Here is the situation on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.
- Ukraine’s military intelligence said the army had regained control of several offshore drilling platforms close to Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia since 2015. Authorities said the drilling platforms known as the Boiko Towers were recaptured from Russia in a “unique operation”.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops had advanced on the southern front in the past week and there had also been movement near the eastern city of Bakhmut. “Over the past seven days, we have made an advance in the Tavria [southern] sector,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “There is movement in the Bakhmut sector. Yes, there is movement.”
- Ukraine’s Air Force said it brought down 13 Russian drones launched at the Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv regions. Missiles had also been fired, it said.
- Russia’s Ministry of Defence said air defence systems destroyed a drone launched by Ukraine over the Kursk region. Two drones were also brought down over the Belgorod region, according to authorities there.
- Ukraine’s General Staff said that Russia could soon launch a “mass forced mobilisation” to recruit soldiers from Russia and the parts of Ukraine that it occupies.
- The Council of Europe condemned the elections organised by Russia in the parts of eastern Ukraine it claims to have annexed last year. “These sham ‘elections’ can only be considered as null and void under international law,” the council said.
- The Kremlin confirmed that President Vladimir Putin would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia in the “coming days”. The United States said last week, citing intelligence, that the two men would meet in Vladivostok to discuss the sale of weapons from North Korea to Russia.
- North Korea’s state media shared photos of Kim boarding his armoured train in Pyongyang to travel to Russia.
- US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the US would “aggressively” enforce existing sanctions and add new ones if Pyongyang provided weapons to Moscow for its war in Ukraine. “I will remind both countries that any transfer of arms from North Korea to Russia would be in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Miller told reporters.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Western countries to “do their part” to revive the Turkey- and United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain deal that enabled the safe export of Ukrainian grain. Erdogan said the issue would be among the top agenda items at the UN General Assembly. The Kremlin said talks with the Turkish leader, who met the Russian president in early September, would continue.
- Volker Turk, the UN human rights chief, criticised Russia for withdrawing from the Black Sea grain deal as well as its attacks on Ukraine’s agricultural facilities, saying Moscow’s actions had pushed food prices higher with severe consequences in the Horn of Africa.
- Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva backtracked on an apparent personal assurance that Putin, who is wanted for alleged war crimes by the International Criminal Court, would not be arrested if he attended next year’s G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro. Lula said it would be up to the judiciary to decide, hours after telling an Indian media outlet there was “no way” Putin would be arrested.
- German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kyiv and held talks with Zelenskyy as well as her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba. Securing long-range Taurus missiles from Germany was a key part of the discussions with Baerbock saying Ukraine needed a stronger air defence system to protect its ports amid Russian attacks.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies