Ukrainian drone downed near Putin residence

Russian forces shot down a Ukrainian drone in a village where Vladimir Putin has a residence, according to reports.

The Russian defence ministry said air defences had brought down the unmanned aerial vehicle in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow.

Mash, a Russian media outlet, said the drone was destroyed in Zavidovo, a settlement home to a hunting residence belonging to the Russian president.

A purported video of the incident published online by Mash appeared to show a blast above an area of dense forest.

Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow’s mayor, confirmed that drone debris had fallen in Zavidovo.

There was no indication Putin was in the property at the time of the reported attack. Sobyanin claimed there were no casualties from the incident and said two other drones had been downed near the capital on Tuesday morning.

03:11 PM BST

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02:44 PM BST

Footage purportedly shows moment drone downed near Putin residence

02:40 PM BST

Ukrainians reach ‘final layer’ of key Russian defensive line: Analysts

Ukrainian troops have reached the third and “final layer” of a key Russian line of defence, according to war analysts.

Kyiv’s forces had reached fighting positions near Verbove, in the southern Zaporizhia region, said George Barros, a Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.

The settlement is a nodal point in the so-called Surovikin line, the main line of Russian defences in the area. The line is named after General Sergei Surovikin, who was briefly in charge of Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine before being replaced in January.

“Ukrainian forces continue pressuring the line between Verbove and Robotyne and may be setting conditions to breach the line in earnest,” Mr Barros said, citing another settlement in the region which Ukraine said it had captured last month.

A breakthrough would provide the first test of Russia’s deeper defences, which Ukraine hopes will be more vulnerable and less heavily mined than areas its troops have traversed so far.

Ukraine’s generals want to breach the line and push down towards the Sea of Azov, splitting Russian forces in the east and south of the country and severing their supply lines.

02:20 PM BST

Latest images from the war

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu chairs a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces in Moscow

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu chairs a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces in Moscow – Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters

A view shows a part of a missile that was taken out of a flat where it landed during recent shelling in the eastern Donetsk region

A view shows a part of a missile that was taken out of a flat where it landed during recent shelling in the eastern Donetsk region – Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Ukraine's president attends a meeting with commanders of the country's Armed Forces brigades as he visits the frontline near Bakhmut

Ukraine’s president attends a meeting with commanders of the country’s Armed Forces brigades as he visits the frontline near Bakhmut – Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

02:16 PM BST

Russian-backed official claims footage shows ‘destroyed’ Challenger 2 tank in Ukraine

Russian forces fighting in southern Ukraine destroyed a British-supplied Challenger 2 for the first time, a Russian-backed official said, releasing what he said was a video of its smouldering wreckage.

Vladimir Rogov said on Telegram that one of the tanks had been set alight in fighting near the village of Robotyne, in the Zaporizhzhia region.

He said the tank belonged to the Ukrainian army’s 82nd brigade and was meant to have reached Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, but had instead been destroyed on what he said was the first line of Russian defence.

A video Rogov posted on Telegram showed what look like a tank on fire by a roadside with thick grey smoke rising from it.

02:13 PM BST

Ukraine’s defence ministry says outgoing Reznikov ‘made the impossible possible’

Ukraine’s defence ministry has paid tribute to its outgoing minister Oleksii Reznikov after he was dismissed by president Volodymyr Zelensky.

“He held this office for 22 months and made the impossible possible by ensuring large-scale arms supplies for the Ukrainian army from the free world,” the ministry said shortly after Ukraine’s parliament approved Mr Reznikov’s dismissal.

The move cleared the way for Rustem Umerov, an ally of Zelensky’s who has headed the Ukrainian State Property Fund since 2022, to take over the helm at the defence ministry.

02:04 PM BST

One killed by Ukrainian shelling in Russian border region: Governor

One person was killed and another was wounded as result of shelling by Ukrainian forces on Tuesday in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, its local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Belgorod has come under frequent cross-border fire in the course of the 18-month war. Ukraine typically does not comment on attacks inside Russia.

01:09 PM BST

Ukraine’s first lady laments toll war has taken on family life

Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, said the war had waged an enormous emotional toll on her family.

“We don’t live together with my husband, the family is separated,” she told the BBC, referring to Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We have the opportunity to see each other but not as often as we would like. My son misses his father,” Mrs Zelenska added.

“But we stay strong, we have strength both emotionally and physically. And I am sure we will handle it together.”

At the outset of Russia’s invasion, Mrs Zelenska spent months in hiding in secret locations, along with her children.

But as the war has dragged on, she has turned her attention to meeting foreign leaders and delivering speeches abroad in a bid to drum up support for Kyiv.

Olena Zelenska said her family had been 'separated' by Russia's invasion

Olena Zelenska said her family had been ‘separated’ by Russia’s invasion – BBC

12:44 PM BST

Ukrainian parliament approves defence minister’s dismissal

Ukraine’s parliament approved the dismissal of Oleksii Reznikov, the country’s defence minister, a lawmaker said.

