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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 drone strikes damaged grain facilities at the Ukrainian ports of Odesa and Izmayil overnight, authorities said on August 2, as air-raid alerts were declared across Ukraine.
  • U.S. government officials will attend a Ukraine peace summit in Saudi Arabia, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told a briefing on July 31.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that it was “inevitable” that “war” would come to Russia after authorities there were forced to temporarily close a busy Moscow airport following an overnight drone attack on the capital.
  • Russian children’s commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova has said that more than 700,000 Ukrainian children have been taken from Ukraine to Russia since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. L
  • A military court in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula said on July 31 it had sentenced a soldier to 30 months in a colony settlement for refusal to go to war in Ukraine.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on July 29 that the United States believes Russia’s defense minister is in North Korea to secure supplies of weapons to aid the stalled invasion of Ukraine.
  • Zelenskiy signed a law on July 28, moving the official Christmas Day holiday to December 25 from January 7, the day when the Russian Orthodox Church observes it.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Is Going Slowly. Is That A Problem?

Here’s what we know six weeks into a major counteroffensive that Kyiv hopes will change the course of the war: It’s not happening. At least not yet. Whether the sluggish pace is trouble, underscoring Ukrainian weaknesses, Russian strengths, or something else, depends on whom you ask. Read the story by Mike Eckel here.

What Will Be The Long-Term Impact Of The Latest Crimea Bridge Blast?

Although Russian officials have hastened to downplay the damage caused by the July 17 explosion on the only bridge linking Russia to occupied Crimea, experts say even a few hours of logistical delay at this time could be important. Read the report by Robert Coalson here.

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.

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.

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.

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