Putin Taps Former Wagner Commander to Lead Units


(Bloomberg) — President Vladimir Putin put a former top commander of the Wagner mercenary group in charge of volunteer units in Ukraine, the Kremlin said on its website. The groups will carry out “various combat tasks,” according to Putin.

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The US European Command, which oversees training and has daily contact with Ukrainian forces, “will be out of operating funds” come Monday if the federal government shuts down, the Pentagon’s comptroller said. Training of Kyiv’s troops would continue but may be subject to interruptions. Funding for $300 million in security aid to Ukraine easily passed the US House after being stripped out of the main Pentagon spending bill, showing that bipartisan support for Kyiv’s efforts remains strong.

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea, destroying weapons, bases and supply lines as a four-month-old counteroffensive makes halting progress. The operations are part of a broader strategy of targeting Russia’s supply lines, logistics and ability to mount offensive operations. Russia’s defense ministry said it thwarted attacks by 11 drones overnight, including 10 over the Kursk region. A Russian missile hit an undisclosed infrastructure facility on the outskirts of Mykolayiv in southern Ukraine, the region’s governor said.

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Coming Up

  • Major defense industry forum in Kyiv

  • CIS defense ministers to meet

  • Russian central bank chief Nabiullina to speak at forum in Sochi

Markets

Wheat prices are headed for the worst run of quarterly losses in 14 years as bumper harvests in parts of the Northern Hemisphere offset ongoing tension in the Black Sea after the collapse in July of the agreement that allowed Ukraine to safely export grains.

Oil prices steadied after dropping the most in eight weeks on technical resistance and speculation Saudi Arabia will start restoring output if prices get too high. It’s still on track to post the biggest quarterly gain since early 2022.

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