Ukraine latest updates: Kyiv slams Russian citizenship decree

Ukraine news from July 11: Ukrainian foreign ministry says Moscow’s move is ‘encroachment’ on Kyiv’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Rescue workers put out the fire of a destroyed car after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Rescue workers put out the fire of a destroyed car after a Russian attack in a residential neighborhood in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Monday [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo]
  • Ukraine has condemned a decree from President Vladimir Putin that simplified the Russian citizenship procedure for all Ukrainians, calling it an “encroachment” on Kyiv’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • The Russian-appointed administrator of a small town in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has been killed by a car bomb presumed to be the work of Ukrainian saboteurs.
  • Russian shelling in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv killed three people on Monday and wounded dozens of others, according to regional governor Oleh Synehubov.
  • The governor of Russia’s Kaliningrad has proposed a ban on the movement of goods between the three Baltic states and Russia, in response to what authorities in the exclave have called a “blockade” of its territory by Lithuania.


This live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us.

These were the updates on Monday, July 11:

Leader of Russian-occupied Ukrainian town killed by car bomb

The Russian-appointed administrator of a small town in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has been killed by a car bomb presumed to be the work of Ukrainian saboteurs, the regional occupation authorities have said.

The pro-Moscow military-civilian administration said Yevgeny Yunakov, chief administrator of Velikyi Burluk, had been killed by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

Read more here.

Ukraine war risks spread of drugs, human trafficking: EU official

The European Union must work with Ukraine and Moldova to contain criminal and security risks that the Russian invasion has created, European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has warned.

“We have seen it before trafficking of firearms, trafficking of human beings, trafficking of drugs, [and the] risk of the infiltration of terrorists,” Johansson said in a press conference, after an informal meeting of EU interior ministers in Prague.

Ukraine to begin football season in August

Ukraine will launch its new football season despite Russia’s ongoing invasion, the country’s sports minister has said.

“The Ukrainian football championship will start on August 23,” Vadym Gutsait said on Facebook. “We agreed to work out … the procedure for organising and holding competitions under martial law.”

Ukrainian football clubs decided in April to end the previous season early after it was suspended following Russia’s invasion.

Poland asks Ukraine to confront dark past despite common front against Moscow

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called for Ukraine to admit what he called the shameful truth about how Ukrainian nationalists had massacred more than 100,000 Poles during World War Two, despite Kyiv and Warsaw’s common front against Russia now.

Duda said that the truth about the wartime massacres and others like it in Eastern Galicia from 1942-45 had to be “firmly and clearly stated” and called on Kyiv to acknowledge the ethnic cleansing of Poles by Ukrainian nationalist militias.

“It was not about and is not about revenge, about any retaliation. There is no better proof of this than the time we have now,” Duda said, referring to the two countries’ current cooperation against Russia.

Read more here.

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaking at a podium.
Poland President Andrzej Duda [File: Leszek Szymanski/POLAND OUT/EPA]

Impose sanctions on Russia for new citizenship decree: Kyiv tells allies

Ukraine has called on its allies to impose new sanctions on Moscow and step up new supplies of heavy weapons to Kyiv to punish President Putin’s government for simplifying their naturalisation procedure for Ukrainian citizens.

Kyiv condemns Russian plans to fast-track citizenship for Ukrainians

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has condemned a decree from President Vladimir Putin that simplified the Russian citizenship procedure for all Ukrainians.

“The mentioned decree is another encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law,” the ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “Ukrainians do not need Putin’s citizenship and attempts to impose it by force are doomed to failure”.

Kuleba called Monday’s decree “worthless” and proof of “Putin’s aggressive appetites”.

Erdogan, Zelenskyy discuss grain exports, Ukrainian ports

Ukrainian leader Zelenskyy has revealed he held talks with Turkey’s President Erdogan on the need to unblock Ukraine’s ports and resume its grain exports.

“We appreciate [Turkish] support. Discussed the importance of unblocking [Ukrainian] ports and resuming grain exports. We must also prevent Russia from taking our grain from [occupied territories],” he tweeted.

Russia and Turkey plan summit talks soon: Kremlin

Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to meet in the near future after a phone conversation in which they discussed efforts to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine, Moscow has said.

“An exchange of views on the situation around Ukraine continued, including in the context of coordinating efforts to ensure the safety of navigation in the Black Sea and grain exports to global markets,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency meanwhile reported that Erdogan had told Putin on Monday that it was time to act on a United Nations plan to set up a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea.

Turkey has been mediating between Moscow and Kyiv since Russia began its offensive in late February. The last talks between representatives of Russia and Ukraine were held in Istanbul at the end of March.

Germany, Czech Republic pledge solidarity as Russian gas flows stop

Germany and the Czech Republic have signed a joint declaration, pledging to overcome Russian fossil fuel dependency and to accelerate the transition to low carbon energy as falling Russian gas imports threaten security of supply across Europe.

“We are going to finalise the agreement on solidarity measures to safeguard the security of gas supply between our countries prior to the start of the upcoming winter season,” the declaration read.

It came as the biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany began annual maintenance, with flows expected to stop for 10 days, but governments, markets and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended because of the war in Ukraine.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, on a visit to Prague, and Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela said it was necessary to prepare for various options, including that deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would not resume when scheduled maintenance is due to finish on July 21.

Death toll from Russian rocket attack on housing block rises to 30: Ukrainian official

The death toll from a Russian rocket attack that hit an apartment block in eastern Ukraine over the weekend has risen while rescuers search for survivors in the ruins, an official from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office has said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Zelenskyy’s office, also said rescuers had now cleared 65 percent of the rubble that remained of a collapsed five-storey block struck late on Saturday in the town of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region.

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians as part of its offensive. The country’s defence ministry said on Monday that “high-precision ground-based weapons … have destroyed the temporary deployment point” of a Ukrainian territorial defence unit in Chasiv Yar.

Chasiv Yar
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians as part of its offensive amid claims from Kyiv to the contrary [Anatolii Stepanov/AFP]

Ukraine’s richest man announces pullback from media business

Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, has announced his investment company will exit its media business to comply with legislation passed last year aimed at curbing the influence of “oligarchs” in the country.

In a statement sent to the Reuters news agency, Akhmetov said Media Group Ukraine would hand over the licences for its television channels and print media to the Ukrainian state and cease online media.

Akhmetov said his System Capital Management (SCM) investment company was unable to sell its media business on market terms because of Russia’s war in Ukraine and a six-month term outlined by the anti-oligarch legislation for the sale of media assets.

“Being the largest private investor in the Ukrainian economy, I have repeatedly stated that I have never been and am not going to be an oligarch,” he said.

Russia says its forces shot down three Ukrainian military aircraft: Report

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces shot down two Su-25 fighter-bombers and a MiG-29 fighter jet in eastern Ukraine, according to a report by the country’s Interfax news agency.

Interfax also cited the ministry as saying it had destroyed two Ukrainian army hangars housing M777 howitzers provided by the United States.

Kyiv made no immediate comment on the report. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the Russian defence ministry’s claims.

Ukraine says Chasiv Yar death toll has risen to 26

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine says the death toll from Russian missile strikes in the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar has now risen to 26 people.

The department said in a Telegram post that nine people had so far been rescued from the rubble of a five-storey building destroyed in Saturday’s attack, with rescue efforts continuing.

It posted photos of workers scouring for survivors amid the concrete debris, where up to two dozen people are believed to have been trapped.

Ukraine investigating hundreds of alleged collaborators with Russia

Ukrainian prosecutors have said nearly 500 people are being investigated for collaboration with Moscow as part of its offensive.

Read more here.

Putin signs decree giving all Ukrainians path to Russian citizenship

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree extending a simplified Russian naturalisation process to all citizens of Ukraine, a document published on the Kremlin’s website shows.

The decree orders that “all citizens of Ukraine” be given “the right to apply for admission to the citizenship of the Russian Federation in a simplified manner”.

Previously, only residents of the self-proclaimed breakaway territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, as well as those in the Russian-occupied southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, were eligible for the simplified procedure.

Bolsonaro says Brazil close to deal for cheaper diesel with Russia

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says his government is close to agreeing on a deal with Moscow to buy cheaper diesel from Russia.

