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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7:36 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

South Korea provides more non-lethal aid to Ukraine 

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul 

South Korea has provided more non-lethal aid to Ukraine, the country's Ministry of National Defense told CNN on Monday, without providing further details. 

Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol had said in a written interview with them that South Korea would provide further humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine, including de-mining equipment and ambulances.

The president's office confirmed to CNN that Yoon had made these comments. 

South Korea has repeatedly maintained its stance not to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine since Russia's invasion. 

8:11 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

It's mid-afternoon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know.

From CNN staff

NATO leaders are preparing for a summit in Lithuania on Tuesday, with US President Joe Biden meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asking for his country to be allowed to join the European Union before Sweden is admitted to NATO.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Biden meets Sunak in London: US President Joe Biden heralded a “rock solid” relationship with the United Kingdom during a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday morning. Biden said they would be strengthening cooperation on joint economic security, as well as discussing the NATO alliance ahead of the summit with NATO leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Kyiv pushing for NATO membership: Ukraine wants a unanimous invitation from NATO members for Kyiv to join the defense alliance, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna said. Russia’s war in Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s push for NATO membership will be among the key issues at the NATO summit.
  • Erdogan pushes for EU accession: Turkey's path to membership of the European Union should be cleared before Sweden's NATO membership, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "First, let's clear Turkey's way in the European Union, then let's clear the way for Sweden," Erdogan said Monday.
  • Ukrainian counter-offensive making slow progress: The Ukrainian military says it has liberated 169 square kilometers of territory in the south since the beginning of the offensive in mid-May, an area roughly the size of the city of Odesa. The Institute for the Study of War said that “the current pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is reflective of a deliberate effort to conserve Ukrainian combat power and attrit Russian manpower and equipment at the cost of slower territorial advances.”
  • Prigozhin and Putin have met: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin after his short-lived mutiny at the end of June. There has been widespread speculation about where the Wagner leader has been since the aborted mutiny on June 23-24.
  • Moscow accused of "war crime": Russia's deadly bombing Sunday of a school where civilians were receiving humanitarian aid is a "war crime," according to police in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region. At least four people were killed and 11 others injured in the attack in the city of Orikhiv.
  • Top Russian general seen in public: Russia's Ministry of Defense has published video that appears to show top army general Valery Gerasimov in his first public appearance since the failed Wagner insurrection last month. The ministry said Gerasimov, who rarely makes public appearances, was listening to a report on Ukraine's alleged attempts to strike targets in Crimea.
7:05 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Erdogan asks to clear Turkey's path into EU membership before Sweden's NATO candidacy 

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, second right, speaks during a press conference at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 10.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, second right, speaks during a press conference at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 10. (President of Turkey)

Turkey's path to membership of the European Union should be cleared before Sweden's NATO membership, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"First, let's clear Turkey's way in the European Union, then let's clear the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland," Erdogan said during a press conference Monday ahead of a NATO summit in Lithuania. 

"Turkey has been waiting at the gate of the European Union for over 50 years now," said Erdogan. "Almost all NATO member countries are European member countries."

Some context: Sweden and Finland both formally requested NATO membership shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

While Finland was granted accession in April 2023, Turkey continues to veto Sweden's bid, accusing the country of housing Kurdish “terrorist organizations.”

Erdogan has previously said Turkey would not approve Sweden’s NATO membership unless the country extradites “terrorists” upon Turkish request.

Sweden has made clear this won’t happen and for now, the process is stuck.

6:56 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka says it "wasn’t fair" to be booed at Wimbledon after facing Ukrainian Elina Svitolina

From CNN's George Ramsay

Belarus' Victoria Azarenka reacts to spectators as she leaves the court after losing her fourth round match against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina at Wimbledon, on July 9.
Belarus' Victoria Azarenka reacts to spectators as she leaves the court after losing her fourth round match against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina at Wimbledon, on July 9. Toby Melville/Reuters

Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka said “it wasn’t fair” that the Wimbledon crowd booed at the end of her fourth-round match against Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

As she has done after facing other Russian and Belarusian players, Svitolina – who won the tight contest 2-6 6-4 7-6 (11-9) – declined to shake Azarenka’s hand given the ongoing war in her home country.

Instead, Azarenka showed her appreciation towards her opponent with a hand gesture at the net before the crowd booed as she walked off the court.

“What can I say about the crowd? There is nothing to say,” the No. 19 seed told reporters after the match. “She doesn’t want to shake hands with Russian, Belarusian people. I respected her decision.

“What should I have done? Stayed and waited? I mean, there’s nothing that I could do that would have been right, so I just did what I thought was respectful towards her decision," added Azarenka.

Read the full story here.

8:34 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Southern offensive has liberated 169 square kilometers of territory so far, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

The Ukrainian military says it has liberated 169 square kilometers of territory in the south since the beginning of the offensive in mid-May, an area roughly the size of the city of Odesa.

The official Military Media Center said that in the past week Ukrainian forces had advanced by more than one kilometer “as a result of the offensive in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions.”

It said that 10 square kilometers of Ukrainian land have been liberated in the last week.

