August 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Megan Trimble, CNN

Updated 2:28 a.m. ET, August 2, 2022
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10:08 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

Ukrainian military says another Russian storage site in Kherson was destroyed

From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych 

Ukrainian officials say that another long-range attack on a Russian storage site in the Kherson region has caused substantial damage.

Serhii Khlan, adviser to the head of the Kherson civil military administration, said on Ukrainian television that "another depot of ammunition and military equipment, which was brought by the enemy from Crimea, was destroyed yesterday on the outskirts of Skadovsk."

Skadovsk is on the Black Sea coast, about 80 kilometers from the nearest Ukrainian frontline position. A target there was struck last week.

Khlan said: "The turning point in the military operations in the Kherson direction took place more than two weeks ago - due to HIMARS, thanks to which we began to knock out depots in the rear positions of the enemy."

He said that in Skadovsk "there was a large amount of fuel and lubricant materials, and engineering equipment, which they are now driving from Crimea to repair the logistics arteries that were damaged by our military forces."

Social media video Saturday night showed a large and continuing fire in the region, according to community Telegram channels, but could not be exactly geolocated.

"From the evening until the morning there was such a flame, and according to the locals, they had never seen such a flame," Khlan said.

Fighting continues along Kherson's northern borders, where Ukrainian forces have made moderate progress against entrenched Russian defenses.

Dmytro Butriy, temporary acting head of Kherson region military administration, said 46 settlements had emptied because of the fighting, which is in an area of small villages and rolling farmland.

"There are villages that are practically destroyed, by 90%," he said. "They are still under constant shelling, the lion's share of the population has left there. But people still remain in some settlements."
11:21 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

Russia is deploying additional forces to bolster its southern flank, Ukrainian military official says

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva

Pro-Russian troops drive tanks in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on July 29.
Pro-Russian troops drive tanks in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on July 29. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The Ukrainian military says that some of the forces Russia is deploying to bolster its southern flank are coming from the Donbas region.

The spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Command, Natalia Humeniuk, explained the south remained a priority for Moscow.

“There is information about reinforcement coming from the Crimean peninsula, there is information about the attempts of redeployment from the Eastern direction,” Humeniuk said in a press conference on Monday. “All in all we understand that they are trying to move their troops and define the directions which will become leading for them in future. As we understand, the South remains one of their priorities.”

The country’s intelligence defense unit also said some of the troops were coming from the Donetsk region. 

“Two weeks ago, Russia withdrew tactical groups of airborne troops from Donetsk region and transferred them to occupied Kherson,” it said in a Telegram post on Monday. “Russia is also redeploying troops from its eastern military district that were used in the attack on Sloviansk.”

Additional Ukrainian officials are also talking about signs of a possible redeployment of Russian forces to strengthen their positions in southern Ukraine.

Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol (though neither man is in the occupied city) said: "We record massive movement of military engineering equipment and personnel at 02:45 pm ...towards Zaporizhzhia exit. Most of the equipment were pontoon crossings. 'V' insignia is visible."

He posted a long clip of a video showing Russian trucks on the move.

Separately, Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, told Ukrainian television: "The fact that some units of Russian army are being redeployed already means that the Russian army is facing some problems."

"We see that our military is successful in its moving forward in the south of Ukraine. The Russian troops are withdrawing little by little. As a result of this some units from East are being redeployed for reinforcement."

Ukraine has claimed some territorial gains along the borders of Kherson with Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

7:42 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

German-donated MLRS arrive in Ukraine

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London and Yulia Kesaieva

This file photo shows a MARS II standing in the Alb barracks in Germany on August 20, 2018.
This file photo shows a MARS II standing in the Alb barracks in Germany on August 20, 2018. (Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Rezniko says that German-donated Multiple Launch Rocket System MARS II has arrived in the country.

“Third brother in the Long Hand family - MLRS MARS II from Germany - has arrived in Ukraine,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter on Monday. "Thank you to Germany and personally to my colleague #DefenceMinister Christine Lambrecht for these systems. Our artillerymen salute our German partners!”

The MARS II is a German upgrade of the M270 MLRS also used by the US military. It has a range similar to that of the HIMARS system donated by the United States to Ukraine, along with more rocket capacity (12 rockets instead of six), but slightly less maneuverability. 

Germany had said it would donate three of these systems but it’s unclear how many have been handed over to Ukrainian forces. 

7:02 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

Kremlin says it's "very positive" first shipment of grain departed Odesa

From Anna Chernova

Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni departs from port of Odesa in Odesa, Ukraine, on August 1.
Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni departs from port of Odesa in Odesa, Ukraine, on August 1. (Maksim Voytenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Kremlin has described the departure of the first shipment of grain from the Ukrainian port of Odesa earlier Monday as “very positive."

“I won't talk about the regularity of ships departures and their number, this is a question to the operator. But the fact that the first ship has departed is very positive,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday. 

“It’s a good opportunity to test the effectiveness of the mechanisms that were agreed upon during the Istanbul talks.”

“Let's hope that the agreements will be implemented from all sides and that the mechanism will work effectively,” Peskov added. 

More than 26,000 metric tons of corn was loaded onto the M/V Razoni, which is due to anchor off the coast of Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon for an inspection before traveling onto Lebanon.

6:55 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

Ukraine says it continues to hold off Russian offensive toward Donetsk town of Bakhmut

From Olga Voitovych and Yulia Kesaieva

The Ukrainian military says it is still holding off a Russian advance toward the Donetsk town of Bakhmut, in the Donbas. 

