Belarus claims that Wagner’s mercenaries train their troops
Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia has an “adequate stockpile” of cluster bombs and reserves the right to use them in retaliation against Ukrainian forces after Washington supplied Kiev with the widespread banned munitions.
The Russian president’s threat came during an interview with state television when an Estonian intelligence chief claimed that Ukraine was on the verge of a major breakthrough in its counter-offensive, having destroyed the Kremlin’s command posts and making gains in near Bakhmut.
Meanwhile, pro-Russian authorities in Crimea claimed to have thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack in the port of Sevastopol, which houses Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet, as Ukrainian officials said one civilian was killed and eight wounded in Russian strikes in Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian and Polish officials said a large convoy of Wagner private army fighters had entered Belarus from Russia, as Minsk’s defense ministry released footage showing it was alleged Wagner fighters instructing Belarusian soldiers in a military camp.
Polish Deputy Minister Stanislaw Zaryn said Warsaw believes there are “maybe several hundred” Wagner fighters in Belarus right now.
vote | What Britain needs is a “mature” relationship with China
Writing as China and Russia take part in joint military exercises in the Sea of Japan, former Lib Dem leader Vincent Cable Prescribes Independent voices that Beijing’s “friendship without borders” with Vladimir Putin ranks poorly in Europe, but is “severely limited”.
You can read his thoughts on the UK’s future relationship with China here:
Andy GregoryJul 16, 2023 12:49 PM
The last ship leaves Odessa before the deadline to extend the Black Sea grain deal
According to a Reuters and MarineTraffic.com witness, the last ship to travel under the Black Sea grain export agreement has left the port of Odessa before a deadline to renew the agreement.
Russia has not agreed to register new ships since June 27, and the initiative expires Monday unless Moscow agrees to extend it.
UN chief Antonio Guterres was awaiting a response from Vladimir Putin on a proposal to extend the deal, a UN spokesman said Friday.
The Russian president told his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa in a phone call Saturday that pledges to remove obstacles to Russia’s exports of food and fertilizer had yet to be fulfilled, the Kremlin said.
Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on whether the vessel, the Turkish-flagged TQ Samsun, had left Odessa.
Andy GregoryJul 16, 2023 12:05 PM
Putin insists Ukraine counter-offensive ‘fails’
Vladimir Putin has claimed that Ukraine’s counter-offensive “fails” and that attempts to break through Russian defenses have failed — despite Kiev’s forces retaking several villages and making advances in several areas, analysts said.
Yet the president claimed to Russian state television: “All attempts by the enemy to break through our defenses … have been unsuccessful throughout the offensive.”
Andy GregoryJuly 16, 2023 11:41 am
Russia and China begin ‘first joint air and sea exercise’ in the Sea of Japan
Russia’s navy and air force are participating in military exercises alongside China in the Sea of Japan for the first time, according to military observers quoted by China’s state-run newspaper Worldwide times.
A Chinese naval fleet, consisting of five warships and four helicopters, departed Qingdao on Sunday to join Russian forces in a “predetermined area” in an exercise aimed at “securing strategic waterways,” China’s defense ministry said. .
The exercise, code-named “Northern/Interaction-2023”, marks improved military cooperation between China and Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Gromkiy and Sovershenniy, two Russian warships participating in the Sea of Japan exercise, had conducted separate training with the Chinese Navy in Shanghai earlier this month on formation movements, communications and sea rescue.
Before calling at a port in Shanghai’s financial center, the same ships had passed through Taiwan and Japan, prompting both Taipei and Tokyo to keep an eye on the Russian warships.
Andy GregoryJul 16, 2023 11:02 AM
Putin threatens Kiev with cluster bomb
Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia has an “adequate stockpile” of cluster bombs and that Moscow reserves the right to use them if such munitions are used against Russian forces in Ukraine.
Ukraine has received cluster bombs from the United States, despite the weapons being banned in more than 100 countries. Kiev has promised to use them only to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers as it continues its long-awaited counter-offensive.
“Of course, if they are used against us, we reserve the right to take reciprocal action,” the Russian president said in an interview on state television, excerpts of which were published on Sunday.
Andy GregoryJuly 16, 2023 10:22 am
Ben Wallace announces he is stepping down as UK Defense Secretary
Ben Wallace has revealed that in the next cabinet reshuffle he will step down as defense minister and will not stand for re-election as an MP in the next election.
