Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) – Ukraine forged ahead with efforts to restart grain exports under a deal aimed at easing global food shortages, but said a weekend missile strike by Russian forces on the Black Sea port of Odesa underlined the risks to deliveries.


* Russia's Defence Ministry said its forces had destroyed an ammunition depot for U.S.-made HIMARS rocket systems in Ukraine's western Khmelnytskyi region. Ukraine meanwhile said its HIMARS rockets had destroyed 50 Russian ammunition depots. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the reports.

* Russia continued shelling along the entire frontline in the eastern Donetsk region, especially in the area of Bakhmut, damaging at least five houses and wounding one person there, Ukrainian authorities said. Other cities under renewed Russian fire include Avdiivka and Kramatorsk.

* Russian forces also shelled the town of Chuhuyiv in the northeastern Kharkiv region overnight, hitting a culture centre and trapping three people under rubble, a regional police chief said. A fourth person, a woman, was wounded.

* Ukraine's military said its forces had moved within range of targets in the Black Sea region of Kherson where Kyiv is mounting a counter-offensive.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.

* British military intelligence described the ongoing fighting as inconclusive in both the Donbas and Kherson regions.

* As Ukraine prepares for its national day on July 28, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said: "We will celebrate against all odds because Ukrainians won't be cowed."

* Ukraine's health ministry said at least 18 medical personnel had been killed and nearly 900 medical facilities damaged or destroyed during Russia's invasion.


* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia's cruise missile strike against the port of Odesa on Saturday would not affect the export of grain.

* Ukraine could export 60 million tonnes of grain in eight to nine months if its ports were not blockaded, an economic adviser to the Ukrainian president said.

* Pope Francis said he yearned to visit Ukraine, in his efforts to try and bring an end to the five-month-old war.


"Even the occupiers admit we will win … We hear it in their conversations all the time, in what they are telling their relatives when they call them," Zelenskiy said in a television address.

(Compiled by Gareth Jones)

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