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Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Crimea military base fire forces 2,000 people to evacuate

A large fire on a Russian training facility in Crimea prompted a large evacuation and forced a nearby highway to close, Russian officials said.

“It is planned to temporarily evacuate residents of four settlements – this is more than 2,000 people,” Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea, said in a Telegram post, according to a Google translation.

No reason was given for the fire. Ukrainian media reported that an ammunition depot had caught fire after a Ukrainian air attack overnight. CNBC could not independently verify those reports, and there was no official comment from Kyiv.

— Natasha Turak

Senior Ukraine official calls for long-range weapon donations after Odesa attack

“The Russian terror of Odessa proves once again that they need hunger and problems in the countries of the Global South. They want to create a refugee crisis for the West,” Andriy Yermak said on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential staff, has reiterated calls for long-range missile weapon donations from the West, in the wake of a bolstered Russian offensive against key Ukrainian port Odesa.

“The Russian terror of Odessa proves once again that they need hunger and problems in the countries of the Global South. They want to create a refugee crisis for the West,” he said on Telegram, according to a Google translation. 

“Everything is done in order to weaken allies and politically intervene in the internal affairs of these countries.”

Moscow has renewed air hostilities against Ukraine for the second consecutive night, in a retaliatory strike following what it characterized as Kyiv’s “terrorist attack” against the Crimean bridge.

“The answer to terror is force. Weapons, aviation, long-range missiles – this is what Ukraine needs. We must expel the Russian Federation from our territory,” Yermak said.

The request for long-range missiles echoes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call for donations from NATO allies during the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, last week.

Ruxandra Iordache

Russia resumes attacks against Ukrainian capital Kyiv

Russian troops launched another overnight attack against Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the city’s military administration said on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

The Russian forces once more deployed Iranian-made Shahed drones, but the offensive did not result in damage or injuries, said Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration.

Much of last night’s military offensive was concentrated in key Ukrainian port Odesa, which Moscow has been targeting in retaliation for what it calls a recent “terrorist attack” against the Crimean bridge.

Russia has bolstered its hostilities against Kyiv since the start of last week, coinciding with a Ukraine-focused summit of the NATO military alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania.

CNBC could not independently confirm the reports.

Ruxandra Iordache

Russia launches another missile offensive against major Ukraine port Odesa

Russian forces launched an overnight missile attack on major Ukrainian port Odesa, where Kyiv holds its navy, for the second consecutive night, regional governor Oleh Kiper said in Google-translated comments on Telegram.

Ukraine’s air force also noted Russian missile strikes against Odesa last night, according to a Google translation.

The Russian troops injured three people, while they targeted “the port and critical infrastructure,” the governor added.

A grain and oil terminal was hit, tanks and loading equipment were damaged, a fire started, all competent services are working to eliminate the consequences,” Kiper said.

CNBC has not independently verified developments on the ground.

The Russian offensive against Odesa and fellow port Mykolaiv intensified this week, as Moscow carried out retaliatory strikes after what it has called a “terrorist attack” against the Crimea bridge in recent days.

Ruxandra Iordache

South African leader says arresting Putin if he comes to Johannesburg next month would be ‘war’

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa


South Africa’s president said Tuesday that arresting Russian President Vladimir Putin — should he show up at an economic summit next month in Johannesburg — would amount to a “declaration of war” by his country, according to the Associated Press.

The August summit is bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — a bloc of developing economies known as BRICS. Officials have said that Putin wants to attend the gathering but have been trying to persuade him to stay away to avoid the legal and diplomatic fallout over his international arrest warrant.

Putin is the subject of a warrant of arrest by the International Criminal Court related to alleged war crimes during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, South Africa would be obligated to arrest Putin if he visits the African nation.

South Africa’s biggest political opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has tried to compel President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to pledge to arrest Putin in an action before the High Court in Pretoria.

But in a strongly worded affidavit to the court, made public on Tuesday, Ramaphosa reiterated his past statement that such an action against Putin could also derail any efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

“I must highlight, for the sake of transparency, that South Africa has obvious problems with executing a request to arrest and surrender President Putin,” he said. “Russia has made it clear that arresting its sitting president would be a declaration of war.”

“It would be inconsistent with our Constitution to risk engaging in war with Russia,” Ramaphosa added.

— The Associated Press

More than 9,200 civilians have died due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, UN says

Ukrainian flags are placed on the graves of soldiers at a Khrakiv cemetery on January 24, 2023 in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office, or OHCHR, said that more than 16,300 civilians have been injured since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine last year. The agency also said that more than 9,200 civilians have died due to the war.

The OHCHR added that death and injuries are likely higher due to an inability to access cities under Russian occupation as well as delays in reporting because of the armed conflict.

— Amanda Macias

Ukraine cargo insurance policy is suspended after Russia quits landmark grain deal

A cargo insurance facility providing cover for Ukraine grain shipments via a safe sea corridor has been suspended after Russia quit the United Nations-backed agreement, broker Marsh told Reuters.

Moscow has withdrawn from the year-old grain export deal in a move the United Nations said risked creating hunger around the world.

The marine cargo and war facility provided cover up to $50 million per cargo and was led by Lloyd’s of London insurer Ascot, together with other underwriters.

“It is currently on pause,” said David Roe, head of UK cargo at Marsh, which acted as the facility’s broker. “It is suspended effectively due to the agreement not being extended.”

“Without the corridor being in place, there is a greater degree of uncertainty attached to the risk.”

Ascot declined to comment.

Insurance has been vital to ensure shipments through the corridor.


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