Latest news on the Russia-Ukraine conflict: 21 people killed after an attack in Odesa, while a Briton and a Moroccan were given death sentences in Donetsk

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British man Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C), pictured with Aiden Aslin (L) have reportedly appealed against their death sentences.

Briton and Moroccan both received death sentences in Donetsk appeal

According to Russian state media, two men who were given death sentences by pro-Russian authorities in the Russian-controlled east of Ukraine have appealed against their convictions.

According to the Russian state-owned news agency Tass, the attorneys for Brahim Saadoun and Shaun Pinner have filed appeals with the supreme court of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic.

Aiden Aslin, a second British citizen who was given a death sentence by the Russian proxy court, has not yet filed an appeal, according to Tass.

British man Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C), pictured with Aiden Aslin (L) have reportedly appealed against their death sentences. Photograph: EPA

US announces new $820 million military aid package to Ukraine

A further $820 million in military aid will be given to Ukraine, the US announced on Friday.Latest surface-to-air missile systems and anti-artillery radars will be part of the new aid package to counteract Russia’s long-range attacks during its war against Ukraine.Additionally, the Pentagon declared that it will give Ukrainians up to 150,000 rounds of millimeter artillery ammunition.

With Friday’s notification, Ukraine has received its 14th military shipment from the Defense Department’s stock since August 2021. Over $8.8 billion worth of arms and military training have been sent to Ukraine by the US overall.

As part of the new deal, the United States will buy two NASAMS anti-aircraft systems from Norway, which are also used to safeguard Washington, D.C.’s airspace around the White House and Capitol.

The Pentagon will also supply more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Launchers, or HIMARS, medium-range rocket systems that Ukraine received in June.

A view shows a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is being fired in an undisclosed location, in Ukraine in this still image obtained from an undated social media video uploaded on June 24, 2022.
A view shows a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is being fired in an undisclosed location, in Ukraine in this still image obtained from an undated social media video uploaded on June 24, 2022. Photograph: Via Pavlo Narozhnyy/Reuters
Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk speaks during an event marking the 77th anniversary of the 1945 victory against Nazi Germany at the Brandenburg parliament in Potsdam on May 8, 2022.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk speaks during an event marking the 77th anniversary of the 1945 victory against Nazi Germany at the Brandenburg parliament in Potsdam on May 8, 2022. Photograph: Sören Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Summary

Here’s where we stand:

According to Sergei Bratchuk, the military spokesman for Odesa, at least 21 people—including two children—have been killed as a result of Russian missile attacks in the southern Ukrainian city. He stated that a 12-year-old boy was among the fatalities. Two Russian missiles hit a multistory apartment building and a recreation center, injuring 38 additional people, including six children and a pregnant lady. The Kremlin has denied being behind the attack.

Local authorities have verified that eight persons have died as a result of a Russian missile strike on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych had earlier said that eight missiles had struck the city, and he added that it appeared like a Russian X-55 cruise missile had struck the apartment complex.

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According to an amended legal code of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine will start applying the death penalty in 2025. (DPR). Two Britons, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, as well as a Moroccan, Brahim Saadoun, were given death sentences for “terrorism” by a Russian proxy court in the DPR. What the new regulations would entail for the males is unknown.

There is “a long road ahead” for Ukraine’s application to join the EU, but Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, assured Ukraine that “Europe will be at your side every step of the way.” Following her address, which was transmitted via video link, Ukrainian parliamentarians observed the EU flag being raised in the parliament’s plenary room in Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, declared that after Brussels formally accepted Ukraine’s application to join the bloc, a new chapter had begun for both his nation and the EU. Zelenskiy promised to make Ukraine’s portion of the process “perfect” in a Telegram post, claiming that the road to EU membership should “not take years or decades.”

Pekka Haavisto, the foreign minister of Finland, has urged nations to back Kiev and stated that war in Europe outside of Ukraine is “of course” a possibility. According to Haavisto, who added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has transformed the security situation,” Finland could not continue to be neutral as a result of its neighbor being a security danger.

Russian forces were pushed out of Snake Island, a strategically important stronghold in the Black Sea off the southern coast, according to Ukrainian forces on Thursday. The withdrawal from the island was presented by Russia as a “goodwill gesture”. Following a bombardment of Ukrainian artillery and missile attacks, the Ukrainian military said that Russians left the island in two speedboats.

