Russia’s war in Ukraine
An armoured train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia, the country’s state news agency reported today.
The agency RIA, citing one of its correspondents in Russia’s Far East where Mr Kim is expected, posted a video of the train with dark green and grey cars as it moved forward. The train carried the North Korean leader who rarely steps out of his country.
Western intelligence agencies expect the two to discuss North Korea supplying weapons and ammunition to support Russia’s war machine in Ukraine.
South Korean media, citing government sources, said that the train left the North Korean capital on Sunday evening and that the summit would likely be held on Tuesday or Wednesday in Vladivostok – which is just 80 miles from the Russia-North Korea border.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has made gains on the frontline in the east and south, Kyiv has claimed as it seeks to put Russia’s forces on the run.
Ukrainian troops near the frontline town of Avdiivka took advantage of Russian forces focusing on to advance and capture part of the village of Opytne to the south, the head of the local military administration said.
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Russia amid US warning not to sell arms
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia, Japanese media reported today, for what the Kremlin said would be a comprehensive discussion with president Vladimir Putin amid warnings from Washington they should not agree on an arms deal.
Kim left Pyongyang for Russia on Sunday on his private train, the North’s state media reported, accompanied by top arms industry and military officials and the foreign minister.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported citing an unnamed Russian official source that the green train carrying Mr Kim arrived at Khasan station, the main rail gateway to Russia’s Far East from North Korea.
South Korea’s defence ministry spokesperson said it believes Mr Kim entered Russia early today.
Mr Kim does not travel abroad frequently, making just seven trips away from his country and twice stepping across the inter-Korean border in his 12 years in power. Four of those trips were to the North’s main political ally, China.
Namita Singh12 September 2023 05:06
In pictures: Kim Jong Un leaves for Russia
Namita Singh12 September 2023 04:21
Why did Russia invade Ukraine?
Ukraine has fought back courageously against Mr Putin’s warped bid to restore territory lost to Moscow with the collapse of the Soviet Union and has continued to defy the odds by defending itself against Russian onslaughts with the help of Western military aid.
Eleanor Noyce12 September 2023 03:00
‘No risk’ that NATO member Romania will be dragged into war, senior alliance official says
NATO Deputy-General Secretary Mircea Geoana said on Monday there is “no risk” that Alliance member Romania will be dragged into a war following the recent discovery of drone fragments on its territory near the border with war-torn Ukraine.
“The most important thing is to re-confirm the fact that there is no indication of a deliberate action (by Russia) to strike Romanian territory and therefore NATO territory,” Geoana told journalists during a visit to a school near Romania’s capital, Bucharest.
The NATO deputy chief’s comments come days after Romanian authorities have twice confirmed the discovery of drone fragments on the country’s soil amid sustained attacks by Russian forces on Ukraine’s Danube River ports across the river from NATO member Romania.
Eleanor Noyce12 September 2023 02:00
ICYMI: Ukraine has around 45 days left before weather hinders offensive – US army chief
Ukraine only has around 45 days left before poor weather conditions hinder its counter-offensive against Russia, the head of the US military has said.
Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, General Mark Milley said it will become “very difficult to manoeuvre” once the rains come.
“That offensive kicked off about 90 days ago,” he said.
Eleanor Noyce12 September 2023 01:00
Just 14 UK tanks for Ukraine? We must do better than that
Complacency could be the enemy of success in Ukraine. It is 564 days since Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine shook to the core assumptions about our UK and European security. War in Europe is a brutal reminder that to be secure at home, we must be strong abroad – and that our allies are the UK’s great strategic strength. Defence of the UK starts in Ukraine.
Despite deeply dug and heavily mined Russian defences, the Ukrainians are gradually getting the upper hand on the battlefield in the south, as well as diversifying the ways it is hitting the enemy – from airfields at depth in Russia, to targets in Crimea, to Russian ships in the Black Sea.
Some have criticised the slow pace of Ukraine’s counter-offensive. Yet its forces are making a similar rate of progress as British troops advancing into Normandy after the D-Day landings. Now is the time for Ukraine’s allies to double down on our support.
Britain’s miliary backing of Zelensky has been dwarfed by our EU allies, writes shadow defence secretary John Healey. If we are serious about defeating Putin – and defending Britain – we must double down on our support:
Eleanor Noyce12 September 2023 00:01
Ukraine special forces fight off Russian jet to retake strategic drilling rigs near Crimea, Kyiv says
Ukrainian special forces regained control of a number of oil and gas drilling platforms that Russia has used to help control the Black Sea in a “unique operation,” the country’s military intelligence (GUR) has said.
