Day 561 of the Invasion of Ukraine: The West condemned the Massacre in Kostiantynivka, New Aid Package from the USUkraine | September 7, 2023, Thursday // 11:18| views
Day 561 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- The West condemned the Russian attack in eastern Ukraine that left 17 dead
- The Armed Forces of Ukraine advance south of Bakhmut
- The Pentagon will give Ukraine depleted uranium ammunition. Zelensky arranged a new package of military aid from Denmark
- Kyiv reports strikes in Izmail region, Russia - downed drones near Moscow
- Romania has confirmed that debris, possibly from a Russian drone, has fallen on its territory
The West condemned the Russian attack in eastern Ukraine that left 17 dead
Western representatives have strongly condemned the Russian attack in eastern Ukraine that killed 17 people. The attack coincided with the visit of the first US diplomat, Antony Blinken, to Kyiv. Washington will provide Ukraine with additional military aid for 1 billion dollars.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that his country remains categorically opposed to any additional restrictions on grain exports.
The EU described the attack on the Kostiantynivka market in the Donetsk region as a barbaric attack carried out by Russia. According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the strike in Kostiantynivka was a crime against humanity. The White House also condemned the brutal Russian attacks on Ukraine and stressed the need to support Ukraine in defending its territory.
During his visit to Kyiv yesterday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Washington will provide Ukraine with additional military aid in the amount of over 1 billion dollars. Included in the package is 665 million for defense and specifically for strengthening air defenses. The Pentagon indicated that the latest shipment of military aid will also include 120 mm shells with depleted uranium intended for the Abrams tanks promised to Kyiv. In Kyiv, Blinken reported that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was making encouraging progress.
“Today we have new defense agreements. New political and humanitarian agreements. We are also preparing new international contacts to make this week more active in terms of our foreign policy. So that our soldiers, all our people, feel stronger”, said President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Addressing the "Three Seas" initiative forum in Bucharest, Zelensky reiterated his country's position against additional restrictions on grain exports.
"I ask the partners and colleagues from Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary to take into account that any kind of restriction of Ukrainian exports only increases the suffering caused by Russian aggression," Zelensky stressed.
Bulgaria is among the countries that asked the European Commission to extend the ban on the sale of Ukrainian food from September 15 until the end of the year, September 15. Poland and Hungary have warned they will do so unilaterally if Brussels does not approve.
NATO countries have expressed solidarity with Bucharest in connection with the debris of a drone that fell on the country's territory, near the border with Ukraine, after the Russian strikes against the Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni, the headquarters of the Alliance announced.
President Klaus Iohannis announced that if the investigation proved that it was debris from a Russian drone, it would mean a serious violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine advance south of Bakhmut
Ukrainian Defense Forces have achieved partial success south of Bakhmut as a result of assault operations and are strengthening new positions, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its morning bulletin.
"In the Bakhmut direction, the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks near Orikhove-Vasylivka in the Donetsk region. At the same time, as a result of assault actions, we have partial success south of Bakhmut, we pushed the enemy out of the occupied positions. Our fighters are strengthening their positions," it says in the message.
The defense forces also repelled enemy attacks in the Lyman direction in the Novooleksandrivka region of Luhansk Oblast, in the Avdii direction - in the Avdiivka region. On the Marinsky direction, Ukrainian defenders continue to hold back the advance of Russian troops near Marinka in the Donetsk region.
"At the same time, the Ukrainian defense forces continue to conduct an offensive operation in the Melitopol direction, destroy the enemy and step by step liberate the occupied territories," the General Staff informed.
In the last 24 hours, there have been a total of 39 military clashes along the entire front line. The operational situation in eastern and southern Ukraine remains complex.
During the past 24 hours, the Russians continued to shell Ukrainian territories using aviation, artillery and other weapons. More specifically, airstrikes were carried out in the Seversky and Slobozhan directions near the village of Granov in the Kharkiv region, in the Kupiansk direction - in the Sinkovka, Kotlyarovka, Krakhmalnoye districts of the Kharkiv region, in the Shakhtyor direction - in the Novoukrainka, Zolotoy Niva, Urozhaine districts, in the Zaporizhzhia region direction - in the regions of Malaya Tokmachka and Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia region, in the Kherson direction - near Olgovka.
