Ukraine war: US transfers funds from Russian oligarchs to Ukraine

US transfers seized funds from Russian oligarchs to Ukraine

12:49 p.m.: In a statement, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced support for Ukraine from a special source. “For the first time, we are transferring to Ukraine assets confiscated from sanctioned Russian oligarchs, which are now to be used to support Ukrainian military veterans,” he said, according to Ukraine’s Interfax news agency. Those “who made Putin’s war of aggression possible” should pay for it.

According to the report, $5.4 million is at stake, which is earmarked for veteran support and rehabilitation. These funds are part of the more than $1 billion aid package announced by Blinken and are to be transferred to Ukraine.

The package is primarily intended for further support of Ukraine with equipment for the war. It will contain, among other things, Himars missiles and support for demining, but will also be used for reconstruction and against hunger.

Authorities: Russian anti-aircraft guns shoot down drones

Thursday, September 07, 03:54: The Russian air defense said it shot down drones in Rostov-on-Don near the border with Ukraine and in Moscow. Officials reported this early Thursday morning. In Rostov-on-Don in the city center, a person was injured by the debris of a downed drone, but did not need to be hospitalized, Rostov governor Vasily Golubev wrote on Telegram. In addition, facades and windows of houses and several cars were damaged.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote on Telegram that a drone had been shot down in a district of the capital. No injuries or damage were initially reported.

Ukraine receives uranium ammunition from the USA

7:46 p.m.: The US supplies Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition for US Abrams tanks. This was announced by the Pentagon on Wednesday. The munitions are part of an aid package that is said to include military aid worth $175 million.

Depleted uranium is a waste product that results from the enrichment of uranium for use in nuclear power plants or in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. It’s so hard that it doesn’t change shape when it hits a target. Depleted uranium is used to give grenades and bombs more power.

Zelenskyy: At least 16 dead after rocket attack on Kostyantynivka

3:02 p.m.: At least 16 people have been killed in a rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of Kostyantynivka. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said those killed were “people who did nothing wrong”. “There is also a child among them,” Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal said on Telegram on Wednesday. More than 30 other people were injured, according to the authorities. Selenskyj warned that the death toll could still rise. Kostyantynivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region is close to the front line.

“This Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible,” added Zelenskyy. Authorities in Moscow have not yet commented on the claims.

The President of Ukraine stated that in the eastern town, which is close to the battlefield, a market, shops and a pharmacy were hit. The head of state also released a short video intended to show the moment of the explosion in the busy neighborhood. He also showed photos of damaged house facades, pools of blood on the ground and rescue workers extinguishing the flames. It was initially unclear what exactly hit the projectile. Some local media assumed an S-300 missile.

Kostyantynivka is just under 20 kilometers southwest of the town of Bakhmut, which the Russians occupied a few months ago as part of their war of aggression, and has repeatedly been the target of Russian attacks. In July, Ukraine accused Russia of using a cluster bomb in Kostyantynivka, killing a child. Even before that, civilians were repeatedly killed by Russian attacks in the Ukrainian-controlled city.

Reports: London wants to ban Wagner group as terrorist organizations

Wednesday, September 06, 04:27: According to media reports, Great Britain wants to put the Russian mercenary group Wagner on its list of terrorist organizations. The Daily Mail newspaper, citing Home Secretary Suella Braverman, reported that the UK wants to ban the Wagner group on the basis of anti-terror legislation. The project is to be presented in Parliament on Wednesday.

If terrorist activities are suspected, the British Home Secretary can ban an organization. Such a ban already applies to the jihadist militia Islamic State and the terrorist network Al Qaeda. Supporting banned organizations becomes a criminal offence.

Wagner was “a brutal and destructive organization operating abroad as a military tool of Vladimir Putin’s Russia,” the Interior Minister quoted the Daily Mail as saying. “While Putin’s regime decides what to do with the monster it created, Wagner’s ongoing destabilizing activities continue to serve the Kremlin’s political purposes,” Braverman said.

