- At least two people have died in Russian shelling in Kherson, according to the Ukrainian governor in the partly occupied region.
- Ukraine says its air defences downed 13 Russian cruise missiles headed towards a military airfield in the western Khmelnytskyi region.
- The Kremlin rejects Western allegations that Russia is a destabilising force in Africa, saying its work there was not aimed at any third country.
- “The counteroffensive is not a new season of a Netflix show,” says Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, after Russia depicted Kyiv’s attacks as slow.
Russia accuses the West of trying to ruin relations with Kazakhstan
Russia accuses the West of trying to drive a wedge between Russia and Kazakhstan, the Tass news agency reported.
The report comes as Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev visited Kazakhstan to meet counterparts from across the former Soviet Central Asian region.
“The United States and their allies are trying to support nationalist sentiment, spreading lies, manipulating public opinion, including through the internet and social networks,” TASS quoted Patrushev’s deputy, Alexander Shevtsov, saying in Almaty.
Kazakhstan is a close Russian-ally and economic partner.
Russia will not disclose details of Belarus weapons: Interfax
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov says Russia will not disclose any details about the weapons it is deploying in Belarus, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.
The TASS news agency also reported that Russia had no plans to inform the US about tests of its nuclear underwater drone because it does not fall under existing verification agreements.
Russia will defend its legal rights in Naftogaz case brought in US: Kremlin
The Kremlin says Russia will look into all possible ways to protect its rights in a case initiated by the Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz in the United States.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a briefing, “All the legal details of this move will be worked on, and ways will be considered to defend our legal rights.”
Naftogaz said it had taken legal action against Russia to try to recover $5bn awarded to it by an arbitration court in The Hague in April as compensation for assets expropriated by Russia in Crimea.
In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in a move not recognised internationally.
Counteroffensive is not a ‘Netflix show’, Ukrainian official says
A senior Ukrainian presidential official says offensive operations against Russian forces are not “a new season of a Netflix show”.
On Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak said: “There is no need to expect action and buy popcorn. Offensive operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue in a number of areas. Formation operations are underway to set up the battlefield.”
“Time is always important, … especially in war. The time lost in convincing our partners to provide the necessary weapons is reflected in the specific Russian fortifications built during this period, the deeply dug defence line, and the system of minefields.“Breaking the Russian front today requires a reasonable and balanced approach. The life of a soldier is the most important value for Ukraine today. The military command focuses on military science and intelligence, not on fans in the stands,” he added.
Belgorod governor reports multiple attacks across region
The Russian governor of the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, says the Ukrainian military has fired multiple shells over the past 24 hours.
On Telegram, Vyacheslav Gladko said: “Nine artillery shells were fired at the village of Shchetinovka and four at the village of Zhuravlevka. As a result of the shelling, no one was injured, there was no damage.”Gladko added that attacks were reported in the village of Tsapovka, in the Volokonovsky district, and the villages of Tishanka, Konovalovo, Krasny Pakhar, Spodaryushino, Dronovka, Sereda, Belyanka and Novaya Tavolzhanka.
Australia says embassy site secure after Russian squatter
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the site of a proposed Russian embassy is secure after reports that a Russian diplomat was squatting there.
This month, Australia passed a law to prevent Russia from moving its embassy from a Canberra suburb closer to parliament and the Chinese embassy, citing national security concerns.
“Australia will stand up for our values, and we will stand up for our national security, and a bloke standing in the cold on a bit of grass in Canberra is not a threat to our national security,” Albanese said at a news conference.
“The site is secure, and we are comfortable with our position.”This week, Moscow banned 48 Australians from entering Russia in retaliation for Australia’s long-running sanctions regime.
At least two people killed in attack in Kherson: Governor
The Ukrainian governor of the Kherson region says two people have been killed and several injured in an attack on a transport company.
On Telegram, Oleksandr Proudkin said: “In Kherson, occupying forces hit a communal transport company with targeted fire. Civilian workers who provide vital city services were hit.
“Unfortunately, a 55-year-old man died on the spot. Five more of his colleagues were injured and were hospitalised.”In a later update, Proudkin said a 43-year-old man died in hospital due to his injuries.
Russian navy appears to be training dolphins: British Ministry of Defence
The British Ministry of Defence says Russia appears to be training dolphins for combat from the Crimean Peninsula.
In its daily intelligence update, the ministry said the Russian navy has invested heavily in security at the Black Sea Fleet’s main base at Sevastopol for about a year.
“In recent weeks, these defences have highly likely also been augmented by an increased number of trained marine mammals. Imagery shows a near doubling of floating mammal pens in the harbour which highly likely contain bottle-nosed dolphins,” the report said.
“In Arctic waters, the navy also uses beluga whales and seals. Russia has trained animals for a range of missions, but the ones housed in Sevastopol harbour are highly likely intended to counter enemy divers.”
Drone shot down over Russian city of Kursk
A drone was downed over the southern Russian city of Kursk, near the Ukrainian border, the regional governor said.
On Telegram, Roman Starovoit said: “Unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down in the sky over Kursk by our air defence forces. As a result of the fall of debris on the site of one of the gardening associations of the regional centre, the fence was destroyed.”
Attacks on Russian border regions have intensified over the past month, with anti-Kremlin groups claiming some incursions.
Ukraine says it advances in south, stops Russian attack in east
Ukraine’s armed forces say they have halted a Russian offensive towards the cities of Kupiansk and Lyman in the east of the country, and are advancing in the south, a senior Ukrainian defence official has said.
“We had very fierce battles in the Kupiansk and Lyman directions, but our soldiers stopped the enemy there,” Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian television.Ukraine is in the early stages of its most ambitious counterattack since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 and says it has retaken eight villages, its first substantial gains on the battlefield for seven months.
Ukraine’s Naftogaz takes legal action in US against Russia
Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz has taken legal action in the United States against Russia to recover $5bn awarded in The Hague as compensation for damages and lost property in Crimea.
It said it had filed a motion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and that it had the right to do so as the US is among countries hosting Russian assets.
“Since Russia has not voluntarily paid the funds to Naftogaz as provided for by the award, we intend to leverage all available mechanisms to recover these funds,” Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov said.
Ukraine deflects Russian missile attack on military airfield
Ukrainian air defences have downed 13 Russian cruise missiles that were headed towards a military airfield in the western Khmelnytskyi region, Ukraine’s air force said in a statement.
It added that the missiles had been launched by Russian strategic bombers from the Caspian Sea area.
Air raid alerts sounded throughout Ukraine early on Friday, with warnings of Russian missile and drone attacks issued over wide areas.
Telegram channels reported explosions in several regions, from Lviv in the west, far from the front lines, to Kherson in the south.