Russian missile attacks on Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukrainian officials say
From CNN’s Mayumi Maruyama and Josh Pennington
Ukrainian officials reported Russian missile attacks on the east-central Dnipropetrovsk region on Tuesday.
The Russian military launched seven missiles on Dnipropetrovsk Tuesday, the Dnipropetrovsk State Administration said in a Telegram post.
Ukrainian forces shot down six of them, while one hit the city of Pokrov, damaging several houses. No casualties were reported.
10:55 p.m. ET, July 4, 2022
At least 3 dead, 27 wounded after Ukrainian artillery shells Donetsk, Russian-backed separatists say
From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Masha Angelova
Three people were killed and another 27 injured on Monday in a Ukrainian artillery attack on Donetsk's railway station in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, according to the pro-Russian Defense Forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
Telegram posts from the Defense Forces of DPR on Monday told residents of the city, "Don't leave the house unnecessarily,” and “During the shelling do not leave the shelter.”
The pro-Russian forces in Donetsk said Ukraine fired "about 740 rounds of ammunition on the territory of the DPR," on Monday, "including from multiple rocket launchers," according to the separatist-run Donetsk News Agency (DNA).
"As a result of the shelling, there are dead and wounded among the civilian population, a lot of destruction of houses and infrastructure," DNA said.
Several unverified videos posted on social media Monday appeared to show dozens of buildings damaged by the shelling, with fires burning in and around the wreckage of a deserted market, near to the station.
DNA said "At least 32 private housing buildings, 9 apartment buildings, 4 kindergartens, 2 schools, 2 shops, 10 shopping pavilions, and a recreation center," were destroyed Monday.
To the north of Donetsk in Yasynuvata, "A large fire broke out in the surrounding area of railway station yard" according to DNA.
"17 passenger train carriages and a building caught fire," DNA said, adding "there were no casualties."
Also on Monday, the separatists reported that 47,500 Donetsk citizens were left without electricity and 251 transformer substations were disconnected.
CNN cannot independently verify casualty figures and damage reports from Ukraine's Donbas.
2:17 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022
Zelensky says reconstruction of Ukraine goes beyond "the restoration of the walls that we had"
From CNN's Chris Liakos and Kostan Nechyporenko
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly televised address to the nation hailed Monday as a “very important day” as a conference devoted to the recovery of his country commenced in Lugano, Switzerland.
But he said the reconstruction of Ukraine should go beyond “the restoration of the walls that we had and that were destroyed by shelling.”
“Ukraine must become the freest, most modern and safest country in Europe — in every sense of the word, in particular, in terms of our environment. I'm sure we will,” he said.
Zelensky warned that efforts on the recovery should not only focus on the next years but also on the present.
“Ukrainian forces liberated more than a thousand settlements from the occupiers, and new ones are added every week. Now, for example, in the south of our country. All of them suffered large-scale destruction. And this also means the need for colossal funds for the restoration of infrastructure, for the return of medicine and social services, for the restoration of normal economic life. There are tens of thousands of destroyed houses alone in the liberated areas,” he said, adding that "a significant part of the economy has been destroyed."
“That is why the recovery of Ukraine is not only about what needs to be done later, after our victory, but also about what needs to be done at this time. And we have to do it together with our partners, with the entire democratic world. Do now,” he said.
Zelensky concluded his address by congratulating US President Joe Biden and the American people on Independence Day saying that responding to the daily Russian offensive requires "superhuman efforts."
“But we have no alternative — this is about our independence, about our future, about the fate of the entire Ukrainian people,” he said.
2:15 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022
Captured British fighter appeals against death sentence by DPR court, Russian state media reports
From CNN's Uliana Pavlova and Chris Liakos
The defense team of British citizen Aiden Aslin, who was sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) last month, has filed an appeal, asking to exclude several articles from the DPR criminal code, Russian state news agency TASS reported Monday, citing lawyer Pavel Kosovan.
Aslin's defense has asked for the case to be dismissed “due to the absence of corpus delicti in the actions of the defendant,” TASS quoted his lawyer Pavel Kosovan as saying.
On June 9, Aslin and fellow Briton Shaun Pinner, along with Moroccan national Brahim Saadoune, were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of being “mercenaries” for Ukraine by a court in DPR, Russian state media reported at the time.
According to state news agency RIA, the three men were captured in Mariupol in mid-April, while “training in order to carry out terrorist activities.”
Last week, appeals were also lodged on behalf of Pinner and Saadoune, according to Russian state media.
8:18 p.m. ET, July 4, 2022
Putin says generals have proposed "development of offensive operations" and forces must proceed per plans
From CNN's Anna Chernova
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he received a proposal from the Russian army generals on the development of the "offensive operations" in Ukraine.
“Col. Gen. Alexander Pavlovich Lapin and Army Gen. Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin also reported to me today on the progress in fulfilling the tasks assigned to them and their proposals for the development of offensive operations,” Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a meeting at the Kremlin.
The Ministry of Defense “keeps in view” all the proposals of the commanders in the field, Putin added, saying that while military units that participated in the operation in the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) should rest, other formations, including the East and West groups, must proceed with tasks according to plans.
This comes as Putin congratulated Russian troops for "achieving victory" in Ukraine's Luhansk region.
3:08 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022
Putin praises Russian forces for taking Luhansk region
From CNN’s Anna Chernova and Radina Gigova
Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Russian troops for "achieving victory" in Ukraine's Luhansk region.
In a meeting televised by Russian state media on Monday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin the Russian advances in the area.
“Starting June 19, [Russian] formations and military units ... in cooperation with units of the second corps of the people's militia of the [self-proclaimed] Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) and with the support of the southern group of troops ... successfully carried out an offensive operation to liberate the territory of the Luhansk People's Republic,” Shoigu said.
Shoigu added that the "Gorsky cauldron" area, Lysychansk and Severodonetsk were surrounded within two weeks, and the Ukrainian army allegedly lost 5,469 soldiers in the battles.
Putin told Shoigu that the military personnel who contributed to fighting in LPR, will be rewarded for their "bravery," and that they should now "rest."
"Other military units, including the East and West military groups, they have to fulfil their tasks, according to the previously suggested plan," Putin said. "I hope everything will be successful as it happened in the [Luhansk] area," he added.
Putin also praised the LPR's militia for showing "heroism." "My congratulations and my words of gratitude," Putin said. "I congratulate you all and wish you all the best."