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Russian-Ukrainian war live: the UN hails “a critical step forward” in the resumption of grain exports;  Russia bombs Mykolaiv, says mayor |  Ukraine


The key events:

Chasiv Yar death toll rises to 48

The death toll from Saturday’s Russian missile attack on the town of Chasiv Yar has risen to 48, according to Ukrainian emergency services.

The Ukrainian State Emergency Services issued an update on Wednesday:

At 7 p.m., the body of a deceased person was found in a five-storey residential building in the city of Chasiv Yar. In total, the bodies of 48 deceased people were found, including 1 child, and 9 people were rescued from the rubble.

Firefighters remove a body from debris from a building as search and rescue operations continue after Russian airstrikes hit residential areas in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk, Ukraine on July 11. Photography: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Zelenskiy added that the clearing of debris continues in his Wednesday evening speech.

Debris clearance continues after the Russian attack on the town of Chasiv Yar. From that time, the list of dead includes 48 people, including a child. Unfortunately, the number of rescued people has not changed – 9 people. Rescuers will work on site until all debris is cleared.

It was one of the most brutal Russian strikes of the entire war – so many victims… My condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims.

Russia reportedly made another attempt to bomb Snake Island overnightaccording to military officials.

An update from Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reports on July 13 that two Russian warplanes attempted to strike the strategic Black Sea island, but failed when the bombs landed in the sea.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Anton Herashchenko added: “A pair of Su-27 fighters tried to bomb Snake Island, the bombs fell in the sea, near the island.”

Russian-Ukrainian war live: the UN hails “a critical step forward” in the resumption of grain exports;  Russia bombs Mykolaiv, says mayor |  Ukraine
A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photography: Maxar Technologies/Reuters

Turkey announces deal to resume grain exports from Ukraine

Turkey has announced an agreement with Ukraine, Russia and the UN to resume Ukrainian grain exports blocked by Russia, signaling an end to a stalemate that has put millions at risk of famine.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday that the agreement would be signed when the parties meet again next week and would include joint checks to check grain at ports and Turkey ensuring the safety of transport routes. Black Sea export for Ukrainian grain.

Turkey would also set up a coordination center with Ukraine, Russia and the UN for grain exports, Akar said. Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Twitter: “His task will be to provide general supervision and coordination of navigation safety in the Black Sea.”

🇬🇧 The security of the Black Sea is a priority in the question of the resumption of Ukrainian agricultural exports.

That’s why 🇺🇦 proposed to train a basic navigation algorithm for the Black Sea. It will ensure the export of cereals 🇺🇦 and guarantee food security for millions of people.

—Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) July 13, 2022

In his daily address, Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine, said: “We are indeed making tremendous efforts to restore the food supply to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts.

Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February, had earlier said a deal seemed “just a stone’s throw away” as Turkey hosted four-party talks in Istanbul.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said a “critical step forward” had been taken towards reviving Ukrainian grain exports, but warned that “more technical work will now be needed to materialize the progress of today”.

A glimmer of hope in a world darkened by crises.

Today in Istanbul we saw a big step forward in ensuring the export of Ukrainian food products across the Black Sea.

I salute the commitment of all those who work to obtain an agreement for our common humanity.

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) July 13, 2022

“Today is an important and substantial step, a step on the way to a comprehensive agreement.” Ukraine and Russia have shown they can talk to each other, but “for peace we still have a long way to go,” he told reporters in New York.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine or Russia, both among the world’s largest grain exporters.

Russia bombs Mykolaiv – reports

Sounds of explosions were reported this morning in the city of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine.

The city’s mayor, Oleksandr Sienkevych, reported that explosions were heard in the city just before 6 a.m. and urged residents to stay in shelters in an alert posted on his Telegram channel.

Racists [Russian forces] again targeted a number of civilian objects in Mykolaiv. Rescuers and emergency teams are already working on the ground.

According to Ukrainian media outlet Ukrinform, an airborne alert was first announced at 4.25 a.m. before powerful explosions sounded in the city about half an hour later.

Russian-Ukrainian war live: the UN hails “a critical step forward” in the resumption of grain exports;  Russia bombs Mykolaiv, says mayor |  Ukraine
A firefighter works at the site of a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on July 12. Photograph: Ukrainian State Emergency Service/Reuters

Russian forces enter town of Siversk, separatist official says

Russian forces and proxies entered the city of Siversk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, according to Russian media.

State news agency Tass quoted Vitaly Kiselyov, an official in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, as saying the city could fall within days, but it was unclear what this claim was based on.

Russian-Ukrainian war live: the UN hails “a critical step forward” in the resumption of grain exports;  Russia bombs Mykolaiv, says mayor |  Ukraine
Local residents collect their belongings from their homes damaged by shelling of a residential building in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Photography: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ukraine’s armed forces said in their evening operational update that Russia had not carried out new assaults on the front line that includes Siversk, but that the town had come under artillery fire.

The Guardian was unable to immediately verify the report.

In its latest intelligence report, the British Ministry of Defense predicted that Russian forces are likely to focus on taking several small towns over the coming week, including Siversk and Dolyna on the approaches to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s ongoing live coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll bring you all the latest developments in a short time.

Reports of heavy explosions and missile fire in the city of Mykolaiv early this morning.

Meanwhile, a breakthrough agreement to resume export of Ukrainian grain was announced with the creation of a coordination and monitoring center in Istanbul.

It’s 7:30 a.m. in Kyiv and here’s where things stand now:

  • An agreement to resume the export of Ukrainian grain has been announced with the creation of a coordination and monitoring center in Istanbul. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Ankara would provide security for shipments in transit and the parties would jointly check grain shipments at ports after officials from Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey meet for talks in Istanbul on Wednesday. UN chief António Guterres called the talks a “critical step forward”, but said more work was needed before a deal was signed next week.
  • A traffic jam of more than 130 freighters loaded with Ukrainian grain waits in the Black Sea to access through the Sulina and Bystre estuary canals to reach a series of ports and terminals in Romania from where grain can be transported around the world
  • Russian and proxy forces reportedly entered the town of Siversk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, according to Russian media. State news agency Tass quoted Vitaly Kiselyov, an official in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, as saying the city could fall within days, but it was unclear what this claim was based on.
  • Russia forcibly expelled nearly 2 million people from Ukraine, including several hundred thousand children, since his invasion of the country, said President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians are being held in filter camps in territories temporarily occupied by Russia, Zelenskiy said in a video address to the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul on Wednesday.
  • Russian forces will likely focus on taking several smaller towns in Donbass over the coming week, including Siversk and Dolyna on the approaches to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. “The urban areas of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk likely remain the primary targets for this phase of the operation,” the British intelligence report said.
  • A third US national is being held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, according to reports. Suedi Murekezi, 35, was arrested last month in Kherson, a Russian-occupied port city in southern Ukraine where he had lived for more than two years, his brother Sele Murekezi said.
  • Lithuania to allow sanctioned Russian goods to transit through its territory en route to Russian enclave of Kaliningradits foreign ministry said on Wednesday, reversing its policy after new directives from the European Commission.
  • The the global economic outlook has “darkened considerably” following the consequences of the war in Ukraine, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund. Kristalina Georgieva said the global outlook remains “extremely uncertain” with an increased risk of recession. “The human tragedy of the war in Ukraine has worsened. It also has its economic impact…and it’s only getting worse,” she said. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors are preparing to meet in Bali this week.
Russian-Ukrainian war live: the UN hails “a critical step forward” in the resumption of grain exports;  Russia bombs Mykolaiv, says mayor |  Ukraine
A Ukrainian soldier poses near the frontline in eastern Ukraine on July 13. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images




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