Ukraine troops capture eastern village near Bakhmut, military says

Ukraine troops capture eastern village near Bakhmut, military says

Ukraine’s armed forces Friday said they had retaken the village of Andriivka near the key frontline town of Bakhmut, a day after claims it had been “liberated” were dubbed premature. The capture comes ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s trip to Washington where he is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill next week. Follow our liveblog for the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

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7:28am: Ukraine troops capture eastern village of Andriivka, military says

Ukraine’s military said on Friday that its troops have captured a village near Bakhmut, the eastern city that fell into Russian hands in May after being besieged for many months.

The Russian side had suffered significant casualties and loss of equipment, while Ukrainian troops were able to fortify some areas, the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in a morning report.

“In the course of assault operations, they seized Andriivka in Donetsk region,” the General Staff said.

2:45am: Zelensky is expected to visit Washington as Congress is debating $24 billion in aid for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill next week as he visits the US during the United Nations General Assembly.

Zelensky’s trip comes as Congress is debating President Joe Biden’s request to provide as much as $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it fights the Russian invasion.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive visit, said Zelensky will meet with Biden at the White House next Thursday. The trip to the Capitol was confirmed by two congressional aides granted anonymity to discuss the plans. 

2:05am: Cuba issues conflicting statements on use of its citizens in Ukraine war

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Thursday his country rejects the participation of its citizens as mercenaries in war, contradicting a statement by Cuba’s ambassador in Moscow hours earlier saying his government did not oppose the legal participation of its citizens in Russia´s war in Ukraine.

The apparently conflicting statements follow Cuban state-run and foreign media reports suggesting that young Cuban men have enlisted in the Kremlin´s military in recent months as mercenaries and victims in alleged human trafficking schemes.

“The unequivocal and unswerving position of the Cuban government, in accordance with its national legislation, is contrary to the participation of Cuban citizens in conflicts of any sort and against mercenarism and trafficking in persons,” Rodriguez said on social media.

Last week Cuban authorities said they had arrested 17 people on charges related to a ring of human traffickers that allegedly had lured young Cuban men to serve in the Russian military amid the Ukraine conflict.

1:40am: Ukrainian forces press on in east, inflict casualties in south

Ukraine on Thursday pressed on with a gruelling campaign to regain ground near the shattered Russian-held city of Bakhmut and inflicted heavy casualties on Russian forces on the southern front, senior military officials said.

The Ukrainian accounts outlined fierce fighting in many parts of the eastern front, but no new breakthroughs in the three-month old counter offensive.

Ukrainian advances have been much slower than gains they recorded last year in recovering territory in the northeast, as they proceed methodically in the face of deep Russian entrenchments.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials have dismissed Western critics who say the three-month offensive is too slow and hampered by strategic errors, like placing troops in the wrong places.

Key developments from Thursday, September 14:

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said Thursday the International Criminal Court (ICC) had opened a field office in Kyiv, as part of efforts to hold Russian forces accountable for potential war crimes.

Ukraine said Thursday its forces had retaken a village near the war-battered city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, several months into its grinding counteroffensive against entrenched Russian positions.

Russia on Thursday said it was expelling two US embassy staff for allegedly “liaising” with Robert Shonov, a former US consulate worker accused by Moscow of spying.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that any decision by European states to extend import restrictions on Ukrainian food from September 15 would be illegal and harm common economic interests.

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

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)