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Ukraine updates: Russia says it repelled Ukrainian drones

Published July 4, 2023last updated July 5, 2023

Moscow claims to have fended off drone attacks that it blames on Ukraine, shooting down several. Meanwhile, Ukraine's said more than 40 were wounded in a missile strike on a military funeral.

Moscow skyline at the Kremlin and Red Square
Russian officials say the drones attacks, from which Ukraine has sought to distance itself, are on the increaseImage: Valery Sharifulin/TASS/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Russia says it downed several Ukrainian drones in the Moscow region
  • Ukraine reports more than 40 wounded in missile strike on military funeral in Kharkiv region
  • Kyiv says it is making gains in the south and east, but that progress has been difficult
Skip next section New live updates article available for Wednesday's developments
July 5, 2023

New live updates article available for Wednesday's developments

This live blog is now closed. For the latest DW coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war, click here.

Skip next section Scholz talks to Biden on US Independence Day
July 4, 2023

Scholz talks to Biden on US Independence Day

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden "discussed a range of issues" before the NATO summit next week, the White House said in a statement.

The statement read the leaders discussed topics for consideration at the summit, including "ways to strengthen the alliance."

They are set to meet in Lithuania for the summit on July 11 and 12. Scholz also conveyed his wishes to the US president and Americans as they celebrate their Independence Day.

Skip next section Zelenskyy and Stoltenberg coordinate positions before NATO summit
July 4, 2023

Zelenskyy and Stoltenberg coordinate positions before NATO summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to coordinate their positions ahead of the alliance's summit next week.

Zelenskyy also congratulated Stoltenberg after NATO members extended his tenure as the alliance's Secretary General by one year.

"I thanked Jens Stoltenberg for his personal efforts to support Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations," Zelenskyy said. 

The upcoming NATO summit will be held for the first time in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on July 11-12, with leaders set to recommit their support to Ukraine.

Skip next section Ukraine reports missile strike on military funeral with many injured
July 4, 2023

Ukraine reports missile strike on military funeral with many injured

The Ukrainian governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Synehubov, said a Russian missile struck a military funeral in the northeastern region on Tuesday. 

In a follow-up post with slightly higher figures than his original message on Telegram, Synehubov said that 43 people had been injured, 12 of them children. He described the injuries as "medium and light," and attributed the information to medics treating the patients.

Synehubov said a Russian Iksander missile had hit a residential area in the town of Pervomaisksyi at around 1:35 p.m. local time (1035 GMT/UTC). 

He said apartments belonging to around 2,000 people were also damaged in the attack.

Kharkiv is in northeastern Ukraine and borders Russia. The city after which the region is named is Ukraine's second largest by population.

Skip next section Support for war 'getting more stable' in Russia — expert tells DW
July 4, 2023

Support for war 'getting more stable' in Russia — expert tells DW

Support among Russians for the war against Ukraine is getting more stable, Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov has told DW.

"The more this war goes, the more Russian society is getting used to this war," he said in an interview with DW's Conflict Zone. "And now we are getting this emotional argument in favor of the war because there are so many casualties. So in some way, the support for the war is getting, well if not bigger, but it's more stable."

The curtailed mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin's private military group Wagner was not an attempt to take take power and Moscow, according to Soldatov. The aim was more about "renegotiating his deal with Putin."

"And when he understood that he miscalculated, he wanted to still to get something out of this situation. So he sent his columns to Moscow."

The problem for Putin, the journalist said, was the fact that neither the army nor the security services tried to stop Prigozhin.

In wake of Wagner mutiny, will Putin purge the system?

Skip next section How Ukraine protects the skies over Kyiv
July 4, 2023

How Ukraine protects the skies over Kyiv

When the sirens wail in Kyiv, civilians count on Ukraine's air defense teams to shoot down incoming Russian missiles and drones. Air defense systems have been credited with enabling civilian life to continue, but there's only so much they can do.

DW's Aya Ibrahim has been speaking with Ukrainian troops operating an air defense system outside Kyiv. 

Watch the full report below.

War in Ukraine: Protecting the skies over Kyiv

Skip next section Russia sees no basis to extend grain deal
July 4, 2023

Russia sees no basis to extend grain deal

Russia has said it sees no basis for renewing the Black Sea grain deal less than two weeks before the agreement expires.

