Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 498.
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes gathers information and provides updates on the situation.
Lviv region. The western city of Lviv was brutally attacked in the evening of Jul. 5 as Russian missiles struck a residential neighborhood. According to preliminary information, the attack claimed five lives, with the youngest victim aged 21, the oldest 95. A total of 34 people were reported injured, while approximately 30 houses and 50 cars were damaged.
Kharkiv region. Russian forces hit the town of Pervomaiskyi in eastern Ukraine with an Iskander missile at around 1 p.m. local time on Jul. 4, authorities said. A total of 43 residents, including 12 children, were injured as the missile targeted a residential area. In the aftermath of the attack, eight high-rise buildings were left in ruins and several civilian cars burned.
Sumy region. Four Shahed drones attacked the downtown in the city of Sumy in northeastern Ukraine on Jul. 3 according to its regional military administration. The attack resulted in damage to a government facility and two apartment buildings and caused the loss of one civilian life, with an additional 16 people wounded.
Ukrainian forces are mainly concentrated in the Melitopol and Berdyansk areas, Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov said, where they penetrated as far as 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) behind Russian defenses. As for the course of the summer counteroffensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are reported to have successfully recaptured nine settlements, making up 160 square kilometers (62 square miles) of land brought back under Ukrainian control. Meanwhile, a “hot” contact line stretches over 1,200 km (745 miles), and heavy clashes are underway in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions. “However, we must not overlook the northern borders shared with Belarus and the Russian Federation,” Hromov noted. “There, the enemy consistently launches rocket and artillery attacks, while their sabotage and reconnaissance forces carry out active operations. Furthermore, there is a border with Transnistria, where Russia maintains a limited troop presence. Altogether, this extensive line of defense spans approximately 3,800 kilometers.”
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recognized the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism, Yevjenia Kravchuk, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, said on Jul. 4. The organization’s Final Declaration, adopted in Vancouver, Canada, stated that terrorism constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security and that the recent actions carried out by Wagner mercenary troops, with direct financial support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, should be interpreted as terrorist. “I anticipate that this decision will serve as a catalyst for acknowledging the aggressor state as a sponsor of terrorism, not just within the United States but globally,” Kranchuk wrote on Facebook. “It is crucial that we do not turn a blind eye to terrorism and ensure that it is justly punished”.
Foreign objects resembling explosive devices were observed on the roofs of the third and fourth power units of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian forces’ StratCom said on Jul. 3. Although the devices likely lack the capacity to damage the units, if they were to be detonated, Russia could attempt to use any explosion as evidence of Ukraine shelling the site. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not violate international humanitarian law, monitor and control the situation and are ready to act under any circumstances,” StratCom’s message continued.
A mother and child safely returned to Ukraine after having been deported to Russia in the wake of full-scale invasion, Ukrainian Parliament ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets announced on Jul. 4. The two were forcibly taken from their hometown of Lyptsi in northeastern Ukraine on Mar. 16 by the order of the occupational authorities and relocated to Russia’s Voronezh region. “Despite possessing all the required documents, the mother and her young son were prevented multiple times from crossing into Ukraine on the Russian side of the border,” Lubinets said. “Furthermore, no explanations were provided, which is no longer surprising.”
According to several sources, in the evening of Jul. 4, an ammunition depot belonging to Russian forces was destroyed in the temporarily occupied town of Makiivka in the Donetsk region. This military installation was situated among several unfinished residential buildings. On the same day, an unidentified group of drones attacked a military base in the settlement of Kubynka near Moscow. Russia’s ministry of defense reported that a total of five drones entered the airspace in the vicinity of Moscow, and four of them were intercepted by domestic air defense systems.
By Daria Dzysiuk, Karina L. Tahiliani