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Russian shelling kills two civilians in Kramatorsk, the last major city under Ukrainian control in the eastern Donetsk region, the regional governor says. online news
In the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, Russian artillery fire also claims the life of a woman, a local official says.
Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced from their homes since Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour in late February.
- First UN grain vessel due in Ukraine –
The first UN-chartered vessel set to transport grain from Ukraine under a deal to relieve a global food crisis is expected to dock in Ukraine on Friday, the United Nations says.
The MV Brave Commander left Istanbul on Wednesday and is due to arrive in Yuzhne, east of Odessa on the Black Sea coast, the UN’s World Food Programme says.
On July 22, Kyiv and Moscow signed a landmark deal with Turkey to unblock Black Sea grain deliveries, following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
WFP has purchased an initial 30,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat. MV Brave Commander has a capacity of 23,000 tonnes.
- Bucha buries its unidentified dead –
More than four months after AFP journalists discovered 20 civilian corpses in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on April 2, the first evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, the local authorities have started burying the dead that no one has claimed.
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Fourteen bodies were interred on Tuesday, with another 11 following on Thursday. Mykhailyna Skoryk-Shkarivska, an assistant to Bucha’s mayor, told AFP another three ceremonies were planned.
Of the 458 civilians who died during the Russian occupation of the town in March, around 50 have not been identified.
Almost all the dead had been hastily buried in mass graves by local residents as the fierce fighting left them with no other choice.
- Iran seeks three more Khayyam satellites –
Iran says it plans to commission three more versions of a satellite launched this week by Russia, which prompted accusations of spying by Moscow in Ukraine.
The Khayyam satellite was blasted into orbit on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket on Tuesday from the Moscow-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Ahead of the launch, The Washington Post quoted anonymous Western intelligence officials as saying that Russia “plans to use the satellite for several months or longer” to assist its Ukraine war effort before allowing Iran to take control.
Iran’s space agency has stressed it would control the satellite “from day one”, in an apparent reaction to the Post’s report.
- EU mulls Russia visa ban –
The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency, says that a blanket ban on visas for all Russian travellers could be the bloc’s next sanction on Moscow.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky says he will propose the idea at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague at the end of August.
The EU has so far come up with six sanction packages against Russia.
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