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Ukraine war: Ships defy Russian warning and multiple casualties reported across the region

Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, pictured in February
Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's military intelligence chief, pictured in February Copyright AP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
Copyright AP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
By Euronews with AFP
Published on Updated
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

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Russia launch strikes and attacks across Ukraine, causing death and injury - Ukrainian military

As part of their regular Saturday update on the conflict, Ukraine has claimed that, over the course of the last day, Russia has launched 39 airstrikes, 4 missile strikes and 42 attacks from multiple rocket launchers.

Governor Oleh Prokudin says that one person was killed and two were wounded during shelling of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region on Saturday.

Further north, a 32-year-old police investigator was killed and two other people were wounded when shells hit the town of Seredyna-Buda in the Sumy region.

Elsewhere, in Kryvyi Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's hometown, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said the anti-aircraft defence had successfully thwarted a strike, without specifying the nature of the attack.

Cargo ships leave Ukraine - despite threats from Russia

Maritime officials say a pair of cargo vessels departed Ukraine on Saturday despite Russian warnings - and are now in the Black Sea.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov says the Anna-Theresa, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier carrying 56,000 tons of pig iron, left the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny on Friday and is now close to Bulgarian territorial waters.

A second vessel, the Ocean Courtesy, which is travelling under a Marshall Islands flag, is said to have left the same port on Friday with 172,000 tons of iron ore concentrate.

That ship arrived at the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta shortly before noon on Saturday, according to the global ship tracking website MarineTraffic.

It’s not yet clear whether the vessel is set to move on from the Romanian port.

On X - formerly known as Twitter - Kubrakov wrote that the two vessels sailed through a temporary corridor for civilian ships from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to the Bosporus.

The corridor goes along the western shores of that ocean, avoiding international waters and instead using those controlled by NATO members Romania and Bulgaria.

Authorities at the Bulgarian port of Varna have not confirmed whether the Anna-Theresa will enter the port or will continue onto the Bosporus Strait.

The ships are only the third and fourth vessels which have used the interim corridor established by Ukraine’s government after Russia halted a wartime agreement aimed at ensuring safe grain exports from Ukraine.

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The boats had previously been docked in Ukrainian Black Sea ports since before Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

Their departure has coincided with the official announcement of an upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Set to be held on Monday, the high-level talks in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi come just over six weeks after Moscow broke off a deal brokered by Ankara and the U.N. which allowed Ukrainian grain to reach world markets safely despite the conflict. 

One civilian killed and others wounded during Ukrainian shelling attacks - Moscow

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On Saturday, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov confirmed two civilians had been wounded and another killed following an attack by two Ukrainian drones on the region's Valuysky district.

It’s been reported that another drone was intercepted by Russian air defence forces in the Grayvoronsky district.

Ukrainian authorities generally avoid commenting on attacks on Russian soil and haven’t said whether or not they launched the attacks. Drone strikes and shelling on the Russian border regions are a regular occurrence.

Meanwhile, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, four people are said to be wounded in Ukrainian shelling, according to Aleksei Kulemzin, the Moscow-installed mayor.

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Donetsk is the regional capital of the province of the same name, which was among four illegally annexed by Russia in September. The city came under the control of Russia-backed separatists in 2014.

Crimean bridge targeted again by Ukrainian drones, Moscow claims

Moscow claims to have shot down three Ukrainian naval drones in the Black Sea during the night from Friday to Saturday which were targeting the Crimean bridge.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian drones were destroyed around 2:20 a.m. Moscow time before reaching the bridge, built in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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It’s not the first time an incident like this has been reported. On 12 August, two Ukrainian missile attacks are said to have been foiled above this strategic bridge in the Kerch Strait.

A previous offensive in July caused significant damage to the road section of the structure, which is also used to deliver military equipment to the Russian army fighting in Ukraine.

Before the most recent offensive, supposedly foiled by Moscow, Kyiv claimed a symbolic victory on Friday by claiming to have carried out its first drone attack this week from Russian territory.

They say, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, Ukrainian drones targeted the airport in the city of Pskov, some 700 kilometres from Ukraine, in a region bordering Estonia and Latvia to the west and Belarus to the south.

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Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov confirmed the incident via Telegram, saying, “The drones used to attack the Kresty air base in Pskov were launched from inside Russia”.

The Kremlin has yet to comment on this claim.

US: "Notable progress" made by Ukrainian forces in the south

The US government says Ukraine's forces have made "notable progress" in their push against heavily fortified Russian positions in the south of the country.

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John Kirby, the White House security spokesman, explained that those gains were made over the past 72 hours south of Zaporizhzhia.

Speaking to CNN, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed that Kyiv's forces were advancing, but that "it's a tough fight".

Kirby said Kyiv itself had admitted that the push in the south was making slower progress than hoped.

Its aim is to split the Russian land corridor to Crimea.

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Earlier this week, Ukraine's military claimed to have captured the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region.

In the south of the country, Moscow is thought to have built up an elaborate system of trenches and tunnels all defended by minefields, alongside anti-tank concrete barriers and artillery positions.

In response, Kyiv has continued to urge Nato countries to provide them with tanks, warplanes and de-mining equipment - perhaps most notably US-made F-16 fighter jets.

Progress made in the Orikhiv axis

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Ukrainian Forces have been continuing to take offensive action on the Orikhiv axis in southern Ukraine, with units said to have reached the first Russian main defensive line.

Russian forces, made up of the 58 Combined Arms Army and Russian Airborne Forces elements, are seeking to halt the Ukrainian counter-offensive whilst maintaining their own offensive on the northern axis around Kupiansk.

It’s thought that Russian forces are likely attempting to distract Ukraine from its counter-offensive by pushing Kyiv to divide its forces between Orikhiv and Kupiansk.

Russia has made modest gains near Kupiansk since this Ukrainian counter-offensive began in June. They are likely keen to capitalise on this progress by continuing to resource the axis.

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