Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


36 Mins Ago

‘U.S. has no right to lecture us how to live,’ Russia says

Russia’s ambassador to the U.S Anatoly Antonov lambasted Western concern and criticism over President Vladimir Putin’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the U.S. has no right to interfere.

“The U.S. has no right to lecture us how to live,” Antonov said on Facebook in response to a media question on the visit that took place in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday.

“Russia being a responsible nuclear power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council can independently decide who to cooperate with,” he said.

Western allies have expressed consternation at the latest meeting between Putin and Kim, with the White House expressing concern that the private talks would focus on an exchange of arms and technology for military purposes. Russia and North Korea denied the allegations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region on Sept. 13, 2023.

Vladimir Smirnov | Afp | .

Yesterday, Putin said talks touched upon possibilities for “military cooperation” between the two countries but acknowledged there were limits to that element of the relationship. Russia is a permanent member of U.N. Security Council that has passed resolutions sanctioning North Korea for its missile testing and nuclear program.

Antonov said in comments posted on Facebook that “attempts to label the productive and mutually beneficial Russian-North Korean dialogue as a driver of instability are not only surprising but also repulsive.”

“How should we then regard the White House’s efforts to build up coalitions in Asia Pacific and expand military drills near the Korean Peninsula, with deploying U.S. strategic assets?” he said.        

— Holly Ellyatt

An Hour Ago

Ukraine reportedly destroyed Russian air defense system in Crimea

People walk on the city beach in Yevpatoriya, Crimea.

Alexander Aksakov | . News | .

Ukraine destroyed a Russian air defence system near the town of Yevpatoriya in annexed Crimea in an overnight drone and missile attack conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine and navy on Thursday, a Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters.

Russia said its air defences shot down 11 attack drones overnight over Crimea, which Russia seized and annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Reuters was unable to independently verify the accounts.

The Ukrainian source said drones blinded a Russian “Triumf” air defense system by attacking its radar and antenna. The navy then fired two Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles at the system’s launch complexes, the source said.

The Neptune anti-ship missile has been modified to attack ground targets, military analysts say.

The attack comes a day after Ukraine launched missiles at the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home to the Russian navy’s Black Sea Fleet, in an attack that signalled Ukraine’s growing missile capabilities.

— Reuters

An Hour Ago

Putin impressed North Korea’s Kim with his limousine

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Aurus Senat limousine.

Mikhail Svetlov | . News | .

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was reportedly impressed with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s limousine Thursday, having been shown its interior as the leaders met yesterday.

State television footage showed Putin inviting Kim to see inside his Russian-made limousine on Wednesday after the leaders had inspected the Vostochny space rocket launch facility.

Putin gestured to Kim to get into his presidential Aurus Senat limousine parked outside the complex, walking round to the other side of the vehicle to get in. A smiling Kim was seen before the limo left the facility.

The Aurus Senat is an armored luxury vehicle, developed in Russia over the last decade. Putin was first seen in the limousine in 2018.

Kim reportedly drove to the space center in Maybach limousine, brought on board his armored train in which he traveled from Pyongyang. Kim is known to have a penchant for cars and it’s believed his collection has been smuggled into the country, given sanctions prohibiting luxury goods from being exported to North Korea.

— Holly Ellyatt

2 Hours Ago

Russian influence over Ukraine’s energy supply ‘severely diminished,’ UK says

An employee stands in the control room of the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, in Varash, Rivne region, on September 10, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Roman Pilipey | Afp | .

Russia’s influence over Ukraine’s energy supply has waned dramatically as Kyiv has looked to diversify its supply during the war, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

In its latest intelligence update on Twitter, the ministry noted that Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom announced last weekend that it had a successfully refuelled a reactor at its Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) using Western-produced nuclear fuel assemblies.

The announcement was significant, the U.K. said, given that all of Ukraine’s NPPs have reactors based on Soviet designs and, until February 2022 when Russia invaded, it relied on its neighbor for nuclear fuel.

“Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine has accelerated plans to diversify its supply,” the ministry said, noting that “Energoatom’s success in sourcing and installing Western fuel is a major waypoint in Ukraine’s long-term decoupling from Russia, whose influence over Ukraine’s energy supply is severely diminished.”

