Latest news of the Russian war in Ukraine today, Tuesday, August 2

(CNN) — The Ukrainian military says it has repelled Russian advances in the eastern Donetsk region, near the strategically important city of Bakhmut. Ukraine, meanwhile, says Russia is redeploying some troops from Donbas to bolster its southern flank.

Meanwhile, the first ship carrying grain under a U.N.-brokered export deal left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Monday, raising hopes that the global food supply crisis caused by the U.S. invasion could be alleviated. Russia.

On the other hand, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Russia to honor its nuclear arms control commitments and accused Moscow of making a “reckless and dangerous nuclear saber noise” as part of its war in Ukraine.

Watch the main news of the Russian war in Ukraine this Tuesday, August 2.

Ukraine says Russia maintains Donetsk offensive with shelling on Eastern front line

Russian forces have continued their offensive towards the towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk region, according to the Ukrainian military.

“Fighting continues in the areas of the Bakhmut and Zaitseve settlements,” the armed forces General Staff said in its morning update on Tuesday. “Ukrainian soldiers repelled the attacks in the Yakovlivka, Vershyna, Kodema and Travneve areas.”

Russia “led assaults in the Avdiivka area, were unsuccessful, withdrew,” the General Staff added. “Fighting continues near Pisky.”

The Ukrainian military also reported heavy shelling across the eastern front line, accusing Russia of targeting both military and civilian infrastructure.

Elsewhere, on both the northern and southern flanks, Ukrainian forces say Russian troops have focused primarily on holding their positions.

Brittney Griner to appear in court again in Russia

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives for a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow, Russia on July 27. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

The trial in Russia of WNBA star Brittney Griner will continue Tuesday as US officials try to negotiate a prisoner swap for her release.

The scheduled appearance in a court near Moscow will be Griner’s seventh hearing. Russian prosecutors accuse her of attempting to smuggle less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage as she traveled through a Moscow airport in February.

During the trial, Griner has testified that he has a prescription for medical cannabis use and had no intention of bringing the drug into Russia. After her arrest in February, she was given a drug test and she was clean, her attorneys previously said.

Griner pleaded guilty last month, a decision his lawyers hope the court will heed and potentially result in a less severe sentence. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

The Proposed Prisoner Swap: Amid this pressure and after months of internal debate, the Biden administration proposed a prisoner swap with Russia, offering to release a convicted Russian arms dealer in exchange for Griner and another American detainee, Paul Whelan. , people briefed on the matter told CNN.

Russian officials responded to the US offer according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, requesting that, in addition to arms dealer Viktor Bout, the US also include a convicted murderer who was previously a colonel in the FSB, the Russian spy agency, Vadim Krasikov.

US authorities did not accept the request as a legitimate counter offer, the sources told CNN, in part because the proposal was sent through an informal back channel of the FSB. Krasikov’s release would also be complicated because he is currently in German custody.

Zelensky welcomes first grain shipment but says Russia cannot be trusted

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, with more than 26,000 tons of Ukrainian grain on board, leaves the Odessa region port on Monday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the first grain shipment from the port of Odessa since the Russian invasion began in February.

“The port became operational, export traffic began, and this can be called the first positive sign that there is a chance to stop the development of the food crisis in the world,” Zelensky said in his daily video address.

At the same time, he warned: “We cannot have any illusions that Russia will simply refrain from trying to disrupt Ukrainian exports. Russia constantly caused famines in the countries of Africa and Asia, which traditionally imported significant amounts of Ukrainian food. And now, in conditions of extreme heat, like this year in Europe, the threat of a price crisis and certain food shortages is also present for some European countries”.

Zelensky said that 16 ships are waiting their turn to be shipped and “we are ready to make an adequate contribution to the stabilization of the world food market.”

He also said that more than a million jobs in Ukraine depend on the resumption of traffic.

Zelensky said he had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron about agricultural exports and defense issues, as well as financial support for Ukraine.

He said he had asked Macron “to help us unlock macrofinance, which has stalled in Europe. I want to remind all leaders that it is 9 billion euros. They are not trifles for us, but important social things… These are our pensions, these are our salaries, support for immigrants.”

The Ukrainian military claims it has repulsed multiple attempts by Russian troops to advance on Donetsk

All attempts by Russian forces to advance into the eastern Donetsk region in the past 24 hours have been repulsed, according to the Ukrainian military.

In its latest update on the battlefield situation, the Ukrainian General Staff said Russian reconnaissance units suffered losses and withdrew in several areas.

Once again, the focus of Russian efforts was on the city of Bakhmut.

“The enemy tried to improve the tactical position in the Soledar, Vershyna and Bakhmut areas with assault actions, but was unsuccessful and withdrew,” the General Staff said.

Another Russian effort to advance near Avdiivka, north of the city of Donetsk, was also repulsed and hostilities continued in the area, it added.

North of the city of Sloviansk, the Russians continued to bombard several settlements, most of them empty except for military positions. But “the Defense Forces exposed and neutralized an enemy reconnaissance group,” the General Staff said.

Along much of the front line, the Russians resorted to heavy artillery and tank fire, but it seems they made little headway. The General Staff claimed that the lack of Russian success on the ground was due to “significant losses in manpower, military equipment and the low level of morale” of the enemy troops.

On the southern front, the military said there was widespread shelling along the Inhulets River, where the Russians are trying to stop Ukrainian advances.

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