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Last minute of Russia’s war in Ukraine, live

Saturday marks 500 days since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Following the US pledge to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions in a slower-than-expected counteroffensive, all eyes will now be on a high-level NATO summit due to take place. open Tuesday in Lithuania. .

These are the latest developments.

Bombings in the Russian border region: Belgorod, which lies along the border with Ukraine, came under heavy shelling on Saturday and injured two people, according to regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, who said Ukraine fired more than 100 artillery shells at the over the past 24 hours. . Ukraine has not yet ruled on this attack.

Moscow ignores cluster munitions: The Russian Foreign Ministry called the US announcement on Friday to transfer the controversial cluster munitions to Ukraine an “act of desperation” reflecting the “failure” of the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

US President Joe Biden said it was a “difficult decision” to supply the weapons to Ukraine, but he did so due to dwindling ammunition in the country under attack. The US Department of Defense said one of the main reasons it is providing the cluster munitions is to help Ukrainian troops break through Russian defensive lines, as the counteroffensive “goes a little slower than expected” than some thought.

Russia and Ukraine have used cluster munitions before in war.

US will send cluster bombs to Ukraine 2:10

Azovstal soldiers back home: Five soldiers who defended the Azovstal steelworks, which became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in the southern port city of Mariupol during a months-long siege, have returned to Ukraine from Turkey with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia called it “rape”, alleging NATO pressured Turkey to hand over the men.

Numerous videos on social media showed large crowds saluting the leaders in Lviv.

Preparation for the NATO summit: Next week’s meeting of the military alliance will not yet result in Ukraine’s membership, a US official said on Friday, but the agenda is dominated by issues related to the war in Ukraine. Turkey has played a key role, expressing its support for kyiv’s possible membership while halting Sweden’s attempt to join the alliance. Turkey’s foreign minister discussed NATO expansion by phone with his American counterpart on Saturday as aides to Ankara prepare for a closely watched visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin next month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attend a joint press conference at Vahdettin Mansion on July 8, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Ozan Guzelce/dia images via Getty Images)

Deadly attack on the eastern city: At least eight people were killed and 13 injured following a bombardment by Russian troops on the Ukrainian town of Lyman on Saturday, according to Ukrainian officials.

Gradual progress around Bakhmut: Troops have advanced about 1 kilometer towards the battered eastern town, Ukrainian officials said on Friday. Artillery units firing on Bakhmut have seen tangible progress in driving away the Russians, Ukrainian fighters told a CNN crew reporting from the Eastern Front. “The Russians are retreating. We know that because they hit us much less,” said a gunner.