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Latest Developments in Ukraine: July 5

A Ukrainian serviceman looks at the rubble of a school that was destroyed some days ago during a missile strike in outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, July, 5, 2022.
A Ukrainian serviceman looks at the rubble of a school that was destroyed some days ago during a missile strike in outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, July, 5, 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:

11:50 p.m.: Food and energy security will figure prominently in a meeting of G-20 foreign ministers in Bali this week and the group's members should insist Russia support U.N. efforts to reopen sea lanes blocked by Moscow's war in Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said, Reuters reported.

Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, told reporters Secretary of State Antony Blinken would raise energy security in the main G-20 ministers' session on Friday and in bilateral meetings in Bali.

11:20 p.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he intends to intensify negotiations with Russia and Ukraine in the hope of reaching a deal on a U.N. plan to export Ukrainian grain to world markets, The Associated Press reported.

Turkey is working with the United Nations, Ukraine and Russia on a plan to that would allow millions of tons of Ukrainian grain sitting in silos to be shipped through safe corridors in the Black Sea.

Erdogan made the comments during a joint news conference with Italian Premier Mario Draghi. Last week, Draghi said the U.N. plan to export Ukrainian grain via safe sea corridors could save precious time to empty silos before the autumn harvest.

10:15 p.m.:

9:25 p.m.: Switzerland has given a cool response to calls from Ukraine's prime minister to use frozen assets of ultra-wealthy Russians to help fund his country's $750 billion reconstruction project, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told a conference in Lugano that $300-500 billion of Russian assets had been frozen by the United States, European Union and Britain, money he said could help rebuild wrecked schools, hospitals and homes.

But Switzerland, which in May reported $6.50 billion of frozen Russian assets, has resisted an automatic handover of wealth. The country, which has adopted EU sanctions against Russians, has long been a popular destination for Moscow's elite and a holding place for Russian wealth.

Swiss President Ignazio Cassis said it was important to protect individuals against the power of the state and to create a legal basis for confiscating funds.

8:10 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “This is a maximum task for our state – to provide basic security for Ukrainians, basic protection against missile attacks already this year. But the fulfillment of this task depends not only on us, but also on the understanding of our fundamental needs by our partners.”

7:15 p.m.: Russian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill providing for stricter penalties for foreign internet companies that fail to open an office in Russia, including fines, Reuters reported.

Moscow has long sought to exert greater control over technology firms, and disputes over content and data have intensified since it sent armed forces into Ukraine on February 24.

Foreign social media giants with more than 500,000 daily users have been obliged since July 1, 2021, to open offices in Russia or risk penalties ranging up to outright bans.

Now, the turnover fines that Russia has imposed on the likes of Google and Meta Platforms for hosting banned content could be applied to companies that fail to open offices, after the lower house passed the bill in the second of three readings.

Fines could be as high as 10% of a company's turnover in Russia from the previous year, rising to up to 20% for repeat violations.

6:10 p.m.:

5 p.m.: Officials from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) were in Serhiivka Monday, where they saw the aftermath of the terrible attack that hit a residential area last week, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday at a briefing in New York.

More than 130 people have been displaced, according to local authorities in Serhiivka and our partners. Humanitarian assistance is being mobilized by the government and our partners. In total, more than 2,000 people living in the area have been affected, he said.

Over the weekend and Monday the U.N. received reports of heavy fighting killing and injuring many civilians on both sides of the front lines in Donestka oblast. Hundreds of houses and other civilian infrastructure were reportedly hit in recent days, including the water system in Sloviansk.

People in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, in government-controlled areas, where the U.N. distributed humanitarian aid a few days ago, have experienced a particularly difficult weekend, that prompted the mayors of both cities to ask citizens to evacuate and seek safety elsewhere.

In non-government-controlled areas, the situation is also dire, with intense attacks reported in the last 48 hours. More than 10 million people have received some kind of humanitarian assistance across the country, above our initial target of 8.7 million people, Dujarric said.