Officials describe the situation in the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine as “very tough” since it is impossible for inhabitants to flee due to Russian soldiers’ ongoing shelling. Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, claimed that Russian soldiers continued to operate outside the city, where there was no street combat.

In order to move to teaching the Russian school curriculum, Moscow has ordered Ukrainian instructors in the occupied territories to sign a contract in the coming weeks. Teachers in Russian-occupied areas of south-east Ukraine told The Guardian that newly appointed local officials gave them until July 21 to decide whether to sign a document attesting to their preparedness to adopt the Russian school curriculum or resign.

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Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has asserted that western pressure forced Russia to quicken the integration of neighboring Belarus. In response to remarks made last week by Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, Putin made a statement at a Russia-Belarus meeting on Friday. Shoigu stressed that Belarus and Russia need to act quickly to improve their militaries’ combat preparedness.

Following Sofia’s announcement that it will expel 70 Russian diplomats, Russia has threatened to close its embassy there. Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, predicted that the closing of the Russian embassy in Moscow will surely result in the closure of the Bulgarian embassy there. Russia’s threat to break off diplomatic ties with Bulgaria was deemed unjustified by the EU.

Because to Russia’s invasion, the making of borsch, a beetroot and cabbage soup, in Ukraine has been put to the list of cultural traditions that are in risk of extinction by the United Nations. On Unesco’s “list of intangible cultural treasures in need of urgent protection” is the tradition of making borsch, which is regarded as a national dish in Ukraine.

Two Britons charged with ‘mercenary activities’ in Donetsk

According to the Russian state-owned news service Tass, two British citizens who were kidnapped by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine have been accused of engaging in “mercenary activities.”

According to a source in DPR law enforcement, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill have been charged by representatives of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

According to Tass, both guys were refusing to help with the investigation.

Healy, 22, and Paul Urey, another British guy, were reportedly taken prisoner by Russian soldiers in April at a checkpoint in the southeast Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia. The Tass report made no reference to Urey.

Presidium Network, a UK-based business that claims to transport people and families out of conflict areas, stated that it had planned to collaborate with Healy and Urey. Both individuals gave off the impression of being ordinary citizens with little to no prior military or humanitarian experience.

Hill, a 35-year-old Plymouth resident and father of four, was reportedly taken prisoner by Russian forces during battle in the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv.

Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, has denounced Russia for the missile attacks on the Odesa region that left 21 people dead and several others injured.

Kuleba urged partners to “help us save lives and put an end to this war” by sending sophisticated missile defense systems to Ukraine.

Terrorist state Russia continues its war against civilians with overnight missile strikes on Odesa region killing dozens, including children. I urge partners to provide Ukraine with modern missile defense systems as soon as possible. Help us save lives and put an end to this war. pic.twitter.com/SQP6UUkNlf

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) July 1, 2022

 

Talina Zharikova first met people who had fled fighting in Donbas in a bomb shelter near her flat in the south-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro when the invasion started.

For a while, she and her neighbours hosted them in their flats. But there were quickly more people than they could house, so Zharikova decided to ask about renovating an abandoned Soviet hospital opposite their block of flats.

Zharikova, her neighbours, other Dnipro residents and those who had fled fighting set about renovating the building, which had been empty for a decade. There are now 240 people living in the various rooms in the shelter, known as Good on Love, and they say there is room for another 100.

The shelter is one of more than 60 set up by Dnipro residents for evacuees. As the first city of relative safety outside many frontline areas, Dnipro has become Ukraine’s aid hub. Thousands who live there, many left jobless by the war, have thrown themselves into volunteering.

Like other volunteers in Dnipro, Zharikova said the financial burden has been immense.

“The city authorities didn’t help, so I fed them all with my own money for the first month. My husband is fighting at the front and I went out and got out what money I had,” said Zharikova, a former hotel manager.

Briton and Moroccan sentenced to death in Donetsk appeal sentence

A Briton and a Moroccan man sentenced to death by pro-Russia officials in Russian-controlled east Ukraine have appealed against their sentences, Russian state media reports.

The supreme court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has received appeals from lawyers for Brahim Saadoun and Shaun Pinner, according to the Russian state-owned news agency Tass.

Another Briton sentenced to death by the Russian proxy court, Aiden Aslin, had not yet submitted an appeal, Tass reports.

