Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Air alert declared across Ukraine

MIG-31k fighter jet, with Kinzhal missile system, performs during Russia’s Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, on June 24, 2020.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

An air alert has been declared across the entirety of Ukraine, the country’s air defense said on Telegram on Tuesday, according to a Google translation.

The force observed the take-off of a Russian MiG-31K interceptor aircraft — a potential carrier of the very long-range Kinzhal ballistic missiles, which have a reported range up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound.

The Ukrainian army has previously struggled with a lack of equipment to intercept Kinzhal missiles. Kyiv claimed it took down a first such projectile in May, with the help of a U.S. Patriot missile. It received such assets in April.

Ruxandra Iordache

Expanding BRICS economic group is ‘high on the agenda,’ Kremlin says

Expanding the BRICS economic group, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is “high on the agenda,” Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday morning, according to a Google-translated Telegram post by state news agency Tass.

The comments come as Russia looks to build alliances, having met with African leaders in St. Petersburg Friday.

Ministers of foreign affairs of the five BRICS countries.

Gallo Images | Gallo Images | Getty Images

Delegations from the five member states will meet at the 15th BRICS summit on Aug. 22.

In his briefing, Peskov said “measures are being taken” in response to the “obvious” threat that drones pose to Moscow.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Kyiv said it stopped saboteur force attempting to enter Ukraine

Kyiv’s interior ministry said it has prevented the attempted overnight incursion of a Russian sabotage and intelligence group to cross the border into Ukraine.

The border control post of Chernihiv Oblast in northeastern Ukraine caught sight of four intruders attempting to move from Russian territory into Ukraine, Kyiv’s interior ministry said on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

Ukrainian forces deterred them by opening fire.

CNBC could not independently confirm the events.

Ruxandra Iordache

Russia says it repelled attack against two of its Black Sea fleet vessels

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it repelled an overnight Ukrainian attack against its Black Sea fleet vessels Sergey Kotov and Vasily Bykov, carried out by three unmanned boats.

The incident took place 340 kilometers southwest of Crimean naval base Sevastopol, the Russian defense ministry said on Telegram, according to a Google translation. Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula belonging to Ukraine in 2014.

The three unmanned ships were destroyed, while the two Russian ships remained in operation and could continue performing their tasks.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

Ruxandra Iordache

Overnight attacks: Moscow and Kharkiv struck with drones

Moscow and Kharkiv were attacked overnight, according to Russian and Ukrainian authorities.

An office block damaged after a reported drone attack in Moscow on Aug. 1, 2023.

Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images

An airstrike took place over Moscow, according to the country’s Ministry of Defense, but the three drones were destroyed mid-air, according to a post on Telegram, according to a Google translation. One of the drones reportedly lost control and crashed into a non-residential building.

This photograph taken on July 31, 2023, shows Russian missiles launched from Russia’s Belgorod region flying toward Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine.

Vadym Bielikov | Afp | Getty Images

Drones also targeted Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. The drones hit populated areas of the city and one destroyed two floors of a college dormitory, a report by Reuters said. One person was injured in the attack, the report said.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Ukraine and Croatia agree on port usage for grain exports

Croatia has offered its Adriatic and Danube ports for Ukrainian grain exports, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, wrote on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

The talks come after the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17. Russia suspended the U.N.-brokered humanitarian corridor first established in July 2022, which was designed to allow Ukraine, one of the world’s top grain exporters, to continue to supply international markets.

Hvar, Croatia.

Dominik Bindl | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The meeting with Croatia’s foreign minister, Gordan Grlić-Radman, focused on food security, the Peace Formula, mine clearance, military assistance, and Ukraine’s EU and NATO accession, Kuleba said.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Russia wants information about talks in Saudi Arabia; Ukraine says Moscow isn’t welcome

Russia said it needs to learn more about the talks set to happen in Saudi Arabia, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and not scheduled to include a Kremlin delegation. Ukraine has highlighted that Moscow is not welcome.

The discussions are designed to lead to international backing of a peace agreement, favoring Ukraine’s position, the WSJ reported.

When asked about the talks, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov allegedly told reporters that Russia would follow the meeting, as the country needs to understand what goals are set and what will be discussed.

“Any attempt to promote a peaceful settlement deserves a positive evaluation,” Peskov said, according to a Reuters report.

Peskov did, however, highlight that the Kremlin currently sees no grounds for peace negotiations with Ukraine.

“The Kyiv regime does not want and cannot want peace, as long as it is used exclusively as a tool in the war of the collective West with Russia,” he said, as reported by Reuters.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Telegram that Ukraine would be glad to see representatives from “all countries that respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” at the meeting.

“We will be infinitely happy if the West, East, South and North work together in this format to restore the world security system,” he wrote.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

U.S. and Ukraine to discuss security guarantees as early as next week, Zelenskyy’s office says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and US President Joe Biden take part in a bilateral meeting during the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023. 

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. and Ukraine will start negotiations on a bilateral agreement on security guarantees as early as next week, according to President Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak.

The guarantees would be in place until Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, Yermak wrote in a post on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

Ukraine “must secure reliable guarantees for the transition period” before it joins the alliance of countries from Europe and North America, Yermak wrote.

The guarantees would cover defense and financial support, as well as sanctions on Russia.

Ukraine applied for fast-track NATO membership in September 2022 after Moscow said it had annexed four regions of the country.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Russia to continue Ukraine peace talks with China, Brazil and African countries, state media reports

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would continue to discuss the possibility of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine with China, Brazil, and countries in Africa, Russian state media outlet Ria reported, according to Reuters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Comoros President Azali Assoumani at the Second Summit Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum on July 28, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The statement came after a Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg last week, at which African leaders encouraged President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

Comoros President Azali Assoumani, head of the African Union, on Thursday called for a “peaceful co-existence” between Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Russia expects GDP growth of at least 2%, finance minister says

Russian GDP should expand by at least 2% in 2023, according to the country’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who was interviewed by state news agency TASS.

“We see that a number of figures look more optimistic than was originally budgeted,” Siluanov said, according to a Google translation.

The federal budget deficit will become clear in the third quarter of the year, Siluanov added, but it is expected to sit between 2% and 2.5% of GDP.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

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