Here is the situation on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
- Ukraine’s military struck naval targets and port infrastructure in the port of Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. At least 24 people were injured and two Russian navy vessels were engulfed in flames after the missile attack, Russian authorities said.
- Russia continued its attacks on the Reni and Izmail ports in Ukraine’s Odesa region, damaging infrastructure and injuring seven people, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence. It added that Russia had launched “more than 2,000 Shaheds against Ukraine” in the past year.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said more than 100 port infrastructure facilities had been damaged in Russian attacks since July 18. Kubrakov said Ukrainian grain exports had also fallen by almost three million tonnes a month since Russia quit the UN-backed Black Sea grain deal that allowed safe passage to such exports.
- Romania, a member of NATO, found new fragments of a drone deemed similar to those used by the Russian army near its border with Ukraine, in the third such finding in a week, defence and NATO officials said. Romania lies just across the river from the Ukrainian grain ports.
- The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said Russia was rushing units into action partly because its front-line forces are overstretched. Members of the 25th Combined Arms Army (25 CAA), formed a year ago, had been deployed to Ukraine three months earlier than planned, it said.
- A Russian-installed court in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region jailed two Ukrainian soldiers for 29 years each, Russia’s Investigative Committee said, accusing them of killing three civilians. The committee said the two were part of the Azov regiment – a branch of the Ukrainian army Russia has labelled “extremist”.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held more than four hours of talks at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia and promised to deepen cooperation. Putin took Kim on a tour of the space centre and the two dined on dishes including crab dumplings and sturgeon.
- Putin told reporters that “all issues” would be discussed and there were opportunities for military-technical cooperation. He added that Russia would comply with its international obligations. North Korea is under strict United Nations sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons programme.
- Kim signalled strong backing for the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine without explicitly mentioning the conflict. “Russia is currently engaged in a just fight against hegemonic forces to defend its sovereign rights, security and interests. I take this opportunity to affirm that we will always stand with Russia on the anti-imperialist front and the front of independence.”
- The United States and the United Kingdom expressed concern about the meeting – the first between Putin and Kim in four years – amid suspicion that North Korea may sell arms to Russia for use in Ukraine. The US has threatened tough action, but analysts say there is little it can do to prevent the countries from working together.
- Estonia banned all Russian-registered vehicles from entering the country. “They are not welcome here to enjoy privileges freedom has to offer until Ukraine has achieved victory,” Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said.
- Germany supplied additional equipment and weapons to Ukraine including 60 infantry fighting Marder vehicles with ammunition.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies