Russia-Ukraine war news: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia to meet Putin


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s trip from Pyongyang to Russia, as seen on a TV screen in Seoul on Tuesday. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia for a rare summit with President Vladimir Putin, during which Washington expects the two leaders to discuss an arms deal. Kim appeared to have crossed into Russia early Tuesday aboard his private train, South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement.

Washington has accused Moscow of seeking North Korean weapons. “We remain concerned that North Korea is contemplating providing any type of ammunition or material support to Russia, in support of their war against Ukraine,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon press secretary, told reporters Monday.

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said their forces recaptured a strategic group of oil and gas drilling platforms off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula, which were seized by Russia in 2015 and used for military purposes. A video posted to the agency’s Telegram channel Monday and verified by The Washington Post showed Ukrainian soldiers climbing onto a drilling platform and removing a radar system.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a Russian reporter to expect a “full-blown” visit for Kim, including talks between delegations and a “formal dinner.” The two leaders last met in 2019 and have become increasingly aligned in efforts to curb U.S. influence in the region. Kim is expected to meet Putin, who is attending an economic forum at the Russian port city of Vladivostok this week.

Kim departed for Russia late Sunday, joined by his foreign minister and senior military officials, North Korea’s official Korea Central News Agency said. Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported Tuesday that the luxury train carrying Kim arrived at Russia’s Khasan station after crossing the North Korean border. Kim’s journey from Pyongyang is his first known trip outside North Korea in nearly four years and was estimated to take 20 hours.

State Department Spokesperson Matt Miller said North Korea arming Russia could prompt more sanctions. The United States has “aggressively enforced our sanctions against entities that fund Russia’s war effort,” Miller told reporters Monday, adding that the United States “will not hesitate to impose new sanctions if appropriate.”

Two volunteer aid workers killed near Ukraine’s front line were identified as 32-year-old Spanish national Emma Igual and Canadian Anthony “Tonko” Ihnat, according to the Spanish government and Road to Relief, the international aid group they worked for. They were traveling to visit residents on the outskirts of Bakhmut when their van was hit by Russian shelling, the Ukraine-based charity said.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia has in recent weeks “recalibrated” the air defense system protecting Moscow. The move is “almost certainly” designed to “allow the system to detect and engage” drones, which have been used in near-daily attacks against the Russian capital, the ministry said Tuesday in its daily intelligence assessment. “However, it is probably also intended to act as a high-profile reassurance to the public that the authorities have the threat under control,” the ministry added.

Kyiv’s forces have “taken back around 50 percent of the country that Russia occupied at the height of its full-scale invasion,” Miller said at Monday’s news conference, in response to a question about the counteroffensive. When it comes to Russia’s original goals — to take Kyiv and overthrow the democratic government — “all of those things have failed,” Miller said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on citizens to maintain their focus on the war in his nightly address, suggesting they are gearing up for the long haul. Even on the 565th day of war, everyone “should remain focused on defending the state just as we did in the early days,” he said. Russia “hopes only that we will not endure.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to the newly appointed Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov by phone. Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson, said at a news conference that Austin updated Umerov on U.S. security assistance efforts and discussed priorities to support Ukraine’s “immediate battlefield needs and capability requirements over the long term.”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said “there is still a long way to go” in Ukraine’s battle against corruption, while reiterating her support for Kyiv’s path toward the European Union, according to a statement shared by Germany’s Foreign Ministry. Baerbock’s unannounced visit to Kyiv was her fourth since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. Zelensky said after meeting with Baerbock that Ukraine is “preparing to strengthen the package of defense support from Germany.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which handles conflict and prisoners of war, will cut its budget by about 13 percent next year and reduce staff at its headquarters by about 20 percent, the organization said Monday, attributing the move to an “era of declining aid budgets.” During the war in Ukraine, the ICRC has worked to “deliver relief items to displaced people, provide medicines and supplies to health care facilities, restored water supply” and other activities.

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. Dvorkin was open about his gender identity on social media — a crime in Russia for which he was convicted and then ordered to give up his son.

Putin has framed the invasion of Ukraine as a war against liberal Western values, 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.


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