Mr Reznikov’s removal was supported by a majority of members of the Verkhovna Rada, deputy Yaroslav Zheleznyak said on the Telegram messaging app following a vote.

Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he was dismissing Mr Reznikov, and the minister resigned on Monday. The Ukrainian president has proposed Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar and ex-lawmaker who runs the State Property Fund, as the next defence minister.

11:53 AM BST

Kremlin has ‘nothing’ to say on reports of Putin meeting with North Korean leader

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said there was “nothing” to say about reports that the Russian president may soon meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss supplying Moscow with weapons.

“We have nothing to tell you,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Kim plans to travel to Russia this month to meet with Putin in Vladivostok, on the Pacific Coast, according to US intelligence officials.

11:43 AM BST

German arms maker to ramp up production of air defence system amid war

German arms maker Diehl Defence said it aims to significantly ramp up the production of its IRIS-T air defence system to satisfy growing demand due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In 2025, the privately owned company plans to build at least eight systems, up from three to four systems this year, Chief Program Officer Harald Buschek told reporters on Tuesday at an air base in Todendorf, northern Germany.

He added the missile production was being tripled this year and would be further doubled next year, with an expected output of some 400 to 500 missiles from 2024.

Germany has supplied two IRIS-T units to Ukraine so far where they are mainly used to guard Kyiv against Russian missile attacks.

11:15 AM BST

Turkey in close contact with UN on reviving Black Sea grain deal: Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is in close contact with the United Nations on reviving the Black Sea grain deal after Russia withdrew from the accord earlier this year, Turkish media reported.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Vladimir Putin in Russia, Mr Erdogan added he would discuss the issue with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a UN general assembly this month.

He was quoted by TRT, HaberTurk and other broadcasters as saying the latest UN proposal sought to address some Russian demands.

Moscow refused to extend the deal in July, complaining that a parallel agreement promising to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertilizer hadn’t been honoured. It said restrictions on shipping and insurance hampered its agricultural trade, though it has shipped record amounts of wheat since last year.

The UN General Assembly is set to take place between September 18-26 in New York.

11:01 AM BST

Russian-appointed official in Luhansk reportedly survives ‘assassination attempt’

A Russian-appointed official in eastern Ukraine’s occupied Luhansk region has reportedly been injured by an explosion at his home.

The blast targeted Yuriy Afanasievsky, the head of customs in the pro-Moscow, self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, Russia’s TASS news agency reported. It described the incident as an “assassination attempt”.

TASS reported that Afanasievsky had not been seriously injured, but added that his son had been hospitalised.

Ukrainian officials, however, suggested Afanasievsky’s condition was more serious.

10:30 AM BST

Russia claims footage reveals first evidence of a destroyed Challenger 2 tank in Ukraine

Footage released by Russian troops on Monday appears to show a British-donated Challenger 2 in flames on a roadside in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.

The clip marks the first reported evidence of one of the tank’s being destroyed in Ukraine. The vehicle was said to have been used by the 82nd Air Assault Brigade, an elite airborne force.

The UK supplied 14 Challenger 2s to Kyiv in January.

10:16 AM BST

Ukraine’s counteroffensive unsuccessful on every front: Russian defence minister

Kyiv’s counteroffensive has failed to register success on any front, Russia’s defence minister claimed.

“Ukraine’s armed forces have not achieved their goals on any front,” the defence ministry quoted Sergei Shoigu as saying.

“The most tense situation is that on the Zaporizhzhia front,” he added. “The enemy has engaged brigades from its strategic reserve whose personnel have been trained by Western instructors.”

The much-vaunted counteroffensive, which began about three months ago, has seen Kyiv’s troops recapture more than a dozen villages but no major settlements yet.

Progress has been hampered by vast Russian minefields and defensive lines.

Ukrainian troops prepare a mortar at their position near a frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region

Ukrainian troops prepare a mortar at their position near a frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region – Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters

09:53 AM BST

Russia says it foiled drone attack on Crimea

Russia said it had downed a drone over Crimea earlier this morning in the latest reported attack on the Black Sea peninsula annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

“An unmanned aerial vehicle was destroyed over the territory of the Republic of Crimea by means of air defence on duty,” the Russian defence ministry said.

Ukraine has repeatedly targeted occupied Crimea throughout Russia’s offensive.

09:40 AM BST

Ukraine claims Russian drones hit NATO member Romania

Ukraine said on Monday that Russian drones had detonated on the territory of NATO member Romania during an overnight air strike on a Ukrainian port across the Danube River.

Romania denied its territory had been hit.

Nato, under its charter, is required to offer an immediate military response if any of its members are attacked.

09:10 AM BST

Drone attacks on Moscow repelled, Russia says

Russia was forced to shut major Moscow airports as it shot down at least three Ukraine-launched drones targeting the capital.

The Russian defence ministry said that its air defence systems had destroyed two unmanned aerial vehicles over the Kaluga and Tver regions, which border the Moscow region.

Another was downed closer to the capital, over the Istra district of the Moscow region, the ministry claimed.

Russian news agencies reported that almost 50 flights were cancelled or postponed early Tuesday from the four major airports around the capital – Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky.

Drone attacks on Russian targets have become a regular occurrence since early May. Ukraine rarely takes direct responsibility for the strikes.

09:04 AM BST

Putin reduced to ‘begging’ Pyongyang for weapons, Ben Wallace says

Reports that Vladimir Putin will meet Kim Jong-un this month show Russia has been reduced to “begging North Korea for weapons”, former defence secretary Ben Wallace said.

“This is how it ends Mr Putin…the once mighty Russia scrabbling around looking for friends and begging North Korea for weapons from the 1960’s,” Mr Wallace said on Tuesday, after resigning from his post last week.

Russia and North Korea have recently called for closer military ties but Pyongyang has denied having any “arms dealings” with Moscow.

08:38 AM BST

More than 900 cluster munition casualties in Ukraine in 2022, monitor says

Cluster munitions killed more than 900 people in Ukraine last year amid broad Russia use of the widely-banned weapons, a monitoring group said.

Since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, it has “extensively” used stocks of old cluster munitions and newly developed ones, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) said in an annual report.

Ukrainian forces also used such weapons, albeit “to a lesser extent”, the group added.

In total, Ukraine, which had registered no cluster munition casualties for several years, recorded 916 deaths and injuries from the weapons last year, its report said.

The casualties in Ukraine accounted for the vast majority of the global figure, which rose to 1,172 in 2022 – the highest annual figure since CMC began reporting in 2010.

08:26 AM BST

Latest images from the war

Ukrainian schoolchildren leave a lesson held in a classroom set up in a subway station in Kharkiv

Ukrainian schoolchildren leave a lesson held in a classroom set up in a subway station in Kharkiv – Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian troops man a position near the frontline in the southern Zaporizhzhia region

Ukrainian troops man a position near the frontline in the southern Zaporizhzhia region – Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky visits troops in the eastern Donetsk region

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visits troops in the eastern Donetsk region – Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

08:09 AM BST

Russia planning to hold elections in occupied Ukraine this week: MoD

Russian authorities in occupied Ukraine are planning to hold elections for the first time later this week, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The votes are set to take place between September 8-10, in parallel with elections being held within Russia itself, the MoD said in its latest intelligence update on the war in Ukraine.

“Whilst over 1,000 candidates have been identified, there is a lack of qualified, experienced and willing candidates according to some reports,” the MoD said, adding voting had already started in Zaporizhzhia and Mariupol.

“There is also an absence of independent candidates that are not members of the Kremlin endorsed parties, indicating that these will not be free or fair elections.”

07:58 AM BST

Russia’s ‘General Armageddon’ seen in first photo since Wagner mutiny

A new photo appearing to show Russian General Sergei Surovikin, who has not been seen in public since a brief mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group in June, was published on social media on Monday by a well known Russian media personality.

“General Sergei Surovikin is out. Alive, healthy, at home, with his family, in Moscow. Photo taken today,” Ksenia Sobchak wrote in a caption to the picture on Telegram.

The Telegraph was unable to verify the authenticity of the photo. The image showed a man in sunglasses and a cap walking alongside a woman resembling Surovikin’s wife, Anna.

Surovikin, who gained the nickname “General Armageddon” during Russia’s military intervention in Syria’s civil war, was briefly in charge of Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine before that role was handed in January to General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff.

07:29 AM BST

Kim Jong-un to travel to Russia for possible arms deal

Kim Jong-un’s reported plans to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin this month reveal the lengths the North Korean leader would be willing to go to woo Moscow as a strategic partner in countering US interests, Nicola Smith writes.

The reclusive leader is famously paranoid about his security, rarely stepping beyond the sealed borders of his regime, and shunning air travel where possible in favour of a bottle green train of 21 bulletproof carriages.

If Kim does personally make the trip to Vladivostok, it suggests the meeting with Mr Putin goes far beyond an arms deal and reinforces a deeper alliance of convenience between two pariah states who increasingly view an opportunity to upset Washington’s policies in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

Read more here.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un pose for a photo during an April 2019 meeting in Vladivostok, Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un pose for a photo during an April 2019 meeting in Vladivostok, Russia – Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via Reuters

07:22 AM BST

‘Human trafficking network’ coercing Cubans to fight for Russia

Cuba claimed it had uncovered a human trafficking ring that has coerced its citizens to fight for Russia in the war in Ukraine.

The statement from Cuba’s foreign ministry on Monday said that authorities were working to “neutralize and dismantle” the network.

It gave few details, but noted the trafficking ring was operating both within the Caribbean island nation, thousands of miles from Moscow, and in Russia.

“The Ministry of the Interior…is working on the neutralization and dismantling of a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the military forces participating in war operations in Ukraine,” the statement said.

Russian has not commented on the allegations.

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