HomeTop StoriesKyiv launches drone attack on Crimea as Putin’s forces strike Zelensky’s hometown

Kyiv launches drone attack on Crimea as Putin’s forces strike Zelensky’s hometown

Ukraine launched a drone attack on the Russian-occupied Crimea region on Friday morning, a Kremlin-installed official has said.

Sergei Aksyonov, head of the peninsula’s administration, said Russian air defences down a hostile aerial drone in the north of the region.

The claim could not immediately be independently verified.

It comes after Russia carried out a missile strike on the cental Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih – Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown.

Earlier, Zelensky’s top aide slammed SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for shutting off Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea to aid Russia by thwarting a Ukrainian attack.

A new biography claims Elon Musk ordered SpaceX engineers to cut off Ukrainian access to Starlink satellites near the Crimean coast to prevent a surprise drone attack on Russian warships.

The billionaire told the author that he feared a strike on occupied Crimea would amount to a “mini-Pearl Harbour” and lead to a Russian nuclear retaliation, Mr Isaacson wrote.

Table of Contents

Key Points

  • Russia downs drone in Crimea – Kremlin official

  • Zelensky’s home town hit by missile

  • Ukraine reports successes in counteroffensive for second day in a row

  • Musk’s Starlink interference slammed by Zelensky aide

  • US sends Ukraine controversial depleted uranium weapons

  • Supplying depleted uranium weapons ‘criminal act’, claims Russia

  • Ukrainian drones downed near Moscow and two more Russian cities

Ukraine targets Crimea in drone attack – Russian installed official

10:52 , Matt Mathers

Russian air defences have downed a hostile aerial drone over northern Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed head of the peninsula’s administration, said on Friday.

More to follow…

Ukraine condemns Russian ‘sham elections’ in Ukrainian occupied territories

10:39 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine’s foreign ministry on Friday condemned “sham elections” being staged by Russia in occupied Ukrainian territories, saying they were “worthless” and would have no legal standing.

The ministry called on Ukraine’s international partners to denounce the votes and not to recognise the results.

The voting for Russian-installed legislatures in four regions only partly controlled by Russia began on Friday and is set to conclude on Sunday.

Voters gather to cast their ballots in a street near their apartment building during local elections in Donetsk (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Russia holds elections in occupied Ukrainian regions in an effort to tighten its grip there

10:00 , Matt Mathers

Russian authorities are holding local elections this weekend in occupied parts of Ukraine in an effort to tighten their grip on territories Moscow illegally annexed a year ago and still does not fully control.

The voting for Russian-installed legislatures in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions begins Friday and concludes Sunday. It has already been denounced by Kyiv and the West.

“It constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, which Russia continues to disregard,” the Council of Europe, the continent’s foremost human rights body, said this week.

Kyiv echoed that sentiment, with the parliament saying in a statement that the balloting in areas where Russia “conducts active hostilities” poses a threat to Ukrainian lives. Lawmakers urged other countries not to recognize the results of the vote.

For Russia, it is important to go on with the voting to maintain the illusion of normalcy, despite the fact that the Kremlin does not have full control over the annexed regions, political analyst Abbas Gallyamov said.

“The Russian authorities are trying hard to pretend that everything is going according to plan, everything is fine. And if everything is going according to plan, then the political process should go according to plan,” said Gallyamov, who worked as a speechwriter for Russian president Vladimir Putin when Putin served as prime minister.

Russian Defector

Russian Defector

Russian missile strikes Ukrainian police building, one killed – interior minister

09:36 , Matt Mathers

A Russian missile slammed into a police building in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih on Friday, killing a policeman and injuring many more people, interior minister Ihor Klymenko confirmed.

The police administrative building was destroyed and rescue workers pulled several people out of the rubble after the attack on president Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown, Klymenko said on the Telegram messaging app.

He put the number of wounded at 25. In a later update, regional governor Serhiy Lysak said about 40 had been wounded.

“A policeman was killed as a result of a Russian attack,” Klymenko said in an Telegram post accompanied by photos showing a building that had been reduced to rubble and rescue workers carrying away a man on a stretcher.

File photo: A building is destroyed following a previous attack on Kryvyi Rih (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

File photo: A building is destroyed following a previous attack on Kryvyi Rih (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Proximity of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports stirs fear in NATO member Romania

08:52 , Matt Mathers

The discovery of drone debris on Romanian territory this week has left some local residents fearing that the war in neighboring Ukraine could spread into their country, as Russian forces bombard Ukrainian ports just across the Danube River from NATO-member Romania.

Moscow aims to disrupt Ukraine’s ability to export grain to world markets with a sustained campaign of attacks targeting Ukrainian Danube ports, and has attacked the port of Izmail four times this week, Ukrainian officials say.

Across from Izmail, pieces apparently from a drone were found near the Romanian village of Plauru, Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar said Wednesday. It was unclear if Romanian authorities had determined when or from where the drone was launched, and Tilvar said the debris didn’t pose a threat, but the development has left citizens in the European Union nation feeling uneasy.

Daniela Tanase, 46, who lives in Plauru with her husband and son, told The Associated Press that the drone strikes on Izmail this week have woken her up, and that villagers “are scared” of the persistent Russian attacks.

“In the first phase (of the war) things were calmer, but now it has come to our territory,” she said. But added: “For now, we haven’t thought of leaving the area — we hope it will pass.”

A fireball lights the horizon on the Ukrainian shore of the Danube, seen from Chilia Veche in eastern Romania

A fireball lights the horizon on the Ukrainian shore of the Danube, seen from Chilia Veche in eastern Romania

Ukraine drone strike map reveals key places where Kyiv is taking the war to Russia

08:30 , Matt Mathers

As drone strikes continue to rain down on Russian soil, Vladimir Putin’s bloody war has reached his own doorstep.

The strikes are now daily and on Tuesday the Russian defence ministry said its air defence systems destroyed two drones over the Kaluga and Tver regions, which border the Moscow region, as well as one closer to the capital, over the Istra district.

A map reveals where the most recent strikes have hit. Maryam Zakir-Hussain reports:

Ukraine drone strike map reveals key places where Kyiv is taking the war to Russia

China’s Vice Premier to visit Russia

08:17 , Alexander Butler

China’s Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing will visit Vladivostok, Russia, Sept. 10-12, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday.

