Ukraine loses up to 310 soldiers in Donetsk direction in past day, says Russian Defense Ministry

(Xinhua) 10:50, August 18, 2023

MOSCOW/KIEV, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments related to the Ukraine crisis:

Ukraine has lost up to 310 soldiers in the Donetsk direction over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Kiev also lost up to 125 soldiers in the Kupyansk direction and up to 195 soldiers in the Zaporizhzhia direction, the ministry added.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the legislation to extend the current martial law and general mobilization in the country for another 90 days, the parliament's press service said Thursday.

The extension of the martial law and general mobilization, which are due to expire on Aug. 18, was endorsed by the Ukrainian parliament last month.

The Ukrainian parliament imposed martial law after the outbreak of the conflict with Russia on Feb. 24, 2022 and has extended it eight times since then.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country will receive F-16 fighter jets after the end of the training course for pilots, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Thursday.

"I think the Ukrainian pilots will return from training, and the planes will also arrive with them. They may not arrive directly in the cockpits, but this will be a synchronized process," Kuleba said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in talks with partners over speeding up the process of providing F-16s for Ukraine, he added.

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The Azov brigade, which is part of the Ukrainian National Guard, has returned to the battlefield, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported Thursday, citing a military official.

"The legendary special forces brigade Azov was reinstated and started to carry out combat missions," said Mykola Urshalovych, acting director of the planning department at the main directorate of the National Guard.

The Azov brigade is currently carrying out military operations on the frontline in the eastern Luhansk region, Urshalovych said.

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Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi said on Wednesday that GCC member states support "peaceful efforts" aimed at resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In a phone conversation with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Albudaiwi also emphasized the significance of reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the export of grains, essential food, and humanitarian supplies in order to improve the food security of affected countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The two sides also discussed the latest developments of the Ukraine crisis.

Albudaiwi said the GCC's stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is based on the principles of international law and the UN Charter, which underscores the importance of upholding the existing international order on the basis of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and the avoidance of using or threatening to use force.

The two officials also vowed to move forward toward drafting a joint action plan that includes significant issues serving the interests of both sides.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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