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Ukraine news live: Russia closes major airports as Moscow apartments hit; Russian supersonic bomber destroyed in drone strike


Ukraine war: Footage appears to show moment drone attack hits building in central Moscow

Russia has again been forced to shut down its air space over the three biggest airports in Moscow, where arrivals and departures were suspended in the early hours of this morning after a swarm of Ukrainian drones reportedly hit buildings in the capital region, officials said.

“Flights are not being received, departures are delayed,” a person aware of the situation told the Russian news agency TASS.

This comes right after the Russian military claimed to have brought down four Ukrainian drones near Moscow and over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine.

At least one drone was shot down in the Odintsovo district near Chastsy settlement to the west of Moscow and four blasts were heard shortly after 3am local time (00.00 GMT).

Videos published by Russian media outlet Baza showed broken windows in a high rise apartment building, debris on a pavement and a car with a hole in its glass roof hatch. “Windows were shaking,” a witness said.

Ukraine has never taken responsibility for drone strikes on Russian and Russia-controlled territory that have surged recently.

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Moscow closes air space after Ukrainian drone attacks

Russia has again been forced to shut down its air space over the three biggest airports in Moscow, where arrivals and departures were suspended in the early hours of this morning, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

“The air space is closed over Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo,” an unnamed official told the agency.

“Flights are not being received, departures are delayed,” the person said.

This comes after Russia reported a series of Ukrainian drone attacks including over Moscow, which had struck a building.

Arpan Rai22 August 2023 04:07

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Ukrainian drone strikes apartments near Moscow, leaves windows ‘shaking’

The Russian military has brought down four Ukrainian drones near Moscow and over the Bryansk region that borders Ukraine, officials said today.

At least one drone was shot down in the Odintsovo district near Chastsy settlement to the west of Moscow and four blasts were heard shortly after 3am local time (00.00 GMT).

Broken windows in a high rise apartment building, debris on a pavement and a car with a hole in its glass roof hatch could be seen in videos and pictures from the scene published by Russian media outlet Baza.

“Windows were shaking,” a witness said.

Russia’s defence ministry said there were no injuries in the latest attack.

One of the drones was shot down over Krasnogorsk, a town outside Moscow, that hosts the Moscow regional government.

Ukraine has never taken responsibility for drone strikes on Russian and Russia-controlled territory that have increased recently but its leaders, including Volodymyr Zelensky, have expressed satisfaction on the attacks.

Arpan Rai22 August 2023 04:01

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Full report: Russian space agency chief blames decades of inactivity for Luna-25 lander’s crash on the moon

The head of Russia’s space agency said on Monday that the Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after its engines failed to shut down correctly, and he blamed the country’s decades-long pause in lunar exploration for the mishap.

The pilotless Luna-25 had been scheduled to land on Monday while aiming to become the first spacecraft to touch down on the south pole of the moon, an area where scientists believe important reserves of frozen water and precious elements may exist.

Roscosmos director general Yury Borisov said the spacecraft’s engines were turned on over the weekend to put Luna-25 into a “pre-landing orbit” but did not shut down properly, plunging the lander onto the moon.

“Instead of the planned 84 seconds, it worked for 127 seconds. This was the main reason for the emergency,” Mr Borisov told Russian state news channel Russia 24.

Emma Burrows has the full report here:

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Independent TV | 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 Gregory22 August 2023 03:02

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Russian artillery within five miles of Kupiansk

Russian artillery is within five miles of Kupiansk. Intense fighting is taking place in the outlying villages, with recently-acquired cluster ammunition used by the Ukrainians to repulse repeated enemy attacks.

More than 11,000 residents have been moved out under a mandatory evacuation order, with families with children and the elderly categorised as a priority. Some have stubbornly refused to move, despite first-hand experience of the violence.

Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta has more in this special report from Kupiansk:

Andy Gregory22 August 2023 02:04

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Pope Francis discusses Ukraine war and peace with US military chief

Pope Francis and Washington’s top general discussed the war in Ukraine and hopes for peace there during a private audience at the Vatican on Monday.

General Mark Milley, who is Catholic and is visiting several European countries, said the Pope was deeply concerned about the loss of life in Ukraine, particularly of civilians, since Russia invaded in February 2022.

A strong advocate for Ukraine’s defence against Russian forces, the general has championed sending billions of dollars in arms to Kyiv and has sharply criticised Moscow as mounting “a campaign of terror” against civilians in Ukraine

The Pope has condemned the international arms trade in general but said last year that it is morally legitimate for nations to supply weapons to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

(Vatican media via REUTERS)

Andy Gregory22 August 2023 01:01

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US State Department approves possible sale of Apache helicopters to Poland

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of AH-64E Apache helicopters and related equipment to Poland in a deal valued at up to $12bn (£9.4bn), the Pentagon has said

Poland – which has prioritised boosting its military since Russia’s invasion of neighbouringUkraine – has requested 96 of the Apache attack helicopters and related equipment, including 1,844 Hellfire missiles and 508 Stinger missiles, the Pentagon said.

While the Pentagon notified the US Congress of the possible sale on Monday, this does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors for the weapons, according to the Pentagon.

Andy Gregory22 August 2023 00:02

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Prigozhin claims he is in Africa in new clip

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has claimed to be in Africa as he posted the first video clip of himself in weeks on Telegram channels affiliated with the mercenary group.

Prigozhin is seen standing in a desert area in camouflage and with a rifle in his hands, with more armed men in the distance. In the distance, there are more armed men and a pickup truck.

“The temperature is +50 – everything as we like. The Wagner PMC makes Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa – more free. Justice and happiness – for the African people, we’re making life a nightmare for Isis and Al-Qaeda and other bandits,” he says in the clip.

He then says Wagner is recruiting people and the group “will fulfil the tasks that were set”. The video is accompanied by a telephone number for those who want to join the group.

Experts have suggested in the weeks since Wagner’s brief mutiny against Russia’s military leadership that the mercenary group’s activities in Africa and the Middle East will return to the fore, given their diplomatic and potentially financial value to the Kremlin.

Andy Gregory21 August 2023 23:06

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Putin was meant to be at a summit in South Africa this week. Why was he asked to stay away?

Vladimir Putin will be the odd one out when leaders from the BRICS economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet in Johannesburg this week.

While all the others are set to attend the meetings in person, Putin will dial in on a video call.

The reason? An International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued for the Russian president put summit host South Africa in a sticky situation and ultimately resulted in Putin staying at home.

Gerald Imray has the full report:

Andy Gregory21 August 2023 22:18

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Greece will help train Ukrainian F-16 pilots, Zelensky says

Greece will take part in the training of Ukrainian air force pilots for F-16 jets, Volodymyr Zelensky has said during a joint press conference with Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens.

Denmark and the Netherlands announced on Sunday that they would supply the first F-16s to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president told a crowd in Denmark on Monday that promised deliveries of F-16 had made him confident Ukraine could end Russia’s invasion, and at a later conference in Athens expressed his gratitude for Greece’s involvement in the corresponding training.

He did not provide details of the training programme. Officials from a coalition of 11 nations have said F-16 training will take place in Denmark and Romania.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, welcomed Volodymyr Zelensky at Maximos Mansion in Athens

(AP)

Andy Gregory21 August 2023 21:32


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