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Latest Developments in Ukraine: July 16

A medical worker takes care of people injured during Russian shelling Thursday in a hospital in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 15, 2022.
A medical worker takes care of people injured during Russian shelling Thursday in a hospital in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 15, 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.

9:50 p.m.: Aleksey Yukov has lost count of the bodies he's recovered in the Donbas over the past five months. He says he thinks it's more than 300, but he can't be sure, the BBC reported.

Aleksey and his men drive a refrigerated white van, marked with a red cross, to carry out their work. They often drive towards danger to collect the bodies and remains of dead Ukrainian and Russian troops and civilians.

"We work with no days off. Constantly. We drive, we investigate, we transport, we search, all the time," he says.

8:55 p.m.: In his nightly address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians not to fall for Russia's attempts to scare them with warnings of horrendous missile attacks to come, which he said were aimed at dividing Ukrainian society.

“Sometimes, information weapons can do more than regular weapons," he said Saturday night.

“It’s clear that no Russian missiles or artillery will be able to break our unity or lead us away from our path” toward a democratic, independent Ukraine, he said. “And it is also clear that Ukrainian unity cannot be broken by lies or intimidation, fakes or conspiracy theories.”

8 p.m.: Russian officials said on Saturday that its forces would step up military operations in Ukraine in "all operational areas" as Moscow's rockets and missiles pounded cities in strikes that Kyiv says have killed dozens in recent days, Reuters reported.

Rockets hit the northeastern town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region overnight, killing three people including a 70-year-old woman and wounding three others, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

To the south, more than 50 Russian Grad rockets pounded the city of Nikopol, on the Dnipro River, killing two people who were found in the rubble, the region's governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

Ukraine says at least 40 people have been killed in such attacks on urban areas in the last three days. Russia says it has been hitting military targets.

7:06 p.m.: Sunday marks the anniversary for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.

"The European Union reiterates its full support for all efforts to establish the truth, achieving justice for the 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 and their next of kin and holding those responsible to account, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in the statement.

6:30 p.m.: The U.S.-Arab summit on Saturday did not discuss oil and OPEC+ would continue to assess market conditions and do what is necessary, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said, according to Reuters.

“There was no oil discussion at the summit,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a news conference, adding there were discussions with the United States and consumer nations about crude all the time.

The United States is eager to see Saudi Arabia and its OPEC partners pump more oil to help tame crude prices. OPEC+, which also includes Russia, meets next on August 3.

5:30 p.m.: Four months after that harrowing trip to cross the border in Serbia, the 20-year-old is at the track and field world championships, a world away in Eugene, Oregon. She's favored to win a gold medal.

4:38 p.m.: Across Ukraine, combines are racing to harvest this year's grain ahead of fires caused by accident or intention along the war's front lines, CNN reported.

Pavlo Serhienko, 24, is the third generation of his family to farm in the Vasylivka district of Zaporizhzhia. Serhienko is managing 3,000 hectares, nearly half of which is too dangerous to cultivate, he told CNN on Saturday.

"We can't even get there. It is either mined or near the occupied territories, literally the front line. We had occupiers on part of the fields," Serhienko said.

He said in the past few days he had lost 30 hectares of wheat, and 55 hectares of barley. And "those 1,200 hectares I can't reach are also burning. But what can I do? I won't even go there."

3:15 p.m.: Russian missiles struck several residential buildings in the city of Nikopol, killing two people according to reports by Dnipro regional governor Valentin Reznichenko. In the northeast region around Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv, an overnight Russian missile attack killed three people in the town of Chuguiv said governor Oleg Synegubov.

In the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, officials said the death toll rose to 24 from Russian strikes after a woman died of her injuries in hospital Saturday. Ukraine said three children were among the dead along with at least 68 others who were injuried, Agence France-Presse reports.

2:35 p.m.: The U.S says it will resume flights to the International Space Station with Russia, despite its attempts to isolate Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine, reports Agence France-Presse.

"To ensure continued safe operations of the International Space Station, protect the lives of astronauts and ensure continuous US presence in space, NASA will resume integrated crews on US crew spacecraft and the Russian Soyuz," US space agency NASA says in a statement.

1:20 p.m.: German chancellor, Olaf Scholz announced the country will temporarily reactivate coal and oil-fired power plants to offset energy supply declines as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a video message published Saturday, Scholz said “It’s bitter that we now have to use some power plants that we have already shut down because of Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine. But it’s only for a very short time.”

