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Russia strikes kill seven in Pokrovsk; Ukraine detains alleged spies

Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | Getty Images

This is CNBC's live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine. See below for the latest updates. 

Two Russian missile strikes on Pokrovsk in Ukraine's Donetsk region on Monday night killed at least seven people, including five civilians, according to Ukrainian officials.

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In his nightly address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the hits were to residential buildings and that one of those killed was Andriy Omelchenko, deputy head of the State Emergency Service in Donetsk.

Zelenskyy also referenced the latest in a series of prisoner exchanges, which saw 22 Ukrainian soldiers return home. Separately on Monday, three women were arrested for allegedly attempting to pass information about the movement of military equipment on to Russia.

Russian and Ukrainian officials continue to comment on talks held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, over the weekend. The talks, which concern the war, involved more than 40 countries, including China, but not Russia.

Ukraine said it was "satisfied" with the discussions, while the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said they resulted in "no diplomatic success."

Ukraine counteroffensive progresses in Zaporizhzhia, faces increase in air strikes: officials

Servicemen of the Vykhor Dnipro unit of the 108th Separate Brigade of the Territorial Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on a combat mission in the Zaporizhzhia direction, southeastern Ukraine, on August 4, 2023. The unit operates unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
Ukrinform/Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Servicemen of the Vykhor Dnipro unit of the 108th Separate Brigade of the Territorial Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on a combat mission in the Zaporizhzhia direction, southeastern Ukraine, on August 4, 2023. The unit operates unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Ukraine's counteroffensive operation along the Russian-occupied front line advanced by a few hundred meters near Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukrainian media platform Ukrinform said Tuesday, citing a defense spokesman.

Valerii Shershen reportedly said Ukrainian soldiers were facing densely-mined areas, anti-tank ditches and concrete barriers. Shershen also said Russian combat aircraft use had intensified.

Another spokesperson said Ukrainian soldiers were holding their position in Bakhmut but had faced 508 strikes, including from mortars and rocket launchers, over the last 24 hours.

— Jenni Reid

UK announces new Russia sanctions targeting access to military equipment

Britain's foreign office on Tuesday announced 25 new Russia-related sanctions that the U.K. said represent the "biggest ever U.K. action on military suppliers in third countries."

The sanctions apply to individuals and business based in Turkey, Dubai, Slovakia and Switzerland, which the U.K. says are supporting the invasion of Ukraine by providing Russia with access to electronics used in military equipment.

The U.K. also extended sanctions on several Belarusian defense organizations.

"The Russian defence industry is severely stretched and focused entirely on sustaining the war. Unable to access Western components, the Russian military is struggling to produce sufficient top-end equipment and is now desperately searching for foreign armaments," the foreign office said.

"Today's package tackles Russia's attempts to circumvent and offset these clear impacts of UK and allies' sanctions."

— Jenni Reid

Poland to send additional troops to Belarus border

The head of Poland's Defense Ministry on Tuesday approved a border guard request for additional soldiers to be sent to patrol the country's border with Belarus, state news agency PAP reported.

The application was reportedly for 1,000 troops to join the current guard of roughly 2,000.

Deputy interior minister Maciej Wąsik said in a press conference that migration pressure on the border is growing, and that acts of aggression against Polish border guards, soldiers and policemen are increasing. Wąsik said that includes the throwing of bottles, stones and branches.

Poland in July committed to increasing border security after the relocation of Russia's mercenary Wagner Group to Belarus, and an uptick in migrant crossings.

There have been several moments of elevated tensions since then. On Aug. 1, Poland accused Russia ally Belarus of violating its airspace, while Belarus on Monday conducted military exercises near the border.

— Jenni Reid

Ukraine detains three Donetsk women alleged to be passing information to Russia

Ukraine's intelligence agency said Tuesday it had detained three women it alleged are part of an "agent network" in the Donetsk region working for both the Russian Federal Security Service and the Wagner group, a private Russian military company.

The Security Service of Ukraine said on Telegram the women "collected intelligence on the number and redeployment of military equipment of the Defense Forces in the region," according to a Google translation.

It said that included the flight directions of combat aircraft and routes of armored vehicles into front-line areas. The women allegedly took photographs and sent them to Russian sources via messaging apps.

The SSU said the group are residents of the Pokrovsk district and were recruited by Russia before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

On Monday night, Pokrovsk was struck by two Russian missiles which Ukrainian officials said killed at least seven people.

— Jenni Reid

Russia denies refusing to take part in peace talks

Russia's foreign ministry has rejected claims that it declined to take part in Saudi-held peace talks over the weekend, after the U.S. State Department said that Moscow "refused to engage."

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said on Telegram that the U.S. had "initiated the ban by the Kiev regime on peace negotiations with Russia in September 2022, they themselves have publicly stated repeatedly for a year that there is no time for negotiations, but they still blame Russia," according to a Google translation.

It comes after senior officials from more than 30 countries, including China and India, engaged in diplomatic talks about the Ukraine war in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, over the weekend.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in the department press briefing Monday that "there are no peace negotiations going on with Russia right now, because Russia has refused to engage in meaningful peace negotiations."

— Katrina Bishop

Ukraine detains woman accused of passing information on Zelenskyy to Russia

Ukraine's security service on Monday said it had detained a woman accused of passing information — about a planned visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Mykolaiv region — on to Russia.

In a statement, it said the woman had tried to collect the timings and list of locations for the visit, and was instructed to identify the location of warfare systems and ammunition depots in the area.

"Occupiers planned to use these data to prepare a new massive air strike on the region," the Security Service of Ukraine said.

The woman is reportedly a resident of Ochakiv in Mykolaiv and a former salesperson in a military shop.

— Jenni Reid

Russian missiles strike Pokrovsk, killing seven: Officials

Two Russian missile strikes on the city of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region killed seven people and injured 30 on Monday evening, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. CNBC has not independently verified the report.

Kyrylenko said five of those killed were civilians, one was military, and one was a first responder.

The first responder was named by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address as Colonel Andriy Omelchenko, deputy head of the State Emergency Service for the Donetsk region.

Pokrovsk is roughly 50 km from the front line.

— Jenni Reid

Russia says a peace settlement only possible if Kyiv lays down its arms

Russia says a peace settlement in Ukraine is only possible if Kyiv lays down its arms, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

A solution to the conflict will only be found if the "the Kiev regime puts an end to military activities and terrorist attacks, while its Western sponsors stop pumping the Ukrainian armed forces with weapons," Zakharova was quoted as saying by state news agency Tass, using the Russian transliterated spelling of Ukraine's capital Kyiv.

"The original foundations of Ukraine's sovereignty should be reaffirmed, that is, its neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-weapon-free status," she said.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which has since killed tens of thousands of people, turned several million into refugees, and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage to the country's infrastructure, environment and industries.

— Natasha Turak

Russia says it gained two miles of territory in northern Ukraine

Russia's defense ministry says its forces advanced three kilometers (two miles) into Ukraine's defenses over the last three days in northern Ukraine.

"Over the past three days, the advance of Russian troops … amounted to 11 kilometers along the front and more than three kilometers deep into the enemy's defense," the ministry said in a statement. It added that its positions along the front line had "improved."

CNBC could not verify details on the ground. Russian forces are focusing their assault on areas like Kharkiv, which Ukraine had liberated from their occupation in September.

— Natasha Turak

Read CNBC's previous live coverage here:

China praises Saudi-led peace talks; U.S. microchips are still fueling Russia's military despite sanctions

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