NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says there are no indications that drone debris found on Romanian territory was caused by a deliberate Russian attack, but that air attacks close to NATO borders posed a risk.
Regional Governor Oleh Kiper says Russian drone attacks have damaged port infrastructure, a grain silo and administrative buildings in the Izmail district of Ukraine’s Odesa region.
Austria summons EU envoy over ‘blood money’ comments
Austria’s Foreign Ministry summoned the European Commission’s envoy to the country for saying Austria was paying “blood money” for Russian fuel.
“Oh my god, 55 percent of Austrian gas continues to come from Russia,” Austrian news agency (APA) cited Martin Selmayr, a German EU official, saying at an event in Vienna on Wednesday evening.
Selmayr was surprised at the lack of protests since Austria’s gas payments were funding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, adding: “Blood money is being sent daily to Russia.”
But the foreign ministry said in a statement, “Mr Selmayr has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting with the (ministry’s) secretary-general”.
According to the latest Austrian government data, for June, 60 percent of Austria’s natural gas imports came from Russia, down from around 80 percent before the war.Four Ukrainian shells hit village in Russia’s Belgorod region: TASS
The governor of the Belgorod region said Ukrainian forces fired four shells at the village of Novopetrovka in the Valuysky urban district, TASS, Russia’s state-owned news agency reported.
On Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram, “In the Valuysky urban district, four shells were fired [from] cannon artillery into the village of Novopetrovka. There were no casualties”.
Gladkov added that several other areas in the region had been hit by Ukrainian shells.Ukraine’s anticorruption agency suspects tycoon of embezzlement
Ukraine’s anticorruption agency is treating tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky as a suspect in a criminal investigation into embezzlement, a lawmaker said.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said in a statement that six people were suspected of embezzling 9.2 billion hryvnias ($250m) from Privatbank.
It did not name them but posted a blurred photo of a man resembling Kolomoisky.
“Well there we go: NABU has informed Kolomoisky of a note of suspicion,” said Yaroslav Zheleznyak, the lawmaker, citing the statement.
Kolomoisky is a former owner of PrivatBank, which was nationalised in late 2016 as part of a cleanup of the banking system.
On Saturday, a court ordered Kolomoisky to be held in custody for two months on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.Kyiv calls for more international pressure on Moscow to return children
Ukraine’s human rights commissioner has called for more international pressure on Moscow to help Kyiv bring home thousands of children who it says have been taken to Russia.
“When Russia feels international pressure, that’s when we can bring more Ukrainian children back,” Dmytro Lubinets told the Reuters news agency days after several minors were reunited with their parents in western Ukraine.
The children hoping to be returned include ones taken from orphanages, those who had parents but were “kidnapped” and taken away, children who became orphans during the war and those who were separated from their parents during filtration, he added.
Lubinets said bringing home children has got “easier” since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova.India proposes G20 consensus on Ukraine
India has proposed that a G20 statement condemning the war in Ukraine also accommodate the views of Russia and China to avoid an impasse, Indian officials said.
The world’s 20 biggest economies have been divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has exacerbated since last year’s Bali summit, delegates said.
Western countries want a strong condemnation for agreeing to a Delhi declaration.
But, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will attend instead of Putin, has said Moscow will block the final declaration if it does not reflect its stand.
“As long as everyone endorses the structure of the document, that is a consensus. We are trying for a situation that everyone including Russia, G7 and China are happy that their views are there,” an Indian official said.US, Britain sanction members of Russian hacking group
The US and Britain have sanctioned additional members of a Russian hacking group known as Trickbot, and US officials have indicted nine people with ties to the group’s malware and the Conti ransomware schemes, the US Department of Treasury said.
In February, the two countries sanctioned seven leading members of Trickbot, noting the group’s role in targeting hospitals during the pandemic as well as the US government and companies.
Treasury said the move targeted “key actors involved in management and procurement for the Trickbot group”, and cited the gang’s ties to Russian intelligence services.
While such sanctions are largely symbolic since Russia is already heavily sanctioned and cybercriminals based there tend to steer clear of the US or Britain, officials have said they can make it harder for hackers to launder money.Russian embassy allowed new staff in North Korea after four years
For the first time in nearly four years, new staff have been allowed at the Russian embassy in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
Russia would be the second embassy known to be allowed new staff after China’s new ambassador entered in March.
“On September 7 at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, for the first time since 2019, we met our new colleagues – 20 diplomats and technical employees who arrived at the Embassy on a personnel rotation basis,” the embassy said in a Facebook post.
The new Russia staff comes amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may visit Russia soon to see Putin and possibly discuss arms deals.Bangladesh hopes for power plant completion during Russia’s Lavrov visit
Bangladesh is hoping for the “timely completion” of the nuclear plant Moscow is building during the Russian foreign minister’s first-ever visit to Dhaka, government officials said.
Sergey Lavrov is arriving in Dhaka in advance of a G20 summit in New Delhi, in a move seen as part of Moscow’s efforts to attract allies in Asia following strict Western sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine.
“All bilateral issues, including food and energy, will be discussed during the visit but the focus will remain on the timely completion of the nuclear power plant,” said an unnamed senior Bangladesh foreign ministry official.
The construction of the plant has been delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and war-related sanctions.
Both Russia and Western countries are seeking the support of Bangladesh, which has been reluctant to take sides in the war in Ukraine.Russia’s FSB says it detains military smugglers
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has detained a group of smugglers trading in military aircraft parts, and some have ended up in Ukraine, the state news agency TASS reports.
The smugglers were from Ukraine and a Central Asian country, TASS cited the FSB as saying.
The FSB said the group purchased and repaired military aeroplanes and helicopter parts in Russia to export them to foreign consumers, including those acting on behalf of the Ukrainian military.
More than 1,000 pieces of military aircraft were reportedly confiscated along with documents confirming the group repaired aircraft and helicopter modules for Ukraine.Ukraine begins exporting grain from Croatian seaports
A senior Ukrainian official says Kyiv has started exporting grain through Croatian seaports as the country searches for other export routes while its Black Sea ports are blocked.
“Ukrainian grain has already been exported through Croatian ports. We are grateful for this possibility. Although it is a niche trade route, it is already popular,” First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in a written statement.
“We are ready to develop it by expanding the capabilities of the transport corridor,” she said.
“We believe that this logistics route will play an important role in bilateral trade between our countries even after the war.”
Svyrydenko did not say how much Ukrainian grain had so far been shipped via the new route.The Kremlin condemns US decision to supply uranium munitions
The Kremlin says the US must answer for the “very sad consequences” of its decision to provide depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said NATO’s use of the arms in Yugoslavia in 1999 had caused a jump in cancer cases and other diseases.
“These consequences are also felt by subsequent generations of those who somehow came into contact or were in areas where these weapons were used,” he told reporters, predicting that the same would now happen in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced an assistance package for Ukraine, which included armour-piercing depleted uranium ammunition for Abrams tanks.
Britain has already sent similar shells.
The use of depleted uranium munitions is fiercely debated. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons says ingesting or inhaling even depleted uranium dust can cause cancers and congenital disabilities.