Russian missile attack kills one and injures nine, Ukraine claims

08:08 , Alexander Butler

A Russian missile attack killed one person and injured nine others in Kryvyi Rih, the home city of Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the regional governor said.

Oleh Lysak said on Telegram that the missile hit an administrative building in the southern Ukrainian city on Friday morning.

Russia defends ‘sham’ elections held in Ukraine

07:52 , Alexander Butler

The Russian embassy in the US has defended elections taking place in occupied parts of Ukraine including Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

It comes after Antony Blinken, the US state secretary, condemned them as “sham elections” and “illegitimate”. And earlier this week, the UK’s Ministry of Defence reported Moscow had handpicked candidates, meaning the elections would be “unfree”

Putin’s goal is ‘destruction of Ukraine’, ex-defence minister warns

07:24 , Alexander Butler

Vladimir Putin is “determined” to destroy Ukraine and assimilate its citizens into the Russian Federation, Ukraine’s ex-defence minister warned.

Oleksii Reznikov said any deal with the Kremlin would not end the war. ““Russia demands the recognition of the occupied territories of Ukraine as its territory in exchange for the end of the war,” he wrote in the Guardian.

Oleksii Reznikov said any deal with the Kremlin would not end the war (AFP via Getty Images)

Oleksii Reznikov said any deal with the Kremlin would not end the war (AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “Its goal is the destruction of Ukrainian statehood and assimilation of Ukrainians.” Mr Reznikov was removed from his post on Sunday.

The Ukrainian parliament approved ex-law maker Rustem Umerov as the country’s next defence minister on Wednesday.

Nato chief defends Kyiv against Western critics: ‘Russian army second strongest in Ukraine now’

07:04 , Arpan Rai

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has clapped back at the recent criticism of “slow” counteroffensive from Ukrainian troops as he pointed out the numbers of mines in the battlefield Ukraine is encountering are at a historic high.

“The starting point is that the Russian army used to be the second strongest in the world. And now the Russian army is the second strongest in Ukraine. That’s quite impressive by Ukrainians,” he said, praising the Ukrainian forces for their achievements on the battlefield.

“No one ever said that this was going to be easy,” Mr Stoltenberg told lawmakers at the European parliament.

“Hardly any time in history we have seen more mines on the battlefield than we are seeing in Ukraine today. So it was obvious that this was going to be extremely difficult.”

He added: “The Ukrainians are gradually gaining ground. They have been able to breach the defensive lines of the Russian forces, and they are moving forward.”

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In the past four months, Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield have struggled to break through entrenched Russian lines, dotted heavily with mines and recently faced flak from Western media for concentrating forces in the wrong places.

Ukrainian officials say the war being fought in the country is unlike any other, as its air space has not been shut down and it does not have top-tier warplanes like F-16s.

“They are making progress. Not perhaps as much as we hoped for but they are gaining ground gradually,” the Nato chief said.

“Some hundred metres per day, meaning that when the Ukrainians are gaining ground, the Russians are losing ground.”

Ukraine reports successes in counteroffensive for second day in a row

06:45 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky thanked and singled out military units in the east and south for their actions against Russian troops in his nightly address as other officials reported some breakthroughs in a counteroffensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territory.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces described a “partial success” near the eastern city of Bakhmut, long a focal point of fighting.

Mr Zelensky provided few details of operations. “Thank you soldiers for very, very effective results in destroying the occupiers,” he said. “And results are precisely what Ukraine needs now from everyone.”

Ukrainian troops were making gradual progress in their southward advance to the Sea of Azov, the armed forces said.

The general staff report said: “As a result of its assault operations, the defence forces have achieved a partial success south of Bakhmut, pushing the enemy out of and reinforcing their own positions.”

Deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar told national television that Ukrainian forces were pressing their drive near southward from the village of Robotyne, captured last week.

Maliar said that on the southern front, where Ukrainian forces are trying to sever a land bridge established by Russia between the Crimean peninsula Russia annexed in 2014, and the occupied east, “events are developing rapidly.”

Russian accounts of the fighting said their troops had beaten back Ukrainian attacks near Bakhmut.

Will India’s G20 summit be a ‘stunning’ success – or an embarrassment?

06:34 , Arpan Rai

India has faced a seemingly insurmountable task in bridging the gap between Western nations on one side and allies Russia and China on the other, with their differences over the Ukraine war having only widened throughout the year since India assumed the G20 presidency, analysts say.

The G20 began in 1999 in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis and India says this year’s summit is a huge opportunity at a time when global growth is projected to fall to 3 per cent, while more than 50 countries across the world face debt crises.

Yet, the economic forum is being overshadowed by the geopolitical fallout of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and objections over the wording of joint communiques when it comes to the conflict have impacted all this year’s G20 meetings and working groups so far. Instead of joint statements, India has been issuing a “chairman’s summary” after each event, outlining what was discussed.

If this weekend’s summit only ends in a similar “chairman’s summary” it would be seen as an “embarrassment” for India, says Rand Corporation analyst Derek Grossman – but hardly a surprise.

Shweta Sharma reports:

Analysis: Will India’s G20 summit be a ‘stunning’ success – or an embarrassment?

Sunak says Putin orchestrating his own international exile

06:16 , Arpan Rai

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has said leaders meeting in New Delhi for the G20 summit this weekend will be picking up the pieces of Vladimir Putin’s destructive invasion of Ukraine, while the Russian president continues his “diplomatic exile”.

“Once again, Vladimir Putin is failing to show his face at the G20,” the prime minister said. “He is the architect of his own diplomatic exile, isolating himself in his presidential palace and blocking out criticism and reality,” Mr Sunak told reporters travelling with him to India for the summit, according to BBC News.

“The rest of the G20, meanwhile, are demonstrating that we will turn up and work together to pick up the pieces of Putin’s destruction,” Mr Sunak said.

This is the second time Mr Putin is skipping a G20 Summit where he and 19 international leaders meet annually to discuss global economic issues.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine and China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region have added friction, pitting some of the most powerful G20 countries directly against each other diplomatically, experts have warned.

