Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

28 minutes ago

Lithuania proposes to close half of the remaining border crossing points with Belarus

The Lithuanian Interior Ministry will propose to close two of the four remaining border crossing points with Belarus, according to Lithuanian Interior Minister Agni Pilotate, who was quoted by local media BNS.

Belarus’ NATO neighbors have drastically reduced their border crossing points since the country became a staging post for Russian forces entering Ukraine. Poland closed all but one after expelling Polish diplomats from Belarus, and Lithuania closed two other border regions in mid-August due to “geopolitical conditions”.

The Belarusian government called on the Russian Wagner mercenary group to station in Belarus instead of Russia in late June, and the country conducted military maneuvers with Wagner’s forces near the Lithuanian and Polish borders.

— Natasha Turak

50 minutes ago

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba meets with his Czech counterpart

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavsky and thanked him for the opportunity to speak with Czech ambassadors on Monday.

Kuleba tweeted, “Ukrainian and Czech diplomats work side by side to defend freedom, promote Ukraine’s path to the European Union and NATO, strengthen relations with African countries, and other common priorities.”

The Czech Republic has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since the beginning of the large-scale Russian invasion.

— Natasha Turak

one hour ago

Two dead and five wounded in a Russian raid on the Poltava region

Local authorities said two people were killed and five others wounded in a Russian missile attack in the Poltava region of central-eastern Ukraine.

The chief of staff of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, wrote in a post on Telegram that the missiles hit a vegetable oil factory and that the people inside “were working the night shift,” according to Google Translate.

Yermak posted pictures showing the facility and its metal structures on fire. The Ukrainian military said that Russian forces fired four missiles from the Black Sea overnight, two of which were shot down. CNBC has not been able to independently verify the information.

— Natasha Turak

2 hours ago

Russia says genetic evidence proves Wagner’s Prigogine died in a plane crash

A view of the site after the crash of a private plane, allegedly carrying Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and other passengers, in northwest Russia’s Tver region, Russia on August 23, 2023.

Wagner Telegram Account | newsletter | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian state investigators announced that the results of genetic tests confirmed the death of the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a plane crash last Wednesday.

Prigozhin was on a list of 10 people on board the plane that crashed over Russia’s Tver region, according to Russia’s Federal Transport Agency. All ten people were killed.

“In the framework of the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region, molecular genetic examinations were completed. According to their results, the identities of all 10 dead were established. They correspond to the list mentioned in the flight sheet.” The investigation committee said in a statement on the Telegram application. Reuters provided an English translation.

A screenshot captured from a video shared online shows Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian private security company Wagner, holding a rifle in a desert area while wearing camouflage clothing in a video for the first time after rebelling against the Russian administration in an unspecified way. Its location in Africa on August 21, 2023. In the footage shared on the Telegram channel titled “The Wagner Evacuation,” Prigozhin states that they have made Russia “greater” on all continents, including Africa.

Wagner account | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Speculation is still rife about how the plane itself, Prigozhin’s private plane, went down. Many commentators and analysts have speculated that Russian Vladimir Putin may have been behind it, which the Kremlin vehemently denies. Prigozhin led an aborted insurrection against the Russian government on 23 June, exactly two months before the crash.

— Natasha Turak

3 hours ago

EU trade commissioner urges restoration of Black Sea grain deal

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis spoke to CNBC about the Black Sea Grain Initiative, criticizing Russia for using food as a “weapon of war” and stressing the need to revive the deal that allowed Ukrainian ships to export grain safely amid a Russian naval blockade. .

“In reality, what we are witnessing is that Russia is using food as a weapon of war,” Dombrovskis told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill. “They are deliberately destroying Ukrainian grain stores, stealing Ukrainian grain.” “This not only creates problems for Ukraine, but also for developing countries around the world, because they are the ones who suffer the most in terms of food security in terms of affordability,” he said.

Dombrovskis said the EU raised the issue in G20 meetings and supported diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and Turkey to restore the agreement.

Remnants of Russian missiles lie ahead of the wreckage as Ukrainians rescue barley and peas three days after five Russian missiles hit a grain storage facility in the village of Pavlevka, Odessa Region, Ukraine, on July 24, 2023.

Scott Peterson | Getty Images

“We also provide alternative export routes to Ukraine, the so-called ‘solidarity corridors’, which he said have enabled a large volume of Ukrainian exports to exit so far,” he added.

He added, “But in any case, it is important to continue pressure on the aggressor Russia, not only to stop its aggression, but also to stop using food as a weapon of war.”

Russia withdrew from the agreement in July, expressing frustration with the fact that the agreement did not allow Russian farmers and fertilizer producers to export their goods. Since then it has launched several attacks, destroying Ukrainian ports and grain storage infrastructure as well as large quantities of stored grain.

— Natasha Turak

4 hours ago

Russian billionaire calls for sanctions relief after criticizing war: Financial Times

Arkady Voloz, billionaire and co-founder of Yandex, speaks during a panel discussion at VTB Capital’s annual forum “Russia Calls” in Moscow, Russia, on November 20, 2019.

Andrei Rudakov | bloomberg | Getty Images

The Financial Times reported that Russian billionaire Arkady Voloz, co-founder of the social media and technology company Yandex, appealed through his lawyer for the lifting of EU sanctions against him shortly after he publicly condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Financial Times wrote on Sunday: Voloz’s lawyers petitioned the EU to overturn the proceedings days after Voloz denounced Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric” invasion of Ukraine, according to people familiar with the move. The request will be discussed by EU officials next month. next”.

In a statement published by the independent Russian website “The Bell” on August 10, Voloz said: “I am categorically against Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.”

He said he was terrified that “the homes of Ukrainians are being bombed every day,” adding that he understood that he also had “responsibility for the country’s actions.” Moscow blocked access to the bell tower in Russia in February.

Yandex search engine is often called the Russian Google. It came under European sanctions in the months following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine over what the European Union said was its role in “promoting state media and narratives in search results” and removing “content related to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine”. Voloz quit Yandex shortly after this.

— Natasha Turak

5 hours ago

Ukraine says its forces have liberated the village of Robotyn in the southeast of the country

Ukrainian forces have recaptured the southeastern settlement of Ropotyn in the Zaporizhia region, Deputy Defense Minister Hana Malyar told national television on Monday.

“Offensive operations are continuing in the southern region. Robotyn has been liberated. Our forces are moving southeast of Robotyn and south of Mala Tokmashka,” Malyar said, according to an English translation published by the Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform. CNBC has not been able to independently verify details on the ground.

Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhia region, along with three other eastern regions, in late September 2022. The Ukrainian counteroffensive is trying to retake as much of that territory as possible, though progress is slow.

— Natasha Turak

5 hours ago

Officials said that Russian air defense is shooting down drones approaching Moscow and the western border region

Officials reported that Russian defense forces shot down drones that approached Moscow and flew over the country’s western Bryansk border region.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in his message on a telegram: “Today, the air defense forces destroyed a drone that was flying towards Moscow in the Lyubertsy region. At the moment, there are no casualties, no damage. Emergency services are working at the scene.” The channel, according to an English translation provided by the Russian news agency TASS.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier in the morning that air defenses also shot down two drones that flew over Bryansk, an area that has seen many drone strikes in the past few weeks.

Moscow describes the attacks as “terrorist” acts from Ukraine. Kyiv has not officially commented.

— Natasha Turak

Friday, August 25, 2023 at 7:37 AM EST

The Kremlin says Putin expects to meet Erdogan soon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) in October 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to hold personal talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan soon, as Ankara seeks to broker a return to the Black Sea grain deal that Moscow withdrew from last month.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, today, Friday, at a press conference with journalists, that the date and place of the meeting are currently being determined.

He said in comments reported by Reuters, “We usually coincide with the announcements of such visits with our partner countries. We will soon announce when and where they will be held. The meeting is being prepared and is being prepared very carefully.”

Karen Gilchrist

Friday, August 25, 2023 at 7:03 AM EST

The Kremlin said speculation that Putin killed Prigozhin was an “absolute lie”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the investigation into Wednesday’s plane crash that President Vladimir Putin said killed Prigozhin was still continuing, according to a Reuters translation of a call with reporters.

Getty Images

The Kremlin on Friday rejected what it said were Western “speculation” that Wagner’s mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed on his orders, describing it as an “absolute lie”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the investigation into Wednesday’s plane crash that President Vladimir Putin said killed Prigozhin was still continuing, according to a Reuters translation of a call with reporters.

Peskov added that it was impossible to say whether Putin would attend Prigozhin’s funeral, citing the president’s “extremely busy schedule.”

Karen Gilchrist

6 hours ago

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