These are the main developments as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 509th day.
Here is the situation on Monday, July 17, 2023.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s counteroffensive was failing. “All enemy attempts to break through our defences… they have not succeeded since the offensive began. The enemy is not successful”, the Russian leader said in a televised interview.
- Putin also said Russia has a “sufficient stockpile” of cluster munitions and warned that Moscow “reserves the right to take reciprocal action” if Ukraine uses the controversial weapons.
- Ukrainian officials said fighting had “intensified” on the eastern front, with Russian forces “actively attacking in the Kupiansk sector in Kharkiv” for two consecutive days. “We are on the defensive,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “There are fierce battles. The positions of both sides change dynamically several times a day.”
- Maliar also said the two armies were pummelling one another around the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut, but that Ukrainian forces were “gradually moving forward” along its southern flank.
- Separately, the Ukrainian military indicated it had taken control of part of a southeastern village in the Donetsk region, near a string of small settlements Ukraine recaptured in June. “The enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to regain lost positions in the northern part of Staromayorske,” the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in an update marking the first official acknowledgement of progress at the village.
- A spokesman for Ukraine’s southern command also said that Ukrainian forces had advanced more than a kilometre (0.6 miles) in one part of the southern front.
- Ukrainian officials said one man was killed and seven wounded after Russia shelled a district of the eastern city of Kharkiv. Two boys, aged eight and 10, were also wounded when an explosive device left by Russian forces detonated in the southern region of Kherson, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office.
- Meanwhile, Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had prevented Ukraine from attacking the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, destroying seven aerial and two underwater drones. There were no casualties and no damage from the attack on the annexed Crimean-peninsula.
- The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said Ukrainian forces shelled the Russian border town of Shebekino using Grad missiles, killing a woman riding her bike. He said Ukrainian shelling of two other Belgorod settlements caused no casualties but damaged three homes, warehouses, a fence, a water tower and a power line at an agricultural enterprise.
- South Korea has pledged to provide more de-mining equipment to Ukraine following President Yoon Suk-yeol’s visit to Kyiv over the weekend.
- US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called for a redoubling of support for Ukraine, saying “it’s the single best thing we can do for the global economy”. Speaking at the sidelines of a G20 finance minister summit in India, Yellen said “budgetary support was critical for Ukraine’s resistance” and that one of Washington’s core goals was to “combat Russia’s efforts to evade our sanctions”.
Black Sea grain deal
- The last ship to travel under a United Nations-brokered deal that allows the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa early on Sunday, according to MarineTraffic.com.
- Russia has not agreed to register any new ships since June 27 and the initiative will expire on Monday unless Moscow agrees to extend it.
- The Russian state has taken control of French yoghurt maker Danone’s Russian subsidiary along with beer company Carlsberg’s stake in a local brewer, according to a decree signed by the country’s president.
- Carlsberg said it had “not received any official information” on the move, adding that the prospects for full disposal of its business in Russia were now highly uncertain. Carlsberg said in June it had signed an agreement to sell its Russian business, subject to regulatory approvals.