“I entered politics in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. That’s 24 years. I spent more than seven years with three phones next to my bed,” he told the Sunday Times on his wish to leave Westminster.
Mr Wallace is not going quietly away, however, as he has become involved in a gang war with Home Secretary Suella Braverman over British soldiers being asked to fill any gaps in Border Force personnel this summer.
The Secretary of Defense has rejected Braverman’s request to deploy 750 troops for any immigration officials who are on strike or absent, the Defense Secretary said. Mail on Sunday – claim that the Ministry of the Interior should have made contingency plans.
Our political correspondent Adam Forest has more details here:
Andy GregoryJuly 16, 2023 10:12 am
South Korea to supply Ukraine with more demining equipment
South Korea will provide more demining equipment to Ukraine, a Yoon Suk Yeol aide said after the president’s visit to Kiev, where he pledged increased military and humanitarian aid in the fight against Russia.
“We are considering expanding support for mine detectors and mine clearance equipment as Ukraine’s demand for them was deemed huge,” his deputy national security adviser, Kim Tae-hyo, told reporters.
Mr Yoon promised more help in talks with Volodymyr Zelensky during a surprise visit to Kiev after attending the NATO summit in Vilnius, despite previously resisting Western pressure to help arm Ukraine directly, citing business interests ties to Russia and Moscow’s influence on North Korea.
In a press conference after Saturday’s meeting, Mr. Yoon said South Korea will deliver “a larger scale of military supplies” to Ukraine this year, following last year’s delivery of non-lethal supplies such as body armor and helmets.
Andy GregoryJul 16, 2023 9:43 AM
Russian shelling kills 1 in Kharkiv, wounds 7 in Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian officials say
One civilian was killed and another wounded in Russian shelling in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, while seven were wounded in a village in Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian officials have claimed.
A 33-year-old man died and another was wounded overnight in Russian shelling of residential buildings in the village of Kolodiazne, Kharkiv governor Oleh Sinehubov said on Telegram, accusing Moscow of dropping four S-400 surface-to-air missiles on the city to have fired. of Kharkiv, damaging a residential building.
Zaporizhia governor Yuriy Malashko claimed three women and four men were injured and several houses damaged by heavy Russian shelling from multiple rocket launchers on the village of Stepnohirske on Saturday afternoon.
Over the past day, there were 48 instances of Russian artillery fire on a number of towns and villages in the region, the governor said. Russia also shelled the city of Zaporizhzhia, damaging at least 16 buildings, city council secretary Anatoliy Kurtiev claimed, adding that one district was without electricity by Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, a Russian-installed official in parts of Zaporizhzhia controlled by Moscow, Vladimir Rogov, claimed on Saturday that Ukrainian forces destroyed a school in the village of Stulneve, while air defense forces intercepted a drone over the town of Tokmak.
Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday it had destroyed a number of Ukrainian weapons depots in the Zaporizhia region over the past day. Ukraine’s top military command said Russia was trying to stop Ukraine’s advance there by heavily shelling the area. It was not possible to independently verify the claims.
Andy GregoryJul 16, 2023 8:58 AM
Passenger ferries near Crimea suspended as Moscow claims to thwart Ukrainian attack
Passenger ferries and other maritime transport were halted for several hours near the city of Sevastopol, Moscow-backed authorities have said, as Russia’s defense ministry claimed its forces prevented Ukraine from attacking the Black Sea port on Sunday.
There were no casualties and no damage, the ministry stressed, claiming it shot down two aerial drones over the Black Sea at a great distance from the coastline, while five were intercepted by Russian electronic forces.
Two unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), known as underwater drones, were discovered in the northern part of the Black Sea and had been destroyed by fire, the ministry claimed. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.
Andy GregoryJuly 16, 2023 8:32 AM
Russia’s defense ministry says it thwarted Ukraine’s attack on Sevastopol
Russia’s defense ministry said on Sunday it foiled an attempted Ukrainian drone strike near the port of Sevastopol in Crimea.
“This morning, an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack with seven unmanned aerial vehicles and two unmanned semi-submersible boats on objects in the territory of the Crimean peninsula near the city of Sevastopol was thwarted,” it said. ministry. the Telegram messaging app.
The claim could not immediately be independently verified.
Matt MathersJul 16, 2023 7:57 AM