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Russia strikes cities across Ukraine, gas supplies in focus

Russian forces continued their bombardment of cities in Ukraine with heavy shelling of Sumy, cluster bombs attacking Mykolaiv, and a missile strike at Odesa in Odesa, authorities stated on Tuesday (19 July).

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th failed to capture Kyiv, the capital. Russia now plans to launch a campaign to bombard the country with devastating bombings to consolidate and expand its control over the south and east.

According to Ukraine, Russian forces have increased long-distance strikes against targets far away from the front, resulting in large civilian casualties. Moscow claims it is hitting military targets.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine, claims that Russia fired more than 3,000 cruise missiles in the conflict’s five-month duration.


Zelenskiy, the country’s top prosecutor and security chief, suspended Zelenskiy over the weekend. He claimed they failed to expel Russian spies.

On Monday, US officials said that Washington would continue to share intelligence with Kyiv to counter Moscow’s attack, despite his disclosure about Russian penetration into the SBU.

This week could prove pivotal for European countries worried about the effects of war and sanctions upon gas supplies.


Russia will reopen Nord Stream 1 its main natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany in the coming days, following regular maintenance. However, Europeans are concerned that Moscow might keep it closed.

Gazprom Russia, the operator of the pipeline, told European customers it could not guarantee gas supplies due to “extraordinary” circumstances. According to Reuters, this is an increase in economic tit-fortat with the West.

Oleksii Motulevych, a spokesperson for the regional administration, stated that a Russian missile attack in Odesa left at least four people injured, set fire to other homes, and caused damage to several houses.

Russian forces attacked Mykolaiv Monday with cluster shells, injuring at most two people, and damaging windows, roofs, and private houses. Oleksandr Senkevich, mayor of Mykolaiv, stated in a post to social media.

Dmytro Zivytskyi, head of the Sumy military administration, stated that more than 150 shells and mines were fired on the Sumy area.

“They used mortars, barrels and rocket artillery to attack the enemy. He said that the Russians opened fire with machine guns and rocket launchers.

According to Vitaliy Barabash (head of Avdiyivka’s military administration), Russian troops tried unsuccessfully, he said, in an interview on Tuesday, to advance towards Avdiyivka, north of Donetsk.

After being attacked for several days, he said that the Russians had been pushed back by the Ukrainian forces.

He said that enemy losses were much greater than ours and included about 40 deaths.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports immediately

Kyiv believes the war is at an important turning point. Moscow has exhausted its offensive capabilities by seizing small cities in the east. Ukraine, however, now has long-range Western weapons that can strike back behind Russian lines.

Kyiv points to a series of successful strikes against 30 Russian ammunition and logistics hubs that it claims are crippling Russia’s artillery-dominated forces, which need to transport thousands upon shells daily to the front.

On Monday, Ukraine’s top military commander General Valery Zaluzhny posted a Facebook message in which he credited U.S.-supplied long-range rocket systems, known as HIMARS, with helping to stabilize the situation through “major strikes against enemy command points, ammunition, and fuel storage warehouses.”

Russia claimed Monday that Sergei Shoigu, the Defence Minister, had directed the military to focus on eliminating Ukraine’s Western-supplied rockets.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to give Ukraine another EUR500m ($504m) of EU arms funds. This brings the bloc’s total support to EUR2.5billion since Moscow invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

The south is where Ukraine is planning a counterattack in order to retake the largest area of territory since the invasion. In strikes in the Kherson region, Ukraine claimed to have destroyed Russian missile systems, communications and radar as well as ammunition depots, armoured vehicles, and ammunition depots.

The east saw the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Luhansk (one of the two Russian-held provinces) at the beginning of July.

Kyiv claims that Moscow plans another attack to capture the last Ukrainian-held territory of Donetsk.

Vladimir Putin claims that the attack on Ukraine is a special military operation to demilitarize Russia’s neighbor and expel dangerous nationalists. It is a bid to retake a country that fell under Moscow’s control in 1991, Kyiv and West agree.

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