July 12, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 2:58 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022
3 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:34 a.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Turkish President Erdogan holds separate calls with Putin and Zelensky on grain exports

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce, Anna Chernova and Chris Liakos

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the consultation and evaluation meeting of past mayors in Ankara, Turkey, on July 6.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the consultation and evaluation meeting of past mayors in Ankara, Turkey, on July 6. (Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine and grain shipments over the phone Monday.

The Kremlin said the two leaders exchanged views on “coordinating efforts to ensure the safety of navigation in the Black Sea and grain exports to world markets.”

According to the Turkish presidency readout, Erdogan noted “it was time for the United Nations to take action for the plan regarding the formation of secure corridors via the Black Sea.” 

The Kremlin readout added that the two leaders paid “particular attention” in “further intensifying economic cooperation” on trade and energy.

The Turkish presidency readout made no mention of strengthening economic cooperation between Turkey and Russia and said that Turkey stands ready “to provide all kinds of support for the revival of the negotiation process.”

Zelensky call: The Turkish president also held a call with his Ukrainian counterpart Monday. Erdogan told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Turkey wants peace in Ukraine and is actively working on a United Nations plan to export Ukrainian grain to world markets, according to a readout by the Turkish presidency.

“Held talks with 🇹🇷 President @RTErdogan. Thanked for condolences over new civilian victims of the Russian aggression. We appreciate 🇹🇷 support. Discussed the importance of unblocking 🇺🇦 ports and resuming grain exports,” Zelensky tweeted following the call.

According to Ukrainian officials, more than 20 million tons of grain remain stuck in Ukraine due to the Russian blockade of various Black Sea ports.

8:58 p.m. ET, July 11, 2022

Ukraine claims "precise hit" on Russian military unit in occupied Kherson

From CNN's Tim Lister, Maria Kostenko, Julia Presniakova and Kostan Nechyporenko

Ukraine's campaign to attack Russian supply lines and ammunition storage sites far behind the front lines continued this weekend, with Ukrainian officials reporting another long-range strike against Russian military positions in the southern region of Kherson. 

Serhiy Khlan, a member of Kherson's regional council, said Sunday there had been "a precise hit" at the military unit of the occupiers on Pestelia Street in Kherson city.

The unit was hit twice on Sunday morning, Khlan claimed.

Images and video geolocated to Kherson showed a thick column of gray smoke rising into the air Sunday morning.

"Eyewitnesses report the cries of Russians under the rubble. The occupiers shoot in the air when someone tries to get closer," Khlan told Ukrainian television.
"Thanks to modern Western weapons, Russian air defenses cannot intercept artillery [fire]."

Khlan also spoke about the difficulty for civilians trying to leave the region.

"Regarding evacuation from Kherson region, there is no humanitarian corridor. People leave at their own risk through Vasylivka towards Zaporizhzhia; the queue of cars can last one to two weeks," Khlan said.

"The occupiers demand money for departure or even take away personal belongings from our people. In case of leaving towards the Crimea, there are risks of being taken to the filtration camps."

There is anecdotal evidence that hundreds of Kherson residents have crossed into Crimea and then traveled through Russia or Turkey.

What happened? Sunday's attack follows a series of explosions near the airport in Kherson on Saturday, and at what appears to have been an ammunition storage site in the Donetsk region. 

The official Russian news agency TASS has reported four explosions in the sky over Kherson city caused by what it said were Russian air defense systems.

TASS said its correspondent in Kherson reported smoke on Perekopskaya Street in the middle of the city. 

"Leave Kherson": Earlier on Friday, Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, called on residents to evacuate the Kherson region.

"I urge you to evacuate as soon as possible, by all means. Don't wait," Vereshchuk said.
"People must look for an opportunity to leave because our Armed Forces will de-occupy. There will be huge battles," she said.

She warned residents they could be used as human shields by the Russians and staying in the occupied districts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions is dangerous.

Alexander Khinshtein, a deputy in the Russian parliament, denied Ukraine's claims of a hit.

"Ukrainian sources happily replicate a fake about a missile attack on the base of the Russian guard in Kherson," he said on Telegram. "The missile hit a 4-story building, where one of the support units of the Russian Guard used to be. A day before, it was relocated to another location."

Images geolocated by CNN show that the badly damaged building is in the middle of Kherson, but it's unclear whether it was occupied at the time it was struck.

Ukrainian military intelligence claimed Monday to have intercepted a call between Russian soldiers, in which one said that Ukrainian forces had "hit the most important command. They hit f****ng hard." The soldier said 12 had been killed in the strike.

CNN is unable to verify the authenticity of the call.

8:54 p.m. ET, July 11, 2022

Russia expands simplified citizenship application for Ukrainians

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova and Radina Gigova

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday that would simplify the process of obtaining Russian citizenship for all Ukrainian citizens. 

Previous versions of the decree applied to residents in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.

The decree establishes that "citizens of Ukraine, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) or Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and people without citizenship permanently living in DPR, LPR or Ukraine […] are entitled to appeal for admission to citizenship of the Russian Federation via simplified procedure in accordance with the […] law ‘On citizenship of the Russian Federation'," the decree says.

What the simplified process allows: Individuals can apply for Russian citizenship without fulfilling several requirements, including living in Russia for five years, having a source of income and undergoing a Russian language examination.

The decree also says that "military service, service in national security or law enforcement agencies of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic cannot be considered a reason for denying Russian citizenship."

Simplified Russian citizenship applications were initially introduced by decree in 2019 for DPR and LPR residents. In May of this year, the decree was expanded to the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. And on Monday, the decree was expanded to all citizens of Ukraine who wish to obtain Russian citizenship.