The secret service of the British Ministry of Defense has exposed an alleged false statement by the Russian Foreign Secretary. Although Sergey Lavrov said that Russia also wants to take Dontsek and Luhansk, Russia has not extended its war at all. All news about the war in Ukraine can be found in the ticker.

Monday, July 25, 6:37 a.m .: In its daily update, the British Ministry of Defense’s secret service uncovered an alleged false statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Accordingly, on July 20, 2022, Lavrov declared that Russia was expanding the scope of its military “special operation” beyond the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk to the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia. This would be Moscow’s response to Western shipments of longer-range weapons.

However, according to British intelligence, Russia has not extended its war at all. From the very beginning, the aim of the war of aggression was to control the areas mentioned. Russian troops occupied the regions in February, and Russian authorities had been publicly discussing the prospects of a legal independence referendum since mid-March. There is a reasonable chance Lavrov made these comments to pave the way for referendums in Kherson and Zaporizhia, the intelligence service said.

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, with the remainder performing civilian duties. 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.

11:28 a.m .: One day after the agreement to resume blocked grain deliveries, the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which is important for exports, was hit by Russian missiles, according to Ukrainian information. “The enemy attacked the port of Odessa with Kalibr cruise missiles. Two rockets hit the infrastructure of the port,” Serhiy Brachuk, a representative of the Odessa region, told online networks on Saturday.

Two more missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft defenses, Bratschuk added. In doing so, Russian President Vladimir Putin “spit in the face” of the UN and Turkey, according to the Ukrainian side. The UN and Turkey mediated between Kyiv and Moscow.

Both sides signed an agreement in Istanbul on Friday that provides for secured transit routes in the Black Sea for grain deliveries. The regulations reached in weeks of negotiations provide for corridors for grain exports from three Ukrainian ports in the Odessa area. The warring parties agreed not to attack ships on these routes.

Among other things, the regulations should allow the export of the estimated 20 to 25 million tons of wheat that are stuck in Ukrainian silos as a result of the war. Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest grain producers. Before the Russian invasion began, they together provided about 30 percent of the world’s traded wheat.

11.07 a.m .: According to British intelligence services, the Ukrainian counterattacks in the Russian-occupied Cherson region endanger the supply routes for the Russian military west of the Dnipro River. Heavy fighting had taken place there in the past two days, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defense on Saturday, citing intelligence information. The Russians would probably try to slow down the Ukrainian counterattack with artillery fire.

The only road bridge over the Dnipro River in the city of Kherson was closed this week after Ukrainian missile attacks using US Himars missile launchers significantly damaged it. Destroying the river crossings was mentioned by Kyiv as an option to prevent Russian troops from retreating to the left bank of the Dnipro River.

The British update now states that the Antonivka Bridge, which was damaged by Ukrainian attacks, was open to some traffic on Friday. Russia carried out makeshift repairs.

Since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February, the British government has regularly released intelligence information about its progress. Moscow accuses London of a targeted disinformation campaign.

10:31 a.m .: At least three people were killed by Russian attacks in central Ukraine on Saturday. The dead were a soldier and two guards from a substation, Kirovograd region governor Andriy Raikovych told Ukrainian media. Nine other Ukrainian soldiers were injured.

The Russian attacks were directed against railway systems and a military airfield. According to Raikovych, a total of 13 Russian missiles were fired. After the Russian army largely took control of the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, it has recently stepped up its attacks in the center of the country.

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