September 11, 2023 at 2:57 a.m. EDT
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Kyiv on Sunday on an unannounced visit that, according to the Foreign Ministry, will touch upon Ukraine’s possible accession to the European Union.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences for the deaths of the two aid workers. In his nightly address on Sunday, Zelensky added that two other wounded volunteers — German citizen Ruben Mawick and Swedish citizen Johan Mathias — were taken to Dnipro for medical care.
“Just as Ukraine positions itself in front of us, it can also rely on us,” Baerbock said upon her arrival in Kyiv. The trip marks Baerbock’s fourth visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.
A declaration adopted by world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi avoided directly criticizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, despite a carefully worded pledge to refrain from the use of force for territorial gain. In language agreed upon by all members, including Russia and China, the declaration called on member states to “refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state.”
The declaration also called for the “full, timely and effective implementation” of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which seeks safe passage for fertilizer and grain from three Ukrainian ports. Moscow pulled out of the deal in July.
Romania protested the violation of its airspace by Russian drones after officials found drone fragments similar to those used by Russian forces near Romania’s border with Ukraine. State Secretary Iulian Fota of the Romanian Foreign Ministry summoned the chargé d’affaires of Russia’s Embassy in Bucharest for a meeting to lodge the protest, according to a statement on Sunday.
Russia downed two drones over the Belgorod region early Monday, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov and the Defense Ministry said on Telegram. Gladkov said one drone fell on a road near a residential building but there were no casualties. The Defense Ministry said it also destroyed a Ukraine-launched drone over the Bryansk region on Sunday morning.
It’s “too early to say” whether Ukraine’s summer offensive has failed, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the BBC. He added that Kyiv has “about 30 to 45 days” left before cold, wet weather makes it harder to fight.
Ukrainian military leaders expect the country to use U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets in combat as early as this winter, the Wall Street Journal reported. Previously, U.S. and Ukrainian officials estimated that several Ukrainian pilots who are well-versed in English may be prepared to operate F-16s by the spring.
Ukraine and Sweden plan to jointly produce 1,000 CV-90 combat vehicles, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Sunday on Telegram.
Romania and the United States are holding joint naval exercises in the Black Sea and Danube Delta starting Monday, the Romanian Navy announced. Bulgaria, France, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom will also participate in the drill, which is aimed at combating explosive devices on and over the sea to ensure freedom of navigation.
South Korea pledged another $2.3 billion in aid to Ukraine starting in 2025, in addition to the $300 million previously pledged for next year, Yonhap news agency reported. President Yoon Suk Yeol made the announcement Sunday at a session of the G-20 summit in India.
In time of war, Russia turns up aggression on transgender citizens: When Russian authorities took away Yan Dvorkin’s 10-year-old adopted son last spring, there was nothing he could do but shout in frustration. His crime? He is a transgender, nonbinary person, married to a man, Robyn Dixon reports. The official from child services had denounced him to prosecutors because he was open about his gender identity on social media — a crime in Russia for which he was convicted and ordered to give up the son he adopted five years ago.
Putin has framed the invasion of Ukraine as a war against “Satanists,” liberal Western values, and “parent number one and parent number two.” And in July, he signed a repressive law dissolving transgender people’s marriages, barring them from adopting children and preventing them from changing their gender in state documents. As the war has ground on, Russia has witnessed increasingly harsh measures against transgender people.
Kate Brady contributed to this report.