His comments came after White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Ukrainian forces had achieved “notable progress” in retaking territory in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia over the past three days. He added that Kyiv’s forces “have achieved some success along that second line of Russian defenses,” but that “it is not beyond the realm of the possible that Russia will react” to Ukraine’s push.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Kirby said that the criticism of Kyiv was “not helpful to the overarching effort to make sure that Ukraine can succeed. And they are.” He added that the Ukrainian progress “has been slow in some areas, slower than they themselves would like to go. But they have been fighting every single day.”
Billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky was held in lieu of a roughly $13 million bail Saturday after Ukraine’s state security service accused him of fraud and money laundering. The agency, known as the SBU, announced the charges on Telegram and released photos appearing to show authorities surrounding the oligarch, who previously owned Ukraine’s PrivatBank and served as governor of the country’s Dnipropetrovsk region, at his home early Saturday.
The case against Kolomoisky is based on alleged fraud and laundering of criminally obtained property, the SBU reported. SBU officials reportedly raided his home earlier this year, and, in 2021, the United States imposed sanctions against him “due to his involvement in significant corruption” while serving as governor of Dnipropetrovsk. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also accused him of participating in “current and ongoing efforts to undermine Ukraine’s democratic processes and institutions.”
The Nobel committee on Saturday reversed its decision to allow Russia and Belarus to attend this year’s Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm. Both countries were uninvited from last year’s event after the invasion of Ukraine, and Friday’s plan to allow them to take part drew condemnation from Kyiv. Criticism of the decision had “completely overshadowed” the intended message, the Nobel Foundation said.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson lauded the Nobel committee’s decision to disinvite Russia and Belarus to the award ceremony. “The many and strong reactions show that the whole of Sweden unambiguously stand on Ukraine’s side against Russia’s appalling war of aggression,” his office posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Saturday that its forces had repelled three attempts to attack the Crimean Bridge using drones. It blamed Ukraine, which has not taken responsibility. The British Ministry of Defense said Friday that Russia created an underwater barrier of submerged ships and floating barriers to deter attacks on the Crimean Bridge, which was hit by Ukraine in July.
Russia risks “dividing its forces” as it seeks to confront Ukraine’s counteroffensive, according to the British Defense Ministry. Such a move is considered undesirable in standard military doctrine. Russian forces were trying to halt Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive while also continuing their own offensive around Kupiansk, in the northeast of the country, in a probable attempt to “distract Ukraine,” the ministry tweeted early Saturday.
Russia’s space agency announced that the new Sarmat missile, which is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, is on “combat duty.” The announcement, reported by the Russian state news agency Interfax, came months after the weapon was expected to be ready and shortly after Ukraine claimed it had used new domestically made long-range missiles to hit a target some 435 miles away. The Washington Post could not independently verify the claims.
Moscow on Friday designated Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov a “foreign agent,” a label used to harass human rights organizations and journalists in Russia. Muratov is the editor in chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and has been a regular critic of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Philippine journalist Maria Ressa in 2021.
German prosecutors launched an investigation Friday into an attack on a 10-year old Ukrainian by a man insisting the boy speak Russian. Investigators said an unidentified man speaking Russian accosted a group of Ukrainian children in the town of Einbeck on Aug. 26, complaining that they were speaking Ukrainian and demanding that they speak Russian. He then pushed a 10-year old over a canal bridge railing, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that the man was being investigated for attempted murder. The boy was injured in the head and foot, the statement said.
Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter, has played a major role in allowing Russian propaganda about Ukraine to reach more people than before the war began, according to a study by the European Commission. The reach of Kremlin-aligned social media accounts has grown over the course of 2022, with further growth this year “driven in particular by the dismantling of Twitter’s safety standards,” the study found.
Back in class, Russian students get a lesson from Professor Putin: On the first day of the school year, Putin spoke by videoconference to children at a new school in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol. He reflected nostalgically on the Soviet era and discussed efforts to impose Russian education on “the new territories, new regions” — a reference to occupied Ukrainian territory.
Putin’s claims that Ukraine is part of Russia’s “historical lands” are now part of the official curriculum, Robyn Dixon and Natalia Abbakumova report, and there are new textbooks and new classes to serve the Kremlin’s narrative….