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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9:33 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Authorities in northern region of Ukraine order evacuation of civilians from border areas

From Olga Voitovych and Radina Gigova

The regional military administration in Ukraine’s northern Sumy region is ordering the evacuation of border areas amid persistent cross-border shelling.

“Evacuation of the residents of Sumy region from the five-kilometer zone is a necessity that has been overdue for a long time,” said Volodymyr Artiukh, the head of the Sumy regional military administration.

The shelling has led to widespread destruction of property and the deaths of civilians. At least 17 civilians died over the past month, including one child, the Sumy regional military administration said in a statement Monday. 

Residents in the region "do not live" but only "survive" under the constant shelling, authorities said, adding that electricity has been disrupted "for weeks or even months." Shops, schools and hospitals are often closed, and the delivery of food, medicines and other essentials "is not possible" at the moment, authorities noted. 

The decision was made after a "thorough analysis of the operational situation" in the area "based on the results of the reports of the military, heads of districts and territorial communities," Artiukh said.

"The evacuation will be carried out with the appropriate cover of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in order not to give the enemy any chance to carry out a provocation and put our residents in danger," the administration said.

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

Germany says it will announce "new support packages" for Ukraine at the NATO summit

From CNN’s Inke Kappeler in Berlin

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius holds a news conference in Berlin on July 10.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius holds a news conference in Berlin on July 10. Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Germany will announce new support packages for Ukraine during the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Monday.

The preliminary work is "practically completed," Pistorius said during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu in Berlin.

Pistorius added that he expects the NATO summit will be "very united" and that it "must be, in light of the current situation."

While pre-summit discussions have strengthened his hope, Pistorius said he is watching the issue of Sweden's accession to NATO and "how Turkey and Hungary will act."

Lecornu said it was key for the allies that Sweden becomes a NATO member "as quickly as possible."

8:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Sunak and Biden agree to maintain support for Ukraine

From CNN’s Zahid Mahmood in London

US President Joe Biden, right, talks with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he leaves from 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10.
US President Joe Biden, right, talks with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he leaves from 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 10. Henry Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden agreed on the need to “strengthen” their alliance and maintain support for Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement Monday. 

The two leaders discussed Ukraine's counteroffensive and emphasized the "importance of the country’s international partners committing to its long-term defense, providing the support Ukraine needs to win this war and secure a just and lasting peace,” the spokesperson said in the statement.

Sunak and Biden also agreed on the need to ensure Sweden has a “swift path to full NATO accession,” the spokesperson said.

The statement concluded by saying both leaders acknowledged the importance of their friendship and of continuing the “close dialogue they have had in the few months.”

Later Monday, Biden visited Windsor Castle and was greeted by King Charles III for the first time since the monarch ascended to the throne.

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

Ukraine's foreign minister says NATO agrees to speed Ukraine application process

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv and Tim Lister

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addresses the opening session on the first day of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, England, on June 21.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addresses the opening session on the first day of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, England, on June 21. Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that NATO has agreed to let Ukraine bypass a detailed formal process in its application to join the alliance.

"Following intensive talks, NATO allies have reached consensus on removing MAP [Membership Action Plan] from Ukraine's path to membership," Kuleba said in a tweet Monday.

"I welcome this long-awaited decision that shortens our path to NATO. It is also the best moment to offer clarity on the invitation to Ukraine to become member," Kuleba added.

The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO program of assistance and practical support for countries wishing to join the US-led alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the alliance on future membership, but can be a lengthy process. 

7:44 a.m. ET, July 10, 2023

Kremlin says there are costs in ensuring safety of traffic on Crimea bridge

From CNN's Anna Chernova

There are “certain costs” in ensuring the safety of traffic on the bridge linking Crimea with Russia, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov's comments on Monday came the day after traffic on the bridge was suspended when air defenses in the area shot down a Ukrainian cruise missile, according to Russian officials.

“It is very important to ensure the safety of this important transport artery. While ensuring its safety, it is impossible to make the traffic completely uncontrolled. So yes, there are and there will be certain costs,” Peskov said.

There was heavy congestion on the approaches to the bridge on Sunday and into Monday, according to social media video and traffic maps.

“Measures are being taken to minimize these costs and provide all the amenities for citizens and tourists who use road transport for tourist trips," said Peskov.

"We see that these traffic jams are not permanent. They can last for one or two days, then disappear.”

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.