1. 'An open act of terrorism': Zelenskyy slams Russian strike on Vinnytsia
Russian missiles struck a city in central Ukraine on Thursday, killing more than 20 people and wounding about 90 more, Ukrainian authorities said. Nearly 40 others were reported missing.
Ukraine's president called the attack in Vinnytsia far from the front lines “an open act of terrorism” on the country’s civilian population in areas with no military value.
2. Russian kills or 'disappears' some filtration camp detainees, says OSCE
The OSCE is "gravely concerned" about Moscow's treatment of Ukrainian civilians in "filtration camps" designed to identify those suspected of links to the authorities in Kyiv, said a report published on Thursday.
The report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe claims that some people "disappear", or are detained or killed after being transferred to the self-proclaimed separatist territories of Luhansk and Donetsk.
The aim is apparently to determine whether the individuals fought on the Ukrainian side or have connections with the Azov regiment or the Ukrainian authorities, it says.
Witnesses reported that the procedure "involves brutal interrogations and humiliating body searches," said the three authors of the 115-page document, seen by AFP. The experts, two of whom visited Ukraine to complete their research, called it an "alarming" development.
Ukrainians evacuated from besieged cities such as the strategic port of Mariupol, or those leaving territories occupied by Russian troops, are forced to transit through these centres.
"Their personal data is recorded there, their fingerprints taken and their identity documents copied," the report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe says.
The report suggests Russia is using the separatist territories to circumvent its international obligations. Those who pass the test are often sent to Russia, "with or without their consent".
Once there, they are promised jobs and free accommodation. They are certainly free to move around, but "they often do not have enough information, money, or a telephone" to leave the country, the report notes.
Kyiv has been denouncing for several weeks the "deportations" that have affected more than a million Ukrainians, while Moscow assures us that its sole aim is to allow civilians to "evacuate" from "dangerous areas".
3. Zelenskyy calls for special war crimes tribunal for Russian invasion
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called for a "special tribunal" to investigate the Russian invasion, addressing an international conference on war crimes in Ukraine in The Hague.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) and 45 countries have pledged stronger cooperation on prosecuting war crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine.
4. Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov swaps his camera for a rifle
Oleg Sentsov, an internationally-recognised film director who has previously been detained by Russia, is now fighting for Ukraine.
A former winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize, the director of the internationally acclaimed film "Gamer" (2011) took up arms after moving his family to safety in the western city of Lviv.
5. Macron warns of hard times as Ukraine is highlighted on Bastille Day
Emmanuel Macron tried on Thursday to prepare the French for a difficult autumn and winter due to the war in Ukraine, in the traditional French presidential interview on Bastille Day.
"We must all be prepared for (the war) to last. The summer and the beginning of autumn will undoubtedly be very hard," the president said, referring to the situation of "war economy" that the country is facing.
"The real change in the last few days (...) is the Russian decision to start cutting off gas," he added, referring to the closure of the Russian Nord Stream pipeline to Europe, officially for maintenance reasons.
"Russia is using energy, as it uses food, as a weapon of war," the head of state said. "We must now prepare ourselves for a scenario where we have to do without Russian gas altogether," he warned.
The war in Ukraine featured prominently in Bastille Day celebrations in France on Thursday, with thousands of French troops marching down the Champs-Elysees avenue alongside allies from Eastern Europe.