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Ukraine latest: Putin orders Wagner fighters to sign oath

The struggle in Ukraine, which broke out in February 2022 with Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, reveals no sign of ending as either side intensify assaults to acquire management of contested areas.

Read our newest updates right here. For all our protection, go to our Ukraine struggle web page.

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Note: Nikkei Asia determined in March 2022 to droop its reporting from Russia till additional data turns into out there concerning the scope of the revised legal code. Entries embody materials from wire providers and different sources.

Here are the most recent developments:

Saturday, Aug. 26. (Tokyo time)

5:30 p.m. President Vladimir Putin has ordered Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state after a lethal airplane crash believed to have killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the unstable chief of the mercenary group. Putin signed the decree bringing within the change with instant impact on Friday after the Kremlin mentioned that Western ideas that Prigozhin had been killed on its orders have been an “absolute lie.” The Kremlin declined to definitively verify his dying, citing the necessity to look ahead to check outcomes.

11:10 a.m. Ukraine’s GUR navy intelligence company says a Ukrainian drone assault hit a Russian navy base deep inside annexed Crimea. Ukrainian intelligence officers say the assault struck Russia’s 126th Coastal Defence Brigade based mostly in Perevalnoye, a city greater than 200 kilometers from Ukraine-controlled territory. “We confirm that there was a hit,” mentioned a GUR spokesman, in accordance to a Ukrainian report. Early on Friday, Russia reported one of many largest coordinated Ukrainian air raids but over Russian-controlled territory however mentioned air protection methods had downed all 42 drones attacking Crimea earlier than they may hit their targets.

5:30 a.m. Flight recorders from the airplane believed to have been carrying Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin have been recovered and work is underway to determine the 10 victims of the crash, Russian information company Interfax studies, the citing Russian Investigative Committee.

“The bodies of 10 victims were discovered during the primary investigative actions at the plane crash site. DNA tests are being carried out to identify them,” the committee is quoted by Interfax as saying. “The investigation will thoroughly analyze all possible theories of the accident.”

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden tells reporters that American officers try to “nail down” what brought about the airplane to crash within the Tver area north of Moscow.


This portrait of Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was at a makeshift memorial close to the previous PMC Wagner Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Aug. 24.

Friday, Aug. 25

1:30 p.m. Russia’s air protection forces destroyed 42 Ukraine-launched drones over the Crimean Peninsula and one missile over the Kaluga area early on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry says. The ministry says 9 drones have been destroyed by air protection forces whereas 33 have been suppressed by digital warfare and crashed over Crimea with out reaching their targets. Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of the port metropolis of Sevastopol in Crimea, mentioned on the Telegram messaging app that a lot of drones have been destroyed over the Khersones promontory, on Sevastopol’s outskirts.

10:30 a.m. The U.S. State Department has imposed sanctions on 13 folks and entities it mentioned are reportedly related to the pressured deportation and switch of Ukrainian kids, as Washington ramps up strain on Moscow over its invasion. Washington can also be taking steps to impose visa restrictions on three Russia-installed purported authorities over their involvement in human rights abuses of Ukrainian minors, the State Department mentioned in an announcement. The sanctions coincided with Ukraine’s Independence Day.

9:40 a.m. A bunch of Russian militants who combat on the Ukrainian facet referred to as on the Wagner Group of mercenaries to change sides and be a part of their ranks to revenge the deaths of Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and their commander Dmitry Utkin. “You are facing a serious choice now — you can stand in a stall of Russia’s defense ministry and serve as watchdogs for executors of your commanders or take revenge,” Denis Kapustin, commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps, mentioned in a video handle revealed late on Thursday, including, “To take revenge you need to switch to Ukraine’s side.” Russian air authorities have mentioned Prigozhin, Utkin and eight others have been on a personal airplane that crashed with no survivors north of Moscow on Wednesday.

8:30 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the beginning of coaching for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets, the White House says, including that additionally they talked about expedited approval for different nations to switch their F-16s to Ukraine.

5:30 a.m. The U.S. has seen no data to counsel that the airplane mentioned to be carrying Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, a Department of Defense spokesperson says.

Early indications counsel Prigozhin, a former Putin ally, has been killed, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder tells reporters, with out offering particulars.

2:20 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Yevgeny Prigozhin seems to be useless, within the Kremlin’s first official response to the mercenary boss’s obvious demise in a airplane crash Wednesday.

Putin says “initial data” signifies members of Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary group have been on board and expresses condolences to the households of all 10 individuals who died.

