Russia-Ukraine war news: Ukrainian pilots to begin F-16 training in August

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Ukrainian pilots will begin training on F-16 fighter jets this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech to heads of Ukrainian diplomatic missions. “The delivery and combat use of F-16s by our pilots should take place as soon as possible,” he said.

At least 10,749 Ukrainian civilians, including nearly 500 children, have been killed since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, Yuriy Bielousov, Ukraine’s lead prosecutor for human rights violations, said in an interview with Interfax Ukraine.

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

Ukraine will work with nations supplying F-16s to take transfer of the advanced jets after training, Zelensky said Wednesday, acknowledging the task was a challenging one. In May, Denmark and the Netherlands were tapped to lead a European coalition to provide training and maintenance to Ukrainian pilots after the Biden administration relented under pressure to allow allied nations to send U.S.-made F-16s to Kyiv.

The number of confirmed deaths in Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg, Bielousov said. The toll will increase significantly when Ukrainian territories are liberated, he said, adding that the number of deaths in Mariupol alone is likely to be in the “tens of thousands.”

Ukraine’s proposed peace formula has slowly gained global support, Zelensky told diplomats, calling upon them to publicize and act on it. The 10-point formula, outlined in November 2022, includes the withdrawal of Russia from Ukrainian territory and justice for war crimes. “It is especially important to work with the countries of the Global South,” he added, because many nations have chosen to stay neutral in the conflict.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Eastern Europe signed an agreement to join the continental European power grid, disconnecting from the Russian-controlled system, the Lithuanian Energy Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The Baltic countries will withdraw from a contract with operators from Russia and Belarus by next summer. The switch to the European grid will take place in February 2025, it added.

Russia is probably targeting grain storage infrastructure in Ukraine, while claiming it is striking military targets, in an attempt to supplant Ukraine as the grain supplier to Africa and other countries and ensure that Moscow benefits financially, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said in an analysis Wednesday. Ukrainian officials accused Russia of striking grain infrastructure the previous night in the south. A grain silo in the port of Izmail, an alternative to Black Sea ports, was damaged, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said.

“I don’t know how it is to live in a peaceful country,” one said. In peacetime, he says, he fooled around with drones as toys. Now he uses them “just like eyes of the war.”



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