Pskov Airfield: Sky glows orange during largest drone strike on Russian territory since war began
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The UK’s Ministry of Defence has said Russian president Vladimir Putin is flooding the frontline with “poorly trained troops”, noting “the reluctance of some elements to fight” in the war.
In its daily intelligence briefing, the government highlighted that Russia is convicting nearly 100 soldiers a week for refusing to fight, adding there will be around 5,200 convictions this year.
“The high rate of convictions demonstrates the poor state of morale in the Russian Army and the reluctance of some elements to fight,” the MoD added.
“Although some soldiers have refused to fight and attrition rates remain high, Russia highly likely mitigates their loss by committing a mass of poorly trained soldiers to the frontline.”
Meanwhile, an accident involving two Ukrainian helicopters killed six servicemen aboard the aircraft, Ukrainian media reported on Wednesday.
The news site Ukrainska Pravda said the incident on Tuesday involved widely used Mi-8 military helicopters and occurred near the town of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, near the front line, but gave no indication of how it occurred.
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Putin ‘pulling Russia deeper into abyss of chaos’, says Kyiv
Officials in Ukraine have indirectly blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin for the growing attacks inside Moscow, stating that his regime will see “chaos”.
“So long as Putin remains president, the war will continue. Pulling Russia deeper and deeper into the abyss of chaos,” Mykhailo Poldolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on social media.
Attacks on Russia in recent weeks, including repeated drone strikes on central Moscow are being witnessed by many Russians for the first time, even as Ukrainians have spent the past year and a half in constant peril from air strikes.
Moscow has relentlessly pounded Ukrainian cities with long range missiles and drone strikes throughout the war claiming that it only targets military targets but has instead struck schools, hospitals and theatres. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed.
Arpan Rai31 August 2023 04:50
Ukrainian military says six servicemen killed in helicopter incident
At least six Ukrainian servicemen were killed aboard two helicopters while they were “carrying out missions” in eastern Ukraine, the military said.
There was no indication what happened involving two widely-used Mi-8 helicopters on Tuesday.
A military statement on Telegram aid the men were “carrying out missions” in the sector of the Russian-held eastern city of Bakhmut when they died.
The news site Ukrainska Pravda said the incident occurred near Kramatorsk, a large town west of Bakhmut in Donetsk region, theatre of much of the fighting in Russia’s 18-month invasion of its neighbour.
The two helicopters were “completely destroyed” and the bodies were found at the site, it added.
An air force spokesperson identified as Yevhen Rakita told public broadcaster Suspilne that the men aboard were officers.
Arpan Rai31 August 2023 04:20
Ukraine launches ‘massive’ drone strikes on six regions of Russia – destroying war planes
Ukrainian drones have hit at least six regions deep inside Russia in one of the largest such strikes since the start of Moscow’s invasion.
Russian officials confirmed attacks on targets in the Pskov, Bryansk, Kaluga, Orlov, Ryazan and Moscow regions, with the assault on the military airfield in Pskov that damaged aircraft as the most significant. Situated more than 600km (400 miles) from Ukraine, it was where a number of elite paratroopers are stationed. The state-run Tass news agency reported at least four giant Il-76 transport planes were damaged, two of which had “burst into flames”.
Eleanor Noyce31 August 2023 04:00
Putin informed after drone hit Russian planes
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was working out where the drones were launched from to prevent further strikes on Russian soil.
President Vladimir Putin had been informed immediately, as would be the case in any such “massive attacks”, Mr Peskov said.
A huge fire with sounds of sirens emerged from northern Russia yesterday as an explosion was seen at a military airfield in Pskov, more than 600km (400 miles) from Ukraine, where Moscow has gathered all its elite paratroopers. At least four Il-76 transport planes were damaged, two of which had “burst into flames”, local news agencies reported.
While Moscow said it had thwarted all the attacks, it has always typically described all Ukrainian drone strikes as unsuccessful, regardless of the damage on the ground.
In a rare confirmation, the Kyiv government said the Russian planes had been destroyed in Pskov, without commenting on the nature of their destruction.
It generally withholds comment on strikes on territory inside Russia though it says it has a right to hit military targets.
“Yes, four IL-76 transport planes were destroyed in Pskov at an airfield, they are beyond repair. Also, several other of those (aircraft) are damaged, but the information is being checked,” Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s GUR military agency said.
