Russia-Ukraine war live: Kyiv develops army of deep strike drones as Kremlin builds mega defensive line

By Isaac M February 12, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fires top general

Ukraine will produce thousands of long-range drones capable of deep strikes hitting Moscow and St Petersburg, Kyiv’s digital minister has said.

Mykhailo Fedorov, who has championed Ukraine’s wartime drone industry, said they already have up to 10 companies making drones that can reach hundreds of miles into Russian territory.

“The category of long-range kamikaze drones is growing, with a range of 300, 500, 700, and 1,000 kilometres,” he said. “Two years ago, this category did not exist … at all.”

Over the past month, Ukrainian drones have reportedly hit St Petersburg, the hometown of Vladimir Putin, located more than 500 miles from Kyiv, on multiple occasions.

It comes as a Ukrainian open-source intelligence tracker claimed that Russia was building a 19-mile mega metal defensive line behind the frontline in occupied territory.

Blogger DeepState said the defensive line is made up of around 2,100 train carriages and has been slowly built up since July 2023. It has been nicknamed the “tsarist train”.

“It can be considered a separate line of defence,” DeepState wrote. “It is extremely difficult to damage, move or blow a 30-kilometre mass of metal.”

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UK foreign secretary slams Trump’s ‘unsensible’ Nato comment

Donald Trump’s suggestion that he would not defend Nato allies who do not meet defence spending commitments was “not a sensible approach”, Lord David Cameron has said.

Speaking to reporters as he visited East Kilbride, Scotland, the Foreign Secretary said: “I am a very strong supporter of Nato.

“It is what helps to keep us safe and that is so essential in this world where we have seen Putin’s terrible illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“And actually Nato this year has got stronger, with Sweden and Finland joining. Of course we want all countries like us to spend 2 per cent (of GDP), but I think what was said was not a sensible approach.”

Lord Cameron said Donald Trump’s Nato comment was ‘not a sensible approach’

(PA Wire)

Alexander Butler12 February 2024 14:15

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Historian Tom Holland debunks Putin’s claims after Tucker Carlson interview

The former Fox News host interviewed the Russian President, who started with a long diatribe on Russian history and its relationship with Ukraine, during the two-hour interview, which aired on Thursday (8 February).

Speaking on The Rest Is History podcast, released on Friday (9 February), historian Tom Holland debunked the claims Putin made, saying he came up with “facts” that were “so clearly wrong, that everyone knows they are wrong”.

Historian Tom Holland debunks Putin’s claims after Tucker Carlson interview

Historian Tom Holland has debunked Vladimir Putin’s claims he made during his much-anticipated interview with Tucker Carlson. The former Fox News host interviewed the Russian President, who started with a long diatribe on Russian history and its relationship with Ukraine, during the two-hour interview, which aired on Thursday (8 February). Speaking on The Rest Is History podcast, released on Friday (9 February), historian Tom Holland debunked the claims Putin made, saying he came up with “facts” that were “so clearly wrong, that everyone knows they are wrong”.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 13:45

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Tucker Carlson says anyone who thinks Putin will relinquish Crimea is a ‘lunatic’

Carlson spoke with Mr Putin in a widely-criticised interview on his X/Twitter show.

Following the interview, Carlson noted that Crimea was in Russian possession prior to the current war in Ukraine — Russia annexed Crime in 2014 — and said the prospect of Mr Putin returning the region was out of the question.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 13:15

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Russia using Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites in war against Ukraine, claims Kyiv

Russian soldiers are using Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals to connect to satellite internet service on the frontlines in Ukraine, Kyiv’s intelligence service has claimed.

The report came days after a US military publication published a photo provided by a Ukrainian source purporting to show a Starlink terminal on the frontline. It was captured in a video by a Ukrainian drone participating in a strike on a Russian position on the frontline.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 12:45

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Poland to make quality checks on all grain shipments from Ukraine, minister says

Poland plans to start quality checks on all grain shipments from Ukraine, Deputy Agriculture Minister Michal Kolodziejczak said on Monday as Polish farmers continued nationwide protests against EU policies, including allowing cheap grain imports from Ukraine.

Farmers started blocking roads and border crossings with Ukraine on Friday, kicking off a month-long general strike to protest against EU policies and a lack of government action to protect their livelihoods.

