52 minutes ago
UK Defence Intelligence: Russia likely no longer funding Wagner Group
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in its daily intelligence update that “there is a realistic possibility that the Kremlin no longer funds the Wagner Group” following the mercenaries’ attempts to march on Moscow in a short-lived coup in June.
The update pointed to Moscow’s recent moves against the business interests of mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The MoD said that the Wagner Group is probably downsizing, “largely to save on staff salary expenses at a time of financial pressure.”
Without Russian backing, UK intelligence suggested that Belarus — where the bulk of the group went following the abortive mutiny — would be “the second most plausible paymasters,” but also highlighted the “significant and potentially unwelcome drain on modest Belarusian resources.”
Recent reports have also suggested that most of the Wagner Group forces may have since been kicked out of Belarus.
1 hour ago
German agency warns of continued energy risks for Europe
Despite well-filled gas storage facilities, the German Network Agency sees continued risks for the country’s energy supply in the coming winter months and issued another call for savings amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It would be premature to sound the all-clear,” Klaus Müller, the agency’s president, told German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
“Residual risks remain.” These included a very cold winter in Europe, he said, although he acknowledged that the 90% storage rate was higher than during the previous summer.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin could also turn off the gas tap for south-eastern Europe. Attacks on pipelines are still a possible horror scenario.”
“There are still countries in Europe that buy Russian gas, and if the supply were to be cut off, we would have to rush to the rescue,” economist Veronika Grimm told Funke media group.
3 hours ago
Russia says Ukrainian drone destroyed over Belgorod
Russian air defense systems destroyed a Ukraine-launched unmanned aerial vehicle over the territory of the Belgorod region early on Sunday morning, Russian Defense Ministry said.
“There are no casualties and no damage,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app, adding the attack took place around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT).
The Belgorod region in Russia’s south borders Ukraine. The region has suffered frequent artillery and drone attacks in the last few months, and in May saw an armed cross-border incursion.
3 hours ago
Rheinmetall to deliver Luna drone system to Ukraine — report
Germany’s Rheinmetall will deliver a Luna New Generation drone system to Ukraine by the end of the year, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported, citing company sources.
The “Drones Package” consists of a ground control station with several drones, a launch catapult and military trucks, Bild said.
According to the report, the drone system could be used as a reconnaissance system, provide an LTE network and intercept or jam communications.
Ukraine is desperate to boost its weapons arsenal, from drones and munitions to tanks, as it battles to repel Russia’s invasion.
3 hours ago
Kuleba underlines importance of German Taurus missiles for Ukraine
In the debate about the delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasized their importance to end to the war.
“Ukraine needs Taurus missiles to save more lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians and to speed up the liberation of the territories and end the war more quickly,” Kuleba told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
“The formula is simple: a longer range of the missiles means a shorter duration of the war,” he added.
With the weapon, Ukraine could “reach the Russian occupying forces on Ukrainian soil far beyond the front line, disrupt their logistics and destroy command centers and ammunition depots,” Kuleba said.
The German government is currently considering sending Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, but has not yet taken a final decission.
4 hours ago
Ukraine border guards remind Russia Snake Island is theirs
Ukrainian border guards placed a new sign on Snake Island this weekend, recalling the early hours of Russia’s invasion when a comrade on the strategic Black Sea outcrop used a choice phrase to refuse to surrender to a warship.
“The next border sign will be installed in our Ukrainian Crimea after its liberation by the defense forces of Ukraine,” a uniformed man said, standing before a post painted blue and yellow like the country’s flag, in a video shared on Facebook by the head of the border service, Serhiy Deineko.
Tiny Snake Island became synonymous with Ukrainian resistance in the first hours of the February 24, 2022 invasion, when Russian officers on the Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva radioed Ukrainian guards stationed there and ordered them to surrender or die. One of them radioed back “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”
On April 14, 2022, two Ukrainian missiles struck the Moskva, the biggest warship sunk in combat for 40 years. On June 30, Russia abandoned Snake Island after taking heavy losses trying to defend it.
4 hours ago
Zelenskyy thanks Germany for two more Patriots
“This is very important,” Zelenskyy said in his evening address on Saturday. “Thank you, Germany. Thank you, Olaf!”
News of the Patriot delivery was made public a few days ago and Zelenskyy thanked Scholz immediately afterwars but they have now reached Ukraine.
The US-built Patriot systems are particularly valuable for Ukraine because, according to Kyiv, they have already intercepted Russian hypersonic missiles several times.
StrengtheningUkraine’s air defense means saving thousands of lives according Zelenskyy.
dh/lo (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)