Ukraine expects a fresh assault by Russian ground forces, following widespread shelling which killed more than 30 people, as Kyiv’s Western allies brace for a worsening of the global energy crisis if Russia cuts its supply of oil and gas.

Ukraine hit by widespread Russian shelling, apartment toll rises to 18

Fighting

  • At least six people were killed in an attack by Ukrainian armed forces on Monday in the Russian-held town of Nova Kakhovka in the southern Kherson region, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Ukrainian officials said their forces had destroyed an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka.

  • Ukraine’s general staff said Russia had launched a wave of bombardments as they seek to seize Donetsk, the other province in the eastern industrial Donbas region, after taking Luhansk to the north. It said the widespread shelling amounted to preparations for an intensification of hostilities. * Reuters could not independently verify battlefield accounts.

Economy/diplomacy

  • Europe’s dependence on Russian energy was preoccupying policymakers and businesses as the biggest pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany began 10 days of annual maintenance. Governments, markets and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended because of the war.

  • The global price of oil could surge by 40% to around $140 per barrel if a proposed price cap on Russian oil is not adopted, a senior US Treasury official said on Tuesday.

  • In an effort to ease global food prices, the West aims to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which it says are shut by a Russian blockade, halting exports from one of the world’s main sources of grain and threatening to exacerbate global hunger.

  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has offered to mediate on the grain issue, discussed it with Putin by telephone. The Kremlin said the talks took place in the run-up to a Russian-Turkish summit scheduled for the near future.

Political developments

  • The lower house of the Russian parliament will gather on July 15 for an extraordinary session, its council decided, just days after President Vladimir Putin warned that he had not had not even started to get serious in the war in Ukraine.

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