British man dies in detention in Russian separatist territory; 45 countries pledge to punish Russian war crimes

This has been CNBC's live blog covering updates on the war in Ukraine. [Follow the latest updates here.]

Putin's forces continue to hammer civilian targets in Ukraine
Putin's forces continue to hammer civilian targets in Ukraine

Rescuers are still working to find bodies in the wreckage of a Russian missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia that has so far killed 23 people and injured at least 110. Investigators have asked family members of those missing to submit DNA samples to aid with identification, according to Ukraine's ministry of internal affairs.

Russian forces are pushing on in the Donbas and say they have entered the small city of Siversk, just north of Donetsk, according to Britain's Ministry of Defense, though the claims have not been independently verified.

Meanwhile, negotiations aimed at releasing grain exports from Ukraine are scheduled to carry on next week following Wednesday's talks in Istanbul. Russian and Ukrainian officials are set to convene again in Turkey in the hope that a deal can be reached.

British intelligence warns Ukrainian city of Bakhmut could be next site of the ongoing offensive

A July 6, 2022 map from the UK's Defense Intelligence showing Russian attack and troop locations.
UK Defense Intelligence

The British Ministry of Defense warned in an intelligence update that the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut may be the next town Russian forces attempt to take after Siversk.

Russian forces claimed that they have advanced to the outskirts of Siversk in the Donetsk region, although U.K. intelligence could not corroborate those reports.

— Amanda Macias

U.S. approves $500 million military sale to Estonia

US military personnel stand by a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during Saudi Arabias first World Defense Show, north of the capital Riyadh, on March 6, 2022.
Fayez Nureldine | Afp | Getty Images

The U.S. State Department notified Congress of a military sale of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, to Estonia.

The weapons package is estimated to cost up to $500 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale.

The foreign military sales come as the United States and NATO allies rush to deliver security assistance packages to Ukraine for the fight against Russia.

The HIMARS, manufactured by defense giant Lockheed Martin, are designed to shoot a variety of missiles from a mobile 5-ton truck.

— Amanda Macias

Drones have become essential on the battlefield since Russia invaded Ukraine

Drones have become essential on the battlefield since Russia invaded Ukraine, making it possible for Kyiv to conduct reconnaissance along the front line, spot Russian forces and equipment and remotely direct artillery fire.

Kyiv is trying to put together "an army of drones," which save Ukrainian lives but are expensive and in short supply.

Ukrainian military forces lieutenant Anton Galyashinskiy aka "Wider" holds a Parrot drone during a practice session on the outskirts of Kyiv, on July 14, 2022. 
Ionut Iordachescu | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian servicemen look at a drone controller during a practice session on the outskirts of Kyiv, on July 14, 2022. 
Ionut Iordachescu | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian military forces lieutenant Anton Galyashinskiy aka "Wider" holds a drone used for carrying explosives during a practice session on the outskirts of Kyiv, on July 14, 2022. 
Ionut Iordachescu | Afp | Getty Images
A Ukrainian serviceman pilots a drone during a practice session on the outskirts of Kyiv, on July 14, 2022.
Ionut Iordachescu | AFP | Getty Images

— AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine harvest in 2022 expected to exceed previous forecast indicators

Farmers harvest a wheat field near Melitopol in Ukraine. Wheat, soybean, sugar, and corn futures have fallen from their March highs back to prices seen at the start of 2022.
Olga Maltseva | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine's wheat harvest in 2022 is expected to reach between 18 and 19 million tons, a level that exceeds previous forecast indicators.

The wheat harvest yield projection comes as Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations work to establish a sea corridor for grain exports. Mykola Solsky, the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, announced the estimate.

For months, Russian warships have blocked vessels from entering or exiting Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

— Amanda Macias

Ukraine Defense Minister says more heavy artillery has arrived on the battlefield

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Twitter that American-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, or MLRS, weapons have arrived for the fight in Ukraine.

"They will be good company for #HIMARS on the battlefield. Thank you to our partners. No mercy for the enemy," Reznikov wrote, referencing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.

Ukraine has sought out heavy artillery like howitzers, HIMARS and MLRS weapons.

— Amanda Macias

British government summons Russian ambassador following death of UK citizen

The British flag flies at the British Embassy in Berlin, Germany on May 12, 2020.
Jens Kalaene | picture alliance | Getty Images

The British government summoned Russian Ambassador Andrey Kelin to express the U.K.'s concerns about reports of the death of British National Paul Urey.

"I am shocked to hear reports of the death of British aid worker Paul Urey while in the custody of a Russian proxy in Ukraine. Russia must bear full responsibility for this," British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss wrote in a statement.

"Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work. He was in Ukraine to try and help the Ukrainian people in the face of the unprovoked Russian invasion. The Russian government and its proxies are continuing to commit atrocities. Those responsible will be held to account," she added

— Amanda Macias

U.S., Russian astronauts will swap seats on rockets again

In this photo provided by NASA, backdropped against clouds over Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two orbital spacecraft accomplish their relative separation on March 7, 2011.

NASA astronauts will go back to riding Russian rockets, and Russian cosmonauts will catch lifts to the International Space Station with SpaceX beginning this fall.

The agreement ensures that the space station will always have at least one American and Russian on board to keep both sides of the orbiting outpost running smoothly, according to NASA and Russian officials. The swap had long been in the works and was finalized despite tensions over Moscow's war in Ukraine, a sign of continuing Russia-U.S. cooperation in space.

U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio will launch to the space station from Kazakhstan with two Russians in September. That same month, Russian cosmonaut, Anna Kikina, will join two Americans and one Japanese aboard a SpaceX rocket flying from Florida. Another crew swap will occur next spring.

No money will exchange hands under the agreement, according to NASA.

— Associated Press

U.S. HIMARS weapons have destroyed 30 Russian military facilities, Ukraine says

U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 65th Field Artillery Brigade fire a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during a joint live-fire exercise with the Kuwait Land Forces, Jan. 8, 2019, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
Courtesy: U.S. Department of Defense

U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, have destroyed more than 30 Russian military facilities, a Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

To date, the U.S. has committed 12 HIMARS to Ukraine.

The HIMARS, manufactured by defense giant Lockheed Martin, are designed to shoot a variety of missiles from a mobile 5-ton truck. The official said that U.S. troops will keep training Ukrainian forces on how to use the platform at a location outside the country.

— Amanda Macias

Sports court upholds soccer bans on Russian teams

Russian President Vladimir Putin passes symbolic FIFA World Cup Baton to Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (not pictured) during the ceremony at the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, July,15,2018. Qatar is hosting FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

Russia remains barred from Europe's leading soccer competitions including the Champions League after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected appeals by the national soccer federation and four clubs.

CAS upheld decisions by UEFA and FIFA which excluded Russian national teams and clubs following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was already excluded from men's World Cup qualifying and the women's European Championship. Its clubs won't feature in competitions like the Champions League in 2022-23.

"The panel finds it unfortunate that the current military operations in Ukraine, for which Russian football teams, clubs, and players have themselves no responsibility, had, by reason of the decisions of FIFA and UEFA, such an adverse effect on them and Russian football generally, but those effects were, in the panel's view, offset by the need for the secure and orderly conduct of football events for the rest of the world," CAS ruled.

— Associated Press

UN council to discuss the destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage sites

An avenue in Mariupol on April 12, 2022. The besieged Ukrainian city could now be facing a deadly cholera outbreak, NBC News cited local officials.
Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images

The U.N.'s Economic and Social Council will meet to discuss the destruction of cultural heritage sites during Russia's assault on Ukraine.

More than 150 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine, according to a tally compiled by UNESCO.

United Nations experts identified 152 cultural sites, including 70 religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums and seven libraries.

The majority of the damaged cultural sites are located in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv.

"These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop. Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances," Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, said in a statement.

— Amanda Macias

U.S. sanctions on Russia do not target agricultural trade, Treasury says

The European economy is not seen entering a recession this year, according to the European Commission, but some economists have a different opinion.
Europa Press News | Europa Press | Getty Images

The Department of the Treasury issued a fact sheet a to further clarify that U.S. sanctions do not target agricultural commodities, fertilizer and equipment from Russia.

The U.S. aims to counter Russian claims that its sanctions have contributed to rising global food prices.

Treasury reiterated that U.S. sanctions on Russia in response to its war against Ukraine do not affect agricultural or medical trade.

"The United States strongly supports efforts by the United Nations to bring both Ukrainian and Russian grain to world markets and to reduce the impact of Russia's unprovoked war on Ukraine on global food supplies and prices," Treasury wrote in a statement.

— Amanda Macias

NATO jets intercept Russian aircraft flying close to alliance air space

The NATO alliance said that allied jets and surveillance aircraft intercepted Russian aircraft over Norway and the Arctic Circle.

"It's not only fighter jets that intercept and identify #Russian activity @NATO's Eye in the North, @Luftforsvaret P3-C Orion & DA-20 Jet Falcon intercepted SU-33 Flanker D & MiG-29K Fulcrum flying close to Allied air space in the High North," the alliance wrote in a tweet.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the alliance has elevated its aircraft policing measures over NATO member airspace.

— Amanda Macias

Russia says document nearly ready on resuming Ukraine grain exports

Farmers harvest a wheat field near Melitopol in Ukraine. Wheat, soybean, sugar, and corn futures have fallen from their March highs back to prices seen at the start of 2022.
Olga Maltseva | Afp | Getty Images

Russia's proposals on how to resume Ukrainian grain exports were "largely supported" by negotiators at talks this week in Istanbul and an agreement is close, the Russian defence ministry said on Friday.

The ministry said that work on what it calls the "Black Sea Initiative" will be finalised soon.

— Reuters

G-20 leaders meet as Ukraine war dominates concerns

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, as concerns over commodity price inflation and food supply shortages triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine dominate the agenda.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati urged leaders to tome together and collaborate on solutions, warning that the future could be "catastrophic" for poorer countries being hit with surging energy and food prices.

"We are acutely aware that the cost of our failure to work together is more than we can afford," Indrawati said, asking attendees to put aside politics to tackle common problems. "The humanitarian consequences for the world, and especially for many low income countries would be catastrophic."

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaking at a news conference on July 14.
Made Nagi | Reuters

The G-20 countries include western countries as well as India, Russia and China. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is expected to attend remotely via video link.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued ahead of the gathering that Russian officials should not be included due to Moscow's war in Ukraine.

"Russia's actions are not the actions of a government that upholds international norms and laws. Representatives of the Putin regime have no place at this forum," Yellen said during a press conference on Thursday.

"I've made clear to there cannot be business as usual with respect to Russia's participation at these meetings."

— Natasha Turak

Basketball player Brittney Griner's court hearing postponed

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, holds a bar, on the day of a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia, July, 15, 2022. 
Evgenia Novozhenina | Reuters

The next court hearing for detained American basketball player Brittney Griner has been moved to July 26 upon a request from her legal team. It was originally scheduled for this week.

The Olympic gold medalist has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17, accused by Russian authorities of having cannabis oil in her luggage and smuggling the narcotic material.

On July 8, Griner pled guilty to the drug charges that could have her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. While she admitted to having vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage, she said that there was no criminal intent behind it.

Griner's lawyers say the substances were prescribed to her for a chronic injury. U.S. officials have argued for months that the athlete is being wrongfully detained. 

— Natasha Turak

British man dies in detention in Russian-backed separatist territory

A 45-year old British man by the name of Paul Urey has died in detention in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Russian-occupied Ukraine, according to the Presidium Network, a U.K. humanitarian aid group. Urey's family has been contacted by the Foreign Office, the group said.

DPR officials in charge of Urey's detention said he died on July 10 from pre-existing health conditions and "stress." Urey's mother had previously said he was at high risk because he had diabetes and required insulin.

Urey was captured in April by Russian-backed separatists, who accused him of working as a mercenary. He was caught while trying to enter an area controlled by Russian forces through a checkpoint in Ukraine's southeast, outside of the city of Zaporizhzhia.

Presidium says he was there trying to carry out a humanitarian mission to rescue a family trapped by the war. He was detained along with another man, Dylan Healy, whose status is not clear.

