President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine needed to secure three key “victories” abroad, including the approval of major aid packages from the US Congress and the European Union, and a formal start of accession talks to join the EU. Reuters news agency reported that Zelenskiy also on Friday announced the latest dismissals in the military – four deputy commanders in the national guard – but gave no reasons for their removal.
Zelenskiy discussed “efforts to maintain European unity” in a call with outgoing Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, after far-right politician Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) got the most votes in the Dutch election.
Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch defence minister, said she hoped military support to Kyiv would continue but also that she was worried due to the PVV’s stance on Ukraine.
Robert Fico, Slovakia’s populist prime minister, said he considered the war between Ukraine and Russia a “frozen conflict”.
The British Ministry of Defence said Russian forces in Ukraine continued to suffer mass casualties from Ukrainian long-range precision strikes well behind the frontline.
Ukraine’s truckers’ union said hopes of a rapid end to Polish trucker protests at the border were fading.
Finland temporarily closed all but one of its eight passenger crossings to Russia.
The Finnish prime minister, Petteri Orpo, said the high flow of migrants via Russia must stop.
The Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Olha Stefanishyna, said a veto of the country’s European aspirations at an EU summit next month “would be the irresponsibility of the others”.
Plans to expand the Grain from Ukraine program further across Africa one year after its launch will be announced on Saturday by Zelenskiy, backed by the appointment of a new series of goodwill ambassadors including Charlotte Leslie, a former Conservative MP with deep contacts in the Middle East.
The leaders of Canada and the European Union reiterated on Friday strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, while pledging to deepen coordination on climate efforts, according to the AFP news agency. “We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the two sides said in a statement, pledging to “work to address Ukraine’s immediate military and defence needs and ensure Ukraine has the long-term security commitments needed.”
A Ukrainian sea drone attack on Russia’s Crimean bridge in July had “overturned” naval operations and forced Moscow to resort to ferries to move weaponry, the head of Ukraine’s main intelligence agency said in a video broadcast on Friday, Reuters reported. Vasyl Maliuk, head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), said the second of two major attacks in August had seriously disrupted operations on the 19-km (12-mile) bridge, Europe’s longest, and dented the notion of Russian invincibility. “We have practically overturned the philosophy of naval operations,” Maliuk said in the first of a series of televised documentaries titled “SBU, the Special Operations of Victory”.
Russia views Moldova’s decision to join EU sanctions against it as a hostile step aimed at destroying ties with Moscow and will retaliate, the Russian foreign ministry said. The Russian denunciation on Friday was issued in response to a vote in Moldova’s parliament agreeing to abide by the punitive measures as part of measures to alter its legislation as required for its bid to join the European Union. “We regard this as yet another hostile step by the Moldovan leadership, which is fully integrated into the anti-Russian campaign of the ‘collective west’,” the ministry said in a statement.