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Ukraine war latest: European defense leaders visit Kyiv

by The Kyiv Independent news desk September 28, 2023 11:30 PM 5 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg shake hands at the end of their press conference following talks in Kyiv on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP)
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  • Stoltenberg, French and U.K. defense leaders visit Kyiv
  • Zaluzhnyi meets U.K. Defense Staff Chief Radakin
  • Poland confirms Ukrainian air defense missile fell on Polish territory last year
  • EU threatens new drone component bans to countries still re-exporting to Russia, Iran
  • Russian shelling of Krasnohorivka in Donetsk Oblast, kills 2, injures 3

President Volodymyr Zelensky held separate meetings with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu during a visit of the two officials to Kyiv on Sept. 28, the president announced on his Telegram channel.

Zelensky held a press briefing with Stoltenberg following their meeting. The president said that both Kyiv and NATO are doing everything they can to ensure Ukraine becomes a member of the alliance as soon as possible.

"Ukraine already defends the common free space that unites all NATO members," Zelensky said.

"Ukraine's victory in this unprovoked and criminal war unleashed by Russia is guaranteed to ensure long-term security and peace, and not only for our country but for the entire continent."

The president said he discussed all key defense issues with Stoltenberg, including the situation on the battlefield and the needs of the Ukrainian military.

Zelensky also held talks with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, primarily discussing the ways to strengthen Ukraine's air defense capabilities, the president wrote on his Telegram channel.

Zelensky thanked France "for the support and military assistance it has already provided."

"Together, we can do even more to protect freedom and life," he said.

Prior to his meeting with Zelensky, Lecornu honored fallen Ukrainian soldiers at the Wall of Remembrance, accompanied by French Ambassador in Kyiv Gael Veyssiere.

U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps also visited Kyiv on Sept. 28.

Zelensky called his meeting with the British defense chief "substantial" and thanked the U.K. for its "significant financial, defense, and humanitarian support."

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Zaluzhnyi meets UK Defense Staff Chief Radakin

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, met with British Chief of Defense Staff Tony Radakin to discuss the situation on the front and Kyiv's defense needs, the Ukrainian commander said on Sept. 28.

Zaluzhnyi said he emphasized the importance of reinforcing Ukraine's air defense capabilities during the talks with the British general.

"I thanked (Radakin) for his visit and for supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression," Ukraine's chief commander wrote on Telegram.

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Poland confirms Ukrainian air defense missile fell on Polish territory last year

The projectile that caused the death of two people in Poland's Przewodow last November was a stray Ukrainian anti-air missile, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro confirmed, Polish Radio Lublin reported on Sept. 28.

According to the minister, an investigation by Poland's Prosecutor's Office "categorically" established that Ukraine launched the missile that hit a Polish grain facility near the Ukrainian border on Nov. 15, 2022.

"It was a Soviet-made missile, but it belonged to the Ukrainian military," Ziobro said.

The newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on the findings of the Prosecutor's Office two days ahead of the official announcement.

According to the news outlet, the investigators concluded that Ukraine's military had launched two S-300 missiles from its air defenses in an attempt to intercept a massive missile strike that Russia had launched on that date.

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EU threatens new drone component bans to countries still re-exporting to Russia, Iran

The European Commission has warned Western firms and governments it could ban the export of certain components to some third-party countries from where Russia and Iran source drone parts, the Guardian reported on Sept. 28.

The EU is working closely with the countries in question on a diplomatic level to prevent the re-export of sanctioned goods, the Commission's spokesperson told the Guardian.

However, should these efforts prove insufficient, "the only remaining option is to stop exporting to those third countries the very specific goods we are most concerned about, using the EU's anti-circumvention tool," the spokesperson said.

This tool would prevent the EU countries from exporting goods to those countries that help Russia and Iran circumvent the sanctions.

The EU's statement follows the Guardian's earlier report on a leaked Ukrainian document submitted to the Group of Seven (G7) countries in August.

According to the letter, Shahed-type drones using Western components have been used in at least 600 strikes on Ukraine.

Russian shelling of Donetsk Oblast kills 2, injures 3

Russian forces launched an artillery strike on the town of Krasnohorivka in Donetsk Oblast on Sept. 28, killing two civilians and injuring three others, the Prosecutor General's Office reported.

According to the prosecutors, Russia shelled the town – located roughly 30 kilometers west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk – at 12 p.m. local time using 152 mm artillery.

Two men aged 47 and 54 were reportedly killed in the attack. A 60-year-old man and two women aged 45 and 61 suffered injuries as a result of the strike, the Prosecutor's Office said.

An hour later, Russian forces reportedly targeted yet another Donetsk Oblast town, Kostiantynivka, with KAB aerial bombs.

The air strike resulted in the injuries of three men aged between 37 and 60.

The bombing also damaged a commercial building, several multi-story residential buildings, houses, and a school, the prosecutors reported.

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