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Russia Ukraine war live: Wagner boss ‘confirmed dead by genetic tests’; Kyiv claims five Moscow fighter jets hit by drones


Wagner chief Prigozhin killed

Ukraine hit five of Moscow’s fighter jets with a night-time drone strike on Russian soil, a source in Kyiv’s security service told Ukrainian outlets yesterday.

The Kyiv Post and Ukrainska Pravda both cited sources in Ukraine’s SBU security service as claiming successful strikes were carried out on four Russian Su-30 fighter jets and one MiG-29 at an airfield in Kursk.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military said its troops had liberated the southeastern village of Robotyne and were trying to advance further south in their counteroffensive.

This morning, Russia’s defence ministry claimed to have shot down two more drones in the Bryansk and Kursk regions, which both border Ukraine, without providing further information about possible damage or casualties.

It comes as Russia’s Investigative Committee’s said Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was confirmed to have died in a plane crash near Moscow on Wednesday, citing the results of genetic tests of the 10 bodies found in the wreckage.

Western politicians and commentators have speculated that Mr Putin ordered Prigozhin to be killed as punishment for Wagner’s brief mutiny in June, claims the Kremlin has denied as an “absolute lie”.

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Russia’s FSB security service has charged a former employee of the U.S. consulate in the Russian Far East with collecting information on the war in Ukraine and other issues for Washington, state news agency TASS said on Monday.

The suspect, Robert Shonov, relayed information to US embassy staffers in Moscow on how Russia’s conscription campaign was impacting political discontent ahead of the 2024 presidential election in Russia, TASS quoted the FSB as saying.

The FSB said it planned to question US embassy employees who were in contact with Shonov, a Russian national who has been under arrest since May.

The embassy said in May that “the allegations against Mr. Shonov are wholly without merit”, and his “only role at the time of his arrest was to compile media summaries of press items from publicly available Russian media sources”.

Holly Evans28 August 2023 08:00

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Ukraine liberates key south-eastern village amid heavy fighting

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister has said that the south-eastern village of Robotyne has been liberated.

Kyiv’s troops are trying to advance further after the victory, which commanders had previously said could unlock Russia’s defences.

Since launching their counteroffensive in June, Ukraine have been pushing for a significant breakthrough.

The village of Robotyne is considered an important objective as it situated on the road to Tokmak, which defends the road towards Melitopol, the biggest city in the area.

Ukrainian servicemen ride a tank near the village of Robotyne, in Zaporizhzia

(REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)

Holly Evans28 August 2023 07:30

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Russia cancels grand military exercise amid lack of troops and ammunition, says UK MoD

Russia has likely cancelled joint military exercises dubbed Zapad (‘West’) that were due to start imminently, amid a lack of troops and equipment.

The planned “joint strategic exercise” was a major annual event intended to be the culmination of the military’s training year.

“The Russian military’s under-performance in Ukraine has highlighted how JSEs have had limited training value and have largely been for show. Russia has likely cancelled Zapad 23 because too few troops and equipment are available,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It added that there is a “realistic possibility that the Russian leadership is also sensitive to domestic criticism liable from running another slickly presented JSE during wartime”.

“From 2010 Russia ran a four-year cycle, rotating JSEs around the country. However, since 2021, Russia has based the JSE in western Russia at least every second year as it prioritises confronting what it perceives as the threat from Nato. This follows ZAPAD 21, the largest Russian exercise since Soviet times,” the ministry said today.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 07:09

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Zelensky fears ‘big risk’ of attacking Russian soil

Volodymyr Zelensky has said he fears Ukraine would be abandoned by its allies in the West and elsewhere if Kyiv expanded its ground operations into Russian territory.

“I believe that this is a big risk, we will definitely be left alone,” the war-time president said in an interview with national media, on being asked if it was time to attack Russia on its own soil.

