At least two people were killed and six others were injured in shelling in Russia’s Belgorod region on Friday, said Vyacheslav Gladkov, the regional governor.
The Belgorod region, which is located near the border with Ukraine, has seen intensified violence in the last several days.
Gladkov said in a Telegram post that the people killed were in the yards of their homes during the attack.
Two children hurt by shrapnel were among those hurt , Gladkov said -- a 13-year-old boy who fractured his left shoulder and an 11-year-old girl whose eye sustained shrapnel wounds to her left eye.
Ukraine has opened a new front in its battle to drive out the Russian invader - in Russia. But it is oddly coy about admitting that it has sent troops, fired artillery, and flowndrones into its neighbor’s territory.
The operations of Russian citizens, carrying Ukrainian military ID, wearing Ukrainian uniforms and attacking fromUkraine, remain officially opaque. It is Kyiv’s contribution to what’s become known as “hybrid warfare” in the “grey zone” of contemporary conflict.
The two terms provoked books and a tsunami of excited opinion from an army of pundits when Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014.
Back then, “Little Green Men” in peculiar two-tone sport-hunting uniforms – and Russian military fatigues – appeared in Crimea.
When it was suggested that maybe, just maybe, these men were actually Russian troops, Vladimir Putin quipped: “You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform."
Moscow’s official line was that the men who raised the Russian flag over Simferopol and stormed Crimea’s local parliament were “self defense units” of pro-Russian Ukrainians anxious to bring their territory under Moscow’s rule.
By the time Moscow admitted that its troops were actually in Ukraine, a large chunk of the former Soviet 14-year-old nation was under Putin’s control.
Now, on a small scale, Ukraine is adapting those same tactics to try to secure strategic effect.
The Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom for Russia Legion – which fall under Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence structure – have been conducting shortcross-border raidsinto Russia.
The principal aim? Destabilization.
Read more about Ukraine's destabilization efforts:
Ukraine's cross-border tactics are aimed at destabilizing Russia. Judging by the response, they're working | CNN
Under the scorching summer sun at an undisclosed location in Ukraine, an almost invisibledroneapproaches in the distance. Difficult to spot, the remote-controlled aircraft is also nearly impossible to hear.
“It’s very stealthy,” drone maker Valeriy Borovyk says. “We call this one Vidsyich (Ukrainian word for ‘repel’).”
The Vidsyich is what Borovyk calls a combat drone, designed to attack Russian positions.
Borovyk is one of dozens of drone developers that have sprung up all over Ukraine. A first wave appeared when Russia first occupied Crimea and parts of the Donbas in 2014, and another eight years later when Moscow launched its full-scale invasion.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were first deployed to help artillery locate Russian targets and now, many believe they are being used to hit targets wellinside Russian territory.
Borovyk says his company is in the process of upscaling its production after signing a deal with a factory in Ukraine, which would increase production from 50 drones per month to over 1,000. And they have several models, of all shapes and sizes.
His operation is just one small part of an industry built on Ukrainian ingenuity and survival instinct, which the country’s government and military are keen to support.
Read the full story:
Exclusive: Inside Ukraine's secretive drone program | CNN
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he understands that his country cannot become a member of NATO while it is still at war.
"We understand we will not be a NATO member, while the war is waging. Not because we don't want (that), but because it's impossible," he said at a news conference in Kyiv.
The alliance's treaty includes Article 5, a collective defense provision that pledges members to come to the assistance of any state that is under attack.
"Give me an example of one NATO country which is in a state of war with Russia right now; or which NATO country has Russian troops on its territory," Zelensky said.
Ukraine will be inspecting civilian bomb shelters across the country after three people, including a child, died in Kyiv earlier this week when they were unable to access a shelter during a Russian missile barrage.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the deaths have caused an "obviously strong reaction" and orders are in place to check shelters in the capital and elsewhere.
"Unfortunately, even today, after all this, Kyiv residents are still publishing information about the inaccessibility of shelters," Zelesnksy said. "Not just about closed shelters, but about welded entrances to shelters, about the absence of shelters in some parts of the city. This level of negligence in the city cannot be justified by any excuses."
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said he'd been instructed to commence nationwide inspections and that the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the National Police are already working.
"Any violations found must be properly recorded, and those responsible must be brought to justice," he said on Facebook.
The numbers: After a month of regular night-time Russian attacks on Kyiv, the city's authorities have disclosed that 92,000 people used the city's metro stations as shelters in May. They said that 46 underground stations operate as shelters around the clock.
Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina refused to shake hands with her Russian opponent after winning a match Friday, saying she did so out of respect for the men and women defending Ukraine from Moscow's invasion.
"I'm standing for my country. I'm doing everything possible in a way to support, to give a good spirit for the men and for the women who are right now in the front lines, fighting for our land and for our country. So, can you imagine the guy or the girl who is right now on the front lines, looking at me, and I'm like, acting like nothing is happening?" Svitolina said, following her three-set win over Russian Anna Blinkova in the third round of the French Open.
After Friday's victory, Svitolina avoided Blinkova while the two took turns shaking the hand of the chair umpire.
The Ukrainian said she would continue to snub any opponents from Russia or Belarus, the close Moscow ally.
"What the Russian government and Russian soldiers are doing on our land is really, really terrible," the 28-year-old Svitolina said. "It touches many different areas. It touches sport. It touches acting. It touches all different areas. So, we are all united Ukrainians and this is our position.”
