July 13, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Kathleen Magramo, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 2:51 a.m. ET, July 14, 2022
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3:15 p.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Hungary issues "state of danger" over energy crisis

From CNN’s Zahid Mahmood in London

A natural gas storage facility in Zsana, Hungary.
A natural gas storage facility in Zsana, Hungary. (Attila Volgyi/Xinhua/Getty Images)

The Hungarian government has issued a “state of danger” on Wednesday due to the ongoing energy crisis in the country, putting a seven-point plan in place to prepare for upcoming government measures in August, according to Zoltan Kovacs, spokesperson for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. 

Quoting Gergely Gulyás, who heads the Hungarian prime minister's office, Kovacs said government measures would include, domestic natural gas production to be increased to two billion cubic meters, exporting a ban on energy sources, boosting domestic lignite production.

Additional measured include the relaunch of a power plant, extending the operations of a nuclear power plant, soliciting market price from consumers with above-average energy consumption, Kovacs said on Twitter.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó is also responsible for securing additional gas supplies, Kovacs added.

Natural gas supplies across Europe have suffered since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine causing countries to scramble as they try to preserve supplies in case Russia turns off the taps. 

In 2021, Hungary signed a 15-year natural gas supply deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom to supply gas to the country, in a move criticized by Ukraine. 

So far, Gazprom has cut off at least 20 billion cubic meters of its annual gas supplies to customers in six European countries — Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands — because they failed to make payments in rubles, a demand President Vladimir Putin made back in March.

In an interview with CNN in April, Szijjártó confirmed Hungary will use the payment scheme put in place by Moscow to pay for its oil and gas.

Szijjártó said there are no alternative sources or routes which makes it possible for them to stop importing Russian energy in the next few years. 

Previous reporting from Pamela Boykoff and Anna Cooban.

2:35 p.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN on grain end

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce in Istanbul

Military delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and UN officials attend a meeting to discuss shipment of Ukrainian grain in Istanbul, Turkey on July 13.
Military delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and UN officials attend a meeting to discuss shipment of Ukrainian grain in Istanbul, Turkey on July 13. (Turkish Defence Ministry/AP)

Talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations held in Istanbul to discuss grain exports from Ukraine have now ended.

“The four-party meeting between the military delegations of the Ministry of Defense of Turkey, the Russian Federation and Ukraine and the United Nations delegation regarding the safe shipment of grains waiting in Ukrainian ports by sea ended at the Kalender Pavilion,” the Turkish Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Some more context: Ukraine hopes to speed up grain exports through reopened Danube River routes amid Russia's blockade of key Black Sea ports.

The line of barges currently waiting to sail up the Danube River and load up on grain at one of Ukraine’s river ports will take several weeks to clear, first deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky said in a televised address Wednesday.

About 80% of Ukraine’s grain exports were shipped from the country’s Black Sea ports before Russia's invasion.

Read more here.

 

10:15 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

2 Russian missile strikes reported in the region of Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian authorities say

From CNN's Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva and Kostan Nechyporenko

Two Russian missile strikes were conducted in the Zaporizhzhia region, according to the regional military administration.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the office of the Ukrainian President, said Wednesday that one of the missile strikes in Zaporizhzhia injured seven.

"There is a hit in one of the enterprises ... Seven people were injured. The head of the enterprise took the employees to the shelter, which probably saved their lives."

The strikes come as Ukraine steps up its own use of long-range artillery and rocket systems.

"In the last two weeks, the situation has become much more tense as one of the Russian military bases was completely destroyed, a railway bridge was blown up, an armored train derailed," said Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of occupied Melitopol.

On Tuesday, another military base being used by the Russians was destroyed near the village of Myrne, a few kilometers from Melitopol, he added.

CNN is unable to confirm the attack on the base at Myrne.

Fedorov, who is not in Melitopol, said the Russians were "trying to block the departure of people from the occupied territories."

He said fewer cars left Melitopol yesterday and tens of thousands of people remain in the city.

"According to our estimates, up to 60,000 - 70,000 residents remain in Melitopol. This is about half of the population before the invasion," he said.

9:50 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Ukraine has "nothing to discuss" with Russia on peace talks, foreign minister says

From Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 12.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 12. (Andrew Kravchenko/AP)

"There is nothing to discuss" on the subject of peace talks with Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Wednesday in an online briefing with reporters.

"Currently, there are no talks between Russia and Ukraine, because of the position of Russia and its continued aggression against our country. So there is really nothing to discuss," he told CNN.

Ukraine's objective in this war is "to liberate our territories and restore our territorial integrity and full sovereignty in the east and in the south of Ukraine. This is the end point of our negotiating position," he added.

Kuleba also played down suggestions there might be "fatigue" abroad with the conflict.

He said the website created by the Ukrainian government had reached 600 million people around the world, including 91 million in June.

"Despite the narratives about war fatigue, our communications only improve and become stronger," he said.

9:46 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Lawyer of convicted Russian soldier asks Kyiv court to reverse verdict

From CNN's Sarah Dean, Daria Tarasova, Anastasia Graham-Yooll and Chris Liakos

The lawyer of 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin — who was sentenced to life in prison in Ukraine's first war crime trial since Russia's invasion — said that his client “had no intention of killing a man.” 

Shishimarin was found guilty of killing a 62-year-old civilian during his deployment with the Russian army in the early days of the war. He was sentenced to life in prison on May 23.

Shishimarin’s legal team asked the judges at the Kyiv Court of Appeals to reverse the verdict, arguing that Shishimarin “did not shoot accurately” and urging the court to consider that he refused to shoot several times and surrendered voluntarily. 

“He had no intention of killing a man,” said his lawyer, Viktor Ovsyannikov.

“The only one who could shoot from the car was Shishimarin. He refused to shoot several times. But he fired. He thought it was a threat to his life. Only one shot went to the head. If it had been aimed shooting, all the bullets would have hit the victim. Only one bullet hit the victim,” Ovsyannikov added.

Ovsyannikov also said that it is “necessary to distinguish the one who tragically accidentally killed a man from those who deliberately shell residential areas with artillery.”

The court has asked Shishimarin’s lawyer to supplement the appeal. The next hearing is scheduled for July 25. 

11:41 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and UN on grain begin in Istanbul

From Isil Sariyuce in Istanbul

Military delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and UN officials attend a meeting to discuss shipment of Ukrainian grain in Istanbul, Turkey on July 13.
Military delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and UN officials attend a meeting to discuss shipment of Ukrainian grain in Istanbul, Turkey on July 13. (Arif Akdogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations have kicked off in Istanbul, the Turkish Ministry of Defense said in a statement Wednesday.

“The four-party meeting between the military delegations of the defense ministries of Turkey, the Russian Federation and Ukraine and the United Nations delegation regarding the safe shipment of grains waiting in Ukrainian ports by sea started at the Kalender Kosk,” it said.

Some more context: Ukraine hopes to speed up grain exports through reopened Danube River routes amid Russia's blockade of key Black Sea ports.

The line of barges currently waiting to sail up the Danube River and load up on grain at one of Ukraine’s river ports will take several weeks to clear, first deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky said in a televised address Wednesday.

“A queue of about 90 barges has formed in the area of the Danube River for several months and will continue for several more weeks,” Vysotsky said. “Thanks to the release of Snake Island, the additional throughput is four to five vessels per day.”

“This route is not able to compensate for the volumes that we exported through our Black Sea ports,” he also added.

About 80% of Ukraine’s grain exports were shipped from the country’s Black Sea ports before Russia's invasion.

9:21 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Line of barges waiting to sail up Danube and collect grain will take several weeks to clear, Ukraine says

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio

The line of barges currently waiting to sail up the Danube River and load up on grain at one of Ukraine’s river ports will take several weeks to clear, first deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky said in a televised address Wednesday.

“A queue of about 90 barges has formed in the area of the Danube River for several months and will continue for several more weeks,” Vysotsky said. “Thanks to the release of Snake Island, the additional throughput is four to five vessels per day.”

“This route is not able to compensate for the volumes that we exported through our Black Sea ports,” he also added.

Before Russia’s invasion, about 80% of Ukraine’s grain exports were shipped from the country’s Black Sea ports.

Vysotsky said that harvesting had already begun in Ukrainian-controlled territories, with winter barley the first crop to be picked. 

“It is already being harvested even in the northern regions,” he said. “The yield [for winter barley] is a little lower than last year, but last year's harvest was a record.”

“In general, the yield this year is higher than the five-year average,” he added.

8:52 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Hearing of convicted Russian soldier in Kyiv court resumes following air raid sirens

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Daria Tarasova in Kyiv and Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin attends a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23.
Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin attends a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23. (Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters)

The hearing of 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin at the Kyiv Court of Appeals has resumed after a brief pause following an air raid siren.

Shishimarin was earlier seen taken out of the courtroom by CNN teams on the ground.

Shishimarin is the first person to be convicted of a war crime since Russia’s invasion. He is expected to challenge the court decision handed to him in May. He was found guilty of killing a 62-year-old civilian during his deployment with the Russian army in the early days of the war.

He was sentenced to life in prison on May 23.

8:42 a.m. ET, July 13, 2022

Kremlin declines to comment on US accusation it intends to buy Iranian drones

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov speaks in Moscow in 2021.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov speaks in Moscow in 2021. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

The Kremlin says an alleged purchase of Iranian drones by Russia will not be discussed when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Iran next week.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told journalists the US had information indicating that Iran is preparing to supply Russia with drones -- including weapons-capable drones -- and begin training Russian forces on how to operate them as early as this month.

When asked about the accusations during a conference call with journalists on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian presidency had “no comments on this matter.”

He later added the topic would not be discussed when Putin travels to Iran on Tuesday. 

The Kremlin also commented on US President Joe Biden's visit to the Middle East, with Peskov saying that he hopes Biden's "oil diplomacy" will not turn Saudi Arabia against Russia.

“We appreciate the work we are able to do with our partners [within the framework of the OPEC+ agreements], including with leading partners such as Saudi Arabia,” Peskov said. 

“We highly value our interests and our interaction with Riyadh. Of course, we hope that the development of Riyadh's relations with other world capitals will not be directed against us,” he added.

Biden will meet with the Saudi leadership during his trip to Saudi Arabia this week with an aim to strengthen partnership between the countries, and he will also hold bilateral meetings with a number of other Middle Eastern leaders before closing the trip with the GCC+3 Summit, according to Sullivan.