Ukraine has yet to launch any ground assaults on Russian territory or the Crimean peninsula, but drone attacks on Russian provinces have grown in recent weeks, forcing Moscow to shut its airspace on several occasions, and pro-Ukraine saboteurs have claimed success in operations within Russia.

While Ukraine has never come forward to take responsibility for attacks on Russian or Russia-occupied territory, its leaders – including Mr Zelensky – have expressed satisfaction with the results and declined to deny Ukrainian involvement.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 06:59

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Watch: Putin appears to speak with bizarre altered voice in video address during Brics summit

Putin appears to speak with bizarre altered voice in video address during Brics summit

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 06:59

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Opinion | If the Wagner mercenary chief is dead, he got the death he deserved

In response to news of the crash of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private plane near Moscow, our international editor Chris Stevenson gave his take in this Independent Voices article:

“It is not surprising that Russian authorities have declared Yevgeny Prigozhin dead. Given the attempted mutiny he led with the Wagner mercenary group against Moscow, the assumption was that he may not be long for this world.

“When it comes to the iron-grip President Vladimir Putin has on his nation – if you come for the king, as the adage goes, you best not miss.

“But as the speculation swirls about the end of Prigozhin and the embarrassment that Putin could not let stand, it can be easy to brush past the terrible things Progozhin’s mercenaries are believed to have done. Let’s get this straight, Prigozhin deserved the end that all signs point to him having met.”

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 05:59

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Second vessel leaves Odesa through temporary Black Sea corridor

A vessel carrying steel products to Africa has left Ukraine’s Odesa port through a temporary Black Sea corridor, a senior Ukrainian government official said.

The ship, en route to Africa, is the second such to do so since Russia withdrew last month from a UN-brokered deal that allowed for grain to be safely exported.

Deputy prime minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the Liberian-flagged ship PRIMUS had begun sailing through a temporary corridor set up for civilian vessels, confirming a report on Saturday by a Ukrainian lawmaker.

“The 2nd vessel blocked due to the war has left the port of Odesa and is now sailing through a temporary corridor,” Mr Kubrakov posted on the social media platform X, formerly called Twitter.

Mr Kubrakov said the ship had been at the port since February last year, just four days before Russia’s invasion, and was carrying steel products to Africa.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 05:57

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Discontent brewing in Crimea over Russia’s forced mobilisation push

Local reports from inside Crimea indicate increasing dissatisfaction with the Russian military’s efforts to forcibly mobilise the population of the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014.

A closed survey of locals by Russian-backed authorities sought people’s opinions on the military draft in which the results show “an extremely negative attitude” towards conscription, reported Ukraine’s National Resistance Centre in the region.

The movement by Kyiv’s Special Operations Forces is aimed against the occupation of Ukraine.

The survey results, according to the resistance centre, motivated occupation authorities to offer conscripts additional benefits, but these bonuses were unlikely to sway the public mood, the report added.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 05:25

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Russia shoots down two drones over Kursk, Bryansk regions

Russia’s defence ministry said its forces shot down two drones overnight in two regions bordering Ukraine.

One drone was shot down over the Bryansk region in Russia’s west and another in the Kursk region, just south of it, the defence ministry said on the Telegram messaging channel.

There was no further information about possible damage or casualties.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 04:48

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Who is ‘Juice’? The ‘mega talent’ Ukrainian pilot killed in mid-air plane crash

Ukraine is mourning the loss of three fighter pilots killed as two training aircraft collided in the skies some 90 miles west of Kyiv.

Singled out for particular praise by president Volodymr Zelensky and Ukraine’s airforce is Captain Andriy Pilshchykov, a pilot who went by the military callsign “Juice”.

The late pilot, who was 30 years old when the crash occured over the western Zhytomyr region on Friday, had become known not just for his defence of Ukraine, but also for his passionate advocacy for the United States to provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets.

The Mig-29 pilot first won fame in Ukraine as he took part in “dogfights” with Moscow’s fighter jets in the skies above Kyiv during the initial months of Russia’s invasion, according to Ukrainian news outlets.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 04:37


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