- A Russian missile strike crashed into the grounds of a house in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk, killing an 8-year-old boy, according to local authorities.
- Explosions were reported in Kyiv after authorities declared a nationwide air raid alert.
- Moscow claims to have “thwarted” a Ukrainian drone attack on the capital city.
- Russia says it shot down two Ukrainian drones approaching the Russian city of Kursk late on Thursday.
Ukraine provides Slovenia with humanitarian aid
Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine will send humanitarian aid to Slovenia after the small Alpine nation suffered its worst-ever floods a week ago.
Russian forces have ‘improved the tactical situation’ around Kupiansk: Moscow
Russia has stated that its military forces have “improved” their offensive positions around two settlements near the town of Kupiansk in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.
Kupiansk and the surrounding areas of Kharkiv were recaptured by Kyiv’s forces in September but Moscow has since pushed back on the region.
The Russian defence ministry said its forces had “improved the tactical situation” on the front line near Vilshana and Pershotravneve.
One out of four Russian hypersonic missiles shot down: Ukrainian Military
The Ukrainian air force shot down one out of four hypersonic missiles fired by Russia on Friday at a military airfield in the western region of Ivano-Frankivsk, the military said.
“One X-47 (hypersonic) missile was destroyed within the Kyiv region. The rest hit near the airfield. Civilian infrastructure was damaged, and one of the missiles hit a residential area,” it said on the Telegram messaging app.
Moscow residents should expect more drone attacks: Ukrainian official
Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukrainian military intelligence, told Kyiv Post that those living in Moscow should expect more drone attacks on the capital.
“Given the dynamics of recent months, the number, geography and intensity, it would be logical to assume an increase in daily attacks,” Yusov said.
Yosov added that “the concept of security is increasingly distant from the residents of Moscow.”
“The whole world continues to see that the Russian defence system and the country – which claims a lead to the degradation of the state management system.”
“Perhaps this trend will lead the residents of Moscow to some correct conclusions – whether or not to believe Russian television and Russian propaganda, and whether or not to continue to support the criminal regime,” Yusov said.
Boy killed in Russian air strike in western Ukraine: Governor
A Russian missile strike crashed into the grounds of a house in the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk on Friday, killing an 8-year-old boy, the governor and state prosecutors said.
“There are wounded [people], including a child who was brought to hospital in critical condition. Medics did everything possible, but unfortunately, the child’s life could not be saved,” Governor Svitlana Onyshchuk wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
‘We need to talk to the Poles’: Lukashenko
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has ordered his government to “contact” neighbouring Poland, claiming he is ready to talk as border tensions between the NATO member and Moscow ally continue to heat up.
“We need to talk to the Poles. I ordered the prime minister to contact them,” Lukashenko said, according to state news agency BelTA. “We are neighbours and you don’t chose your neighbours.”
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti also reported that Lukashenko had told reporters on Friday at Minsk National Airport that “we must not forget about the high-tech West”.
Russia says it hit mercenary quarters in Zaporizhzhia
Russia’s defence ministry claims its forces hit a location where “foreign mercenaries” were quartered in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, after Kyiv said a Russian missile struck a hotel on Thursday evening, leaving one dead and 16 injured.
Local media reported the damaged building was Reikartz Hotel in the city centre on the bank of the Dnipro.
Russian forces have continued offensive operations northeast of Kupiansk: ISW
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has confirmed that Russian forces have continued offensive operations northeast of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and reportedly advanced on August 10.
On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation of nearly 12,000 civilians from 37 towns and villages near the northeastern front line as Russia ramped up an assault to capture territory already once seized during the conflict.
The local military administration in the Kupiansk district said residents must comply with the evacuation order or sign a document saying they would stay at their own risk.
“Given the difficult security situation and the increasing amount of shelling by Russian terrorist forces in Kupiansk community, you have the opportunity to evacuate to a safer place,” the city administration said.
Ukrainian marines complete six-months’ training with British counterparts
Nearly 1,000 Ukrainian Marines have spent more than six months training “in the art of commando raiding and complex amphibious operations,” according to the British Royal Navy.
In a video posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Ukrainian Marines can be seen taking part in several daytime and nighttime exercises on both land and water.
According to a statement by the Royal Navy, each group underwent a rigorous five-week programme, developing individual skills, including living/survival in the field, battlefield first aid, close-quarters combat and fitness, and unit planning in realistic scenarios.
About 900 Ukrainian marines completed the course, which included instruction in the use of mortars, Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAW) and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, drones for reconnaissance, and explosive demolition of obstacles such as Dragon’s Teeth anti-vehicle fortifications.
“More than 20,000 recruits from the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already received training in the UK since the start of 2022, learning essential frontline skills including trench and urban warfare, leadership, and medical training,” the statement read.
“At the start of 2023, the UK committed to train a further 20,000 Ukrainian recruits – approximately double the amount trained last year – under one of the largest training programmes of its kind in the world.”
Photos: Two sides of the front line
Read: How Moscow targeted a pro-war Russian who criticised Putin
Igor Strelkov, a former Russian intelligence officer wanted for war crimes and sentenced by the Netherlands to life in jail in 2002 for his alleged role in the downing of the Malaysian MH17 plane that killed 298 people, is now behind bars in Russia.
Why? Because the pro-war Strelkov raged against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the wake of the Wagner mutiny in an angry Telegram post in which he regretted that Putin was a man.
Strelkov, also known as Igor Girkin, could now face years in jail for “extremism”.
Read more about Igor Strelkov’s case here.
Russian military blames Ukraine for ‘thwarted’ drone attack on Moscow
Russia has confirmed earlier reports from Moscow’s mayor that a suspected Ukrainian drone was shot down over the western outskirts of Moscow.
“This afternoon, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack using an unmanned aerial vehicle on a facility in Moscow was thwarted,” the defence ministry said in a statement, adding there was no damage or casualties as a result of the incident.
Drone shot down over Moscow
Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on the Telegram messaging app that a hostile drone was shot down over Moscow on Friday.
Drone debris fell northwest of the city centre, causing no serious damage and no casualties, he said.
Unverified footage has emerged on social media showing a small explosion near the Karamyshevskaya embankment.
Moscow’s Vnukovo airport has reopened: TASS
Russian news agency TASS has reported that Moscow’s Vnukovo airport has resumed normal operations.
The airspace over the airport was temporarily closed on Friday morning, with all arrivals and departures suspended.
Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency said the move was due to a suspected drone flight in the area.
“For reasons beyond the control of the airport, temporary restrictions on the landing and take-offs of aircraft were introduced in Vnukovo,” the airport said.
“For safety reasons, some of the flights were redirected to other airports of the Moscow aviation hub,” it said, without commenting further.
All clear issued across Ukraine
The nationwide air-raid alert has now ended, and authorities have issued an all clear.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, also issued an update on the missile attack on the capital.
Writing on his Telegram, he said that in addition to a children’s hospital being hit by debris, two more crash sites were found in an urban district of the capital.
He said a private house was damaged, but there have been no casualties reported so far.
‘Explosions in the city. Stay in shelters!’: Kyiv mayor
More details are emerging about the missile attack on Friday morning, with Kyiv city officials saying air defences were at work and the air force reported that Russia had launched hypersonic missiles at the Kyiv region.
“Explosions in the city. Stay in shelters!” Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukraine’s national television broadcaster Suspilne also reported explosions in the central and western regions of Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi.
An official in Khmelnytskyi said air defences in the area were at work.
Moscow’s Vnukovo airport suspends flights: TASS
The airspace over Moscow’s Vnukovo airport was temporarily closed on Friday, with arrivals and departures suspended, the Russian TASS news agency reported, citing emergency services.
The airport has regularly closed its airspace recently due to drone attacks in the Moscow region.
The airport is one of four main airports and is located 28km (17.4 miles) southwest of the centre of Moscow.
Children’s hospital struck by rocket fragments: Vitali Klitschko
The mayor of Kyiv reported via Telegram that a children’s hospital had been struck by rocket fragments during the attack on the capital on Friday morning.
He added that there were no injuries or damage, and that emergency services were at the scene.
Explosions heard in Kyiv after air-raid alert issued across Ukraine
Several explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Friday after authorities declared a nationwide air-raid alert.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko told residents to stay in air-raid shelters. Kyiv city officials said that Ukrainian air defences were at work.
German government considers delivery of cruise missiles to Kyiv: Reuters
The German government is in talks with arms maker MBDA about the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, a security source told Reuters on Friday, confirming a report by Der Spiegel magazine.
Kyiv has been pushing Berlin to supply it with the Taurus, a missile with a range of more than 500 kilometres that is fired from fighter jets such as the Tornado, the F-15 or the F-18.
Two Ukrainian drones downed near Russia’s Kursk: TASS
Two Ukrainian drones were destroyed by air defences on approach to the Russian city of Kursk late on Thursday, the TASS news agency said on Friday, citing regional Governor Roman Starovoit.
The city, which has a population of almost half a million, is located in the southwest of the country, just over 100km (60 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine sanctions Bacardi after expanding operations in Russia
Bacardi, the world’s largest privately owned spirits company, whose US headquarters are in Coral Gables, has been sanctioned by Ukraine for expanding its operations in Russia.
Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention included Bacardi Limited, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, on its list of “international war sponsors” on Thursday, accusing the company of supporting the Russian economy and sponsoring the “aggression against Ukraine”.
“After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Bacardi continues to ship millions of dollars worth of products to Russia and attract new employees there,” the agency said in a statement, adding that the company has paid more than $12m in income taxes to Russia.
The designation as an international war sponsor does not carry legal repercussions such as a freeze of assets or a travel ban. Still, it is intended to shame and cause reputational damage to major international companies that continue doing business with Russia during the war. The list currently names 32 companies, including Unilever and Procter & Gamble.
Its inclusion in Ukraine’s blacklist comes three days after the US-based newspaper Wall Street Journal detailed how the company did not make good on an early promise to pause exports to Russia shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began.
Russian forces close in on Ukrainian city of Kupiansk: TASS
Russian forces have almost reached the outskirts of the Ukrainian city of Kupiansk, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Thursday.
TASS said Ukrainian troops are abandoning their positions, and just “a number of kilometres are left to pass”.
Ukraine denied the report, saying all Russian attacks were repelled and attempts to take the initiative were unsuccessful.
Hackers spied on diplomats in Belarus: Cybersecurity firm
A group of hackers spied for years on embassy officials of four countries in Belarus, including during the Ukraine war, by hijacking local internet networks, security researchers at Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET said in a Thursday report.
About 15 devices belonging to diplomats from two countries in Europe, one from South Asia, and one from Africa who worked at the embassies were targeted, ESET researcher Matthieu Faou, who authored the report, said in a statement.
The digital espionage campaign began around 2021 and is still active, the report said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many officials had fallen victim to this campaign. But the research, which reveals a new and sophisticated hacking team allegedly operating from Belarus, illustrates how vulnerable diplomats can be to cyberespionage.
Belarus has been Russia’s closest ally in the latter’s war against Ukraine. Minsk has helped Russia ship military equipment and soldiers through its borders to aid the war effort.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA