Russian forces destroyed an unmanned Ukrainian boat being used in an attempted attack on the bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland, Russia’s defence ministry said early on Saturday. It said the attempt was made with the “half-loaded” boat late on Friday but that it had been “spotted and destroyed in time off the Black Sea coast”. The bridge has come under repeated attack during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration will for the first time send controversial armour-piercing munitions containing depleted uranium to Ukraine, according to a document seen by Reuters and separately confirmed by two US officials. The rounds, which could help destroy Russian tanks, are part of a new military aid package for Ukraine – which one of the officials put as worth between $240m and $375m – set to be unveiled in the next week.
The US has seen notable progress by Ukrainian forces in the south near the Zaporizhzhia area in the past 72 hours, White House spokesman John Kirby said on Friday.
One man was killed in Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Friday and three people were earlier injured in a missile attack in the central region of Vinnytsia overnight, Ukrainian authorities said.
Russia said it had captured several strategic heights near Kupiansk, an eastern Ukrainian city where Moscow’s troops stepped up the pressure in August.
A recent drone attack on an airport in north-western Russia which damaged several transport planes was carried out from within Russian territory, Ukraine’s military intelligence said.
President Vladimir Putin said Russia planned to allocate 1.9tn roubles (£15.6bn/$19.7bn) from the federal budget over the next two-and-a-half years to the development of the four Ukrainian regions that Moscow last year declared to be part of its territory.
Russia’s defence ministry said it had destroyed 281 Ukrainian drones over the past week, including 29 over the western regions of Russia, indicating the scale of the drone war now underway between Russia and Ukraine.
More than 2,000 troops from a Russia-led security alliance have opened military exercises in parts of Belarus near the borders of Nato countries.
Poland has denied a military helicopter breached Belarus’s airspace, on Friday calling Minsk’s claims “lies and provocations” at a time of escalating tensions between the neighbours. Belarus said the incident took place over the Grodno region on the border.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN in New York this month and take part in a UN security council meeting on Ukraine.
Denmark said on Friday it had told Russia to reduce the number of staff at its Copenhagen embassy following Russian requests for visas for “intelligence officers”.
Two cargo vessels had left a port near Odesa, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said on Friday – the third and fourth to transit from deep-water Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea since Russia withdrew from a safe-passage deal for grain ships.
Russia’s Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles have been put on combat duty, state news agency RIA reported the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos as saying on Friday. The missiles are capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads.
The Kremlin said it took a negative view of British defence contractor BAE Systems’ decision to establish itself in Ukraine. It also said on Friday that any facilities producing weapons used against Russia would become targets for Moscow’s military.
Russia will block the final declaration of this month’s G20 summit unless it reflects Moscow’s position on Ukraine and other crises, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said on Friday, which will leave participants to issue a non-binding or partial communiqué.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the heads of Ukrainian anti-corruption institutions on Friday and reiterated American support for anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine, the White House said.
Several Swedish lawmakers said on Friday they would boycott this year’s Nobel Prize ceremonies after the private foundation that administers the awards changed its policy and invited Russia, Belarus and Iran, which had previously been barred from attending.
Russia has created an underwater barrier of submerged ships to deter attacks on the Crimean bridge, the UK Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update.