Here is the situation on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
- General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the deputy commander of Ukrainian forces in the south, said Ukraine’s troops had gained a footing in the southeastern village of Robotyne and were organising the evacuation of civilians.
- Oleksandr Prokudin, the governor of Ukraine’s Kherson region, said an elderly woman was killed and a 55-year-old man injured in Russian air attacks.
- A drone raid was reported in Moscow, forcing a temporary halt to air traffic at Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports. City Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Russian air defence systems shot down the two drones west of the capital and blamed Ukraine.
- Russia’s Air Force said it scrambled two jets against two drones flying near the Crimean Peninsula, which it annexed in 2014.
- Russia said it destroyed a United States-made military speedboat involved in reconnaissance near Ukraine’s Snake Island.
- The United Kingdom’s military intelligence said a weekend drone attack on an airfield deep inside Russia, which Moscow blamed on Ukraine, was highly likely to have destroyed a nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range bomber.
- The UK defence ministry also said that Russia’s intense bombardment of Mariupol, a key Black Sea port city, early in its invasion involved the use of unguided bombs.
- Russia’s foreign ministry shared a video on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov being “warmly welcomed” in Johannesburg for the BRICS summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin, wanted under an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, did not travel to South Africa and will instead join the summit virtually.
- Denmark’s army said it has begun training eight Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets as well as 65 personnel who will be trained in maintaining and servicing the aircraft.
- Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the United States was ready to help train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s if Europe did not have the capacity to do so. Denmark and the Netherlands, which are donating the planes to Ukraine, are training the pilots and support teams. Greece will also be involved.
- Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the first of what is expected to be a number of F-16s had arrived in Ukraine from the Netherlands.
- Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said Russia was already transferring tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, warning of the risk to the security of the region and the whole of NATO.
- Ukraine is deploying custom-built mini-rocket launchers that use parts taken from a Soviet-era system, but are more precise, as well as an arsenal of Western arms to fight against Russia, the Reuters news agency reported.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies