July 10, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Jack Guy, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, July 11, 2023
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8:44 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Swedish leaders applaud Turkey’s endorsement of NATO bid

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

Top Swedish officials on Monday applauded Turkey’s decision to endorse their country’s NATO bid. 

“This will strengthen both the security of Sweden and Nato as a whole. A good as well as a historic day,” Sweden’s Defense Minister Pål Jonson said on Twitter.

 “We have tonight after some negotiations in Vilnius reached an agreement with Türkiye on Sweden’s membership in NATO, which means that ratification will now commence,” Foreign Affairs Minister Tobias Billström said in a tweet.

Sweden's mission to NATO also celebrated the announcement, made on the eve of a highly anticipated summit of alliance leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania.

7:43 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

US senator voices reservations about US sales of F-16s to Turkey

From CNN's Nicky Robertson and Morgan Rimmer

Menendez is seen during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC, in May.
Menendez is seen during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC, in May. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE

US Sen. Robert Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations chair, still opposes the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, even after the country announced Monday that it's dropping opposition to Sweden’s bid to enter the NATO alliance

“I’m continuing to have my reservations on the F-16s," he said Monday, adding he needed assurances from the Biden administration that Ankara would not act in a belligerent way against fellow NATO members, notably its neighbor Greece. 

Menendez has had a long-standing opposition to selling the jets to Turkey, citing the autocratic leadership of President Recip Tayyib Erdogan. In January, CNN reported that the New Jersey Democrat said, “Until Erdogan ceases his threats, improves his human rights record at home — including by releasing journalists and political opposition — and begins to act like a trusted ally should, I will not approve this sale.”

Menendez said he could come to a conclusion on the possible sale of F-16s “in the next week.” 

More background: Weapons sales are approved by Congress, and once the administration formally informs Congress it intends to sell arms, lawmakers have 30 days to block the deal, which they can do by passing a joint resolution of disapproval.

Meanwhile, Menendez's fellow Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, said that Turkey's decision to drop its opposition to Sweden's entry was “great news for the West.”

“It strengthens the Western alliance significantly, and it shows Mr. Putin that the West is strong, united, and growing stronger against his aggression in Ukraine. Any thought that the West is giving up, any thought that the West is divided, is shown to be false by today’s development of Sweden joining NATO and of Turkey relenting,” he said.

7:51 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Turkey has agreed to back Sweden's membership to NATO. Here's what to know

From CNN staff

Turkey has agreed to back Sweden’s NATO bid, the alliance's chief Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday, one day before leaders are set to meet for a summit in Lithuania.

Stoltenberg and other world leaders have expressed their support for the agreement, saying that Sweden joining NATO is good for the alliance and for security.

Here's what to know:

  • More on Sweden's ascension to NATO: Turkey's agreement to allow Sweden to become a member of NATO has been in the works since last year, according to Stoltenberg. He said the move was not a result of “new negotiation” and that the agreement "builds on what we agreed a year ago in Madrid." The announcement represents a shift from Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who had earlier on Monday suggested Sweden could only join the alliance after his country is accepted into the European Union.
  • What leaders are saying: US President Joe Biden welcomed Turkey’s decision to support Sweden, adding that he was ready to work with Erdogan. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Sweden's membership to NATO is "in everyone's interest." Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, called it a "historic step." Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, whose country joined NATO in April, said that "Finland's NATO membership is not complete without that of Sweden."
  • Biden and Zelensky to meet: US President Joe Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the NATO summit on Wednesday, an official familiar with the meeting confirms. Russia’s war in Ukraine is among the top agenda items for NATO leaders, along with discussing a future pathway for the war-torn country to join the alliance.
  • Germany will announce new support for Ukraine at NATO summit: Germany will announce new support packages for Ukraine during the upcoming NATO summit, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said. The preliminary work is "practically completed," Pistorius said during a joint news conference with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu in Berlin.
  • Ukrainian counteroffensive making slow progress: The Ukrainian military says it has liberated 169 square kilometers (about 65 square miles) of territory in the south since the beginning of the offensive in mid-May, an area roughly the size of the city of Odesa. Meantime, at least seven people were killed in a Russian attack on a school in Orikhiv in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region.
7:57 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

A 6-year-old underwent a first-of-its-kind heart transplant in Ukraine despite the raging war

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Svitlana Vlasova 

The mother of the donor — a 4-year-old boy — visits the 6-year-old girl who received his heart.
The mother of the donor — a 4-year-old boy — visits the 6-year-old girl who received his heart. Ukrainian Transplant Coordination Center

Amid the raging war and constant threat of Russian missiles, a successful heart transplant has been performed on a patient just 6-years-old — a girl who received the heart of a 4-year-old boy, authorities with the Heart Institute of Ukraine's Ministry of Health announced on Monday. 

The 6-year-old girl, who is a patient at the Heart Institute in Kyiv, was on the waiting list for a donor. She received the heart of the boy, whom doctors had declared brain dead after suffering a brain aneurysm, the Heart Institute said.

Ukrainian doctors operate on a 6-year-old girl who needed a new heart. The operation lasted for about three hours.
Ukrainian doctors operate on a 6-year-old girl who needed a new heart. The operation lasted for about three hours. Ukrainian Transplant Coordination Center

Doctors began preparing for the heart transplant after securing the permission of the boy’s parents. The operation took place on Sunday evening and lasted for about three hours, the Heart Institute said. 

The Heart Institute said it was the first time in Ukraine that a heart transplant on children so young had been performed.

"This time, the operation was also unique in that both the donor and the recipient were very young children, and the transplant required more effort from the doctors," the institute said. 

The transplant was performed by a team of doctors led by Dr. Boris Todurov, chief scientist of the Department of Surgical and Minimally Invasive Treatment. He worked alongside 18 other staff members during the operation.  

“The operation went smoothly, the girl was extubated two hours after the operation," Todurov said in a post on his official Facebook page

The Heart Institute also released images from the operation and a picture of the girl recovering after surgery. The picture of the girl after surgery also shows the mother of the boy standing next to her hospital bed, the Heart Institute said.  

"The operation went well, and the new heart is beating in the girl's chest. And it is extremely touching that the mother of the deceased boy came to listen to her child's heart beating in the other chest," said Oksana Dmytrieva, chair of the Ukrainian Parliament's Subcommittee on Modern Medical Technologies and Transplantation Development, in an emotional post on Facebook. "I have tears in my eyes from this photo," she added.  

Three more of the boy’s organs — two kidneys and a liver — were transplanted to two other children at another hospital in Kyiv, the National Children's Hospital "Ohmatdyt." The two kidneys were transplanted to a 12-year-old boy from the occupied part of Kherson region. "He had been waiting for a transplant for more than 3 years and lived at the Ohmatdyt," the hospital said in a Facebook post. A liver was transplanted to a 15-year-old boy from the Kirovohrad region, it added. 

Postmortem transplants would not be possible without the relatives of donors making the decision "to save the lives of people they do not know after losing a loved one," Dmytrieva said. "This is the noblest manifestation of humanity. Especially when it comes to the loss of a child."

Since the beginning of 2023, 23 heart transplants have been performed for both children and adult patients, the Heart Institute said. 

Cardiovascular surgeries during wartime: If an operation is already underway and air raid systems are activated, the operation cannot be interrupted and will continue even if there is an attack on the city, the Heart Institute told CNN on Monday. 

If the operation hasn't started, the team of doctors and the patient wait for the air raid sirens to stop and only then do they begin the operation. 

 

7:04 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

CNN Exclusive: Major companies accused of breaking promises to leave Russia

From CNN's Matt Egan

More than 1,000 major companies pledged to leave Russia after Vladimir Putin launched his war in Ukraine, but some well-known firms stand accused by researchers of violating their pledge.

For the companies that did leave, the unprecedented corporate exodus, championed and chronicled by Yale professor Jeff Sonnenfeld, dealt a serious financial and symbolic blow to Moscow and the Russian economy.

Now, as Russia's brutal war in Ukraine exceeds the 500-day mark, Sonnenfeld and his team are naming and shaming a slew of companies they accuse of breaking their promises to leave or at least drastically scale back their presence in Russia, including well-known companies like Heineken, Unilever, Philip Morris and Oreo-maker Mondelez.

The Yale research, shared exclusively with CNN, is based on whistleblowers, on-the-ground experts, students operating inside Russia, corporate documents and news media reports.