“I knew Prigozhin for a very long time, from the beginning of the ’90s,” Putin says, describing his former ally as a “talented businessman” who made “serious mistakes.”

Putin’s remarks got here throughout a gathering with Denis Pushilin, performing head of Ukraine’s self-declared, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Putin says an investigation into the crash and the victims is being carried out, including that it’ll take a while.

Supporters of Prigozhin, who was listed among the many passengers of a personal jet that crashed northwest of Moscow, accused “traitors” of assassinating him in retribution for a mutiny he led in late June towards Russian authorities. Prigozhin and his group are accused of struggle crimes in Ukraine and in addition in components of the Middle East and Africa the place they’ve operated.


Wreckage from the personal jet linked to Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen close to the crash website in Russia’s Tver area on Aug. 24.

  © Reuters

12:30 a.m. Russia has referred to as on Japan to be clear in regards to the launch of handled water from the ruined Fukushima nuclear energy plant into the Pacific Ocean.

“We are closely monitoring the development of the situation and expect that the Japanese government will show full transparency regarding the impact of the discharge of water,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova tells a information convention.

The launch, which started Thursday, has provoked protests from Japan’s neighbors.

China introduced it will droop all seafood imports from Japan to “protect the health of Chinese consumers.” The nation’s international ministry condemned Japan’s transfer as “selfish and irresponsible.”

Read extra right here.

Thursday, Aug. 24

10:30 p.m. Ukraine’s navy and navy intelligence performed a “special operation” in a single day during which models landed on Russian-occupied Crimea, the Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence says. CNN studies, citing the intelligence company, that particular forces landed on the western shore of Crimea, close to the settlements of Olenivka and Mayak.

The directorate says “all goals” have been achieved and that casualties have been inflicted on the enemy, however didn’t determine the objectives. “Also, the state flag flew again in Ukrainian Crimea,” it says, with out additional particulars.

Russia has occupied Crimea since 2014. Moscow didn’t touch upon the report, which coincided with Ukraine’s Independence Day.

9:44 p.m. Swedish style retailer H&M Group plans to reopen nearly all of its shops in Ukraine progressively beginning in November, whereas prioritizing the security of colleagues and clients.

The firm says it would companion with organizations on the bottom and interact in aid and rebuilding applications. H&M Group closed its Ukraine shops when Russia invaded the nation in February 2022.

9:26 p.m. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells journalists in Kyiv that Ukraine had no involvement within the obvious dying of Wagner Group mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was listed as a passenger on a personal jet that crashed north of Moscow with no survivors.

“We are not involved in this situation, that’s for sure. I think everyone is aware of who is involved,” the BBC quotes Zelenskyy as saying.

8:03 p.m. Russian crash investigators choose by the wreckage of a jet mentioned to have been carrying Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Investigators have opened a legal probe however there was no official phrase on what could have brought about Wednesday night’s crash, and even affirmation of Prigozhin’s dying past an announcement from the aviation authority saying he was on board.

A Reuters reporter on the crash website on Thursday morning noticed males carrying away black physique luggage on stretchers. Residents of close by village Kuzhenkino claimed that they had heard a bang after which noticed the jet plummet to the bottom.

1:00 p.m. Ukraine’s intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov says latest assaults on Russian airfields have destroyed two TU-22 bombers and broken others. “Two were destroyed, two were damaged. Two cannot be repaired,” Budanov mentioned in a TV interview for the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Russian officers reported drone assaults on navy airfields Soltsy within the Novgorod area on Saturday and Shaykovka within the Kaluga area on Monday, and mentioned that one warplane was broken throughout the first assault.


Yevgeny Prigozhin led the Wagner mercenary group, which performed a considerable function in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

  © Reuters

2:55 a.m. Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a short-lived mutiny towards Russia’s high military brass in June, was listed as a passenger on a personal jet that crashed north of Moscow with no survivors, Russian authorities say.

There is not any affirmation at this level that Prigozhin, chief of the Wagner Group, was among the many 10 folks on board. He was final seen Monday in an internet video handle purportedly filmed in Africa.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

10:01 p.m. Four academic employees are killed and 4 passersby are damage in a Russian assault on a faculty in Ukraine’s northeastern metropolis of Romny on Wednesday, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko says.

The regional navy administration says a drone fired by Russia hit the varsity at 10:05 a.m. (0705 GMT).

9:08 p.m. Russian drones strike Ukrainian grain services on the Danube River port of Izmail in a single day, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov says, destroying 13,000 tonnes of grain.

