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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sidelined his childhood friend as head of Ukraine’s security service, and another close ally as top prosecutor, in the biggest internal purge of the war, citing their failure to root out Russian spies.

FIGHTING

* A Russian shell smashed into a two-story building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk on Monday, killing six civilians who were sheltering there, the State Emergency Service said.

* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered generals to prioritize destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery weapons after Western-supplied weapons were used to strike Russian supply lines.

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* British military intelligence said Russia has used the private military contractor Wagner to reinforce its frontline forces in the Ukraine conflict.

* Russia’s defense ministry said its aircraft had shot down a Ukrainian MI-17 helicopter near the eastern town of Sloviansk and an SU-25 aircraft in the Kharkiv region.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

ECONOMY

* Russia’s Gazprom has told customers in Europe it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of “extraordinary” circumstances, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Dated July 14, the letter from the Russian state gas monopoly, said it was declaring force majeure on supplies, starting from June 14.

* Foreign allies need to increase their financial support for Ukraine to help the country maintain financial stability during the war with Russia, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said.

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* Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations will most likely meet this week to discuss resuming Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.

SOCIETY

* Dozens of relatives and local residents on Sunday attended the funeral of 4-year-old Liza Dmytrieva, one of 24 people killed in a Russian missile strike in the city of Vinnytsia last week.

* Russian independent TV station Dozhd (TV Rain) resumed broadcasting on Monday from abroad after being forced to shut its Moscow studio following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

DIPLOMACY

* EU foreign ministers agree another 500 million euros ($504 million) of funding to supply arms to Ukraine, taking the bloc’s security support to 2.5 billion euros since Russia’s invasion began.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Tehran on Tuesday for a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first trip by the Kremlin chief outside the former Soviet Union since the invasion of Ukraine. (Compiled by Angus MacSwan, Toby Chopra and Cynthia Osterman)

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