A new report by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) notes that the Russian defense industry, in addition to the already known problems with replenishing the stocks of precision missiles, also has problems with other supplies. These problems can have a significant impact on the mobility of the Russians at the front during the fall and winter.
Earlier, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that Russia was producing dozens of Kalibr and Iskander cruise missiles a month, but this did not allow it to restore their stockpiles from last year.
The Pentagon will give Ukraine depleted uranium ammunition. Zelensky arranged a new package of military aid from Denmark
Washington will supply Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition, the Pentagon announced today, the BBC reported.
The 120mm depleted uranium munitions are intended for Abrams battle tanks promised to Kyiv as part of a new tranche of US military aid worth 5 million, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Depleted uranium ammunition is effective against tanks and armored military vehicles. Depleted uranium is effectively a by-product left over from the enrichment of uranium for use in nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons.
Depleted uranium is radioactive, but at a much lower level than the levels in natural uranium ore, which reduces its radioactivity.
Depleted uranium is used in weapons because it is very dense, self-ignites at high temperatures and pressures, and becomes sharper when penetrating armor, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.
In the meantime, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky discussed with the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, who is in Kyiv today, a new package of military aid for Ukraine, Ukrinform reported. The two leaders gave a joint press conference, BTA reported.
"Today we discussed a new package of military measures. This will be the twelfth package being prepared for this month," Zelensky said, recalling that Ukrainian pilots are being trained to operate F-16 fighter jets in Denmark.
"The Ukrainian military has the task of preparing the necessary infrastructure in our country as soon as possible. And this is one of the key tasks that the defense forces must fulfill at the moment," the president emphasized.
Issues related to expanding training opportunities and accelerating the actual integration of modern fighter jets into the defense of Ukraine are being discussed, Zelensky said.
He described the talks with Frederiksen as very meaningful and once again thanked Denmark for all the support it provides to Ukraine, noting that it highly values the current bilateral relations.
In turn, the Danish Prime Minister said that Denmark provides Ukraine with military equipment and ammunition, but wants to do much more, including in the field of air defense. "We will continue our support for civil society, for civilians," she said.
Mette Frederiksen expressed her condolences for the deaths of civilians following the Russian attack on the market in Kostiantynivka, Donetsk region.
Kyiv reports strikes in Izmail region, Russia - downed drones near Moscow
Russian drone strikes damaged port infrastructure, a grain silo and administrative buildings in the Izmail region of Ukraine's Odesa Oblast, its governor, Oleg Kiper, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Russia has stepped up attacks on Ukraine's grain export infrastructure amid talks to revive the Black Sea grain deal, which allowed unimpeded grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
One person was injured in the attack, the fourth at the key Danube port in the past five days, Kiper reported on Telegram.
The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 25 of the 33 drones it said were fired by Russia. Most were targeted at Odesa Oblast, but some were also targeted at the northern region of Sumy.
Russia pulled out of the grain deal in July after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, saying its own food and fertilizer exports faced obstacles and that not enough Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities, quoted by the RIA news agency, said that Ukrainian drones were shot down near Moscow, the southern Rostov region and the Bryansk region in the southwest in the early hours of Thursday.
According to another news agency, TASS, three buildings were damaged in the city of Rostov-on-Don and one person was injured when one of the drones crashed in the city center. The other drone in the Rostov region fell outside the city.
In Bryansk, debris from one of the two destroyed drones broke windows of a railway station building and damaged cars nearby, Interfax news agency reported.
Several drones struck a residential building in Energodar, a town in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region that is home to Europe's largest nuclear power plant, Russian-appointed governor Yevgeny Balitsky said, adding that there were no injuries.
Romania has confirmed that debris, possibly from a Russian drone, has fallen on its territory
Romania confirmed on Wednesday that debris, possibly parts of a Russian drone, had fallen on its territory. The announcement was made by Defense Minister Angel Tilvar two days after Ukraine said Russian drones had exploded on the NATO member's territory. Officials in Bucharest have so far denied these claims.
Parts of the suspected Russian drone were found in the area of the village of Plauru in the eastern district of Tulcea, according to Antena 3 CNN, after Russia carried out several attacks on the Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni, located near the border with Romania, in recent days. The Ministry of Defense confirmed in a statement yesterday that specialists sent to the area last night found "elements that may be parts of a drone".
The Minister of Defense visited the village, located about 800 meters from the Ukrainian Danube port of Izmail, together with the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. "It's normal to be worried," Tilvar told Digi 24 television, promising to strengthen vigilance measures.
Tilvar specified that objects "that could be associated with drone-type equipment" had been found, adding that technical checks were needed to accurately establish their origin. In his words, Russia can be "held primarily responsible for this situation because it has repeatedly attacked port and civil infrastructure".
"We have to distinguish between an accident and an act of aggression. At the moment, after we have found the objects that can be associated with drone-type equipment, we have to do technical checks that will allow us to assess the situation. I have no reason to think that it is an act of aggression. Romania and the alliance are not in a situation where NATO space will be attacked," commented the minister.
Earlier, he told "Agerpres" that the area was not evacuated, because it is not supposed that this debris poses any danger to the population. Tilvar also opined that it is possible that the drone did not explode as a result of the collision, but rather that individual pieces fell on Romanian territory.
President Klaus Iohannis commented on this information at the beginning of the eighth summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest. "If it is confirmed that parts of a Russian drone have fallen on the territory of Romania, this will mean a serious violation. Such a situation would be completely unacceptable," Iohannis pointed out. "If it is confirmed that these elements came from a Russian drone, such a situation would be completely unacceptable and represents a serious violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Romania, a NATO ally. These attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure are war crimes and are being carried out at a very short distance from the Romanian border. However, we are alert and in constant contact with other NATO allies. I repeat: within NATO we are very well protected and Romania benefits from extremely strong security guarantees, the strongest in our entire history", the president said.
The Romanian media reminded that only a day earlier, during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, the head of state stated that "there is no debris, no drone or other device that has landed on the territory of Romania".
On Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country had photographic evidence that Russian drones struck Romanian territory during an attack on the infrastructure of a Ukrainian port on the Danube River. However, these claims were categorically rejected by both Romania's Defense Minister Angel Tilvar and Foreign Affairs Minister Luminita Odobescu, who commented on the topic during a visit to Berlin.
The opposition Union for the Salvation of Romania (USR) reacted to yesterday's announcements demanding the dismissal of the two ministers, accusations of "lying" against President Klaus Iohannis and calling for the expulsion of the Russian ambassador to Bucharest Valery Kuzmin. "After three days of concrete efforts to cover up an important incident for Romania's security, Ukraine's information about a Russian drone that fell in Romania is confirmed precisely by the Romanian government. In this context, the USR demands the immediate dismissal of the ministers of defense and foreign works because they lied quite deliberately to the Romanian people and affected Romania's international image in an irreversible way," party leader Catalin Drula said.
He also demanded explanations from the authorities regarding Romania's air defense in the context of the attacks near the country's border.
"Why do we have no air defenses, while airstrikes are carried out night after night a few hundred meters from Romanian soil? Why did Klaus Iohannis not immediately convene consultations with the NATO allies, after for the first time since the beginning of the war there are Russian devices exploding on NATO territory," asked the leader of the USR.
Moscow has carried out numerous long-range strikes against Ukrainian targets since the start of the war last year, and Ukraine has reported suspected Russian weapons that have flown over or crashed into the territory of neighboring countries on several occasions.
In the most serious such incident in Poland, two people were killed by a rocket that landed near the border last November. Poland and NATO allies later said it was a stray Ukrainian air defense missile.
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