Kim confident Putin will achieve ‘great victory’
North Korea’s leader said Moscow will emerge victorious against its enemies, during an exceptional visit to Russia aimed at strengthening ties, especially military ones.
Vladimir Putin is widely believed to want North Korean ammunition for his grinding invasion of Ukraine.
However, any such arms deal has not been officially disclosed, at this stage.
Pyongyang needs food to combat chronic shortages and wants Russian tech to build advanced weapons.
“We are confident that the Russian army and people will definitely achieve a great victory in the sacred struggle to punish the evil gathering that claims hegemony,” Kim Jong Un said.
He also praised the “heroic” Russian army, which has waged war in Ukraine since February 2022.
Putin, for his part, toasted the “strengthening of cooperation” with Pyongyang, adding there was a “prospect” of closer military ties.
A stronger alliance between Pyongyang, Moscow and Beijing could have a significant impact on the conflict in Ukraine, said Kim Jong-dae, a visiting scholar at the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies.
“I believe that Russia has already tested North Korean shells on the battlefield and is now ready to expand their use. Western states do not understand the consequences of “such arms sales between Russia and the North,” he added.
Russia thwarts drone wave attacks
Russia claimed to have destroyed Ukrainian drones in the Black Sea overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, plus several others in the annexed Crimean peninsula and western Russia.
It did not report any casualties from the wave of attacks.
Five Ukrainian drones launched at Moscow’s Black Sea ship Sergei Kotov were intercepted, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The vessel has already been targetted by Kyiv twice this summer, it added.
The Russian MoD claimed to have downed three other Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, without specifying what they were targeting.
In Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, Moscow’s air defences knocked out 11 drones – again without disclosing possible injuries or damage.
Border regions of Bryansk and Belgorod in western Russia were also targeted.
With Ukrainian drone attacks often intercepted and seldom hitting military targets, a Euronews report explored what they aim to achieve. Read more below.
EU lifts sanctions on Russian businessmen
The European Union has lifted sanctions on three Russian oligarchs for their role in the invasion of Ukraine, according to officials.
The 27 member states froze the assets and banned some 1,600 individuals and entities from their territory, following the start of the war.
This package of sanctions was extended by a further six months, said the officials.
The three people removed from the EU’s list are businessmen Grigory Berezkin, Farkhad Akhmedov and Alexander Shulgin.
Russian military official Georgy Shuvaev, who was killed in Ukraine, was also taken off.
The removal of these men comes as Brussels faces several legal challenges from several Russian oligarchs.
According to the EU, Grigory Berezkin, whose ESN group has interests in the media and energy sector, is close to Putin and his companies have “materially supported” Moscow.
Billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, born in Kazakhstan and active in the energy sector, is also considered a Kremlin ally.
Alexander Shulgin, head of the online trading platform Ozon, attended a meeting of Russian oligarchs and Putin that took place at the start of the invasion. It was intended to rally Russian businessmen in support of the war.