British man Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C), pictured with Aiden Aslin (L) have reportedly appealed against their death sentences.
British man Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C), pictured with Aiden Aslin (L) have reportedly appealed against their death sentences. Photograph: EPA

The cooking of borsch, a beetroot and cabbage soup, in Ukraine has been added to the United Nations cultural agency’s list of endangered heritage because of Russia’s invasion.

The Ukrainian culture of cooking borsch, considered a national dish, has been included on Unesco’s “list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding”. Borsch is also widely consumed in Russia, other ex-Soviet countries and Poland.

The decision was approved after a fast-track process prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the “negative impact on this tradition” caused by the war, Unesco said.

“People are unable not only to cook or grow local vegetables for borsch, but also to come together” to eat it, “which undermines the social and cultural well-being of communities”, it said.

Ukraine’s minister of culture, Tkachenko Oleksandr, celebrated the decision on Twitter, tweeting: “Victory in the war for borsch is ours!”

Перемога у війні за борщ- наша! 🇺🇦
Як і всі наступні💪🏻
На позачерговому засіданні Міжурядового комітету з охорони нематеріальної культурної спадщини за зверненням @MKIPUkraine “Культура приготування українського борщу” внесено до Списку нематеріальної культурної спадщини @UNESCO pic.twitter.com/iTMNub1ZO1

— Tkachenko Oleksandr (@otkachenkoua) July 1, 2022

 

Ukraine’s first deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzheppar, also welcomed Unesco’s decision, saying: “Ukrainian Borsht derussified!”

Ukrainian Borsht derussified!
At extraordinary meeting @UNESCO Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage unanimously decided to include🇺🇦element “Culture of Ukrainian borscht cooking” into the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding1/2 pic.twitter.com/DGHVX6q6eZ

— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) July 1, 2022

 

Russia’s foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova, ridiculed the move, claiming “as I understand, everything is subject to Ukrainisation”.

Ukraine has requested that Turkey detain and arrest a Russian-flagged cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain, Reuters reports.

The ship, Zhibek Zholy, was involved in the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” from the Russian-occupied port of Berdiansk and headed to Karasu, Turkey, with 7,000 tonnes of cargo, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said in a letter to Turkey’s justice ministry.

Separately, a Ukrainian foreign ministry official said the ship had loaded the first cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdiansk, which the official said belonged to Ukraine.

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing grain from occupied areas. The Kremlin has denied that Russia has stolen any Ukrainian grain.

War in Europe beyond Ukraine ‘of course’ a possibility, says Finland

Finland’s foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, has said war in Europe beyond Ukraine is “of course” a possibility and urged countries to support Kyiv.

In an interview with CNN, Haavisto was asked if Ukraine can win the war against Russia. He replied:

They can maintain the situation and in that sense, they can win this battle. I think they are, of course, morally on the high ground. They are very united.

On Tuesday, Finland, Sweden and Turkey signed a joint memorandum on security measures in exchange for Turkey lifting its veto on their Nato memberships. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, later said Finland and Sweden must keep the promises of extraditions made during the talks, or ratification of the Nordic nations’ Nato memberships will not be sent to the Turkish parliament.

Earlier today, Haavisto told a news conference that Finland and Turkey did not discuss the extradition of any specific individuals or groups of people during the negotiations at the Nato summit in Madrid earlier this week.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto at a news conference in Helsinki on Friday.
Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto at a news conference in Helsinki on Friday. Photograph: Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva/AFP/Getty Images

Referring to a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Haavisto told reporters:

We agreed that now we have a signed text and everything that we have signed is in the text. We did not, in Madrid, discuss about any individuals or any listings [with Turkey].

Haavisto told CNN that Finland could not maintain neutrality as its neighbour Russia becomes a security threat.

Haavisto said:

I think it’s a new reality. I really think that the European security architects [have] been broken. It’s a new situation. There’s a new kind of iron wall between Russia and the other countries. And of course, it’s based on Russia’s aggression against its neighbour Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has changed the security atmosphere”, he added.

Odesa death toll rises to 21

The number of people killed in overnight Russian missile strikes on a residential building and resorts in Odesa has risen to at least 21, according to local authorities.

Odesa’s military spokesperson, Sergei Bratchuk, told Ukrainian television that 21 people had been confirmed killed. A 12-year-old boy was among the dead, he added.