Nuclear energy supplies approximately half of Ukraine’s electricity.

— Holly Ellyatt

2 Hours Ago

Crimean bridge closed after blasts reported

Cargo ships and car ferries cross the Kerch Strait, an area of “dark activity,” according to marine technology company Windward.

Anadolu Agency | .

Traffic was suspended for four hours across the Crimea bridge this morning, Russian news agencies reported, after an overnight drone attack.

No reason was given for the suspension and traffic has now resumed, RIA Novosti reported. The bridge, which connects the occupied peninsula with the Russian mainland, has been attacked several times during the war.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said earlier that 11 Ukrainian drones had been shot down over Crimea, although it’s unknown whether it was connected to the bridge closure. Ukraine has not commented on the incident.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian news out Suspilne reported that several powerful explosions were heard in Yevpatoria, home to a number of Russian military units, in Crimea.

Local residents reported that a group of attack unmanned aerial vehicles was involved and that an air defense system was likely hit in the area, according to news agency Ukrinform.

The latest incident follows what’s seen as the biggest attack on the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since the start of the war. The fleet, based in Sevastopol in Crimea, was targeted yesterday. Ukraine said it seriously damaged two Russian military vessels and port infrastructure in Sevastopol.

Ukrainian military intelligence official Andriy Yusov told Reuters that a large landing vessel and submarine had been hit in the strike, and later described the damage as “considerable” in televised comments. Russia said Ukraine had attacked the shipyard with cruise missiles and uncrewed speedboats. It downplayed the extent of the damage, however.

— Holly Ellyatt

20 Hours Ago

Attacks on Danube ports have reduced grain export potential, Ukraine says

The grain export potential from ports on the Danube has been reduced by almost 500,000 metric tons per month, according to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister.

Attacks on major ports in places such as Izmail and Reni have destroyed crucial routes for agricultural exports.

Oleksandr Kubrakov wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that it “threatens food shortages in countries that depend on Ukrainian agricultural products.”

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

20 Hours Ago

Zelenskyy says there will be results — and the enemy will feel them

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday that “there will be results” and “the enemy will feel them,” according to a Google-translated Telegram post on his official channel.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Global Images Ukraine | . News | .

Zelenskyy didn’t provide any further details from the cabinet meeting.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

20 Hours Ago

Russia has ‘no other options’ but to win the war, defense minister says

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow has “no other options” but to win the war in Ukraine, in an interview with state media outlet Russia-1, as translated by NBC.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu smiles while visiting the Army 2023 Exhibition on August 14, 2023 in Kubinka, Russia.

Contributor | . News | .

22 Hours Ago

Kim Jong Un to visit Russian military factories, state media reports

Kim Jong Un is set to visit factories in far eastern Russia, President Vladimir Putin said, according to a translated Telegram post by Russian state media site RIA.

The factories in Komsomolsk-on-Amur produce civilian and military equipment, the report said.

Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, prepares for his departure to North Korea at the railway station in Vladivostok, Russia, on Friday, April 26, 2019.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | .

The North Korean leader will also visit Vladivostok, a city known for its historical military importance. No timeline was given for the visit.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Wed, Sep 13 2023 3:29 AM EDT

Putin and Kim praise alliance stretching back to Cold War era

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region on Sept. 13, 2023.

Vladimir Smirnov | Afp | .

Putin and Kim have praised their countries’ longstanding alliance as they met in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday.

Putin has promoted Russia’s longstanding alliance with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a bit of a 20th-century history lesson on Soviet-North Korean relations.

Putin noted that the Soviet Union was the first state to recognize the DPRK “as the sole legitimate authority in all of Korea” in 1948.

He also noted that the USSR had helped the DPRK during the three-year Korean War that started in 1950. Given their shared Communist ideology, Soviet forces supported the Korean People’s Army during the war.

Kim, meanwhile, has praised bilateral ties with Russia, saying the relationship with Moscow is a priority for Pyongyang. He said Russia is now defending its sovereignty and that the DPRK has always supported decisions by the Russian Federation.

Having thanked Putin for inviting him to Russia, Kim said their talks can cover a variety of issues, from the economy to cultural ties. 

— Holly Ellyatt, Grigorii Chipurin

4 Hours Ago

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