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Russian Ukraine latest news today: Kyiv cross-border drone attack causes huge fire after hitting oil facility

Firefighters battle blaze in Ukraine’s Odessa after Russian airstrike on residential building

A Russian oil tank near Ukraine’s northern border has caught fire after the military brought down a Ukrainian drone trying to attack targets in the town, a local official has claimed.

Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine and Belarus, said that while Russian forces had used electronic warfare to down the drone, its munitions had hit the Klintsy oil depot and caused a fire. Russian news outlet Tass has since claimed the fire is 1,000 square metres, adding that four fuel tanks are burning.

Unverified footage posted on social media has shown a huge column of smoke burning in the darkness alongside what looks like storage tanks.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Defence Ministry (MoD) said it destroyed a Ukrainian drone in the skies over the Bryansk region.

It comes a day after Russian media outlets claimed a Ukrainian drone downed in Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St Petersburg, more than 600 miles from Kyiv, had also caused a fire after hitting an oil facility.

The Russian MoD claimed all drones had been intercepted but a Ukrainian military source said there had been “confirmed hits”.

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US warns of Russian campaign to weaponise 2024 European elections against Ukraine

Vladimir Putin is planning to wage information warfare to turn opinion in Europe against Ukraine this year as many European countries gear up for elections, a top US official said.

“Russia is hoping that the number of elections in Europe this year could change what has been a remarkable coalition and disciplined opposition to its war,” said Jamie Rubin, special envoy and coordinator for the Global Engagement Center (GEC).

The GEC is an agency of the State Department whose mission is to counter foreign state propaganda, as well as coordinating the US government’s public communications around counter-terrorism.

Tom Watling19 January 2024 08:23

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North Korea envoy returns after meeting Putin in Moscow

North Korea’s foreign minister returned from Russia on Friday after a rare official visit and meeting with President Vladimir Putin as part of closer cooperation that Washington said could drastically change the security threat posed by Pyongyang.

Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui and a government delegation returned home on Friday, official news agency KCNA said without elaborating on her meetings in Moscow.

Earlier this week, KCNA said Choe and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed strengthening the “strategic and tactical cooperation” and implementing the agreement between their leaders to forge closer ties when they met in September.

Choe’s visit was the latest in a series of high-level exchanges since last year amid growing criticism of Pyongyang’s role in the Ukraine war by allegedly shipping artillery and missiles to Russia.

Both North Korea and Russia deny the accusation and also the charge that Pyongyang was receiving advanced technology for developing strategic military capability from Moscow in return.

Recent exchange between North Korea and Russia is “an unprecedented level of cooperation in the military sphere,” White House senior director for arms control Pranay Vaddi said on Thursday.

“I think the nature of North Korea as a threat in the region could drastically change over the coming decade as a result of this cooperation,” Mr Vaddi said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, welcomes North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui for their talks in Moscow this week

Tom Watling19 January 2024 07:50

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Oil depot in Russia’s Bryansk region catches fire after Ukrainian drone attack – governor

Oil tanks at a storage facility in the town of Klintsy in Russia’s Bryansk region caught fire after the military brought down a Ukrainian drone trying to attack targets in the town, Alexander Bogomaz, the regional governor, has said.

According to preliminary information, nobody had been hurt in the incident, Bogomaz said, adding that the fire was being put out by firefighting teams.

“An aeroplane-style drone was brought down by the defence ministry using radio-electronic means. When the aerial target was destroyed, its munitions were dropped on the territory of the Klintsy oil depot,” Bogomaz wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Unverified footage (posted below) showed a fire burning in the darkness alongwise what looked like storage tanks.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Defence Ministry had said it had destroyed a Ukrainian drone in the skies over the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine.

Tom Watling19 January 2024 07:21

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US sanctions a United Arab Emirates shipping firm for allegedly violating Russian oil price cap

The U.S. on Thursday hit a United Arab Emirates shipping firm with sanctions after it transported Russian crude oil above the $60 per barrel price cap.

This is Treasury’s first oil price cap enforcement action of 2024 — imposed on Hennesea Holdings Limited and its 18 vessels that the U.S. Treasury now considers blocked property. U.S. firms and people can no longer conduct business with them.