Mr Putin has been joined by Chinese president Xi Jinping in shunning the G20 summit, with both instead sending lower-level officials.

Sunak will urge India to ‘call out’ Russia over Ukraine war – report

05:08 , Arpan Rai

Rishi Sunak will urge his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to “call out” Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and use its clout to help end the war when the two meet for the G20 summit.

India has a “vital role to play as the world’s largest democracy in calling out Russia’s assault on human rights and indeed democracy itself”, a Downing Street spokesperson said, and added that “we will use meetings with Modi or elsewhere to encourage them to use that influence to bring an end to the brutal invasion.”

Mr Sunak will travel to New Delhi to attend the G20 summit this weekend, in his first official trip to India since taking office last October.

The two leaders are expected to hold bilateral talks on the margins of the G20 event and will discuss progress in the trade deal the two countries are trying to negotiate, reported The Financial Times.

Mr Sunak will use the opportunity to discuss progress towards circumventing Russia’s Black Sea grain blockade with G20 leaders, according to an earlier report.

Elon Musk thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Russian ships, book claims

04:15 , Arpan Rai

Elon Musk ordered SpaceX engineers to cut off Ukrainian access to Starlink satellites near the Crimean coast to prevent a surprise drone attack on Russian warships, a new biography claims.

The drones packed with explosives “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly” during the thwarted attack some time last year, Walter Isaacson writes in his upcoming book Elon Musk, according to an excerpt obtained by CNN.

Mr Musk told the author that he feared a strike on occupied Crimea would amount to a “mini-Pearl Harbour” and lead to a Russian nuclear retaliation, Mr Isaacson writes.

The decision led Ukrainian officials to beg the world’s richest person to reinstate the satellites.

Elon Musk thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Russian ships, book claims

Musk’s Starlink interference slammed by Zelensky aide: ‘Cocktail of ignorance and big ego’

04:01 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aide has ripped into SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for interfering in the war by shutting off Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea to aid Russia by thwarting a Ukrainian attack.

“Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake. By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian military fleet via Starlink interference, Elon Musk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” Mykhailo Podolyak said on social media after details of Musk’s alleged interference and aid to Russia were made public through his new biography.

“As a result, civilians, children are being killed. This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego,” the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president said.

“However, the question still remains: why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realise that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?” in an indirect question to the SpaceX CEO.

The South Africa-born billionaire asked “How am I in this war?” during an interview with Walter Isaacson.

“Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes,” Musk said, according to Isaacson’s book.

He told the author that he was worried a Ukrainian attack on Russian vessels would lead to a nuclear war with Russia.

He had initially offered Starlink terminals to the country when Western nations came together to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion, but the billionaire eventually withdrew his help, leaving Ukrainian soldiers in a disadvantaged position.

02:00 , William Mata

Volodymyr Zelensky used an address on Thursday to praise three military units for “very, very effective” action against Russian troops on the front in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president provided few details in his nightly address, but said one national guard unit was fighting in the east and two in the south – the focal points of Kyiv’s three-month-old counter offensive.

“Thank you soldiers for very, very effective results in destroying the occupiers,” Zelenskiy said. “And results are precisely what Ukraine needs now from everyone.”

Zelensky addresses the media (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Ima)

Zelensky addresses the media (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Ima)

UN trying to improve Russia’s grain and fertiliser exports to pressure Moscow

01:00 , William Mata

The United Nations is reportedly “actively engaged” in trying to improve Russia’s grain and fertiliser exports in a bid to convince Moscow to again allow the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain.

Secretary-general Antonio Guterres said on Thursday: “We believe that it’s necessary to create a system of mutual guarantee.”

Speaking at a conference in Jakarta, he said: “Guarantee that the Russian Federation is able, indeed, to overcome difficulties that still exist, even if many have been solved and, at the same time, guarantees that we that we will have the restoration of the Black Sea initiative.”

Guterres last week sent Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov “a set of concrete proposals” aimed at reviving the Black Sea grain deal, which Russia quit in July – a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

A farmer holds grain (stock image) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A farmer holds grain (stock image) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Volodymyr Zelensky meets Stephen Fry

Friday 8 September 2023 00:00 , William Mata

Volodymyr Zelensky had a “cordial and friendly” meeting with British actor and humourist Stephen Fry.

A short film released on Twitter shows the pair exchanging gifts and pleasantries.

Fry has been heavily involved in charity work and humanitarian causes.

“Stephen Fry and I had a cordial and friendly meeting,” the president tweeted.

“We talked about a variety of aspects of Ukrainian life: culture, resilience, and our people’s bravery.

“I thanked him for supporting Ukraine. We all hope for a just peace to be restored.”

Elon Musk thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Russian ships, book claims

Thursday 7 September 2023 23:00 , William Mata

Elon Musk ordered SpaceX engineers to cut off Ukrainian access to Starlink satellites near the Crimean coast to prevent a surprise drone attack on Russian warships, a new biography claims.

The drones packed with explosives “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly” during the thwarted attack some time last year, Walter Isaacson writes in his upcoming book Elon Musk, according to an excerpt obtained by CNN.

Read Bevan Hurley’s full story here.

Elon Musk (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

UK to host global food security summit in response to Russian grain monopoly

Thursday 7 September 2023 22:30 , William Mata

Downing Street has announced the UK will host a global food security summit in November in response to Russia‘s “stranglehold” on grain exports from war-torn Ukraine.

Rishi Sunak will also highlight the impact that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to collapse the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed ships carrying grain to leave southern Ukrainian ports without fear of attack, is having on the world’s poorest.

The Russian president has opted not to attend the New Delhi G20 leaders’ gathering in person but his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to attend.

No 10 has vowed that Mr Sunak will not shy away from criticising Mr Lavrov “to his face” during sessions over the weekend, as the UK Government announced military and financial support to ensure food exports could leave Kyiv.

Speaking ahead of his flight to India on Thursday, the prime minister said: “Once again, Vladimir Putin is failing to show his face at the G20.

“He is the architect of his own diplomatic exile, isolating himself in his presidential palace and blocking out criticism and reality.

