As the conflict enters its 502nd day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation as of Monday, July 10, 2023.
- Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said that Ukraine was “consolidating” its gains amid heavy fighting in two areas in the country’s southeast and registered “an improvement” in the southern part of Bakhmut.
- The Russian defense ministry said its forces repelled Ukrainian advances near Bakhmut, with the battle becoming difficult “not only in the daily intensity of fire and battle, but also in the topography. The contact line runs between the two hills”.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged again that the counteroffensive is moving more slowly than he or his generals would like but that Ukrainian forces hold the initiative. “All of us, we want to do it faster because every day means new losses for the Ukrainian people. We are making progress. We are not stuck,” he said in an interview with the United States broadcaster. United States ABC, announcing that the military has overcome a “kind of stagnation” in the past months. “We all want to see the counter-offensive done in a shorter time. But there is truth. Now, the initiative is on our side. “
- The death toll from Russian bombing of the eastern Ukrainian town of Lyman has risen to at least nine, with more than a dozen people injured. The head of the Ukrainian military administration in the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said Russian forces attacked the city with rockets and deliberately targeted residential blocks. Russia has denied that it attacked civilians.
- Russian officials said that air defense systems shot down four missiles – one in the Crimean Peninsula and three in the Rostov and Bryansk regions of Russia. No casualties were reported.
- Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said that cluster munitions are “extremely important” for Ukraine and will help “partially restore parity on the battlefield”. Podolyak added that Russia has been using such ammunition in Ukraine for more than a year.
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the US decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, saying it was aimed at prolonging the war.
- US President Joe Biden will arrive in the United Kingdom on Monday where he will speak with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is critical of the US move to send cluster bombs to Ukraine.
- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Berlin could not “prevent” the US from sending cluster bombs to Ukraine, despite its opposition to their use. However, he noted that if Ukraine no longer has the means to defend itself or if those who support the war-torn country withdraw, “it will be the end of Ukraine”.
- In the US, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and Representative Barbara Lee raised concerns about the cluster bomb decision. Kaine said he had “some real misgivings” about the move because it could encourage other countries to avoid the international convention that bans ammunition. However, he told Fox News, he appreciates that the government is “facing the risks”.
- US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed Sweden’s NATO membership in a phone call ahead of Tuesday’s NATO summit. The White House said Biden expressed his desire to welcome Sweden to NATO as soon as possible. The two men will hold talks on the sidelines of the summit that will focus on “Ukraine’s position in NATO, Sweden’s NATO membership, and the delivery of F-16” fighter jets, Turkey said.
- Russia has said it wants NATO to discuss Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant at the summit, accusing Kyiv of causing “systematic damage” to the site. Moscow occupied the nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, shortly after it began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that next month’s BRICS summit, to which Russian President Vladimir Putin is invited, will be “physical” despite an arrest warrant for Putin issued by the International Criminal Court .
- Ukrainian football club Dynamo Kyiv has accused Turkish side Fenerbahce of being a club “without honor and conscience” after the team traveled to Russia to play in a pre-season tournament. Russian teams have been suspended from participating in FIFA and UEFA competitions following the country’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.