Bolsonaro, who enjoys friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, gave no further details about the possible agreement.

High fuel prices have hurt his re-election hopes ahead of an October presidential vote, leaving him trailing in opinion polls to former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Spanish official urges firms to reduce LNG imports from Russia

Spain’s energy minister has urged Spanish companies to reduce imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia and search for alternatives.

“It is desirable that traders seek to minimise imports of Russian gas and diversify the contracts they may hold,” Teresa Ribera told a news briefing.

In May, Russian LNG accounted for 11.9 percent of Spanish gas imports compared with 6.6 percent in the same month of 2021.

Putin, Lukashenko discuss ‘joint steps’ against Lithuania over Kaliningrad

Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko have discussed possible joint measures against Lithuania over what they deem to be “illegal” transit restrictions affecting Kaliningrad, the Kremlin says.

“An emphasis was made on the situation in connection with the illegal restrictions imposed by Lithuania on the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region,” the Kremlin said in a statement following the pair’s talks by phone on Monday. “In this context, some possible joint steps were discussed.”

Vilnius has restricted the transit of goods sanctioned by the European Union into Kaliningrad, a Russian region sandwiched between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, since mid-June.

Russian parliament to hold extraordinary session

The lower house of the Russian parliament will gather on July 15 for an extraordinary session, its council has decided, just days after Putin warned that Moscow has barely started its offensive in Ukraine.

The Russian parliament, dominated by a party which always supports Putin, did not disclose what would be discussed at the extraordinary session.

Vladimir Vasilyev, the head of the United Russia party, which has 325 seats in the 450-seat parliament, said lawmakers would discuss more than 60 issues.

Putin used a meeting with parliamentary leaders on Thursday to dare the United States and its allies to try to defeat Russia in Ukraine. He also reiterated that the goals of Moscow’s self-described “special military operation” will be “achieved”.

Ritz-Carlton in Moscow changes name, logo

One of Moscow’s most luxurious hotels, the Ritz-Carlton, has changed its name after Marriott International said it was suspending its operations in Russia.

The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow Hotel, which is located a short stroll away from Red Square and offers rooms with views of the Kremlin, has been renamed The Carlton Moscow. It also has a new website address and a new logo.

The five-star hotel was formerly operated by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, a subsidiary of Marriott International, but the latter announced in March it was suspending its operations in Russia over the “horrific violence impacting the people of Ukraine”.

Eni to receive reduced gas volumes from Gazprom on Monday

Italian energy group Eni has said it will receive about a third less gas from Russia’s Gazprom on Monday compared with the average volumes supplied over the last few days.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline which transports gas from Russia to Germany has entered a planned maintenance shutdown, prompting concerns about gas supplies to Europe if the outage is extended.

Gazprom will supply approximately 21 million cubic metres on Monday while in the last few days, Eni had received a daily volume of about 32 million cubic metres, Eni said in a note on its website. It gave no reason for the shortfall.

Italy is currently trying to wean itself off its reliance on Russian gas and build up reserves in time for winter.

INTERACTIVE - Russian gas imports into the EU - Europe's reliance on Russian gas

Russia says its forces struck ammunition depots in Dnipro region

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces struck ammunition depots in Ukraine’s central Dnipro region used to supply rocket launchers and artillery weapons.

The ministry also claimed that Moscow’s troops had hit deployment points for Ukrainian forces and foreign fighters in the Kharkiv region.

Kyiv made no immediate comment on the report. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the Russian defence ministry’s claims.

Ukraine says Chasiv Yar death toll has risen to 19

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine says the death toll from Russian missile strikes in the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar has now risen to 19 people.

The department said in a Telegram post that eight people had so far been rescued from the rubble of a five-storey building destroyed in Saturday’s attack, with rescue efforts continuing.

Kaliningrad moves to ban goods’ movement between Baltic states and Russia

The governor of Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad has proposed a total ban on the movement of goods between the three Baltic states and Russia in response to what authorities in the region have called a “blockade” of it by Lithuania.

“As a reciprocal measure we propose to completely prohibit the movement of goods (including those in transit from third countries) between the three Baltic states and Russia,” Governor Anton Alikhanov said.

