Russia still has a significant presence in Ukrainian territories and the conflict is likely to continue says the US secretary of state as the fighting enters into 202nd day.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is unpredictable but US will continue to support Kiev. [Reuters Archive]
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is unpredictable but US will continue to support Kiev. [Reuters Archive] (AP)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

US mulls more Ukraine weapons amid 'shift in momentum'

Washington plans another weapons shipment to Ukraine soon, a senior US official said, hailing Kiev's new "momentum" in driving back Russian invaders.

"I do think you'll see another one here in the coming days," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, referring to another tranche in the multi-billion-dollar US program to support the pro-Western country's military.

"I think what you're seeing is certainly a shift in momentum by the Ukrainian armed forces," Kirby said, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should be the one to "determine and decide whether he feels militarily they've reached a turning point."

Despite the "dramatic events ..., it's war and war is unpredictable."

Russia announces 'massive strikes' across Ukraine front 

Russia has said that it was carrying out "massive strikes" across the Ukrainian front line and accused Ukrainian soldiers of abusing civilians in territories recaptured in a counter-offensive. 

Moscow's retaliation came after it was forced to pull back its troops from swathes of the northeast, particularly in the Kharkiv region, following Kiev's lightning assault to wrest back terrain.

"Air, rocket and artillery forces are carrying out massive strikes on units of the Ukrainian armed forces in all operational directions," the Russian Defence Ministry said.

As for the residents of the Kharkiv region, according to incoming reports, there are a lot of punitive measures... people are being tortured, people are being mistreated and so on. This is, of course, outrageous.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

Ukraine: Northeastern offensive has retaken 3,800 sq km in a week

Ukraine's lightning counter-offensive has recaptured 3,800 square kilometres of territory in its northeastern Kharkiv region since September 6, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said.

Speaking live on Ukrainian television from the recaptured town of Balakliia, Malyar said that the territory recaptured from Russian forces consisted of more than 300 settlements and around 150,000 current residents.

"The operation is ongoing. Its aim is the full liberation of Kharkiv region... We believe that this will happen in the nearest future," Malyar said.

Ukraine criticises Germany over arms supplies

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Germany of ignoring Kiev's pleas for Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, saying Berlin offered only "abstract fears and excuses" for not providing such military hardware.

His comment came after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a new appeal to the West to speed up deliveries of weapons systems as Ukrainian forces move to consolidate control over a large swathe of northeastern territory recaptured from Russia. 

Not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses. What is Berlin afraid of that Kiev is not?

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister

7 more grain ships leave Ukraine under Istanbul deal: Türkiye

Seven more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said.

A ministry statement did not disclose the ships’ points of departure or destinations.

Since August 1, more than 100 ships have carried over 2.5M tons of agricultural products through the grain corridor.

Ukraine advancing in Kharkiv region but fighting still raging: minister

Fighting is still raging in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region but Ukraine's forces are making good progress because its forces are highly motivated and its operation is well planned, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar has said.

"The aim is to liberate the Kharkiv region and beyond - all the territories occupied by the Russian Federation. Fighting is continuing (in Kharkiv region). It is still early to say full (Ukrainian) control has been established over Kharkiv region," Malyar said in an interview.

"Our strength stems from the fact that we are very motivated and that we plan operations thoroughly," she said, adding that Ukraine had taken the decision to press on with its operation in the Kharkiv region due to the successes notched up so far.

Ukraine piles pressure on retreating Russian troops

Ukrainian troops continued to pile pressure on retreating Russian forces, seeking to hold on to their sudden momentum that has produced major territorial gains.

Fresh yellow-and-blue flags fluttered from the tallest buildings left in partly destroyed towns around Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, while Ukrainian soldiers inspected charred Russian tanks left along the way.

"From the beginning of September until today, our soldiers have already liberated more than 6,000 square kilometres of the territory of Ukraine — in the east and south. The movement of our troops continues,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Ukraine military claims downed Iran drone used by Russia

Ukraine's military claimed for the first time that it encountered an Iranian-supplied suicide drone used by Russia on the battlefield, showing the deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran.

A Ukrainian military official, as well as a pro-Ukrainian army website closely associated with the military, published images of the wreckage of the drone. It resembled a triangle, or delta-shaped, drone flown by Iran known as the Shahed, or “Witness” in Farsi.

US intelligence publicly warned back in July that Tehran planned to send hundreds of the bomb-carrying drones to Russia to aid its war on Ukraine. While Iran initially denied it, the head of its Revolutionary Guard has boasted in recent days about arming the world's top powers.

Sony Music exits Russia

Sony Group Corp's music business has exited Russia, transferring the business and musicians to local management, due to the Ukraine conflict.

"As the war continues to have a devastating humanitarian impact in Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia continue to increase, we can no longer maintain a presence in Russia," Sony Music said in a statement.

The music business suspended operations in Russia earlier this year following that country's offensive Ukraine.

More grain ships leave Ukraine under Istanbul deal: Türkiye

Seven more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the Ankara-brokered grain export deal, the Turkish National Defence Ministry has said.

A ministry statement did not disclose the ships’ points of departure or destinations.

Since the first vessel sailed under the deal on August 1, more than 120 ships have carried over 2.5 million tonnes of agricultural products through the grain corridor.

Ukraine makes 'significant progress' against Russia — US

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Ukrainian forces had made important progress in their counteroffensive against Russian troops, although it was too early to predict the outcome.

"Clearly we've seen significant progress by the Ukrainians, particularly in the northeast, and that is a product of the support we've provided, but first and foremost it's a product of the extraordinary courage and resilience of the Ukrainian armed forces and the Ukrainian people," Blinken told reporters in Mexico City.

Blinken said the Ukraine conflict was likely to continue for some time as Russia still has very significant forces and arms in Ukraine that it was still using "indiscriminately" against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

For live updates from Monday (September 12), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies