Ukraine ‘has ‘legal right to attack Moscow’, says Germany

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Two Ukrainian boats destroyed as Black Sea tensions soar

Russia claims to have destroyed Ukrainian military and intelligence vessels in the Black Sea amid growing tensions in the region.

A Russian warplane apparently sank a US-supplied military speedboat and its Ukrainian crew some 25 miles east of Snake Island on Tuesday.

The island, which became a famous symbol of Ukrainian resistance early in the war, was retaken by Kyiv last summer.

The reported incident came after Moscow said on Monday night that one of its fighter jets had destroyed a “reconnaissance boat” near a Russian gas platform off the coast of Crimea.

Rybar, a pro-Russian blogger, said the vessel was carrying Ukrainian intelligence personnel who may have been planning operations on the annexed peninsula.

Denmark starts training Ukrainians to fly F-16s

Denmark has begun training eight Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s as part of its commitment to donate the fighter jets to Ukraine.

Eight pilots have arrived at Skrydstrup air base along with 65 personnel who will be trained in maintaining and servicing the planes, according to the  Danish armed forces.

Watch: Russian warplane hits Ukrainian boat near Snake Island

Russia’s defence ministry has released footage of the moment one of its aircraft destroyed a Ukrainian military boat near Snake Island.

It said in a statement: “The high-speed surface target actively manoeuvred and attempted to evade the fighter jet’s fire, but was successfully hit by an aircraft gun.” dbEqCoelj8s

Wagner’s Yevgeny Prigozhin resurfaces after failed rebellion in Russia

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner boss, has appeared in a video message for the first time since his short-lived rebellion against Russia’s military leaders, Joe Barnes writes.

The mercenary chief was seen standing, with desert terrain as the backdrop, in camouflage and holding a loaded rifle, appearing to recruit guns for hire for the group’s operations in Africa.

Read the full story here.

Russia ‘returns bodies of 12 Ukrainian prisoners’

Ukraine has raised concerns after Russia returned the bodies of a dozen soldiers it had apparently been holding prisoner.

A government spokesman said: “The Russian side has already handed over to us 12 bodies of our prisoners, which were previously confirmed by the… Red Cross as being held captive in Russia.

“There were no reports from Russia either about the deterioration of their health or about their serious condition.

“Which again calls into question the quality of work or the presence of a medical commission on that side.”

European countries ‘declare support for Ukrainian independence’

The leaders of 11 countries in eastern Europe and the Balkans have declared their support for Ukraine amid the invasion by Russia.

At a summit in Athens, attended by Volodymyr Zelensky, the countries expressed their “unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders”.

The document was signed by Serbia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece.

Pictured: Car damaged after drone brought down over Moscow region

A man walks past a damaged car following a drone attack in Krasnogorsk, in the Moscow region


International Court to hear Russian genocide case

Russian objections to a genocide case brought by Ukraine will be heard on September 18 at the International Court of Justice.

Ukraine started legal action shortly after the invasion began in February last year, accusing Moscow of falsely applying genocide law to justify the attack.

In a preliminary decision last year the court, which is based in The Hague, ordered Russia to end its military actions in Ukraine immediately.

Ukraine launching drone attacks from inside Russia

Drone attacks on Russia may have been launched from its own territory, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

It comes after Russia’s flagship bomber, a Tupolev Tu-22, was destroyed at the Soltsy-2 air base south of St Petersburg on Saturday.

It is around 400 miles from the Ukrainian border, meaning it is “unlikely” that the drone was launched from Ukraine.

The MoD said: “This adds weight to the assessment that some UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory.

“Copter UAVs are unlikely to have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside Russia.”

Russian governor: ‘Ukrainian saboteurs’ repelled by border guards

A group of Ukrainian “saboteurs” unsuccessfully tried to breach Russia’s border in the Bryansk region, the regional governor has said.

Alexander Bogomaz wrote on Telegram: “Today, Ukrainian saboteurs attempted to break through the state border in the Klimovsky district.

“Thanks to the well-coordinated and heroic actions of the units of the border department… the attack was repelled.”

Russia’s FSB security service said four Ukrainians were killed in a shootout with border guards as they crossed into Bryansk last week.

How the West smashed Russia’s deep-cover spy networks

When an agency with a significant counter-intelligence section like MI5 identifies suspected undercover spies, they covertly keep tabs on them and monitor their contacts – rarely are their names revealed to the press, Nataliya Vasilyeva writes.

So when a 40-something tech entrepreneur and a middle-aged couple living in an unremarkable flat in Harrow were accused of spying for Russia, more than a few eyebrows were raised.

Orlin Roussev, Bizer Dzhambazov and Katrin Ivanova reportedly held three dozen IDs from several European countries and spent years living seemingly innocuous existences in the suburbs of London.

But their arrest and public outing by Scotland Yard may not have happened in years gone by.

Read the full story here.

Watch: Moscow ‘in shock’ as more drones shot down D3txVlI1Sd0

Turkish foreign minister to visit Ukraine

Turkey’s foreign minister Hakan Fidan will visit Ukraine on Friday, diplomatic sources have told the state news agency.

