Russia and Ukraine accused each other of launching multiple drone attacks against each other’s territory overnight last Wednesday.
Russian officials accused Ukraine of launching several drone attacks against six regions in central and northwestern Russia, while Kyiv said it had repelled more than 20 drone and missile attacks on the capital. Russia later said the attacks would “not go unpunished.”
One alleged Ukrainian drone attack caused a fire at an airfield in Pskov in the northwest of the country, setting two Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft on fire and damaging several other aircraft, Russian news agency Tass reported.
In other news, the Kremlin said an investigation into mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death in a plane crash would not rule out the possibility that it was a “deliberate atrocity.”
Hopes rise that Turkey will persuade Russia to revive grain deal
Hopes are rising that Turkey will persuade Russia to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative with Ukraine, enabling the resumption of exports of millions of tons of grains, foodstuffs and fertilizer from some of Ukraine’s ports.
Russia pulled out of the UN-brokered deal in July, saying its own exports of grain and fertilizer had been impeded by sanctions and restrictions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan will discuss the possibility of launching a new Black Sea grain deal when they meet Thursday and Friday in Moscow.
Under a plan proposed by Moscow, Russia would send a million metric tons of discounted grain to Turkey, where it would then be processed and sent to countries most in need, the Foreign Ministry said, according to Reuters.
“We consider this project as the optimal working alternative to the Black Sea deal,” it said, referring to the UN-backed deal that Russia exited in July.
France’s Macron discusses further military aid for Kyiv in talks with Ukrainian minister
French President Emmanuel Macron discussed providing further military support to Kyiv and securing Ukrainian grain exports to Africa when he met with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Paris on Wednesday.
Kubela shared details and images of the talks in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Kremlin does not rule out possibility that Prigozhin’s death was premeditated
The Kremlin said last Wednesday it did not rule out that the death of mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was premeditated.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said Russia’s Investigative Committee would look into the causes of the plane crash last week that killed Prigozhin, the head of the mercenary private military company the Wagner Group, but ruled out outside involvement in the inquiry.
“It is obvious that different versions are being considered, including the version – you know what we are talking about – let’s say, a deliberate atrocity,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to comments translated by Reuters.
“Let’s wait for the results of our Russian investigation,” he added.
Peskov’s comment is the first time Moscow has acknowledged that Prigozhin’s death may not have been an accident. Prigozhin was a close ally of President Putin before he led a short-lived mutiny in June against the state that put him on a collision path with the president.
On August 23, the private, Brazilian-made Embraer jet in which Prigozhin and his closest associates were traveling in, crashed north of Moscow, killing all 10 people on board.
Brazil’s aircraft investigation authority told Reuters that it will not probe the crash of the jet under international rules “at the moment.” Asked about this, Peskov said Russia’s Investigative Committee had already begun its inquiry and that “in this case there can be no talk of any international aspect.”
The Kremlin has rejected what it sees as Western “speculation” that Putin ordered Prigozhin to be killed in revenge for the uprising, describing it as an “absolute lie.”
Russia says drone attacks ‘will not go unpunished’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it will respond to a series of drone attacks on six Russian regions overnight. Russia alleged that Ukraine was behind the attacks targeting northwest and central Russia, including the Moscow region.
Briefing journalists on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the drone attacks on territory that was so far from Ukraine would not have been possible without information from Western satellites.
“The actions of the Ukrainian regime will not go unpunished,” Zakharova said, according to comments published by state news agency Tass.
“Russian law enforcement agencies are investigating and carefully documenting all facts of shelling of Russian regions by Ukrainian militants, as well as their other criminal activities,” she said.
Russia has not presented evidence that Ukraine was behind the attempted drone attacks and Kyiv has not commented.