Ukraine’s security service had earlier put the death toll at 19. Two children were among the dead and six others among dozens injured, officials said.

Authorities also said that 41 people had been rescued from the apartment building where 152 people lived.

The “very heavy and very powerful” missiles were launched by aircraft that flew in from the Black Sea, Bratchuk said. He said:

The worst-case scenario played out and two strategic aircraft came to the Odesa region.

The Kremlin has 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 earlier today.

Today so far …

Here’s where we stand:

Russian missile strikes on an apartment complex and a resort in Odesa have killed at least 19, including two children, according to the security service of Ukraine. 38 more individuals were hospitalized for injuries, including six children and a pregnant lady. Yevhenii Yenin, the deputy foreign minister of Ukraine, claimed there were no military installations or objectives close to the missile-hit locations. The Kremlin has denied being behind the attack.

Local authorities have verified that eight persons have died as a result of a Russian missile strike on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych had earlier said that eight missiles had struck the city, and he added that it appeared like a Russian X-55 cruise missile had struck the apartment complex.

There is “a long road ahead” for Ukraine’s application to join the EU, but Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, assured Ukraine that “Europe will be at your side every step of the way.” Following her address, which was transmitted via video link, Ukrainian parliamentarians observed the EU flag being raised in the parliament’s plenary room in Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, declared that after Brussels formally accepted Ukraine’s application to join the bloc, a new chapter had begun for both his nation and the EU. In a speech to the Ukrainian parliament on Friday, Zelenskiy said it was a “great honor and big responsibility” to work toward realizing the “aspirations of our country.”

Zelenskiy promised to make Ukraine’s share in the process “excellent” and stated that the road to EU membership should “not take years or decades.” The president of Ukraine wrote on Telegram that “we must immediately go over this path. Perfect our portion of the work. to provide our allies in the European Union the opportunity to promptly and unanimously decide another historic matter on our behalf.

Russian forces were pushed out of Snake Island, a strategically important stronghold in the Black Sea off the southern coast, according to Ukrainian forces on Thursday. The withdrawal from the island was presented by Russia as a “goodwill gesture”. Following a bombardment of Ukrainian artillery and missile attacks, the Ukrainian military said that Russians left the island in two speedboats.

Officials describe the situation in the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine as “very tough” since it is impossible for inhabitants to flee due to Russian soldiers’ ongoing shelling. Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, claimed that Russian soldiers continued to operate outside the city, where there was no street combat.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture, grain exports decreased by 43% to 1.41 million tonnes in June. Since the beginning of the war, grain exports have decreased because the main shipping route along the Black Sea, its ports, has been largely closed. According to prior government statements, Ukraine could harvest up to 65 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds this year as opposed to 106 million in 2021.

At the start of the new school year on September 1, Kyiv’s schools will reopen for sessions. According to the head of Kyiv’s education and science department, areas close to the schools will be inspected for explosives and replenished with water, medicine, and other needs for bomb shelters.

In order to move to teaching the Russian school curriculum, Moscow has ordered Ukrainian instructors in the occupied territories to sign a contract in the coming weeks. Teachers in Russian-occupied areas of south-east Ukraine told The Guardian that newly appointed local officials gave them until July 21 to decide whether to sign a document attesting to their preparedness to adopt the Russian school curriculum or resign.

According to an amended legal code of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine will start applying the death penalty in 2025. (DPR). Two Britons, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, as well as a Moroccan, Brahim Saadoun, were given death sentences for “terrorism” by a Russian proxy court in the DPR. What the new regulations would entail for the males is unknown.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has asserted that western pressure forced Russia to quicken the integration of neighboring Belarus. In response to remarks made last week by Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, Putin made a statement at a Russia-Belarus meeting on Friday. Shoigu stressed that Belarus and Russia need to act quickly to improve their militaries’ combat preparedness.

Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, claims that a new “iron curtain” between Russia and the west is erecting and that Moscow will no longer trust Brussels and Washington. Lavrov declared following conversations with his Belarusian counterpart that the process “had begun.” “In terms of an iron curtain, it’s basically already coming down.”

Following Sofia’s announcement that it will expel 70 Russian diplomats, Russia has threatened to close its embassy there. Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, predicted that the closing of the Russian embassy in Moscow will surely result in the closure of the Bulgarian embassy there. Russia’s threat to break off diplomatic ties with Bulgaria was deemed unjustified by the EU.

