After a long wait, the first Gepard anti-aircraft tanks have arrived from Germany. Volodymyr Zelenskyi exchanges the commander in eastern Ukraine after territorial losses. All news about the war in Ukraine can be found in the ticker.

8:02 p.m .: After major losses of territory since the Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has replaced the commander of the armed forces in eastern Ukraine. The head of state dismissed Hryhorij Halahan by decree on Monday and installed Viktor Horenko in his place. The 44-year-old Major General Halahan had led the special operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since August 2020. The war there started in 2014.

Meanwhile, the General Staff in Kyiv reported that the Russian units had achieved successes at the Wuhlehirsk coal-fired power plant. On the other hand, attacks in the direction of the towns of Bakhmut and Siwersk were repelled on the neighboring sector of the front. Russian attacks in the Kharkiv region also failed. Several dozen places, especially in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, were shelled by artillery or bombed by the Luftwaffe.

12:49 p.m .: Ukraine has received the first Gepard anti-aircraft tanks from Germany. “The first three cheetahs officially arrived today,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Ukrainian television on Monday. Several tens of thousands of shots were also handed over.

Twelve more Gepard tanks are expected. The delivery is based on an agreement with Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in May. Ukraine has been fending off a Russian invasion since late February and has repeatedly urged to strengthen its own air defenses.

It is the second delivery of heavy weapons that Germany hands over to Ukraine. In June, the German government had already delivered heavy artillery pieces to Ukraine in the form of the Panzerhaubitze 2000. The Panzerhaubitze is the Bundeswehr’s most modern artillery piece with a range of 40 kilometers. At that time, Ukraine received a total of seven guns.

In addition to the cheetahs, Ukraine is primarily waiting for the modern Iris-T air defense systems from Germany. These should better protect the country from Russian missile attacks. However, the Iris-T is reportedly not scheduled to arrive until the fall.

8:57 a.m .: According to information from Kyiv, the Russian troops made further storm attempts east and south-east of the Slovjansk – Kramatorsk conurbation in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine during the night. “The enemy is launching an attack not far from Spirne, fighting is continuing,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Monday. There is also a fight for the suburbs of the Bachmut transport hub.

In most cases, the attacks were repelled and the Russian troops were repulsed, the general staff said. The information cannot be verified independently.

As for the fighting in the south of the country, in the Cherson region, the General Staff limited itself to reporting heavy artillery battles and Russian air raids. Meanwhile, the “South” command of the Ukrainian armed forces announced that it had destroyed two ammunition depots and a command post of Russian troops in its own attacks. There is no independent confirmation for this information either. Ukraine had repeatedly announced an offensive to recapture southern Ukraine.

8:29 p.m .: Ukraine has announced initial successes in the planned recapture of the Russian-occupied Cherson region. “We can say that a turning point has been reached on the battlefield,” Serhiy Khlan of the pro-Kyiv Kherson military administration said in a TV interview on Sunday. “We see our forces advancing openly,” Chlan added.

The Ukrainian troops would switch from the defensive to the counter-offensive. Chlan said that Kherson would be “definitely liberated by September”. Accordingly, the Ukrainians are preparing a ground offensive.

Supported by artillery supplies from the west, the Ukrainian army has gained ground in the southern Ukrainian region in recent weeks. Russian troops captured the capital of Cherson on March 3rd. The region is important to Ukraine’s agriculture and is close to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

12.40 p.m .: A new justification followed on Saturday afternoon. The missiles were fired at a ship repair facility, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Sunday. A Ukrainian warship and a warehouse with US-supplied Harpoon missiles were destroyed in the dock, sources said. Ukraine has repeatedly inflicted severe blows on the Russian Navy with such missiles.

In addition, as a result of the attacks, facilities for repairing and modernizing the ship inventory of the Ukrainian naval forces were shut down, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The Russian Foreign Ministry had previously admitted the attacks on Odessa.

The attack on Saturday morning had caused international outrage because Russia had just signed an agreement in Istanbul on the previous day to also export Ukrainian grain from this port in Odessa. The agreement is still valid.

On Friday, Russia pledged in the agreement that ships for export would be allowed to use a sea corridor and not fired at them. The three ports involved must therefore not be attacked. Among other things, it is about the export of millions of tons of grain. The agreement, signed through the mediation of the United Nations and Turkey, provides for exports to be monitored from a control center in Istanbul.

9:58 a.m .: Russia says it destroyed “military infrastructure” in the rocket attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. “High-precision” Kalibr missiles were used in the process, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram on Sunday. The Black Sea port, which is important for Ukrainian grain deliveries, was shelled on Saturday.

Explosive: Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar previously said Russian officials had told Ankara that Moscow denied the attack. “In our contact with Russia, the Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack and that they were investigating the matter very closely and in detail,” Akar said in a statement. And further: “The fact that such an incident occurred immediately after the agreement reached yesterday really worried us.”

Sunday, July 24, 8:31 a.m .: According to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, more than 50,000 women serve in the Ukrainian army, more than 5,000 of them are currently at the front. According to the Ukrinform news agency, the politician said this at an international summit of first ladies and gentlemen in Kyiv on Saturday. Of the 50,000 women in the Ukrainian military, a total of 38,000 served as soldiers, while the remainder served in civilian roles. The summit, held on the 150th day of Russia’s war of aggression against her country, was hosted by Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska.

6.40 p.m .: According to Turkey, Russia has denied responsibility for the rocket attack on the port of the Ukrainian city of Odessa. Moscow has assured that it had nothing to do with the attack and wants to investigate the incident, said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Ukraine accuses Russia of shelling the port of Odessa. Both countries signed an agreement yesterday in Istanbul that makes it possible to export Ukrainian grain again.

5:43 p.m .: Two US citizens died in the contested east of Ukraine. “We can confirm the recent deaths of two US citizens in the Donbass region,” the State Department said in Washington on Saturday. Further details would not be disclosed out of respect for the bereaved. The US government is in contact with the relatives to provide “consular assistance”.

Ukraine created a volunteer legion because of the Russian invasion. This includes military personnel with various degrees of previous experience. The US government did not comment on whether the two killed in Donbass were involved in combat operations.

US President Joe Biden and the State Department in Washington have warned US citizens not to travel to Ukraine to take part in the fighting.

3 p.m .: According to Ukrainian information, grain processing plants were targeted during a Russian rocket attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa on Saturday. The port was “hit specifically where grain deliveries were processed,” Ukrainian military spokesman Yuriy Ignat told the AFP news agency. “Two missiles hit port infrastructure right where grain was evident,” Ignat added.

You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.