“Today’s actions once again demonstrate that anyone who violates the price cap will face the consequences,” said Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “No one should doubt our coalition’s commitment to stopping those who help the Kremlin.”

Barney Davis19 January 2024 06:30

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Russia’s intense attacks on Ukraine has sharply increased civilian casualties in December, UN says

Russia’s intense missile and drone attacks across Ukraine in recent weeks sharply increased civilian casualties in December with over 100 killed and nearly 500 injured, the United Nations said in a new report Tuesday.

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said there was a 26.5% increase in civilian casualties last month – from 468 in November to 592 in December. With some reports still pending verification, it said, the increase was likely higher.

Barney Davis19 January 2024 05:49

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Brit fighter returns to frontline after dodging Russian death penalty threat

A British prisoner has re-appeared back on the frontline after being handed a death sentence by Russian authorities as a POW.

British fighter Aiden Aslin was captured by Russian-backed separatists while defending the city of Mariupol.

Aslin was beaten, stabbed and forced to sing the Russian national anthem while held in detention. On 9 June 2022, he was sentenced to death by the separatists for “mercenary activities” — despite being members of the Ukrainian military, which should have afforded him protection from prosecution under the Geneva Conventions.

The pair were released in a prisoner exchange brokered by Saudi Arabia.

One of five Britons (right) released from captivity by Russian-backed forces has said he did not believe he would survive the ordeal (Alamy/PA)

Barney Davis19 January 2024 04:32

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Russia preparing to ban Britain from fishing for cod and haddock in Barents Sea

Russia is preparing legislation to ban British fishermen from the Barents Sea, one of the biggest fisheries for cod and haddock in the world, according to a major Russian newspaper.

Vladimir Putin’s government is in favour of draft legislation submitted by the agriculture ministry that would see Russia pulling out of a Soviet-era fishing agreement that allowed British vessels to operate in the sea, according to Izvestiya.

The 1956 fisheries agreement came as part of concerted diplomatic efforts to ease post-war tensions with the West, and allowed British vessels to fish for seafood along the coast of the Russian Kola Peninsula, east of Cape Kanin Nos, off Kolguev Island and the small islands in the Barents Sea.

Barney Davis19 January 2024 03:38

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Parts of Crimea under blackout

Parts of Crimea, annexed by Russian troops in 2014, were left without electricity on the evening of 18 January, Reuters has reported. Later, the Russian Energy Ministry said power was restored.

According to the occupation authorities, the blackout was caused by an emergency shutdown of a power plant in Balaklava, which resulted from an interruption of its gas supply. However, what caused the malfunction was not clear.

Since Russia annexed the peninsula, Crimea has served as one of the largest Russian military bases used by the occupiers to strike peaceful Ukrainian cities and villages.

Barney Davis19 January 2024 01:00

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Crimea suffers blackout in areas under Russian control

Parts of Crimea, annexed by Russian troops in 2014, were left without electricity on the evening of 18 January, Reuters has reported.

Reports say the blackout was caused by an emergency shutdown of a power plant in Balaklava, which resulted from an interruption of its gas supply.

The cause of the interruption is not clear later, the Russian Energy Ministry said power was restored.

Since Russia annexed the peninsula, Crimea has served as one of the largest Russian military bases used by the occupiers to strike peaceful Ukrainian cities and villages.

Barney Davis19 January 2024 00:08

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Family want son’s death in Ukraine to be recognised as war crime

New Zealand aid worker Andrew Bagshaw was killed in the Soledar region of Ukraine a year ago as he helped evacuate civilians from the Ukraine conflict.

Post-mortem reports found that Andrew Bagshaw was killed by gunshot wounds to the head and other parts of the body – rather than the official explanation of their death, which was that their vehicle was hit by artillery fire.

Coroner Darren Salter, at the Oxfordshire’s Coroners Court, cited some evidence that the Wagner group – a Russian-state funded private military company – was involved in the killing.

“The next step is getting it recognised as a war crime,” Bagshaw told Morning Report.

“The important thing now is that we need to get actual evidence.”

Barney Davis18 January 2024 23:00


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