During the operation, the GUR said, there was a clash between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian fighter jet, which was damaged and forced to retreat.
It said the platforms, close to Crimea and known as the Boika Towers, had been occupied since 2015 by Moscow, which seized and annexed the peninsula in 2014. The UK’s Ministry of Defence has previously said the platforms could be used to launch helicopters, position long-range missile systems and as a base for forward deployment.
Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 23:00
Putin and Kim’s meeting will be full-scale visit, Kremlin says
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia and meeting with President Vladimir Putin will be a full-scale visit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Kim has set off for Russia aboard a special train, a South Korean source said, as Pyongyang and Moscow on Monday confirmed a summit with President Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s deepening isolation over its actions in Ukraine.
“There will be talks between the two delegations. And after that, if necessary, the leaders will continue their communication in a one-on-one format,” Peskov said. Video of his remarks were posted to social media by a Kremlin journalist Pavel Zarubin.
According to Peskov, the main topic of the talks will be bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries.
“We will continue to strengthen our friendship,” Peskov said.
Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 22:00
Berlin says missile supply to Kyiv won’t automatically follow US supplies
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Monday that Berlin will not necessarily supply Kyiv with Taurus cruise missiles simply because the U.S. may decide to send ATACMS long-range missiles to the war-torn country.
“There is no automatism in this war,” Pistorius told reporters on the sidelines of a visit to Cologne, adding that Germany was not yet in a position to decide on whether or not to provide Ukraine with Taurus missiles.
Kyiv has been pushing Berlin to supply it with the missiles, which have a range of more than 500 km (311 miles) and are launched by fighter jets. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly made clear that Berlin will only act in concert with Washington on arms deliveries.
Britain and France have provided Ukraine with Storm Shadow and Scalp cruise missiles, which are similar to the Taurus. However, the United States has so far refrained from sending its ATACMS to Ukraine despite Kyiv’s requests.
At the weekend, ABC reported that the U.S. was likely to deliver ATACMS to Ukraine for the first time.
Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, said on the Telegram messaging app that discussions on ATACMS were moving forward, but he gave no details.
Zelensky told CNN in an interview that he planned to speak again to U.S. President Joe Biden about providing ATACMS to Ukraine, and that he hoped to receive them in the autumn.
Cruise missiles are hard to detect with air defence radars as they fly at low altitudes. They are mainly used to hit high-value targets behind enemy lines such as command bunkers, ammunitions and fuel dumps, airfields and bridges.
Russia has been using long-range missiles to destroy targets in Ukraine including civilian infrastructure, and Ukraine has no easy way to respond to such attacks.
Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 21:00
UK says Russia targeted civilian cargo ship in Black Sea port on 24 Aug
Britain on Monday accused Russia of targeting a civilian cargo ship at port in the Black Sea on 24 August in a previously unconfirmed missile attack it said was successfully thwarted by Ukrainian defences.
Ukraine has been making efforts to allow vessels stranded in Odesa port since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to sail into open waters after the collapse of the UN-backed Black Sea grains corridor.
The remarks, made in Britain’s parliament by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, are the first time an official has commented on a ship being targeted since those Ukrainian efforts began. Since Aug. 18, four cargo ships have sailed from Odesa.
“Thanks to declassified intelligence, we know the Russian military targeted a civilian cargo ship in the Black Sea with multiple missiles on the 24th of August,” Sunak said in an update to parliament on the G20 summit he attended in New Delhi.
The missiles had targeted a Liberian-flagged cargo ship berthed in port and were successfully shot down, Britain’s foreign office said in a statement. The missiles included two “Kalibr” missiles fired from a Black Sea Fleet missile carrier, it added.
Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.
Since Russia quit a U.N.-brokered deal allowing Ukraine to safely export its grain via the Black Sea in July, Moscow has been accused by Ukraine of threatening civilian vessels in the Black Sea.
Both the United States and Britain had warned in July that Russia might expand its targeting of Ukrainian grain facilities to include attacks on civilian shipping in the Black Sea.
“Putin is trying to win a war he will not win, and these attacks show just how desperate he is,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
“In targeting cargo ships and Ukrainian infrastructure, Russia is hurting the rest of the world.”
Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 20:00