July 16, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

By Sophie Tanno, Thom Poole, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, July 17, 2023
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8:19 a.m. ET, July 16, 2023

Putin says goal of grain deal "has not been realized" as deadline looms to extend it

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Liberia-flagged bulker Eneida, carrying grain under UN's Black Sea grain initiative, waits for inspection in the southern anchorage of Istanbul, Turkey, on May 17, 2023.
Liberia-flagged bulker Eneida, carrying grain under UN's Black Sea grain initiative, waits for inspection in the southern anchorage of Istanbul, Turkey, on May 17, 2023. Mehmet Emin/Reuters/FILE

Russian President Vladimir Putin told South African President Cyril Ramaphosa the main goal of a crucial deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain has not been realized.

The Black Sea grain deal expires on Monday unless Russia extends it.

During a call with Ramaphosa, Putin stressed the importance of Russia's side of the deal being upheld, including the removal of tariffs on Russian food exports, according to the Kremlin.

“(Putin) stressed that the obligations set out in the relevant Russia-UN memorandum to remove obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers still remain unfulfilled,” the Kremlin readout of the call said.

“Moreover, the main goal of the deal, namely the supply of grain to countries in need, including those on the African continent, has not been realized,” it said.

What is the Black Sea grain deal?: The Black Sea grain deal was first reached in July 2022.

The deal – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Russia and Ukraine – created procedures to ensure the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports after Russia launched its full-scale invasion and blockaded ports there.

As part of the deal, grain ships were able to navigate through a safe corridor in the Black Sea under the direction of Ukrainian pilots, and then pass through the Bosphorus Strait – an important shipping corridor in northwest Turkey – in order to reach global markets.

The agreement has proven vital for stabilizing global food prices and bringing relief to the developing countries that rely on Ukrainian exports.

The deal’s survival continues to rest in Russia’s hands. Prior to its third renewal in May, the Kremlin had remained elusive as to whether it would remain in the pact until agreeing to an extension.

8:22 a.m. ET, July 16, 2023

Kharkiv mayor says city hit by Russian missiles

From CNN’s Mariya Knight and Josh Pennington

Russian missiles struck the city center of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine during the early hours of Sunday, according to the city's Mayor Ihor Terekhov.

One of the strikes was recorded in the Shevchenkivskyi district and did not cause any damage, Terekhov said.

"As for the rest of the missile strikes, the State Emergency Service is inspecting the area. It is highly likely that Kharkiv was hit by S-300 missiles," he said, referring to a type of long-range missile commonly used by Russia that is capable of considerable destruction.

The mayor said there was no information about casualties at the moment.

Located in northeastern Ukraine, Kharkiv is the country's second-largest city and municipality and was considered a major target for the Russian military early in the invasion.

9:33 a.m. ET, July 16, 2023

Here are the areas each side controls in southern and eastern Ukraine

Ukraine's summer counteroffensive is, by its own accounts, a grueling slog.

Recaptured territory has not come easily in areas of southern and eastern Ukraine where Russia has created multi-layered defenses and heavily mined the land.

As has been the case for months, some of the fiercest fighting is centered on the eastern city of Bakhmut. The Russian private military group Wagner claimed it captured the city and handed it over to Moscow's troops back in May, but in the time since, Ukraine has consistently reported modest gains in areas immediately surrounding Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, one of Kyiv's most important strategic priorities can be found on the southern front. Analysts view reclaiming Russian-occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia region as critical to the Ukrainian counteroffensive, because it could break Russia's land bridge between annexed Crimea and the eastern Donetsk region — effectively separating the route between the territory Russia seized in 2014 and its new incursions in eastern Ukraine.

The map below shows the latest state of control for both militaries: