July 1 (Reuters) – Russia rained missiles down near Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday, Ukrainian officials said, hitting an apartment building and a resort and killing at least 18 people. Russia denied the accusation.
* The Kremlin denied targeting civilians. “I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
* Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine where two Britons and a Moroccan have been sentenced to death say the death penalty will start being used from 2025, according to an updated criminal code of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic.
* The RIA news agency quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Friday that Russian forces had captured an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* Western nations have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in part by targeting Russia’s defense industry with sanctions. The latest round came on Tuesday. But a Reuters examination of companies, executives and investors underpinning Russia’s defence sector shows a sizable number of players have yet to pay a price.
* U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner arrived at a courtroom on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday to face trial on drug charges that could see her face up to 10 years in prison.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin said political pressure from the West was pushing Russia to accelerate its integration with neighbouring Belarus.
* Ukraine has a “very clear European perspective” but the road to EU membership will take time and require hard work, the president of the EU executive told the country’s parliament on Friday.
* Indonesia’s president ended a trip to Ukraine and Russia saying he hoped for progress reintegrating global food and fertiliser supply lines disrupted by the conflict, and offered to be a diplomatic bridge between the two countries.
* “Almost all the city infrastructure is destroyed. We are living without gas, electricity, and water since May,” Sergei Oleinik, 65, resident of Russian-occupied Sievierodonetsk, told Reuters. “We are glad that this ended, and soon maybe reconstruction will start, and we will be back to more or less normal life.”
(Compiled by Nick Macfie)
Photo courtesy Ukraine MoD