“This night alone, the export capacity of the port of Izmail was reduced by 15%,” Kubrakov says. “Russia is systematically hitting grain silos and warehouses to stop agricultural exports.”

He says 270,000 tonnes of grain have been destroyed in assaults since Russia give up a U.N.-brokered deal final month that had let Kyiv ship its grain by way of the Black Sea. The Danube River has turn out to be Ukraine’s major route for exporting grain because the collapse of the deal, which was meant to assist sort out a world meals disaster, and Izmail is Ukraine’s major inland port throughout the Danube from Romania.


Tupolev Tu-22 M3 strategic bombers in 2018. Ukraine mentioned on Aug. 24 that it just lately destroyed two related bombers and broken others.

  © Reuters

3:30 p.m. Russia has appointed an performing head of its aerospace forces to substitute Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who vanished after the Wagner mercenary mutiny in June, the state RIA information company studies. During the June revolt, Surovikin, who as soon as commanded Russia’s general struggle effort in Ukraine, appeared in a video, trying uncomfortable and with out insignia, urging Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin to stand down. Unconfirmed Russian and international information studies have mentioned Surovikin was being investigated for doable complicity within the revolt and was being held beneath home arrest. “Surovikin has now been relieved of his post, while Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov, head of the Main Staff of the Air Force, is temporarily acting as commander in chief of the Air Force,” an unnamed supply advised RIA.

11:30 a.m. The United States doesn’t encourage or allow assaults inside Russia, a U.S. State Department spokesperson says after Russian authorities mentioned that they had downed drones that attempted to assault Moscow early on Wednesday. It is up to Ukraine to determine the way it chooses to defend itself from the Russian invasion, the spokesperson mentioned, including that Russia might finish the struggle at any time by withdrawing from Ukraine. Drone strikes on the Russian capital have turn out to be more and more frequent in latest months. One drone hit a constructing beneath development in central Moscow early on Wednesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin mentioned on the messaging app Telegram.


A broken Moscow workplace constructing following a reported Ukrainian drone assault earlier this month. Major airports across the Russian capital have repeatedly closed in latest days due to such strikes.

  © Reuters

9:50 a.m. An explosion was heard in Moscow’s enterprise district early on Wednesday, and smoke was seen within the space as effectively, Russia’s RIA information company studies. One of the buildings within the central district, 5 kilometers from the Kremlin, was hit by a Ukrainian drone early on Saturday. Meanwhile, Moscow airports suspended flights early on Wednesday, Russia’s TASS information company reported, citing unnamed officers. Major airports across the Russian capital have repeatedly closed for departing and arriving flights in latest days due to drone assaults from Ukraine.

12:30 a.m. A Tu-22M3 bomber was “highly likely destroyed” within the weekend drone assault on an air base 650 kilometers into Russia, the U.Okay.’s Defence Ministry tweets in its day by day intelligence replace.

“If true, this adds weight to the assessment that some UAV attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory,” since copter unmanned aerial autos “are unlikely to have the range” to attain the Novgorod-region air base from outdoors the nation, the ministry explains.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has blamed Ukraine for the assault, saying that one airplane was broken however that nobody was injured. Ukrainian media credit score Ukrainian saboteurs with the weekend assault and one other one at a unique Russian air base early this week.

3:30 p.m. Russia shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Moscow area with no casualties and introduced down an extra two drones over the Bryansk area that borders Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry says. A Reuters reporter within the city of Krasnogorsk within the Moscow area noticed minor injury to tiling on a high-rise residential constructing and shattered glass exterior window panes in just a few of its residences.

1:40 p.m. China and Russia, which oppose Japan’s deliberate launch from Thursday of handled radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, collectively urged Tokyo final month to contemplate a vapor launch disposal technique as an alternative, diplomatic sources inform Kyodo. Beijing and Moscow claimed in a doc submitted to Tokyo in late July that vaporizing the water and releasing it into the ambiance would have a smaller affect on neighboring international locations in contrast with the ocean discharge plan. Japan has rejected their proposal, saying it’s “impossible” to settle for, the sources mentioned.

12:40 p.m. Russia’s Defense Ministry says a Russian warplane destroyed a Ukrainian reconnaissance boat within the Black Sea. The ship sailed close to Russian fuel manufacturing services, the navy mentioned.

9:30 a.m. The three largest Moscow airports suspended arrivals and departures early on Tuesday, Russia’s Tass information company reported. “The air space is closed over Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo,” an unnamed official advised the company, including, “Flights are not being received, departures are delayed.”


