most damaging of the many personnel issues the Russian MoD is struggling to rectify amongst the deployed force,” the British Defense Ministry said Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran on July 19 to meet with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.
Iranian news agencies said earlier that Putin would visit to discuss deepening economic ties between the two countries. Peskov said the Russian leader’s trip was for a trilateral summit on the conflict in Syria, adding that Putin would also hold other meetings, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency, citing the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s economic commission, Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, said Raisi’s recent trip to Russia yielded plans to expand economic cooperation, particularly after U.S. and European sanctions against Moscow.
“Planning for the development of economic cooperation between Iran and Russia will be the priority of the consultations between the presidents of the two countries,” Iran’s Mehr News Agency also quoted the lawmaker as saying.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred” drones, including some capable of firing missiles, for use in the war in Ukraine.
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The latest: Iran plans to provide Russia with “up to several hundred” drones to be used in the war in Ukraine, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday. The move indicates Moscow is running out of precision weapons, according to U.S.-based military analysts.
The fight: A slowly regenerating Russian army is making incremental gains in eastern Ukraine against valiant but underequipped Ukrainian forces. The United States and its allies are racing to deliver the enormous quantities of weaponry the Ukrainians urgently need if they are to hold the Russians at bay.
The weapons: Ukraine is making use of weapons such as Javelin antitank missiles and Switchblade “kamikaze” drones, provided by the United States and other allies. Russia has used an array of weapons against Ukraine, some of which have drawn the attention and concern of analysts.
Photos: Post photographers have been on the ground from the very beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.
How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can help support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.
Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.
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