Russia says it thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea bridge

Russia says it thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea bridge

Russia said its forces destroyed Ukrainian naval drones that were attempting to target the Crimea bridge early on Saturday. Kyiv has repeatedly targeted the strategic bridge that connects the Russian mainland to the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014. Follow our live blog for the latest updates on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

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7:10am: Russia labels Nobel-winning journalist Muratov a ‘foreign agent’

Russian authorities have designated Nobel Prize-winning journalist Dmitry Muratov as a “foreign agent,” a move often aimed at critics of Kremlin policies.

Russian news agencies quoted the Justice Ministry as saying Muratov, editor of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper and a co-laureate of the 2021 Nobel peace prize, was one of several Russian nationals added to the list.

Read more‘Russia will never be able to conquer Ukraine,’ says Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov

So-called foreign agents have been subjected to police searches and other punitive measures. While Muratov is still in Russia, many on the list have left the country since the February 2021 invasion of Ukraine, dubbed a “special military operation” by the Kremlin.

The Justice Ministry said Muratov “created and disseminated material (produced by) foreign agents and used it to spread negative opinions of Russia’s foreign and domestic policies on international platforms”.

3:15am: Russia says boat destroyed trying to attack Crimea bridge

Russia’s Defence Ministry said its forces have destroyed an unmanned Ukrainian boat being used in an attempt to attack the bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland.

The bridge, completed in 2018, four years after Russia occupied and annexed the peninsula from Ukraine, has come under repeated attack in Moscow’s 18-month-old full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

“On 1st September at about 11.15 p.m. (2015 GMT), an attempt was undertaken by the Kyiv regime to launch a terrorist strike with a half-loaded unmanned boat,” the ministry said on Telegram.

It said the boat had been “spotted and destroyed in time off the Black Sea coast”.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian officials, who normally say little or nothing about attacks on Russian targets but say that destroying Russian infrastructure is vital for the country’s war effort.

1:10am: Russia deploys ICBM that Putin says will make enemies ‘think twice’

The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said the country has deployed an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that President Vladimir Putin once said will make Russia’s enemies “think twice.”

Agency head Yuri Borisov said Sarmat missiles have been placed on combat duty, according to Russian news agencies. Further details were not reported.

The Sarmat is one of several advanced weapons whose development Putin announced in 2018. The silo-based missile, capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, is intended to replace the R-36 ICBMs that are known by the NATO reporting name of Satan.

9:25pm: Ukraine seeks to expand domestic arms production

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week claimed that Ukraine has successfully used new domestically made long-range weapons, and that they hit a target 700 kilometers away. 

By making his claim on his nightly address, Douglas Herbert, FRANCE 24’s international affairs commentator, explains that “Volodymyr Zelensky wants to underscore that Ukraine increasingly has the capability, not just to wage its own war…but also can use weapons of its own production.”

Zelensky did not reveal if the domestically produced weapons were used in training or combat. The purpose of the announcement, according to Herbert, was to show that Ukraine does not simply have a “blind reliance on Western providers and suppliers of weapons. The Ukrainians do have the wherewithal, they have gained a lot of expertise, specialisation throughout this war,” Herbert added.

© France 24

  • Key developments from Friday, September 1:

Russia’s defence ministry on Friday said it had destroyed a total of 281 Ukrainian drones over the past week as officials in Moscow and in the southwestern Kursk region reported new drone attacks overnight.

Earlier, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief claimed that a recent drone attack on an airport in Russia that damaged several transport planes was carried out from within Russian territory.

Also on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a business forum in Italy that there can be no “sustainable peace” in Ukraine unless the country regains control of Crimea, Donbas and other territories occupied by Russia.

In Washington, White House officials said they had seen notable progress by Ukrainian forces in the south near the Zaporizhzhia area in the last 72 hours. The comments came a day after Kyiv blasted criticism of the slow pace of its counteroffensive.

Read yesterday’s liveblog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

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© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)