Russia’s war in Ukraine
Vladimir Putin has accused the UK of being behind an attempt by Ukrainian forces to attack a Russian atomic plant in a long rant against Western help to Kyiv.
The Russian president, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, claimed the UK was behind an alleged plot to train Ukrainian “saboteurs” to strike a nuclear power plant in Russia, without offering any evidence.
The so-called saboteurs were arrested by the state security service before they could hit their target, and later said under interrogation they had been trained by British instructors, Putin claimed.
Earlier, he claimed that 1,000 to 1,500 volunteers are signing contracts to join the Russian army every day – a sign of the pressure Moscow is under from Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
He was responding to a question about whether Russia needed to introduce a new compulsory mobilisation to boost its forces.
Earlier, an armoured train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia for talks with Mr Putin. The train crossed the Khasan station in “an atmosphere of absolute secrecy” this morning, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
Putin claims UK behind attempted attack on atomic facility
An attempted attack by Ukrainian forces on a Russian atomic facility was orchestrated by the UK, Vladimir Putin has claimed.
The Russian president was speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
“Do they understand what they are playing with?” Putin said.
“Are they trying to provoke us into retaliating against Ukrainian atomic power stations? Does the British prime minister know what his secret services are doing in Ukraine?”
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 12:00
Putin says he’s ready for long war, not betting on Trump
Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday indicated he was bracing for a long war in Ukraine, saying that Kyiv could use any ceasefire to rearm and that Washington would continue to see Russia as an enemy no matter who won the 2024 US election.
Speaking for several hours at an economic forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok, Putin said Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces had so far failed and the Ukrainian army had sustained heavy losses of 71,000 men in the attacks. Only when Ukraine was exhausted when it came to men, equipment and ammunition would it talk peace, he said in reply to questions from a Russian television presenter acting as a moderator.
But he said Kyiv would use any cessation of hostilities “to replenish their resources and restore the combat capability of their armed forces.”Putin said many potential mediators had asked him if Russia.
He also said Putin said the prosecution in the United States of former president Donald Trump was politically motivated and demonstrated the “rottenness” of the US political system. But the Kremlin chief said that no matter who won next year’s US election, he expected no change in Washington’s policy towards Russia. “The will be no fundamental changes in the Russian direction in U.S. foreign policy, no matter who is elected president,” Putin said. “The US authorities perceive Russia as an existential enemy.”
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 14:56
Investigation into Russian nationalist Girkin extended till Dec 18 – supporters
A criminal investigation into prominent Russian nationalist Igor Girkin was extended until 18 December his supporters said on Tuesday in their Telegram channel.
Girkin, who has strongly criticised the conduct of the Ukraine war, was detained in July on charges of inciting extremism. If convicted, the 52-year-old may face up to five years in jail
Girkin, who also goes by the name Igor Strelkov, is a former security services officer who helped to start the initial war in Ukraine in 2014, when a militia under his command seized the east Ukrainian city of Sloviansk.
He is best known in the West for having been convicted in absentia by a Dutch court over the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane with the loss of 298 lives over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 14:15
ICYMI: Why Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are desperate for each other’s help
The North Korean leader is in Russia to discuss weapons for Moscow’s war machine. Given the isolation both men face, it is clear they need each other, writes Chris Stevenson.
Read Chris’s full piece here:
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 14:00
EU to cease sanctions against three Russian businessmen this week – sources
The European Union will not renew sanctions against three men targeted over Russia’s war against Ukraine when the current punitive measures expire later this week, two diplomatic sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
The trio are Russian businessman Grigory Berezkin, billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov and the former head of Ozon, Russian e-commerce firm, Alexander Shulgin.
The EU needs unanimity of all the bloc’s 27 member states to impose sanctions, which are renewed every six months. The next batch expires 15 September.
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 13:35
Britain orders more munitions as Ukraine war boosts UK defence
Britain’s BAE Systems has won a further £130 million ($162 million) order from the government for munitions, as the Ukraine war continues to boost the UK defence industry.
Britain had already signed a £280 million munitions contract with BAE, Britain’s biggest defence company, in July before it exercised an option to increase its supply by another £130 million on Tuesday.
“The conflict in Ukraine has forced a global rethink around munition priorities,” Steve Cardew, BAE’s business development director, munitions, told media at the DSEI arms fair in London.
The chief executive of British military technology company Qinetiq, Steve Wadey, said the war in Ukraine had triggered its main customers of Britain, the United States and Australia to “strategically step back and look at the long-term threats in the world and consider their defence and security policies, budgets and solutions.”
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 13:20
Timeline of Russia’s relations with North Korea as Putin meets Kim Jong-Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia to see President Vladimir Putin. It will be the two isolated leaders’ second meeting. Their governments have not confirmed an agenda, but US officials say Putin may ask for artillery and other ammunition for his war in Ukraine.
Such a request would mark a reversal of roles from the 1950-53 Korean War when the Soviet Union provided ammunition, warplanes and pilots to support communist North Korea‘s invasion of the South and the decades of Soviet sponsorship of the North that followed.
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 13:00
ICYMI: Ukraine’s ‘tit for tat’ drone strikes could boost Putin’s popularity in Russia, experts warn
Since that statement, Kyiv has announced plans to invest $1bn into the industry, as more than 10,000 drones are said to be lost on the battlefield every month.
Alexander Butler reports:
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 12:20
Sweden to consider sending fighter jets to Ukraine, SR radio reports
The Swedish government will ask its armed forces to investigate the potential for sending Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, Swedish public radio (SR) reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
The government wants to know, among other things, how a handover would affect Sweden’s defence capabilities and how quickly Sweden could get new Gripen fighters, SR reported.
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 11:45
Putin says Ukraine is only likely to talk peace when its resources are exhausted
Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukraine was only likely to start peace talks when it ran out of resources and would use any potential cessation of hostilities to rearm again with Western help.
The war has sown devastation across swathes of eastern and southern Ukraine, killed or injured hundreds of thousands and triggered the biggest rupture in Russia’s ties with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok, said Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces had so far failed and that the Ukrainian army had sustained heavy losses.
“I have the impression that they want to bite off as much as they can and then, when their resources are close to zero, to achieve a cessation of hostilities and start negotiations in order to replenish their resources and restore combat capability,” Putin said.
Matt Mathers12 September 2023 11:19