Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

·2 min read
Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the Donbas region

(Reuters) - Russian forces kept up their bombardment of cities across Ukraine, with intense shelling of Sumy in the north, cluster bombs targeting Mykolaiv and a missile strike in Odesa in the south, authorities said on Tuesday.

FIGHTING

* In Odesa, a Russian missile strike injured at least four people, burned houses to the ground, said Oleksii Matsulevych, a spokesman for the regional administration.

* Russian forces hit Mykolaiv with cluster shells on Monday, injuring at least two people and damaging houses, the Ukrainian city's mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said in a social media post.

* More than 150 mines and shells had been fired on the Sumy region, Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the head of the Sumy regional military administration, said on Telegram.

* Ukraine's top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, said U.S.-supplied long-range rocket systems were helping to "stabilize the situation" through "major strikes at enemy command points, ammunition and fuel storage warehouses."

* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered generals to prioritise destroying Ukraine's long-range missile and artillery weapons after strikes on Russian supply lines.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

ECONOMY

* Russia's Gazprom has told customers in Europe it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of "extraordinary" circumstances, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Dated July 14, the letter from the Russian state gas monopoly, said it was declaring force majeure on supplies, starting from June 14.

* Foreign allies need to increase their financial support for Ukraine to help the country maintain financial stability during the war with Russia, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said.

* Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations will most likely meet this week to discuss resuming Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.

DIPLOMACY

* EU foreign ministers agree another 500 million euros ($504 million) of funding to supply arms to Ukraine, taking the bloc's security support to 2.5 billion euros since Russia's invasion began.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Tehran on Tuesday for a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first trip by the Kremlin chief outside the former Soviet Union since the invasion of Ukraine.

(Compiled by Cynthia Osterman and Michael Perry)

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