Russia Ukraine War

Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western military aid to Kyiv, worldwide reaction, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Latest Developments At A Glance

  • Russian forces struck the Kharkiv region for a third time late on July 16, the governor said, as Russia reported an apparent retaliatory strike on towns in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged “reciprocal action” if Ukraine uses controversial cluster munitions against Russian forces invading Ukraine.
  • The last ship approved to travel under the UN-brokered grain-exporting deal left dock on July 16. Since June 27, Russia has refused to register any new shipments under the agreement, which is set to expire on July 17.
  • Ukrainian courts have convicted and sentenced more than 50 Russian soldiers for crimes committed in Ukraine since Russia’s massive military invasion in February 2022.
  • Another Russian general, Vladimir Selivyorstov, who commanded the 106th Airborne Division, has reportedly been fired in the latest shakeup in the military since Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a short-lived mutiny three weeks ago.
  • The New York Times reported on July 15 that Ukraine has suffered significant losses of equipment, including Bradley fighting vehicles and Leopard tanks, in the first weeks of its counteroffensive, citing Western officials.

After Prigozhin’s Mutiny, What Happens Next?

The dust is still settling in Russia, after Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s march on Moscow, a mutiny that presented the gravest challenge to President Putin in his 23 years as Russia’s preeminent leader. Where we go from here is far from certain. Read the story by Mike Eckel here.

Who Is Yevgeny Prigozhin, The Bringer Of An ‘Armed Mutiny’?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was a Kremlin-connected restauranteur who built Russia’s most notorious private mercenary company and became a merciless critic of how Russia’s military waged war on Ukraine. That confrontation has now come to a head with what President Vladimir Putin has called an “armed mutiny.” Read the article by Mike Eckel here.

How Are Ordinary Russians Feeling About The War Being Delivered To Their Doorstep?

Attacks in Shebekino and elsewhere in the Belgorod region have brought the war home to Russia as local residents grapple with the new reality. Read the article by Oleg Artyushenko here.

Can Ukraine’s New Counteroffensive Succeed?

Roughly one week into a counteroffensive that it hopes will change the course of the 15-month Russian invasion, Ukraine has made advances on the southern and eastern parts of the front line, but Russia is fighting back, destroying Western-supplied weaponry. Will the Ukrainian efforts be enough? Read the article by Mike Eckel here.

The Ukrainian Cities Obliterated In Russia’s Self-Proclaimed ‘Liberation’

Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine has nearly wiped multiple cities and towns from the face of the Earth, despite the Kremlin’s claim that it is conducting a campaign of “liberation.” Read the report by RFE/RL’s Donbas.Realities, Svitlana Kuzmenko, and Carl Schreck here.

After The Flood: What Do We Know About The Destroyed Ukrainian Dam And Its Consequences?

The collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam sent torrents of water flooding through Ukraine’s southern Dnieper River basin, prompting evacuations and inundating thousands of hectares of land. Among other consequences, it could cause the biggest environmental disaster of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

Who Is Flying Military-Grade Drones Over Moscow?

The drones that slammed into buildings and hit other locations in Moscow this week were the second batch to rattle the Russian capital in a month. It’s still not clear who’s behind them, and what the goal is. Here’s what we know. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

How Do We Prevent A Black-Swan Event In Ukraine?

The sooner Ukraine defeats Russia on the battlefield, the less likely there is the risk of a so-called black swan event “such as a tactical nuclear weapon used by Russia,” says Dan Rice, a former special adviser to the head of Ukraine’s armed forces. Read the interview by Vazha Tavberidze here.

Apart From Wagner, Who Are The Other Russian Mercenary Groups Fighting In Ukraine?

The Wagner Group is by far the most notorious Russian mercenary company, its soldiers having played visible roles in conflict, chaos, and commerce from Africa to Ukraine, where they have led Russia’s long, bloody push to take Bakhmut. But Wagner is not Russia’s only private military company. Read the report by Mark Krutov, Sergei Dobrynin, and RFE/RL’s Idel.Realities here.


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