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Zelenskyy dismisses ambassador to Germany — as it happened

July 9, 2022

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed Andriy Melnyk from the post of ambassador of Ukraine to Germany. Melnyk is expected to take up another role within the Foreign Ministry in Kyiv. Follow DW for the latest.

Andriy Melnyk
Andriy Melnyk has been a prominent voice in the German media debate since the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine late in FebruaryImage: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/picture alliance
  • US to send $400 million in military aid to Ukraine
  • Ukraine dismisses its ambassador to Germany
  • UK's Ministry of Defense said Russia was assembling reserve forces for future operations

This live updates article is now closed. For our latest, from July 10, click here.

Canada to send Russia repaired turbines for Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline

Canada announced it will grant a sanctions waiver for the return of repaired Russian turbines needed for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to pump more gas from Russia to Germany, the Canadian Ministry for Natural Resources said in a statement.

Ukraine had called on Canada not to return the turbines, arguing that Moscow was using gas deliveries and rising prices to weaken Western support for Kyiv and that the added sale of gas would enrich Russia and pay for its war against Ukraine.

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to about 40% of last month's levels, blaming the delay in receiving equipment from Germany's Siemens Energy in Canada for the reduced capacity.

Ottawa also said it would expand its sanctions on the Russian energy sector to include industrial manufacturing.

Zelenskyy says firing of Andriy Melnyk 'normal' in diplomacy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed a decision to replace his country's ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, as well several other envoys, but did not provide reasons for the move.

"This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice," Zelenskyy said in his daily video address.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is working on preparing new candidates for ambassadors to Germany, the Czech Republic, India, Norway, and Hungary, the president added.

Zelenskyy dismisses ambassador to Germany Melnyk: DW’s Nick Spicer reports

UN says Russia and Ukraine are to blame for nursing home attack

A new UN report has found that Ukraine's armed forces bear a large, and perhaps equal, share of the blame for what happened in a nursing home in Stara Krasnyanka on March 11, where around 50 people died. A few days before the attack, Ukrainian soldiers took up positions inside the nursing home, effectively making the building a target.

Two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Russian forces assaulted a nursing home in Stara Krasnyanka in the eastern Luhansk region. Dozens of elderly and disabled patients, many of them bedridden, were trapped inside without water or electricity.

The March 11 assault set off a fire that spread throughout the facility, suffocating people who couldn't move. At least 22 of the 71 patients survived the assault, but the exact number of people killed remains unknown, according to the United Nations.

Zelenskyy meets with French Senate delegation

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting in Kyiv with the President of the Senate of the French Republic Gerard Larcher and a delegation of the upper house of the French Parliament.

Zelenskyy thanked the French parliamentarians and the entire French people for the important and multifaceted support of Ukraine, the presidential website said.

"We especially appreciate and feel the help that France provides to Ukrainians who have found temporary shelter from the war in your friendly and hospitable state," Zelenskyy said.

He also thanked France for its readiness to take an active part in this process and for its intention to contribute to the restoration of Chernihiv region.

Germany secured ammunition supply for Gepard anti-aircraft tanks: reports

According to a media report, the German government has secured a long-term supply of ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks promised to Ukraine.

A manufacturer who can produce additional ammunition for the anti-aircraft system was found in Norway, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing government circles.

The Norwegian manufacturer's ammunition is reportedly due to be tested next week at the Bundeswehr's shooting range in Schleswig-Holstein.

Delivery of the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, which are intended to help Ukraine protect critical infrastructure, is scheduled to begin in July.

Zelenskyy dismisses Ukraine's ambassador to Germany

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyydismissed Andriy Melnyk from the post of ambassador of Ukraine to Germany.

Ukraine's ambassadors to India, Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary were also dismissed, the presidential website said.

On Tuesday, German newspapers Bild and Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Melnyk is set to leave the embassy in Berlin to take up another role within the Foreign Ministry in Kyiv.

Melnyk has been a prominent voice in the German media debate since the outbreak of the conflict late in February. His impassioned appeals for more assistance, particularly in the form of weapons exports from Germany, repeatedly grabbed the headlines.

US provides $368 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States is providing nearly $368 million (€361 million) in additional humanitarian assistance to support those affected by Russia's brutal war on Ukraine.

This additional funding will provide food, safe drinking water, cash assistance, protection, accessible shelter, emergency health care, logistics, and humanitarian coordination, the State Department statement said.

According to Blinken, more than 11 million people - over a quarter of Ukraine’s population - have been forced to flee their homes due to Russia's invasion, while 15.7 million people require assistance.

