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Russia-Ukraine war live updates Zelensky mocks Moscow, touts new weapons; Turkey hosts grain blockade talks

Ukrainian servicemen tow a howitzer near the eastern front line on July 12. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky taunted Russia on Tuesday evening, as Kyiv celebrated a strike — apparently conducted with advanced Western rocket launchers — on an ammunition depot in the occupied southern region of Kherson. Russian soldiers are “truly afraid,” Zelensky said, citing intercepted messages. “The occupiers have already felt very well what modern artillery is, and they will not have a safe rear anywhere on our land, which they occupied.”

Russia attempted small-scale assaults around the cities of Siversk, Bakhmut and Slovyansk in the eastern Donetsk region, the focal point of the Kremlin’s latest efforts, according to senior Ukrainian military leaders. They appear to have taken serious losses in some instances, and Britain said Tuesday that Russia had made only limited gains in exchange.

Military delegations from Kyiv and Moscow are set to meet in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss restarting grain shipments from Ukraine’s blockaded Black Sea ports, the Turkish defense minister said. Ukrainian officials said grain exports had resumed from three Danube riverside ports after Russia withdrew from Snake Island.

Here’s what else to know

  • The European Space Agency has terminated its Mars space rover collaboration with its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos. The ESA will move ahead with new partners.
  • U.S. food aid is taking months to reach needy nations despite an urgent global food crisis, a bipartisan group of senators said Tuesday, urging the Biden administration to accelerate delivery as the war in Ukraine pushes more countries closer to famine.
  • Kyiv is getting an additional $1.7 billion in assistance from Washington to support public health care.