Liveblog: ++ Russia denies supplying arms from North Korea ++

live blog

As of: October 17, 2023 12:18 p.m

Russia denies having received weapons from North Korea, saying it is only expanding relations with the country. Moscow says it has fended off eight Ukrainian drones near Crimea. All developments in the live blog.

Russian President Putin met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his visit to China. According to Russian media reports, Putin mentioned that Hungary and some other European countries continue to maintain relations with Russia despite the war in Ukraine. “Due to the current geopolitical situation, the opportunities to maintain contacts and expand relationships are very limited,” Putin said. It is therefore very “satisfactory” that Russia continues to maintain relations with “many European countries”. “One of these countries is Hungary.”

The British Ministry of Defense classifies Russia’s attacks in eastern Ukraine as possibly the largest wave of attacks in months. “Russia has most likely begun a coordinated offensive on several axes in eastern Ukraine,” the British said in their daily update on the short message service X.

Russian armed forces have been vehemently attacking the city of Avdiivka for a long time. The city has so far been a major obstacle for the Russians to take control of the Donetsk region, which is partly occupied by Moscow, the British wrote. According to their assessment, several tank battalions could try to surround the city. “It is probably Russia’s most significant offensive since at least January 2023.”

Entrenched Ukrainian forces have so far prevented a Russian advance, the British said. The slow progress and high casualty numbers have now likely triggered a change of strategy in Russia – from an offensive to an “active defense” because it appears increasingly unlikely that they will successfully take Avdiivka in the short term.

Hatched: territories occupied by Russia

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised Ukraine and its small neighboring republic of Moldova continued support against Russia – despite the Middle East crisis following the terrorist attack on Israel. “In these days, when the situation in the Middle East is keeping us on our toes, it is important to me to underline: We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and with Moldova,” said the Green politician in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova , at the fourth Moldova Supporters Conference.

Moscow rejects US information about arms deliveries from North Korea to Russia. It is true that Russia is expanding its relations with its neighbor North Korea, said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the state news agency Tass.

The US Presidential Office expressed concern on Friday that North Korea had supplied Russia with weapons between September 7th and October 1st. Satellite images show that during this time a delivery from a North Korean ammunition depot was first loaded onto a ship flying the Russian flag and then transported by rail to a storage facility on Russia’s southwestern border near Ukraine. Peskov now stated that the USA had not provided any evidence of such arms deliveries.

Russia says it fended off eight Ukrainian drones near the annexed Crimean peninsula during the night. The drones were shot down or put out of action “by means of electronic warfare,” wrote Crimean Governor Sergei Aksyonov in the Telegram online service. According to local authorities, three more drones were shot down on Monday evening in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine.

Against the backdrop of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, drone attacks on Russian territory and the annexed Crimean peninsula have increased in recent weeks. The capital Moscow was also a target.

Conflict parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be directly verified by an independent body.

From the perspective of Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s proposals for peace negotiations for Ukraine could be a path to an end to the war. He described the plans as a realistic basis for peace agreements.

The Ukrainian military says it has successfully attacked Russian bases near the occupied eastern cities of Luhansk and Berdyansk. The armed forces there specifically attacked enemy airfields and helicopters, the military said via the short message service Telegram. According to Russian information, Ukrainian rocket attacks were repelled near the port city of Berdyansk on the Sea of ​​Azov. This was announced by the Russian-appointed governor in the occupied parts of the southeastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia, Vladimir Rogov.

In his evening video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said, referring to his previous meeting with the US special representative for the reconstruction of Ukraine, Penny Pritzker: “Such a visit on such a day is an important signal.” At the same time, he emphasized the cooperation of all structures in the country. Regardless of whether it was military, business or private initiatives, they all together enabled the people and cities of Ukraine to “live a normal life”. The long-term support programs for Ukraine are particularly important. Zelensky compared it to running a marathon.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has acknowledged Russia’s dependence on drones from China. “Basically all of our drones come from the People’s Republic of China,” the minister said at a meeting of the Russian parliament’s budget committee.

According to Siluanov, Russian production of civilian drones is to be expanded. The state budget provides more than 60 billion rubles (around 585 million euros) for this.

Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Beijing this morning for the Silk Road summit. This was reported by Chinese state television. Putin will also meet China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping as part of the international summit on the Chinese investment and infrastructure project “New Silk Road”. China is an important partner of Russia and has so far supported the country in its war of aggression against Ukraine by positioning itself as neutral to the outside world.

It is the Kremlin leader’s first official trip this year outside the former Soviet Union. At the beginning of the month, Putin visited the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him in March in connection with the abduction of hundreds of children from Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian sources, Russia is trying to break through Ukrainian defenses in the northeastern Kupiansk-Lyman region. “The enemy is preparing, he is seriously preparing for offensive actions and gathering troops,” Ukrainian ground forces commander General Oleksandr Syrskyi said in a video on the messaging app Telegram. “The main goal is to break through the defenses of our troops and retake our territory.”

The Russian Defense Ministry confirms intensive military activity in the region. Russian troops repelled ten Ukrainian attacks in the Kupiansk region and two more in neighboring Lyman.

NATO is rehearsing an emergency: around 60 aircraft are used in a defense exercise. The US government in Washington is requesting more money for military aid to Ukraine. Monday’s developments to read.

source site