The Kaliningrad region would be excepted from the ban, he added.

Lithuania on Monday expanded restrictions on trade through its territory to the exclave, as phase-ins of earlier announced EU sanctions against Moscow took effect.

Read more here.

Map of Kaliningrad and Baltic States

Russian shelling kills three, wounds dozens in Kharkiv: Official

Russian shelling in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv has killed three people and wounded 31 others, according to the region’s governor.

Synehubov said in a Telegram post that Russian forces had launched three missile strikes on the city, hitting civilian infrastructure including a shopping centre and several houses.

“All [three were launched] exclusively on civilian objects, this is absolute terrorism!” he said, adding that two children aged four and 16 were among dozens of people taken to hospital with injuries.

Kharkiv, which is close to the Russian border, suffered heavy bombardment in the initial phase of the war, followed by a period of relative calm, but that has been shattered by renewed shelling in recent weeks. Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians during its invasion.

German energy regulator not clear about post-Nord Stream 1 outage

Germany is in the dark about what will happen once the Nord Stream 1 pipeline carrying Russian gas ends its 10-day maintenance period, the country’s energy regulator has said.

“As expected, Nord Stream 1 is at zero since this morning,” Klaus Mueller, head of the Bundesnetzagentur, told the Reuters news agency.

“What happens at the end of the maintenance, nobody is able to say at this moment. We won’t know any time sooner than a day before its scheduled end,” he added.

In Pictures: Search for survivors under Chasiv Yar building debris

Emergency workers in eastern Ukraine are continuing to search for survivors in the ruins of three buildings that were hit in a Russian rocket attack in the eastern town of Chasiv Yar.

At least 18 people were confirmed killed when the residential buildings were struck late on Saturday.

See more here.

Chasiv Yar
Russia’s offensive in Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions of others and destroyed hundreds of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure [Nariman El-Mofty/AP Photo]

Lithuania expands restrictions on Kaliningrad trade

Lithuania has expanded restrictions on trade through its territory to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave as phase-ins earlier announced on EU sanctions set in, a Lithuanian customs spokesperson says.

Goods sanctioned from Monday morning include concrete, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals, the spokesperson said.

Chasiv Yar death toll hits 18: Emergency services

Another body has been pulled from under the rubble of a five-storey building in the town of Chasiv Yar, taking the death toll from Saturday’s missile attack to 18, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine has said.

“As a result of a missile strike … 18 people were killed, six people were rescued from the rubble, about 137 tonnes of destroyed elements of the house were cleared and dismantled,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Rescuers had made voice contact with two other people under the rubble, the department added.

Rescuers on Sunday evening were working to recover more than 20 people who were trapped after the residential building collapsed from what officials said was an Uragan rocket attack.

Kharkiv shelled overnight: Ministry of Internal Affairs

Russian rockets hit the city of Kharkiv three times overnight, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has said.

The ministry said one rocket hit a six-storey residential building.

“An 86-year-old woman, a resident of an apartment on the second floor, was rescued from the rubble by the state emergency service,” the ministry said on Telegram adding that no deaths had so far been reported but rescuers were still at the scene.

Another two rockets hit a warehouse and a school building in different parts of the city, the ministry said.

Residential buildings damaged by a missile strike in Kharkiv
Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second-largest city and lies close to the border with Russia [State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters]

Lack of breaks a damaging personnel issue in the Russian army: UK

The lack of scheduled breaks after intense combat is one of the most damaging personnel issues of the Russian army, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has said.

“In late June, a Russian-language media agency based in Russia’s far eastern Lake Baikal region uploaded a video in which the wives of soldiers from the Eastern Military District’s (EMD) 36th Combined Arms Army directly appealed to a local politician for their husbands to be returned home from service in Ukraine,” the ministry said.

One of the women claimed personnel from another brigade in the EMD were “mentally and physically exhausted” as they had been on active combat duty since the start of the invasion on February 24, it added.

“The lack of 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 ministry said.

Russian forces attack areas on Luhansk, Donetsk border: Governor

Russian forces overnight launched five rocket attacks and four “massive” artillery strikes on populated areas on the border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, the Luhansk governor has said.

