Russia sentences US citizen to 12 and a half years in prison for drug trafficking

The Ukrainian army has acknowledged his withdrawal part of the major mountain town of Chasiv Yar in the eastern Donetsk region, while the Energy Ministry said Russian missiles killed one person and damaged a gas facility in the central Poltava region.

The spokesman for the Khortytsya task force of the Ukrainian armed forces confirmed Moscow’s earlier statements and said that Russian troops now control the “Kanal” district of Chasiv Yar. The “protected withdrawal” had been approved by the military command, the spokesman said.

Chasiv Yar has been the scene of intense fighting since April and serves as a logistical hub for Ukrainian forces.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said the Russian missile attack that hit the infrastructure of gas producer Ukrhazvydobyvannya in Poltava on July 4 damaged the facility and killed one person and injured three others, according to Reuters.

The attacks came as Russian President Vladimir Putin told a summit of the anti-Western Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kazakhstan that the West was to blame for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Putin called for “a new architecture of cooperation, indivisible security and development in Eurasia, designed to replace the outdated Eurocentric and Euro-Atlantic models, which granted unilateral advantages only to certain states.”

The 24th annual SCO summit has been dominated by anti-Western calls from Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping and the organisation’s admission of Moscow-ally Belarus as its 10th member.

Earlier on July 4, military officials in the Ukrainian capital said they intercepted new “waves” of Russian drones targeting Kiev around dawn on July 4 that did not appear to cause any injuries or major damage, as residents of a major city hundreds of miles to the east mourned the dead and wounded from a third attack there in less than a week.

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The head of the kyiv military administration, Sergey Popko, said: via Telegram that the drones came “from different directions” but that “Not a single drone “He arrived in kyiv.”

Explosions could be heard from the city following an air alert at 4 a.m., but life in the city was not otherwise affected, Popko said.

Ukraine’s military said it had shot down 21 of 22 Russian attack drones across central and northern regions during the night of July 3-4.

Meanwhile, the head of the military administration in the central city of Dnipro saying The death toll had risen to six, with more than 30 injured, following a Russian bombing of the city in the early hours of July 3.

Boris Filatov, Mayor of Dnipro Declared July 4th a day of mourning after the third attack in just five days on Dnipro, a city that before the war had a population of around one million people.

The strike also renewed President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s calls for more advanced air defense systems and long-range weapons from allies to repel Russia’s full-scale invasion that has been going on for two years.

Also on July 3, Zelenskiy rejected a description of the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” and saying Ukraine’s combat capability has improved in recent months, but it needs “the tools (and) they have not yet arrived.”

Zelensky expressed gratitude to U.S. officials after the White House announced a new $2.3 billion military aid package for Ukraine on July 3, adding: “We are counting on more American help.”

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), based in the United States foretold This week, as Ukraine was forming new brigades to “address its manpower challenges,” “delayed and insufficient Western arms deliveries will likely prevent Ukraine from equipping all of these new brigades.”

He called “timely” Western assistance a “crucial determinant” of Ukraine’s ability to respond to Russia’s ongoing “battlefield initiative.”

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed Ukraine during talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan on July 3 and, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Reuters, “pointed out” the “futility of any format” for peace talks without Russian participation.

Russia, which insists it has already annexed Crimea and four other areas of Ukraine, was excluded from a key summit in Switzerland last month to seek paths to peace in Ukraine.

A NATO summit next week in Washington to mark the 75th anniversary of the transatlantic alliance is expected to address ways to further support Ukraine’s defense and chart a path toward closer cooperation, but is not expected to invite Kiev to join NATO as Zelenskiy has urged.

Russia’s TASS news agency on July 4 quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying it had destroyed a Ukrainian MiG-29 on the ground in the Dnipropetrovsk region, but there was no initial confirmation from Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian military reports suggest that Russian forces are focusing an offensive on the Pokrovsk area in the eastern Donetsk region.

The governor of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhya region, Ivan Fedorov, said on July 4 that Russian shelling had killed two people and wounded another there amid a bombardment that hit 10 settlements over the past day.

RFE/RL cannot independently confirm reports from either side about events on the battlefield in areas where the worst fighting is taking place.

With information from Reuters

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