July 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Simone McCarthy, Rob Picheta, Laura Smith-Spark, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 6:35 p.m. ET, July 1, 2022
8 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:51 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

European Commission leader hails Ukraine's EU membership bid

From CNN's Manveena Suri

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech via a video link to Ukrainian lawmakers during a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 1.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech via a video link to Ukrainian lawmakers during a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 1. (Reuters)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday reiterated her support for Ukraine for “as long as it takes," during a virtual speech to the Ukrainian parliament.

“Europe will stand up with Ukraine as long as it takes. We will not rest until you prevail. Your brave soldiers on the front line are making ultimate sacrifices to defend the soil of Ukraine and its people and behind the lines there are countless other Ukrainians working to support this national endeavour and they all hope for a brighter future for their country,” von der Leyen told Ukrainian lawmakers.

She added that five months ago it would have been “unimaginable” for Ukraine to be given EU candidate status but that the country has a “very clear European perspective.”

“It's a long road ahead but Europe will be at your side every step of the way, for as long as it takes. From these dark days of war until the moment you cross the door that leads into our European Union,” she said.

3:39 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

Ukrainian visa regime for Russian citizens goes into effect

From CNN's Victoria Butenko

Russian citizens will from Friday require a visa to enter Ukraine, as Kyiv scrapped a decade-long visa-free regime that facilitated travel across borders for citizens of both countries.

The decision to end the visa-free regime was announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, following a petition from a Ukrainian citizen.

Zelensky said that against the backdrop of Russia's invasion, he supported the introduction of stricter controls for the entry of its citizens.

3:19 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

Russia makes small gains in Lysychansk, takes over parts of oil refinery

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Petro Zadorozhnyy

Russian forces have been able to make small gains in the Lysychansk area, taking parts of an oil refinery, located on the outskirts of the city, the head of the Luhansk region military administration, Serhii Hayday, said on Friday. 

“The occupiers are assaulting the Lysychansk oil refinery, holding the northwestern and southeastern parts of the plant,” Hayday said in a Telegram post.

Big picture: The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said: "[Russia] is concentrating its main efforts on encircling our troops in the Lysychansk area from the south and west, establishing complete control over the Luhansk region.”

Hayday made a similar analysis. 

“The enemy tries in vain to surround the Ukrainian military, attacking Lysychansk from the south and west,” he said. 

Russian forces have also made a renewed assault on the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, the main supply line into the city, but were repelled by Ukrainian forces, Hayday added.

Inside the city: The situation remains dire for the nearly 15,000 residents that remain in Lysychansk.

“The residents of Lysychansk spent almost 24 hours in basements and houses. The shelling of the city is very intense,” Hayday said. “Many residential houses and industrial facilities caught fire.”

Elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, the Russian military also intensified the shelling of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff.

3:02 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

"We're watching Russia wither before our eyes," former US defense chief says

From CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea

Former US Defense Secretary James Mattis criticized Russia’s war in Ukraine, calling it “immoral” and “operationally stupid,” while speaking Friday at the Seoul Forum 2022. 

“We have a saying in America, we say that nations with allies thrive, nations without allies wither and we’re watching Russia wither before our eyes right now," Mattis said.

When asked what military lessons could be taken from the war so far, the former US Marine said: “One is don’t have incompetent generals in charge of your operations.” 

He also called Russia's military performance "pathetic" and decried "the immoral, the tactically incompetent, operationally stupid and strategically foolish effort" of its campaign in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference after meeting his Indonesian counterpart at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on June 30.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference after meeting his Indonesian counterpart at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on June 30. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP/Getty Images)

Mattis spoke of previous US efforts to try and bring Russia into the “community of nations,” but said that was not possible with Vladimir Putin as leader.

“The tragedy of our time is that Putin is a creature straight out of Dostoevsky. He goes to bed every night angry, he goes to bed every night fearful, he goes to bed every night thinking that Russia is surrounded by nightmares and this has guided him,” he said.

Putin had removed anyone from his circle that would disagree with him, so he "probably thought that the Ukrainian people were going to welcome him," Mattis added.

3:11 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

At least 18 dead, 30 injured in overnight strikes in Odesa region

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Victoria Butenko

Rescue workers work at the scene of a missile strike at a location in the Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout image from July 1.
Rescue workers work at the scene of a missile strike at a location in the Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout image from July 1. (State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Reuters)

At least 18 people were killed, including two children, when three Russian missiles hit a nine-story residential building and a recreation center in the southern Odesa region's village of Sergiivka on Friday, Ukrainian authorities said.

Another 30 people were injured in the strikes, according to the Ukrainian President’s deputy chief of staff, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

Authorities said the numbers are likely to rise as they continue search and rescue operations.

The Southern Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said the buildings were struck by Kh-22 air-to-surface anti-ship missiles, launched from Tu-22 strategic bombers flying over the Black Sea.

These are the same type of ammunition Russian forces used during an attack that hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine on Monday that killed at least 18.

12:25 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

The strategic territory of Snake Island is "free again," Zelensky says

From CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Thursday June 30.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Thursday June 30. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Snake Island is “free again,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Thursday. 

“Zmiinyi [Snake] Island is a strategic point, and it significantly changes the situation in the Black Sea. It does not guarantee safety yet, it does not yet guarantee that the enemy will not return. But it already limits the actions of the occupiers significantly. Step by step, we will drive them out of our sea, our land, and our sky,” Zelensky said. 

The small but strategic territory was the scene of one of the opening salvos of the war in Ukraine, with demands from a Russian warship calling for the Ukrainian defenders to surrender, who boldly replied with "Russian warship, go f*** yourself."

Known as Zmiinyi Ostriv in Ukrainian, Snake Island lies around 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the coast of Ukraine and is close to the sea lanes leading to the Bosphorus and Mediterranean.

Some background: Ukrainian Armed Forces said Russian troops left the island on Thursday, after they carried out what they said was a “successful” operation. Meanwhile, Russian Army spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing that its forces left the island “as a gesture of goodwill.”

2:10 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

Russia says it has complete control of Lysychansk oil refinery while Ukraine admits only "partial success" 

From CNN's Julia Presniakova and AnneClaire Stapleton

A picture taken on June 21, shows smoke billowing over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine
A picture taken on June 21, shows smoke billowing over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian troops have "completely taken over" an oil refinery in the embattled city of Lysychansk, eastern Ukraine, Vitaliy Kiselev, the assistant minister of the interior of the Russian-backed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), announced on Russian-backed media outlet Zvezda. 

"Today, our troops have completely taken over the refinery, cleaning is underway. Our divisions have already entered almost beyond the refinery. That is, we control part of the city from the side of the refinery," Kiselev said. 
Kiselev also claimed Russian forces now control about half of the city.
"Almost from all sides we control Lysychansk, somewhere by 50%," he added.

Meanwhile, Ukraine says Russia is still conducting assault operations in the area of ​​the Lysychansk oil refinery and “had a partial success, and holds the northwestern and southeastern parts of the plant,” according to a Thursday evening update from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said on Thursday night that Lysychansk is an “extremely difficult situation,” but denied Russia controlled half of the city.

“The shelling comes from several directions. Because the Russian army approached Lysychansk from different directions. As always, they reported that they controlled half the city. It is not true," he said.
"But the shelling is very powerful. They even are deliberately shooting at our humanitarian centers. There are wounded. Now we advise people to be constantly in shelters. Evacuation is not possible. This is extremely dangerous. They mine the access roads with anti-tank mines. Russians on the outskirts. There are no street fights inside the city."
12:29 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022

3 key takeaways from US President Joe Biden's NATO summit speech

From CNN staff

President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference on the final day of the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain on June 30.
President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference on the final day of the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain on June 30. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

The NATO summit this week in Madrid made headlines as the US-led military alliance renewed its focus to address Russia's war in Ukraine and China as a threat.

US President Joe Biden said these developments show NATO is "moving to a place that reflects the realities of the second quarter of the 21st century."

Here's a look at key remarks from Biden's speech at the conclusion of the summit.

  1. A message of transatlantic unity against Putin's goals: The global response to every crisis created due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows Russian President Vladimir Putin is "getting exactly what he did not want," Biden said, citing Moscow's anger at Sweden and Finland's decision to join NATO. "We're more united than ever. And with the addition to Finland and Sweden, we'll be stronger than ever. They have serious militaries, both of them. We're going to increase the NATO border by 800 miles along the Finnish-Russian border. Sweden is all in."
  2. Russia is feeling the impact: While pledging to "support Ukraine as long as it takes," Biden said the war in Ukraine has already taken a toll on Russia as it defaulted on foreign debt for the first time in a century. "They're paying a very, very heavy price for this," Biden said. 
  3. Inflation is a problem globally and Russia is to blame: Biden also addressed the increase in gas prices and food shortages around the globe and especially back at home in the US, squarely placing the blame on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "The bottom line is ultimately the reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia. The reason why the food crisis exists is because of Russia."