Russia-Ukraine war news: U.S. plans to send depleted uranium rounds to Kyiv


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, during his visit to Kyiv on Wednesday. (Reuters)

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that Washington plans to send depleted uranium ammunition for previously committed Abrams tanks to Ukraine as part of a new military assistance package worth up to $175 million. The provision of the controversial rounds, which are mildly radioactive and capable of piercing through armor, was decried by Moscow as inhumane and marks an escalation in the type of weaponry that the United States has supplied to Kyiv. The package is part of more than $1 billion in additional aid that was pledged Wednesday by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to the Ukrainian capital.

A Russian missile strike on a crowded market in Kostiantynivka that was frequented by Ukrainian soldiers positioned in the country’s eastern Donetsk region killed at least 17 people and left at least 32 injured Wednesday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack — one of the deadliest in recent months — as “utter inhumanity” and said the number of casualties may rise further.

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

In addition to depleted uranium rounds, the $1 billion in new U.S. funding includes air defense components, 155mm artillery ammunition, antitank missiles and air navigation systems, among other equipment, The Washington Post reported. It also includes $100 million to support Ukraine’s long-term military needs and $300 million to help maintain law and order in newly liberated areas. The Russian Embassy in Washington denounced the U.S. decision to supply depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as a “clear sign of inhumanity.”

Ukraine and the European Union condemned the attack in Kostiantynivka, which the E.U. connected to a pattern of indiscriminate Russian attacks on civilians. “The Russian troops are terrorists who will not be forgiven,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a statement confirming the attack. The E.U. said in a statement that the market attack, close to the front lines around Bakhmut, “follows an escalation over the past months of missile and drone attacks all over Ukraine,” which it said had killed and wounded more than 410 civilians over the past two weeks.

Blinken touted “real progress” in Ukraine’s war efforts and expressed “tremendous confidence that Ukraine will prevail” amid a slow-moving counteroffensive to retake territory in the country’s southeast, The Post reported. Blinken, who is among Ukraine’s staunchest supporters within the Biden administration, also reiterated Wednesday that the United States is “doing everything we can to maximize our support to Ukraine as it pursues the counteroffensive.” He has repeatedly pushed officials at home and abroad to provide more sophisticated weaponry to Kyiv and tamped down calls for a negotiated cease-fire with Moscow.

Russia claims to have intercepted drones over Moscow and the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, officials said on Thursday. One person was injured and several cars were damaged after one drone fell in the city center, and another fell on its western outskirts after Russian air defenses intercepted a drone attack, Rostov’s governor, Vasily Golubev, wrote in a Telegram post. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that Russian air defenses had intercepted a drone attack near the capital and that there were no casualties. The Post could not independently verify those claims.

Russian drone strikes have damaged civil and port infrastructure, a grain silo and administrative buildings in Odessa, regional governor Oleh Kiper said Thursday on Telegram. A truck driver was also injured in the attack, the fourth in the Izmail district in the past five days, he said.

Ukraine’s parliament officially approved Rustem Umerov as the country’s new defense minister following the resignation of Oleksii Reznikov, who took the role in November 2021. Reznikov resigned this week after Zelensky announced plans to replace him, with the ministry embroiled in corruption allegations.

Moldova will host joint military exercises with about 500 Moldovan, Romanian and U.S. troops from Sept. 10 to 22, the Moldovan Defense Ministry said in a statement. The multinational Rapid Trident exercises, which will include infantry and artillery drills, are aimed at “improving the interoperability of the armies of the participating countries,” it said.

Romania has launched an investigation to determine the nature of the fragments resembling “drone parts” that were found in its territory on Tuesday, Defense Ministry spokesman Constantin Spanu said. Despite widespread speculation that they were elements from a Russian drone during an attack on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River, Spanu said he could not “make a direct connection” with any recent attack. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said Wednesday that “it would be a serious violation of Romania’s sovereignty” if the debris are confirmed to be from a Russian drone.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and will attend the East Asia Summit on Thursday, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. “During the event, we believe it is important to discuss the challenges the Asia-Pacific region is facing,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying. “In particular, we intend to draw attention to the risk of the military and political situation in the Asia-Pacific region being aggravated against the background of the West’s realization of its plan to expand the geographical area of so-called NATO responsibility.”

In northeast Ukraine, the Russians are coming — or maybe setting a diversion: As Russian invaders focus their fire on the strategic northeast town of Kupyansk, a Ukrainian armor platoon, hidden under camouflage nets and the last embers of summer foliage, expressed nostalgia for the tank-on-tank battles last year that tested soldiers’ will and skill, Alex Horton and Serhii Korolchuk report. The war is different now, said a 26-year-old commander with the call sign Leshyi. The enemy is farther away, probing for weak spots rather than full-on blitzing, forcing the Ukrainians to use tanks more like howitzers to fire at targets identified by reconnaissance soldiers.

Work has been steady, and Leshyi’s crew recently helped destroy some electronic warfare equipment, he said, though admitting the indirect contact with the enemy does not offer the same instant gratification as other battles. “Most of the time we don’t even know what we are shooting at,” Leshyi said from the hatch of his T-72. “Sometimes we only see videos of our work.”


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