Ukraine-Russia war live: Wagner boss ‘confirmed dead by genetic tests’ as Putin orders mercenaries’ allegiance


Wagner chief Prigozhin killed

Ukraine hit five of Moscow’s fighter jets with an overnight drone strike on Russian soil, a source in Kyiv’s security service has told Ukrainian outlets.

Russia’s defence ministry claimed to have shot down two drones in the Bryansk and Kursk regions, which both border Ukraine, giving no information about possible damages or casualties.

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

It came as Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was confirmed by Russia’s Investigative Committee to have died in a plane crash near Moscow on Wednesday, citing the results of genetic tests it said confirmed the identities 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. Meanwhile, a resurfaced clip of Prigozhin talking about a “plane falling apart in the sky” has resurfaced on social media.

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Drone destroyed by air defences near Moscow, says mayor

Air defences in Russia shot down a hostile drone near Moscow in the early hours today, city mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

“Today, air defense forces in the Lyubertsy region destroyed a drone flying towards Moscow. Emergency services are on the scene,” he said on a Telegram message around 4am.

According to preliminary information no casualties or damage on the ground have been reported, he said.

Arpan Rai28 August 2023 03:54

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Mapped: What gains have Ukraine made in Zaporizhzhia

Here is the latest battlefield assessment in Zaporizhzhia from the US-based Institute for the Study of War think-tank, where Ukrainian forces are thought to have broken through Russia’s first line of defence to have seized the village of Robotyne.

The think-tank said on Saturday that geolocated footage suggested Kyiv’s troops had progressed to a treeline some distance from Robotyne, and were approaching a vast anti-tank ditch forming part of Russia’s second line of defences:

Russia appears to have also made gains west of Robotyne

(Institute for the Study of War)

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 03:46

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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, with a fallen pilot who went by the military callsign “Juice” singled out for particular praise by president Volodymyr Zelensky.

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.

You can read more about the pilot here:

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 02:43

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Watch: Ukrainian troops evacuate civilians from Robotyne as troops gain foothold

Ukrainian troops evacuate civilians from Robotyne as troops gain foothold

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 01:33

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Zelensky singles out Ukrainians for praise in nightly address

Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Ukrainian troops and medics “who have distinguished themselves the most in protecting lives and Ukraine” over the past week, in his nightly address.

The Ukrainian president singled out numerous individuals for praise, including Yaroslav Bevz, who he said was among the first soldiers to enter the Zaporizhzhia village of Robotyne, and who returned the Ukrainian flag to a school which had been destroyed Russian troops.

He also thanked employees of the State Emergency Service across Ukraine, highlighting those in Odesa “who took part in the liquidation of the consequences of terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure”, and civil defence chiefs who “personally evacuated the wounded from the destroyed bus station in Dnipro”.

And in what appeared to be a possible reference to the drone strike on five Russian fighter jets in Kursk, claimed by an SBU source, Mr Zelensky added, that “today – without names, without details, but there is something to recognise our intelligence officers and special services for … Well done indeed!”

Andy Gregory28 August 2023 00:39

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Russia amassing more than 100,000 troops near northeastern frontline, Ukraine claims

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops in Ukraine’s northeast and have significantly intensified shelling and airstrikes in Kharkiv and Donetsk, Kyiv’s military has warned.

Nearly 50,000 soldiers are positioned near Lyman in Luhansk, with another 45,000 focused towards Kupiansk, a spokesperson said, where residents fear a second Russian takeover just less than a year after the Kharkiv city was liberated – and evidence of torture chambers and mass graves uncovered.

The reports of Russian troops amassing further north also come amid Ukrainian claims, as per the Institute for the Study of War think-tank, that Moscow could be diverting some “relatively elite” soldiers to Zaporizhzhia, where Ukraine appears to have broken through Russia’s front lines – in a move suggesting Moscow may be suffering from a lack of reserve troops there.

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

(REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)

Andy Gregory27 August 2023 23:46

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Wartime elections could take place in Ukraine, says Zelensky

Elections could potentially take place in Ukraine during wartime if Kyiv’s allies share the cost, domestic politicians approve and all residents are able to vote, president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

In an interview with Ukrainian broadcaster 1+1, the president discussed claims by US senator Lindsey Graham that Ukraine must show it was different to Russia by holding elections in wartime – which is currently forbidden under Ukraine’s martial law.

“I gave Lindsey a very simple answer very quickly,” Mr Zelensky said. “He was very pleased with it. As long as our legislators are willing to do it.”

He said it cost 5 billion hryvnia (£107m) to hold elections in peacetime, adding: “I don’t know how much is needed in wartim. So I told him that if the US and Europe provide financial support … I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections. And this is stipulated by the law.”

Mr Zelensky added that he had told the Republican senator: “You and I should send observers to the frontlines so that we have legitimate elections for us and for the whole world”, adding that Kyiv would also need help setting up voting access for citizens now overseas.

Mr Zelensky also said those fighting Russia’s invasion would have to be included. “They are defending this democracy today, and not to give them this opportunity because of war – that is unfair. I was against the elections only because of this.”

Andy Gregory27 August 2023 22:55

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Destroyed Russian tanks installed at Kyiv’s Independence Square

Residents in Kyiv have been pictured walking past an installation showing destroyed Russian tanks, set up on Khreschatyk Street in the Ukrainian capital’s centre.

A protest calling for the release of Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russia took place at the adjoining Independence Square in Kyiv, 500 days after they were seized in the city of Mariupol.

(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

(AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Andy Gregory27 August 2023 22:03

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ICYMI: Putin orders Wagner fighters to sign oath of allegiance following Prigozhin plane crash

Vladimir Putin has ordered Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state, amid anger in the mercenary group’s ranks over their leader’s apparent assassination in a plane crash near Moscow.

The decree was published on the Kremlin’s website and signed with immediate effect by Mr Putin, as his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisted that claims Prigozhin had been killed on the Russian president’s orders were an “absolute lie”.

The wording of the oath includes a line in which those who take it promise to strictly follow the orders of commanders and senior leaders, as questions hang over the fate of the mercenaries – many of whom had already relocated to Belarus following their mutinous march on Moscow in June.

You can read the full report here:

Andy Gregory27 August 2023 21:14

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Listen as Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed dead by Russian officials

Listen as Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed dead by Russian officials

Andy Gregory27 August 2023 20:51



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