Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

African leaders push Putin on grain deal resolution, peace plan

A bakery along an alley in Cairo on July 27, 2023.

Khaled Desouki | AFP | Getty Images

African leaders gathered in St. Petersburg for a Russia-Africa summit urged President Vladimir Putin to move ahead with their peace plan for the conflict in Ukraine and provide guarantees for the safe passage of grain to their countries.

“The African (peace) initiative deserves the closest attention, it mustn’t be underestimated,” Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso told Putin and African heads of state, according to a Reuters translation.

“We once again urgently call for the restoration of peace in Europe,” he added.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also called on Russia to restore the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Moscow exited last week. Prior to the withdrawal, it had allowed for the safe, global export of grain from Ukraine.

Putin says Russia withdrew from the pact because it was not helping grain reach the poorest countries, and on Friday vowed to boost food supplies to Russia.

Ukraine and the West claim Russia is using food as a weapon, increasing its bombing of ports and grain depots since its withdrawal from the deal.

— Karen Gilchrist

Qatari prime minister to visit Ukraine

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Washington, DC, on June 6, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Afp | Getty Images

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, who also serves as foreign minister, will meet with Ukraine’s prime minister and foreign minister during a visit to the country, Reuters reported Qatar’s Foreign Ministry as saying Friday.

— Karen Gilchrist

UK’s defense ministry shares map of the situation in Ukraine

Britain’s Ministry of Defense on Friday issued a map of how it assesses the situation on the ground in Ukraine, a tweet showed.

— Karen Gilchrist

Putin says Russia is increasing food supplies to Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a speech during the plenary session of the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on July 27, 2023.

Alexey Danichev | Afp | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin told African leaders Friday that Moscow was boosting food supplies to the region and was interested in developing military cooperation with it, according to Reuters.

That comes a day after the president announced during a Russia-Africa summit that Moscow would supply some free grain shipments to certain African nations.

Putin also said Moscow respected and was carefully studying calls for a peace agreement made Thursday by the head of the African Union, President Azali Assoumani.

— Karen Gilchrist

Ukraine war will compound food insecurity across Africa for at least two years, UK’s defense ministry says

Farming vehicles harvest wheat during the harvesting season in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on July 26, 2023.

Stringer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Friday that the war in Ukraine will “almost certainly” compound food insecurity across Africa for at least the next two years.

Russia last week withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had allowed for the safe, global shipment of grain from Ukraine.

The ministry added that the number of African heads of state attending the Russia-Africa summit, which is currently being held in St. Petersburg, was down to 17 from 43 last year.

— Karen Gilchrist

Putin lauds ‘militant friendship’ from North Korea, vows to boost ties

People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with an image of a North Korean military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, at a railway station in Seoul on July 28, 2023.

Jung Yeon-je | Afp | Getty Images

President Vladimir Putin on Friday lauded Russia’s “militant friendship” with North Korea and vowed to further develop political, economic and security ties with the isolated nation, state media reported.

In a letter shared by Russian delegates during their visit to Pyongyang, Putin said it was especially important to enrich the countries’ tradition of “friendship, good neighborliness and mutual assistance” in the face of present threats.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s firm support to the special military operation against Ukraine and its solidarity with Russia on key international issues highlight our common interests and determination to counter the policy of the Western group which hinders the establishment of the truly multipolarized and just world order,” the letter read, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The letter was shared as Russian and Chinese delegates joined North Korea in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, Pyongyang’s so-called Victory Day.

— Karen Gilchrist

Ukrainian forces recaptured Staromaiorske, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday posted a video showing Ukrainian soldiers saying they have “liberated the village” of Staromaiorske, located east of Zaporizhzhia city.

In comments accompanying the video, shared on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, Zelenskyy said: “Our South! Our guys! Glory to Ukraine!”

The village is close to the front line of the Ukrainian counteroffensive near the border of the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

— Karen Gilchrist

Nearly 500 children have died due to Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s prosecutor general says

Playground in front of a residential building destroyed by Russian shelling on January 30, 2023 in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Yevhenii Zavhorodnii | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said on Twitter that his office has documented 498 cases where children have died due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Kostin added that his office has also recorded more than 19,000 forced deportations.

In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, for the alleged deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

— Amanda Macias

New report details ways in which China is supporting Russia during the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a joint press conference following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on June 5, 2019.

Maxim Shipenkov | AFP | Getty Images

An unclassified assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence outlines China’s financial support for Russia during the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

The Biden administration previously warned Beijing to not support Moscow as the U.S. and its Western allies coordinate global sanctions for Russia’s ongoing war.

The unclassified report, which was released by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is available here.

— Amanda Macias

Read CNBC’s previous coverage

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