Kiev acknowledges the difficulty of the battles in the east and talks about gains as the Russian forces are bombing Kharkiv

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Heavy fighting took place in the northeast of the country on Sunday, a senior Ukrainian official said, noting that Kiev forces were maintaining their positions and making gains in some areas.

The Russian military said it had stopped Ukrainian forces in the northeast.

He added that he shot down three Ukrainian drones that tried to bomb Moscow and damaged a high-rise building that houses government offices.

A Ukrainian drone attack targeted a Russian police station in the Bryansk border region with Ukraine on Sunday night, without causing any casualties, according to a local official.

The governor of the region, Alexander Bogomaz, said, “Ukrainian forces attacked during the night the Trubchevsky district… A drone hit the police station in this district… There are no victims,” indicating that the windows and roof of the building were damaged in the attack.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Sunday as a “good day, a strong day, particularly near Bakhmut, where Ukrainian forces say they are recapturing territory lost when Russian forces captured the city in May.

Ukraine didn’t directly claim responsibility for the drone attacks, but Zelensky said the war was gradually returning to Russian territory.

Russian forces launched the latest in a series of nighttime air strikes, hitting what officials described as a non-residential building in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

The shelling caused a fire, but no injuries were reported.

Zelensky said the death toll from the Russian strike on a school in the northern town of Sumy on Saturday had risen to two after rescue teams cleared rubble from the site.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that Russian forces were trying to expel us from high positions in the northeast that Moscow occupied after its invasion in February 2022, but that Ukrainian forces managed to recover them later.

She explained that the Russian forces suffered losses no less than what they incurred during the raging battles in Bakhmut, which fell into the hands of the Russian forces after more than ten months of fighting.

Heavy clashes also broke out around the cities of Kobyansk and Lyman in northeastern Ukraine.

Kiev scheduled to start talks with Washington in the coming days in order to obtain security guarantees, which will be in effect while its accession to NATO is still pending, according to the chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.

Andriy Yermak said on Telegram that the aim of the talks is to obtain concrete and long-term commitments from the United States to help Ukraine win the war against Russia and prevent any future Russian aggression.

During the last NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, earlier this month, the member states of the leading economic Group of Seven pledged to provide long-term protection for Ukraine.

Yermak said talks with the United States would center on obtaining bilateral security commitments for Ukraine while the country waits to join NATO, adding that this would only be the first step.

He said the talks should include defense support and financing as well as further sanctions against Russia.

He said Ukraine was also working on bilateral agreements with its other allies.

The head of Zelensky’s office also confirmed that the summit of international representatives in Saudi Arabia will be held next week.

The meeting will focus on implementing the peace formula put forward by Zelensky to resolve the conflict.

The peace formula centers on the request for the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, Russia, however, doesn’t participate in granting security guarantees, nor does it participate in the Saudi meeting.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia will host peace talks with representatives from 30 countries in Jeddah on August 5-6.

On Monday, the Russian Information Agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that the country will continue dialogue with China, Brazil and African partners on prospects for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

The statement came after a recent Russia-Africa summit in which some African leaders urged President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

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