Ukraine dismissed claims on Wednesday that a US-developed Patriot missile defense system had been destroyed by Russian missiles in a barrage that was effectively countered near Kyiv, and American officials verified the Ukrainian version.
Moscow claimed it used a hypersonic Kinzhal missile – named after the Russian word for “dagger” – to destroy the system in an overnight strike earlier this week. US inspectors determined that damage to the system of Patriot is minimal and it remains functional, CNN reported.
“Do not worry about the fate of the Patriot,” said Yuriy Ihnat, Ukrainian air force spokesman. “From a technical point of view, Patriot is a complex, a battery, a division, a system. To destroy the system with some kind of ‘dagger’ – well, it’s impossible.
“Everything (the Russians) say there, let it stay in their propaganda archive.”
Ukraine said it intercepted all 18 missiles fired at Kyiv overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. The Patriot system, which was sent to Ukraine last month, has become an important part of the city’s defense.
∙ Russian forces shelled a hospital and a high-rise building in Beryslav, the Kherson region prosecutor’s office reported. No casualty figures were immediately available.
∙ A Moscow court ordered the arrest of prominent film producer Alexander Rodnyansky and theater director Ivan Vyrypaev for speaking out against the war. They both live outside of Russia.
∙ The Chinese government has asked foreign embassies in Beijing to refrain from displaying “propaganda” in an apparent response to displays of support for Ukraine. China calls itself neutral in the war but has repeated Russia’s arguments and criticized Western sanctions.
∙ The European Union’s latest sanctions package is unlikely to include a plan to permanently shut down natural gas pipelines that the Kremlin shut down after its invasion of Ukraine, Politico reported, citing diplomats it did not identify .
Key Ukraine-Russia grain deal extended by 2 months
Ukraine and Russia have agreed to extend by two months an agreement that would allow Ukraine to export millions of tons of grain through Black Sea ports and aid. alleviate a global food crisis despite the war with Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the extension designed to boost global food security after the war raised prices.
“Continuity is good news for the world,” United Nations chief Antonio Guterres told reporters on Wednesday.
The agreement has been extended twice, and Russia has threatened to withdraw from the arrangement when it expires on Thursday unless a list of its demands is met, including the lifting of some restrictions on exports. its agricultural exports. Details of the agreement were not immediately made public.
The arrangement allows Ukraine to safely use its Black Sea ports to ship cargo. It was hosted by the UN and Turkey last year. Ukraine is a major supplier of wheat, barley, vegetable oil and other food products to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
− Kim Hjelmgaard
Ukraine will not give up its territory for peace, the minister told the Chinese envoy
Ukraine remains steadfast in its position that it will not negotiate a peace deal that would require it to cede any of its territories, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday after minister Dmytro Kuleba concluded his two days of talks with Chinese envoy Li Hui .
China, which has tried to present itself as a neutral mediator in the conflict despite its close ties to Russia, said it would send Li to discuss a diplomatic solution after its leader, Xi Jinping, and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by phone last month.
The ministry’s statement said that Kuleba said that a peace agreement must be based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and “he emphasized that Ukraine does not accept any proposals related to the loss of its territories or the freezing the battle.”
The Kremlin wants Kyiv to recognize Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, which most countries denounce as illegal.
Russian hypersonic scientists face accusations of treason
Russian authorities have made “very serious accusations” of treason against three Russian scientists who worked on hypersonic missile technology, prompting some of their colleagues to write a letter defending them, Reuters reported.
Monday’s letter raised concerns about the chilling effect on scientific work that the arrests of Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk, and Valery Zvegintsev could have, and it proclaimed their innocence, saying, ” We know each of them as a patriot and a decent person who is not capable of doing what the investigating authorities suspect.”
The three hypersonic experts have appeared at academic conferences and collaborated on a 2016 book chapter titled “Hypersonic Short-Duration Facilities for Aerodynamic Research at ITAM, Russia,” but their colleagues’ letter said the information they make public does not include restricted material.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the letter: “We really saw this appeal, but Russian special services are working on it. They are doing their job. These are very serious accusations.”
Russian military plane near Alaska ‘not a threat’
A Russian military plane was seen operating in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone on Monday but remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said Wednesday. The flight occurred while several planned large-scale military exercises were taking place around Alaska, NORAD said in a statement. The zone begins where sovereign airspace ends and is an area that requires the ready identification, location and control of all aircraft “in the interest of national security,” the statement said.
“This Russian activity in the Alaska ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat,” NORAD said.
The Council of Europe wants Moscow to pay Ukraine
More than 40 countries in the Council of Europe have agreed on a system to estimate damage to Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, part of a plan to force Moscow to help rebuild the country after the war. Ukraine was the dominant topic at the meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland, where France, Germany and the United Kingdom were among the countries that agreed to form a new office where war victims can report the damage they have suffered. The United States, Japan and Canada have observer status on the council.
“Our support for Ukraine remains as strong and determined as ever,” said Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö. “By establishing a Register of Damages, the Council of Europe has taken an important step towards ensuring Russia’s accountability.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged that no plan for forcing Moscow to pay is in place, adding that efforts to use Russian assets frozen under sanctions are unlikely to be legal in under international law.
Contributor: The Associated Press