A British national who went to fight in Ukraine was found dead in water with his hands tied behind his back.
Jordan Chadwick, a 31-year-old from Burnley in Lancashire, was repatriated by the Ukrainian International Army in August. He had served in the British armed forces from 2011 to 2015.
An inquest will be held in February to establish the cause of Chadwick’s death, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky slammed Vladimir Putin, accusing him of orchestrating the plane crash that killed mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and several members of his inner circle last month.
“The fact that he [Putin] killed Prigozhin that also speaks to his rationality, and about the fact that he is weak,” Mr Zelensky said.
“Putin is left with just one step: instill fear in the West with his nuclear weapons... There will be moments when they are moving their nuclear weapons from one place to another to exert pressure on the United States.”
His comments came after four people died following Russian air strikes in different parts of Ukraine overnight and into Friday.
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
‘600 members of Putin’s forces killed in one day’ as party HQ destroyed
10:32 , Tara Cobham
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost 600 of his troops in one day, according to Kyiv, while his conservative party’s headquarters in Ukraine was destroyed on Friday.
The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces is estimating that 600 of Moscow’s personnel were killed on Friday, bringing the total lost since February 2022 to 268,140.
Meanwhile, the headquarters of the United Russia political party in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Polohy was destroyed in an attack on the same day, according to the mayor of Melitopol, reported the Kyiv Independent.
Ivan Fedorov said on the Telegram messaging app that local residents described Russians as “burned out” of the headquarters amid the “hellish pseudo-elections”. Alluding to casualties, he said: “Some went to the hospital, and some went straight to the morgue.”
IAEA ‘deeply concerned’ by ‘increased military activity’ around Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant
09:26 , Tara Cobham
Experts are “deeply concerned” by “increased military activity” in the region around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wrote on Friday of reports of “numerous explosions over the past week”, which could “pose a potential threat to nuclear safety and security at the site”.
Over the three days from last Saturday, the IAEA team heard around two dozen explosions, followed by several more in recent days - although there was no damage to the Russian-occupied facility itself.
Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the situation at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant “remains highly precarious”.
“The reports I receive from our experts indicate that the explosions occurred some distance away from the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant,” he said. “Nevertheless, I remain deeply concerned about the possible dangers facing the plant at this time of heightened military tension in the region.
“Whatever happens in a conflict zone, wherever it may be, everybody would stand to lose from a nuclear accident, and I urge that all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid it happening.”
British man who went to fight in Ukraine found dead
07:19 , Vishwam Sankaran
A 31-year-old British man who went to fight in Ukraine was found dead in a body of water.
The man, recognised as Jordan Chadwick from Burnley in Lancashire, fought as part of the foreign legion in Ukraine, and was killed under unknown circumstances, BBC reported.
An inquest into the possible cause of Mr Chadwick’s death will reportedly be held in February.
“His passion to support freedom and assist others with his skills led him to leave the UK and travel to the Ukraine in early October 2022,” his mother told BBC.
Military activity in Russia-occupied region sparks concerns of nuclear 'accident'
07:04 , Vishwam Sankaran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised concerns of a possible danger to nuclear security in Ukraine amid “increased military activity” in the areas around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
“I remain deeply concerned about the possible dangers facing the plant at this time of heightened military tension in the region,” IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
The international agency’s report warned that mines continued to be located near the perimeter of the plant.
“Whatever happens in a conflict zone wherever it may be, everybody would stand to lose from a nuclear accident, and I urge that all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid it happening,” Mr Grossi said.
G20 summit in India begins with no consensus on Ukraine
06:37 , Vishwam Sankaran
The G20 summit hosted by India in New Delhi began with negotiators leaving a paragraph on Ukraine blank in the leaders’ draft declaration, Reuters reported.
The paragraph relating to Ukraine and the “geopolitical situation” was reportedly left blank, while those on several global issues, including climate change and cryptocurrency had consensus agreed upon by member nations.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, whose country has juggled good relations with both Russia and the West, said he does not want the war to dominate the meeting intended to highlight the Global South’s needs.
Zelensky discusses Ukraine peace efforts with Saudi Crown Prince
06:30 , Vishwam Sankaran
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky held a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud on Friday to discuss Ukraine’s path to peace.
Mr Zelensky’s office noted that the two leaders discussed ongoing cooperation between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia as an extension of the Jeddah peace talks held in August.