The Wagner group was “involved in looting, torture and barbaric killings,” Braverman said, according to the Daily Mail. The group’s actions in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa are “a threat to global security,” she added. London will therefore ban “this terrorist organization” and continue to support Ukraine “wherever we can in their fight against Russia”.

“They are terrorists, quite simply – and this prohibition order makes that clear in British law,” the BBC quoted the minister as saying.

Ukraine: Russian defector pilot receives big bonus

9:42 p.m.: In Ukraine, a defected Russian pilot who handed over a Mi-8 helicopter to Kiev’s armed forces is set to receive a half-million US dollar (around €463,000) bounty. Military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov said on television on Tuesday that the money would be paid out in the national currency hryvnia. He called on other Russian military personnel to follow suit. The case of the 28-year-old Russian, who also appears in public, has been reported by Ukrainian media for days.

Ukraine has an official list of military equipment awards that Russian soldiers can hand over. For a tank, for example, there is 100,000 US dollars. In Russia, on the other hand, kill bonuses are paid for planes, tanks and other weapons.

“Ukraine is a democratic constitutional state. We are fulfilling our own obligations and international law,” Jussow said. “Therefore again: Those Russians who do not want to become war criminals, please, surrender, defect to the Ukrainian side and defend your own honor and conscience, fight against (Kremlin chief Vladimir) Putin’s regime.” The secret service had the young man defected in a long special operation.

According to the Internet portal “Ukrajinska Pravda”, the helicopter landed in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. Two uninitiated members of the crew were killed. The pilot was in Ukraine with his family, who had previously fled Russia. The helicopter, which is said to have had spare parts for Russian fighter jets on board, is also in the country.

“Over 100 successful kills” with the Iris-T air defense system

8:20 p.m.: According to the manufacturer, the modern German air defense system Iris-T has already fended off more than 100 air attacks in Ukraine, including cruise missiles and drones. “We have an almost 100 percent kill rate, that’s what the Ukrainian military is reporting back to us,” said Harald Buschek, a managing director at manufacturer Diehl Defense, on Tuesday. So far there have been “over 100 successful kills,” he said.

The federal government has so far left two of the systems to Ukraine, another will be delivered “shortly” and four more should follow later, said Buschek. The system “saves lives there every day,” said Air Force Chief Ingo Gerhartz, referring to the operation in Ukraine.

According to Diehl Defense, the Iris-T SLM air defense system enables protection against attacks by aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles. The system can fire at targets up to 20 kilometers altitude and 40 kilometers range. So a kind of protective screen is stretched over an area. For example, one of the systems can protect a medium-sized city like Nuremberg or Hanover. Germany has ordered six of the air defense systems for its own use. The first is to be delivered to the Bundeswehr in the coming year.

Buschek and Gerhartz spoke at the Bundeswehr’s Todendorf military training area on the Baltic Sea in Schleswig-Holstein, where a training facility for ground-based air defense was recently opened together with the Luftwaffe.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov dismissed by Parliament

Tuesday, September 5, 1:35 p.m.: As expected, the Ukrainian parliament formally dismissed Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. A large majority of MPs voted in favor of this decision on Tuesday. The minister’s dismissal was announced on Sunday by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Resnikov has held the post since November 2021. The delivery of arms by the western allies, which took place more than 18 months ago after the Russian invasion, were also attributed to the lawyer’s negotiating skills.

Scandals surrounding corruption in the army supply and in the military replacement offices are said to have contributed to his dismissal. Resnikov has always denied allegations against him. The designated successor is the previous head of the State Assets Fund, Rustem Umerow. His appointment is expected on Wednesday.

The photo that emerged is said to show missing “General Armaggedon”.

10:02 p.m.: Russian media are currently circulating a photo of General Sergey Surovikin and state that it is a recent photo. It is said that he was “released”. In the picture, Surovikin is seen arm in arm next to a woman. According to the media, the head of the Russian aerospace troops, who was important in the war against Ukraine, was removed from office two months after the uprising of the Wagner mercenary group. From October 2022 to January 2023, Surovikin was the supreme commander of Russian units in Ukraine. In the fall, he ordered the occupation troops to withdraw from the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson.

Hank Peter

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