“The rest of the G20, meanwhile, are demonstrating that we will turn up and work together to pick up the pieces of Putin’s destruction.

“That starts with dealing with the terrible global consequences of Putin’s stranglehold over the most fundamental resources, including his blockade of and attacks on Ukrainian grain.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to India for the G20 summit (PA) (PA Wire)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to India for the G20 summit (PA) (PA Wire)

Ukrainian medics complete course in reconstructive surgery

Thursday 7 September 2023 21:00 , William Mata

Ukrainian medics have completed a training course in reconstructive surgery that was offered with UK assistance.

The British ministry of defence tweeted: “Ukrainian surgeons have attended a three-day reconstructive surgery course delivered by the UK’s Defence Medical Services (DMS).

“The visiting surgeons learned modern reconstructive techniques to improve the functional recovery of patients back in Ukraine.”

Downing Street defends speed of Ukraine counteroffensive

Thursday 7 September 2023 20:00 , William Mata

Downing Street has defended the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia after Western officials said it is progressing slower than expected.

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Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Thursday afternoon ahead of the British prime minister heading to the G20 leaders’ summit in India.

Mr Sunak’s official spokesman said: “President Zelensky updated on Ukraine‘s counteroffensive and ongoing military requirements. The prime minister pledged the UK’s steadfast support and commended Ukraine‘s armed forces for their continued progress on the battlefield.”

Asked if the PM shared the assessment of some officials that it was progressing slower than expected, he said: “No.

“It’s not for me to get into the operational progress of the Ukrainian armed forces but I think what’s clear to see is the Ukrainian military are doing an incredible job against a much larger military and should be commended for their efforts.

“It is testament to the bravery of the Ukrainian armed forces and the support they’ve received from around the world, including from the people of the UK.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, left, and Rishi Sunak (PA Wire)

Volodymyr Zelensky, left, and Rishi Sunak (PA Wire)

Russian businessman gets nine years in US prison for hack-and-trade scheme

Thursday 7 September 2023 19:00 , William Mata

A Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin was sentenced on Thursday to nine years in a US prison after being convicted of participating in a $93 million insider-trading scheme.

Vladislav Klyushin participated in hacking secret earnings information about multiple companies. His Moscow-based information technology company called M-13 did work for the Russian government and was sentenced in Boston after being found guilty in February.

Hackers from 2018 to 2020 viewed and downloaded yet-to-be-announced earnings reports for hundreds of companies including Tesla and Microsoft, which Klyushin and others used to trade before the news was public, according to prosecutors.

“The defendant’s massive gains here came out of other investors’ pockets,” assistant US attorney Seth Kosto said during the sentencing hearing. “That does real injury to American markets.”

Vladislav Klyushin, an owner of an information technology company with ties to the Russian government (via REUTERS)

Vladislav Klyushin, an owner of an information technology company with ties to the Russian government (via REUTERS)

Austria summons EU envoy for calling Russian gas payments ‘blood money’

Thursday 7 September 2023 18:30 , William Mata

Austria’s foreign ministry said it was summoning the European Commission’s envoy to the country for reportedly criticising the slow pace at which the country is weaning itself of Russian gas and saying it was paying “blood money” for the fuel.

Martin Selmayr, a German EU official who was the powerful chief of staff to the commission’s then-president Jean-Claude Juncker until 2018, made the comments at an event in Vienna on Wednesday evening, according to Austrian news agency APA.

“Oh my god, 55 per cent of Austrian gas continues to come from Russia,” APA quoted Mr Selmayr as saying.

He expressed astonishment that the lack of protests over the fact that Austria’s gas payments were funding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, adding: “Blood money is being sent daily to Russia.”

According to the latest Austrian government data, for June, 60 per cent of Austria’s natural gas imports came from Russia, down from around 80 per cent before the war but well above the lowest monthly figure since then, 21 per cent in September of last year.

“Mr Selmayr has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting with the (ministry’s) secretary-general,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that Selmayr was currently out of the country but the meeting would take place upon his return.

Martin Selmayr (Reuters)

Martin Selmayr (Reuters)

What $175million will buy

Thursday 7 September 2023 18:00 , William Mata

The US announced on Wednesday that they would make a $175million investment into helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia.

This included tank ammunition, artillery rounds, and air navigation systems. The full list was revealed on Twitter by the Defence of Ukraine.

Pictures from Ukraine: September 7

Thursday 7 September 2023 17:30 , William Mata

Flowers left by local residents to pay tribute to civilian people killed yesterday by a Russian military strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, are seen at the strike site in Kostiantynivka (REUTERS)

Flowers left by local residents to pay tribute to civilian people killed yesterday by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, are seen at the strike site in Kostiantynivka (REUTERS)

Participants of a religious procession walk past a local government building and the recently unveiled memorial

Participants of a religious procession walk past a local government building and the recently unveiled memorial

A man dress in protective gear watches as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tours farmland in Yahidne, Ukraine (AP)

A man dress in protective gear watches as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tours farmland in Yahidne, Ukraine (AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stands next to Ukrainian security forces before departing at the Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi station in Kyiv (via REUTERS)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stands next to Ukrainian security forces before departing at the Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi station in Kyiv (via REUTERS)

Rustem Umerov officially announced as new defence minister of Ukraine

Thursday 7 September 2023 17:00 , William Mata

Rustem Umerov has officially been named as Ukraine’s new defence secretary in a ceremony with president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The new man in charge replaces outgoing defence secretary Oleksii Reznikov who left his position amid a wider anti-corruption crackdown.

Mr Zelensky tweeted: “His priority tasks are to strengthen the ministry’s strategic and coordination functions for the entire defense sector, prioritize individual warriors and cut red tape, develop international cooperation and ensure Ukraine completes its NATO accession homework, and scale up the successes of specific units for all of our defense forces.

“But most importantly, transparency and trust. Trust is our main weapon in this war.

“I am confident that Rustem Umerov is capable of fulfilling all of those tasks.”

Residents of Kostiantynivka begin to leave flowers at memorial after Russian attack

Thursday 7 September 2023 16:27 , William Mata

Residents of Kostiantynivka have started leaving flowers in a makeshift memorial after a Russian attack which killed 16 on Wednesday.