Turkish officials have repeatedly expressed interest in mediating between Kyiv and Moscow to renew the Black Sea deal which guaranteed the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports.

Reports have also surfaced in Russian media that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, will travel to Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin.

Watch: Robotyne residents evacuated from village

Russia ‘destroys US-made military boat near Snake Island’

Russia claims to have destroyed a US-made military speedboat and its Ukrainian crew near Snake Island in the Black Sea.

Its defence ministry said: “At about 11:00 Moscow time [9:00 BST] a US-manufactured Willard Sea Force high-speed military boat with an AFU landing group was destroyed by a Russian Aerospace Force’s aircraft.”

The report has not been independently verified by The Telegraph.

Ukraine retook the island from Russia last summer, and installed a new border post there this month.

Ukraine asks for German help in clearing mines

Kyiv has apparently asked Germany for equipment to get past the Russian mine belt hampering its counteroffensive push in the southeast.

Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, said: “We are currently discussing how we can meet this request, not only as Germans but jointly with other partners.”

Since the invasion began, Germany has supplied six Wisent 1 mine-clearing tanks and 11 mine ploughs for Kyiv’s T-72 tanks.

‘F-16s can turn the tide’: Telegraph readers have their say

Telegraph readers are discussing pilot training following the news that Denmark and the Netherlands are sending over F-16 fighter jets.

Reader Bad Bob questions: “Where will Ukraine find 62 top rate pilots in a very short space of time? Maybe 15 will retrain and be top notch but otherwise I believe these planes are too valuable to be given to average Ukraine pilots.”

“I hope that a benefactor is recruiting American or European ex-airforce pilots to maximise the impact of these planes and munitions. In the right hands they can turn the tide, in the wrong hands, they’ll be an embarrassment.”

On the other hand, reader Gee Loc says: “I would not be overly concerned about the skill level of Ukrainian pilots. To have survived this far they are clearly doing something right.

“One of the big training issues for fast jet crews is the integration with foreign nationals and their procedures. The Ukrainian pilots will not have too much to worry about there as they are already integrated into the Ukrainian command and control system and know the tactics used.”

Join the conversation in the comments section below.

Watch: Prigozhin makes rare public appearance since coup -DGjzmFbbag

Businessman arrested in latest anti-corruption crackdown

A company director who allegedly sold faulty equipment to Ukraine’s military for six million hryvnia (£127,000) faces up to 12 years in prison, according to the state security service.

The SBU said the businessman had supplied 350 pieces of “defective body armour” in what it called a “large-scale embezzlement of state money”.

It continued:“Their cost was artificially inflated, and the quality did not meet the requirements of the state standard.”

Ukrainian drones ‘destroy two Russian Tu-22 bombers’

Ukraine claims to have destroyed two of Russia’s long-range bombers with drone strikes in the last few days.

An intelligence source told Ukrainska Pravda: “Two Tu-22M3 bombers were completely destroyed, two other aircraft were slightly damaged.”

One of the planes was engulfed in flames at the Soltsy air base on Saturday, as verified by the BBC this morning. The Ministry of Defence believes it is “highly likely” to have been destroyed.

Russia media reported yesterday that a drone strike had damaged an “unused aircraft” at Kaluga’s Shaykovka base.

‘We need more fighter jets,’ says Zelensky adviser

An adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky has called for Ukraine’s allies to follow the lead of Denmark and the Netherlands by sending over F-16 fighter jets.

Mykhailo Podolyak said: “The countries that are now transferring aviation equipment to Ukraine are openly demonstrating that they are deeply interested in protecting international law, democracy and justice. 

“All of this is possible only if Russia is absolutely defeated. It is extremely important that Ukraine’s other coalition partners make similar decisions.”

Denmark has agreed to donate 19 F-16s to Ukraine. The Netherlands has 42 of the fighter jets but is yet to decide how many it will supply.

Zelensky: Ukraine’s home is in Europe

Volodymyr Zelensky says he had “open, honest and fruitful” talks with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic on a visit to Athens.

The Ukrainian president wrote on Telegram: “Good conversation on respect for the UN Charter and the inviolability of borders.

“On our nations’ shared future in the common European home. On developing our relations, that is in our mutual interest.”

Six civilians evacuated from Robotyne

Ukraine’s 47th separate mechanised brigade has reportedly evacuated six civilians from the war-torn village of Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia.

Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said: “As soon as the fighters entered the settlement, the first thing they did was to notify the locals of the need to leave urgently.

“[This is] because the enemy cynically continues to wipe the village off the face of the earth.”

Prigozhin: Wagner is making Africa ‘even freer’

Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russian private mercenary group Wagner, in a still image taken from video possibly shot in Africa


Yevgeny Prigozhin has claimed that Wagner fighters were making Africa “even freer” in a video that suggested he was on the continent.

Making a rare public appearance since his coup against Russia’s military leadership in June, the mercenary leader said: “We are working. The temperature is above 50 degrees Celsius. Just how we like it.

“The Wagner Group is conducting reconnaissance and search activities. Making Russia even greater on every continent – and Africa even freer.”

Ukrainian drone ‘targeted Moscow communications tower’

A Ukrainian drone brought down over the Moscow region yesterday attempted to sabotage a communications tower, according to Russian media.

Baza, a Telegram channel with links to the security services, said: “An aircraft-type UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] tried to attack a communication tower in the village of Pokrovskoye.

“However, he was suppressed by electronic warfare forces, because of which he changed course and only touched the antenna dish.

“Arriving at the scene, the police found scattered fragments of the drone with traces of burning.”

One wounded after missile attack on Zelensky’s home town

A Russian missile strike on Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town left one person injured and damaged more than 20 houses, Ukrainian media reports.

Kryvyi Rih was also hit by a rocket attack last month, which carved out several floors from a block of flats and killed six people.

‘Battles underway’ in Zaporizhzhia village as Ukraine digs in

Another pro-Russian blogger has reported that Ukrainian forces are embedded in the northern part of Robotyne amid fighting for the southern village.

According to the Rybar Telegram channel: “Robotyne – a working environment, the enemy is densely seated in the northern part, battles are underway.

“The enemy has already had three evacuations in the last hours. Our artillery is hitting the reserves in the wooded areas.”

A fighter quoted by the blogger described control of the village as “50/50”. The reports have not been verified by The Telegraph.

Nato-equipped 47th brigade enters Robotyne

A Nato-equipped Ukrainian brigade is attempting to punch holes in Russian defences in Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia.

Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement: “Soldiers of the 47th separate mechanised brigade entered the village of Robotyne, which is in the Melitopol direction.

“Medics of the 47th separate mechanised brigade examined the civilians and gave them an opportunity to call their relatives.”

The unit is thought to use Western equipment including US Bradley armoured personnel carriers and Finnish Leopard 2R mineclearing vehicles.

Four drones shot down over Russian territory

Russia claims to have shot down four Ukrainian drones over its territory last night, which crash-landed in Moscow and Bryansk.

The defence ministry said in a statement: “An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out terrorist attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles was foiled… There were no casualties.”

Two more drones were apparently destroyed around 11pm (9pm BST) over the Black Sea, around 25 miles northwest of annexed Crimea.

Pictures: Russia’s flagship Tu-22 bomber before and after drone strike

The Tu-22 Russian bomber at the Soltsy-2 airbase before being hit by a drone strike

The Tu-22 Russian bomber at the Soltsy-2 airbase after being hit by a drone strike

Counteroffensive ‘degrading Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia’

Ukraine has attempted to grind down Russian forces as it forces its way through the southern village of Robotyne, a think tank has suggested.

The Institute for the Study of War said: “Persistent Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area also likely aim to degrade Russian forces that have committed significant effort, resources, and personnel to hold positions.

“Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne are tactically significant because a Ukrainian advance in the area may allow Ukrainian forces to begin operating past the densest Russian minefields.”

Geolocated footage confirms that troops have made their way into the centre of the village, and breached Russian defences at nearby Mala Tokmachka.

Kyiv ‘entrenched’ in Robotyne as it pushes south

Ukraine is now “entrenched” in the northern part of Robotyne after “massive shelling” of Russian forces, according to reports.

WarGonzo, a pro-Russian military blogger, added that Kyiv had made gains around Verbove, some seven miles east of the southern village.

Ukraine hails ‘success’ near key Zaporizhzhia village

Ukraine has said it was “successful” near Robotyne on the southern front, following reports that forces had made it to the centre of the village.

A general staff spokesman said: “[Troops] were successful in the direction of Robotyne, they are consolidating on the achieved milestones.”

He added that Ukraine had used its artillery to inflict damage on enemy targets while carrying out “counterbattery measures”.

MoD: Tu-22 was destroyed by drone ‘from inside Russia’

Ukraine ‘spy boat’ destroyed in latest Black Sea clash

Moscow claims to have destroyed a Ukrainian “reconnaissance boat” near its gas infrastructure in the Black Sea.

Both sides have launched a number of attacks in the region since Russia in July pulled out of the United Nations-brokered deal allowing the safe export of Ukrainian grain.

Russia has repeatedly bombed Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea and Danube, while Ukraine has attacked Russian ships in its waters and those of annexed Crimea.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-30sm jet destroyed the boat “in the area of Russian gas production facilities in the Black Sea”, according to Moscow’s defence ministry.

Musk considered pulling plug on Ukraine’s Starlink access after ‘great conversation with Putin’

Elon Musk pondered pulling Starlink satellite internet from Ukraine because he feared being perceived as a warmonger in Russia, a former Pentagon official has said, Joe Barnes writes.

The 52 year-old South African-born billionaire expressed his concerns after Ukrainian forces reported network outages close to the front lines separating them from their Russian occupiers.

Colin Kahl, a US undersecretary of defence for policy until last month, was charged with brokering a deal to prevent Mr Musk from turning the system off altogether.

Read the full story here.

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