Breaking news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Putin wants to expand relations with North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held talks in 2019.

Alexander Zemlianichenko | AFP | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly sent a message of friendship to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, expressing his desire for Russia and North Korea to deepen ties.

North Korea’s state-run media company KCNA reported Sunday that Putin sent the North Korean leader a telegram congratulating North Korea’s Liberation Day on Monday, expressing his will to “further develop comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations between the countries.” .

Deepening such ties would supposedly help “enhance the security and stability of the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region,” Putin wrote.

Kim then reportedly sent a reply to Putin, noting that a North Korean-Russian friendship was forged in World War II with the victory over Japan.

The “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity between the two countries,” Kim said, united them against what he called “the military threat and provocation of enemy forces and arbitrary and indiscriminate practices.”

The North Korean leader did not specify which countries he was referring to, but North Korea often scolds the West.

North Korea, a secretive, closed and authoritarian country, is among a few states that have openly supported Russia’s war in Ukraine and have officially recognized the independence of two breakaway pro-Russian regions in eastern Ukraine.

— Holly Ellyatt

The West is calling on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine’s nuclear power plant

A soldier with a Russian flag on his uniform stands near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, August 4, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

The US, UK, EU and other countries have urged Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and all of Ukraine.

“We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its armed forces and all other unauthorized personnel from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, its immediate vicinity and all of Ukraine, so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine and legitimate operational staff can carry out their duties without outside interference, threats or unacceptably harsh working conditions,” read a joint statement published on the website of the EU delegation to the international organizations in Vienna on Sunday.

The statement, which was supported by 42 countries, said Russia’s control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – “poses a grave threat” to international principles regarding nuclear safety, as outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The use of Russian military personnel and weapons at the nuclear facility is unacceptable and violates the safety and security principles to which all members of the IAEA are committed,” the statement said.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and there was widespread dismay when Russian forces captured the unit on March 4 and reports of military equipment and ammunition were planted there.

Russian and Ukrainian forces have accused each other of shelling the power plant in recent weeks, raising fears of a catastrophic incident at the power plant.

— Holly Ellyatt

A ship carrying 23,000 tons of wheat is preparing to leave the Ukrainian port

Another grain ship is preparing to leave Ukraine on Monday, this time bound for Ethiopia.

Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook on Sunday that more than 23,000 tons of wheat had been loaded onto the bulk carrier Brave Commander at the port of Pivdenny and the ship was scheduled to depart on Monday.

“Today we see how the initiative signed in Istanbul for the safe transport of grain and agricultural products works store. Now we can see the ship finally preparing for its departure and transporting more than 23,000 tons of wheat to the people of Ethiopia,” the minister said.

Grain ships have started to leave Ukraine for the time being following a deal between Russia and Ukraine brokered by the UN and Turkey to allow ships carrying essential products such as wheat to leave Ukrainian ports after such shipping during of the war exacerbated a rise in world food prices.

— Holly Ellyatt

Foreign fighters are on trial in the pro-Russian “republic” of Ukraine

Three British nationals, a Swedish national and a Croatian national who fought for Ukrainian forces are expected to appear in court on Monday.

“The court hearing is scheduled for August 15 and will take place behind closed doors,” Russia’s state news agency Interfax said last week, citing a court official.

Swedish citizen Matthias Gustavsson, Croatian Vekoslav Prebeg and British citizens John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy stand before the ‘Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic’, a pro-Russian breakaway region in Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

If the court – widely regarded in the West as a kangaroo court – finds the accused guilty, they face the death penalty.

— Holly Ellyatt

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/15/live-updates-latest-news-on-russia-and-the-war-in-ukraine.html Breaking news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Joshua Buckhalter

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