— Natasha Turak

Investigation notes sharp increase in mass grave sites in Russian-occupied Ukraine

An excavation team carries a body of Ukrainian civilian murdered by Russian army in a forest near Bucha, Ukraine - June 13, 2022. 
Dominika Zarzycka | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Recent satellite imagery reveals a clear increase in mass burial sites in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, according to an investigation by the non-governmental organization Centre for Information Resilience (CIR).

"The report identifies graves in areas that have been under extreme bombardment from Russian firing positions," the U.K.-based group wrote in its report. "Analysing the available details of six grave sites, this research specifically explores the following areas: Chernihiv, Kherson, Bucha, Mariupol's Starokrymske Cemetery, Vynohradne and Manhush."

The CIR uses open-source research to uncover human rights abuses and disinformation campaigns in countries around the world. The report detailing the mass graves is a part of its Eyes on Russia (EoR) project, an open-source investigation "to map, document and verify significant incidents during the conflict in Ukraine," according to its website.

"This report shows a significant expansion, possibly doubling, of the Mariupol cemetery since
previously reported on by some news media," the report said. "The research adds to the growing body of evidence documenting Russia's targeting of civilians as part of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine."

— Natasha Turak

More than 2.5 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia: UK

More than 2.5 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia, Britain's Ministry of Defense wrote in its latest intelligence update, with many of those evacuees suspected to have been forcibly deported.

"Russia continues to face accusations that it is forcibly deporting Ukrainians; in many cases Ukrainians have reportedly been mistreated in filtration camps set up by Russia," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

Russia forcibly deports up to 1.6M Ukrainian citizens, U.S. calls forced deportations a war crime
Russia forcibly deports up to 1.6M Ukrainian citizens, U.S. calls forced deportations a war crime

In recent years, Moscow has given Russian passports to tens of thousands of people in eastern Ukraine. While some people have willingly gone to Russia, there is witness evidence of forced removals of Ukrainians, including children, who have described brutal conditions in Russia's "filtration camps."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. suspects that between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, have been detained and deported from their homes to Russia.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions define international legal standards and protections for humanitarian treatment during wartime and explicitly prohibit mass forced transfers of civilians.

— Natasha Turak and Amanda Macias

45 countries sign declaration to punish Russian war crimes

The U.S., European Union states, Canada, Australia, Mexico and several others are among 45 states that signed a political declaration to work together to prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

There are some 23,000 war crimes investigations already open, and countries needed to coordinate to ensure the provision of sufficient evidence, organization, and to avoid overlapping on cases. Different countries are heading different investigations, and together the group will train Ukrainian prosecutors and increase the number of forensic workers in Ukraine.

The signatories also committed €20 million ($20 million) to support the International Criminal Court and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's office.

Exterior view of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. 
Ant Palmer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

"The simple truth is that, as we speak, children, women and men, the young and the old, are living in terror," ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said.

Khan stressed "a need of coordination, coherence" and the need for an "overarching strategy" among the countries taking part.

"Meaningful justice can only be achieved if we work together. Today we commit to set a new standard for cooperation, strengthening our efforts towards accountability globally," Khan said during the Ukraine Accountability Conference at the Hague.

— Natasha Turak

Death toll rises to 23, more than 110 people injured in Vinnytsia

LUHANSK, UKRAINE - JULY 09: A view of damaged sites from eastern Ukraine city of Severodonetsk located in which Russian forces now in control, in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine on July 09, 2022. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Stringer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The death toll from an attack in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia rose to 23 people, including three children, according to Ukraine's emergency service.

The service added that 117 people need medical attention. Thirty-four of those people are in serious condition and 5 people are in critical condition. Search and rescue teams are still looking for at least 39 people in the rubble.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the cruise missile attack on the community facilities and medical center as an "act of Russian terror."

— Amanda Macias

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin thanks Italian counterpart for Ukraine support

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomes Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini to the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on July 14, 2022.
Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin thanked his Italian counterpart at the Pentagon for bolstering NATO's eastern flank along with the country's "expansive contributions to international security."

Italy's Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini and Austin agreed to maintain close cooperation "particularly during these challenging times that have proven the importance of the transatlantic relationship," according to a Pentagon readout of the meeting.

The two also discussed "how the United States and Italy could increase defense cooperation activities in Africa."

— Amanda Macias

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