Accessibility links

Breaking News

Latest Developments in Ukraine: July 15

A baby stroller lies by a road after a deadly Russian missile attack in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 14, 2022.
A baby stroller lies by a road after a deadly Russian missile attack in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 14, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.

10:29 p.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday reshuffled his top officials, naming a new head of the state space corporation and giving new broad powers to one of his top ministers, The Associated Press reported.

Putin removed Dmitry Rogozin as the head of the Roscosmos space agency.

He replaced Rogozin with Yuri Borisov, a deputy prime minister who was in charge of weapons industries. Borisov's duties were handed over to Denis Manturov, the minister of industry and trade who was also given the rank of a deputy prime minister.

Manturov has held the ministerial job since 2012 and reportedly has Putin's favor, accompanying the Russian president on most foreign and domestic trips.

Borisov's appointment as Roscosmos chief indicates he hasn't completely fallen from grace despite the weapons procurement issues. There was no immediate word on a new job for Rogozin, who had served as Roscosmos chief since 2018 and became known for his blustery anti-West rhetoric.

9:30 p.m.: United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq offered an update on the attack in Vinnytsia at the daily briefing on Friday in New York.

“Our humanitarian colleagues on the ground are supporting people impacted by yesterday’s attack,” he said.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has an office in Vinnytsia, reports that the death toll is rising, with at least 23 people confirmed dead, including three children. More than 10 people are missing. Local authorities say more than 400 rescue workers continue to clear the debris and search for survivors.

The World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), has donated trauma kits and other medical supplies to the city’s hospital.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are helping local authorities provide emergency shelter, critical supplies and psychological support.

8 p.m.: The British government summoned the Russian ambassador in London on Friday to demand an explanation after the Moscow-backed separatist leadership in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine said Paul Urey had died in captivity on Sunday of chronic illnesses and stress.

Urey, 45, was detained in April at a checkpoint near Zaporizhzhia, along with another British man, Dylan Healy. The two men had been operating on their own in the war zone, helping to evacuate civilians.

Presidium Network co-founder Dominik Byrne said Urey had diabetes and needed a regular supply of insulin.

"It's obvious that his welfare was not looked after," Byrne said. "The Russian authorities and the Donetsk People's Republic knew he had need of insulin but all the way through this the Red Cross has been denied welfare access to him and has never been able to verify his actual conditions in prison."

7:10 p.m.: At least three people were killed and 15 injured on Friday in a Russian missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the regional governor, Valentyn Reznychenko, said.

"The rockets hit an industrial plant and a busy street next to it," Rezynchenko said on his Facebook page. "We are determining the extent of the destruction."

The Ukrainian military shot down four of the six missiles fired at the city and region in an evening attack, he added.

The dead included a city bus driver, a local transportation official said on his Facebook page.

"The man had finished his workday and was headed to the depot to go back to work at 5 a.m. tomorrow. He didn't make it," Ivan Vasyuchkov wrote. "Two children have been left without a father. A really young guy, my age, he still had so much time to live. There are simply no words."

6:20 p.m.:

5:33 p.m.: A Russian court on Friday sentenced another top opposition figure to a years-long prison term, The Associated Press reported, the latest move in the Kremlin's multipronged crackdown on opposition activists, independent media and rights groups.

Andrei Pivovarov, former head of the Open Russia group, was sentenced to four years in prison by a court in the southern city of Krasnodar. Pivovarov was charged with "directing an undesirable organization," a criminal offense under a 2015 law. He has maintained his innocence and has insisted that the charges against him were brought because of his plans to run for parliament in September 2021.

4:55 p.m.: Russian authorities declared two investigative news outlets undesirable on Friday, outlawing their operation in Russia, The Associated Press reported.

The Prosecutor General's office told Russia's state news agency Tass that the investigative group Bellingcat and the Russian online outlet The Insider, as well as the Czech nonprofit CEELI Institute, "pose a threat to the foundations of the (country's) constitutional order and security."

The Insider, a news outlet registered in Latvia, has worked with Bellingcat on high-profile cases such as the nerve agent poisonings of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and Russian opposition leader Navalny. The websites of both have been blocked in Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

4 p.m.: Ukraine has received its first delivery of a sophisticated rocket-launcher system, adding to a growing arsenal of Western-supplied long-range artillery Kyiv says is changing dynamics on the battlefield, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The first MLRS M270 have arrived," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on social media, without mentioning what country sent them.

"They will be good company for HIMARS on the battlefield," he added, referring to US precision rocket systems recently deployed in the conflict.

3:15 p.m.: If the United Nations, Ukraine and Russia reach an agreement to export Ukrainian grain, it will not lead to Russia-Ukraine peace talks, Leonid Slutsky, a Russian lawmaker who had taken part in peace talks with Kyiv in the past, said on Friday, state news agency TASS reported.

2:22 p.m.: Russian investors will have the right to ask foreign institutions holding their frozen securities to transfer depositary accounting rights to a Russian organization, according to a law signed by President Vladimir Putin late on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Around 6 trillion rubles ($105.1 billion) in foreign stocks are held by Russians and have been frozen through Western sanctions and Russia's own authorities and platforms restricting trading in foreign assets, the central bank has estimated. Apple and Tesla stocks are among the most the popular.

Under the new law, investors have the right to ask for the depositary accounting rights of its foreign-held shares to be transferred to a Russian entity within 90 days from the law's publication, the text of the law said.

1:10 p.m.: Germany plans to give Moldova $40.2 million to help protect one of Europe's poorest countries from inflation as it continues to host Ukrainian refugees, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Friday, according to CNN

''Moldova was in a very critical situation,'' Baerbock said at a donor conference in Bucharest. "This small democratic republic has done everything possible to help refugees from Ukraine."

Moldova, population 2.5 million people between Romania and Ukraine, is hosting more than 70,000 Ukrainian refugees as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

12:24 p.m.: Reuters reports that a Briton who was detained by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine and accused of being a mercenary has died, an official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said on Friday. The death of Paul Urey, 45, was confirmed by a British charity which described him as a humanitarian worker and denied he had any military background.

12:04 p.m.: Sele Murekezi, brother of Suedi Murekezi, a Rwanda-born American who had been living in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson when he was taken captive by pro-Russian separatists in June, said his family was a little relieved to learn he was only captured.

"We were extremely worried. We were hoping that he was arrested for some reason, but because of what’s going on in Ukraine, you know, people are dying every day, we feared the worst could have happened. So our best hope [was] that he had been arrested for God knows what," Sele told VOA.

11:30 a.m.: The European Union's executive, the European Commission, formally proposed on Friday new sanctions on Russia, including a new import ban on Russian gold. EU governments must still sign off on the measures, expected as early as next week, Reuters reported.

10:31 a.m.: Ukraine is hurrying to clinch a deal with Russia, Turkey and the United Nations next week to export grain via its Black Sea ports, a senior Ukrainian official source said on Friday, Reuters reported.

10:20 a.m.: The head of the company now running the former McDonald's Corp chain of restaurants in Russia told RBC TV that producers of French fries are refusing to supply to the country and warned that attempts to increase domestic processing are fraught with difficulties, Reuters reported. McDonald's quit Russia after a Western backlash against Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

9:44 a.m.: Russian forces pounded other sites in a relentless push to wrest territory from Ukraine and try to soften the unbending morale of its leaders, civilians and troops as the war nears the five-month mark, according to The Associated Press.

9:43 a.m.: Rescue teams with sniffer dogs combed through the debris Friday in a central Ukrainian city looking for people still missing after a Russian missile strike a day earlier killed at least 23 people and wounded over 100 others, The Associated Press reported.

5:43 a.m.: Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said the European Union has "shot itself in the lungs" with its sanctions against Russia, Al Jazeera reported.

In an interview on public radio, Orban said, "Initially, I thought we had only shot ourselves in the foot, but now it is clear that the European economy has shot itself in the lungs, and it is gasping for air," Al Jazeera reported.

5:04 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. ministry of defense said Russian and pro-Russian Luhansk People's Republic separatist forces claim to have entered the outskirts of Siversk. The update notes this has not been confirmed, and that once Siversk is secured, Bakhmut is likely to be the next objective.

4:13 a.m.: The International Skating Union dropped Russia as host of a Grant Prix of Figure Skating event, Al Jazeera reported. The city of Espoo, Finland, will hold the event instead. It's set for Nov. 25-27.

3:13 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said in its latest assessment of the Ukraine conflict that Russia continues to strike Vinnytsia, Kharkiv City, and Mykolaiv City. It's also trying to advance on Siversk and attacking Bakhmut and Slovyansk.

1:06 a.m.: The United States said Thursday that it would not bar the sale of farm equipment to Russia, again denying Moscow's allegations that Western sanctions — not its invasion of Ukraine — are causing the global food crisis, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Treasury Department, in a legal form on sanctions exemptions, said it would not stop US transactions related to the production, sale or transport of agricultural equipment.

In line with previous rules set after the Feb. 24 invasion, the Treasury Department also said it was not prohibiting agricultural commodities such as fertilizer as well as medical devices and COVID-19 tests.

12:02 a.m.: Two months after falling to Russian troops, the eastern Ukrainian town of Popasna, once home to 20,000, has turned into a ghost town with little sign of life, Reuters reports.

Ukrainian troops retreated from Popasna in May after Russian forces launched an offensive along most of Ukraine's eastern flank, with intense attacks and shelling around the town in the Luhansk region.

A Reuters reporter visited Popasna on Thursday and found the town deserted, with nearly all apartment buildings either destroyed or heavily damaged. Barren streets bore no sign of people or animals.

A former resident, Vladimir Odarchenko, stood inside his damaged home and surveyed the debris strewn across the floor.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do. Where to live? I don't know," he told Reuters.

Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.