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Ukraine Russia war latest: Putin ‘considers coming face to face with world leaders’ at G20 summit

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Huge smoke cloud rises after massive explosion at factory in Moscow

Russian president Vladimir Putin is considering attending the G20 summit in person, a Kremlin source has claimed.

The summit is set to take place in September in New Delhi, India, focusing on the theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

But Putin hasn’t ruled out his attendance, the Kremlin official told NBC News, seeking to “relaunch himself on the world stage” ahead of next year’s election.

Likewise, the official claimed that Putin is keen to win over countries that aren’t solid in their support for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

After world leaders condemned Russia’s war, Putin did not participate in the event in Bali in 2022.

The news comes just one day after Russian president Vladimir Putin pledged to ramp up border defences following a surge in drone attacks.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said NATO-member Poland had already announced plans to strengthen its military, and he expected significant NATO forces and weaponry to be deployed in Finland.

On Wednesday, Russia claimed it shot down two Ukrainian drones headed for Moscow, one near a major airport to the south of the city and one to the west of the capital.

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Putin ‘considers coming face to face with world leaders’ at G20 summit

Russian president Vladimir Putin is considering attending the G20 summit in person, a Kremlin source has claimed.

The summit is set to take place in September in New Delhi, India, focusing on the theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

But Putin hasn’t ruled out his attendance, the Kremlin official told NBC News, seeking to “relaunch himself on the world stage” ahead of next year’s election.

Likewise, the official claimed that Putin is keen to win over countries that aren’t solid in their support for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

As world leaders condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin did not participate in the event in Bali in 2022.

(via REUTERS)

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 14:53

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ICYMI: Top US and EU lawmakers say West is too soft on Serbia when it comes to easing Kosovo tensions

Senior lawmakers from the United States and Europe are calling for a change in the Western diplomatic approach toward Serbia and Kosovo amid concern that tensions between the two could rapidly spiral out of control.

In the letter, signed by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his counterparts in Germany, the U.K., Ukraine and other countries, the lawmakers said U.S. and European Union negotiators were not putting enough pressure on Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Serbia and its former province of Kosovo have been at odds for decades. Their 1998-99 war left more than 10,000 people dead, mostly Kosovo Albanians. Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 but Belgrade has refuses to recognize the move.

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 17:00

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Kremlin aide rewrites Russian history for a society at war

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the Kremlin even writes the history textbooks.

Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky has published four history textbooks for 16- to 18-year-old schoolchildren giving a completely revised interpretation of the fall of the Soviet Union, the Putin era and the causes of the Ukraine war.

The books, which enter schools next month, reflect Putin’s historical view: pride at the achievements of the superpower Soviet Union, indignation at the humiliations of the Soviet collapse, and acclaim for the “rebirth” of Russia under the former KGB spy’s rule which began on the last day of 1999.

The final chapter of the 447-page “History of Russia 1945 – the start of 21st Century” focuses on the causes of the biggest land war in Europe since World War Two – the Ukraine war that has left several hundred thousand soldiers injured or dead.

Entitled “Russia Today – The Special Military Operation”, the chapter reflects Putin’s own disillusionment with the West after he offered Russia’s support to the United States during the 9/11 attacks in a gesture of post-Cold War friendship.

“The West became fixated with destabilising the situation inside Russia,” the book, a copy of which Reuters has reviewed, says on page 393. “The aim was not even hidden: to dismember Russia and to get control over its resources.”

Such an explicitly endorsed history of the kind that has for millennia been used by the powerful to influence their own legacies gives an insight into Putin’s own reasoning for war and the insecurities which may lace his domestic hegemony.

Russia’s youth, according to the book’s narrative, must understand the tragedy of the Soviet collapse, the perfidy of the West and the need to sacrifice themselves for the greatness of the Russian motherland.

(REUTERS)

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 16:37

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What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

In a rare interview the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has spoken to Independent TV about her work rebuilding Ukraine in the middle of war, the pressures on her family and concerns for the future of her country.

From the presidential palace, she told The Independent’s Bel Trew about the need to reconstruct cities despite the fighting raging on, about building cutting-edge facilities to treat the country’s’ war-wounded and fighting stigma on trauma around the country.

Watch the full interview on Independent TV, across mobile and connected TV.

What Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska wants the world to know

In a rare interview the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has spoken to Independent TV about her work rebuilding Ukraine in the middle of war, the pressures on her family and concerns for the future of her country. From the presidential palace, she told The Independent’s Bel Trew about the need to reconstruct cities despite the fighting raging on, about building cutting-edge facilities to treat the country’s’ war-wounded and fighting stigma on trauma around the country. Watch the full interview on Independent TV, across mobile and connected TV.

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 16:22

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Ukraine issues evacuation order as Russian forces push on the eastern front

Ukrainian authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation Thursday of nearly 12,000 civilians from 37 towns and villages in the eastern Kharkiv region, where Russian forces reportedly are making a concerted effort to punch through the front line.

The local military administration in Kharkiv’s Kupiansk district said residents must comply with the evacuation order or sign a document saying they would stay at their own risk.

Hanna Maliar, Ukraine‘s deputy defence minister, had said the previous day that “the intensity of combat and enemy shelling is high” in the area.

