July 4, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Andrew Raine, Amy Woodyatt, Hafsa Khalil and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 8:45 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022
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12:56 a.m. ET, July 4, 2022

At least 6 dead in Sloviansk shelling, Ukrainian authorities say

From CNN's Julia Presniakova in Lviv and Oleksandra Ochman in Kyiv

At least six people were killed and 15 injured during shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Sunday, according to Tetiana Tiurina, the head of the Public Information and Communication Department of Donetsk region.

In a video message posted to Facebook on Sunday, Sloviansk Mayor Vadym Liakh said "many" people had been killed and wounded due to shelling in the city.

The mayor said the city was experiencing its heaviest shelling in recent days and up to 15 fires are blazing around Sloviansk.

The nearby city of Kramatorsk was also hit with three missile strikes on Sunday morning but there were no casualties, according to Ukraine's Donetsk regional military administration. 

A residential complex and part of a road in a residential area were damaged, the regional military administration said. 

"For the second day, the occupiers are hitting Kramatorsk with SMERCH anti-aircraft missiles. They destroy civilian infrastructure and target the civilian population," Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko claimed while posting photos of the damage.

CNN has been unable to independently verify those claims. 

12:56 a.m. ET, July 4, 2022

Russia's Ministry of Defense claims Ukraine targeted Russian cities with cluster munitions

From CNN's Zahra Ulla and Darya Tarasova

The Ukrainian military launched "a deliberate strike" with Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster munitions and drones on residential areas of the Russian cities of Belgorod and Kursk, a Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson claimed Sunday. 

"Tonight, from 3:00 to 3:30 Moscow time, the Kyiv regime launched a deliberate strike with Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster munitions and Tu-143 Reys drones on residential areas of Belgorod and Kursk, where there are not any military installations," Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said.
"I want to emphasize that this missile attack was purposefully planned and carried out against the civilian population of Russian cities."

Konashenkov claimed the three Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster warheads launched by "Ukrainian nationalists" at Belgorod were destroyed by Russian air defense systems in the air.

The wreckage of one of the missiles fell on a residential building in the city, he claimed.

Konashenkov also claimed Russian air defense systems destroyed two Ukrainian military drones as they approached the city of Kursk, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Belgorod.

CNN has been unable to independently confirm those claims. 

The Ukrainian military has not yet commented on the strikes. 

Earlier: The local governor of Russia’s Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov said at least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings were damaged in Belgorod after it was hit by explosions early Sunday morning.

At least four more were injured, including a man currently in critical condition and a 10-year old child, according to Gladkov. Five houses were fully destroyed in the blasts, while 11 apartment buildings and 34 private residential houses were also damaged, Gladkov said.

12:56 a.m. ET, July 4, 2022

Ukraine destroys Russian military base in occupied Melitopol, says exiled mayor 

From CNN’s Wayne Chang

Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian military base in Russian-occupied Melitopol early Sunday morning, the city’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov said in a video address. 

According to Fedorov, between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday local time, “more than 30 shots were fired exclusively at the military base,” rendering it “unable to function.” 

“Now the whole city is covered in smoke. This has been going on for three to four hours. Warehouses on the territory of the transport aviation base are burning,” Fedorov said. 

The head of the Russia-installed council in the Zaporizhzhia region, Evgeny Balitsky, said that "shells fell on the territory on the airfield" and that "there were no casualties," in a Telegram post Sunday.  

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti also confirmed the attack, reporting that Ukraine had hit the Aviagorodok area of Melitopol, but did not specify what had been targeted. 

Volodymyr Rogov, a local Moscow-installed official in the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia region, said on Telegram that between 16 to 18 Ukrainian MLRS rockets had hit Melitopol in two strikes.

Melitopol fell to Russian control in early March, weeks into the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.