Aid money for Ukraine has become a bargaining chip for US congressional Republicans, as lawmakers negotiate on a bill to extend government funding beyond the end of the month and avoid a government shutdown. The House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, said that he would not support the part of the bill that addresses funding for Ukraine if there also wasn’t something included that would address the immigration crisis at the Mexican border.
Iranian kamikaze drones used in the latest attacks on Ukrainian cities are filled with European components, according to a secret document sent by Kyiv to its western allies. In a document submitted by Ukraine to G7 governments in August and obtained by the Guardian, it is claimed there were more than 600 raids on cities using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) containing western technology in the previous three months.
Some mercenaries of the Russian Wagner group have left Belarus and returned to the front in Donetsk oblast, a Ukrainian military spokesperson told RBC-Ukraine. “We confirm that the ‘Wagners’ are present on the territory of the Eastern Group of Forces,” Illia Yevlash, spokesperson of the Eastern Group of Forces, said. “These are servicemen of the ‘Wagner’ PMK who were on the territory of Belarus. Now their camps are being disbanded there.”
Russian forces launched 44 airstrikes and 27 multiple launch rocket system attacks on Wednesday, and engaged Ukrainian troops in 17 combat engagements, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said in their evening briefing. “Unfortunately, the Russian terrorist attacks have killed and wounded civilians,” the general staff said in its update. “Residential buildings, a hospital and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed or damaged.”
Bulgaria’s parliament on Wednesday decided to send ageing, Soviet-era air-defence missile systems to Ukraine, its first such shipment to Kyiv from a country bitterly divided over the issue. An undisclosed number of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems – which Bulgaria said it is unable to repair – will be sent to Ukraine, after the decision by lawmakers.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has issued updated figures for the amount of equipment it claims to have destroyed during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine since February 2022. On its Telegram channel, it claimed: 479 airplanes, 250 helicopters, 7,191 unmanned aerial vehicles, 438 air defence missile systems, 12,170 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 1,155 fighting vehicles equipped with MLRS, 6,557 field artillery cannon and mortars, as well as 13,449 special military motor vehicles have been destroyed during the special military operation. The claims have not been independently verified.
Alexei Navalny will be transferred to a single-cell type facility in an EPKT – “the most severe possible punishment” – for 12 months for supposed “incorrigibility”, the jailed Russian opposition leader said on Telegram.
At least three pro-war Russian journalists were sent severed pigs’ heads over the past week, the Moscow Times reported. The journalists who received the pigs’ heads include state media columnist Timofey Sergeitsev – who last year published an article calling for the murder of Ukrainian civilians – military expert Konstantin Sivkov and Tass news agency photojournalist Mikhail Tereshchenko.
Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the Russian president, said the US and the UK were “one way or another” involved in last year’s attack on the Nord Stream pipeline, Tass news agency reported. Responding to a question about a report published by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in February that claimed the attack was a US operation, Peskov said: “What’s important here is that de facto such a terrorist act against critical energy infrastructure, one belonging to an international joint venture, was, of course, organised one way or another by the United States of America and Great Britain.”
Peskov also spoke at length on the incident of the Canadian parliament giving a standing ovation to a Ukrainian man who had fought for the German SS during the second world war. “The addiction to the Nazi ideology of the Kyiv regime is not news, this is something we have been talking about for a long time,” Peskov said. “The fact that Zelenskiy also applauded the fascist standing up confirms this once again.”
Russia has accused Ukraine’s western allies of helping to plan and carry out last week’s missile strike on the Black Sea fleet’s headquarters in Crimea. “There is no doubt that the attack had been planned in advance using western intelligence means, Nato satellite assets and reconnaissance planes and was implemented upon the advice of American and British security agencies and in close coordination with them,” Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said at a briefing .
Russia’s military news outlet Zvezda published an interview with Black Sea fleet commander Viktor Sokolov – despite Ukraine claiming to have killed him in an attack on the fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol. This report comes after Russia’s defence ministry released footage showing Sokolov attending a defence board meeting via video call.