Since the beginning of war in February, the United States has provided over $1.28 billion (€1.26 billion) in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

Russian military claims it destroyed Western weapons in Ukraine

Russia's Defense Ministry claimed its troops destroyed Western weapons amid intense fighting in eastern Ukraine.

A hangar containing US-supplied M777 howitzers was destroyed near the village of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region, ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said.

Numerous Ukrainian soldiers were also killed there, the spokesperson added.

The information could not be independently verified.

Russia assembling reserve forces near Ukraine — UK defense intelligence

The UK's Ministry of Defense said in its intelligence update on Saturday that Russia is "moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations."

The update also claimed that a large proportion of the new infantry units are deploying with MT-LB armored vehicles taken from long-term storage as their primary transport.

According to the update, Russia has long considered MT-LB unsuitable for most front-line infantry transport roles, as it has very limited armor, and only mounts a machine gun for protection.

"Despite President Putin's claim on 07 July 2022 that the Russian military has 'not even started' its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment," the UK ministry said.

Russian threats of further escalation unfounded, German lawmaker says

Bundestag lawmaker Roderich Kiesewetter told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Saturday that Moscow cannot afford a further escalation of its conflict in Ukraine, rejecting claims by Putin that Russia's offensive is just getting started.

He said Russian forces have suffered "tremendous" losses and that their military arsenal is being depleted.

He called on Germany to keep supporting Ukraine, predicting that Russia would be forced to the negotiating table in one to two years.

The UK's Ministry of Defence also suggested that Russian forces were running out of suitable equipment.

The daily intelligence update on Saturday said that Russia was mobilizing reserve forces, but in spite of Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims "that the Russian military has 'not even started' its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment."

UK begins training Ukrainian military recruits

Some 10,000 inexperienced Ukrainian recruits have begun training in sites across Britain, the UK's Ministry of Defence announced on Saturday.

The volunteers, with little or no military experience, are being trained by 1,050 UK service personnel.

They are being given standard basic training that includes weapons handling, battlefield first aid and laws around armed conflict.

The UK previously trained some 22,000 Ukrainian soldiers between 2015 and 2022 following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.

US Secretary of State Blinken discusses Ukraine with Chinese counterpart

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the Indonesian island of Bali on Saturday, following the G20 summit on Friday.

The two discussed several issues during their five-hour-long talks — the first to take place in person since October — including Beijing's stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"I shared again with the state councilor that we are concerned about the PRC's [People's Republic of China] alignment with Russia," Blinken said afterward.

Beijing and Moscow announced a "no limits" partnership shortly before the invasion began. China has not condemned the aggression, but has also not sought a workaround for western sanctions, nor has it send Russian military support.

Blinken also said he believed that Russia would have felt isolated at the G20 summit as many participants voiced disapproval of the war. He noted that his counterpart Sergey Lavrov had left the meeting early. 

US to send $400 million in military aid to Ukraine

The United States will send another $400 million (€393 million) in military equipment to Ukraine, including four more HIMARS advanced rocket systems, a senior defense official said.

The package will also include 1,000 rounds of a new kind of 155 mm ammunition for artillery supplied by Ukraine's Western allies.

A senior defense official said the new artillery rounds were both longer range and more precise than what the Pentagon has provided previously.

Since the first HIMARS launchers were provided to Ukraine last month, analysts believe Ukrainian forces may have successfully destroyed a dozen or more Russian ammunition depots far behind the front lines.

Friday's events in Russia's war against Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of possible "catastrophic consequences" of Western sanctions on the global energy market.

Speaking at a closed-door G20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed Russia's top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, and demanded that Moscow allow grain exports from Ukraine. But diplomats said that Lavrov had walked out before Blinken's remarks. 

Russian forces in Ukraine's Donetsk region have cleared the way for the execution of three foreigners sentenced to death. Russia accuses the three of being mercenaries whereas Ukraine asserts they were regular soldiers and should be protected by the Geneva Convention.

The region has lifted a moratorium on the death penalty that should have lasted until 2025.

Russia warned Lithuania and the EU that it could adopt "harsh measures" against them if the transit of some goods to and from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad did not resume.

In June, the Lithuanian authorities imposed a transit ban through their territory to Kaliningrad. The ban applied only to goods subject to EU sanctions, imposed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine has seized assets worth over 2.1 billion hryvnias (€70 million) owned by Russian state oil company Rosneft, gas firm Gazprom and nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, Ukraine's state security service SBU said.

Canada introduced another package of sanctions against Russia. It includes 30 "disinformation agents," mostly Russian propagandists, but also Patriarch Kirill, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Catch up on all Friday's developments on the war in Ukraine.

dh,ab, ar/msh,jcg (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)