Reuters reported that some stopped to stare at the charred remains of shopping kiosks at the central market that were torn apart by a huge explosion which officials said was caused by a Russian missile.

“I personally saw many (wounded) women, 30 years and older,” market worker Bohdan Oriekhov, whose hand was bandaged, said.

“And one man who was brought in on a stretcher…. he was hysterical, screamed, and cried: ‘Where is my wife? What happened to my wife?’”

A white and pink cuddly toy had been left beside flowers on the pavement, parts of which were still stained with blood.

“Someone with a child came to see the vendor (at a nearby market kiosk). There were three dead bodies: a small child, (the vendor) and her friend,” said another market vendor who gave his name only as Volodymyr.

Another witness, Olena Lavryk, lost a friend in the attack and had been nearby at the time of the strike.

“(There was an)…explosion, flames… I had no fear at first. The fear came in 10 minutes,” she said. “Our good acquaintance died where I’m standing. She was a young woman, she sold groceries. She died right here behind me.”

 (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Vladimir Putin’s party expecting to clean up in local elections

Thursday 7 September 2023 16:00 , William Mata

Russians are set to finish voting on Sunday in regional and local elections that are likely to be interpreted by authorities as a vote of confidence in president Vladimir Putin.

The tightly controlled votes will elect governors in 21 regions, including including Moscow’s powerful mayor, and will come before the next presidential election in March.

Russian-installed authorities in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Moscow unilaterally declared its territory last September, are also holding polls – which Kyiv and its allies have condemned.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “difficult to overstate the importance” of the round of elections.

Vladimir Putin (AP)

Vladimir Putin (AP)

UK announces sanctions against 11 members of Russian cybercrime gang

Thursday 7 September 2023 15:40 , William Mata

UK sanctions have been announced against 11 members of a Russian cybercrime gang behind the hacking of hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain and the United States acted together to slap the Russian nationals with asset freezes and travel bans, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Thursday.

The so-called TrickBot Group is accused of infecting millions of computers worldwide with malware that targeted hospitals, schools, local authorities and businesses.

At least £27million was extorted from UK victims by the group, and 180 million US dollars (£144 million) globally, according to the National Crime Agency.

Foreign secretary James Cleverly said that by revealing the identities of those sanctioned, who hid behind online pseudonyms, further ransomware attacks will be disrupted.

Foreign secretary James Cleverly (PA Wire)

Foreign secretary James Cleverly (PA Wire)

Ukraine tycoon Kolomoisky is suspect in second criminal case

Thursday 7 September 2023 15:07 , William Mata

Ukraine‘s anti-corruption agency is treating tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky as a suspect in a criminal investigation into embezzlement at lender PrivatBank, it has been reported.

According to Reuters, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said in a statement that six people were suspected of embezzling 9.2 billion hryvnias (£200 million) from the bank. It did not name them, but posted a blurred photo of a man resembling Mr Kolomoisky.

“Well there we go: NABU has informed Kolomoisky of a note of suspicion,” said Yaroslav Zheleznyak, the lawmaker, citing the statement.

Reuters could not immediately reach the businessman, one of Ukraine‘s richest men, or his lawyers for comment.

Drone attacks ‘shot down in three parts of Russia’

Thursday 7 September 2023 14:19 , William Mata

Explosions have been reported in three areas of Russia, including one in Moscow and another close to the headquarters of Russia’s southern military district command in Rostov.

The RIA news agency reported the suspected attacks on Thursday morning and said the third blast occured in the Bryansk region – although all of the drones were shot down.

Russia’s defence ministry blamed the overnight attacks on Ukraine, although Kyiv never takes credit for any strikes on its neighbour.

One drone was said to have targeted Moscow, according to city mayor Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, but was shot down south-east of the city without causing any damage.

Two more drones were shot down over the southern region of Rostov, which borders Ukraine, regional governor Vasily Golubev said, with debris causing damage to vehicles and buildings but only one person was injured.

In Bryansk, governor Alexander Bogomaz reported that drones were shot down but again it was cars and buildings damaged from falling debris.

A view shows a damaged car outside a multi-storey residential building following an alleged Ukrainian drone attack in Moscow (REUTERS)

A view shows a damaged car outside a multi-storey residential building following an alleged Ukrainian drone attack in Moscow (REUTERS)

Russia attacks Izmail for fourth time in five days

Thursday 7 September 2023 13:31 , William Mata

Russia attacked the Ukrainian port city of Izmail for the fourth time in five days, Ukrainian officials have said.

The affront is considered to be part of a sustained campaign to target Ukraine‘s ability to export grain.

The Danube River port area was attacked with Shahed drones aiming at civilian and port infrastructure, the governor of the Odesa region, Oleh Kiper said. A truck driver was wounded and grain silos were damaged, he said.

Ukrainian war crimes prosecutors inspected the wreckage at the scene close to port infrastructure on Thursday, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office.

The Ukrainian military said it shot down 25 out of 33 drones launched by Russia overnight, most of them at the Odesa region, Ukraine‘s agriculture export hub, as well as the northern Sumy region.

Russia has escalated attacks on Ukraine‘s grain export infrastructure since mid-July, when it exited a UN-backed deal that had allowed for the safe shipping of Ukrainian grain during the war.

A general view of a blast near Plauru, Romania, as seen from Izmail, Ukraine (Telegram/Odesa INFO via REUTERS)

A general view of a blast near Plauru, Romania, as seen from Izmail, Ukraine (Telegram/Odesa INFO via REUTERS)

Russian commander ‘used two military helicopters to transport his pet cat’

Thursday 7 September 2023 12:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

One of Vladimir Putin’s commanders used two military helicopters to transport his pet cat during the war in Ukraine, a defected Russian pilot has claimed.

The cat was airlifted in the military-grade helicopter for around one hour, while another flew alongside it to provide cover during the 114-mile journey, according to former Russian airman Maksim Kuzminov.

Mr Kuzminov spoke out in an interview with The New Voice of Ukraine after choosing to leave Russia’s armed forces.