Svitolina said she would like to see Russian and Belarusian players speak out and call for their countries to end the war.
Belarusian bows out of media appearance:World No. 2Aryna Sabalenka, meanwhile,did not participate in a customary post-match news conference Friday.
In her last media appearance Wednesday, theBelarusianhad been repeatedly asked to comment on the war in Ukraine and Belarus’ role, but she repeatedly declined to do so. This continued until the moderator halted the line of questioning.
Sabalenka said she had not felt safe during the Wednesday news conference.
"For my own mental health and well-being, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision," she said in an interview released by tournament organizers.
Top Russian player weighs in: Last month, Daria Kasatkina, Russia’s top-ranked women's tennis player, expressed her sympathy for Ukrainian players who refuse to shake her hand after matches.
“Well, the saddest part is the war still going on,” Kasatkina said. “So, of course, players from Ukraine have got a lot of reasons to not shake our hands. I accept it and it is how it is. It’s a very sad situation and I understand."
Ninth seed Kasatkina will face the unseeded Svitolina in the fourth round Sunday.
It's morning in Kyiv, if you're just catching up on the day's news, here's the latest from the war in Ukraine:
- Russian onslaught: Russia carried out at least 62 airstrikes and 15 missile strikes in a 24-hour period, according to the Ukrainian military, which said its forces also rebuffed more than a dozen ground assaults. The areas under fire included Kupiansk in the northeastern Kharkiv region and several areas further south in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
- Car bombing: A deadly car bombing targeted "Kremlin collaborators" in the Russian-occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region on Friday, according to Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol. A Russia-backed official in the region said a local businessman active in the "United Russia" party was killed in the blast.
- Attacks on Russian soil: At least two people were killed and six others were injured in shelling in Russia’s Belgorod region Friday, the governor there said. The governor is one of a number of Russian officials to report attacks on their regions Friday as thewar spills overfrom Ukraine's borders into Russian territory.
- Friday's diplomatic updates: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was on a diplomatic visit on Friday to Finland, which recently joined NATO, helping shore up the alliance's border with Russia. Blinken declared Russia’s war in Ukrainea "strategic failure" during a speech in Helsinki. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, acknowledged that Ukraine cannot follow Finland's lead and join NATO while its war with Russia is still raging.
This map shows the latest state of control in Ukraine:
|Date||20 February 2014 – present (9 years, 3 months and 2 weeks)|
|Territorial changes||Russian annexation of Crimea and parts of four southeast Ukrainian oblasts in 2014 and 2022, respectively Russian occupation of about 18% of Ukrainian territory as of November 2022|
DATTALION is home to the largest free, independent, open-source database of Ukraine war footage. In addition to compiling footage from across Ukrainian and russian-occupied territories, Dattalion hosts a database of verified eyewitness accounts of russian aggression, war crimes and acts of genocide in Ukraine.Why did Russia give Crimea to Ukraine? ›
(2) the transfer was a natural outgrowth of the “territorial proximity of Crimea to Ukraine, the commonalities of their economies, and the close agricultural and cultural ties between the Crimean oblast and the UkrSSS.”What language is spoken in Ukraine? ›
According to the 2001 census, 67% of the population speak Ukrainian and 30% speak Russian as their first language. Ukrainian, the official language, belongs with Russian and Belarusian to the East Slavic branch of the Slavic language family.How many tanks has Russia lost in Ukraine? ›
I write about ships, planes, tanks, drones, missiles and satellites. A Ukrainian army Leopard 2. Russia and its allies have lost at least 2,001 tanks in the first 15 months of Russia's wider war on Ukraine, according to Oryx, a collective that tallies wartime equipment losses.How much area has Russia captured in Ukraine? ›
Before 2022, Russia occupied 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) of Ukrainian territory (Crimea, and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk), and occupied an additional 119,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) after its full-scale invasion by March 2022, a total of 161,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) or almost 27% of Ukraine's territory.What is the best site to help Ukraine? ›
The best charities for supporting Ukraine are United24, Razom for Ukraine, and the Prytula Foundation. These charities work on the frontlines in Ukraine, delivering life-saving services to people affected by the ongoing conflict.What is the Ukrainian website for Russian casualties? ›
Look for Your Own (Russian: Ищи своих, Ishchi Svoikh) is an Internet project created on the initiative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to identify captured or killed soldiers of the Russian army during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.What social media is best in Ukraine? ›
facebook.com ranked number 1 and is the most visited Social Media Networks website in Ukraine in April 2023, followed by tiktok.com as the runner up, and instagram.com ranking at 3rd place as the leaders of the Social Media Networks websites in Ukraine.How many Russians live in Ukraine? ›
There are between 11 and 12 million ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including approximately 1.5 million who live in the Crimean peninsula (Uncaptive Minds Spring 1992, 76-77; RFE/RL 8 May 1992, 14).
The official cause of the war was a dispute between the Russian Czar, Nicholas I and the Ottoman Emperor, Abdulmejid I, over which empire would have authority over Orthodox Christians living in Ottoman territory. This religious dispute was a pretext for European powers to project power against each other.Why is Ukraine so important to Russia? ›
Russia has deep cultural, economic, and political bonds with Ukraine, and in many ways Ukraine is central to Russia's identity and vision for itself in the world. Family ties. Russia and Ukraine have strong familial bonds that go back centuries.