The Ukrainian General Staff said Monday that troops “continue to conduct offensive operations in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions, entrenching themselves on the achieved lines, inflicting artillery fire, and carrying out counter-battery measures.”

Russian forces continue assault operations at several points along the Donetsk front lines, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, with 30 combat engagements over the last day. There has been little change in frontline positions along the eastern front lines.

The General Staff said that Ukrainian forces had resisted heavy fire by Russian aircraft and artillery in the Bakhmut area, and had also held back Russian assault operations near Avdiivka and Mariinka.

The Military Media Center said that 24 square kilometers had been liberated in the Bakhmut sector in recent operations, with 4 square kilometers of territory liberated in the past week.

There have been incremental Ukrainian advances south of Bakhmut around the village of Klishchiivka. 

"The enemy is resisting, moving units and troops, actively using its reserves. Heavy fighting continues,” the center said.

The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest analysis of the battlefield that “the current pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is reflective of a deliberate effort to conserve Ukrainian combat power and attrit Russian manpower and equipment at the cost of slower territorial advances.”

Ukrainian military officials have said that Russia is capable of bringing in substantial reserve units to compensate for losses. 

6:44 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Biden departs 10 Downing Street

U.S. President Joe Biden leaves 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10.
U.S. President Joe Biden leaves 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10. Kevin Coombs/Reuters

US President Joe Biden has departed No. 10 Downing Street after less than an hour on site.

He shook hands with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and boarded his motorcade, rolling to Winfield House, the US Ambassador's London residence, at 6:21 a.m. ET.

From there, Biden will take Marine One to Windsor Castle, where he will participate in an arrival ceremony and honor guard inspection, meet with King Charles III, and attend a discussion on climate change.

7:07 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Kremlin says Wagner chief Prigozhin met with Putin after attempted rebellion

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP/Getty Images

Wagner private military company chief Yevgeny Prigozhin met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin after his short-lived mutiny at the end of June, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Putin held a meeting with more than 30 military commanders on June 29, and Prigozhin also attended, said Peskov during his daily call with the media.

Peskov was responding to a report in the French newspaper Liberation, which said Prigozhin had been to the Kremlin since his abortive mutiny.

“Indeed, the President held such a meeting. He invited 35 people, [including] all unit commanders and the leadership of the campaign, including Prigozhin himself.”

“This meeting took place in the Kremlin on June 29 and lasted for almost 3 hours. Its details are not known. The only thing we can say is that the President gave an assessment of the actions of the campaign at the front during the special military operation, as well as of the events of June 24,” Peskov said, referring latterly to the short-lived uprising during which Wagner troops marched towards Moscow.

“Putin listened to the explanations provided by the commanders and offered them further options for deployment and of further combat use," added Peskov.

Last week, Peskov said the Kremlin had neither "the ability nor the desire" to track Prigozhin's movements.

There has been widespread speculation about where the Wagner leader has been since the aborted mutiny on June 23-24.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered an agreement for him to move to Belarus, but said last week Prigozhin was not in the country

6:34 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

German arms maker Rheinmetall will build and repair tanks in Ukraine, says CEO

From CNN's Frederik Pleitgen and Anna Cooban

Armin Papperger, CEO of German defense and automotive group Rheinmetall AG poses in front of the company's logo and headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany, on January.
Armin Papperger, CEO of German defense and automotive group Rheinmetall AG poses in front of the company's logo and headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany, on January. Jana Rodenbusch/Reuters

Rheinmetall will open an armored vehicle plant in Ukraine within the next 12 weeks, shrugging off concerns other Western defense companies reportedly have about building a presence in the country while it is at war with Russia.

Germany’s biggest arms maker will also train Ukrainians to maintain the tanks and other armored vehicles made in the factory, which will be located in the western part of the country, CEO Armin Papperger told CNN in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

“[Ukrainians] have to help themselves — if they always have to wait [for] Europeans or Americans [to] help them over the next 10 or 20 years… that is not possible,” he said.

The company told the Rheinische Post newspaper earlier this year that it hoped to open a €200 million ($218 million) battle tank factory on Ukrainian soil, capable of producing about 400 tanks a year.

Read the full story here.

6:09 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Biden touts "rock solid" relationship with the UK during meeting with Sunak

From CNN's Betsy Klein in London

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, and US President Joe Biden sit in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10.
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, and US President Joe Biden sit in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden heralded a “rock solid” relationship with the United Kingdom as his meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak got underway in a garden at No. 10 Downing Street.

Biden recounted all of the places he’s met with Sunak – from San Diego to Belfast to Hiroshima to Washington, six times in the six months since the prime minister took office.

“Couldn’t be meeting with a closer friend or greater ally. Got a lot to talk about,” Biden said.

He continued: “Our relationship is rock solid … And I look forward to our discussions.”

Sunak welcomed Biden, saying he is “very privileged and fortunate to have you here.”

He said they would be strengthening cooperation on joint economic security, as well as discussing the NATO alliance.

“We head from here to NATO in Vilnius, where we stand as two of the firmest allies in that alliance and I know we want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security. Great pleasure to have you here,” Sunak said.

The leaders ignored shouted questions, including one on his call with Turkish President Erdogan, as Biden admired a commemorative No.10 Downing Street mug.