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Ukraine war: Medvedev warns of World War III, F-16 training for Ukraine, UK announces new aid

FILE - US Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly over the Osan US Air Base on December 4, 2017.
FILE - US Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly over the Osan US Air Base on December 4, 2017. Copyright Ahn Young-joon/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Ahn Young-joon/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine set for fighter jet training

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Ukrainian pilots will be trained on US-made F-16s as early as August, officials attending the NATO summit told reporters on Tuesday.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed a memorandum had been signed between ten NATO members and Ukraine to conduct the training.

Reznikov said preparations will last no longer than six months, bolstering Ukraine’s capabilities in the air to fight against the Russian invasion.

He thanked Denmark and the Netherlands for their “outstanding leadership” in striking the deal.

Ukraine’s allies first agreed on training the country’s air force on advanced fighter jets at the G7 summit held in Japan in May, without ironing out the details. 

Russia, in response to the support, warned that allowing Kyiv to use F-16s would be a “colossal risk” and would spread the war across Europe.

Kyiv, however, has not been guaranteed the delivery of F-16 jets, since none of its allies have committed to sending warplanes.

Wagner got 'very close' to nuclear arms - Ukrainian intelligence

Wagner mercenaries reached a Russian nuclear base and wanted to acquire Soviet-era nuclear devices to “raise stakes in their mutiny,” Ukraine’s head of military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov said.

Various online videos showed a contingent of military vehicles turning in the military base’s direction as Wagner forces marched towards Moscow on June 24, he said. 

Budanov added forces came very close to nuclear weapons, but were hindered by the doors to the facility.

A source close to the Kremlin told Reuters news agency that Wagner mercenaries got into a zone of “special interest and agitated Americans because nuclear munitions were stored there.”

This caused a stir in Kremlin, resulting in a hurried deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to end the mutiny, another source told the news agency.

US officials have expressed doubts about these accounts, saying there were no solid indications of Wagner troops putting nuclear materials at risk.

Euronews could not independently verify Budanov’s claims.

Medvedev accuses NATO of risking World War III

Russia’s former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has accused NATO of bringing World War Three closer by giving Ukraine military aid. 

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Medvedev said the Western alliance’s new support package to Ukraine would not deter Moscow from achieving the goals of its invasion. 

“The completely crazy West could not come up with anything else. In fact, it's a dead end. World War Three is getting closer," he commented on the first day of the NATO summit via Telegram.

The West’s pledge to support Kyiv includes large supplies of advanced arms and ammunition.

Russia denounced Western involvement in a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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"What does all this mean for us? Everything is obvious. The special military operation will continue with the same goals,” Medvedev said.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow will use “similar” weapons if the US supplies cluster bombs to Ukraine – a statement Medvedev echoed on Tuesday.

He said Moscow should now use “inhumane weapons” hinting Kyiv had already been using them on the front lines.

Both warring sides have repeatedly accused each other of using cluster munitions during the course of the war.

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Petros Karadjias/AP
FILE - Dmitry Medvedev winks at the journalist in Cyprus in 2010.Petros Karadjias/AP

UK announces new support package

Britain's government on Tuesday announced a new package of aid to Ukraine which includes combat vehicles, tank ammunition and a further €58.7 million for repairs.  

Kyiv will receive 70 combat and logistic vehicles and ammunition for Challenger 2 tanks to bolster its counteroffensive efforts as a part of the deal. 

A new medical rehabilitation centre for Ukrainian soldiers will also be established through NATO's Comprehensive Assistance Package, according to the statement released by London.    

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak committed to supporting and simplifying the process of Ukraine's NATO membership, together with the new aid. 

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"Supporting Ukraine's progress on the pathway to NATO membership, coupled with formal, multilateral, and bilateral agreements and the overwhelming support of NATO members will send a strong signal to President Putin and return peace to Europe," Sunak said in the government-released statement.  

The British government also said it will be spearheading a new framework of security support for Ukraine, drumming up support from the G7 countries. 

Carl Court/2023 Getty Images
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, left, talks to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of a bilateral meeting as part of the European Political Community Summit.Carl Court/2023 Getty Images
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