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Slovyansk Among Eastern Ukrainian Cities Shelled On Day Grain Deal Is Signed

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service July 22, 2022

Russian troops shelled residential areas of Slovyansk using cluster munitions, the head of the Donetsk regional military administration said on July 22 after Ukraine and Russia signed a deal to free up exports of Ukrainian grain through its Black Sea ports.

"The Russians once again shelled the residential quarters of the city," said Pavlo Kyrylenko on Telegram. At least three people were injured, six buildings and several private houses were damaged.

Kyrylenko said the Russian military used cluster munitions, which burst in the air over a target and release many smaller explosives. Their use is illegal under an international convention.

"The Russian army is committing crimes on Ukrainian soil, destroying our cities and towns, killing civilians. You will have to answer for everything," Kyrylenko said.

According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian military, Russian troops are preparing a broader assault on Slovyansk. Attacks on it earlier this week killed two people.

Russian assaults also hit the Vuhlehirsk power plant earlier on July 22, while Moscow also continued to relentlessly shell the cities of Kramatorsk and Siversk, British military intelligence said.

Vuhlehirsk, located some 50 kilometers northeast of Donetsk, is Ukraine's second-largest power plant and a strategic infrastructure objective that Russian forces are keen to capture.

In its daily intelligence bulletin, Britain's Ministry of Defense quoted Vitaly Kim, governor of Ukraine's Mykolayiv region, as saying that Russian forces had used seven air defense missiles to strike infrastructure, energy facilities, and storage depots in the area.

Russian forces have achieved no major breakthroughs on the front lines since seizing the last two Ukrainian-held cities in the Luhansk region in late June and early July.

Kyiv hopes that its gradually increasing supply of Western arms, such as U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), will allow it to recapture lost territories.

The United States said on July 22 that it has signed off on another $270 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four more HIMARS, bringing the number sent to 20.

The Russian Defense Ministry that its forces had destroyed four HIMARS this month, but a U.S. official said those reports were not true. It was not possible to verify the claims.

The additional U.S. aid includes $100 million for U.S. drones. The package was announced after the European Council approved another 500 million euros ($512 million) for the supply of weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy commented in his nightly video address on July 22 on the deal that Russia and Ukraine signed with Turkey and the United Nations to unblock grain exports and ease an international food crisis.

He said the deal means roughly 20 million tons of last year's harvest can now be exported, but on the wider conflict, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that a cease-fire with Russia without reclaiming occupied territory would only prolong the war and give Moscow an opportunity to replenish and rearm for a new round of fighting.

"Society believes that all the territories must be liberated first, and then we can negotiate about what to do and how we could live in the centuries ahead," Zelenskiy said.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, and CNN

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-vuhlehirsk-power- plant-kramatorsk-genocide/31954871.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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