Here is the situation on Monday, August 14, 2023.
- Russian shelling killed seven people, including a 23-day-old infant, and wounded at least 22 people in Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson, according to officials.
- The infant’s parents and her 12-year-old brother also died in the Russian attack on the village of Shyroke Balka, according to Ukraine’s interior minister
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged a response to the attack. He said that by 6pm local time (15:00 GMT) on Sunday, there had been 17 reports of shelling in the Kherson region alone, as well as incidents in the regions of Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Donbas, Kharkiv and in border areas in the country’s northeast.
- In Russia, the defence ministry said air defences shot down at least five Ukrainian drones in the west of the country. These included four over the Belgorod region and another over the Kursk region.
- Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced a “state of emergency” in the border region, sharing images of damage to an apartment building he said had been caused by a Ukrainian drone. He said there were no casualties from the attack.
- On the front lines in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a Moscow-installed official reported intense fighting south of the Velyka Novosilka area, with Ukrainian troops trying to pierce Russian lines to push down to the coast on the Sea of Azov.
- “The enemy managed to enter and gain a foothold in the northern part of Urozhaine after two weeks of the heaviest and bloodiest battles for this settlement,” Vladimir Rogov said, referring to a village in Velyka Novosilka.
- Rogov added that Russian soldiers still controlled the southern part of Urozhaine and that Ukrainian forces were clearly aiming to take control of a town further south, Staromlynivka.
- The United Kingdom’s defence ministry, meanwhile, said there was a realistic possibility that Russia no longer funds the activities of the Wagner group. “If the Russian state no longer pays Wagner, the second most plausible paymasters are the Belarusian authorities,” it said.
- A Russian warship fired warning shots at a cargo ship in the southwestern Black Sea as it made its way northwards, marking the first time Russia has fired on merchant shipping beyond Ukraine since exiting a landmark United Nations-brokered grain deal last month.
- A senior adviser to Zelenskyy said the incident was a “clear violation of international law of the sea, an act of piracy and a crime against civilian vessels of a third country in the waters of other states”. The adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, added: “Ukraine will draw all the necessary conclusions and choose the best possible response.”
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed a recent Saudi Arabian-led summit on a peace settlement to end the fighting in Ukraine and called for further diplomatic efforts. “It makes sense for us to continue these talks because they increase the pressure on Russia to realise that it has taken the wrong path and that it must withdraw its troops and make peace possible,” Scholz told the German broadcaster ZDF.