Ukrainian cities clean up after Russian missile attack

Ukraine, Vine Nuitsa, July 15-At least 23 people were killed in a Russian missile attack, and on Friday the day after the score was injured, a Ukrainian city far from the front line wiped out the streets.

Ukraine said Thursday’s strike against an office building in Vinizia, a city of 370,000 people about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kyiv, was carried out on a Caliber cruise missile launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea.

The attack was the latest in a series of Russian strikes in recent weeks that used long-range missiles on buildings in cities far from the front.

The building has an officers’ club, and the Russian Defense Ministry said it was used for meetings between military personnel and foreign arms suppliers. “As a result of the attack, the participants were eliminated,” he added.

Ukraine claimed that the club was functioning as a cultural center. The building also had shops, commercial offices and a concert hall, where musicians were rehearsing the pop concerts scheduled for the night.

Authorities in the southern city of Mikolaiu, near the forefront, reported a new Russian strike that injured at least two people on Friday morning. They have released a video photo of a firefighter fighting the flames in the rubble.

Grain progress

Despite the bloodshed, both sides explained recent significant progress towards an agreement to lift the blockade that restricted Ukrainian grain exports. Mediator Turkey said the deal could be signed next week.

Military delegations from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey will meet with UN officials in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 13, 2022. (Distribution via Turkish Department of Defense / Reuters)

The Russian Defense Ministry said Moscow’s proposal was “mostly upheld” by negotiators and the agreement on grain shipments was close.

The agreement may include inspection of vessels to confirm that Ukraine has not brought in weapons and guarantees from Western countries that Russia’s own food exports are exempt from sanctions.

Moscow welcomed Washington’s written statement Thursday that banks, insurance companies and shippers would not be subject to sanctions to promote the shipment of Russian grain and fertilizer.

The war dominated the agenda at the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Indonesia on Friday. Conflicts involving two of the world’s top grain exporters and one of their major oil and gas producers have caused global food and energy shortages, inflation, financial crises, and potentially hunger.

Russia sent the Deputy Minister of Finance to the meeting, with Finance Minister Anton Siluanov attending in remote areas. When the G20 Foreign Minister met last week, Russia’s Sergei Labrov left after facing what he called “enthusiastic criticism.”

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said a British man in their detention had died of health problems. Separatists who captured 45-year-old Paul Urey in April accused him of being a mercenary. The British relief group Presidium Network described him as a humanitarian volunteer.

The intensification of Russia’s attack on cities far from the front occurs when momentum appears to be changing after weeks of Russia’s interests.

Russia has suspended its progress since it occupied the eastern industrial cities of Sieviero Donetsk and Lysychans’k. A Ukrainian general said Thursday that Kieu had not lost “one meter” of territory in a week.

Ukraine says it is preparing a counterattack in the coming weeks to recapture the southern territory near the Black Sea coast.

By Sergiy Voloshyn and Valentyn Ogirenko