Russia thwarts Ukrainian attempt to cross into Bryansk region, says official

(Xinhua) 13:23, August 17, 2023

MOSCOW/KIEV, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments related to the Ukraine crisis:

Russian forces have prevented a Ukrainian sabotage group from crossing into Russia's western Bryansk region, Governor Alexander Bogomaz said Wednesday.

Bogomaz said that the units of Russia's Defense Ministry and the country's security forces had thwarted an attempt by six militants of a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group to cross into the Bryansk region on Wednesday morning.

Five of the militants have been killed, Bogomaz said in a Telegram post.

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Russia carried out two waves of drone attacks overnight Wednesday on the port infrastructure in Ukraine's southern Odesa region, according to regional authorities.

The combat drone strikes damaged warehouses and grain storage facilities in one of the ports on the Danube River, the Odesa regional military administration said in a statement on Telegram.

The fires caused by the attack have been extinguished, the statement said, and 11 combat drones were downed over the Odesa region overnight, it said.

Two other drones targeting port infrastructure in the region were downed in the neighboring Mykolaiv region, according to the Ukrainian Air Force. There were no reports of casualties in the attacks.

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Ukraine has lost up to 250 troops in the Donetsk direction over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

Over the past day, Russian armed forces have repelled five attacks by Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk direction, two in the Zaporizhzhia direction, nine in the Kupyansk direction and one in the Krasnyi Lyman direction, the ministry said, adding that Russian troops had conducted offensive operations and improved their position along the front line in the Kupyansk direction.

Moreover, Russian troops have hit a command post of the 72nd mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces near the village of Paraskoviivka, which is near the Russian-controlled city of Bakhmut, also known as Artyomovsk.

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Ukraine will not cede its territories to Russia to obtain NATO membership, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said Tuesday.

"The talks about Ukraine joining NATO in exchange for giving up parts of Ukrainian territories are absolutely unacceptable," Nikolenko wrote on Facebook.

He emphasized that Ukraine is committed to further cooperation with NATO to achieve full membership in the alliance.

The statement came after a comment from Stian Jenssen, the director of the private office of the NATO Secretary General, who proposed that Ukraine cede part of its territory to Russia in exchange for NATO membership to end the war, the Ukrinform news agency reported.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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