Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects around the world.
- Two Americans were killed in the Donbas region, a State Department spokesperson told The Washington Post on Saturday. The State Department could not confirm whether the Americans, who have yet to be identified, were fighting for Ukraine. “We are in touch with the families and providing all possible consular assistance,” the spokesperson said.
- Two of the missiles in the attack hit the Odessa portwhile two others were shot down by air defenses, Ukraine’s military said. There was no immediate response from Russia. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, who was at the signing of the deal in Istanbul on Friday, “unequivocally condemns” the strikes on Odessa, a U.N. spokesperson said.
- Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that “the Russians told us they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack.” “The fact that such an incident occurred right after the agreement we made yesterday regarding the grain shipment really worried us,” Akar said. “We are also disturbed by this.”
- No one was killed or injured and the missiles did not hit any grain silos, the Ukrainian military said, with the country’s infrastructure minister saying preparations for export shipments were continuing.
- Ukraine accused Russia of “breaking its promises” under the grain deal. The agreement includes Russian assurances not to attack merchant ships or port facilities involved in the initiative. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack showed that “no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it.”
- Three people were killed and 19 others were injured after Russian missiles struck a military airfield in the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine early Saturday, the regional governor said on Ukrainian TV. Andriy Raikovych said the attack, which killed a soldier and two security guards, also damaged rail infrastructure.
- Ukrainian rockets struck a bridge in the occupied Black Sea region of Kherson, according to a regional official. Serhiy Khlan, a member of the Kherson regional council, wrote on Facebook that the strike hit the Daryivskyi bridge, which runs across a river crucial for supplies for Russian troops.
- Several strikes hit the center of the northeastern city of Kharkiv early Saturday, its mayor said, damaging a residential building and the city’s university.
- The latest U.S. military aid to Ukraine includes four HIMARS, or M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, which give Ukraine’s military the long-range capabilities its generals consider vital to outgun Russian forces. The package also includes howitzer ammunition and funding for up to 580 Phoenix Ghost drones.
- Even before Saturday’s morning missile strikes at Odessa, there was much skepticism about the grain deal. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier said his country’s “confidence in Russia’s reliability is pretty much nil.”
- A House delegation visited Kyiv on Saturday. President Zelensky told the delegation, which was led by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash), “We appreciate the help of the United States in defending our territory,” and he stressed the importance of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. They also discussed plans for postwar reconstruction.
- Lithuania is lifting a ban on rail transport to Kaliningrad, allowing E.U.-sanctioned goods to cross its territory on their way to the Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, according to Russian media reports. Russia threatened retaliation when the ban was imposed in June, but the E.U. now says the transit ban affects only road transport, not rail.
- The European Union needs a new policy on Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday. Orban has been a skeptical holdout against E.U. sanctions imposed on Russia since its February invasion. “A new strategy is needed which should focus on peace talks and drafting a good peace proposal … instead of winning the war,” said Orban.
- Portugal is considering citizenship applications from two Russian oligarchs — Lev Leviev and God Nisanov — who have applied for passports under a law granting them to descendants of Sephardic Jews. Property developer Nisanov is under U.S. sanctions. Roman Abramovich, who is now also under U.S. as well as U.K. sanctions, obtained Portuguese citizenship under the same law last year….