Air raid sirens sound across the Mykolaiv region, which borders the vital exporting port of Odesa.
- The mayor of Ukrainian city Mykolaiv warns residents to stay in shelters as powerful explosions rock the city.
- Ukraine says 21 people were killed when missiles hit the southern coast near Odesa on Friday.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says sites have been deliberately targeted by Russia.
- Moscow denies targeting civilians in Ukraine with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov telling reporters that Russian Armed Forces “do not work with civilian targets”.
- The United States is sending Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.
Here are the latest updates:
Russia’s messages with missiles tell West to back off
The latest in a litany of horrors in Ukraine came this week as Russian firepower rained down on civilians in a busy shopping mall far from the front lines of a war in its fifth month.
The timing was not likely a coincidence.
Were the attacks a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin as the West sought to arm Ukraine with more effective weapons?
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko suggested as much when missiles struck the capital on June 26, three days after EU leaders unanimously agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for membership.
It was “maybe a symbolic attack” as the Group of Seven leading economic powers and then NATO leaders prepared to meet and apply further pressure on Moscow, he said. At least six people were killed in the Kyiv strike, which pummeled an apartment building.
Ukraine requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship
Ukraine has requested that Turkey detain and arrest the Russian-flagged cargo ship Zhibek Zholy carrying a cargo of Ukrainian grain taken from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, according to a Ukrainian official and document seen by Reuters.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry official, citing information received from the country’s maritime administration, said the 7,146 dwt Zhibek Zholy had loaded the first cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdyansk, which the official said belonged to Ukraine.
In a letter dated June 30 to Turkey’s justice ministry, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office separately that the Zhibek Zholy was involved in the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” from Berdyansk and headed to Karasu, Turkey, with 7,000 tonnes of cargo, which is a larger cargo than cited by the official.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office asked Turkey to “conduct an inspection of this sea vessel, seize samples of grain for forensic examination, demand information on the location of such grain”, the letter said, adding that Ukraine was ready to conduct a joint investigation with Turkish authorities.
Blasts rock Ukraine’s Mykolaiv
Powerful explosions have rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, the mayor said, a day after authorities said at least 21 people were killed when Russian missiles struck an apartment building near the Black Sea port of Odesa.
Air raid sirens sounded across the Mykolaiv region, which borders the vital exporting port of Odesa, before the blasts.
“There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in shelters!” Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevich wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
It was not immediately known what caused the explosions.
Explosions flattened part of an apartment building while residents slept on Friday, the latest in a series of what Ukraine says are Russian missile attacks aimed at civilians.