War in Ukraine: latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 07:24 PM, 25 Jul, 2022
War in Ukraine: latest developments
Caption: Ukraine expects the first grain shipments under a UN-Turkey brokered deal to leave its ports "this week", its infrastructure minister says, despite Russian strikes on the Black Sea port of Odessa, which is crucial for grain exports.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Grain deliveries to start 'this week' -

Ukraine expects the first grain shipments under a UN-Turkey brokered deal to leave its ports "this week", its infrastructure minister says, despite Russian strikes on the Black Sea port of Odessa, which is crucial for grain exports.

"We are preparing for everything to start this week," says Oleksandr Kubrakov, who led the Ukrainian delegation that reached a deal last week with Russia on unblocking Ukraine's grain exports.

The future of the agreement, seen as crucial to relieving a global food crisis, had appeared in jeopardy after Russian forces launched strikes on Odessa a day after the agreement was signed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the missile strikes "should not affect the start of shipment".

- Odessa strike destroyed warship: Moscow -

Russia says its strikes on Odessa destroyed a Ukrainian warship and weapons supplied by the United States.

"High-precision, long-range missiles launched from the sea destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles delivered by the United States to the Kyiv regime," the Russian defence ministry says, adding that a Ukrainian army repair plant had also "been put out of order".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the strikes on Odessa show Moscow cannot be trusted to keep its promises.

- Ukraine eyes Kherson recapture -

A Ukrainian official predicts that Kyiv's forces, which have launched a counteroffensive in the south, will have recaptured the region of Kherson by September.

Emboldened by deliveries of Western-supplied long-range artillery, the Ukrainian army has been clawing back territory in the region in recent weeks.

The city of Kherson was one of the first to fall to Russian forces in the early days of the invasion. 

"We can say that the Kherson region will definitely be liberated by September," Sergiy Khlan, an aide to the head of Kherson region, says in an interview with Ukrainian TV.

- UK to host 2023 Eurovision -

Britain agrees to take Ukraine's place as hosts of next year's Eurovision song contest after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) ruled out Ukraine hosting it itself.

Ukraine won this year's contest, held in Italy, ahead of Britain's entry in second place. The winner traditionally organises the next year's show.

But the EBU ruled that out in view of the war, and Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC acquiesced to a UK-hosted event infused with "Ukrainian spirit".

"The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine," UA:PBC chief Mykola Chernotytskyi says in a joint statement with the EBU and BBC.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.