Ukrainian troops have recaptured the village of Urozhaine in the southeastern Donetsk region, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Wednesday on Telegram, as the country continues a slow-moving counteroffensive against Russian forces. Operations in the area are ongoing, she added. The Washington Post could not independently verify the statement.
Ukraine does not expect to use F-16 advanced fighter jets this fall or winter, Yuri Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian air force, said on Wednesday.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Ukraine paid a high price in casualties to recapture Urozhaine, Alexander Khodakovsky, the commander of the Russian-aligned Vostok Battalion in Donetsk, said on Telegram, where he appeared to confirm that the small village had been retaken. Urozhaine is about 60 miles from the city of Donetsk, which is held by Russia, and is close to the village of Starmaiorske, which Ukrainian troops had earlier fiercely fought to recapture. Kyiv has hailed the liberation of these smaller territories despite no major breakthroughs on the battlefield.
Ukrainian officials do not expect to deploy F-16s this fall or winter, Ihnat said during a telethon, adding that training for its pilots on the aircraft should begin soon. Ukraine has repeatedly pressed for fighter jets from Western allies to shore up its air defenses.
Russia launched eight missiles and 82 airstrikes against Ukraine in the past day, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook. The casualties include children, the statement said, without providing more details. Port infrastructure in Odessa was hit, as well as residential and public buildings in the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by phone on Wednesday to Paul Whelan, an American jailed in Russia, CNN reported. Whelan, a Marine turned corporate security executive, was convicted of espionage and sentenced in 2020 in a trial he argued was politically motivated. Whelan had a “long, frank conversation” with Blinken, his brother David told CNN.
NATO official Stian Jenssen apologized and took back his comments suggesting that Ukraine should cede land to Russia to become a member of the military alliance, Dutch media outlets reported. His comments drew anger from Kyiv, with Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak describing the idea of ceding land to Russia as “ridiculous.”
Finland will build Europe’s largest emergency stockpile in case of a nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical threat, its Interior Ministry said Wednesday. Amid concerns about the fallout from the war in Ukraine, Finland was granted $262 million from the European Commission earlier this year to build the reserve, which will include protective equipment, medicines and vaccines.
Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu arrived in Belarus on Wednesday for a three-day visit, Belarusian news agency BelTA reported. Cooperation between the two countries is getting stronger, the agency cited Li as saying. Belarus is a close Russian ally.
Ukrainian ship carrying grain sails from Odessa, testing Russian threat: A ship carrying Ukrainian agricultural products left the southern port of Odessa — the first such vessel to set sail since Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal last month, reports David L. Stern. The container ship, flying a Hong Kong flag, left the port through a “temporary corridor” established for civilian vessels toward the Bosporus, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook.
Russian forces have continued their ferocious barrage against Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure, intent on destroying the country’s ability to ship to global markets and crippling a key sector of the Ukraine’s economy.