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Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 to stop the eight-year-long war being waged by Kiev against the Donbass republics. President Putin called the actions of the Ukrainian military genocide, saying that the war criminals should be held accountable for their atrocities.
Russian forces and Donbass militia continue to press on after seizing control over the city of Lisichansk on July 3, thus liberating the last remaining piece of territory of the Lugansk People's Republic from Ukrainian troops.
However, the Ukrainian military continues to shell Donbass cities, including Donetsk. According to the DPR authorities, at least 256 civilians have been killed in these attacks since Ukrainian forces started the escalation in mid-February.
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03:12 GMT 18.07.2022
Ukrainian Firing Position Targeting Humanitarian Convoys Located in Kherson
Members of Russian law enforcement have discovered a firing position set up by Ukrainian militants in southwestern Kherson to shell a road where humanitarian aid convoys pass, a source in the Russian security forces told Sputnik.

"The firing position was chosen in such a way that a checkpoint and a section of the highway of regional importance, where military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces, humanitarian convoys, as well as vehicles transporting agricultural products pass, fell into the firing range, "the source said.

According to the source, at the same location, two portable anti-aircraft missile systems "Igla" were found, as well as a grenade launcher, explosives and Kalashnikov assault rifles.
00:10 GMT 18.07.2022
Scholz Set on Keeping Sanctions in Place if Ukraine Peace Achieved on Russian Terms
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the EU sanctions introduced against Russia over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine will not be lifted if peace is established on conditions forced by Russia.
"That we might have to keep our sanctions in place for a long time was clear to us from the start. It is also clear to us that in the event of peace on the terms imposed by Russia, none of these sanctions will be lifted," Scholz wrote in a Sunday article for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
He admitted that German citizens are suffering from the consequences of sanctions, facing high gas and food prices.
"This path is not easy even for such a strong, prosperous country as ours," Scholz said.
The permanent representatives of the EU member states will discuss sanctions against Russia and aid to Kiev during the Monday meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council. The meeting will also address aspects related to food security as well as the ongoing UN-led efforts to enable the export of grains from Ukraine via the Black Sea.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that the commission had offered to extend and strengthen the economic sanctions against Russia until January 2023, as part of a joint proposal for a new package of anti-Russia measures.
23:31 GMT 17.07.2022
US Has No Proof of Peaceful Nature of Biolab Activities in Ukraine
Washington is trying to justify itself by claiming that US biological activities in Ukraine were peaceful, but there is still no evidence of this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says.
"Contrary to the facts, the US administration is trying to justify itself, stating that all biological research in Ukraine was of an exclusively peaceful, civilian nature," Lavrov said in an article for the Izvestia newspaper, explaining that certain "findings" at military biolabs in Donbas point to direct violations of the Biological Weapons Convention.
According to Lavrov, Russia has sent all the relevant documents to Washington and the UN Security Council.
On June 9, the US Defense Department said that the United States had helped provide support to 46 biological laboratories in Ukraine in order to improve biological security and monitor diseases.
Anna Popova, the head of Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said on Saturday that biolabs in Ukraine pose a risk to the world's biological security and claims that they had operated for the benefit of the Ukrainian people are false.
In February, the Russian Defense Ministry discovered the existence of 30 US-funded military biological laboratories in Ukraine. According to Moscow, Washington has spent over $200 million to develop biological weapons at the facilities. Russia also said that the labs revealed in Ukraine constitute only a small part of a global network of over 300 similar facilities.
21:33 GMT 17.07.2022
Lavrov Says Nato MFL Experts Appear to Be Directing Ukrainian Servicemen on the Ground, Europe Needs to Realize What Consequences May Follow
NATO’s multiple rocket launcher (MRL) experts appear to be directing the actions of Ukrainian troops "on the ground," which is fraught with certain consequences, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"NATO instructors and MRL gunners are already, apparently, directing the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the national battalions ‘on the ground’," Lavrov said in his article for the Izvestia newspaper, adding that he hoped that "there are responsible politicians among the Europeans who are aware of the consequences this is fraught with."
He added that the armed forces of Russia, as well as the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), are confidently solving tasks within the framework of Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, "losing on the battlefield, the Ukrainian regime and its Western patrons do not disdain to stage bloody dramatizations in order to demonize our country in international public view," the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov emphasized that the demand of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Moscow to conclude an agreement on territorial integrity and sovereignty guarantees with Kiev is in vain, since such a document already existed, it was the Minsk-2 peace deal, which was "killed" by Germany and France.
According to the Russian foreign minister, Europe is suffering from sanctions imposed against Russia the most, and is using up its arsenals, supplying weapons to Kiev without requiring an account of who controls the arms and where these weapons end up.
19:01 GMT 17.07.2022
Head of Major US Defense Company Calls on Europe to Clarify What Weapons Needed in Ukraine
The head of Northrop Grumman, Kathy Warden, urged European countries on Sunday to clarify what arms are needed for Ukraine so that the industry could provide them effectively.
"The most important thing now is to get a clear demand signal on what the sustained commitment is and the level of draw down from those stockpiles is going to be," Warden said in an interview with Financial Times, adding that the existing stockpiles of weapons in the long term may not be enough.
Global supply chain issues have doubled or tripled the company's turnaround time in some cases, Warden said. According to her, Northrop Grumman is ready to invest in expanding production until new contracts are awarded, but the industry needs to get a signal that there will be demand for weapons.
Another defense company has already begun to procure the necessary components in anticipation of contracts for more weapons, but there is a risk that the produced weapons will not be ultimately used, the newspaper noted.
Major US contractors meet with Pentagon representatives several times a week to discuss what is being delivered to Ukraine, the newspaper said.
19:00 GMT 17.07.2022
Banknotes and coins from all over the world - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.07.2022
Russia
Germany, France, 4 Other Countries Froze Almost $13Bln in Russian Assets
14:53 GMT 17.07.2022
Two People Die After Ukrainian Troops Shell LPR City Using US HIMARS
Two civilians died after Ukrainian troops shelled the city of Alchevsk using the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), the Lugansk People’s Republic’s (LPR) mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination on the ceasefire regime (JCCC) said.
"As a result of the shelling of the city of Alchevsk from the US multiple launch rocket system M142 HIMARS (a total of 6 missiles), two civilians were killed, six multi-storey residential buildings, a bus and trolleybus depot and the sanatorium Druzhba were damaged," the LPR mission stated.
14:52 GMT 17.07.2022
Estonian Defense Delegation Pays Official Visit to Ukraine
Estonian Defense Forces Commander Martin Herem made an official visit to Ukraine on Sunday and discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the security situation in Ukraine, the Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces said.
"The delegation of the Defense Forces of the Republic of Estonia, led by the Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Martin Herem Sodurileht, made an official visit to Ukraine," a statement said, adding that the parties discussed security situation in Ukraine and on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, as well as the development trends of the military-strategic situation in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea-Azov region.
Zaluzhnyi added that Ukraine appreciates the assistance of Estonia, the high level of military cooperation between the countries, and the hospitality with which Estonia accepted Ukrainian refugees.
14:51 GMT 17.07.2022
NLAW - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.07.2022
NATO Weapons Double Civilian Casualties in DPR, JCCC Expert Says
11:28 GMT 17.07.2022
Ukrainian Forces Shell Donetsk With 20 Grad Rockets
10:14 GMT 17.07.2022
Russia Eliminates US-Made HIMARS Rocket Launcher Using High-Precision Weapons, MoD Says
Russian forces have destroyed a US-made HIMARS rocket launcher in the city of Krasnoarmeysk northwest of Donetsk, the MoD announced on Sunday.
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