Day 612 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Russian air defense has intercepted a total of six Ukrainian drones over Oryol and Tula regions
- Malta is hosting a two-day meeting for Ukraine, but without the participation of Russia
- Russian diplomats deny White House claims that Moscow executes soldiers who refuse to follow orders on the battlefield
- North Korea says US and allied criticism of its ties with Russia are ‘distorted’
- The US and Germany announced new military aid to Ukraine
Russian air defense has intercepted a total of six Ukrainian drones over Oryol and Tula regions
The Russian Air Defense Forces intercepted a total of six Ukrainian drones over the Oryol and Tula regions, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced, as quoted by TASS.
“Tonight, an attempt by the Kyiv regime for a terrorist attack with unmanned aircraft on objects on the territory of the Russian Federation was prevented. The air defense duty forces intercepted four drones over the territory of Oryol and two over the Tula region,” the department specified.
The Ministry of Regional Security in the Tula region said there were no injuries or damage.
Malta is hosting a two-day meeting for Ukraine, but without the participation of Russia
Today and tomorrow, Malta is hosting new negotiations on Ukraine, which will not be attended by Russia, AFP reported.
This is the third such session. Representatives of 50 countries will participate in it. The meeting follows similar meetings held this summer in Jeddah and Copenhagen.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hopes the meeting in Malta will give him support for his 10-point plan to end the war that broke out after the Russian invasion in February 2022.
The list of participants also includes representatives of Turkey, Brazil, India and South Africa, which have maintained their ties with Russia.
Zelensky‘s peace plan calls for Russia to withdraw all its troops outside Ukraine‘s internationally recognized borders. But Russia – which announced the annexation of four Russian regions in September 2022 – namely Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions plus the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – rejects any settlement of the conflict that would mean ceding those territories.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, has already stated that steps such as the meeting in Malta have absolutely no future and are simply counterproductive. She described the meeting as deeply biased and anti-Russian, having nothing to do with a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.
Organizers of the event are hoping for the adoption of a joint declaration after the previous two meetings ended without such a document.
Among the participants are the USA, EU, Great Britain and others. China has not confirmed its presence.
Representatives from countries as diverse as Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Georgia, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar and Thailand are also expected, some via video link.
The talks will focus on five areas – food security, nuclear security, humanitarian issues, restoration of Ukraine‘s territorial integrity and energy security.
Russian diplomats deny White House claims that Moscow executes soldiers who refuse to follow orders on the battlefield
Russian diplomats have dismissed as lies the White House’s claim that Moscow’s military executed its own soldiers if they refused to obey orders on the battlefield in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
“Whoever invented these incredible lies, it can only be a person with a very developed imagination,” said diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Washington.
“All this is simply to justify the failed, widely publicized counter-offensive of his (Ukrainian) protégé. Let us say absolutely categorically and responsibly that all the insinuations on this matter by the spokesman of the White House are lies,” the diplomats added.
White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that the US government has information that the Russian military has executed soldiers who refused to follow orders in connection with the war in Ukraine. Kirby also said the US had information that Russian commanders had threatened to execute entire units if they tried to retreat under Ukrainian artillery fire. He did not provide evidence for his claims.
North Korea says US and allied criticism of its ties with Russia are ‘distorted’
North Korea has said it has an “unwavering desire” to expand ties with Russia, criticizing the recent condemnation by the US and its allies of alleged arms shipments from Pyongyang to Moscow. According to Pyongyang, these criticisms are politicized and distorted, Reuters reported.
North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui condemned military cooperation between the US, South Korea and Japan and said Pyongyang’s relationship with Moscow would act as a “powerful strategic” element if security in the region was threatened.
The United States, South Korea and Japan on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea’s alleged arms shipment to Russia, saying there had been confirmation of “several” such arms shipments. Russia and North Korea deny that weapons are being sent from the North for use in Russia‘s war against Ukraine.
“If they were curious to prove that the specific sphere of cooperation between the DPRK and Russia poses a threat to international peace and security, they should first of all explain why their tripartite military alliance is not considered a threat to regional peace and security.” said the North Korean foreign minister, quoted by the KCNA news agency.
The US, South Korea and Japan have stepped up trilateral security cooperation to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.
North Korea and Russia pledged closer military cooperation during their leaders’ September meeting in Russia‘s Far East. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this month and discussed the implementation of agreements reached at the summit in September.
“The DPRK’s unwavering desire and position is to comprehensively expand and develop bilateral relations with the Russian Federation,” the North Korean top diplomat said, adding that ties will reach “a new higher stage through the full implementation of the agreements”.
The US and Germany announced new military aid to Ukraine
New military aid to Ukraine was announced by the United States and Germany.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the alternative corridor for Ukrainian exports to the Black Sea will continue to function despite all threats.
The office of the Ukrainian president announced that Zelensky discussed the operation of the corridor, as well as the insurance of vessels, during a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The reason for Zelensky‘s comment about the alternative transport corridor was the information that appeared on Thursday that Ukraine had suspended its use due to a possible threat from Russian warplanes and sea mines.
Meanwhile, Igor Zhovkva, deputy chief of staff of Ukraine‘s president, said representatives of up to 70 countries would meet in Malta this weekend to discuss a vision for peace in Ukraine.
Speaking to Reuters, he dismissed claims that cracks were emerging in support for Kyiv’s allies. The talks in Malta will feature national security advisers and foreign ministry officials to discuss Zelensky‘s 10-point draft peace deal as the war in Russia enters its 21st month.
Zelensky‘s ten points include calls for the restoration of Ukraine‘s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, protection of food and energy supplies, nuclear safety and the release of all prisoners.
“I cannot predict what the discussion will be, but one of the most possible and desired results will be the determination of the place and date of the summit on the peace formula at the level of heads of state and government,” Igor Zhovkva said.
And Germany delivered a third Iris-T air defense system to Ukraine. Recently, Germany has increased its efforts to deliver air defense systems to Ukraine before the onset of winter to help protect critical infrastructure from Russian attacks. Earlier, the United States announced additional security assistance to Ukraine, estimated at 150 million dollars.
Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one – 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed
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