Russia-Ukraine war news: North Korea’s Kim views missiles in Vladivostok

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, the commander of the Russian navy, center left, take North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, on a tour of a Pacific Fleet frigate in Vladivostok, Russia. (AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has concluded his trip to Russia, boarding a specially-equipped armored train to the fanfare of a military orchestra in the far-eastern city of Artyom on Sunday, state news outlet RIA Novosti reported. Kim’s visit has drawn attention in Washington and beyond over a possible arms deal between Moscow and Pyongyang, as Russia seeks artillery for its waning stockpiles.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to travel to Washington this week, The Washington Post has reported. His visit to Capitol Hill is tentatively expected on Thursday, where he will make an appeal — backed by the Biden administration — for more aid. The trip would be his second to the United States since the war began.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

In Russia, Kim viewed aviation equipment and missile systems in the city of Vladivostok, where he was met by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, state media outlet Tass reported. Over the weekend, the leader of North Korea attended the ballet extravaganza The Sleeping Beauty on the Primorsky stage of the Mariinsky Theater. Kim also visited an aquarium where he watched marine animals perform, Russian media said.

Two merchant ships approached Ukrainian ports on Saturday, the first civilian vessels to travel through a temporary shipping corridor in the Black Sea following the collapse of a grain deal with Russia. Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the Palauan-flagged ships, Resilient Africa and Aroyat, are headed to Chornomorsk, where they will load nearly 20,000 tons of wheat for Africa and Asia.

Poland will ban Russian-registered cars from entering its borders starting Sunday, Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski announced. Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also imposed similar restrictions. An update to European Commission guidelines has asked member states to stop Russian citizens from bringing cars and other goods into the European Union in an effort to prevent sanction-dodging.

Jewish pilgrims have gathered in central Ukraine to mark Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which began at sunset on Friday and ends Sunday at sundown. More than 35,000 pilgrims — mostly from the United States, Israel and Europe — have gathered in the city of Uman, which holds historical significance for the Hasidic community, according to the regional governor, Ihor Taburets. Ukrainian and Israeli police were patrolling the area, which was under air raid alerts Sunday morning.

An apartment in Crimea owned by Zelensky is among 100 properties on the peninsula that Russian authorities there plan to sell, according to an announcement Saturday by Volodymyr Konstantinov, the speaker of Crimea’s parliament. He wrote on Telegram that eight auctions had already concluded, generating about $8.8 million. The other sales will take place soon, he added. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014 from Ukraine.

There will be no swift end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told German media in an interview that published Sunday. “Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” he told the Funke media group. There is no doubt that Ukraine will eventually be in NATO” he said as he many are wishing for “quick peace.”

Defense firms from 21 countries will participate in Ukraine’s upcoming Defense Industries Forum, Zelensky said in his nightly address Saturday. The event, which is set to take place this fall, is the first of its kind to be held in Ukraine, he said. “Our task is absolutely clear — to provide Ukraine with all the opportunities to produce weapons and ammunition, to provide modern technology to have reliable protection against any form of aggression,” Zelensky said. Ukraine’s foreign minister previously said top firms within France and the Czech Republic’s defense industry have been invited to attend the forum.

U.K. officials are supporting the family of a British man who reportedly died in Ukraine and are in contact with local authorities, a British Foreign Office spokesman told The Post. Daniel Burke, 36, a former British soldier, was reported missing by his family on Aug. 16 after traveling to the Ukrainian front line to fight against Russian forces, according to BBC News. Burke’s family told the outlet that Ukrainian authorities recently recovered the former paratrooper’s body in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he was skeptical that any munitions North Korea might provide to Russia would be decisive in Moscow’s war against Ukraine. “Would it have a huge difference? I’m skeptical,” Gen. Mark A. Milley said following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s rare trip outside his nation to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia. “The impact, I wouldn’t want to downplay it too much, but … I doubt that it will be decisive,” Milley told reporters traveling with him overseas.

Two Ukrainian drones were shot down by Russia’s Air defense forces over the Moscow region during the night, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Sunday. The first drone was downed in the district of Istra, the second in the Ramensky district, he said. No casualties or damage were reported.

Russia launched drone and missile attacks on southern parts of Ukraine’s Odessa region, striking an agriculturalfacility, Ukraine’s air force said on Telegram Sunday. Russia launched six Iranian-made Shahed drones and 10 cruise missiles, the air force said, noting that 12 projectiles were destroyed before they hit their targets.

Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky under pressure in criminal cases: The war in Ukraine has greatly curtailed the influence of the country’s oligarchs, but perhaps none more so than Ihor Kolomoisky, an oil, banking and media mogul who was once valued at $2 billion.

Kolomoisky is currently behind bars, facing legal troubles including allegations that he skimmed assets from Ukraine’s richest bank, which he once owned, as David L. Stern reports from Kyiv. Kolomoisky also owned a television channel that carried the popular show “Servant of the People,” about an unlikely president, played by Volodymyr Zelensky, the onetime actor turned real-life wartime president who is now spearheading the country’s campaign against alleged corruption among its oligarchs.

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