Ukraine-Russia war latest: Missile strikes in Russia's Belgorod grind trains to a halt

Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Ivanchenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13457689d) Boys with a Ukrainian flag play at guarding an improvised checkpoint in the Kupiansk district, which was recently liberated by the Ukrainian army, in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, 11 October 2022. The Ukrainian army pushed Russian troops from occupied territory in the northeast of the country in a counterattack. Kharkiv and surrounding areas have been the target of heavy shelling since February 2022, when Russian troops entered Ukraine starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. Kupiansk district after liberation by Ukrainian army, Ukraine - 11 Oct 2022  - George Ivanchenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock  © George Ivanchenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Ivanchenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13457689d) Boys with a Ukrainian flag play at guarding an improvised checkpoint in the Kupiansk district, which was recently liberated by the Ukrainian army, in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, 11 October 2022. The Ukrainian army pushed Russian troops from occupied territory in the northeast of the country in a counterattack. Kharkiv and surrounding areas have been the target of heavy shelling since February 2022, when Russian troops entered Ukraine starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. Kupiansk district after liberation by Ukrainian army, Ukraine – 11 Oct 2022  – George Ivanchenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 

Missile strikes have suspended train services in a Russian town.

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Power lines were reportedly damaged after anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles near Novyi Oskol, Belgorod, this morning.

Confirming there were no casualties, Vyacheslav Gladkov, regional governor for the town which lies about 56 miles north of the Ukrainian border, said on Telegram: “Power lines are damaged. Trains are temporarily suspended.”

Yesterday, he accused Ukraine of shelling an apartment block in the city of Belgorod, the administrative centre of the Belgorod region.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential adviser, denied Kyiv’s military was responsible and said Russia had tried to shell Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the border “but something went wrong”.

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08:23 AM

Danone to shed its Russian food business

French food company Danone has announced plans to shed its dairy and plant-based food business in Russia in a transaction which could result in a write-off of up to £865m.

With its Russian unit accounting for about five percent of the group’s net sales in the first nine months of the year, it said in a statement: “This is the best option to ensure long-term local business continuity.”

Danone did not disclose to whom it would transfer the business. A source told Reuters that all options regarding its local business were on the table weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

08:02 AM

Two schoolboys among the injured in Kharkiv shelling, governor says

A pair of 16-year-old boys were among those injured by Russian shelling in the last 24 hours, the governor of Kharkiv has said.

Oleh Synyehubov posted on Telegram: “During the past day, the enemy continued to terrorise the civilian population of Kharkiv region.

“The enemy massively shelled the city of Kupyansk. Three shops and a trade pavilion were damaged, there were fires.

“The enemy also shelled populated areas of the Kupyansk, Kharkiv, and Chuhuiv districts with barrel and rocket artillery and mortars.

“Six people in the Kupyansk district, including a 16-year-old boy, were hospitalised with injuries during the day.

“Another 16-year-old boy was wounded in the Izium district. Demining continues in the region, during the day, units of the state emergency service neutralised 702 explosive objects.”

08:00 AM

French energy giant accused of ‘complicity in war crimes’

Total Energies faces legal action for allegedly helping fuel Russian planes that have bombed Ukraine, French media says.

The French energy giant was accused of “complicity in war crimes” in a legal complaint handed to the national anti-terrorist prosecutor on Thursday.

The file accused TotalEnergies of contributing to provide the Russian government with “the necessary means to commit war crimes” by “continuing to exploit the Termokarstovoye deposit”.

It was lodged by the France-based Darwin Climax Coalition and Ukrainian group Razom We Stand after Le Monde newspaper in August said TotalEnergies held a stake in a company that extracted gas condensate from northern Russia, some of which was turned into jet fuel used by Russian air squadrons accused of war crimes in Ukraine.

TotalEnergies until recently owned a 49-percent share in Terneftegaz, a company that extracts gas from the Termokarstovoye field in northern Russia.

The other 51 percent was held by Russian company Novatek, in which the French firm also owns a direct 19.4 percent stake.

After the article in Le Monde, the French giant said it had on July 18 sold its 49-percent share in Terneftegaz to Novatek.

07:50 AM

Russian train lines ‘hit by missile’

Missile strikes have suspended train services in a Russian town.

Power lines were reportedly damaged after anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles near Novyi Oskol, Belgorod, this morning.

Confirming there were no casualties, Vyacheslav Gladkov, regional governor for the town which lies about 56 miles north of the Ukrainian border, said on Telegram: “Power lines are damaged. Trains are temporarily suspended.”

Yesterday, he accused Ukraine of shelling an apartment block in the city of Belgorod, the administrative centre of the Belgorod region.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential adviser, denied Kyiv’s military was responsible and said Russia had tried to shell Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the border “but something went wrong”.

07:46 AM

Putin making ‘very slow progress’ in Donbas 

Russia’s forces are “very slowly” making progress in the central Donbas region where the Wagner Group is “heavily involved” in fighting, British intelligence says.

Regular troops have made few gains in the eastern region in the face of Ukrainian flanking and “severe shortages of munitions and manpower”, said the MoD, adding that they had this week seized just two villages south of the Donetsk town of Bakhmut.

“There have been few, if any, other settlements seized by regular Russian or separatist forces since early July,” continued its daily intelligence briefing.

“However, forces led by the private military company Wagner Group have achieved some localised gains in the Donbas: Wagner likely remains heavily involved in the Bakhmut fighting,”

It added: “Russia likely views seizing Bakhmut as a preliminary to advancing on the Kramatorsk-Sloviansk urban area which is the most significant population centre of Donetsk Oblast held by Ukraine.

“Russia continues to prosecute offensive operations in central Donbas and is, very slowly, making progress.”

06:50 AM

Russia to help people leave annexed region as Kyiv advances 

Russia agreed to help residents leave a region it “annexed” in a sign of success for Ukraine’s counter-offensive, as the EU warned Moscow’s army would be “annihilated” if the Kremlin uses nuclear weapons.

Moscow’s decision to assist people in leaving Kherson came a day after Kyiv said it had retaken five settlements in the southern region.

“The government took the decision to organise assistance for the departure of residents of the (Kherson) region,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said.

The Moscow-appointed head of the area had appealed for intervention.

06:42 AM

US pushes allies to assemble patchwork air defenses for Ukraine 

The United States is pressing allies to hastily build for Ukraine a patchwork air defense network using Nato-compatible equipment to protect strategic targets from Russian strikes.

The effort was given added urgency after Moscow pummelled Ukraine with missiles this week, damaging energy facilities nationwide and leaving at least 20 people dead.

“What the [Ukrainian] leadership described that they needed yesterday most was air defense capability,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in Brussels on Thursday, a day after a meeting of 50 allied countries who coordinate their military support for Kyiv.

06:41 AM

Today’s top stories

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister was tricked into admitting that Kyiv was behind the explosions on Crimea’s Kerch Bridge by Russian pranksters posing as a former US ambassador

  • Ben Wallace accused Emmanuel Macron of “revealing his hand” in the tense nuclear war of words between Vladimir Putin and the West

  • The driver of a Russian armoured vehicle cluelessly ploughed into a row of clearly visible landmines and promptly blew himself up, in a new video from Ukraine that revealed the incompetence of Moscow’s army 

  • A nuclear attack on Ukraine would result in Russia’s forces being “annihilated” by the West’s military response, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said 

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