As the war enters its 555th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on September 1, 2023.
- A new Ukrainian-made long-range weapon has successfully reached a target 700km (435 miles) away, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said without providing details of the attack or when it was carried out.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said logistical support to Russia’s military personnel continues to deteriorate and food supplies to individual military units in occupied areas of Ukraine have been restricted.
- Al Jazeera’s defence editor Alex Gatopoulos said that a critical juncture has been reached in Ukraine’s months-long counteroffensive. Ukrainian forces have slowly edged south in the Zaporizhia region, taking hamlet after hamlet as Russian forces try to keep them at bay.
- Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that calls to avoid attacks on Russian territory were “strange” and would only “encourage Russia to continue its aggression … Nevertheless, Ukraine strictly adheres to the obligation not to use the weapons of its partners to strike Russian territory,” he said.
- Russian air defences destroyed a drone approaching Moscow in Voskresensky district, about 60km (37 miles) from the capital, the city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
- Six members of the Ukrainian armed forces were killed in an incident involving two helicopters, which were also destroyed, while on a mission in eastern Ukraine. The circumstances of the incident were not revealed by Ukraine’s military.
- The governor of Russia’s Bryansk region said that two Ukrainian “saboteurs” were killed and five captured during an incursion into the region. Three of those captured were wounded, Governor Alexander Bogomaz, said.
- Russian anti-aircraft units destroyed a Ukrainian drone as it flew over the Bryansk region, Russia’s defence ministry said.
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he does not expect peace in Ukraine anytime soon. “I would, of course, be lying if I would say that I believe that we are seeing in the immediate horizon the possibility of peace in Ukraine,” he said.
- Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 800m hryvnias ($21.7m) would be allocated to build fortifications and other urgent military needs in the Ukrainian capital.
- Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov could be replaced, according to a report by local news outlet Ukrainska Pravda which cited local government sources. Rustem Umerov, the chairman of Ukraine’s state property fund, could be his replacement.
- United Kingdom volunteer fighter in Ukraine Sam Newey, 22, was killed in fighting on the front line, his brother said. “He’d just turned 21 when he decided to answer the call and travel to Ukraine to push back against Russian Imperialism,” Dan Newey said in a post on Facebook.
Wagner mercenary force
- Russia’s Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin spoke about threats to his security before his death last week in a plane crash. “For those who are discussing whether I’m alive or not, how I’m doing – right now it’s the weekend, second half of August 2023. I’m in Africa,” Prigozhin said in a newly surfaced video published by the Grey Zone Telegram channel, which is linked to his Wagner Group. “So for people who like to discuss wiping me out, or my private life, how much I earn or whatever else – everything is OK,” he said.
- Co-founder and military commander of Wagner Dimitry Utkin was buried near Moscow following his death in a plane crash that also killed his boss Prigozhin. Utkin, 53, whose call sign was “Wagner”, gave the private army its name. He was buried in Mytishchi on the outskirts of Moscow.
- Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the European Union should stop saying it would “support Ukraine for as long as it takes”, and replace it with “supporting Ukraine to its victory”.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he met with Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Albares and discussed “Ukraine’s EU accession talks” and “expanding Spain’s much-appreciated military aid to Ukraine”.
- Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Sochi resort on September 4. The two leaders will discuss the fallout from the war in Ukraine as well as the scuttled agreement that had allowed the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Reuters news agency reported.
- More than 40 flights were delayed at Moscow’s Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports, the Kommersant daily reported, with no reason given for the delays. Moscow airports have in recent weeks suspended flights repeatedly due to reported Ukrainian drone attacks on the capital city.
- Russia’s defence ministry has said that a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet was deployed after a Norwegian P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft approached Russia’s borders from the Barents Sea. “When a Russian fighter aircraft approached, the foreign military aircraft made a U-turn from the state border of the Russian Federation,” the defence ministry said.
- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said demands that he kick Wagner mercenary forces out of Belarus were “groundless and stupid”, state news agency BelTA reported.
- Ukraine’s Zelenskyy said he met with Charles Woodburn, the CEO of BAE Systems, a UK multinational arms, security and aerospace company, adding that the company “is starting to operate in Ukraine”.
- Germany published a new list of weapons and other equipment to be provided to Ukraine, including 20 Leopard battle tanks, patriot missiles and over 100 surveillance drones.
Black Sea grain exports
- The Kremlin said food shortages in Africa have nothing to do with Russia, which pulled out of an agreement that allowed Ukraine to safely ship its grain across the Black Sea during the war.
- Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said reviving the Black Sea grain deal was “critical” for food security during a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
- Russia’s Lavrov said Moscow sees no sign it will receive the guarantees it requires before resuming the grain deal.
- India asked the United States to allow the release of $26m belonging to at least two Indian diamond firms that were frozen due to their alleged trade links with sanctioned Russian diamond mining firm Alrosa, Reuters news agency reported.
- The UK government said financial services company Wise Payments has breached Russian sanctions regulations by making funds available to a company owned or controlled by a person on the sanctions list.