War in Ukraine: Latest developments

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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- High-stakes grain talks -

Russia and Ukraine hold their first direct negotiations since March in a bid to break an impasse over grain exports, without any immediate signs of a breakthrough.

Turkey's defence ministry says in a one-sentence statement the Istanbul talks, involving UN and Turkish officials, have "ended", offering no hint as to whether progress has been achieved.

The talks come with the threat of food shortages spreading across the poorest parts of the world.

- Five killed in Mykolaiv region -

At least five people are killed in Russian shelling in the region surrounding the embattled Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv near the Black Sea, the Ukrainian presidency says.

The presidential deputy chief of staff Kyrylo Tymoshenko says several strikes damaged a hospital and homes in the region.

- Kaliningrad standoff -

The European Union says Baltic member Lithuania has an obligation to allow the passage of sanctioned goods, with the exception of weapons, between Russia and its exclave of Kaliningrad.

Vilnius has restricted the transit of goods sanctioned by the EU into Kaliningrad, a Russian region sandwiched between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, since mid-June.

The move has infuriated Moscow, which has threatened reprisals.

- Gazprom says no guarantees -

Russian energy giant Gazprom says it cannot guarantee the good functioning of Nord Stream and does not know if a "critical" turbine engine will be returned from repair in Canada.

Gazprom started 10 days of maintenance on Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Monday, with the EU -- particularly gas-reliant Germany -- concerned that the taps may not be turned back on, with relations between Russia and the West at their lowest in years.

- Russia activist detained -

A Moscow court orders one of the last opposition figures still in Russia, Ilya Yashin, to be detained for two months before trial for having denounced Moscow's Ukraine offensive.

If convicted, he faces up to a decade in prison for spreading "false information" on Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

The probe was launched because Yashin spoke of "the murder of civilians in Bucha" on his YouTube channel on April 7, says his lawyer.

- Calm before the storm? -

The Ukrainian army warns Russia is preparing to stage its heaviest attack yet on the Donetsk region -- the larger of the two areas comprising the Donbas zone.

The Russian army has not conducted any major ground offensives since taking the smaller Lugansk region at the start of July.

Analysts believe the Russians are rearming and regrouping their forces before an assault on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

- Darkening economic outlook -

The global economic outlook has "darkened significantly" and could deteriorate further, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva writes, citing Russia's war in Ukraine and the rapid inflation it has caused.

The warning comes just months after the IMF cut its global growth forecast for 2022 and 2023.


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