4:25 p.m.:

3:44 p.m.: Canada became the first country to formally ratify Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO.

The accession protocol needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members before Finland and Sweden can be protected by the NATO defense clause — that an attack on one member is an attack against all.

Members of Canada's House of Commons had unanimously expressed their support for Finland and Sweden in a vote earlier in June before the chamber closed for a summer break.

Before using an administrative process to ratify their membership on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly spoke to opposition lawmakers to make sure they were in agreement, the minister's spokesman said.

2:25 p.m.: Arbitrary detention of civilians has become widespread in parts of Ukraine held by Russia's military and affiliated armed groups, with 270 cases documented, the U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The findings were based on information from monitors' field visits and interviews conducted with just more than 500 victims and witnesses of human rights violations, as well as other sources of data, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

At the same session, Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova accused Russia of kidnappings on a massive scale, including Kherson's mayor Ihor Kolykhayev, and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

Russia's delegate, Evgeny Ustinov, said Bachelet's report was part of a disinformation campaign against his country designed "to cover up the crimes of the Kyiv regime." Moscow has denied deliberately attacking civilians since invading on February 24.

1:32 p.m.: The U.S. and its allies on Tuesday called for the governing bodies of sports in Russia and Belarus to be suspended from international sports federations over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, facilitated by the Belarusian government, is abhorrent and a flagrant breach of its international obligations,” according to a statement from the U.S. State Department that called for the removals. “Respect for human rights and peaceful relations between nations form the foundation of international sport.”

The statement also called for “individuals closely aligned to the Russian and Belarusian states, including but not limited to government officials, should be removed from positions of influence on international sport federations, such as boards and organizing committees.”

It also called for suspending the broadcast of sports competitions into both countries.

1:10 p.m.: The head of the Donetsk regional military administration has urged civilians to evacuate the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk after an artillery strike hit the central market, RFE.RL reported.

Pavlo Kyrylenko said at least two people were killed and seven wounded as a result of the shelling on Tuesday. He posted a video on social media showing smoke rising from a commercial area and photos of firefighters dousing flames.

"The Russians are again purposefully hitting places where civilians are gathered. This is pure terrorism. The terrorist state must be brought to justice," Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

The attacks on Slovyansk come after Ukrainian forces on Tuesday took up new defensive lines in Donetsk, where they still control major cities, after withdrawing from Lysychansk.

The withdrawal prompted Russia to claim full control of the eastern Luhansk region, although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to regain the lost ground.

11:35 a.m.: The Russian government could force domestic companies to supply goods and services to the military under two bills given an initial vote of approval by parliament on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

The bills, both passed unanimously in a first reading by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, would give the government power to compel businesses to provide goods to the military and make their employees work overtime.

According to the report, employees of such businesses could be forced to work at night, on weekends and holidays, and without annual leave.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said the measures are necessary as Western countries increase arms supplies to Ukraine.

The bills must undergo two more readings in the Duma, be approved by the upper house of parliament and then signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.

10:55 a.m.: A Russian-flagged ship carrying 7,000 tons of grain is being held and investigated by Turkish officials following claims its cargo was stolen from Ukraine.

The Guardian reports that Turkish authorities, acting on a letter from Ukraine’s prosecutor general, stopped the ship in the Black Sea port of Karasu.

The voyage of the Zhibek Zholy had been announced by the Moscow-appointed head of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region, as the “first commercial ship” to take supplies out of Russian-controlled ports since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.

Ukraine has accused invading Russian forces of stealing grain from Ukrainian farms to sell abroad. The Russian invasion has disrupted grain exports and helped spark a rise in food prices worldwide.

9:25 a.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he believes Ukraine can recapture territory recently taken by Russian forces.