Russian commander ‘used two military helicopters to transport his pet cat’

No threat to Romania from Russian strikes on Ukraine overnight

Thursday 7 September 2023 12:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Romania did not face any direct threat to its territory or territorial waters from Russian attacks on Ukraine on Wednesday night, the Romanian defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Major Ukrainian breakthrough of Russian lines before winter sets in will be tough, Western officials say

Thursday 7 September 2023 12:28 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine’s offensive against Russian forces is making slow progress, and there may not be a major breakthrough of Russian lines in the next two months as had previously been envisaged, according to Western officials.

However, “focusing on such tactical issues” is counterproductive and there is a need to look at the bigger picture, the officials said, adding that this shows that Vladimir Putin is losing the war, as Ukraine has retaken a sizeable amount of territory overall since Russia’s invasion began.

Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Ukraine is making progress in its efforts to regain territory that began in June, contradicting Mr Putin’s claims this week that the counteroffensive “has failed, not stalled”.

Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta reports:

Western officials give verdict on Ukraine’s chances of breaking through Russian lines

Russia detains smugglers supplying military aircraft parts,

Thursday 7 September 2023 12:08 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia‘s FSB state security service said on Thursday it has detained a group of smugglers trading in military aircraft parts, some of which had ended up in Ukraine, TASS news agency reported.

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The smugglers were from Ukraine and a Central Asian country, TASS cited the FSB as saying.

Can depleted uranium munitions cause cancer?

Thursday 7 September 2023 11:52 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The use of depleted uranium munitions is fiercely debated; the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons says ingesting or inhaling even depleted uranium dust can cause cancers and birth defects.

But a United Nations Environment Programme report on the impact of depleted uranium on Serbia and Montenegro, in then- Yugoslavia, found “no significant, widespread contamination”.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that studies in former Yugoslavia, Kuwait, Iraq and Lebanon “indicated that the existence of depleted uranium residues dispersed in the environment does not pose a radiological hazard to the population of the affected regions”.

Some Serbian politicians have disputed this and reported an increased incidence of malignancies, and deaths from them.

Britain’s Royal Society said in a report in 2002 that the risks to the kidney and other organs from the use of depleted uranium munitions were very low, both for most soldiers in the field and for those living in the conflict area.

Britain says in its guidance that inhaling enough depleted uranium dust to cause injury would be difficult.

What are depleted uranium munitions being used in Ukraine and why are they controversial?

Thursday 7 September 2023 11:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The depleted uranium anti-tank rounds soon to be in Ukraine’s military stockpiles have kicked up a debate over its use in the continuing Russian invasion.

Announced by the Pentagon in the latest military tranche on Wednesday, the controversial rounds have spread alarm among Vladimir Putin’s ministers who have warned against the escalation yet again.

Britain has already promised armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium to Ukraine in March. Prime minister Rishi Sunak had backed drawing out the rounds from the UK military’s stockpiles ultimately “to degrade and deter – primarily – Russian aggression”.

Ukraine war: What are depleted uranium shells and why are they controversial?

Kremlin: US responsible for consequences of giving Ukraine depleted uranium shells

Thursday 7 September 2023 10:57 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Kremlin said on Thursday that the United States would have to answer for the “very sad” consequences of its decision to provide depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine.

Ingesting or inhaling quantities of uranium – even depleted uranium – is dangerous: it depresses renal function and raises the risk of developing a range of cancers.

Opponents of the weapons, such as the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, say the dust created by such weapons can be breathed in, while munitions which miss their target can poison groundwater and soil.

Countries such as the United States and Britain say depleted uranium is a good tool for destroying a modern tank because its high density allows it to penetrate armour. Britain says in guidance that inhaling enough depleted uranium dust to cause injury would be difficult.

US sends Ukraine controversial depleted uranium weapons that can pierce tank armour

Thursday 7 September 2023 10:23 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine will be armed with depleted uranium anti-tank rounds that can aid its troops in piercing Russian tanks, said the Pentagon.

The controversial 120mm anti-tanks shells will be used to boost the performance of 31 M1A1 Abram tanks the US will give Ukraine in the fall.

The US is looking to aid Kyiv in dismantling Russian lines in eastern, northeastern and southern regions amid a simmering counteroffensive by the Ukrainians.

The rounds, developed by the US during the Cold War, have previously destroyed Soviet tanks, including the decades old T-72 tanks dispatched by Moscow in the continuing war.

US sends Ukraine controversial depleted uranium weapons that can pierce tank armour

Ukrainian drones downed near Moscow and two more Russian cities

Thursday 7 September 2023 09:54 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian drones were downed near Moscow, the southern Rostov region and the southwest Bryansk region in the early hours of Thursday, the RIA news agency cited Russian authorities as saying.

According to another news agency, TASS, three buildings were damaged in the city of Rostov-on-Don and one person was injured when one of the drones crashed in the downtown area. Another drone in the Rostov region fell outside the city.

In Bryansk, debris from one of two destroyed drones shattered windows in a railway station building and damaged cars nearby, the Interfax news agency reported.

In the Moscow region, a drone was downed over the town of Ramenskoye southeast of the Russian capital, according to Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

Several drones also struck a residential building in Enerhodar, a city in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine‘s southern Zaporizhzhia region, which is home to Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, Russian-appointed governor Yevgeny Balitsky said, adding that no one was wounded.

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Nato does not see indication of intentional Russian attack on Romania

Thursday 7 September 2023 09:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Nato does not have any indication that drone debris found on Romanian territory was caused by an intentional attack launched by Moscow against Romania, the alliance’s chief said on Thursday.

“We don’t have any information indicating an intentional attack by Russia, and we are awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigation,” Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told EU lawmakers.

 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ukraine is gaining ground in its counter offensive – Nato’s Stoltenberg

Thursday 7 September 2023 08:21 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine is making progress with a counter offensive started in June to reclaim territory seized by Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

“The Ukrainians are gradually gaining ground…They have been able to breach the defensive lines of the Russian forces, and they are moving forward,” Stoltenberg told lawmakers in remarks at the European Parliament.

Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports to slow down grain exports-Romanian president

Thursday 7 September 2023 07:56 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian attacks on Ukraine‘s Danube river ports will slow down the export of grains and other routes need to be enhanced, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said.