The Russian foreign ministry said Russia was doing everything so that all ships covered by the deal could leave the Black Sea before it expires on July 17.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday called for the extension of the agreement allowing grain and fertilizers to be exported from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports. 

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative for an initial 120 days last July. 

Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine holds a press conference following the UN-backed deal signed by Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul to resume Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea
The grain deal has been extended previously, but Moscow says it now sees no reason to allow it to continueImage: Metin Aktas/AA/picture alliance

That effort was to help tackle a global food crisis worsened by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, with both countries among the world's leading grain exporters. The deal has since been extended three times but is due to expire later this month.

Russia's foreign ministry meanwhile said proposals for a banking-sanctions workaround for the Russian state agricultural bank, as a concession to Moscow for the grain deal, were "unworkable."

Skip next section €1.65 billion in German defense exports to Ukraine in first half of 2023 — ministry
July 4, 2023

€1.65 billion in German defense exports to Ukraine in first half of 2023 — ministry

The German government's defense exports to Ukraine approved for the first half of the year were valued at around €1.65 billion ($1.8 billion), according to the German Economy Ministry.

Total defense export approvals stood at around €5.22 billion, the ministry said. This was up from €4.2 million for the same period in 2022.

Coming second on the list of countries receiving German arms exports was Hungary, which is an EU member state and neighbors Ukraine. Exports approved for Budapest in the first half of 2023 stood at over €1 billion.

Skip next section NATO chief Stoltenberg's term extended for additional year
July 4, 2023

NATO chief Stoltenberg's term extended for additional year

The NATO military alliance has extended the term of Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for a fourth time.

Stoltenberg will now remain in office until 1 October 2024.

His term had been set to expire last year, but it was extended after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

NATO member states had been due to name a successor at a summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on July 11 to 12.

Skip next section Two die in Kherson shelling
July 4, 2023

Two die in Kherson shelling

The local prosecutor's office in the southern city of Kherson says a man and woman died in a morning shelling attack.

Others may have been wounded, with the number still being ascertained, and there was understood to be substantial damage to a residential building.

Law enforcement officials were at the scene investigating what they called a Russian "war crime," according to a Telegram post from the Prosecutor General's office.

The Ukrainian city of Kherson is close to the frontline and was hit with massive flooding last month after the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.

Ukraine: Explosion of Kakhovka dam

Skip next section Moscow reports drone strikes, blames Ukraine
July 4, 2023

Moscow reports drone strikes, blames Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday accused Ukraine of attempting to strike civilian infrastructure after several drones were reported in the Moscow region.

The reported strikes temporarily disrupted flight operations at the major Vnukovo airport on Tuesday.

Zakharova described the alleged attacks as an "act of terrorism," blaming the Ukrainian government. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said all detected drones had been eliminated. 

"At this moment, the attacks have been repelled by air defense forces," Sobyanin said on his Telegram messaging channel.

Officials say several drones were intercepted near Moscow by air defenses. Another drone was reportedly shot down over the Kaluga region, some 190 kilometers (110 miles) from the capital.

Russia has reported numerous drone attacks on its cities during Russia's offensive in Ukraine, but the reports have increased in frequency in recent months. Kyiv, however, has repeatedly denied involvement in such strikes. 

Drone strikes in Russia part of Ukraine's counteroffensive?

Skip next section Zelenskyy praises air defenses, thanks Germany
July 4, 2023

Zelenskyy praises air defenses, thanks Germany

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised his nation's air defense units in a video address on the country's Day of Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops, a day of celebration for the armed forces that has been in place for several years.

Zelenskyy said more than 180 Russian planes, more than 130 helicopters, more than 1,000 cruise missiles, as well as over 1,600 drones of various types have been shot down since the beginning of the war.

"All this means thousands and thousands of lives saved by you, hundreds of critical infrastructure facilities that you have protected," he told the troops operating the country's air defenses.

Zelensky also said that he had thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a phone call on Monday, for helping in Ukraine's air defense "in a very powerful way."

"The brilliant German IRIS-T systems have proved to be very effective in protecting our skies," Zelensky said, while appealing for further help from the West.


rc/ab (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)