Wagner Group proprietor Yevgeny Prigozhin is proven at an unknown location on this picture taken from video launched on Telegram on Aug. 21. (Razgruzka_Vagnera Telegram channel by way of AP)

7:00 a.m. Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin revealed his first recruitment video for the Wagner Group since organizing a short-lived mutiny towards protection officers in Russia, in accordance to data on the Telegram messaging app. In the video, an individual who seems to be the 62-year-old mercenary chief says the group is conducting reconnaissance and search actions, and “making Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa even more free.”

“We are hiring real strongmen and continuing to fulfill the tasks which were set and which we promised to handle,” the speaker within the video says, toting an assault rifle and carrying navy fatigues. Pickup vans and different folks wearing fatigues are within the background. Prigozhin moved into the worldwide highlight in June with a dramatic, short-lived riot that posed probably the most severe menace to President Vladimir Putin’s 23-year rule.

Monday, Aug. 21

3:00 p.m. Two Ukrainian drones have been destroyed on Monday within the Moscow area, briefly disrupting flights at two of the capital’s airports, Russian officers say. Russia’s Defense Ministry mentioned it jammed a Ukrainian drone within the Ruzsky district west of the capital and later destroyed one other one within the Istrinsky district close by. Arrivals and departures from Moscow’s Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports have been briefly halted however later restarted.

6:00 a.m. the Netherlands and Denmark have introduced they are going to give F-16 warplanes to Ukraine in a long-awaited announcement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy referred to as an vital motivation for his nation’s forces which might be embroiled in a troublesome counteroffensive towards Russia. The timeline is dependent upon how quickly Ukrainian crews and infrastructure are prepared for the highly effective U.S.-made jets, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte advised Zelenskyy as the 2 visited a Dutch air base. Zelenskyy welcomed the ”historic” announcement and praised Rutte for making the Netherlands the primary nation to supply the planes.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, is greeted by Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Eindhoven, Netherlands on Aug. 20.

  © AP

Sunday, Aug. 20

7:10 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived within the Netherlands on Sunday in an ongoing push to enhance Ukraine’s air defenses, days after the United States authorized the doable supply of F-16 fighter jets by the Netherlands and Denmark. The Netherlands, along with Denmark, has in latest months led worldwide efforts to practice Ukrainian pilots for F-16s and to finally ship the jets to assist counter the air superiority of Russia, whose forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

“The main issue is F-16 for Ukraine to protect our people from Russian terror. We are getting stronger,” Zelenskyy mentioned in a put up on Telegram.

6:00 a.m. Training has begun for Ukrainians to function U.S. F-16 fighter jets, however it would take a minimum of six months, or probably longer, to full, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov says, two days after a U.S. official mentioned the fighter jets could be transferred to Ukraine as soon as its pilots have been educated.

Reznikov says six months of coaching is taken into account the minimal for pilots, however it was not but identified how lengthy it will take to practice engineers and mechanics. Ukraine desires the subtle U.S.-made warplanes so it may possibly counter the air superiority of Russia. “Therefore, to build reasonable expectations, set a minimum of six months in your mind, but do not be disappointed if it is longer,” he says in a TV interview.

Saturday, Aug. 19


Rescue employees on the website of a Russian rocket strike in Chernihiv, Ukraine.

  © Reuters

8:30 p.m. Seven folks, together with a 6-year-old youngster, are killed and greater than 120 wounded by a Russian missile assault within the northern metropolis of Chernihiv, in accordance to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

“A Russian missile hit right in the center of the city, in our Chernihiv. A square, the polytechnic university, a theater,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who’s on a working go to to Sweden, posts on Telegram.

7:15 p.m. A Ukrainian drone focused a navy airfield in Russia’s Novgorod area, inflicting a hearth and damaging one warplane, Russia’s Defense Ministry says. According to the ministry, no one had been damage and the hearth was shortly extinguished.

5:30 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Sweden, saying he’s there to meet with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, the royal household and different officers to thank them for supporting Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

1:30 p.m. President Vladimir Putin visited the commander of Russia’s operation in Ukraine and different high navy brass, the Kremlin says, a gathering that got here after Ukraine claimed counteroffensive positive aspects on the southeastern entrance. “Vladimir Putin held a meeting at the headquarters of the special military operation group in Rostov-on-Don,” the Kremlin mentioned in an announcement. Russia, which launched its invasion in Ukraine in February 2022, calls its actions a particular navy operation. The Kremlin added that Putin, Russia’s supreme commander in chief, listened to studies from Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Army accountable for Moscow’s operations in Ukraine, and different high navy commanders and officers.

For earlier updates, click on right here.



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