North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a plant that builds fighter jets during his ongoing Russia trip, which comes as Washington repeats suspicions that Moscow and Pyongyang seek to engineer an arms deal that could deliver North Korean weapons to Russian forces on the battlefields of Ukraine.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Kim rolled into the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur early Friday, Russian news agencies reported. There, he toured a Russian factory that builds Sukhoi fighter jets alongside Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, who said Moscow sees potential for cooperation with North Korea in the field of aircraft manufacturing, according to Russian news reports. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Kim’s trip will continue for several days. His next destination is expected to be the eastern port city of Vladivostok, where he will inspect Russia’s Pacific naval fleet.
Russia had not signed any agreements “with North Korea in the area of military-technical cooperation” yet, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed as “nonsense” reports that Russia is accepting North Korean volunteers for the war in Ukraine.
Zelensky’s Washington visit was coordinated with the Biden administration in a joint push to get Congress to provide $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, The Post reported. Republican leaders, Democrats and the White House insist that a majority of Congress continues to support helping Ukraine. But there has been growing tension within the Republican Party — and among a small number of Democrats — over how much assistance the United States should grant Ukraine.
Authorities in Ukraine filed further charges against oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky — one of the country’s richest men, who was detained in a fraud case earlier this month. Ukraine’s main internal security service, the SBU, wrote on Telegram Friday that Kolomoisky was accused of embezzling the equivalent of around $157 million. Ukrainian has doubled down on anticorruption efforts since the war began, as it seeks membership of the European Union.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is “aggressively probing” possible vulnerabilities related to the use of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites in Ukraine, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said. “Neither Elon Musk, nor any private citizen, can have the last word when it comes to U.S. national security,” Reed, the chairman of that committee, wrote in a statement Thursday. Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is also on the Armed Services Committee, made similar calls, saying it would be improper for “one billionaire” to have sway over U.S. foreign policy.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured Andriivka, a Russian-held village near Bakhmut, according to Ukraine’s general staff early Friday. Ukrainian troops “inflicted significant losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy, and consolidated their new positions,” it said.
Wednesday’s attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet “almost certainly” caused major damage to a landing ship and submarine as they underwent maintenance at the Sevastopol naval base, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Friday. Open-source material indicates that the landing ship Minsk “has almost certainly been functionally destroyed, while the [Rostov-na-Donu submarine] has likely suffered catastrophic damage,” the ministry said. It added that repairs to the submarine are “likely to take many years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars,” while removing wreckage could leave the docks “out of use for many months.”
Russia’s navy will receive 12 new vessels, including a nuclear submarine, by the end of the year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to RIA Novosti.
Zelensky said Ukrainian forces have destroyed Russian air defense systems in Crimea. “The entire staff of the Security Service of Ukraine and our navy should be specially commended for this. I thank you for today’s triumph,” he said in his nightly address. Ukraine claims to have damaged Russian military sites in Crimea, with Ukrainian news outlets also reporting that an S-400 air defense system was destroyed Thursday. The Post could not independently verify the reports of damage. Geolocated video showed flames and large plumes of smoke rising from a site in Crimea. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and the peninsula has come under several attacks in recent months.
A senior Russian security official said Moscow has “identified and neutralized” hundreds of foreign spies in recent years. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said in an article published in the Russian foreign intelligence agency’s magazine Friday: “In recent years, hundreds of employees of foreign intelligence services, as well as other persons involved in organizing intelligence and subversive activities against our country and our strategic partners, have been identified and neutralized.” Patrushev provided no evidence for his claims. Western security officials have said that Russia has significant spying capabilities despite exposure of multiple operatives in Europe.
Russia declared two U.S. diplomats in Moscow “persona non grata,” asking them to leave the country in seven days. The two diplomats were accused of maintaining contact with a Russian citizen performing “tasks for financial remuneration with the aim of damaging the national security of the Russian Federation,” according to the Russian government. The Russian has been named in other news releases as Robert Shonov, a former employee of the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok. The U.S. State Department condemned Shonov’s arrest earlier this year and said the accusations against him “are wholly without merit.”
It is too early to comment on the cause of the plane crash that killed Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin, Peskov said on Friday. “This is not a simple investigation, not a simple accident, an investigation is underway, so it would be premature to comment now,” Peskov said.
The International Criminal Court has set up a field office in Ukraine, Zelensky said in a nightly address Thursday. It is “the largest ICC office outside of The Hague,” he said. The court has issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in Putin’s office. The two are accused of the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to Russia. Russian troops are also suspected of war crimes, including the murder of noncombatants, rape and torture.
Scottish zoo will adopt Yampil the bear, rescued from Ukrainian front line: An Asian black bear found in a Ukrainian zoo near the front line will have a new home in Scotland, Daniel Wu reports. Yampil, named after the Ukrainian village where he was found, was discovered barely alive by Ukrainian troops who recaptured the area from Russian forces last year.
Yampil was whisked from the front line and taken to a Polish zoo, then a Belgian wildlife rehabilitation center, where he was slowly nursed back to health. The center then contacted the Scotland-based Five Sisters Zoo, which had previously taken in rescued brown bears from the center, about potentially adopting Yampil.
John Hudson and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.