Day 340 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv is Negotiating the Supply of Long-Range Missiles
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Kyiv is negotiating the supply of long-range missiles
Ukraine is in intensive talks with its allies to provide long-range missiles. Kyiv introduced sanctions against hundreds of companies from Russia and Belarus.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine needs the missiles to destroy Russian artillery depots, which number more than 100 on the Crimean peninsula alone.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's air force denied a report in Spanish newspaper El Pais that Kyiv intended to acquire 24 fighter jets from its allies, saying talks were still ongoing.
The Ukrainian side introduced sanctions against over 180 companies from Russia and Belarus. Most of them are engaged in transportation, vehicle leasing and chemical production. Sanctions include various measures such as blocking assets, restricting commercial operations and halting transit. According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, “we are talking about companies that are connected to the transportation of Russian military equipment and manpower.”
On Saturday, Russian forces attacked seven municipalities in the Sumy region, the local administration announced. Apartment blocks, houses and public buildings were damaged.
Ukrainian Armed Forces: We repelled Russian forces from the village of Blagodatne in eastern Donetsk. Wagner: We took it over
Ukraine's armed forces said they had repelled an attack in the Blagodatne region of eastern Donetsk region, and Russia's private military company Wagner said it had taken control of the village, Reuters reported.
"Units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repulsed the attacks of the occupiers in the region of Blagodtne in the Donetsk region," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (VSU) said in its daily morning briefing. The Ukrainian Armed Forces claimed to have repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region.
In turn, the private military company "Wagner", designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organization, said last night on Telegram that its units had established control over Blagodatne.
Reuters emphasizes that it has not been able to confirm the information from both sides from independent sources. As fighting in Donetsk region intensifies, the exact position of the frontline is unclear, particularly in the area around the city of Bakhmut, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting since the start of the war in recent weeks.
Ukraine has said that the Russian offensive around Bakhmut has not reached its climax, but the situation on the front line there is increasingly difficult. The governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, said in his Telegram message that four civilians were killed, one of them in Bakhmut and 17 were injured in the Russian attacks in the region yesterday
North Korea denies having traded arms with Russia
North Korea has denied supplying Moscow with weapons after the United States said Pyongyang supplied missiles and shells to Russia's Wagner group, AFP reported.
Earlier this month, Washington designated the Wagner group as a "transnational criminal organization", citing its arms deals with Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
According to national security spokesman John Kirby, the White House has shown US intelligence photos of Russian rail cars entering North Korea, picking up a load of missiles and shells and returning to Russia.
In a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency, a senior North Korean official denied the allegations. He warned that the US would face a "really undesirable outcome" if it continued to spread a "self-made rumour".
"Trying to tarnish (North Korea's) image by inventing something that doesn't exist is a serious provocation that can never be allowed and that cannot but provoke its reaction," said Kwon Jong-gun, director general of the Department of Nuclear Affairs.
He also called it a "stupid attempt to justify his offer of arms to Ukraine."
Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accused Washington of "further crossing the red line" by sending tanks to Ukraine.
Along with China, Russia is one of the North's few international friends and has previously come to the regime's aid.
Apart from Syria and Russia, North Korea is the only country that recognizes the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk.
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