"These companies are breaking their promises. They are functioning as wartime profiteers," Sonnenfeld told CNN in an interview. "It's beyond disappointing. It's shameful and unethical."

"Consumers should realize that by supporting these companies, they're endorsing something that fuels Putin's war machine," he added.

The "poster child" for this problem is the popular Dutch brewing giant Heineken, Sonnenfeld said.

In March 2022, just one month after the invasion of Ukraine, Heineken won praise for promising to leave Russia. However, 16 months later Heineken still has seven breweries and 1,800 employees in Russia, according to Yale. Not only that, but Heineken has since launched a series of new brands in Russia, gobbling up market share caused by the exodus of other major beer brands.

"They are not pulling out. They are doubling down," said Steven Tian, director of research at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute.

In March 2022, snack and candy giant Mondelez promised to scale back "all non-essential activities in Russia while helping maintain continuity of the food supply." Mondelez said it would focus its operation on "basic offerings."

However, Mondelez — the company behind Oreo cookies, Triscuit crackers and Nabisco snacks, says it still employs 3,000 people in Russia. 

Find out what other brands are on the list here.

8:06 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Residents of Ukraine's Sumy region will not face forced evacuations, military official says

From CNN's Svitlana Vlasova

A frame from a video shows rescue workers at a damaged building after a drone strike, in Sumy, Ukraine, on July 3.
A frame from a video shows rescue workers at a damaged building after a drone strike, in Sumy, Ukraine, on July 3. National Police of Ukraine/Reuters/FILE

Residents of Ukraine’s Sumy region will not be forced to evacuate amid increased Russian shelling, said Volodymyr Artiukh, head of the Sumy regional military administration.

“I want to emphasise (sic) that there will be no emergency or forced evacuation. The evacuation will start as planned after the citizens make a decision. If a person refuses to be evacuated, he or she should write a statement of refusal. The rest of the citizens who agree to evacuate will be moved to safe places,” Artiukh said Monday. 

Artiukh cautioned those who wish to remain.

“People should just be aware that if they stay in the 'death zone,' which is the only way to describe this area, they are taking responsibility for their lives,” Artiukh said. 

Earlier, the regional military administration said it would order the evacuation of areas near the Russian border.

6:01 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Senate progressives voice concerns over Biden’s move to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine

From CNN's Manu Raju

Two leading liberal US senators voiced concerns on Monday over President Joe Biden’s decision to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine.

“I am deeply concerned about the use of a weapon that has such terrible long-term consequences for civilians,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told CNN.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also said he had "concerns” about the president’s move.

More background: Cluster munitions scatter “bomblets” across large areas that can fail to explode on impact and can pose a long-term risk to anyone who encounters them, similar to landmines. Over 100 countries, including the UK, France and Germany, have outlawed the munitions under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but the US and Ukraine are not signatories to the ban.

CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky contributed to this report.

6:24 p.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Russia says Turkey is turning into an "unfriendly country" after a series of "provocative decisions"

From CNN’s Mariya Knight

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey on July 07.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey on July 07. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/TUR Presidency/Getty Images/FILE

A Russian defense official told Russian state media that Turkey is turning into an "unfriendly country" after a series of "provocative decisions."

“The events of the past weeks, unfortunately, clearly demonstrate that Turkey is gradually and steadily continuing to turn from a neutral country into an unfriendly one,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, told state media TASS.

The series of “provocative decisions” came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Turkey on Friday, he said, pointing to Ankara endorsing Ukraine's NATO bid and releasing Azovstal leaders, despite an agreement about them staying in Turkey until the end of the war. 

Zelensky said on Saturday that five men, part of the Azovstal defense which defended Mariupol following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, would return back to Ukraine from Turkey. The five Ukrainian soldiers surrendered following the fall of Mariupol.

After their release from Russian captivity, they were taken to Turkey as part of a prisoner swap back in September where they were obliged to stay until the end of the war, according to the terms of the swap.

"Such behavior could not be called anything other than a stab in the back,” he said, calling the “unfriendly step” a result of pressure from NATO.

Bondarev said that the only reason NATO needs Turkey is “to control the Black Sea straits and stabilize or destabilize the Middle East region,” and said Turkey should think about “leaving NATO and creating an alliance with Russia.”