At the peace talks in August, global leaders discussed Ukraine’s 10-point plan for an end to Russia’s war.
On Friday’s call, Mr Zelensky “expressed gratitude” to the Saudi Crown Prince for the successful meeting in Jeddah.
‘Russia is actively trying to evade sanctions’ - Zelensky
04:00 , William Mata
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has tweeted in support of further sanctions being made to impact on Russia’s economic output.
“Russia is actively trying to evade sanctions,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The global sanctions offensive must be resumed. Three priorities are: more sanctions against Russia’s energy sector, real restrictions on the transfer of chips and microelectronics, and further blocking of the Russian financial sector.”
Russia is actively trying to evade sanctions.
The global sanctions offensive must be resumed.
Three priorities: more sanctions against Russia’s energy sector, real restrictions on the transfer of chips and microelectronics, and further blocking of the Russian financial sector. pic.twitter.com/idhALkI3lI
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 8, 2023
Pictures of the day: Friday, September 8
03:00 , William Mata
Russia holds elections in occupied Ukrainian regions in an effort to tighten its grip there
02:00 , William Mata
Local elections are being held this weekend in Russia as the Kremlin looks to tighten its grip on territories it seized from Ukraine a year ago.
The voting for Russian-installed legislatures in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions has already begun and concludes Sunday. It has 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. Ukrainian officials have urged other countries not to recognize the results of the vote, which the Foreign Ministry called “fake elections.”
EU rebukes its representative in Austria over 'blood money' comment on Russian gas imports
01:00 , William Mata
From earlier on Friday:
The European Union's executive branch strongly criticised the bloc's representative in Austria for accusing the country of paying “blood money” to Russia for gas supplies and said Friday he has been ordered back to Brussels.
EU representative Martin Selmayr said during an event on Wednesday that Austria continues to get 55 per cent of its gas from Russia — but no one, he noted, is out on Vienna's central Ringstrasse boulevard to protest that, the Austria Press Agency reported.
German intelligence employee and acquaintance charged with treason for passing secrets to Russia
Saturday 9 September 2023 00:00 , William Mata
An employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence service and an acquaintance have been charged with treason for allegedly passing secret documents to Russia, prosecutors said Friday.
The intelligence officer, who has been identified only as Carsten L. in line with German privacy rules, was arrested in Berlin on December 21 last year.
The second suspect, a self-employed German businessman identified as Arthur E., was arrested at Munich airport on January 22 as he arrived from the United States.
Zelensky: ‘Our allies have eased up on sanctions’
Friday 8 September 2023 23:00 , William Mata
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his country’s allies had eased up on sanctions imposed on Russia and called for a renewed drive to impose further punitive measures on Moscow.
“At this time, we see too long a pause by our partners in terms of sanctions,” he said in his nightly video address. “And very active Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”
Musk ‘feared being complicit in major act of war’
Friday 8 September 2023 22:07 , William Mata
Elon Musk said he refused a Ukrainian request to activate his Starlink satellite network in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol last year to aid an attack on Russia‘s fleet there, saying he feared complicity in a “major” act of war.
The billionaire businessman made the comment on Twitter after CNN cited a excerpt from a new biography of Musk that says he ordered the Starlink network turned off near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt the Ukrainian sneak attack.
In the post on late on Thursday, Musk said he had no choice but to reject an emergency request from Ukraine “to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol.” He did not give the date of the request and the excerpt did not specify it.
“The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor,” Musk wrote. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol.
The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor.
If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2023
Injury count now at 73
Friday 8 September 2023 22:05 , William Mata
The number of people injured in Russian attacks on Ukraine on Thursday night into Friday is now confirmed to be 73.
Kremlin forces carried out assaults on major cities as well as the home town of Volodymyr Zelensky. Four people died in total, including one policeman.
The strikes were among multiple Russian attacks across the country overnight, officials said.
"Elon Musk has taken over my world, and I don’t like it”
Friday 8 September 2023 22:00 , William Mata
For the comment section, Sean O’Grady says he is having issues with Elon Musk’s influence.
“The Twitter/X CEO has access to the world’s leaders, and the power to influence wars, the future of AI, and the tech that dominates our lives,” he writes, “But where should we draw the line?”
