Russia-Ukraine updates: Russian missiles hit outskirts of Kyiv

Russian missile attacks have hit outlying areas of Kyiv for the first time in weeks. And UK military intelligence says Russia’s Wagner group may be in charge of some front-line sectors. DW rounds up the latest.

Russian forces bombarded the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Thursday in the first attack in weeks on the city as Moscow continues its monthslong invasion of its neighbor.

Missiles targeting military installations in the district of Vyshhorod injured 15 people, according to a Telegram statement by Kyiv regional Governor Oleksiy Kuleba.

Life in Kyiv had been returning almost to normal following a failed Russian attempt to take the capital in the early weeks of Moscow’s invasion, which was launched February 24.

The attack came as Ukraine marked its Day of Ukrainian Statehood with a public holiday for the first time and as Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda was paying a visit to Kyiv.

The Chernihiv region northeast of Kyiv was also hit by 10 Russian missiles on Thursday, the regional governor, Vyacheslav Chausov. told Ukrainian TV. This was, again, the first attack on the area in weeks.

The North district command of the Ukrainian armed forces said more than 20 missiles had been fired from Belarus at the Chernihiv region, which borders Russia.

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on July 29.

UK defense minister: Putin may look for new plan amid invasion failures

Russia’s invading forces in Ukraine are failing in “many areas,” something that might lead Russian President Vladimir Putin to undertake a change in strategy, Britain’s defense minister, Ben Wallace, said on Friday.

“The Russians are failing at the moment on the ground in many areas … Putin’s plan A, B, and C has failed and he may look to plan D,” Wallace told Sky News television.

Wagner mercenaries likely responsible for front-line sectors: UK Ministry of Defence

Some sections of the front line in eastern Ukraine are now likely to be under the responsibilty of the Russian private military firm Wagner, according to an intelligence update by the British Ministry of Defence.

This comes as Russia is possibly suffering from major shortages of combat infantry, the update said.

“This is a significant change from the previous employment of the group since 2015, when it typically undertook missions distinct from overt, large-scale regular Russian military activity,” the update said.

However, it said that mercenaries were unlikely to have any meaningful impact on the course of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

International mission to review Russia’s human rights situation

The United States will join with 37 other countries in an expert mission that is to review the state of human rights in Russia amid concerns over Moscow’s growing clampdown on freedom of expression and reports of torture of people in detention.

The mission was announced on Thursday by US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who said the mission’s report would be publicly released in September.

The review was triggered by the invocation of the “Moscow Mechanism” of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE). The mechanism has been invoked three times since Russian launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.

In April, an OSCE mission said it had found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia in Ukraine. Russia’s mission to the OSCE called the report “unfounded propaganda.”

More on the war in Ukraine

Despite Moscow’s assertions to the contrary, Western sanctions on Russia are having a severe impact on the country’s economy, according to a study by researchers at the prestigious Yale University in the US.

Conservative politicians and pundits in the US have criticized the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Olena Zelenska, for featuring in a cover story of the magazine Vogue. But Ukrainians have welcomed the publicity it has given to their fight against invading Russian forces.

(Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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