“[Russia] leads an offensive in the direction of Bakhmut, hostilities continue,” the latest update from the military’s General Staff says. 

“The enemy tried to conduct a reconnaissance of the positions of our troops in the direction of Yakovlivka, the enemy's reconnaissance group was neutralized,” it added. 

To the south, closer to Donetsk city, Russian forces also attempted to penetrate Ukrainian lines near Avdiivka. 

“[Russia] led assaults in the direction of Pisky, was unsuccessful, withdrew,” the Ukrainian military said. 

Heavy shelling was reported from many of the towns and settlements along the eastern frontline, with local authorities saying at least nine private residential buildings, one high-rise, a wheat field and several businesses had been damaged in the Ukrainian-controlled portion of Donetsk. At least three people were killed and 16 were injured.

Donetsk remains without gas and partly without water and electricity.

6:06 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

Former high-level Russian official who left Putin’s government is hospitalized

From CNN's Darya Tarasova and Larry Register

Anatoly Chubais, chief executive officer of OAO Rusnano, speaks during a session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 18, 2015.
Anatoly Chubais, chief executive officer of OAO Rusnano, speaks during a session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 18, 2015. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Former high-level Russian official Anatoly Chubais is in a European hospital suffering from symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological condition, according to prominent Russian journalist and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak. 

Sobchak says she spoke to Chubais’ wife, who said her husband's “state is unstable. He felt bad very suddenly, he began to stop feeling the arms and legs.”

Sobchak is the daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the former mayor of St. Petersburg and political mentor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She was also a Russian presidential candidate in 2018. In recent years, she’s been critical of Putin, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sobchak also quoted Chubais directly, saying of his condition: “I was hospitalized in one of the European clinics with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barr syndrome. Condition of moderate severity, stable.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder in which the immune system harms the body’s nerves.

Chubais did not reply to a request for comment from CNN and it’s unclear where he currently is in Europe. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday the Kremlin doesn't have details about what happened to Chubais but called the development "sad news."

Some background: Chubais quit his post as a Kremlin special envoy on the environment in March. Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter, said he left the country due to the war in Ukraine. Chubais did not respond to CNN's request for comment at the time. In March, the Kremlin confirmed Chubais left his job. Chubais had been in the environment job since December 4, 2020, TASS said.

He rose to prominence as Boris Yeltsin's finance minister in the 1990s. In the early days of Putin's rise to power, Chubais was considered an opponent by the now-President. Putin claimed in a series of interviews in 1999 that Chubais canceled the Kremlin job that he was initially offered.

In recent years, Chubais continued to call for economic reform and was one of the few remaining liberals associated with the Russian government.

5:05 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

No further Ukraine grain shipments expected Monday

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London and Ipek Yezdani in Istanbul

No additional grain shipments are expected to depart Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Monday, the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul says. 

Dates and timings for further shipments are still being worked out and will likely only be finalized once the first shipment goes through inspection in Istanbul on Tuesday, according to the JCC.

The M/V Razoni, the first ship to leave since Russia began an invasion of the country on February 24, is carrying over 26,000 metric tonnes of corn.

The vessel will anchor off the coast of Istanbul around 3 p.m. Istanbul time (8 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Monday.

Speaking in an interview with Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency, Akar said the JCC will inspect the ship. Following inspection, it will proceed to its final destination in Tripoli, Lebanon. 

This post has been updated with more details.

4:46 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

US embassy in Kyiv welcomes departure of first Ukraine grain shipment

From Olga Voitovych, CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London and Jo Shelley

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, center, speaks during a press conference with G7 ambassadors and UN representatives at the Odesa Sea Port, in Odesa, Ukraine, on July 29.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, center, speaks during a press conference with G7 ambassadors and UN representatives at the Odesa Sea Port, in Odesa, Ukraine, on July 29. (David Goldman/AP)

The United States Embassy in Kyiv praised the departure of the first grain shipment from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports since Russia began its invasion of the country. 

“We welcome the departure of the first vessel from Ukraine's Black Sea ports since Russia's full-scale invasion on Feb 24,” the embassy said in a tweet on Monday. “The world will be watching for continued implementation of this agreement to feed people around the world with millions of tons of trapped Ukrainian grain.”

US Ambassador Bridget A. Brink called the development “progress.”

“Progress in getting grain to feed millions around the world – the first vessel departs from one of Ukraine's Black Sea ports, thanks to the tireless efforts by the UN, Turkey, and the negotiating team in Istanbul and the patient work of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and [Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr] Kubrakov.”

Meanwhile, the UK's ambassador, Melinda Simmons, called the first grain shipment to leave Odesa a “first step.”

“This is such an important step but it is a first step,” Simmons tweeted on Monday. “[Russia] now needs to honour their side of this deal and let grain ships pass safely. And they need to stop burning and appropriating [Ukrainian] grain.”

Ukraine and Russia agreed a deal last month that would allow the resumption of vital grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports in a major diplomatic breakthrough aimed at easing a global food crisis sparked by the war.

Ministers from both countries signed an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul. The deal followed months of negotiations, and promises to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds -- some of Ukraine's most important exports.

This post has been updated with more details.

4:20 a.m. ET, August 1, 2022

"Day of relief for the world" as first grain shipment leaves Odesa, Ukraine's foreign minister says

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says it is a “day of relief for the world” as the first shipment of grain left the port of Odesa Monday morning.

It is the first shipment out of the country since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. 

“The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade,” Kuleba wrote in a post on Twitter. 

Kuleba added that Ukraine has "always been a reliable partner" and insisted the country would continue to be one provided "Russia respect its part of the deal."