Ukraine-Russia war – live: North Korean missile debris found in Kharkiv after deadly attack, says official

By Isaac M February 8, 2024

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Two of the five missiles fired at Ukraine‘s second largest city on Wednesday morning were provided by North Korea, a local official has said.

Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the Kharkiv region police, said they had found the remnants of two North Korean HWASON 11GA (KN-23) missiles.

“Metal fragments of ballistic missiles were collected by explosives on the territory of the industrial zone,” he said. “The preliminary conclusions of specialists are that they are North Korean HWASON 11GA (KN-23) missiles.”

The United States, Ukraine and six allies have previously accused Russia of using North Korean ballistic missiles and launchers supplied by Pyongyang in aerial attacks against Ukraine, in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Russia fired cruise and ballistic missiles and Iranian Shahed-type drones at six regions across Ukraine, including Kharkiv in the northeast, on Wednesday morning, killing at least five civilians and wounding almost 50 others, including a pregnant woman.

Oleh Synehubov, governor of Kharkiv Oblast, said nearly two dozens settlements in the region were hit by the Russian attacks in the early hours of Wednesday.

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North Korean missiles used in Kharkiv attack, claims local police official

Two of the five missiles fired at Ukraine’s second largest city on Wednesday morning were provided by North Korea, a local official has said.

Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the Kharkiv region police, said they had found the remnants of two North Korean HWASON 11GA (KN-23) missiles.

“Metal fragments of ballistic missiles were collected by explosives on the territory of the industrial zone,” he said. “The preliminary conclusions of specialists are that they are North Korean HWASON 11GA (KN-23) missiles.”

The United States, Ukraine and six allies have previously accused Russia of using North Korean ballistic missiles and launchers supplied by Pyongyang in aerial attacks against Ukraine, in violation of United Nations sanctions.

A Ukrainian police officer in Kharkiv takes pictures allegedly showing the debris of a North Korean missile

(Serhiy Bolvinov / Facebook )

Tom Watling7 February 2024 21:00

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How IKEA is trying to stop Russian copycats during Putin’s war

The country has officially extended the validity of trademarks for the Swedish furniture giant until August 2033, a move brand owner Inter IKEA said was driven by the need to protect the company’s intellectual property rights.

Like many large Western firms, IKEA halted its Russian operations shortly after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in 2022 and completed the sale of its factories the following year.

Tom Watling7 February 2024 20:02

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Labour peer claims peace deal with Moscow would be ‘cheaper for all’

Seeking to strike a peace deal with Moscow and end the war in Ukraine would be “cheaper for all”, a Labour peer has told the House of Lords.

Former MP Lord Campbell-Savours made the call as the two-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine approaches.

Foreign minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon responded to the Labour peer by noting that it was the Kremlin which was the aggressor and that Mr Putin had it in his power to end the war now.

The Labour frontbench also made clear it backed the UK government’s stance.

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 18:48

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Russia claims to shoot down seven rockets over Belgorod

Russia’s air defence systems destroyed seven Ukraine-launched rockets and two drones over the southwestern region of Belgorod, the Russian defence ministry has claimed.

The Ukrainian strike was carried out with Czech-made Vampire rockets, the ministry said – the same type which, according to Moscow, was used in deadly strikes on the city of Belgorod in late December.

Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said two people had been injured.

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 18:26

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‘No plan B’ to getting Ukraine aid package through US Congress, White House says

The White House is focused on getting a Ukraine aid package through the US Congress, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has said – warning there was no “plan B”.

“We believe we still can and will deliver aid for Ukraine,” Mr Sullivan told reporters during a joint press conference with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

The latter said it was vital the US Congress agreed on continued support for Ukraine in the near future, adding that Nato did not see “any imminent threat against any Nato ally”.

“We must sustain our support and that is a responsibility for all allies,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 16:47

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Watch: Tucker Carlson reveals he’s interviewing Putin in Moscow

Tucker Carlson reveals he’s interviewing Putin in Moscow

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 15:54

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Russia and Iran not invited to Berlin Security Conference, chair says

Russian and Iranian government officials have not been invited to this year’s Munich Security Conference, as they did not seem open to meaningful dialogue, according to event’s chair has said.

Christoph Heusgen said he hoped the meeting later this month would discuss the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, and associated tensions in the Middle East, as well as other conflicts which receive less attention but are causing major humanitarian crises, such as the 10-month-old war in Sudan, which has displaced millions.

Citing the example of US and Chinese officials engaging in a rare dialogue last year’s event, which led to further engagement, he told Reuters: “So we hope Munich offers the opportunity to make these small steps.”

Mr Heusgen, a longtime foreign policy adviser to former German chancellor Angela Merkel, also said he expects the attendance of high-ranking Chinese officials, but told German press agency DPA that the Iranian and Russian governments had not been invited because they had not shown a serious interest in negotiations.

However, Iranian and Russian non-governmental organisations had been invited, he said. Mr Heusgen, who was condemned by Israel’s ambassador to Germany for warning in October against an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza, said he expected high-ranking Israeli officials to attend.

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 15:15

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Tucker Carlson has interviewed Vladimir Putin, Kremlin confirms

Vladimir Putin has been interviewed by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the Kremlin has confirmed, in what is the Russian presiden’ts first interview with a Western journalist since his invasion of Ukraine.

Carlson released a clip of himself speaking in Moscow, shared by Elon Musk, in which he said he would be interviewing the Russian president, and claimed Western journalists could not be “bothered” to interview Mr Putin despite speaking to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Putin has heavily limited his contact with international media since he launched the war in Ukraine, with the Kremlin also forcing independent Russian outlets to close and ordering a number of foreign reporters to leave the country.

Two journalists working for US news organisations – The Wall Street Journal‘s Evan Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Alsu Kurmasheva – are in jail on charges they reject.

Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson

(Getty / Screenshot / X / Tucker Carlson)

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 14:41

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IAEA chief says Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has enough cooling water, Russian reports say

UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi has visited the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine and said there were enough wells on site to supply cooling pools, Russian state news agencies reported.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also rotated its team of observers who are permanently stationed at Zaporizhzhia, the agencies reported. Russia seized control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant after launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and its six nuclear reactors are now idled.

Ukraine said last year it feared the plant could face a shortage of water because Russia had let water out of a reservoir that supplies it, a danger even though the reactors were shut down. Nuclear plants need enough water to cool their reactors and to help prevent a nuclear meltdown.

But Mr Grossi said there was enough water to do that, Russian news agency Tass reported.

“We visited what was important to me – the splash cooling pools. And made sure that the wells placed there were sufficient to adequately supply water to these pools,” Tass quoted Mr Grossi as saying.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear plant in Europe

(AP)

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 13:52

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Ukrainian bill intended to draft more soldiers passes first parliamentary stage

A bill proposing tighter army mobilisation rules targeting would-be Ukrainian soldiers and asset freezes for those who are trying to dodge the draft has passed the first parliamentary stage in Ukraine.

As the number of volunteer soldiers falls as the war with Russia edges towards its third year, the bill proposes requiring potential military personnel who are abroad to have up-to-date military registration. Obtaining such a document would be a prerequisite to receiving consular services.

It also proposes tighter sanctions for draft evasion, including an asset freeze, and envisages online call-ups, something that would make it harder to avoid being conscripted.

If the law is passed at the next stage in parliament, it will lower the age at which people can be mobilised for combat duty to 25 from 27. Those who have served continuously for 36 months during the war may be discharged, but this will not happen automatically.

“This is a list of complex but extremely necessary solutions that are designed to make our state stronger in the face of the challenges of a long-term war,” Ukraine’s defence ministry said following the vote.

The current version of the bill and a previous one have drawn criticism from some politicians and members of the public who said some provisions violated the constitution and carried corruption risks. The initial draft was rejected by lawmakers and sent back for changes to be made.

Politician Yaroslav Zheleznyak said the bill would most likely pass the final reading in late February, and could enter into effect in April.

Andy Gregory7 February 2024 12:47

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