“They are using aviation, barrel and rocket artillery, trying to break through from Lysychansk and other directions to Siversk and Sloviansk, but for more than a week these attempts have been unsuccessful,” Serhiy Haidai said on Telegram.

Russian forces were trying to advance from the Popasna direction, he added.

Haidai said Ukraine’s forces had been destroying warehouses that stored Russian artillery but added: “These losses have not yet reached a critical limit – the Russians have too many reserves.”

Dnipropetrovsk region shelled overnight: Governor

Two towns and several villages in the Kryvyi Rih area of the Dnipropetrovsk region were shelled throughout the night, the regional governor reports.

“A night without sirens, but with shelling. The Kryvyi Rih district was covered with fire several times by Russian troops,” Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

US discussing lifting weapon sale ban to Saudi Arabia: Sources

US President Joe Biden’s White House is discussing the possible lifting of its ban on sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia, Reuters has reported, citing four people familiar with the matter.

Biden is due to visit the kingdom this week.

His approach to selling arms to Riyadh has softened since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March, which prompted the US and other Western countries to appeal to Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, to pump more oil to offset the loss of Russian supplies.

Any final decision on the issue is expected to hinge on whether Riyadh makes progress towards ending the war in neighbouring Yemen.

Truss’s departure before G20 ‘deep boycott’: Russia

Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman has characterised UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’s early departure from Bali before last week’s G20 meeting as a “deep boycott” of the Russian delegation, state news agency TASS reports.

“You know, it is a kind of deep boycott of the Russian delegation to leave a day before,” Maria Zakharova said in a televised interview on Sunday evening, according to TASS.

Truss cut short her attendance at the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Indonesia to fly back to London to canvass support for her bid to succeed Boris Johnson as the UK’s prime minister.

Western rocket systems making difference on battlefield: Ukraine

Ukraine’s defence minister has said that Western-donated high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) were making a “huge” difference on the battlefield after a senior US official said the Biden administration would be sending four more HIMARS as part of a $400m weapons package.

“HIMARS have already made a HUUUGE difference on the battlefield,” Oleksii Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

“More of them as well as ammo & equipment will increase our strength and help to demilitarise the terrorist state. I highly appreciate the efforts of the @POTUS & @SecDef to support Ukraine’s struggle for freedom!” he added.

The US official told reporters on Friday that the new arms package would include four additional HIMARS and more ammunition, bringing the total number of these systems sent to Ukraine to 12.

Ukraine plans to use Western weapons to retake southern territory: Times

Ukraine is massing a million-strong fighting force equipped with Western weapons to recover its southern territory from Russia, the nation’s defence minister told The Times newspaper.

In his first interview with a UK newspaper since the invasion began, Oleksii Reznikov said President Zelenskyy had ordered Ukraine’s military to retake occupied coastal areas which are vital to the country’s economy.

“We understand that, politically, it’s very necessary for our country. So the president has given the order to the supreme military chief to draw up plans. After that the general staff are doing their homework and say to achieve this goal we need XYZ,” he said. “This is my job. I’m writing letters to counterparts in partner countries, the generals talk about why we need this kind of weaponry and then we get the political decisions.”

Reznikov told The Times the intensity of the war was rapidly depleting Soviet-era stockpiles.“It was a long process, a month and a half, but we got a result. Ukraine had a Soviet-era armed forces with thirty-year-old weapons. We changed this in three months.”

Air raid sirens activated, blasts reported in Mykolaiv

Air raid sirens were activated across the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv in the last hour, with several residents reporting blasts on social media.

One user said there had been nine explosions in the city by 4:30am local time (01:30 GMT) on Monday.

Australian freelance journalist Bryce Wilson who is in the city said there were “very loud explosions” in “central Mykolaiv starting around 4:00am [01:30 GMT]”.

Ukraine ‘deeply disappointed’ by Canadian decision to return turbine

Ukraine’s energy and foreign ministries have said they are “deeply disappointed” by Canada’s decision to hand back a repaired Siemens turbine used for the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline to Germany.

The statement, published on the energy ministry’s website, called on the Canadian government to reverse its decision and said that returning the turbine would amount to adjusting the sanctions imposed on Moscow “to the whims of Russia”.

