Russia Ukraine war news: Black Sea ship taken out of action in drone attack on Russian base, Kyiv says

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A Russian warship has been damaged in a drone attack on a Black Sea port which serves as a major hub for Moscow’s exports, a Ukrainian intelligence source has claimed.

While Russia’s regional governor in Novorossiysk – near Crimea – insisted no damage was inflicted, the source told Reuters that the Olenegorsky Gornyak warship “received a serious breach and currently cannot conduct its combat missions”.

A source also told the Ukrainian Interfax news agency that the security service drone was “saturated with 450 kilograms of TNT” as it attacked the ship manned by 100 crew members, in what marks the first attack on a major Russian commercial port since the war began last February.

Meanwhile, Poland’s prime minister warned that fighters from Russia’s “extremely dangerous” private Wagner mercenary force are being moved close to Nato’s eastern flank to “destabilise” the military alliance, as Warsaw scrambled troops to the frontier.

It comes after Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, Uissued an emotional plea for the world not to lose interest in the fight against Russia, in a rare interview with Independent TV.

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Positive signs of Chinese participation in Jeddah talks, German official says

Ukraine and its allies are aiming to rally global support for a peace blueprint in talks hosted by Saudi Arabia this weekend – but a question mark hangs over whether China will take part.

Reuters now cites a German government official as saying Berlin has received positive signals about some form of Chinese participation in the Jeddah meeting.

Ukrainian and Western diplomats hope the meeting of national security advisers and other senior officials from some 40 countries will agree on key principles that would underpin any peace settlement to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 10:21


EU imposes sanctions on dozens in Belarus over protest crackdown and support for Russia

The European Union has imposed sanctions on several Belarus police, justice and prison officials over a crackdown on anti-government activists, and on media personnel and a company accused of supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Travel bans in Europe and asset freezes were slapped on 38 officials, including several judges and prosecutors. The EU also froze the assets of state oil and chemicals giant Belneftekhim.

It said the company “represents a fundamental asset for the Belarusian economy and foreign policy, in particular in relation to the cooperation between Russia and Belarus in developing a common oil market.”


Novorossiysk drone strike marks first attack of commercial Russian port

Russia accused Ukraine early Friday of attacking its Black Sea navy base in the port of Novorossiysk with sea drones.

The attack on Novorossiysk is the first time a commercial Russian port has been targeted in the 18-month war. The city is a major port on the Black Sea and hosts a naval base, shipbuilding yards and an oil terminal. It is a key port for Russian exports.

Novorossiysk is just across the water from Crimea, where Russia’s Ministry of Defense said it thwarted another attack by Ukraine overnight, taking down 13 drones.

It comes just days after authorities held a Navy Day parade at the port.

Sailors and marines parade during the Navy Day celebrations in the port city of Novorossiysk on July 30

(Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 09:27


‘We stand united’: RAF interception of Russian jets ‘sends strong message’ to Putin

The Royal Air Force has delivered a powerful message of unity to Russian president Vladimir Putin with the interception of dozens of Russian aircraft during its leadership of a Nato air policing mission in Estonia, Ben Wallace has claimed.

The defence secretary praised the RAF’s success, emphasising the unwavering commitment of the UK and its allies in safeguarding European airspace and standing against any potential threat to their borders.

His comments come as RAF personnel have returned to the UK after leading the air policing mission in Eastern Europe for four months, during which pilots intercepted 50 Russian aircraft and flew for a combined total of more than 500 hours.

The members of the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (140 EAW) had been deployed to Amari Air Base since the start of March, along with a squadron of RAF Typhoon fighter jets, to conduct Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) intercepts of Russian aircraft transiting close to Nato airspace.

Martina Bet4 August 2023 08:58


Russian naval vessel damaged in drone attack, Ukrainian defence source claims

Ukraine damaged a Russian naval vessel during a sea drone attack at the Russian port of Novorossiysk that was conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Navy on Friday, a Ukrainian intelligence source said.

“As a result of the attack, the Olenegorsky Gornyak received a serious breach and currently cannot conduct its combat missions,” the source told Reuters.

It comes despite Russia’s regional governor insisting that there was no damage caused by the attacks.

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 08:34


Watch: What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 08:08


‘No casualties or damage’ from Ukrainian drone attack, Russian governor says

No casualties or damage have been reported from the Ukrainian sea drone attack on Novorossiysk, Russia’s regional governor has been quoted as saying by state news agency RIA .

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 07:48


Russia says it does not believe Washington on grain deal

Russia does not believe Washington’s promise that it will help to ensure Moscow can freely export food if it returns to the Black Sea grain deal, the Kremlin has said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Thursday: “In the event of return to the agreement, of course, we’ll continue to do whatever is necessary to make sure that everyone can export their food and food products freely and safely to include Russia.”

Russia last month quit the agreement that had allowed Ukraine to ship food from its Black Sea ports, complaining about obstacles to its own exports of food and fertiliser.

Andy Gregory4 August 2023 07:26


’Russian official pitched North Korea on increasing sale of munitions to Moscow’

The White House said US intelligence officials have determined that Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu spoke last week to North Korean officials during a visit to Pyongyang about increasing the sale of munitions to Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

Mr Shoigu made the pitch during his visit to North Korea for events marking the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War, according to White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby. Russian president Vladimir Putin dispatched Mr Shoigu to lead the Russian delegation for the commemoration.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calls on reporters with National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby (R) during the daily briefing on 26 July 2023 in Washington, DC

(Getty Images)

The Biden administration says Mr Shoigu’s pitch to tighten cooperation with North Korea underscored that the Kremlin has become reliant on the country, as well as Iran, for the arms it needs to fight its war against Ukraine. North Korea and Iran are largely isolated on the international stage for their nuclear programs and human rights records.

“This is yet another example of how desperate Mr Putin has become because his war machine is being affected by the sanctions and the export controls. He is going through a vast amount of inventory to try to subjugate Ukraine, and he’s reaching out to countries like North Korea, like Iran, and certainly he’s been trying to reach out to China to get support for his war machine.”

John Kirby

Namita Singh4 August 2023 07:00


Ukraine, US start talks on security guarantees, official says

Ukraine and the United States started talks yesterday aimed at providing security guarantees for Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said, a follow-up to pledges by G7 countries at last month’s Nato summit.

Ukraine was told that the Group of Seven (G7) would draw up and honour security guarantees and help bolster its military in light of Russia’s 17-month-old invasion of Ukraine.

The Kyiv government sees the talks as an interim stage pending its accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance. At the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Nato leaders offered support to Ukraine but ruled out any notion of membership until the war with Russia is resolved.

Presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said the agreement reached in Vilnius was “the basis for working out corresponding bilateral agreements”.

“It is symbolic that the United States – our biggest strategic partner – became the first country with which Ukraine has started this process,” Mr Yermak wrote. “Through this process we will create a successful model for other partners.”

Namita Singh4 August 2023 06:30

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