Ukraine war: Putin claims 'invincibility', UK arms giant in Ukraine, new drone strikes in Russia

Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. Copyright Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Copyright Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Putin tells children Russia is 'invincible'


Russia is as "invincible" today as it was during the Second World War, Vladimir Putin said on Friday during a meeting with teenagers to mark the start of the new school year.

"I understood why we won the Great Patriotic War: it's impossible to defeat a people with that kind of mindset. We were absolutely invincible and, today, we still are", said the Russian president, in remarks broadcast on television.

Putin regularly draws parallels between the war against Nazi Germany and the offensive he has unleashed in Ukraine.

Russia claimed on Friday to have seized "key positions on high ground" near the town of Kupiansk in eastern Ukraine, a sector of the front on which its troops have been on the offensive for several weeks.

Russia has deployed major resources to regain control of the Kupiansk sector, which was recaptured by Ukraine last year, and according to Ilia Yevlach, spokesman for the Ukrainian army's Eastern Command, 45,000 of its soldiers are massed there.

Ukrainian drones hit Kursk as Moscow repels attack

Ukrainian forces targeted Russia's Kursk region with two drones early on Friday, damaging residential and administrative buildings, local authorities said. 

Two buildings were damaged, which emergency services were still assessing, the region's governor Roman Starovoit wrote on Telegram. 

Russian forces downed another drone bound for Moscow on Friday morning, the capital's mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. 

The drone was shot down just 20 kilometres southeast of central Moscow, Sobyanin wrote on Telegram, without disclosing further details. 

Moscow's three major airports had to reschedule and cancel flights after an unidentified flying object was detected by air defences, the Russian state-run news agency TASS reported.  

Sobyanin has been vocal about expanding the Russian capital's air defence capabilities, after repeated attacks in recent months – one even striking the Kremlin building in May.

Anger over Russian ambassador's Nobel invitation

The invitation extended to the Russian ambassador to Sweden to attend the forthcoming Nobel Prize gala dinner caused controversy on Friday, with the Swedish prime minister openly expressing his disagreement.

"The Nobel Foundation of course invites whoever it wants. But like many others, I was very surprised to learn that Russia had been invited," said Ulf Kristersson in a statement to AFP.

"I wouldn't have done it if I had to deal with invitations to a prize-giving ceremony, and I understand that this upsets people in Sweden and Ukraine," he added.

The Nobel Foundation, which organises the award ceremony and gala dinner in Stockholm, announced on Thursday that this year it would invite all the ambassadors of the countries present in Sweden and Norway.

In 2022, the Foundation decided not to invite the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors because of the war in Ukraine, and the Iranian ambassador because of the repression of the protest movement. These three representatives have been invited this year.

"It is clear that the world is becoming increasingly divided into spheres and that dialogue between divergent points of view is becoming increasingly limited", said Vidar Helgesen, the Foundation's Director, in a press release.

"To reverse this trend, we are extending our invitation to celebrate and understand the Nobel Prize and the importance of free science, free culture and free and peaceful societies", he added.


A number of Swedish politicians, including environmental, centre and left-wing leaders, have said they will boycott the gala dinner because of the Russian ambassador's invitation.

UK defence firm to speed up arms supply to Ukraine

UK arms giant BAE Systems has set up a legal body in Ukraine to speed up supplies of arms and equipment to the war-torn nation. 

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the firm's chief executive Charles Woodburn on Thursday to iron out the details of the new agreement. 

"The development of our own weapons production is a top priority," Zelenskyy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, following Thursday's meeting. 

He said Ukraine will be able to deploy BAE-manufactured artillery L119 and M777 systems and armoured vehicle robust CV90. 


BAE has been a large contributor to the UK's defence supplies to Kyiv following the start of the invasion in February 2022. It is, by value, Europe's biggest defence contractor operating in more than 40 countries across the globe. 

The defence firm, however, has not yet decided on setting up a physical office in Ukraine, despite Zelenskyy's previous claims that Kyiv was in negotiation to do so. 

Russia unhappy with Black Sea grain deal proposal

Russia wants the West to follow "a list of actions" in addition to the United Nations chief's new Black Sea grain proposal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sent a new letter addressing Lavrov, hoping to revive the deal that lifted a Russian blockade and allowed Ukraine to ship almost 33,000 tons of grain at a time of growing global hunger.

But Moscow wasn’t satisfied with the letter, Lavrov hinted after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, whose country helped broker the deal. 


“As soon as talks turn into concrete decisions, we’ll be ready to resume the Ukrainian part of the grain package that same day," Lavrov said. 

Describing the grain deal as “quite a complicated and laborious job,” Turkey's Fidan said when Erdogan and Putin get together they “will take a more strategic and political view.”

Guterres told UN reporters on Thursday he had written a letter to Lavrov with “a set of concrete proposals, allowing to create the conditions for the renewal of the Black Sea initiative.”

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the deal in July 2022 that allowed Ukraine to ship grain and other foodstuffs from three Black Sea ports.

A separate memorandum between the UN and Russia, following the start of the invasion, pledged to overcome obstacles to Moscow’s shipment of food and fertilizer to world markets.


Russia suspended the Black Sea grain initiative in July, calling it a lop-sided deal, repeatedly alleging Ukraine of fostering its wealthy allies in the West.

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