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Ukraine war: Counteroffensive critics can 'shut up', Crimea recapture 'open', North Korea arms deal

FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman of the 10th Assault Brigade Edelweiss fires a D-30 cannon towards Russian positions.
FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman of the 10th Assault Brigade Edelweiss fires a D-30 cannon towards Russian positions. Copyright LIBKOS/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright LIBKOS/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AFP/AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Critics of Ukrainian counteroffensive should 'shut up'

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Naysayers about Ukraine's summer counteroffensive against Russian forces can "shut up", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday.

"Criticising the slowness of the counteroffensive amounts to spitting in the face of the Ukrainian soldiers who have sacrificed their lives", he said on the sidelines of a meeting between foreign ministers in Spain. 

“I suggest everyone who criticises [us] to shut up, come to Ukraine and try to free up a square centimetre on your own,” Kuleba added.

Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June to liberate its territory held by Russian soldiers in the east and south. 

Kyiv has encountered stiff resistance, with Moscow having many months to prepare its defences, including trenches, anti-tank traps and minefields stretching hundreds of kilometres.

After thanking the European foreign ministers for their support, Kuleba reiterated Kyiv's need for more munitions, armoured vehicles, long-range missiles and anti-aircraft systems.

Helicopter crash kills six soldiers

Six Ukrainian servicemen died in the crash of two combat helicopters in eastern Ukraine, the country's National Bureau of Investigation (SBI) announced on Thursday. 

"Two Mi-8 military helicopters fell during a combat mission," the SBI said in a statement,  detailing that the crash happened on Tuesday in the Kramatorsk region.

The SBI did not suggest what it thought caused the incident. The technical condition of the helicopters, compliance with fight rules and possible sabotage by the enemy will be studied, its statement read. 

Ukrainian MI-8 helicopters, which date back to Soviet times, are used on the front to strike Russian lines with rockets. They often fly in pairs low to the ground, before rising sharply to fire, then returning to their base at low altitude. 

This accident comes after the death of three Ukrainian pilots in the accidental collision of two L-39 combat training planes last week in northern Ukraine. 

Russia and North Korea securing arms deals - US

Negotiations on future arms deliveries from North Korea to Russia are "actively progressing", a US official said on Wednesday.

The deals could see Moscow receive "significant quantities" of weapons, especially ammunition and raw materials, claimed White House spokesman John Kirby. 

North Korean regime was urged to "cease" its talks with Russia.

"Such an arms deal would be a serious violation of [UN] Security Council resolutions" on North Korea, said US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. 

Calling Russia's attitude "unacceptable", she indicated the United States would sanction "individuals and entities" facilitating this agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang.

In August, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea announced they would increase cooperation, particularly on defence. 

This move illustrated the increasing rapprochement between these two US enemies, amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. 

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Russia intercepts Ukrainian strike

Russia claimed to have destroyed a Ukrainian drone bound for Moscow on Thursday, according to the capital's mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was downed by Russian air defences in the Voskresensky district in the Moscow region, said the Russian Ministry of Defence on Telegram.

No casualties or damage were reported.

Amid Ukraine's counteroffensive that began in June, drone attacks against Russian territory and the annexed Crimean peninsula have ramped up in recent weeks, becoming an almost daily occurrence.

Moscow denounces these strikes as terrorism, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said they are an "inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process" of the war.

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Crimea could be liberated after Ukraine gains, claims Kyiv

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said recent gains on the southern front could enable the recapture of the annexed Crimean peninsula. 

He claimed this could now happen after Kyiv liberated the "strategically important" village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Moscow says it still controls the village, however. 

Euronews cannot independently verify these claims. 

Ukraine is planning to cut the land corridor to Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, though its military plans are a closely guarded secret.

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If Ukraine was able to capture territory between the Black Sea peninsula and other occupied areas in the south, parts of Moscow's supply lines would be cut. 

This would problematise its military campaign, potentially aiding Ukraine.

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