Ukraine’s Western allies have publicly forbidden it from using weapons they supply to attack Russia but say Ukraine has a right to carry out such strikes with its own weapons.
Arpan Rai31 August 2023 03:57
Recap: Ukraine launches ‘massive’ drone strikes in Russia, destroying war planes
Ukrainian drones struck at least six regions deep inside Russia on Tuesday night, in one of the largest such strikes since the start of Moscow’s invasion.
Russian officials reported attacks on targets in the Pskov, Bryansk, Kaluga, Orlov, Ryazan and Moscow regions, with the assault on the military airfield in Pskov that damaged aircraft as the most significant.
Situated more than 600km (400 miles) from Ukraine, it was where a number of elite paratroopers are stationed. The state-run Tass news agency reported at least four giant Il-76 transport planes were damaged, two of which had “burst into flames”.
Russia has already been stuck by more than 70 drones this month in attacks it blames Ukraine for carrying out hostile attacks. While Kyiv has never taken any public responsibility for these attacks, it has never not denied striking targets inside Russia.
Arpan Rai31 August 2023 03:43
White House says Putin and Kim Jong Un traded letters as Russia looks for munitions from North Korea
The White House on Wednesday said that it has new intelligence that shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have swapped letters as Russia looks to North Korea for munitions for the Ukraine war.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby detailed the latest finding just weeks after the White House said that it had determined that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a recent visit to Pyongyang called on North Korean officials to increase the sale of munitions to Moscow for its war in Ukraine.
Kirby said that Russia is looking for additional artillery shells and other basic materiel to shore up Russia’s defense industrial base.
Aamer Madhani has the full story:
Eleanor Noyce31 August 2023 03:00
The key to Ukraine punching through Russia’s defences – and putting Putin’s forces on the back foot
Long-range strikes by drone and missile and a raid on territory in occupied Crimea that took Russian forces by surprise – all part of Kyiv’s recent push towards the peninsula that is a symbol of Vladimir Putin‘s territorial ambitions.
Perhaps most significant of all is the capture of the key village of Robotyne, about three hours drive east of Crimea. Gaining that foothold will help Ukraine build a foundation to punch through to the coastline of the Sea of Azov.
Kyiv has been stepping up drone attacks on Crimea as it looks to break key supply lines from the Russian-occupied peninsula, writes Askold Krushelnycky in Ukraine:
Eleanor Noyce31 August 2023 02:00
Russia earns less from oil and spends more on war. So far, sanctions are working like a slow poison
The Russian ruble’s wobble in value has exposed a crack in President Vladimir Putin‘s fortress economy, a vulnerability quickly plastered over by the Kremlin‘s economic team in a move that allowed the currency to regain its footing, at least for now.
Yet the patch — an emergency interest rate increase — cannot hide the dilemma at the heart of the Russian economy: how to fund the military while not undermining the national currency and overheating the economy with corrosive and politically embarrassing inflation.
Life in Moscow presents a facade of normality despite sweeping sanctions tied to the war in Ukraine and the departure of hundreds of name-brand Western companies.
Eleanor Noyce31 August 2023 01:00
Putin jails Russian soldiers for refusing to return to Ukraine
Two Russian soldiers have been jailed for refusing to return to the frontline in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
In an intelligence update posted on Twitter, the ministry said two Russian soldiers were sentenced to serve at least two years in a penal colony by a military court for refusing to obey orders to return to the front in Ukraine.
It comes after Russian independent media outlet Mediazona reported that Russia was convicting close to 100 soldiers a week for refusing to fight.
Eleanor Noyce31 August 2023 00:01
Putin and Kim Jong-un are deepening their relationship, White House says
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have exchanged letters and are pledging to deepen the relationship between their two countries, the White House has said.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday said arms negotiations between Moscow and Pyongyang have been “actively advancing” as Russia has sought to evade the US and western sanctions that have made it harder to prosecute the country’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
Mr Kirby added that Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu recently travelled to Pyongyang in an effort to convince North Korean officials to sell Russia domestically-manufactured artillery shells, since North Korea’s military equipment is largely Russian or Soviet-made.
Andrew Feinberg has more:
Eleanor Noyce30 August 2023 23:00