Russia launched an overnight air attack on one of Ukraine’s major grain exporting ports, Ukrainian officials said, hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, are due to hold talks on Monday in a long-shot bid to revive a Ukrainian grain export agreement in time for the autumn harvest. Follow our liveblog for the latest updates on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
05:30am: Russia says destroyed 4 Ukrainian military boats carrying troops in Black Sea
Russia said on Monday it had destroyed four Ukrainian military boats carrying troops in the Black Sea.
“During the night of September 4, 2023, in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, naval aviation aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet destroyed 4 “Willard Sea Force” US-made high-speed military boats with landing groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, traveling in the direction of Cape Tarkhankut on the Crimean coast,” Russia’s defence ministry said on Telegram.
02:18am: Russia strikes Ukraine grain exporting port ahead of Putin-Erdogan talks
Russia launched an overnight air attack on one of Ukraine’s major grain exporting ports, Ukrainian officials said, hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, are due to hold talks.
Ukraine’s air force urged residents of Izmail port, one of Ukraine’s two major grain-exporting ports on the Danube River in the Odesa region, to seek shelter after midnight on Monday.
Some Ukraine media reported the sound of blasts in the area.
Putin and Erdogan is to meet on Monday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi as Ankara and the United Nations seek to revive a Ukraine grain export deal that helped ease a global food crisis. Ankara called the talks vital for the deal.
01:04am: Russia says downs two Ukraine-launched drones over Kursk region
Russia’s air defence systems shot down two Ukraine-launched drones over the Kursk region, Russia’s defence ministry said early on Monday on its Telegram messaging app.
The Kursk region, in Russia’s south, borders Ukraine to its west.
Reuters could not independently verify the report. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Kyiv almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.
Key developments from Sunday, September 3:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke Sunday, discussing the “functioning” of a Black Sea corridor set up by Kyiv for the safe navigation of ships after Moscow exited a landmark grain deal. The news comes after Romania’s defence ministry strongly condemned repeated Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Danube River infrastructure close to its border.
Zelensky dismissed Kyiv’s defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov, and nominated Crimean Tatar politician Rustem Umerov to replace him as Kyiv’s defence minister, in a surprise move as the war with Russia enters its 19th month.
Read yesterday’s liveblog to see how the day’s events unfolded.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)