Musk irked Ukrainian generals by deactivating a satellite to stop it being used as part of a plan to strike Russian ships - and also drew the wrath of a British MP on Friday by saying both Russia and Ukraine need to work to a treaty.
Seventeen arrested in Cuba in connection with “network” to recruit foreign nationals for Ukraine fight
Friday 8 September 2023 21:00 , William Mata
Cuban authorities have arrested 17 people in connection with what they described as a network to recruit Cuban nationals to fight for Russia in Ukraine.
The head of criminal investigations for Cuba’s interior ministry, Cesar Rodriguez, said late Thursday on state media that at least three of the 17 arrested are part of recruitment efforts inside the island country.
He did not identify the alleged members of the network but said they had previous criminal records.
Some families started speaking up about the case on Friday, and at least one mother said that her son was promised a job in construction in Russia.
Cuba’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the government had detected a network operating from Russia to recruit Cuban citizens living both in Russia and in Cuba to fight in Ukraine.
It said authorities were working “to neutralise and dismantle” the network but gave no details.
“Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine,” the foreign ministry said in a news release.
Cuba and Russia are political allies and Cubans do not require a visa to travel to Russia. Many go there to study or to work.
Message of courage from president Zelensky
Friday 8 September 2023 19:30 , William Mata
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has released a video intended to rally his troops as fighting continues.
He shared the short film on Twitter alongside a message.
“Ukraine is more than a country fighting Russian aggression,” the tweet read.
“It is a personal moral choice about what is truly valuable, what you believe in, and what your true priorities are.
“This war lays a moral foundation that transcends borders. It must be humanistic. It must prevail.”
Ukraine is more than a country fighting Russian aggression.
It is a personal moral choice about what is truly valuable, what you believe in, and what your true priorities are.
This war lays a moral foundation that transcends borders. It must be humanistic. It must prevail. pic.twitter.com/xruHCgWZgu
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 8, 2023
‘Battlefield situation’ update for September 8
Friday 8 September 2023 19:00 , William Mata
In case you missed it, the British Ministry of Defence shared its daily update on the development in the battle for Ukraine.
It showed “likely Ukrainian advance” towards Bakhmut in the north east and Orikhiv in the south.
A tweet read: “The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
“The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 8 September 2023. “
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 8 September 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/x3O6c4iFH4 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/eZQpt1D5xl
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) September 8, 2023
Video: Zelensky says ‘Russia must be held accountable for genocide’ at conference in Kyiv
Friday 8 September 2023 18:30 , William Mata
Armenia millitary summoned to Russia after ‘series of unfriendly steps'
Friday 8 September 2023 18:06 , William Mata
The Russian foreign ministry on Friday summoned the ambassador from longtime ally Armenia to protest upcoming joint military exercises with the United States and other complaints, highlighting growing tensions that are straining traditionally close relations.
“The leadership of Armenia has taken a series of unfriendly steps in recent days,” the ministry said in a statement, citing the exercises that will begin Monday, Armenia’s provision of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its moves to ratify the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, which this year indicted president Vladimir Putin for war crimes connected to the deportation of children from Ukraine.
The ministry also complained of remarks by the chairman of Armenia’s parliament that it regarded as insulting to ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who is noted for her harsh comments about other countries.
About 175 Armenian troops and 85 from the United States will start exercises on Monday focusing on peacekeeping operations.
Landlocked Armenia has close military ties with Russia, including hosting a Russian military base and participating in the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization alliance.
However, Armenia has become increasingly disillusioned with Russia since the 2020 war with Azerbaijan. The armistice that ended the war called for a Russian peacekeeping force to ensure passage on the road leading from Armenia to the Nagorno-Karabakh ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan.
CIA seeks to recruit Russian officials with video about truth
Friday 8 September 2023 17:48 , William Mata
The CIA is reportedly trying to attract Russian dissidents to become spies for the US.
Reuters has reported that the agency has released a video in Russian entitled “Why I made contact with the CIA - for myself” on social media with the hope of luring those who might be dissatisfied with the Ukraine situation.
CIA director William Burns said in July that disaffection among some Russians over the war in Ukraine was creating a rare opportunity to recruit spies, and that the CIA was not letting it pass.
In the video, the voice over says in Russian: “I insisted to everyone that it was unscrupulous to distort the truth in reports but those who rose through the ranks were those who did that very thing.