Since July, when Moscow abandoned a deal that lifted a de facto Russian blockade of Ukraine‘s Black Sea ports, it has repeatedly struck Ukrainian river ports that lie across the Danube from Romania.

Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta is Ukraine‘s largest alternative export route, with grains arriving by road, rail or barge on the Danube. Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest grain exporters.

President Iohannis, speaking late on Wednesday at a summit of Three Seas Initiative countries in Bucharest, said: “Of course the attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube are a huge problem. Of course it will in a way slow down exports.”

“We will enhance the other routes, we accepted Ukrainian maritime transports through our Romanian territorial waters off the Black Sea, we will continue to enhance exports on the rail and on the road.”

Russia says US supply of depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine is ‘criminal’

Thursday 7 September 2023 07:39 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that the US supply of depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine was “a criminal act”, state media reported.

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced a new security assistance package worth up to $175 million for Ukraine, including depleted uranium ammunition for U.S. Abrams tanks.

A by-product of uranium enrichment, depleted uranium is used for ammunition because its extreme density gives rounds the ability to easily penetrate armor plating. Critics say there are dangerous health risks from ingesting or inhaling depleted uranium dust, including cancers and birth defects.

“This is not just an escalatory step, but it is a reflection of Washington’s outrageous disregard for the environmental consequences of using this kind of ammunition in a combat zone. This is, in fact, a criminal act, I cannot give any other assessment,” TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying.

In a speech at a security seminar, he also reiterated previous warnings by Russia about the risk of a nuclear war, because of what he called Western “pressure” on Moscow.

“Now this pressure is dangerously balancing on the brink of direct armed conflict between nuclear powers,” he said.

 (AP)

(AP)

Russia strikes damage port and grain silo in Odesa region

Thursday 7 September 2023 06:28 , Arpan Rai

Russian drone strikes have damaged port infrastructure, a grain silo and administrative buildings in the Izmail district of Ukraine‘s Odesa region, governor Oleh Kiper said.

One person was injured in the attack, the fourth on the key Danube river port in the last five days, the governor said on his Telegram channel.

Ukraine’s military reported shooting down 25 of the 33 drones it said were launched by Russia. Most were aimed at the Odesa region, but some also targeted the northern area of Sumy, it added.

Russia has amped up its attacks on Ukraine’s grain export infrastructure as talks on resumption Black Sea grain deal to allow unhindered exports of grain from Ukrainian ports get underway.

Supplying depleted uranium weapons ‘criminal act’, claims Russia

Thursday 7 September 2023 06:11 , Arpan Rai

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Washington is committing a “criminal act” by supplying depleted Uranium weapons to Ukraine shortly after the Pentagon announced a new batch of military aid for the war-hit country.

The new security assistance package is worth up to $175m and includes depleted uranium ammunition for Abrams tanks, the first time the US is sending the controversial armour-piercing munitions to Kyiv. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process needed to create nuclear weapons.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been continuing for more than 20 months now and has seen Russia deploy hypersonic missiles to thermobaric weapons on civilian targets.

Nato member Romania says drone pieces from Russian attacks found

Thursday 7 September 2023 04:56 , Arpan Rai

Romania’s defence minister has said pieces apparently of a drone from Russia’s recent attacks on Ukraine’s port on the Danube River have been found on the territory of his country.

Angel Tilvar, the minister, told local news channel Antena 3 CNN that parts of what was most likely a drone were discovered in the eastern Tulcea county, an area of the Danube that forms a natural border between Romania and war-torn Ukraine.

“I confirm that in this area, pieces that may be of a drone were found,” he said, adding that the pieces didn’t pose a threat.

It’s unclear if Romania has determined when or from where the drone was launched. There has been a series of recent attacks by Russia on Danube ports in Ukraine, which are close to Romania, a Nato member since 2004.

NATO member Romania says it has found drone pieces from Russian attacks in Ukraine on its territory

Russian attack on market kills 17 during Blinken’s Kyiv visit

Thursday 7 September 2023 04:29 , Arpan Rai

At least 17 people were killed and 32 wounded in a Russian attack on a crowded market in eastern Ukraine’s Kostiantynivka city yesterday. The attack coincided with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said.

Footage widely circulated online by Volodymyr Zelensky and other presidential officials showed people falling to the ground or running for cover after a huge explosion rocked the busy market in front of them, seconds after some look up to the sky when they hear what sounds like a missile approaching.

Mr Zelensky condemned the attack, saying a market, shops and a pharmacy had been struck in the industrial city close to the battlefield.

“This Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible,” he said. “When someone in the world still attempts to deal with anything Russian, it means turning a blind eye to this reality. The audacity of evil. The brazenness of wickedness. Utter inhumanity.”

He later told a press conference in the capital Kyiv that he believed it had been a deliberate attack on “a peaceful city”.

Russia decries US plan to send arms with depleted uranium to Ukraine

Thursday 7 September 2023 04:12 , Arpan Rai

Russia denounced Biden administration’s plan to provide Ukraine with arms containing depleted uranium and said it is an indicator of “inhumanity”.

“The administration’s decision to supply weapons with depleted uranium is an indicator of inhumanity,” Russia’s embassy in Washington said on Telegram.

“Clearly, with its idea of inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’, Washington is prepared to fight not only to the last Ukrainian but also to do away with entire generations.”

The Pentagon announced a new security assistance package worth up to $175m for Ukraine, including depleted uranium ammunition for Abrams tanks.

This is the first time the US is sending the controversial armour-piercing munitions to Kyiv.

Around 11,000 children detained in re-education camps – says MOD

Thursday 7 September 2023 04:00 , William Mata

Around 11,000 Ukrainian children being detained at 43 re-education camps across Russia, the British ministry of defence has said.

“Their simple right to life and liberty is being impacted.,” the department said on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

The government also published a map showing the latest territorial gains from either side.

One injured as ‘Ukrainian’ drones downed near Moscow

Thursday 7 September 2023 03:58 , Arpan Rai

A Ukrainian drone was downed near Moscow and two over the southern Rostov region in the early hours today, the Russian defence ministry said.