The prime minister’s office says Johnson made the comment during a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to a statement, Zelenskyy outlined his country’s current military situation, and Johnson updated Zelenskyy on the latest British military contributions to Ukraine. He said these included 10 self-propelled artillery systems and loitering munitions, a type of aerial weapon. He said the weapons will arrive in coming days and weeks.

8:50 a.m.: Russian forces struck targets across Ukraine’s Donetsk region on Tuesday ahead of an expected offensive aimed at seizing more territory, reports Reuters.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk, said Tuesday that the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk came under shelling overnight. “There is no safe place without shelling in the Donetsk region,” he said.

Russian forces captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk on Sunday, a move that gave Russia complete control of the neighboring Luhansk region. Ukrainian forces which retreated from Lysychansk have taken up new defensive lines in Donetsk, according to Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk.

8 a.m.: The mayor of a city in eastern Ukraine has advised residents to evacuate ahead of an expected Russian assault, reports the Associated Press.

Vadim Lyakh, mayor of Sloviansk in Donetsk province, said “it's important to evacuate as many people as possible” after Russian shelling damaged 40 houses in the city on Monday.

Russia declared its forces had taken full control of Ukraine’s Luhansk province on Monday and analysts believe it will next try to take Donetsk, the other part of the mostly Russian-speaking Donbas industrial region.

7:45 a.m.: Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev says a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil at about half its current level would cause world oil prices to triple, according to Reuters.

G7 leaders agreed at their recent meeting in Germany to examine the idea of an oil price cap in order to put a financial squeeze on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Writing on social media Tuesday, Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, said the proposal would lead to significantly less oil on the market and could push prices above $300 or even $400 a barrel.

7:15 a.m.: Turkey has agreed to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO on the condition that the two Nordic countries extradite people the Turkish government views as terrorists, reports Bloomberg.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on the eve of a NATO gathering in Brussels Tuesday that Turkey was still willing to block Sweden and Finland’s membership if they renege on those commitments.

6:15 a.m.: Russian-installed authorities in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, partly under Russian control, said on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached to sell grain abroad, mainly to the Middle East, Reuters reported citing Russian state news agency TASS.

Ukraine has accused Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, of stealing grain from territories that Russia’s army has seized. Moscow denies this. The war has disrupted Ukraine’s grain exports via the Black Sea.

TASS cited Yevgeny Balitsky, the head of the Russian-installed administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, as saying the planned deals included sales to Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Balitsky said there was a contract to supply 150,000 tons of grain to Iran, adding that Russian agricultural traders and state companies were buying grain from the region’s farmers. Reuters said it could not verify the statement.

6 a.m.:

5:45 a.m.: NATO's 30 allies signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden on Tuesday to allow them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once allied parliaments ratify the decision, the most significant expansion of the alliance since the mid-1990s.

"This is truly an historic moment," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said alongside the foreign ministers of the two countries. "With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger."

The protocol means Helsinki and Stockholm can participate in NATO meetings and have greater access to intelligence but will not be protected by the NATO defense clause that an attack on one ally is an attack against all until ratification. That is likely to take up to a year.

"Thank you for your support! Now the process of ratification by each of the allies begins," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Twitter. "Look forward to working together in ensuring our collective security," she said.

4:45 a.m.: Switzerland is hosting a conference for the second day focusing on Ukraine recovery in Lugano.

The conference will address the priorities, methods and principles of reconstruction, as well as what form reconstruction may take in the areas of infrastructure, the economy, the environment and social issues. URC2022 will also consist of a pledging element.

4:15 a.m.: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg makes opening remarks before signing of accession protocols for Finland and Sweden.

"This is a good day for Finland and Sweden, and a good day for NATO. With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer as we face the biggest security crisis in decades," Stoltenberg said. He added that "NATO’s door remains open to European democracies who are ready to and willing to contribute to our shared security."

4 a.m.: NATO members on Tuesday are due to sign the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance.

Both countries submitted their applications in May, breaking longstanding non-aligned stances in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Once the accession protocols are signed, each of NATO’s 30 member countries will have to ratify them according to their individual national procedures.