The city of Kupiansk and the territories around it were under Russian occupation until September 2022, when Ukrainian forces conducted a rapid offensive operation that dislodged the Kremlin’s forces from nearly the entire Kharkiv region.

The re-taking of those areas strengthened Ukraine‘s arguments that its troops could deliver more stinging defeats to Russia with additional armament deliveries, which its Western allies duly provided.

But as Ukraine has pursued a slow-moving counteroffensive in recent weeks, Russian forces have struck back in some areas.

Ms Maliar said Russia “has formed an offensive group and is attempting to move forward” in the area in an effort to advance on the Ukrainian-held city of Kupiansk, which is an important rail junction.

It was not possible to independently verify either side’s claims.

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 16:05

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Russia hosts military drills with Chinese navy in Pacific Ocean, defence ministry says

Russia has hosted joint military drills with the Chinese navy in the Pacific Ocean, the defence ministry has said.

“As part of the air defence exercise, the crews of the ships worked out algorithms of actions to repel an attack by air attack means of a mock enemy from various heights and directions”, it said on Telegram.

The warships held drills with aircraft and helicopters and were allegedly practising repelling air raids.

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 15:52

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Russia military push on eastern front prompts Ukraine to evacuate thousands of civilians

Ukrainian authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation Thursday of nearly 12,000 civilians from 37 towns and villages in the eastern Kharkiv region, where Russian forces reportedly are making a concerted effort to punch through the front line.

The local military administration in Kharkiv’s Kupiansk district said residents must comply with the evacuation order or sign a document saying they would stay at their own risk. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar had said the previous day that “the intensity of combat and enemy shelling is high” in the area.

The city of Kupiansk and the territories around it were under Russian occupation until September 2022, when Ukrainian forces conducted a rapid offensive operation that dislodged the Kremlin’s forces from nearly the entire Kharkiv region.

The retaking of those areas strengthened Ukraine‘s arguments that its troops could deliver more stinging defeats to Russia with additional armament deliveries, which its Western allies duly provided. But as Ukraine has pursued a slow-moving counteroffensive in recent weeks, Russian forces have struck back in some areas.

Maliar said Russia “has formed an offensive group and is attempting to move forward” in the area in an effort to advance on the Ukrainian-held city of Kupiansk, an important rail junction.

It was not possible to independently verify either side’s battlefield claims.

Local resident Oleksandr Prokopovich, 58, works outside his damaged house in Mala Komyshuvakha village, Kharkiv, 8 August

(AFP via Getty Images)

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 15:35

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Wagner tracker: Charting Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary group through the Ukraine war

Since Vladimir Putin rose to power as Russia’s president 23 years ago, few things have rocked his leadership as much as Saturday 24 June when Wagner mercenaries barrelled towards Moscow.

The “army within an army” who had been ruthlessly grinding away for months at the vanguard of some of the bloodiest fighting in eastern flanks Ukraine were now on the verge of triggering a war within a war – this time, against the Kremlin.

But the Russian president was spared that when the mutiny was halted in its tracks about 125 miles from the capital, in a deal between the leader of the mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin and Putin – brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Prigozhin himself was due to head to Belarus – although he has been pictured in Russia since – with an invitation for Wagner fighters to gather in Belarus. Thousands are set to entered the country since.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain has more:

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 15:21

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One killed in shelling of Russia’s Bryansk region – governor

One person was killed and two were wounded in Ukrainian shelling of the Russian village of Chausy in the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, the region’s governor said on Thursday.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled the village of Chausy, Pogarsky district,” Alexander Bogomaz said on the Telegram messaging app. “Unfortunately, as a result of the shelling, one man died, two local residents were injured.”

Shelling of Russian territory along the Ukrainian frontier has become commonplace in recent months in Russia’s war in Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”.

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 14:58

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Erdogan ‘probably the only man in the world’ who can convince Putin to rejoin Black Sea Grain Initiative – Ukrainian foreign minister

Around 60 commercial ships have been stuck in the Ukrainian ports since Russia’s invasion, their fates unresolved by the deal that allowed grain exports to resume in July last year.

Many of the ships’ crews have been evacuated, leaving locally hired Ukrainian staff to help look after the vessels.

Since abandoning the grain deal, Russia has said it will treat any ships approaching Ukrainian ports as potential military vessels, and their flag countries as combatants on the Ukrainian side. Kyiv has responded with a similar threat to ships approaching Russian or Russian-held Ukrainian ports.

The United Nations has said Russia’s decision to quit the deal risks worsening a global food crisis, hurting poor countries worst, by keeping grain from one of the world’s biggest exporters off the market.

Moscow says it will return to the grain deal only if it receives better terms for its own exports of food and fertiliser. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, co-sponsor of the grain deal alongside the U.N., says he hopes to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to rejoin it at talks this month.

“I think it will not be an exaggeration to say that President Erdogan is probably the only man in the world who can convince President Putin to return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” Ukraine‘s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

A German grain trader told Reuters: “People want more details about the Ukrainian temporary shipping channel announced today as it cannot work unless Russia gives a concrete commitment not to attack the ships.”

Eleanor Noyce10 August 2023 14:34

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