Dispatches from Ukraine, provided by Forbes Ukraine’s editorial team.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes Ukraine’s reporters gather information and provide updates on the situation.
Sunday, July 11. Day 138.
Kharkiv. Russia continued multiple missile strikes and shelling on residential areas and the city center, targeting a school, a residential building and warehouse facilities. Kharkiv governor Oleh Synyehubov reports that as a result of the Russian shelling of Kharkiv, three people have died and 31 have been hospitalized, including two children.
Chasiv Yar. According to Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the death toll of yesterday’s rocket strike on a residential building in the city of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, has risen to 30. Nine civilians have also been injured. Oleh Kotenko, the Ukrainian Commissioner for People Missing Under Special Circumstances, has reported that over 7,000 Ukrainian servicemen are currently considered MIA, with at least some of them presumed to be in Russian captivity. This statement comes as a rare admission of casualties from the warring sides, as both Russian and Ukrainian officials rarely report their own losses.
Donetsk governor Palvo Kyrylenko reports that nearly 80% of residents have left the Donetsk region in expectation of Russia’s coming offensive as it has expressed the intention to take over the eastern province.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a presidential decree giving all Ukrainian citizens a pathway to Russian citizenship, worded similarly to a decree that provided residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics with the same access. The move confirms that Russian war goals go beyond Donetsk and Luhansk and may include long-term occupation of other Ukrainian provinces.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that he engaged with both the Ukrainian and Russian leaders on the topic of possible grain exports from Ukraine’s blockaded ports. Turkey has previously sought to take a leading role in the evacuation of Ukrainian grain, which experts view as a way to increase Turkish soft power in African and Middle Eastern regions most affected by the blockage.
According to the Ukrainian Navy, the first civilian ships have entered Ukrainian ports to facilitate grain exports since the start of the Russian invasion . The Navy states that Ukrainian forces regaining control of the strategically important Snake Island is what allowed them to ensure the safety of the trade routes, but confirms that most Ukrainian ports remain inaccessible.
In an unexpected move, as most observers assumed Lithuania’s blockade of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad would lift due to pressure from Western European countries, the Lithuanian government has instead announced that it has decided to extend the list of goods prohibited to be moved through its territory into Kaliningrad. The new list includes concrete, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals, a spokesperson for Lithuanian customs said. The decision is expected to severely damage the already rocky relations between Russian and the EU, with some expecting a possible cutoff of Russian gas in retaliation.
The Russian state-owned energy corporation Gazprom has started a scheduled 10-day maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. During the maintenance period, no gas will flow from Russia to recipient countries, such as Germany and the Czech Republic. While the maintenance action is nothing out of the ordinary, some European officials fear that Russia may choose not to restore gas flow after its conclusion as tensions between it and the EU are at an all-time high thanks to the war in Ukraine.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited the war-torn nation to meet with Ukraine’s president Zelensky; they’ve discussed financial and military support for Ukraine, the presidential press service reported.