• According to a commanding officer from Ukraine who is currently engaged in fighting in the south, the Ukrainian forces are now capable of advancing even more quickly after breaking through the strongest Russian defense line.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense asserted that a drone was shot down on Saturday in the Belgorod region.
  • According to a recent report, Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, has said that military cooperation with Iran will not buckle under geopolitical pressure. Washington requested Tehran to stop the suspected supply of kamikaze drones to Moscow in response to the reports.
  • According to Russia, on Saturday, the three main airports servicing the capital city were temporarily closed after a drone was shot down by aviation security over Moscow.

Moscow court rejects WSJ reporter’s appeal of continued detention.

Ivan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, has filed an appeal against the Russian court’s decision to extend his pre-trial detention by three more months, according to records made public by the Moscow court. In an effort to extend his imprisonment, he is appealing the decision.

On Thursday, a Moscow court extended Gershkovich’s pretrial incarceration, prompting criticism from a US newspaper and increased demands for his release.

According to the Russian news agency TASS, the 31-year-old US citizen’s custody was increased from August 30 to November 30.

Gershkovich was arrested in March on espionage charges that he has denied.

On August 25, 2023, a Ukrainian serviceman strolls past a wrecked Ukrainian tank in the town of Robotyne in the Zaporizhia area of Ukraine. [Reuters/Viacheslav Ratynsky]

Former UK PM: Prigozhin’s demise was a “violent liquidation”

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has directly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being to accountable for the death of Wagner commander Yevgeny Prigozhin. Johnson penned an article for the British tabloid The Daily Mail.

“The entire world is fully aware — and is intended to be aware — that the person responsible for the murder of Prigozhin and the Wagner group leadership, as well as the deaths of the crew, is the same person who, for example, authorized the poisonings of Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal in the UK.”

We are witnessing something historic as we watch the terrifying video of the airliner spiraling to earth. This is a sitting head of state’s violent elimination of his adversaries on television. I is unable to recall another instance of a world leader displaying such showy and unrestrained brutality in our lifetimes.

EU official: Russia is using “grain as a weapon”

After Russia pulled out of the pact last month, a senior EU official asked Russia on Saturday to renew a grain agreement to allow the secure transport of Ukrainian grain through Black Sea ports.

According to Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, Russian limitations on the shipping of Ukrainian grains via the Black Sea were posing issues for several developing nations in addition to Kyiv.

Dombrovskis, who is in India for a conference of the G20 trade ministers, claimed that Russia is using “grain as a weapon”.

He told reporters, “We support all United Nations efforts, including Turkey on the Black Sea grain initiative, and the bloc is giving alternative trading routes, commonly known as solidarity lanes, to Ukraine for exports of grain and other goods.

Russian detained in Finland reportedly plays a prominent role in the Wagner-affiliated far-right

Following a request from Ukraine, a purported member of an extreme right-wing military sub-unit of the Wagner mercenary organization has reportedly been detained in Finland on suspicion of involvement in a “terrorist group”.

A detention hearing was scheduled to take place on Friday in a district court near Helsinki, according to Finnish public broadcaster Yle. Finnish police are requesting that the 36-year-old Russian national, identified as Yan Petrovsky, be detained in preparation for his extradition.

According to court documents, Petrovsky was allegedly involved in atrocities during fighting in 2014 and 2015 in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, Germany’s DPA news agency reported.

Ukraine’s southern offensive in pictures

Here are some images taken near the Zaporizhzhia area’s front lines.

A commander from Ukraine with the callsign “Skala” is depicted in one of the images. He told Reuters that the military has made great progress near the village of Robotyne and anticipates the counteroffensive to take up speed in the south at this point.

Ukrainian servicemen ride a tank, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, near the village of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 25, 2023 [Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters]

A commander of the separate assault battalion ‘Skala’ of the Ukrainian Armed Forces looks on, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, near the village of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 25, 2023 [Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters]

A Ukrainian serviceman operates an FPV drone from his position at a front line, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, near the village of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 25, 2023 [Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters]

This screen capture is from a handout film that was produced on August 25, 2023, and it shows Ukrainian soldiers from the Separate Assault Battalion “Skala” entering the troubled village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region. [Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Separate Assault Battalion ‘Skala’/Handout via Reuters]

West moving for second world war despite signals from Russia: Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Kremlin’s Security Council, has claimed Russia’s opponents in the West are ignoring signals from Moscow and pushing everyone towards a third world war, in an interview with TASS and RT.

“Frankly speaking, it would have definitely been better if they had heard them [the signals]. In any case, the world would not have to face the threat of World War III. In fact, this is where our opponents are actively pushing everyone,” he is quoted as saying.

The Russian news agency TASS highlighted the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 as one of the signals that Medvedev was referring to.

Russian ambassador to Germany said, “Russia had time to barricade itself in.”

The ambassador of Ukraine to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, cited the lack of firm military backing from allies in the West as one factor contributing to Ukraine’s struggles with its counteroffensive.

Makeiev stated, “Russia had time to barricade itself in,” in an interview with Deutschlandfunk that is scheduled to air on Sunday and was previewed by German news agency dpa.

“It took a very long time to prepare and equip” the Ukrainian attack brigades, he said, adding that these brigades, were now fully equipped with Western weapons and ammunition.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has encountered deeply entrenched and mined Russian defensive lines which have slowed its advances and raised concerns among allies that Kyiv may fail to make significant progress before winter.

Ukrainian shelling in the Belgorod region results in six injuries: Governor

According to the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, six people were hurt on Saturday when Ukraine shelled Urazovo, a town located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Russian bordering regions with Ukraine have frequently reported Ukrainian military shelling and sporadic cross-border incursions by fighters with Ukrainian support.

In the strike, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed Ukraine deployed “cluster munitions” and claimed residential structures had been harmed.

He initially stated that four individuals had been hurt, but later updated social media to state that six had suffered shrapnel wounds. He said on Telegram that “one victim is in extremely serious condition.”

The hammer and sickle emblem from a monument in Kiev has been removed.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted a picture on X of the towering Motherland Monument in Kyiv, one of the nation’s most recognisable landmarks bearing the country’s trident coat of arms instead of the Soviet-era hammer and sickle symbol.

The move is part of a wider shift to reclaim Ukraine’s cultural identity from the communist past amid Russia’s continuing invasion of the country.

Erected in 1981 as part of a larger complex housing the National World War II museum, the 61-metre (200-foot) monument stands on the right bank of the Dnipro river in Kyiv, facing eastward towards Moscow.

Created in the image of a fearless female warrior, the statue holds up a sword and a shield which features the Ukrainian tryzub, the trident that was adopted as the coat of arms of independent Ukraine on February 19, 1992.

Russia is anticipated to push further north as Ukraine advances in the south, according to UK intelligence

The daily public intelligence update has been made available by the UK Ministry of Defense.

In line with remarks made by a Ukrainian general to Reuters earlier in the day, it outlines Ukrainian gains in the south of the country.

Nevertheless, it states that Russian forces should be anticipated to expand in the northeast of Ukraine, where they have recently made a few modest gains in an effort to offset any Ukrainian gains.

Russian Northern Fleet exercises in the Barents Sea: Interfax

According to a report from the Interfax news agency on Saturday, Russia’s Northern Fleet has been conducting naval drills in the Barents Sea this month to stop the passage of unauthorized and foreign ships.

According to Interfax, which cited the Northern Fleet’s press department, the destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov “practised a case to repel the actions of a mock intruder vessel” in the Arctic Ocean off the northern shores of Russia and Norway.

The drills began on August 10, but Interfax stated no end date.

The fleet plans more exercises to “defend Russia’s insular and continental territories in the Arctic, as well as to ensure the safety of maritime navigation and other types of Russian maritime economic activities in the Arctic zone,” Interfax said.

Putin requests that the Wagner fighters swear loyalty.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, on Friday required Wagner combatants to swear allegiance to the Russian state.

It is widely believed that Putin’s decision to make the oath obligatory for workers at Wagner and other for-profit military contractors is an effort to more tightly regulate these organizations.

Anyone working for the military or supporting what Moscow refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine is required by the directive, which was posted on the Kremlin website, to take an official oath of allegiance to Russia.

Described in the decree as a step to forge the spiritual and moral foundations of the defence of Russia, the oath’s wording includes a line in which those who take it promise to follow the orders of commanders and senior leaders strictly.

Russian bombardment in Kharkiv region kills two people: Governor

Russian shelling struck a cafe in the town of Podoly in the eastern Ukrainian district of Kharkiv on Saturday, killing two people and injuring another, according to Oleh Synehubov, the local governor.

Synehubov posted on Telegram, “The enemy hit a civilian object – a cafe where locals were during the day.”

Podoly was taken over by Russia shortly after it invaded Ukraine in February 2022, but Kyiv retook the village in a counteroffensive in September of that year.

Russian forces have been attempting to push forward on the Kharkiv region front line in recent weeks.

Ukrainian commander seeks to move more quickly following a front-line success.

According to a commander operating in the south who spoke to Reuters, Ukrainian forces believe they have overcome the most challenging line of Russian defenses in the south and will now be able to advance more quickly.

In a community called Robotyne in the southern Zaporizhia area, roughly 10 kilometers (six miles) south of the front-line town of Orikhiv, Ukrainian forces said on Wednesday that they had raised the national flag. Successes were also reported in and around Mala Tokmachka settlement.

“We don’t stop here,” a commander who led some of the troops inside Robotyne and went by the moniker “Kombat” declared.

“Beradisk is the next stop, followed by more. I immediately made it plain to my fighters that (the Sea of) Azov was our ultimate objective and not Robotyne.

“The mined main highways have been passed. We are approaching the points where we can move forward. We’ll get along more quickly from here, Kombat assured.

According to Kombat, Ukrainian troops have now penetrated areas where there are only “Russian logistics” groups, and he made it plain that he does not anticipate Russian defenses to be as formidable there.

“We are moving on to liberate all our territories,” he told Reuters.

Drone downed by air defense systems over Moscow: Mayor

Early on Saturday, Russia claimed another drone attack on Moscow, prompting the authorities to briefly down all three of the city’s major airports.

According to Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, an air defense system shot down a drone over the Moscow region’s Istra district. About 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the Kremlin sits the neighborhood.

Flights were halted for a couple of hours on Friday at Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo, according to the Russian TASS news agency.

Russia’s deputy FM: “Cooperation with Iran will continue”

Russia’s military cooperation with Iran will not succumb to geopolitical pressure, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said, following reports that Washington has asked Tehran to stop selling drones to Moscow.

“There are no changes, and cooperation with Iran will continue,” Ryabkov said, according to a report on Saturday from Russian state news agency RIA. “We are independent states and do not succumb to the dictates of the United States and its satellites.”

The Financial Times reported earlier this month, citing an Iranian official and another person involved with the discussions, that the US is pressuring Iran to cease selling the weaponized drones that Russia is using in the conflict in Ukraine.

Unmanned “kamikaze” drones can launch without a runway and detonate upon impact.

Drone over the Belgorod region was destroyed by Russia: Moscow

The Shebekino district, a portion of the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine and has recently been the target of many drone assaults, was where the drone that was destroyed, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, was flying over on Saturday.

“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack with a drone against sites on Russian territory has been prevented,” the ministry wrote in a Telegram post.

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