Fearing Russian gas shut-off, France’s industry turns to oil

France’s energy-intensive companies are speeding up contingency plans and converting their gas boilers to run on oil as they seek to avoid disruption in the event any further reduction in Russian gas supplies leads to power outages, the Reuters news agency reports.

Gathered over the weekend at a business and economics conference in southern France, several top executives said they were preparing for possible blackouts.

“What we’ve done is we’ve converted our boilers, so they’re capable of running on gas or oil, and we can even switch to coal if we need to,” said Florent Menegaux, the boss of Michelin, one of the world’s leading tyremakers.

France relies on nuclear power for approximately 70 percent of its electricity, meaning it is far less directly dependent on Russian gas than neighbouring Germany. However, the state-controlled electricity producer EDF is struggling to meet France’s needs because of outages at its ageing power plants, increasing the strain on the rest of the energy sector.

Ukraine’s army holding back Russian forces in village near Sloviansk: Governor

Ukraine’s army has trapped Russian forces in the area of the village of Bilohorivka, about 50km (30 miles) east of Sloviansk, from where they are shelling the surrounding settlements and carrying out air attacks, the governor of Luhansk has said.

Serhiy Haidai said that Ukraine’s army was holding Russia’s forces from advancing further and that Moscow’s talk of the imminent capture of Sloviansk and Bakhmut was at this point, “just words”.

The Donetsk regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said that a Russian missile had struck Druzhkivka, a town behind the front line, and reported shelling of other population centres.

Russian rockets destroy school and children’s health centre in Kharkiv: Officials

Russian rockets damaged a school and a health centre for children in Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv early on Sunday, local officials have said.

The shelling left no casualties, but severely damaged the school’s building.

“I think that this is genocide of our nation and our culture,” Vadym Kostenko, whose granddaughter went to the damaged school, told Reuters.

In another district, a rocket destroyed a private house and damaged a health centre for children. Officials also earlier said a rocket hit a residential building in the centre of the city, injuring six people.

Chasiv Yar attack a ‘terrorist’ act: Zelenskyy adviser

Zelenskyy’s chief of staff has called the attack on the town of Chasiv Yar a terrorist act, and has again called for Russia to be officially considered a state sponsor of terrorism.

“The Russians hit a high-rise apartment building with civilians again. Another terrorist attack by a terrorist country,” Andriy Yermak wrote on Twitter.

“The Russian Federation should be on the list of state sponsors of terrorism,” he added.

No ‘pause’ in Russian attacks: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy has said there was no let-up in Russian air attacks on his country after officials said at least 15 people were killed, and two dozen more were feared trapped after Russian Uragan rockets hit a five-storey apartment block in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Speaking during his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said the death toll from the attack in the Donetsk town of Chasiv Yar was likely to rise.

“Two residential high-rise buildings were destroyed. Dozens of people are under the rubble. Six were saved. There are 15 names in the list of the dead and, unfortunately, this is not the final number,” he said, refuting claims that Russian air raids had been “paused”.

“34 air strikes by Russian aviation in the past 24 hours, in one past day, is an answer to all those who invented this ‘pause’,” he said, adding: “The Ukrainian army is holding on, holding firm … But, of course, a lot still needs to be done so that Russian losses become such that there will really be a pause.”

Europe on edge as Russian gas link set for planned shutdown

The biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany starts annual maintenance on Monday, with flows expected to stop for 10 days, but governments, markets and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended due to the war in Ukraine.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic metres a year of gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It will undergo maintenance from July 11 to 21. Europe fears Russia may extend the scheduled maintenance to restrict European gas supply further, throwing plans to fill storage for the northern winter into disarray and heightening a gas crisis that has prompted emergency measures from governments and painfully high bills for consumers.

Germany’s economy minister has said the country should confront the possibility that Russia will suspend gas flows through Nord Stream 1 beyond the scheduled maintenance period.

“Based on the pattern we’ve seen, it would not be very surprising now if some small, technical detail is found and then they could say ‘now we can’t turn it on any more’,” Robert Habeck said at an event at the end of June.

Read all updates from July 10 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies