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Ukraine war: Kyiv invites arms manufacturers as Russia claims it's shot down Ukrainian drones

Delegates inspect a new weapon at an arms manufacturing show in London, September 2023
Delegates inspect a new weapon at an arms manufacturing show in London, September 2023 Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP, EVN, AFP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

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As the Kremlin turns to North Korea and Iran for new weapons and ammunition, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy has announced Kyiv will host an international arms production forum.

Scores of companies from 21 countries are invited to show their latest technology in Ukraine, with the hosts hoping to take advantage of the best the industry can offer to bolster its ongoing offensive.

It comes as NATO defence chiefs meeting at a ski resort outside the Norwegian capital Oslo acknowledge there are issues and frustrations in supplying the military equipment Ukraine needs to repel the Russian invaders.

AP Photo
Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman Nato military committee, Oslo, Norway, September 16, 2023AP Photo

Admiral Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, the chair of the NATO military committee, defended Ukraine’s counter-offensive saying its soldiers were fighting in incredibly dangerous and difficult Ukraine.

He said lack of ammunition was not holding up the Ukrainian army, but that the war was creating a huge demand for weapons and ammunition that was going beyond the current production capacity of the arms industry.

AP Photo
Ukrainian army picture of its soldiers fighting for Avdiivka near Bakhmut. September 16, 2023AP Photo

Admiral Bauer said: “Today, the Chiefs of Defence expressed their concern that across the Alliance, production capacity is lagging behind. Delivery times are moving to the right and prices for equipment and ammunition are shooting up. Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same. And that means that we cannot make sure that the increased defence spending actually leads to more security."

Long term stability needs to prevail over short term profits
Admiral Rob Bauer
Chair, NATO military committee

NATO allies agreed a defence production plan at the Vilnius Summit in July to boost production capacity and enhance interoperability. However, the meeting in Oslo acknowledged that a greater sense of urgency was needed.

Admiral Bauer said: “Our liberal economies are not apt at creating the prioritisation that is so desperately needed right now. This is about sustaining the foundation of security upon which our economies can flourish. Long term stability needs to prevail over short term profits."

Russia claims to have shot down 7 Ukrainian drones near Moscow and in Crimea

Russian air defences shot down a Ukrainian drone in the Moscow region and six others heading towards the annexed Crimean peninsula, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

One of the drones was intercepted at 1:45 a.m. (10:45 p.m. GMT) in the Istrinsky district of the Moscow region, the ministry said on Telegram.

“According to preliminary information, there is no damage or casualties at the site where the debris fell,” said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, also on Telegram.

Two Ukrainian drones were also destroyed around 1:15 a.m. Moscow time (10:15 p.m. GMT) on the west coast of Crimea, then four others 30 minutes later above the east and northwest coasts of the peninsula, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Ukrainian drone attacks against Russian territory and Crimea, annexed in 2014, have increased in recent months against the backdrop of a counter-offensive by Kyiv that began at the beginning of June.

First grain ships using new Black Sea route arrive in Ukraine

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Ukrainian port authorities say that two cargo ships have arrived at a Ukrainian port after travelling through the Black Sea using a new route.

The vessels are said to have reached Chornomorsk on Saturday, and are due to load 20,000 tonnes of wheat bound for world markets.

Officials explained that it was the first time civilian ships had reached a Ukrainian port since the collapse of a deal with Russia ensuring the safety of vessels.

The corridor has only been used previously by ships departing from Ukraine.

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The vessels, Resilient Africa and Aroyat, were said to have sailed flying the flag of the Oceanic island nation of Palau and that their crew consisted of people from Ukraine, Egypt, Turkey and Azerbaijan and Egypt, according to Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Ukraine’s agricultural ministry says the ships are set to deliver the wheat to Egypt and Israel.

The move comes after Russia abandoned a UN-backed deal which facilitated grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

Moscow complained that parts of the deal allowing the export of its food and fertilisers had not been honoured and said strict Western sanctions were restricting its own agricultural exports.

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Since then, Russia has threatened to treat civilian ships sailing to Ukraine as potential military targets.

Russia reinforces defences around Tokmak - reports

Russian forces have likely reinforced their defences around the occupied town of Tokmak in southern Ukraine, which is approximately 16 km behind the current front line, the British Ministry of Defence reports.

They say that Russia is likely deploying additional checkpoints, ‘hedgehog’ anti-tank defences and digging new trenches in the area, which is held by its 58th Combined Arms Army.

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Tokmak is preparing to become a lynchpin of Russia's second main line of defences. Improvements to the town’s defences likely indicates Russia’s growing concern about Ukrainian tactical penetrations of the first main defensive line to the north.

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