According to Pekka Haavisto, the foreign minister of Finland, Finland and Turkey did not negotiate the extradition of any particular people or people from particular groups. Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president of Turkey, stated on Thursday that Finland and Sweden’s extradition commitments made during the negotiations must be kept in order for the Turkish parliament to approve the Nordic countries’ participation in NATO.

A pro-Russian official claims that a cargo ship departed the port of Berdiansk in the Ukrainian city for the first time since Moscow’s forces took control of the area. Russian state media quoted Yevgeny Balitsky, the leader of the pro-Russian government, as saying that the first cargo ship to leave Berdiansk was carrying 7,000 tonnes of grain to “friendly countries,” however the official’s altered Telegram post did not specify what cargo the ship was carrying.

Hello to Everyone. Léonie Chao-Fong is here to provide you with the most recent information about the conflict in Ukraine. If you have anything to report, please feel free to contact me by email or Twitter.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said he has been forced to take part in “educational activities” including being made to sit for hours under a portrait of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Navalny was transferred last month to a strict-regime penal colony near the town of Vladimir east of Moscow, described by his allies as “one of Russia’s scariest prisons”.

In a post on Facebook, he described his life in the new prison where he said he had to sew for seven hours, five days a week.

Navalny said:

After work, you continue to sit. For several hours on a wooden bench under a portrait of Putin. This is called ‘educational activities’.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a video link from prison provided by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service in a courtroom in Vladimir, Russia.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a video link from prison provided by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service in a courtroom in Vladimir, Russia. Photograph: Kirill Zarubin/AP

Even on Sundays, his official day off, he said he was made to sit on a wooden bench in a room for 10 years. He added:

I don’t know who such activities can ‘educate’, except for a crooked invalid with a bad back. But maybe that’s the purpose.

Navalny has described his new jail as a “prison within a prison” and said he was serving time with convicted murderers.

In a Twitter thread, he compared his prison life to Putin and Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvdev, and said there was a loudspeaker in his barrack that plays songs like “Glory to the FSB”.

1/12 I live like Putin and Medvedev.

At least I think so when I look at the fence around my barrack. Everyone has the usual fence, and inside there are rods to dry the laundry on.

— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) July 1, 2022

 

6/12 6:00 – Wake up. Ten minutes to make bed, wash, shave, etc.

6:10 – Exercise.

6:20 – Escort to breakfast.

6:40 – Search and escort to work.

At work, you sit for 7 hours at the sewing machine on a stool below knee height.

10:20- 15-minute lunch break.

— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) July 1, 2022

 

10/12 But you know me, I’m an optimist and look for the bright side even in my dark existence. I have as much fun as I can. While sewing, I’ve memorised Hamlet’s monologue in English.

— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) July 1, 2022

 

According to the agriculture ministry of Ukraine, grain exports dropped since the start of the war as the country’s Black Sea ports—the main route for shipments—were mostly closed off. In June, they fell by 43% year over year to 1.41 million tonnes.

According to Reuters, the ministry reported that farmers in southern and eastern Ukraine have already begun the harvest for 2022, threshing 293,800 tonnes of grain from around 1% of the land sowed.

Due to the loss of territory to Russian forces and decreased grain yields, the administration has previously stated that Ukraine could harvest up to 65 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds this year as opposed to 106 million in 2021.

current as of 09.58 EDT

According to Finland, no specific people’s extradition to Turkey was discussed in Madrid.

There seems to be some difficulty ahead of the Nato membership of Sweden and Finland. The invitation must be approved by all 30 allies in parliament, and there still appears to be some disagreement between the Nordic nations and Turkey over the terms of the agreement made earlier this week in Madrid. They had received a veto threat from Turkey.

According to Reuters, Finland and Turkey did not negotiate the extradition of any particular people or groups of people during conversations at the Nato summit, according to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

At a news conference in Helsinki, Haavisto stated, “We decided that now that we have a signed text, all that we have signed is in the text.” “In Madrid, we didn’t talk about any specific people.”

Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president of Turkey, stated yesterday that Finland and Sweden’s extradition commitments made during the negotiations must be kept in order for the Turkish parliament to approve the Nordic countries’ participation in NATO.

