Ukraine war: Russian ship in Black Sea 'targeted in sea drone attack' – The Independent

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Putin’s soldiers are being held in the north, Sir Tony Radakin says as he refutes claims that Ukraine’s counter offensive is stalling
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Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ukraine has the initiative in the war against Vladimir Putin and is pushing Russia back, according to Britain’s most senior military officer.
Speaking at an arms fair in London, Sir Tony Radakin hit back at the idea Kyiv’s counteroffensive was struggling.
“In the north they are holding and fixing Russian forces there and in the south they are making progress between 10 and 20km,” the Guardian reported him saying.
His comments came as Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky hailed in his nightly address Ukraine’s destruction of a Russian air defence system in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
Ukraine has said it also attacked two Russian patrol ships on Thursday, ramping up its strikes to challenge Moscow’s dominance in the Black Sea region.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Friday morning that a Ukrainian attack carried out on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol earlier this week left two ships with “catastrophic damage”.
The president of Poland Andrzej Duda is scheduled to meet Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky next week, he has said.
The two leaders will hold talks in New York, where the United Nations General Assembly is taking place, Duda’s office said in a tweet.
“In a few days, in New York, I have an appointment with the President of Ukraine @ZelenskyyUa,” he said.
“We will, among others: talk about grain. Ukraine must understand our position – my task is to take care of our Polish interests.”
Earlier this week Ukraine warned it could seek international arbitration over restrictions on its grain exports after Poland said it would continue to block domestic imports of Ukrainian grain even if Brussels lifts a ban.
Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while permitting transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere.
The European Union has reacted to the war in Ukraine with a rare unity – but splits are already emerging between countries offering support for as long as it takes and those agitating for Kyiv to cut its losses, writes Mary Dejevsky.
Read Mary’s full piece here:
The European Union has reacted to the war in Ukraine with a rare unity – but splits are already emerging between countries offering support for as long as it takes and those agititating for Kyiv to cut its losses, writes Mary Dejevsky

The US has expressed its regret at the expulsion of two of its diplomats from Russia and vowed to respond “appropriately.”
Russia’s foreign ministry on Thursday declared two US diplomats “persona non grata” and ordered them to leave the country within seven days as they were allegedly involved in “illegal activity.”
The ministry charged in a statement that the first secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Russia, Jeffrey Sillin, and the second secretary, David Bernstein, “kept in touch” with a former employee of the US Consulate in Vladivostok who was arrested earlier this year. The ex-employee was accused of collecting information for U.S. diplomats about Russia’s military action in Ukraine and related issues.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said: “Once again, Russia has chosen confrontation and escalation instead of constructive diplomatic engagement. It continues to harass our embassy staff, just as it continues to intimidate its own citizens.”
Matthew Miller

Russia rolled out the red carpet for Kim Jong-Un ahead of the North Korean leader’s visit to an aircraft plant.
Kim was welcomed as a “top-ranking guest” upon his arrival at Russia’s eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday, according to state media.
“A red carpet was unfurled for the top-ranking guest”, Russian state media TASS said, adding that Kim was welcomed with bread and salt in keeping with the Russian tradition for “special guests”.
Kim has been visiting Russia this week and held talks with the Russian president about “economic cooperation” between the two countries.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu checked on the repair and modernisation of the Pacific Fleet’s nuclear submarines at a top military shipyard on Friday, his ministry said.
Shoigu earlier this week took part in talks between president Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un who visited two aviation plants in the town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday.
Shoigu checked construction of a floating docking complex and on how nuclear submarines are being repaired and modernized at Zvezda plant in the town of Bolshoi Kamen, the defence ministry said in statement.
It added that Zvezda is the leading submarine repair facility of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and the only one in the Far East specialising in repair and modernization of nuclear-powered submarine missile carriers.
“Sergei Shoigu demanded the maximum use of Zvezda’s production facilities in order to complete the repair and modernisation of submarines,” the defence ministry said.
File photo: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov

Ukraine says it shot down 17 drones launched by Russia overnight.
“On the night of September 15, 2023, the enemy attacked Ukraine with ‘Shahed-136/131’ type UAVs from the southeast (Prymorsko-Akhtarsk — Russian Federation),”Ukraine’s air forces said in a statement.
“A total of 17 UAVs were launched, which were moving along different routes in the direction of Khmelnytskyi. All 17 ‘Shakhediv’ was destroyed by anti-aircraft defense along the tracking route.”
File: A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it attacked buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian forces have recaptured a village in the country’s east after intense battles with Russian troops, the country’s military said Friday.
The village of Andriivka — about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the Russia-occupied town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region — is the latest gain for Kyiv in a counteroffensive that has seen slow but steady gains by Ukrainian forces.
The announcement of reclaiming Andriivka came early Friday from the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces.
The 3rd Assault Brigade said it captured the village after surrounding the Russian garrison in Andriivka in what it described as a “lightning operation” and destroying it over two days.
It described the capture of Andriivka as a breakthrough on the southern flank of Bakhmut and “key to success in all further directions.”
Arpan Rai has the full report:
Vladimir Putin has lost more than 600 troops in just the last 48 hours, says Ukrainian military
Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the US next week for talks with Joe Biden about getting more military aid for Ukraine.
The two presidents are expected to meet either at the White House or at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US media report.
Both Zelensky and Biden are scheduled to address the UN assembly on Tuesday. Full report here.
Biden and Zelensky
Blinded by a Russian mortar shell, Ukrainian veteran Ivan Soroka couldn’t see his bride when she walked into his family home in a shoulderless white dress, a bouquet of white flowers in her right hand.
But when Vladislava Ryabets, 25, stepped toward him, Soroka wept with joy at the new chapter of life starting months after enemy artillery stole his sight.
Blinded by a Russian mortar shell, Ukrainian veteran Ivan Soroka couldn’t see his bride when she walked into his family home in a shoulderless white dress, a bouquet of white flowers in her right hand
Russia has lost 271,440 soldiers during its illegal invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv has claimed.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Moscow lost 470 troops in one day.
Russia has also lost some 4,612 tanks, 8,814 armoured combat vehicles and 5,972 artillery systems among other military kit since 24 February last year.
File photo: A soldier of Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade looks on against the background of an APC near Bakhmu

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