Both Finland and Sweden have a history of working with NATO as partner countries, including attending NATO meetings and participating in military exercises.

3:30 a.m.:

3 a.m.: Russian gas producer Gazprom said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine through the Sudzha entry point was seen at 42.15 million cubic meters on Tuesday compared with 42.10 mcm on Monday, according to Reuters.

An application to supply gas via the Sokhranovka entry point had again been rejected by Ukraine, Reuters reported citing Gazprom.

2:25 a.m.: Belarus said on Tuesday it was freezing foreign shareholdings in 190 Belarusian companies, including EPAM Systems and Lukoil Belarus, in response to Western sanctions for its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and human rights violations, Reuters reported.

A decree published on the official legislative portal said shareholders from countries that "commit unfriendly actions against Belarusian legal entities and/or individuals are prohibited from disposing of their shares."

2 a.m.: Britain’s defense ministry said Tuesday it expects Russia to use the same tactics it employed to seize virtually all of eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province as it pushes to control Donetsk province and reach its stated goal of holding the entire Donbas region.

"The battle for the Donbas has been characterized by slow rates of advance and Russia’s massed employment of artillery, levelling towns and cities in the process," the ministry said in a statement. "The fighting in Donetsk Oblast will almost certainly continue in this manner."

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory Monday in Luhansk province as Ukrainian troops retreated from their last stronghold in the city of Lysychansk.

1 a.m.: Russian forces set their sights on their next objectives in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province, after President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in neighboring Luhansk province as the five-month long war entered a new phase, Reuters reported.

The capture of the city of Lysychansk on Sunday completed the Russian conquest of Luhansk, one of two regions in Donbas, the industrialized eastern region of Ukraine that has become the site of the biggest battle in Europe in generations.

Both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the fight for Luhansk, particularly during the siege of the twin cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. Both cities have been left in ruins by the relentless Russian bombardment.

Ukrainian forces on Tuesday took up new defensive lines in Donetsk, where they still control major cities, while Putin told his troops to "absolutely rest and recover their military preparedness," while units in other areas keep fighting.

Since the outset of the conflict, Russia has demanded that Ukraine hand both Luhansk and Donetsk to pro-Moscow separatists, which have declared independent statelets.

12:30 a.m.: Phan Thị Kim Phuc, the girl in the famous 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, on Monday escorted 240 refugees from the war in Ukraine on a flight from Warsaw to Canada, The Associated Press reported.

The iconic AP photo in which Kim runs with her napalm-scalded body exposed, was etched on the private NGO plane that flew the refugees to the city of Regina, the capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Kim, 59, a Canadian citizen, said she wants her story and work for refugees to be a message of peace.

The 236 refugees, mostly women and children from across Ukraine, are among thousands of Ukrainians that Canada has provided humanitarian visas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of their country.

12:15 a.m.: U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to "do all you can" to bring home her and other Americans detained in Russia.

Griner’s representatives shared parts of the letter Monday.

"As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever," Griner wrote.

Griner was arrested in February on charges of possessing cannabis oil. Her trial began last week and is set to resume Thursday.

U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Monday that Griner is being wrongfully detained and that the Biden administration "continues to work aggressively — using every available means — to bring her home."

12:01 a.m.: Images of traditional embroideries and floral paintings adorned the walls of Dior's celebrity-laden runway homage to Ukraine as Paris’ four-day Couture Week kicked off Monday, The Associated Press reported.

The set, from Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, was the starting point for designer Maria Grazia Chiuri. Dior said the embroidery-rich collection riffed on Eastern European styles that was also a message of cultural dialogue and support.

Chiuri channeled the "tree of life," the leitmotif in Trofymenko’s art, by evoking roots and branches in long, loose folksy gowns, or in stiff, cropped ethnic-looking jackets embroidered in silks and cotton threads and yarn.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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