In exchange for Turkey withdrawing its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO, which Ankara imposed in May owing to its fears about terrorism, the three countries signed a cooperative memorandum on security measures on Tuesday after four hours of negotiations in Madrid. There were no people listed for extradition in the signed memorandum.

According to the city’s administration, Kyiv’s schools will reopen on September 1 for the start of the new academic year.

After getting online when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, schools in the capital city of Ukraine are currently on summer break.

According to Olena Fidanyan, the head of Kyiv’s education and science department, “the safety of kids and instructors” is the most crucial responsibility for the upcoming school year.

Schools’ immediate surroundings will be inspected for bombs, and school bomb shelters will be refilled with supplies like water and medicine, she said.

She continued, “The essential training with teachers and students on actions during an air-raid alarm will be held at all schools.”

Children who are unable to return to Kyiv will be allowed to take classes online, according to Fidanyan.

current as of 09:59 EDT

Following Sofia’s announcement that it will expel 70 Russian diplomats, Russia has threatened to close its embassy there.

Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, predicted that the closing of the Russian embassy in Moscow will surely result in the closure of the Bulgarian embassy there.

Bulgaria’s prime minister, Kiril Petkov, announced earlier this week that his nation would expel 70 Russian diplomats due to espionage fears. The decision more than halved Moscow’s diplomatic presence in Bulgaria and was the greatest expulsion of Russian diplomats by Sofia in recent years.

The main entrance of the Russian embassy in Sofia.
The main entrance of the Russian embassy in Sofia. Photograph: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images

Mitrofanova called the expulsions an “unprecedented hostile” step and on Thursday told Sofia to reverse its decision by midday on Friday.

In a statement released by the embassy today, Mitrofanova said:

Unfortunately, our appeal to the Bulgarian foreign ministry has been ignored.

She added:

I intend to quickly put the question of the closure of Russia’s embassy in Bulgaria before my country’s leadership, which will inevitably mean the closure of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Moscow.

Petkov’s administration will be accountable for the “severe implications of this step,” according to Mitrofanova.

In order to move to teaching the Russian school curriculum, Moscow has ordered Ukrainian instructors in the occupied territories to sign a contract in the coming weeks.

Many of them are put in a challenging situation by the migration. They risk losing their jobs and facing reprisals from Russian forces if they refuse to sign. They run the prospect of being charged by the Ukrainian government, which sees teaching the Russian curriculum as working with the enemy.

Teachers in Russian-occupied areas of south-east Ukraine who talked with The Guardian cannot have their identities exposed for security reasons. They claimed that beginning in the middle of June, recently appointed local officials gave them until July 21 to either sign a paper attesting to their readiness to follow the Russian school curriculum or quit, with many of them receiving eviction threats from their homes.

Damage at a school in Kharkiv hit by a Russian missile.
Damage at a school in Kharkiv hit by a Russian missile. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Sergey Kravtsov, the Russian minister of education, declared in June that all schools in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied territory would operate in accordance with Russian norms starting in September.

According to Kravtsov, “We will try our best to open schools on 1 September so that they are as ready as they can be to work in accordance with Russian norms.” Integration is going to happen. We have already started moving in this approach by providing textbooks and training teachers.

Only history, geography, language, and basic school teachers were currently requested to sign the statement, according to a teacher who lives in a village within the occupied portion of Kharkiv.

The curriculum for math, physics, biology, and chemistry in Russia does not include any propaganda, therefore those subjects have been left alone—at least for the time being.

Read the whole article by Lorenzo Tondo: Moscow compels Ukrainian teachers to adopt Russian education

Eight people have died as a result of the Russian attack on a home in Mykolaiv.

Local authorities have officially confirmed eight deaths following a Russian missile attack on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday.

The body of a man was found beneath a collapsed stairway, according to late Friday night’s report from Ukraine’s official emergency agency, raising the death toll to eight people dead and six injured.

A residential building hit by a Russian military strike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on Wednesday.
A residential building hit by a Russian military strike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday. Photograph: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine/Reuters

Oleksandr Senkevych, the mayor, claimed eight missiles had struck the city on Wednesday. He also claimed that it appeared that a Russian X-55 cruise missile had struck the apartment complex. Photos taken at the scene showed a four-story structure with its upper floor mostly demolished spewing smoke.