Three buildings were damaged in the city of Rostov-on-Don and one person was injured when one of the drones crashed in the downtown area, Russian news agency TASS reported. The other drone in the Rostov region fell outside the city.

One of the 17 who died ‘was a child’

Thursday 7 September 2023 03:00 , William Mata

Ukraine’s ministry of defence Twitter account has said that one of the 17 civilians who was killed in the Kostyantynivka attack was a child.

The update on Wednesday evening said that 34 have now been confirmed to be injured.

“Terrorist attacks against civilians are the Kremlin’s preferred approach,” the statement added.

“We must put a stop to this evil in Ukraine so that it does not spread.”

‘Grateful’ message from Volodymyr Zelensky

Thursday 7 September 2023 02:00 , William Mata

“I am grateful to the American people, both parties of the US Congress, and personally to Joe Biden for their unwavering support,” Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The US secretary of state Antony Blinked visited Kyiv on Wednesday.

Mr Zelensky’s tweet added: “Ukrainian forces are advancing on the battlefield and we discussed steps to ensure their further successes.”

Pictures from the day: Ukraine on August 6

Thursday 7 September 2023 01:00 , William Mata

Police officers and rescuers inspect the site of a Russian military strike in Kostiantynivka, Donetsk region (via REUTERS)

Police officers and rescuers inspect the site of a Russian military strike in Kostiantynivka, Donetsk region (via REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he talks with Denmarks Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen prior to a press conference outside the Presidential Palace following their meeting in Kyiv (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Ima)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he talks with Denmarks Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen prior to a press conference outside the Presidential Palace following their meeting in Kyiv (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Ima)

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attend a joint press conference (via REUTERS)

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attend a joint press conference (via REUTERS)

Burnt cars are seen at the site at of a Russian strike at a market in Kostyantynivka (AFP via Getty Images)

Burnt cars are seen at the site at of a Russian strike at a market in Kostyantynivka (AFP via Getty Images)

Headlines at midnight

Thursday 7 September 2023 00:00 , William Mata

Here are some of the key stories to have emerged from the day on September 6.

At least 17 dead in Russian missile strike on market in eastern Ukraine – as US secretary of state visits Kyiv

Major Ukrainian breakthrough of Russian lines before winter sets in will be tough, Western officials say

Russian commander ‘used two military helicopters to transport his pet cat’

Cubans face ‘human trafficking’ over Russian deals luring them into Ukraine war: ‘A great way to make money’

Antony Blinken in talks with other European leaders

Wednesday 6 September 2023 23:00 , William Mata

Rust Umerov was approved as Ukranian defence minister on Wednesday, the same day that US secretary of state Antony Blinken visited Kyiv.

Mr Umerov has taken over from Oleksii Reznikov in the post although officials have not confirmed if he will meet with Mr Blinken as part of the visit.

During his train ride to Kyiv, Mr Blinken held talks with Danish prime minister Mettle Fredericks, who was visiting the same day.

Mr Blinken thanked Mr Fredericks for Denmark’s donation of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and its leadership of a coalition of nations to train Ukrainian pilots, a State Department spokesperson said.

Denmark and the Netherlands announced last month they would supply more than 60 U.S.-made F-16s as soon as pilots are trained to fly them – the first countries to offer the jets.

More detail given about aid to Ukraine

Wednesday 6 September 2023 22:30 , William Mata

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has announced new aid for Ukraine totaling more than $1 billion in a visit to Kyiv, including over $665 million in new military and civilian security assistance and millions of dollars in support for Ukraine‘s air defenses and other areas.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon said the military aid would also include anti-armour systems, tactical air navigation systems and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

It will also see depleted uranium ammunition for Abrams tanks being given, the first time the US is sending the controversial armor-piercing munitions to Kyiv.

Blinken hails Kyiv’s pushback against Russia in visit clouded by attack

Wednesday 6 September 2023 22:00 , William Mata

Antony Blinken said in his visit to Kyiv that Ukraine has made important progress in its counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion.

While the US secretary of state’s visit was overshadowed by the Russian attack on Kostiantynivka which has killed at least 17 people.

After a day of meetings Mr Blinken and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky held a briefing on Wednesday.

Mr Zelensky said: “This Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible.”

“In the ongoing counteroffensive, progress has accelerated in the past few weeks. This new assistance will help sustain it and build further momentum,” Mr Blinken added.

He also described the progress as important and “very, very encouraging”.

President Zelensky greets US Secretary of State Blinken in Kyiv (Brenden Smialowski via Reuters)

President Zelensky greets US Secretary of State Blinken in Kyiv (Brenden Smialowski via Reuters)

EU: Russia is ‘terrorising Ukraine’s civillian population’

Wednesday 6 September 2023 21:30 , William Mata

The European Union has denounced Russia’s attack on eastern Ukrainian city of Kostyantynivka as “heinous and barbaric”.

The EU released the statement on Wednesday after at least 17 died in the attack.

An statement by the EU’s diplomatic service said Russia “continues terrorising Ukraine’s civilian population” and said those behind the attack would be held to account.

At least 17 have died in the attack on Kostyantynivka (EPA)

At least 17 have died in the attack on Kostyantynivka (EPA)

Romanian defence minister says Russia drone fragments found in Danube

Wednesday 6 September 2023 21:00 , William Mata

Romania’s defence minister has said that pieces apparently of a drone from Russia‘s recent attacks on Ukraine’s port on the Danube river have been found in Romania.

Angel Tilvar told local news channel Antena 3 CNN that parts of what was most likely a drone were discovered in the eastern county of Tulcea, an area of the Danube that forms a natural border between Romania and war-torn Ukraine.

“I confirm that in this area, pieces that may be of a drone were found,” he said, adding that the pieces did not pose a threat.

It is unclear if Romania has determined when or from where the drone was launched.

US makes £150 milion pledge for Ukraine security assistance

Wednesday 6 September 2023 20:30 , William Mata

The US has pledged £150 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including depleted uranium ammunition for US Abrams tanks.

The secretary of state Antony Blinken made the gesture on a visit to Kyiv on Wednesday.

His pledges also included over $665 million in new military and civilian security assistance and millions of dollars in support for Ukraine’s air defences and other areas.

Antony Blinken (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Antony Blinken (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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