DIRECT. War in Ukraine: Russia says it shot down Ukrainian drones in Crimea and near Moscow

Kim Jong Un leaves Russia after receiving explosive drones as a gift

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his “sincere thanks” to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his return trip after a nearly week-long visit to Russia, state media reported Monday. He also “presented his sincere thanks” for Russia’s “special attention and cordial hospitality.”

Kim Jong Un took the train back to Korea. AFP/HO/Government of Primorsky region.

Earlier on Sunday in Vladivostok, Kim Jong Un received five explosive drones as a gift from the regional governor, according to the official T agency. Highly symbolic military gifts in a context of Western fears regarding a potential military agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Russia says it has shot down Ukrainian drones, notably in Crimea and near Moscow

Russia claimed on the night of Sunday to Monday to have shot down several Ukrainian drones in annexed Crimea, in the Moscow region as well as those of Belgorod and Voronezh, close to Ukraine.

“Drones were intercepted over the western, southwest, northwest and eastern areas of the Crimean Peninsula, Istra (west) and Domodedovo (south) districts of the Moscow region, regions of Belgorod and Voronezh (southwest),” detailed the Russian Defense Ministry on Telegram. Three drones were notably destroyed on Sunday evening above the south-west of Crimea and another in the Belgorod region.

The counter-offensive “did not fail”, judges the American chief of staff

The Ukrainian counter-offensive “did not fail” but the road to a definitive victory for Kiev in the conflict is still very long, judged the American chief of staff, General Mark Milley, in an interview broadcast on Sunday on CNN.

“This offensive, although slow, slower than expected, remained constant,” he estimated, affirming that the Ukrainians still had “a significant strike force”.

The general conceded, however, that it “will take a long time” to achieve Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s goal “of kicking out all the Russians” from the country. The latter will be received at the White House on Thursday for new discussions with President Joe Biden on support for kyiv against the Russian invasion.

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