The essentials in brief:
- President Zelenskyj visits injured soldiers
- Russian drones in the mouth of the Danube
- Ukraine moves troops to Kupyansk
- US warns Russia against cooperation with North Korea
Shortly after his trip to the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also visited positions close to the front in the south-eastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia. “Thank you for the service, thank you for defending Ukraine on this important southern stretch,” said the head of state at a field hospital, according to a statement. According to the information, up to 200 wounded people receive their first aid in the hospital every day.
In his evening video speech, Zelenskyy said that he had been informed by the commanders, among other things, about the use of weapons and equipment that international partners had supplied to Ukraine.
Russian drones in the mouth of the Danube
According to the Ukrainian Air Force, several Russian drones entered the area of the Danube estuary on Wednesday night. The Air Force said it was a larger group of drones moving in the direction of the Danube river ports of Izmail and Reni.
Residents reported on social media that air defense systems were deployed near the two ports. The governor of the southern Odessa region, Oleh Kiper, around 1:30 a.m. asked the population of Izmail district to go to safety. The alarm was canceled an hour later.
Since Russia suspended the Grain Agreement that allowed safe export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, transportation from the two port cities across the Danube has become the main export route for Ukrainian grain. From Izmail and Reni, the Ukrainian grain is shipped by barge to the Romanian port of Constanta and transported on from there.
troop deployments in Ukraine
In view of the advance of Russian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian army has moved reserves to the Kupyansk sector. This will prevent further advances by the enemy, said the spokesman for Army Group East, Serhiy Cherevatyy, on Ukrainian news television.
According to Ukrainian and Russian military observers, the Russian army has advanced to within about seven kilometers of the city of Kupyansk. The local authorities have also already ordered an evacuation of civilians around the city. Kupyansk was only liberated from Russian occupation last year as part of a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region.
No Russian troops on the Finnish border yet
According to Finnish information, Russia has not yet implemented the announced transfer of troops to the border with Finland. As early as December last year, Moscow announced the creation of new units in north-western Russia in response to NATO expansion, Finnish Foreign Minister Sanna Marin told the AFP news agency. “These efforts don’t seem to be progressing very quickly,” she said, adding, referring to the war in Ukraine, “Russian resources appear to be tied up elsewhere at the moment.”
Finland and Russia share a 1340 km border. In the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Scandinavian country – together with Sweden – gave up its decades of neutrality last year and applied to join NATO. Finland was admitted to the alliance in April. Russia described the move as an “attack on our security” and announced “tactical and strategic countermeasures”.
Finland is currently constructing a fence on a 200-kilometer section of the Finnish-Russian border, which should be ready in 2026.
Washington warns Moscow
The US has warned Russia against closer defense cooperation with North Korea. “Any type of security cooperation or arms deal between North Korea and Russia would certainly violate a number of UN Security Council resolutions,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said in Washington on Tuesday. Russia and North Korea had previously announced their intention to cooperate more closely on security issues in the future.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday sent a congratulatory message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the day Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
Kim also spoke out in favor of “further expanding the strategic and tactical cooperation between the two countries in the field of security and defense,” as North Korea’s Defense Minister Kang Sun Nam said, according to Russian news agencies, during a security forum near Moscow.
mak/fw (dpa, afp, rtr)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.