An aerial view shows a building of the House of Officers heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Vinnytsia, Ukraine July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

In view of new attacks, a nationwide air alert was triggered in Ukraine on Friday evening. According to the authorities, several people died in the south-eastern region of Dnipro. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on citizens to be vigilant. At the same time, he warned Moscow that the war, which had been going on for almost five months, would not remain without consequences in Russia either.

The death of a Briton held captive by pro-Russian separatists has caused horror in London. Foreign Minister Liz Truss announced that Russia must “take full responsibility for this”. In Moscow, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin is now reassigning key positions in his leadership.

Zelenskyj also sees Russian society as having been damaged for decades by the war against his country. Ukraine will preserve “humanity and civilization,” he said in his video speech on Saturday night.

Destroyed educational institutions would be rebuilt, he promised. “But Russian society with so many murderers and executioners will remain crippled for generations – and it’s their own fault.” In view of new attacks on several regions in the evening, Zelenskyy once again appealed to his compatriots not to ignore the air raid alarm.

Sirens wailed across Ukraine on Friday evening. Videos and photos circulated on social networks that are said to show flying rockets and clouds of smoke in the southeastern city of Dnipro.

The governor of the central Ukrainian region of Poltava, Dmytro Lunin, confirmed explosions in Kremenchuk. Another missile was launched over southern Ukrainian territory, according to Odessa military governor Maxym Marchenko. Details of possible victims and destruction were not yet known.

According to Ukraine, it has received a new rocket launcher system from the West. “No mercy for the enemy,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on Twitter. The M270 systems would keep the US Himars “good company on the battlefield”.

Whether only one or more of the M270 systems were delivered was not clear from the tweet. Great Britain recently promised Ukraine such weapons. The tracked M270 systems can load twelve missiles instead of six, unlike the truck-mounted Himars.

A Briton has died as a prisoner of war by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. This was announced by a representative of the separatists, Darya Morozova. A medical examination of the man after his arrest several weeks ago revealed a number of chronic diseases such as diabetes, lung and kidney weakness and several cardiovascular problems, said Morosowa. He died on July 10th. The exact circumstances of death could not be independently verified. The British government then summoned the Russian ambassador.

In occupied parts of Ukraine, administrations set up by Russia are threatening residents with evictions to Ukrainian-controlled territory if they express criticism of the new leadership. This is intended to “maintain order”, according to decrees in the southern Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia and Cherson.

After invading the neighboring country at the end of February, the Russian army occupied large parts of southern Ukraine. In the occupied areas, however, residents repeatedly protested against the new rulers.

In Russia, meanwhile, five months after the start of the war, Putin has filled key management positions. He appointed Industry Minister Denis Manturov as Deputy Prime Minister.

State Duma deputies, who had been called back from summer vacation for a special session, confirmed Manturov’s promotion. Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borissov, who was previously responsible for the defense industry, was appointed the new director general of the Russian space agency Roskosmos.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian has assured Ukraine that it will not ship drones to Russia. “The American claims in this regard were baseless and more of an act of propaganda ahead of US President (Joe) Biden’s (Israel) trip,” Amirabdollahian told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

According to the Irna news agency, the Iranian chief diplomat said his country had always advocated a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Monday that there were indications that Iran wanted to support Russia in the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine expects new Russian offensives in the Donbass region. The General Staff in Kyiv recently announced that Russia’s armed forces were repositioning themselves in eastern Ukraine, including in the Kramatorsk area. The city of the same name is part of a conurbation with around 500,000 inhabitants, which Kyiv has developed into the most important fortress in the Donbass.