Russia-Ukraine conflict information: Drones downed in Rostov; counteroffensive ‘making progress’

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that Kyiv’s counteroffensive is “gradually gaining ground” as Ukrainian troops fight to reclaim territory from entrenched Russian forces in the country’s east and south.

“There’s heavy fighting, difficult fighting, but they have been able to reach the defensive lines of Russian forces, and they are moving forward,” he told the European Parliament.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting Ukraine, where he received battlefield updates from President Volodymyr Zelensky and pledged more than $1 billion in additional U.S. aid. The Pentagon also announced plans to send Ukraine depleted uranium munitions, which are somewhat radioactive and capable of piercing armor — a move that Moscow decried as a U.S. escalation.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

The governor of Russia’s Rostov region said air defenses shot down two drones over the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, home to Russia’s Southern Military District headquarters, a strategic command center. One person was injured and cars were damaged after one drone fell in the city center and the second fell outside the city, Vasily Golubev added early Thursday. The Post could not independently verify the claims. Social media footage verified by Storyful showed an explosion and emergency crews in the city near the military base. Rostov-on-Don, about 75 miles from the Ukrainian border, has come under attack during the Ukraine war.

Blinken visited a State Border Guard Facility in the Kyiv region on Thursday after touting real progress” in Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Blinken, who is among Ukraine’s staunchest supporters within the Biden administration, has pushed officials to provide more sophisticated weaponry and tamped down calls for a negotiated cease-fire.

A Russian missile strike on a crowded market in Kostiantynivka, one of the deadliest in Ukraine in months, killed at least 16 people and left 32 injured, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Zelensky described Wednesday’s attack, which hit a market frequented by Ukrainian soldiers positioned in the country’s east, as “utter inhumanity.”

The European Union condemned the attack on Kostiantynivka, close to the front lines around the battered eastern city of Bakhmut. The E.U. statement said the attack “follows an escalation over the past months of missile and drone attacks all over Ukraine,” which it said have killed and wounded more than 410 civilians over the past two weeks.

NATO does not have information “indicating an intentional attack by Russia” in Romania and is awaiting the outcome of an investigation, Stoltenberg said. Romanian officials have said debris from what might be a drone was found on the country’s territory, after dismissing claims earlier that Russian drones entered the country during an attack near the Danube River in neighboring Ukraine.

Moldova will host joint military exercises with about 500 Moldovan, Romanian and U.S. troops from Sept. 10 to 22, including infantry and artillery drills, the Moldovan Defense Ministry said.

The new U.S. funding includes air defense components, 155mm artillery ammunition, antitank missiles and air navigation systems, The Washington Post reported. Russia’s deputy foreign minister described the U.S. decision to send depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as a “an escalatory step” and a “criminal act.”

Russian drone strikes damaged port infrastructure and buildings in Odessa, the governor of the southern Ukrainian port region, Oleh Kiper, said overnight. He said it was the fourth attack on the Izmail district in recent days.

“Ukrainian officials say Moscow is to trying gain ground toward Kupyansk, a small city veined with strategic roads and rail tracks, including a train line that reaches Russia’s border,” they write.



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