Germany deceased its dependence on Russian gas since Russia invaded Ukraine. Germany’s use of Russian gas fell from 55% of total consumption to 35% since the war started, reports The Guardian.

12:52 p.m.: IMF chief, Kristalina Georgieva, warned officials from the G20 to take urgent action to combat inflation, saying Russia’s intensifying war in Ukraine had increased pressure on commodity and energy prices.

Speaking at a G20 meeting of finance officials in Indonesia, Ms. Georgieva said that global financial conditions were tightening more than expected, Reuters reports.

11:45 a.m.: Ukraine's atomic energy agency accused Russia of using Europe's largest nuclear power plant to store weapons and shell the surrounding regions of Nikopol and Dnipro that were hit on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reports.

Petro Kotin, president of Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom, called the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant "extremely tense" with up to 500 Russian soldiers controlling the plant. The nuclear power plant located in southeast Ukraine has been under Russian control since the early weeks of Moscow's invasion, though it is still operated by Ukrainian staff.

11:15 a.m.: Finance ministers from the Group of 20 industrialized nations ended their meeting in Indonesia Saturday without reaching an agreement on a U.S. proposal to cap the price of Russian oil.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the proposal “highlighted the importance of cooperation on a price cap on Russian oil in order to restrict revenue to Putin’s war machine and limit the impact of Russia’s war on energy prices.”

10:30 a.m.: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian military units operating in all areas of Ukraine to step up their operations to prevent strikes on eastern Ukraine and other territories controlled by Russia, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

It said Shoigu “gave the necessary instructions to further increase the actions of groups in all operational areas in order to exclude the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching massive rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in Donbas and other regions.”

8:55 a.m. : US warning of closer ties between Russia and Iran with intelligence indicating Tehran is preparing to provide Moscow with several hundred weapons-capable drones that could be used in the war in Ukraine.

5:19 a.m.: A Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro killed at least three people and injured 15 more, Al Jazeera reported, citing the regional governor.

“The rockets hit an industrial plant and a busy street next to it. We are determining the extent of the destruction," Valentyn Reznichenko said on Facebook, Al Jazeera reported.

4:25 a.m.: The latest intelligence update for the U.K. defense ministry said Russian offensive operations remain reduced in scope and scale, with fighting west of Lysychansk focused on Siversk and Bakhmut. This is despite Russian claims to have entered the outskirts of Siversk town earlier in the week.

Russia has previously made premature and false claims of success, the update said, adding that this is likely at least in part aimed at demonstrating success to domestic audiences and to reinforce soldiers' morale.

3:16 a.m.: A two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 major economies is expected to conclude without a formal communique, as Russia's war in Ukraine continues to divide the group, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Instead, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who is hosting this week's meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, is expected to issue a chair's statement summarizing the events of the meeting, the sources said.

Senior Western officials, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Friday condemned the war and blasted Russian officials for the massive economic fallout caused by the war.

2:25 a.m.: International doping authorities approved special exemptions for seven Ukrainian athletes, allowing them to compete in world championships though they hadn't been tested enough in the leadup due to the war in their country, The Associated Press reported.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced Friday that the other 15 Ukrainians, along with 134 athletes from five other countries categorized as “high risk” because of poor testing protocols, were entered into the championships, the AP reported. No athletes from any of the countries are being excluded.

1:09 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, issued a new assessment of the war in Ukraine. It said Russia is attacking north of Slovyansk, southeast of Siversk, around Bakhmut, and southwest of Donetsk City. It's also trying to keep Ukrainian forces from advancing toward the Russian border in Kharkiv Oblast.

The assessment noted that Russian forces are committing "systematic attacks" on civilian sites, including homes, recreational facilities and schools in Mykolaiv City.

12:02 a.m.: Bulgaria's defense capabilities will not be seriously affected by Moscow's decision to suspend Russian helicopter repair certificates to local companies, Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov said Friday.

Zakov said Bulgaria would also continue to repair Ukrainian military equipment at its military factories, although it refused to send weapons directly.

Zakov said that Moscow's decision would not seriously affect Bulgaria, nor would it hinder its repair of Ukrainian military equipment.

"What happened with gas has now happened with helicopter licenses," Zakov said, referring to an earlier suspension of Russian gas deliveries to Bulgaria after it refused to pay in rubles.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.

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