Representatives of Poland’s new pro-European government have said they understand the challenges farmers are facing and that help for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion could not come at the expense of Polish farmers.

“Today … I will request that all grain transports that are exported and have an embargo imposed on them be examined in Poland,” Kolodziejczak told state news agency PAP.

When such grain reaches Germany and, after examination, turns out to be of poor quality, he said, “99 per cent of the time it returns to Poland as European grain” and not to Ukraine.

Farmers in France, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Germany have been protesting against constraints placed on them by EU measures to tackle climate change, as well as rising costs and what they say is unfair competition from abroad.

Polish farmers have been particularly vocal about the impact of cheap food imports from neighbouring Ukraine.

Polish Deputy Minister of Agriculture Michal Kolodziejczak (C) meets farmers blocking a national road in Borki, Lublin Voivodeship, Poland, 09 February 2024.

(EPA)

Tom Watling12 February 2024 12:10

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Ukraine says Russian forces obtaining Starlink terminals via third countries

Russian forces are obtaining Starlink terminals illicitly from third countries and they are increasing their use on the front line, the Ukrainian military spy agency’s spokesperson told Reuters on Monday, without explaining how he knew.

Andriy Yusov, the military official, also said that work was underway to counter Russia’s use of the terminals in occupied parts of Ukraine as the full-scale war with Russia nears the two-year mark.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 11:39

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Ukrainian commander says he learnt about sacking from news reports as Zelensky’s reshuffle continues

A Ukrainian commander leading his country’s northern forces against the Russian invasion says he only found out he had been fired by Volodymyr Zelensky from reading news reports.

“I learnt about my dismissal from the post of commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which I’d held since 2020, from the mass media,” General Nayev said on his official Telegram channel on Sunday.

“Those were difficult times. One of the most difficult periods in the history of Ukraine. And together with you, we walked this path with dignity,” the Lieutenant General said, as he expressed gratitude to Ukrainian soldiers for their service.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 10:53

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Ukraine to produce thousands of long-range drones in 2024, minister says

Ukraine will produce thousands of long-range drones capable of deep strikes into Russia in 2024 and already has up to 10 companies making drones that can reach Moscow and St Petersburg, Ukraine‘s digital minister said.

Mykhailo Fedorov spoke about the wartime drone industry he has championed in a interview in Kyiv in which he revealed new details about the sector, after a spate of Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil facilities in recent weeks.

“The category of long-range kamikaze drones is growing, with a range of 300, 500, 700, and 1,000 kilometres. Two years ago, this category did not exist … at all,” he told Reuters.

Fedorov, 33, has been at the heart of Ukraine‘s effort to nurture private military startups to innovate and build up the drone industry as the war goes into its third year and Ukraine seeks new ways to fight back against well dug-in Russian forces.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine walks next to Magura unmanned marine vehicles during an interview with Reuters

(REUTERS)

Tom Watling12 February 2024 10:19

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Kremlin denies Ukrainian allegation that its troops use Elon Musk’s Starlink

The Kremlin has said that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet system is neither certified for use in, nor officially supplied to, Russia, and therefore could not be used.

Ukraine, which has used Starlink for military communications throughout its conflict with Russia, said on Sunday that Russian troops were using Starlink in parts of Ukraine they control.

Elon Musk also denied selling Starlink to Russia.

Tom Watling12 February 2024 09:45

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Ukraine destroys 14 of 17 Russia-launched drones – Ukraine air force

Ukraine‘s air defence systems destroyed 14 out of 17 drones that Russia launched overnight and one Kh-59 cruise missile, Ukraine‘s Air Force have said.

The Air Force said on the Telegram messaging app that Russia also launched missiles from S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, but it did not say how many or whether they hit any targets.

Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region in Ukraine‘s northeast, said late on Sunday that Russia attacked his region with missiles launched from the S-300 systems in Russia’s Belgorod region that borders Ukraine.

He said that according to preliminary information, there were no casualties, but the facades of some non-residential buildings were damaged.

Serhiy Lisak, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, said late on Sunday that Russia attacked the region’s city of Pavlohrad with drones. There were no casualties, but some parts of the city lost electricity.

A Ukrainian investigator inspects the aftermath of an overnight Russian strike on Selidovo on Donetsk Oblast

(Telegram )

Tom Watling12 February 2024 09:22

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