“Before I believed that the truth had some value,” the video shows as the actor playing a Russian official enters a Russian government building and shows his pass above the double-headed eagle of Russia.
“Those around you may not want to hear the truth. But we do,” the video says before detailing ways to contact the CIA, which is based in Langley, Virginia. “Integrity has rewards.”
Musk criticised, again, this time over Ukraine “truce” comments
Friday 8 September 2023 17:28 , William Mata
A British MP has called-out Elon Musk for saying that Ukraine and Russia to agree a truce over the war.
The Tesla founder had already caused controversy on Friday when he admitted to playing a part in thwarting a Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian naval fleet.
Late on Thursday, Mr Musk had tweeted: “Both sides should agree to a truce.
“Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives.”
Tory MP Alica Kearns, chair of the influential Commons foreign affairs committee, used Twitter - which Mr Musk owns - to call him out over his idea.
She responded: “Wrong. Your home was not illegal invaded. It is not your people being massacred, raped, tortured and castrated. It is not your children being kidnapped in what increasingly appears to meet the definition of genocide.”
Your home was not illegal invaded.
It is not your people being massacred, raped, tortured and castrated.
It is not your children being kidnapped in what increasingly appears to meet the definition of genocide. https://t.co/IONtYPmO7Z
— Alicia Kearns MP (@aliciakearns) September 8, 2023
Full story: Elon Musk sparks fury by admitting to thwarting Ukraine drone attack on Putin’s naval fleet
Friday 8 September 2023 17:10 , William Mata
Elon Musk has admitted refusing Ukraine permission to use his Starlink satellite network to prevent a drone attack on a Russian naval fleet – with one Kyiv official saying his country is paying “price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego”.
The Starlink satellite internet service, which is run by the technology billionaire's SpaceX company, has been a digital lifeline for both Ukraine's military and civilians in areas where Russia's invasion has left infrastructure devastated or jammed.
An extract of a new biography of Musk, published by CNN on Thursday, said that the drones – packed with explosives – “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly” during the thwarted assault last year after Musk had ordered his engineers to turn off the network.
So-called Ukranian ‘oligarch’ has $80 million in assets frozen in corruption proceedings
Friday 8 September 2023 17:05 , William Mata
Ukraine’s anti-corruption agencies have frozen more than $80 million in assets belonging to tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky for 48 hours as part of an embezzlement investigation.
Ukrainian media outlets reported that Mr Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s richest men and a so-called oligarch, was ordered into custody on suspicion of money laundering last week, and, according to media reports, is being treated as a suspect in an embezzlement case.
A lawyer for Mr Kolomoisky did not immediately respond to written requests for comment about asset seizures. The tycoon’s lawyers have not commented on the embezzlement case. Kolomoisky has denied wrongdoing in the past.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine said it had frozen more than 3 billion hryvnia in assets in addition to nearly 1,000 properties and more than 1,600 vehicles and vessels from the former owner of lender PrivatBank.
The bureau’s statement did not name Mr Kolomoisky.
Full story: ‘Weak’ Putin killed Wagner mercenary chief Prigozhin, Zelensky says
Friday 8 September 2023 16:50 , William Mata
Vladimir Putin orchestrated the killing of Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin thanks to his own weakness, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
The Ukrainian president made the off-hand remark during a conference in Kyiv on Friday, without providing any additional evidence. Mr Prigozhin died in an unexplained crash when a plane carrying himself and some of his top lieutenants went down when flying between Moscow and St Petersburg in late August.
Mr Prigozhin offered the most severe challenge to the Russian president’s authority in more than 20 years in power when he and his Wagner fighters rose up against Moscow in June.
‘Getting weapons and sanctions on Russia is getting harder ‘ says Zelensky
Friday 8 September 2023 16:36 , William Mata
Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine is finding it harder and slower to secure sanctions on Russia and weapon supplies to help fend off Moscow’s forces.
Speaking at a conference in the Ukrainian capital, he said Ukraine‘s three-month-old counteroffensive would make faster gains in the south and east if Kyiv’s military received more powerful weapons.
He said: “The war is slowing down. This is true, we recognise this.
“All the processes are becoming harder and slowing down: from sanctions to the delivery of weapons.”
Ukraine opposes trading Russia sanctions relief for grain deal’s reviva
Friday 8 September 2023 16:31 , William Mata
Ukraine opposes the idea of easing sanctions on Russia in order to revive a grain deal between the two countries, foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said on Friday.
"Easing part of the sanctions regime against Russia in exchange for the resumption of the grain agreement would be a victory for Russian food blackmail and an invitation to Moscow for new waves of blackmail," he wrote on Facebook.
EU sanctions six people over human rights violations in Crimea
Friday 8 September 2023 16:28 , William Mata
The EU Council on Friday announced additional sanctions on six people for serious human rights violations in connection with their action towards members of ethnic groups in Crimea.
The individuals listed include prosecutors and judges active in courts established by Russia’s occupying force in Crimea who played a role in handing a prison term to a journalist who belongs to the Crimean Tatar community.
Friday’s listings also include two members of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) who either took part in torturing the journalist or participated in the investigation against him and members of the Crimean Tatar community and of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crimea.
Zelensky faces internal pressure over declaration of assets loophole
Friday 8 September 2023 16:19 , William Mata
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have asked Volodymyr Zelensky to send back some legislation that critics believe hampers an effort to hold officials accountable by delaying a requirement to publicly declare their assets.
Ukraine’s parliament voted on Tuesday to restore the declaration rule, which was suspended after Russia’s 2022 invasion as a security precaution, but - in a key loophole - to keep the disclosures closed to the public for another year.
Anti-graft campaigners and opposition lawmakers among others believe that defeats the primary purpose of the measure, which was first introduced as a showcase, pro-transparency reform after the 2014 Maidan Revolution that ousted a pro-Russian president.
A public petition asking Mr Zelensky to veto the amended measure had collected more than 83,000 signatures by Friday - well beyond the 25,000 needed for presidential consideration.
Corruption remains a top concern among Ukrainians, who have traditionally harboured deep distrust of most public officials.
Volodymyr Zelensky: ‘Putin’s only step left is to instil fear with nuclear weapons’
Friday 8 September 2023 16:11 , William Mata
Volodymyr Zelensky has used a press conference to say that Russian president Vladimir Putin could look to instil fear in the west with the threat of nuclear weapons. “Putin is left with just one step: instil fear in the west with his nuclear weapons,” the Ukrainian president said in Kyiv on Friday.
“There will be moments when they are moving their nuclear weapons from one place to another to exert pressure on the United States.”
The president also addressed the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
“People tend to want everything immediately, and understandably so, but this is not a feature movie when everything can happen in an hour and a half,” he said.
“Some partners ask what’s up with the counteroffensive, what are the next steps. My current answer is ‘Our steps are faster than your sanction packages’.”
Zelensky says ‘Russia must be held accountable for genocide’ at conference in Kyiv
Friday 8 September 2023 16:00 , William Mata
Ukrainian official says Elon Musk ‘committed evil’ with Starlink satellite action
Friday 8 September 2023 15:39 , William Mata
A senior Ukrainian official has said Elon Musk was “committing evil and encouraging evil” with his actions over his Starlink satellite which effectively stopped a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian warships.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, commented after claims made in a new biography of the billionaire written by Walter Isaacson.
Mr Podolyak quoted a CNN article - which revealed extracts from the book, which is titled ‘Elon Musk’.
Mr Isaacson wrote that Mr Musk called his engineers to stop his Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to stop a Ukrainian submarine drone assault on Russia’s naval fleet.
After losing connectivity, the drones then washed ashore to the irritation of Ukrainian generals who had urged Mr Musk to turn the satellite back on.
Mr Musk had, according to Mr Isaacson, taken the action to avoid Russian retaliation with nuclear weapons.
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, @elonmusk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities. As a result, civilians, children are…
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) September 7, 2023
But Mr Podolyak has hit out with a message on Twitter - a social media platform owned by Mr Musk.
His tweet on Friday read: “By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian fleet via Starlink interference, @elonmusk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities. As a result, civilians, and children are being killed,” Podolyak wrote.
“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?”
Mr Musk is yet to respond.
First Leopard 1 tanks provided by Denmark, Germany and Netherlands arrive
Friday 8 September 2023 15:18 , William Mata
The first Leopard 1 tanks provided by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, have arrived in Ukraine - it has been reported.
Denmark’s armed forces said on Friday that the first ten were now in the country and it is the first step to fulfiling the 100 that were promised in February.
“The first 10 tanks have been sent to Ukraine. And more are on the way,” the Danish armed forces said in a statement.
“A further 10 tanks have been delivered from the factory.”
AFP reported that Danish soldiers in Germany are training Ukrainian forces to use the tanks.
Volodymyr Zelensky says Putin was behind the death of Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Friday 8 September 2023 14:38 , William Mata
Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Vladimir Putin was behind the death of Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The mercenary leader died in an unexplained plane crash with his top lieutenants last month.
Ukrainian president Mr Zelensky made the claim on Friday but provided no evidence to back up his assertion made during a press conference in Kyiv.
“The fact that he killed Prigozhin - at least that’s the information we all have, not any other kind - that also speaks to his rationality, and about the fact that he is weak,” Mr Zelensky said.
The Kremlin says all possible causes of the crash will be investigated, including the possibility of foul play. It has called the suggestion that Russian president Mr Putin ordered the deaths of Mr Prigozhin and his men an “absolute lie”.
Mr Prigozhin this summer led a brief mutiny in Russia that posed the biggest challenge to Mr Putin’s rule since he rose to power in 1999. It prompted the Kremlin chief to accuse its authors of “treason” and a “stab in the back”.
Many critics of Mr Putin have died in unclear circumstances during his 23 years in power, or narrowly escaped dying.
One dead after Russian missile attack on Zelensky’s hometown
Friday 8 September 2023 14:27 , William Mata
A Russian missile attack on Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown in central Ukraine has killed one policeman and injured at least 44 others, emergency officials said.
The incident was one of several Russian attacks across the country overnight, officials said, and ten buildings were damaged in the attack on Kryvyi Rih.
Three of the people who were pulled out of the rubble were in serious condition, according to Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine‘s minister of internal affairs. Photos posted by Mr Klymenko on Telegram showed a building on fire and emergency services evacuating the injured.
Three people were also killed on Friday after a Russian bomb struck the village of Odradokamianka in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, Mr Klymenko said.
He added that three people were also injured in a Russian missile attack in the eastern city of Sumy.
Russian forces also struck the Odesa region in the west with drones for the fifth time in a week, regional governor Oleh Kiper said. No casualties were reported.
ICYMI: Ukraine drone strike map reveals key places where Kyiv is taking the war to Russia
Friday 8 September 2023 13:15 , Matt Mathers
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.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain has mapped the attacks:
What are depleted uranium shells? The controversial armour-piercing munitions being used in Ukraine
Friday 8 September 2023 12:50 , Matt Mathers
Arpan Rai reports:
India seeking greater voice for developing world at G20, but Ukraine war may overshadow talks
Friday 8 September 2023 12:24 , Matt Mathers
It’s never been easy for the leaders of the world’s largest economies to find common ground, but the global ramifications of Russia’s war on Ukraine mean even greater challenges for meaningful agreement at the Group of 20 meeting this year.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this year’s host, has pledged not to let Ukraine overshadow the needs of the mostly developing nations in the so-called “ Global South,” but many of those issues are closely affected by the war.
David Rising reports:
Russian air strike kills three in Ukraine’s Kherson region - interior minister
Friday 8 September 2023 11:34 , Matt Mathers
A Russian air strike killed three civilians and wounded four other people on Friday in a village in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, interior minister Ihor Klymenko said.
Klymenko said on the Telegram messaging app that the air strike was on the village of Odradokamianka.
Ukraine targets Crimea in drone attack - Russian installed official
Friday 8 September 2023 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.
Five drones were shot down over three Russian regions overnight on Thursday, with one targeting the capital, officials said Thursday.
There were reports of no casualties.
Meanwhile, Russia launched a fourth day of air attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Izmail, located on the Danube river. Oleh Kiper, regional Governor of Odesa, said infrastructure was damaged in the attack, including grain silos, and one person was injured.
The attack came one day after a Russian missile struck a busy market in the eastern city of Kostiantynivka in Donetsk, killing 17 and wounding at least 32. The attack overshadowed a two-day visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, aimed at assessing Ukraine’s 3-month-old counteroffensive and signaling continued U.S. support for the fight.
Ukraine condemns Russian ‘sham elections’ in Ukrainian occupied territories
Friday 8 September 2023 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.
Russia holds elections in occupied Ukrainian regions in an effort to tighten its grip there
Friday 8 September 2023 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.