Here is the situation on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
- Russia launched a drone attack on Ukraine’s Danube River port of Izmail, leading to widespread damage to infrastructure, according to the region’s governor. The attack came hours ahead of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which were expected to touch on ways to revive the Black Sea grain deal that Moscow abandoned in July.
- Ukraine and Romania disagreed over whether the attack on Izmail hit Romanian territory on the other side of the river. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine had visual evidence of the incident. Romanian Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu condemned the “cynical” Russian attack on Ukrainian infrastructure but said no Russian drones or debris had fallen on Romanian territory.
- Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov submitted his resignation to parliament after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced he intended to replace Resnikov.
- Russia said it destroyed four Ukrainian military boats carrying troops in the Black Sea. The defence ministry said the boats were “travelling in the direction of Cape Tarkhankut on the Crimean coast”, without providing further details. Earlier, the ministry said it had repelled a separate Ukrainian drone attack over the Black Sea.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces made further territorial gains in the country’s eastern Donetsk region around the city of Bakhmut. Maliar said a further 3sq km (1.2sq miles) in the area around Bakhmut was liberated last week.
- Putin dismissed Ukraine’s counteroffensive to retake land occupied by the Russians since the February 2022 invasion. “It is not that it is stalling. It is a failure,” the Russian president told a news conference in Sochi. “At least today, this is what it looks like. Let’s see what happens next.”
- A child was injured during Russian attacks on the southern city of Kherson, according to the region’s Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. He added that Russian attacks on Sunday also killed one civilian and injured five.
- Alexander Bogomaz, the governor of Russia’s western Bryansk region, said border guards and security services “thwarted” an attempt by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group that tried to cross into Russia.
- Ukraine’s Chernihiv District Court convicted a Russian soldier of torturing a Ukrainian civilian and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to a report by the regional prosecutor’s office. The incident took place in March 2022, during Russia’s temporary occupation of the village of Lukashivka.
- Ukrainian police indicted a 26-year-old Russian officer for the rape of a girl and a woman in Kherson. “Investigators of the Main Investigative Department of the National Police of Ukraine identified a Russian serviceman who, in May 2022, during the occupation of the Kherson region, raped two local women, one of whom was a minor. The occupier threatened them with firearms and killing family members,” police said in a statement.
- Ukraine named a Russian helicopter pilot it said had defected over his opposition to Moscow’s invasion as 28-year-old Maxim Kuzminov, who served in the “319th separate helicopter regiment” based in Russia’s far east region.
- The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said Russia had probably used malware called “Infamous Chisel” against Ukraine with the aim of stealing sensitive military information.
- Putin and Erdogan held three hours of talks in Sochi and discussed ways to revive the Black Sea Grain deal, enabling the safe passage of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. Putin reiterated that Moscow would only return to the United Nations-brokered deal if Western countries met its demands on Russian agricultural exports.
- The Wall Street Journal reported officials from the United States, United Kingdom and European Union were planning to jointly press the United Arab Emirates to halt shipments of goods to Russia which could help Moscow in its war on Ukraine.
- Sergei Skvortsov, a 60-year-old Russian Swede, went on trial in Stockholm for allegedly passing Western technology to Russia’s military. He was arrested in a dawn raid on his home last year.
- The US said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was expected to hold a “leader-level diplomatic engagement” with Putin this month and that arms negotiations were “actively advancing”. Talks were likely to place in Russia, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. The two men previously met in 2019 in Vladivostok. There was no word from Moscow or Pyongyang.