6:14am: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un inspects Russian nuclear-capable bombers on a visit to Russia’s Far East
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected Russian nuclear-capable bombers and other warplanes in Russia’s Far East on Saturday as he continued a trip that has sparked Western concerns about an arms alliance that could fuel Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
After arriving in the city of Artyom by train, Kim traveled to an airport just outside the seaside city of Vladivostok where Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other senior military officials gave him an up-close look at Russia’s strategic bombers and other warplanes.
Seemingly all of the Russian warplanes shown to Kim on Saturday were among those that have seen active use in the war in Ukraine, including the Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22 bombers that have regularly launched cruise missiles.
Shoigu, who had met Kim during a rare visit to North Korea in July, also showed Kim one of Russia’s latest missiles, the hypersonic Kinzhal carried by the MiG-31 fighter jet, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.
Kim’s to visit to Russia, highlighted by a summit with Putin on Wednesday, comes amid momentum in military cooperation between the countries in which North Korea could potentially seek Russian technologies to advance Kim’s military nuclear programme in exchange for providing Russia with badly needed munitions.
5:48am: Russia says it downed two Ukrainian drones over Kaluga and Tver region
Russian air defences shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Kaluga and Tver region, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
Key developments from Friday, September 15:
UNESCO on Friday placed World Heritage Sites in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Lviv on its “in danger” list, saying they are at risk from the war sparked by Russia’s invasion of the country. Although neither site has been directly targeted and Lviv has largely been spared from the fighting, Russia has unleashed waves of strikes on Kyiv and other cities, hitting residential areas and critical infrastructure with Iranian-made attack drones.
As part of a multi-pronged counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces recaptured a village in the country’s east after intense battles with Russian troops, the country’s military said Friday. The village of Andriivka – about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the Russian-occupied town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region – is the latest gain for Kyiv in a counteroffensive that has seen slow but steady gains by Ukrainian forces.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)
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